PodCastle 779: TALES FROM THE VAULTS – Black Feather
“Black Feather” originally aired as PodCastle 123
by K. Tempest Bradford
Exactly one year before she saw the raven, Brenna began to dream of flying. Sometimes she was in a plane, sometimes she was in a bird, sometimes she was just herself–surrounded by sky, clouds, and too-thin-to-breathe air. In the dark, in the light, over cities and oceans and fields, she flew. Every night for a year.
Then, on the twelfth day of the twelfth month, the dreams changed. They ended with a crash and fire and the feeling of falling. Most nights she almost didn’t wake up in time.
Exactly one year from the night the dreams began, Brenna struggled out of sleep, the phantom smell of burning metal still in her nose. She reached out for Scott–he was not there. He was never there. He had never been there. She fell back onto her pillows and groaned.
Another dream of flying, another reaching out for Scott; she wished she could stop doing both.
About the Author
K. Tempest Bradford
K. Tempest Bradford is a speculative fiction writer by night, a media critic and writing instructor by day, and a podcaster in the interstices. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple anthologies and magazines including Strange Horizons, Electric Velocipede, Diverse Energies, In the Shadow of the Towers, and many more. She’s the host of ORIGINality, a podcast about the roots of creative genius, and contributes to several more. Her media criticism and reviews can be found on NPR, io9, and in books about Time Lords. When not writing, she teaches classes on writing inclusive fiction through LitReactor and WritingtheOther.com. Visit her blog at KtempestBradford.com and her Patreon at patreon.com/ktempestbradford.
About the Narrator
Amal El-Mohtar is an award-winning author and critic. She is the science fiction and fantasy columnist for the New York Times Book Review and the co-author, with Max Gladstone, of This Is How You Lose the Time War, which to date has won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards for Best Novella. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Ottawa, and you can find her on Twitter @Tithenai or subscribe to her newsletter at amal.substack.com.