Storyfeather podcast

The Obsidian Tusks

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In life and beyond, the elephant king seeks only one aim, to protect his people from despair.

Genre: Fable


As the elephant king lay dying, struck silent by his pain, able only to breathe shattered breaths, his mind thought its last thoughts.

He could forgive the ones who had killed him. But forgiveness would do his people no good.

He could lay a curse upon the ones who had killed him, villains and villagers alike. He was a king. The ghosts of his ancestors would answer his summons and grant him his last wish. But curses were dangerous, not just to those who were cursed, but to those who did the cursing.


What’s the Writing Prompt that inspired the story?
EXERCISE: Grab a book off the shelf—any book!  Don’t bother searching for anything in particular. Open it at random and begin reading. Write down every idea you get from reading what is on that single page. Now turn to another page and do the same thing. Later, scroll down the aisle, pick another book whose title arouses your curiosity; once again open the book at random, and record any ideas that come to mind.

Source: The Daily Writer: 366 meditations to cultivate a productive and meaningful writing life. Fred White. Writer’s Digest Books. 2008.

The book I grabbed was a writing a book. 20 Master Plots and How to Build Them (And How to Build Them). Ronald B. Tobias. Writer’s Digest Books. 1993. I randomly turned to page 65 in the chapter about quest plots. So at first, the story was a quest about the elephant king seeking to recover his stolen tusks.


Faster Fictioneer
I held my first free writing workshop over Zoom to teach my method of writing short stories (an abbreviated version) on 11/8/2023. The workshop is based on my course, called “Faster Fictioneer: A Doable Method to Write a Short Story from Start to Finish in Five Weeks.”

You can watch a replay of the workshop here: FASTER FICTIONEER

(You can also buy the course there.)


Follow my Fictioneering Mischief
The Storyfeather Gazette is a monthly round-up of my recent podcast episodes, short stories, trailers, news, recommendations, and more sent by email. Follow the link to look through old issues and to Sign Up: STORYFEATHER GAZETTE


Storyfeather-themed merchandise
T-shirts, mugs, stickers, notebooks, baby onesies, and more featuring artwork from stories and art challenges


Story: “The Obsidian Tusks” Copyright © 2019 by Nila L. Patel
Narration, Episode Art, Editing, and Production:  Nila L. Patel


Trip-Hop Lounge Abstract Background” by Digital Emotions (Intro/Outro)

Music by ALBERT FERNANDEZ (Audio Alchemist, Potion Studio)*
“Song Mistery”
“Song Visiting Her Forest”
“Song Painful Memories (Loop)”
“Atmosphere Persecution Danger (Loop)”
“Exploration Mystery (loop)”
“Cue Nature”
“Exploration Cave (loop)”
“Exploration Forest of Magic”
“Location Medieval Tavern Song”
“Exploration Mystical Place (loop 2)”
“Holy Hymn (loop)”


*These tracks were part of a music and sound effects bundles I purchased from Humble Bundle and sourced from GameDev Market.


Music by Albert Fernandez licensed from GameDev Market
Sound effects from AudioJungle and GameDevMarket

Find more music by Digital_Emotions at
Find more music by Albert Fernandez at
Find more stories by Nila at


Episode Art Description: Digital drawing. At center, an adult elephant stands facing forward, the left flank visible. Long shiny black tusks extend down around the trunk. The elephant looks down at the body of a baby elephant lying horizontally in front. The baby’s skin appears patched with dirt and the remnant of a broken white tusk. The hazy outlines and silhouettes of trees and a leafy canopy appear behind and around the elephants. Watermark of “Storyfeather” along flank.

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