At least for the next few months, if I’m reading the FAQ correctly. For right now creators are being compensated for people using their free tokens to read Kindle Vella stories (like, say, THE STARS ARE WRONG); and the payout is… rather higher than I was expecting. Enough that I’m going through my Patreon short stories to find ones that I haven’t otherwise made available for free, or put in a chapbook.
If you’re an author and have any kind of audience, I suggest you consider doing the same. At least until July 2022.
I don’t want to just abandon THE STARS ARE WRONG: it’s a fun Cthulhu Mythos story where I was trying to switch things up a little. I don’t think it deserves to just end up as an academic footnote somewhere. So I’m putting up the link again, in the hopes it’ll get more play this time. Or, you know, any play at all.
I dunno if this is going to work, but it’s worth an experiment, at least. THE STARS ARE WRONG is a novella (also, last month’s Patreon short story*) in a Cthulhu Mythos style… with a twist! And also provided in serial form. It’s functionally equivalent to the aforementioned Patreon offering, so if you’re a Patron there’s no need to check it out. Mostly I just want to see what happens.
*Interestingly, Kindle Vella does not care about reprints. More or less: you can’t put up anything that you don’t have the rights to, or anything that’s available for free. But apparently being behind a paywall is fine.
This was supposed to be a fairly short story, too. Thirteen thousand freaking words. I’m gonna see if this one I can sell to a magazine.
Why did I still follow? Was it from some compulsion, put on me? Or the pitiless stars above? Or was it simply because I still hoped to find my partner, and the other Guardians? I do not wish to say. Suffice it that I followed the Vicar, until we came to a door. A most ancient door, made of strange metals, and from methods now lost to time. It was priceless. It was also obscene in its pitiless, rigid angularity. It imposed itself on my senses, as if to say: I exist, whether you like it, or not. And you cannot remove the idea of me from your world, for I am more real than you.
The Vicar casually pushed open the obscenity as if it was a commonplace item in the everyday world. He also snickered as I gingerly followed him through the doorway. “If a door alarms you so, Guardian, what will you think of what follows?” I did not answer him, for beyond the door was a room full of icons and images which threatened to send me shrieking into the boon of madness-fueled unconsciousness. Would that I had!
Described baldly, the icons were perhaps not so horrible. They were images or statues of people, both men and women, with a few beasts and some designs of no-doubt occult significance. But they were wrong. A woman, hand held high, cruelly intent in smashing her burning scepter upon the unworthy; a misshapen bird of prey, clutching foul weeds and weapons in its claws. Statues of leering fat men, brazen candelabra with unlucky numbers of unwinking candles, tiles inscribed with six-pointed shapes and sinuous scripts unknown to me; and above all, two horrid banners. One reminded me of a bleeding field, with what I realized were the horrible stars burning above it. The other was a simple emerald triangle on a silver field. I did not need to be told that this must be a sanctuary for the Emerald Pyramid; the horror that permeated the room was horror enough.