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Dec 29, 2023

A man seeks the help of a psychic after he experiences an unusual haunting from an automated phone line.

Genre: Mysterious Fantasy


“My life is still following the path he laid out for me.”

Madame Granya frowned. “Who?”

I stared at her. I wasn’t really struggling with whether or not I should tell her. I was just not telling her. I had nothing on my mind in that moment. I was…stuck, maybe. And then I spoke.

“Me,” I said. I laughed, a self-mocking laugh. “Him. The voice…on the phone. The voice of me.”


What’s the Writing Prompt that inspired the story?
Imagine what someone—a real person or a fictional character—might be carrying in his wallet or hiding in her underwear drawer. Make a list of the items you’ve imagined, then write a page inspired by one of them. 
Source: The Observation Deck. Naomi Epel. Copyright © 1994. Chronicle Books.


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 Automated Fortune Line” 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)

“Level 1”
“Level 8”
“Level 6”
“Level 2”


“No Way Out (Full Version)”
“The Jigsaw (Full Version)”
“Following Clues (Full Version)”


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


Music by Chris Logsdon and FicusProsound licensed from GameDev Market
Sound effects from AudioJungle and GameDevMarket

Find more music by Digital_Emotions at
Find more music by Chris Logsdon and FicusProsound at
Find more stories by Nila at


Episode Art Description: Digital drawing. Black silhouette of two figures in profile sitting across from each other at a small table. The figures both have their arms extended. The shorter figure, at right, holds the hand of the taller figure. They are seen through the translucent drawn back curtains of a window.  Rain falls past the window at an angle from top right to bottom left. Above the top fringe of the curtain is a glowing neon sign that reads “Psychic” at top, above the words “Palm Aura,” which both flank a hand, and below that the word “Reader.”