Story Statistics

Story Statistics (Finnish: Tarinatilasto) is a practical work I did with my boyfriend on our Programming 2 course using Java and JavaFX during the spring semester of 2019. Like the rest of the practical works for the same course, it is modeled after the example, a club register.

Unlike the example, however, Story Statistics is made for data on stories, their series and parts, as per my need to get information on my tens upon tens of pieces of flash fiction and fanfiction chapters alike neatly into one place where I can easily view, add to and edit it.

Story Statistics was originally created in Finnish only under the name Tarinatilasto, but after cleaning it for release for other users, I have created a version with an English UI for non-Finnish users.

In order to run Story Statistics, you need to have JavaFX installed on your system.

For the source code and downloads, head to the GitHub repository: https://github.com/WindySilver/Tarinatilasto/tree/En_UI

Flash fiction portfolio

These are few in my tens of pieces of flash fiction, but I deem these my very best flash fiction stories, each between 55 and 1000 words. Most of these have been written during a Flash Fiction Month (FFM for short).

Fish, Ribbons and Sherbet Ice Cream

A story from early FFM 2018, Fish, Ribbons and Sherbet Ice Cream is a story about a man trying to find out who actually killed his little sister. This involves summoning a fish demon to help him connect with his late sister’s spirit. This story was published in The Ruminations of a Multiheaded Monster.

The Janitor Gets Everywhere

A story from late FFM 2018, The Janitor Gets Everywhere is a story about a janitor who is more than meets the eye. Just like this description, it holds a Transformers reference. This story was published in The Ruminations of a Multiheaded Monster.

Who let the bees in?

Who let the bees in? is a short flash fiction from the middle of FFM 2018. As the name implies, it has bees indoors.

Kraken Earth

Kraken Earth, a challenge entry from FFM 2019, is mostly set on Kraken Earth, a version of Earth where humans are cryptids (that is, what krakens and yetis are to us) and krakens inhabit the planet. It also tells an interdisciplinary love story between two humans as one of them traverses to Kraken Earth, becoming a cryptid in the process. It is also an entry for Prose-ject‘s Little Prose.

Past Mistakes

Past Mistakes is another challenge entry from FFM 2019 and my second Little Prose entry of the month. After Bereth’s mentor dies in combat, he must fulfil her final wish: taking her ring and making things right. This leads him to a path he would have never expected to traverse.

Holographic Familiar

Far from earth, in a story from FFM 2019, a person meets a hologram that is both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

Dragon Warrior

A story from Prose-ject 2019, Dragon Warrior is about the love story between a proud warrior who earned the title the story is named after and her narrating beloved, the prince she guards as part of the royal guard.

Dragon Warrior

Written during Prose-ject 2019, using the visual prompt Light of Lyvaanth – Dead of Winter by Forest-Walker.

She was a warrior, one of a kind. Strong, brave and fierce unlike any other. Her fierceness eventually earned her the title Dragon Warrior, for the only ones who rivalled her in that were the archdragons themselves.

Little did I know that when I got together with her, I would find out that there was more than met the eye in that very title she carried so proudly with her head held as high as the Dragon Peaks themselves.

In hindsight, her innate proficiency at fire magic should have given it away. I guess everyone just turned a blind eye on it, saying it was just a random proficiency. After all, she was among the most honorable of our warriors and she, oh, she defended her pride like she defended the royal family. There was no person who challenged her and prevailed.

This warrior, Veriwia was her name, rose in ranks and became the captain of the royal guard. Through that, we became close, fell in love even, and as sorceress Friat, my best friend since childhood, turned down the marriage proposal after defeating sorceress Ociraviel in a duel for my marriage, we got together. We were, after all, in love, while Friat and I were best friends, nothing more, nothing less.

Then came the day when a group of assassins tried to take my life and I saw just why Veriwia loved her title so much.

In the forest where the assassination attempt took place was a fire that day and the townspeople witnessed a pale dragon carry me to safety, then disappear into the castle.

That was how I found out I was dating a dragon.

Holographic Familiar

Written during Flash Fiction Month 2019, using the flashback prompt from SurrealCachinnation (from year 2012): Nightmares during daydreams.

It felt like I had seen it before, like a nightmare during a daydream long gone. The hologram stared into my eyes like a ferocious beast, hunger in its eyes. Had it been a real being and not a hologram, I might have soiled my suit. Even now, when it was a mere hologram, I was terrified, an ancient “fight or flight” mechanism activating deep within my brains.

It felt familiar, as if I’d seen it before, even though I was sure I had never encountered this hologram in the colony ship before.

It walked closer to me, like a beast trying to smell me. The feeling of familiarity was intense and, knowing that the hologram could not hurt me, I reached out to touch the creature’s head.

When I came into contact with it, I heard a voice say, I knew you would come here someday.

I always knew.

Past Mistakes

Written during Flash Fiction Month 2019 as a challenge entry, ending up as another entry for Prose-ject‘s Little Prose. It used the flashback prompt from OnLinedPaper (from 2016): A boy’s science fair project calls down a lightning bolt.

The challenge requirements were:

  1. The story must be set at least two centuries in the past.
  2. The story must include something that was previously dead.
  3. There must be two well-defined choices and only one of them can be answered verbally.
  4. Bonus: Include the ending of the story (whether the characters get back to their original timeline or not).

Bereth groaned. His head throbbed as he sat up. Someone had knocked him out. If he only remembered what he had been doing…

He looked at the heavy object on his index finger. It was the ring that belonged to his mentor.

At the very sight of that, memories started to come back to him.

Once the ashes had cooled and everyone else had left, Bereth dug out the ring none of the heirs had agreed to surrender. In the stalemate of everyone wanting it, they had ended up settling on Bereth’s idea: If any of you cannot have it without a fight ensuing, none of you will have it. Let’s burn it with her.

Bereth was glad for that stalemate and the fact that they had agreed to burn the ring with their mother. While it was valuable for its gold, the heirs had no idea of just how valuable it was.

Of course. There had been a battle between the undead and the magicians, and Bereth’s mentor had died. But why was he wearing the ring? Bereth dug deeper into his memories.

“Bereth, if I fall in this battle, will you take my ring and make things right? I want to tell my sons that I love them one more time.”

“I will, Master. I promise you that.”

That was it. The ring meant everything to his mentor for its powers to make things right, although Bereth did not know how it worked. He was starting to remember everything: when he had found the ring from the ash, he had cleaned and hidden it, then slouched back to the inn. There, he had gathered everything he might need and taken his leave “to clean his mentor’s workspace”.

The truth was that the workspace was already clean when he had gone there. It just was the one place where his prolonged presence would not be suspicious and where he would not be disturbed.

The pain started to come back, so Bereth closed his eyes, allowing his mind to remind him of what had happened.

Once Bereth had locked himself inside the workspace after seeing a boy’s science fair project call down a lightning bolt, he took a deep breath, taking in the surreal look of the empty workspace. There was nothing left of the orderly chaos his mentor had loved – and which he had learned to love once he had learned its ins and outs.

The mere thought of it made tears burn his throat in a way no internally sustained Dragonfire ever could.

Banishing the tears, Bereth took the ring and stared at it. He would make things right. He had made that promise.

Bereth slipped the ring to his index finger and concentrated on whatever had to be done.

Then he had been knocked out. Only now Bereth dared to look around himself: he was in a livelier but less chaotic version of the workspace. The walls were not as blackened as he remembered but the place was in use. Confused, he stood up, faltering. The freshest notes were certainly written in his mentor’s handwriting, but they were dated – Bereth nearly fainted when he realized it – two centuries earlier. As he read them, he knew for certain that these were indeed the old notes he had once read.

Bereth looked at the ring. Was its power to make things right… time travel?

Out of all the things, Bereth’s mentor had warned against messing with time the most. It was the most fragile thing there was – capable of wiping whole galaxies into oblivion if messed with – and she had still worn something capable of time travel?

Perhaps that was why she had been so insistent on warning about it. She knew the risks, she must have. Yes, that made sense to Bereth. She would have never used those powers if not absolutely necessary.

Bereth looked around himself, trying to fathom the situation he was in. Panic was starting to set in; he had traveled far too deep into the past!

Hopefully, his mentor in this era would know how to direct him to the days before the fatal battle.

Meeker than back in the first days of his apprenticeship, Bereth walked to the potion lab. And there she was, just like in the pictures from the days gone by…

His mentor looked straight into his eyes from a potion and paled.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“I…” Bereth started, then decided against telling his name. It could mess everything up. “I’m a friend.”

“How did you get in? I locked the door!” his mentor hissed.

“I… I believe I’ve traveled in time,” Bereth told and showed the ring. His mentor’s eyes widened as she recognized it. “I believe I have ended up two centuries too far in the past. Can you help me reach the right time?”

“The ring doesn’t answer to such commands. It directs you straight to the time when whatever has to be changed happens.”

“But…” Bereth did not understand it. “What happened at this time?”

“I don’t know. I was hoping that you’d know, but apparently you don’t either.”

“You… In the future, you directed me to use the ring to make things right. You said that you want to tell your sons that you love them one more time.”

“Why?”

“Are you sure you want to know why?”

“I haven’t told them… they’re leaving…” Bereth’s mentor was talking to herself, ignoring her future apprentice’s presence. “Are you sure about this?”

“I know what I’ve been told. It’s up to you to decide whether you act upon it or not.”

“If the ring sent you here, there has to be a reason.” Bereth’s mentor extinguished the fire under the potion and rushed outside, leaving the man all alone.

Bereth was knocked out again. He woke up in an empty workspace.

Tears escaped his eyes. His mentor was still dead.

If anything, that trip in time had twisted the knife in the wound of grief.

Kraken Earth

Written during Flash Fiction Month 2019 as a challenge entry (and, as it was exactly 1000 words long, it qualified as an entry for Prose-ject‘s Little Prose, using the day’s flashback promtp from OnLinedPaper (from 2016): He told her no one would hear her screams. He didn’t count on her yodeling, though.

The challenge requirements were:

  1. The story must involve a cryptid.
  2. The cryptid must have a fairly common vocation.
  3. The story must include a romance or love of some kind.
  4. Bonus: The story is set in an alternate reality where humans are considered cryptids.

“I love you,” Tony said.

“I know,” Miranda replied with a smirk on her face and kissed him. “I’ll be back.”

“Stay safe.”

“You too.”

When Miranda stepped through the Multiverse Gate, she did not expect to see krakens. Yet there she was, at the shore of an island, staring at krakens who took their cameras out, shouting, “Hooman! Hooman!”

Not knowing what she had stepped into, Miranda fled into the forest.

Miranda giggled at Tony having a hard time lighting the fire at the fireplace. “Here, sweetie, let me show you.” She took the matches off his hands, rearranged the wood and lit the fire. “It only takes a bit of science.”

“You know I’m a humanist, not a scientist,” Tony noted, smiling.

“I do, but that doesn’t mean you cannot learn anything scientific,” Miranda said, put the matches away and leant against Tony. They spent the rest of the evening cuddling in front of the fireplace.

Once Miranda had set up her tent in the middle of the forest, she tested her phone. To her utter amazement, it worked – there was even a decent internet connection! None of the social media worked, though; they could not find their servers and instead resorted to whining about “no internet connection” even though the browser worked – whenever she found a website, of course. Google, to her dismay, did not work.

“Miranda! Have you messed with my computer?” Tony shouted to the kitchen.

“No! Why are you asking?” Miranda shouted back.

“The browser’s on a fritz again!”

“Try rebooting!”

A while later, Tony shouted again, “It worked! Thanks, love!”

“You’re welcome, sweetie! Remember, always reboot if your computer’s acting up!”

After a while of poking around, Miranda found a search engine: Burgla. Through it, she found an underwater rabbit hole. The Earth she had walked into was inhabited by krakens while humans were basically their… krakens. Or yetis.

To boot, pictures of her were already going viral on social media, especially Facebubble.

Miranda could not help snorting at that obvious lookalike of Facebook.

Since she had an internet connection, she had to set up her solar panels so that she would not run out of power. After all, she could not visit the actual world of Kraken Earth without a swimsuit and an oxygen tank, so her only connection to it was the World Wide Web.

With a laugh, Miranda wished Tony was there to see this world. He would definitely love it!

She had to take pictures at some point.

“What are you working on, sweetie?” Miranda asked.

“A commission. A lecturer at the university wanted some art for his introduction course,” Tony told.

“Who?”

Tony turned to look at Miranda, smirking. “Your old programming lecturer.”

“Jones?” Miranda asked and started guffawing. “That must mean he finally understood that his courses are boring!”

“Yet there you are, working as a programmer,” Tony noted, snickering.

“Programming is fun. Jones’s courses? NOPE!” Miranda said, still laughing.

The krakens’ programming style was strange, but luckily to Miranda, it was close enough to what she had worked on for the last ten years that she could easily get the hang of it. Soon, she had already created a game called Spot da hooman!

Apparently, it was written correctly among the krakens.

With a sad smile on her face as she released the game online under the name Kraggleb, Miranda could imagine Tony losing his mind over that title if she did this in their world.

“Could you please spellcheck my article, please?” Tony asked.

“Sure,” Miranda replied, sat down at the computer and read the article. The immaculate grammar put her own to shame; while she could code decently, her human language skills had always been mediocre at best.

But that was one thing she loved in Tony: his immaculate built-in spellchecker could always catch anything and everything she wrote wrong.

As money started to come in from the game, Miranda set up a PayGulp account for it, then proceeded to mine some local cryptocurrency on her laptop. She could not do much without money, so she had to earn some.

Once the mining was in progress, Miranda proceeded to hunt for a job. It turned out that just like Human Earth, Kraken Earth had a shortage of programmers. Miranda got a remote job almost immediately after applying for one. Then she realized what she had done.

She had gone on an exchange on another world!

A little tear escaped her eye when she wished that Tony was there with her.

“Miranda, I’ve been thinking of going on exchange,” Tony said.

“Where are you planning to go?” Miranda asked.

“To Canada.”

“That’s far.”

“I know. That’s why I wanted to ask for your opinion.”

“If you want to go, it’s not my place to stop you.”

“Are you sure? We won’t see each other for months.”

“I can handle it if we keep in touch.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

“Besides, you’ll definitely still hear me yodel all the way there!”

Tony laughed. “As long as you don’t try to scream as loud, I’ll be fine with that!”

Some weeks passed as Miranda grew increasingly lonely in the waterproof tent. As a human, she could never integrate into the kraken society and she knew it. Besides, she missed Tony a lot.

When the project at work came to its end, Miranda resigned, sold all her cryptocurrency and donated all the money she had earned in addition to the rights to Spot da hooman! to charity.

Then she packed up and returned to her world. Tony rushed to meet her.

“I’ve missed you so much!” Miranda said and embraced her love.

“Me too,” Tony whispered.

“Come, I have lots of stuff to show you! You won’t even believe half of it!”

“We’ll see about that!”

Miranda already knew that she was right, so she smirked and led Tony away from the Multiverse Gate.

The adventure was over and now it was time to report what she had seen.

Who let the bees in?

Written in the middle of Flash Fiction Month 2018, using the standard prompt from me: Who let the bees in?

Jay looked at the hive which had formed on the wall of his living room. Out of everything he had ever seen, this was the most surreal thing in the world.

“Alright,” he said and turned to face the three rascals behind this. “I know who let the dogs out. Who let the bees in?”

The Janitor Gets Everywhere

A story from Flash Fiction Month 2018, using the standard prompt from Ag-Cat: Her teammates were well educated and intelligent people. Probably. This was also published in The Ruminations of a Multiheaded Monster.

A loud clatter echoed in the hallway behind the corner. The guards jumped and pointed their weapons towards the corner.

“Who’s there?” the first guard asked.

“Just me. Sorry about the startle. My mop fell to the floor,” came a familiar voice. It was the janitor. He came to the guards’ view, holding the fallen mop while pushing his cart with his other hand. “Clearance 669A, wasn’t it?”

“Indeed,” the other guard told, nodding. “Right on time, as always.”

“Of course. One can’t clean a building like this without a plan and a timetable,” the janitor told. He put the mop back into the cart. “May I go in?”

“Yes, all the scientists have left,” the first guard told. As the janitor passed the guards by, he was scanned for anything suspicious – as always, there was nothing like that, but the guards knew that in a place like this, they had to be extremely careful. Even the simple, dutiful janitor who was only best at what he did could be replaced by an impostor willing to steal their secrets.

Once the laboratory door was closed, the janitor sighed and started mopping, just like he always did. While he worked, he checked out what difference the scientist team had made on sample X07, a strange substance made of components they could not identify. As far as they had managed to conclude, finding a way to utilize and replicate it would revolutionize the fuel industry – unless it proved to cause toxic wastes worse than what they currently used did, of course.

Today, it had been a day of discussing via notes. One of the scientists was convinced that the unknown blue substance had to be Energon from Transformers or at least should be named that – no matter whether it could be a copyright infringement or not – while others were more skeptical about the origin of this unearthly sample they had managed to recover in the deep icy depths of the South Pole. Well, at least this scientist’s team members were well-educated and intelligent people. Probably. At least their CVs had told so.

The janitor chuckled at the note discussion. If the group only knew that their boss was checking up on their work every evening in the disguise of a janitor… That would cause them to censor the discussion quite a lot, that the janitor was certain about.

But they did not know and thus the boss could play the janitor for a reason, get everywhere and see everything without anything hidden from his eyes. What a fantastic idea it had been to do this and fool everyone – even his vigilant guards who were the best in their league!

Fish, Ribbons and Sherbet Ice Cream

A story from Flash Fiction Month 2018, using the standard prompt from bookcrusher (You know your sister died when you were a child. You don’t know your mother killed her to grant you a second chance.), the optional theme (a deal with the devil) and the flashback prompt from SkullHunter900 (from year 2013) (Selling your soul for a bucket of sherbet ice cream seems a little extreme.). This was also published in The Ruminations of a Multiheaded Monster.

“You know, selling your soul for a bucket of sherbet ice cream seems a little extreme,” Louisa said.

“Not just a simple bucket of it. A huge bucket that reaches to the heaven!” Nick said, raising his hands to the sky in praise the sun pose to fake excitement.

“This deal with this devil you’ve met… it seems fishy,” Louisa noted.

“Well, it is a fish devil from the Arctic Ocean near the north pole. That’s how I can get the ice cream.”

“Whatever. But if things go wrong, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.”

Nick had only seen the bloody corpse. His parents explained that a burglar had stabbed his sister to death and that his mother had found her first soon after that when it had already been too late.

Not that he would ever admit it even to his BFF, but it was not the sherbet ice cream that had prompted him to summon the devil. No, he, unlike everyone else who had ever been in his family, hated sherbet and each time he thought about such ice cream in detail, it became difficult to fake even interest, let alone excitement. It was his dead sister, Sasha, he was looking for from the deal with the devil. There had to be a way to connect with her spirit, and if someone could do it, it was a devil.

Yes, even a fish devil living in the coldest of seas.

And his sister had liked fish as much as sherbet, ice cream and ribbons, so it would only make sense that a devil associated with fish would be able to help him.

“Son, I need to talk to you about something,” Nick’s father said. “Come over here. Now that you are an adult, it’s time to talk man-to-man.”

Nick believed this was about the truths of life school had taught him, but he followed his father. It would not hurt to hear the manly wisdom, no matter whether he had already heard it or not.

“You do remember that your sister was killed back when you were young, right?” his father asked.

“Of course I do! You and mother said that it was a burglar’s doing,” Nick noted.

“There is something you were never told about it. Your mother doesn’t want you to know but… I think you should know the truth.”

“What is it, father?”

“Your sister wasn’t killed by a burglar.”

“What?!” Nick exclaimed. “Who was it then?”

“Your mother.”

Nick’s mouth fell agape. “No, it can’t be…”

“Your mother and I both knew of the incoming rule of having only one child made by the same parent. It was meant to cut population growth, but it also meant that any extra children had to be killed while the oldest was to be left alive. Your mother did not want you to die so… she chose Sasha.”

“No… you’re lying. It cannot be…” Nick could not believe it.

Or was it that he did not want to?

If the fish devil helped him, Nick would find out the truth.

It was best to get on with the summoning and hope for the best.

Sasha was trying to tie her hair with her pink ribbon, her favorite. It was not going well, so her mother helped while Nick followed her hands’ movement intently, swearing that one day he would help his sister with her hair.

Some years later, fate decided that that day would never come. Or was it their mother who had decided it? Nick was not sure anymore.

The funeral was small yet painful. Nick only remembered the ribbon on Sasha’s hair, the ribbon that he snatched as a memento when no one was looking. No one even noticed it was no longer there.

When the devil appeared, Nick was ready with the old ribbon in his hand. There was a strong, sickening smell of fish in the air, but he was determined to take it for his sister’s sake.

Who calls upon my power?” The fish devil asked with a deep voice.

Nick kneeled and raised Sasha’s ribbon high in to the air so that the devil could see it. “O’ mighty fish devil, I call upon thy power. Help me seek out the spirit of this girl whose ribbon I hold.”

The mighty posture of the devil collapsed and it looked at Nick, baffled. “So… you are not here to seek fish?”

“No,” Nick told.

“Then I cannot help you,” the fish devil said, starting to dissipate. “Go find a spirit devil or something to help on your quest.”

“But… wait!” Nick exclaimed and ran towards the devil, but the summoned being was already gone.

He looked at the ribbon, then sighed.

“That fisherman was right. This could’ve never worked. I guess it’s time to research these spirit devils and figure out how to summon them… I hope it’s not too difficult… I need to find out the truth.”

Nick was not exactly sure when, but he did notice that something was strange about his mother after the funeral. It was as if a burden had been lifted from her shoulders.

And each time he mentioned her seeing someone like Sasha, seeing her in a dream or thinking that he had seen her ghost, each time his mother had paled…

The more he thought about it, the more it looked like his father had told the truth.

The only thing he needed now was confirmation.

Confirmation from the only person who knew the truth.

Sasha.

Visual art

My best visual art. Most of it is fanart or art of my original characters, but as my most recent artwork they represent my digital drawing skills the best. Click each picture for bigger view and more info on each artwork.