Saturday, August 22, 2015


Work progresses on Nexus, which now runs just over 15 kilowords of Immortal Prose. A few of those words to sketch the sixth and final character.

Since he has already teased the Reader with sketches of I. Loberta Shinbro and V. Annie Troy, perhaps TOF should backpedal and add at some point the sketches for II. Stacey Papandreou, III. Bruno Zendahl, and IV. Jim-7.

VI. Janet Murchison

Consider now the woman glad-handing her way around a Manhattan cocktail party. The party is typical of its species; the woman is not, though she wears the regulation black cocktail dress, accented with a choker of black pearls. Her hair is a natural white cropped in a decidedly mannish cut. She circulates among the guests, chatting, smiling, touching people on their forearms, listening intently to the trivia of their lives and professions. She is tall, and thin enough to suppose her height stolen from her girth, graceful, and pleasant enough that most men forget that they have to tilt their heads to look her in the eyes.

     Her progress appears random, joining and departing conversational knots like a bee flitting about a garden. But had anyone thought to plot her trajectory they might note a curious fact: She is seldom more than two yards from Jupiter Crowley.

     The real estate mogul does not call himself “Jupiter” because of his resemblance to that planet, although he is on the rotund side of comfort. He calls himself “Jupiter” because his given name is Eustace, which he detests above all other names. He is also a great gravitational ball of gas around whom lesser satellites revolve, though not quite large enough to ignite like a sun. This aspect of his assumed name does not occur to him. He calls himself Jupiter because he likes to think he is jovial.

     The woman, whose name is Janet Murchison, swoops in from time to time like Halley’s Comet, joining the group clustered around Crowley, laughing at his jests, dropping a question or two, listening to the answers he gives the questions of others, then whooshing off to other parts of the room.

     She is drinking a Manhattan, of course; but she nurses it as if a newborn babe and if anyone is keeping track, they would notice that she has yet to finish her first one. “I have few enough wits to begin with,” she once told a colleague, “so I like to keep them about me.”

© 2015 Michael F. Flynn


  1. I really can't wait to read this. I think you already put up a rough draft excerpt from the Jim-7 section on the "story preview page."

  2. 15 kilowords of immortal prose is impressive. I myself have written only one word of immortal prose, but by golly, it makes up in immortality what it lacks in volume. That word is, of course, ‘the’. It seems to be catching on in a big way. Lillian Hellman even used it, but I don’t count that, because rumour saith that she was lying.



  Teodorq sunna Nagarajan has joined an expedition tasked with evaluating the"serving tray" as a suitable observation post for the...