Short Fiction – “The Nowhere Man”

Found this short story when flipping back through my notebooks today, and realized I had never written it up. So hope you enjoy this taste of some of my short fiction:



By Alan J. Porter

“They call me ‘The Nowhere Man.’ Actually to be strictly accurate no-one actually calls me that to my face. My real name is James Davenport, but as it turns out no-one uses that anymore either.

“I’m not sure when it started, but I guess it was at school. I was never picked for any sports team, and the teachers never called on me to answer questions. I was just there. Sitting at the back of the class, minding my own business, biding my time. It’s not that I bunked off. I was, no am, smart. Always did my work, got straight A’s, took extra credits. Then headed off to college with a full academic scholarship in hand.

“It was at college that I really noticed things starting to happen. Doors started to open for me. Literally.

“I think that the first time it happened was the day I went to see one of my professors about a paper I was working on. The note on her door said she was gone for the day, but for some reason I still reached out and put my hand on the door handle. As soon as I did, I heard the lock click open, and the door swung open.

“So, like most kids in college, I started to experiment. Just a little at first, then getting more and more adventurous. Starting with sneaking into the girls’ dorms, and then trying out a few of their locker rooms; eventually I tried the doors of the local bank after hours.

“That’s when I discovered that video cameras didn’t see me either. I could come and go anywhere I pleased and nothing would record my presence.

“I wasn’t invisible, or anything fancy like that. People could see me and interact with me, in fact they seemed to fall over themselves to get me whatever I wanted; from the best table in a swanky restaurant to…. well you get the idea. But after I left, just like the cameras, they had no recollection of me, it was if I’d never been there.

“You would think that was fantastic; and at first it was. I made a lot of money. I offered my services to various criminal overlords, but they never called back. I guess they forgot about me too. So I set my self up as a super-villain. Robbed banks, discovered secrets, blackmailed people, all that sort of stuff.

“I have more money than God now. OK perhaps more than anyone else in this city. Wonder who owns that large estate outside of town, or the largest yacht in the harbor, or who’s the mysterious owner of the local football franchise? Yep, it’s all me.

‘The perfect life you would think. But there’s one big problem with being the man that no-one remembers

“I’m lonely.

“It’s like I live in a world of my own, while the rest of you revolve around me, never touching my soul, or my heart.

“There is only so much wealth a man on his own can enjoy.

“And what’s the point in being rich and powerful if no-one knows who you are?

“So this is a final act. A message to the people of this city that James Davenport exists………”

Captain Malone clicked off the tape that had been found at the scene of this afternoon’s disaster.

“Well?” asked the assistant DA as he walked into Malone’s office.

“Nothing.” Malone shook his head. “It’s blank.” Malone paused, reconsidering his last statement. “Actually it’s just white noise. As if someone switched on the microphone, but just sat there without saying anything.”

“Any ID on the body?”

Malone shook his head for a second time, “Nope, he’s just another John Doe to us. A real nowhere man.”


“The Nowhere Man” and all associated characters and concepts are (c) Alan J. Porter – 2011

FenCon Schedule

Looking forward to the upcoming FenCon Convention in Dallas later this month. Looks like it’s going to be a busy weekend of interesting and fun panels.

My schedule so far is looking something like this:

Friday: Sept 23rd.

3:00-3:30 – Autograph session

6:00 PM  – 7:00 PM  Red Oak   Bond, James Bond 
Description: A new, updated James Bond novel is out and the third, updated James Film is in production now. How is this classic relic of the cold war being reinvented for today’s world?
C. Garcia , E. Nahté , A. J. Porter , J. Turner

8:00 PM  – 9:00 PM  Pin Oak    Remembering Sarah and the Brig.
Description: We discuss the recent loss of two of Doctor Who’s most favorite companions and share memories about what the actors brought to their roles and how they influenced the future of the series.
T. Miller , K. Sullivan , A. J. Porter  (I’m moderating this one.)

9:00 PM  – 10:00 PM  Live Oak    Patriotism Turns 70: Captain America & Wonder Woman  
Description: Two of the most iconic comic heroes turned 70 this year. Both Wonder Woman and Captain America have battled evil and defended the American way of life across the pages of comic books for decades. Come discuss the past, present, and future of America’s oldest patriotic superheroes.
A. Martinez , E. Nahté , A. J. Porter , B. Waller , S. Patrick *

Saturday, Sept 24th

1:00 PM  – 2:00 PM  Pin Oak    Knock, Knock, Knock, Penny…  
Description: The Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular sitcoms on CBS. It’s no surprise it’s themes of science, geek culture, and the awkward pursuit of love has made it a hit among science fiction fen. So come join us for a talk on the show and it’s future.
A. J. Porter , B. Sinor , A. Sisson , K. Turski , M. Fletcher *

3:00 PM  – 4:00 PM  Live Oak    DC Relaunch: Marketing Genius or A Comic Book “New Coke”
Description: With DC Comics restarting all their books. And re-imagining the Super-heroes we’ve known for 75 years. A frank discussion of what people think of this move.
G. Lillian , A. Martinez , S. Patrick , B. Waller , A. J. Porter  (Seems I’m moderating this one too.)

6:00 PM  – 7:00 PM  Pin Oak    Where’s My Airship?  
Description: Discussion of feasibility of airships and practical uses.
D. Gray , A. J. Porter , W. Ledbetter *

8:00 PM  – 9:00 PM  Pin Oak    Oh my God! You killed Rory! The new season of Doctor Who  
Description: The new season is back on the air. What do we think so far, where is it going and who was that on the Utah beach?
M. Fletcher , A. J. Porter , K. Sullivan , S. Swendson

Sunday, Sept 25th

10:00 AM  – 11:00 AM  Addison Lecture Hall    Fantastic Four & Marvel Comics at 50  
Description: Fifty years ago four people stole a rocket, and became one of the better known Superhero Teams, and ushered in the Marvel Age of Comics How the First Family of Comic Books have held together over the years.
C. Conrad , E. Nahté , A. J. Porter , B. Waller , S. Patrick

2:00 PM  – 3:00 PM  Live Oak    In Comic Books Death is Not Necessarily Fatal!  
Description: In the past many Super-Heroes have been killed. However in almost every cased they got better! Why do these story lines still catch the publics imagination?
K. Hosey , E. Nahté , A. J. Porter , B. Waller , S. Patrick