I killed Niki Flynn

True! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.

niki-dead

By the dark of the night, far past the English witching hour, I put the final touch on the death of Niki Flynn. Yes she survives on in memory, Google is filled with pages of links to her images and even some of her words. Amazon continues to sell her books. But Niki’s site is no more.

Do I have your attention yet?

Okay, then that’s probably enough of the gothic for now. I’m afraid I lack the flare for it. But what I wrote is true enough. Late last night I did click the “delete” button on Niki’s Not Blog — Paul removed it from the ‘net at her request. If you go there today you’ll get the Laughing Squid “page not found” message. Those who have been following her blog writings are probably not surprised. Niki announced she was leaving earlier this month. Galleries had been disappearing even before that. The blog already was closed for comments. Still I’m sure some people are surprised this morning / afternoon / evening to find it gone altogether.

This chapter of my friend’s life is closed.

Earlier this week I read Ludwig’s insightful thoughts on Niki’s demise — both his last interview with her and a final blog entry on her leaving and wondered if when the time came I’d have anything to say. Clearly I’ve found something.

My thoughts are a little different than some who’ve known Niki Flynn. She was a surprise to me despite (or maybe because) I’d known the woman behind the masks of Niki and Fiona years before they appeared on the ‘net or in text and know her still. For all the mystery behind Fiona Locke, she seemed to evolve organically as an author / ‘net identity. Quirky, reclusive and oh so fine a writer, I knew her of old as it were.

Niki, emerging, as she did, out of my friend’s need for an alternate identity as she made first one film and then more and more, was someone else entirely. She was not the mad writer in the garret or a lost little woman-child. When I met her at her first Shadow Lane appearance, I was dazzled. Don’t get me wrong, she had always been beautiful and sexy but Niki radiated a sexual confidence (and just a general confidence) I hadn’t seen before, especially when meeting people. Niki was definitely another aspect of my friend — a public one, seen, as it were, through a glass brightly. I’d seen the pictures and films Niki was making, but this was my first experience of her as a distinct personality.

The same sense of the surreal washed over me as I read (and re-read) Dances With Werewolves and Over the Knee. I know a few people have commented that people should have guessed sooner based on the writing style, but I disagree. Even knowing they were both penned by the same person and having read other writing by her, the author’s voice in Dances With Werewolves has always seemed distinct from Fiona’s work. There’s a easy confidence and even extraversion to Niki I’d never associated with the woman I knew. That said, both, of course are her. Niki was just, to paraphrase Tori Amos, pieces of her I’d never seen –but was glad to know as I grew to recognize her voice (as did so many of us) through her blog.

I do believe closing and deleting the blog and site is the right thing to do. Niki isn’t writing any more and the site was always intended to be for fun (no money was made of it — indeed I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it was a break-even proposition) and a way for her to get feedback from others in the scene. In the almost three years it was up, it was never neglected by its author, this despite her having told a number of us when it started that she didn’t see herself as being much of a blogger (hence the name “Not Blog”). Rather than let it lapse into dis-use and be taken over by spam or become a chore rather than a pleasure, it’s better for it to be gone.

Nothing on the ‘net is ever really gone — Niki in archived form certainly won’t vanish. Even knowing this though, I did feel a tiny twinge of guilt as I pushed “delete.”

A final note. As Ludwig pointed out on his blog, our friend has opted for privacy — she removed her site and didn’t leave a forwarding address. Don’t write to me asking me to forward any mail. It’s not that I can’t — it’s that I won’t.

[…]ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct : I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness — until, at length, I found that the noise was NOT within my ears.

No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased — and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound –much such a sounds as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. […] Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased. O God! what could I do? […] It grew louder — louder — louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! — no, no? They heard! — they suspected! — they knew! — they were making a mockery of my horror! — this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! — and now — again — hark! louder! louder! louder! Louder!

“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! — it is the beating of [her] hideous heart!”

The photo was taken by Billy of Monkey Twizzle fame. The fiends ignoring Niki’s death are Paul and Lucy of Northern Spanking.

9 thoughts on “I killed Niki Flynn

  1. Bridget

    Mija –
    Thank you for putting into words many of the thoughts that have been swimming around in my head. I of course have not known Niki as long as you have, but still I have been searching for a way to bid her good bye in the context of the dear friend I still cling to.
    Will I miss Niki? Absolutely. But like you, I agree it was the right thing to do. I wish her nothing but the best.

    Reply
  2. Mija

    LOL… my dear Bridget, had you known her as long as me, we’d have had to have had a hand in raising you! 8-0
    At first I imagined I wouldn’t feel any loss at all, but there is now a Niki-sized hole in the ‘net. It shows how much power our pixels can have.
    Glad you liked the entry — it feels a bit disorganized, but when I tried to edit it, it just got longer!

    Reply
  3. Indy

    That was lovely, Mija. Thanks.
    I agree about the stylistic differences in Werewolves and OTK. It was the cover photo that should have given it away!

    Reply
  4. Mija

    Indy: Well indeed. Her legs definitely should have given the game away. 🙂
    EmmaJane: you’re very welcome. I was worried about sounding like I hadn’t liked Niki, which I did. I’m glad to know it came off as intended!

    Reply
  5. IrishRed

    It wasn’t disorganized at all, Mija. It was a fine tribute to both Niki and the woman behind the name. I’ll miss Niki … the writings of her journey into this kink always inspired me, even to the last. The final question and answer in Ludwig’s interview was copied and pasted and set aside in my files to serve as a reminder. I hope she continues writing in some manner, because such talent should not ever be wasted. And I wish her luck.

    Reply
  6. Pandora

    I’ve had this post open in my browser for ages intending to write a reply. I absolutely adore the photo you’ve chosen to illustrate it – not one I’ve seen before, but brilliant! (And I guess shot on the same shoot as Wheatley Manor? Or at least the same location…)
    I hadn’t realised you guys were old friends. But I’m not surprised – I know you weren’t the only one in the scene who knew yer way back when, as well. Anyway, this is a marvellous tribute to an extraordinary woman. Thanks for writing it. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Mija

    I suspect that The Writer Formerly Known as Niki Flynn wouldn’t be able to stop writing even if we tied her hands behind her. And just thing, whenever you read an new author, it might just be her. 😉

    Reply
  8. Mija

    Billy’s stuff is amazing isn’t it? This from a series of his where Paul and / or Lucy go about their lives, ignoring Niki’s dead body. They’re wonderful pictures. You’ll have to ask one of them where it was taken.
    Back before she outed herself as being both Niki and Fiona I had a few people impressed because I knew *so many* people in the scene. I wanted to tell them it only seems that way because we all have three identities. 😉
    Watching your blog evolve is such a pleasure. It full of beautiful text and images.

    Reply

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