Jef Murray

Author's details

Name: Jef Murray
Date registered: November 11, 2014

Latest posts

  1. Rusty — July 23, 2015
  2. The Monastery — July 23, 2015
  3. The Abbot and the Raven — July 23, 2015
  4. The Minotaur — July 23, 2015
  5. Avenging Angel — July 23, 2015

Most commented posts

  1. In the Company of Angels: Episode 1.1 – A Rumpus in the Library — 7 comments
  2. The Navigator Quiz — 6 comments
  3. In the Company of Angels: Episode 16 – Epilogue — 6 comments
  4. In the Company of Angels: Episode 7.2 – The Attic (cont.) — 6 comments
  5. In the Company of Angels: Episode 15.1 – The Abbot — 6 comments

Author's posts listings

Jul 23





Graphite, 8.0″x8.0″ wide.

Signed and numbered prints – AVAILABLE

To purchase this original sketch, please contact Jef by clicking here.

To purchase a print of this item, please click here.


Jul 23

The Monastery



“The Monastery

Digital, 10″x8″ wide.

Signed and numbered prints – AVAILABLE

To purchase a print of this item, please click here.

Jul 23

The Abbot and the Raven



“The Abbot and the Raven

Graphite, 8.0″x10.0″ wide.

Signed and numbered prints – AVAILABLE

To purchase this original sketch, please contact Jef by clicking here.

To purchase a print of this item, please click here.

Jul 23

The Minotaur



“The Minotaur

Graphite, 10.0″x8.0″ wide.

Signed and numbered prints – AVAILABLE

To purchase this original sketch, please contact Jef by clicking here.

To purchase a print of this item, please click here.


Jul 23

Avenging Angel



“Avenging Angel

Digital, 16″x10″ wide.

Signed and numbered prints – AVAILABLE

To purchase a print of this item, please click here.

Jul 23





Graphite, 8.0″x8.0″ wide.

Signed and numbered prints – AVAILABLE

To purchase this original sketch, please contact Jef by clicking here.

To purchase a print of this item, please click here.

Jul 23





Digital, 8″x10″ wide.

Signed and numbered prints – AVAILABLE

To purchase a print of this item, please click here.


Jul 06






“One must always be careful when it comes to ancient artifacts,” said Azarias.

He and Luke Lester were standing in the ancient Egyptian gallery of the Cassandra museum. Surrounding them were statues and friezes that had been removed from burial sites dating from before the time of the Great Pyramids.

“But these are surely just relics,” suggested Luke. “It’s not likely, is it, that they would continue to have any supernatural power in our own day?” Luke looked at the hieroglyphs that covered the adjacent sarcophagi and canopic jars.

“On the contrary, my dear fellow, they have lost none of their potency because of their age. Simply recite any of the invocations on any artifact you see around you, and you may quickly find yourself in the presence of forces — evil forces! — that you would otherwise never have expected to invoke.”

The two stood in silence for a few moments.

“I’m not sure I believe you,” said Luke.

“Ah! Well! Then you have simply proved what I’ve known to be the case for some time now; in fact, since first I came to join the Fratrum Simulacrorum.”

“And what is that?”

“Simply this: that the devil has never achieved a greater victory than in convincing the people of your generation to disbelieve in him, and in all of the dark forces that he controls.”


Jul 03

In the Company of Angels: Episode 16 – Epilogue



In the Company of Angels – Epilogue (Episode 16)       Jef Murray 7/3/2015

When Evie Jonsson next planned to have Jill’s aunt, uncle, and cousins over for supper, she also suggested that Jill might like to invite Sam to join them. Jill was only too happy to ask, and although Sam remained hesitant, given that Kate would be there, he was secretly very pleased to have been included.

“Yes, I’ll come,” Sam told her. “But — you’ve got to run blocker for me with Kate. Deal?”

“Deal!” said Jill.

Her aunt and uncle drove up that evening with Kate and Rusty in the back seat of their minivan. Sam arrived soon thereafter, entering through the front door this time instead of through a painting or a mirror. The meal conversation was lively, and everyone appeared to be in a merry mood. After polishing off platters of salad, roast beef, garlic bread, and pasta with asparagus, the younger folk retired to the library to await dessert.

Jill settled Rusty and Sam into overstuffed chairs and retrieved some of her latest storybooks from the shelves to share with Kate on the sofa. Rusty, who had insisted on sitting with Sam at supper, didn’t remain long in his chair, however, but instead went off into a corner of the room by himself, much to Jill’s surprise. Kate confided that Rusty hadn’t been quite himself since their last visit, but that the change had definitely been for the better. Sam, somewhat restless after the meal, stood up and began examining all of the posters and framed paintings that Jill had hanging in the room. These had been squeezed into every nook and cranny not already occupied by bookshelves.

Jill kept an eye on Sam while she and Kate were chatting, and, occasionally, she noticed him fidget with something around his neck. She smiled when it occurred to her that he was likely examining the worlds he could see beyond the frames of the paintings, but she tried to focus most of her attention on Kate. This became more and more difficult, she soon realized, as Kate’s mind was almost constantly on Sam. At first it was amusing, but after a while, Jill realized that the thoughts she was “hearing” from her cousin were likely the very sort of thing that Father Hildebrandt had warned her about.

“I suppose I still have a lot to learn about being a proper Empath,” Jill thought to herself.

Sam, after he had examined all of the pictures in the library, quickly realized that he would either have to join the girls on the sofa or find something else to focus on. So, he wandered over to the corner occupied by Rusty and noticed that the fellow was sprawled out on the floor drawing a picture. Sam was intrigued; he squatted down to take a look. Rusty looked up at him and smiled.

Underneath Rusty’s hands, Sam saw a landscape like none he had ever seen before. Strange, organic-looking cliffs rose beside a meadow and a stream. The execution was pretty simple, but there was a lifelike quality to it that surprised Sam. He quietly reached underneath his collar and grasped his framerunning sapphire. Rusty’s sketch glowed brightly, and was tinged with blue around its edges.

“Wow! That’s quite the sketch, Rusty!” Sam said.

Rusty smiled. “You think so? I decided that, since magic is real, I really ought to draw a magical place I’d like to visit some day. And this is it! I’ve done a couple of other pictures of it back at our house. I call it ‘Tamarinth’. I don’t know if that means anything; I just like the sound of the name….”

“Tamarinth,” Sam repeated. “I like it, Rusty! Maybe you and I can travel there together someday.”

Rusty beamed.

Jill, from across the room, “heard’ the thought pass through Sam’s mind: “I’ve really got to tell Mr. Luke about his little guy….”. And she smiled, realizing that yet another adventure was likely in the making….


                                                — The End —




If you have now finished reading this first book in The Framerunners series, thank you and congratulations! This book will remain online for a few weeks, after which it will be taken down. Book two in the series, entitled The Door to Eternity, will begin posting online this September. In the meantime, I wish you all a happy and restful summer!

For those of you who would like to be notified when In the Company of Angels is available in printed and ebook forms, please contact me (you can click on the “Contact Us” button at the bottom of the homepage at, or send me a note on Facebook or Google+) and I’ll be happy to add you to our Framerunners email list. Publication of the book is planned for this autumn.

Thank you again for reading, and for supporting The Framerunners!



Jun 25

In the Company of Angels: Episode 15.2 – The Abbot (cont.)



In the Company of Angels, Episode 15.2 – The Abbot (cont.)


“Welcome to Rome, my dear,” said the Abbot. “I am Father Hildebrandt. And Sam here has been telling me all about you. You appear to have made quite an impression on him and all of the other members of the Order!”

Jill looked at Sam, who had turned bright red. “I just told him the truth,” Sam said.

Father Hildebrandt ushered Jill into the room and seated her before his desk. Sam quietly slipped her a piece of chocolate, and then stood up to leave.

“We were just waiting for you, but I know Father wants to speak to you alone. I’m  going to chat with Brother Carroll, one of the monks here. I’ll be just outside,” he said, and winked. Jill once again felt that curious burst of joy from Sam that she had first felt when they had been in Oxford together.

Sam pulled the office door shut behind him, and Jill heard him chatting with someone outside.

Turning back to look at the office, Jill noticed that, in one corner, a stand had been set up and Muninn was perched there, happily grooming himself. He was not caged.

“Aren’t you afraid he’ll fly away?” asked Jill.

“Oh no,” said the Abbot. “You see, we have come to an understanding.”. He walked over to the perch and put out his arm. Muninn hopped onto his sleeve, and the Abbot stroked the bird’s throat gently. The bird’s eyes shut, and it was clear that the creature enjoyed the attention.

“Father Abbot….?”

“You can call me ‘Father Hildebrandt’, dear, or just ‘Father’. Everyone else does.”

“Well, Father, I was just wondering; since the raven…er…Muninn, seems to have caused so much trouble, how do we know he isn’t working with the, uh, the Amenta? I mean, how do we know he isn’t evil himself?”

“That’s a very good question. The simple answer is that animals, even fairly intelligent ones such as ravens, are not responsible for the acts that others might urge them to commit. We have no way of knowing if Muninn’s stealing of the Guarding Stones was instigated by the Amenta, or whether it was all simply the creature’s natural curiosity and interest in pretty things that wrought the havoc. I’m inclined to think it was the first, and that Muninn was urged to steal the stones. But he’s not truly responsible in either case.

“We can’t know for certain, of course, but it is also safe to say that he poses no further threat, provided we keep him away from other paintings!” The Abbot smiled.

After a minute or so, Father Hildebrandt eased Muninn back onto his perch, and then he returned to his desk.

“Now, my dear, I want to give you a chance to tell me what happened on Orbaratus, in your own words. And I’d also like to answer any questions you might have about what happened, and why. I do not have all of the answers, but such as I do have, I am more than willing to share with you. You have earned that much, and more.”

So, Jill related the whole story of her adventures, just as she had to the Professor in Oxford, but she continued on with the full story of Sam’s and her return to Orbaratus, the battle at the gateway, and their eventual journey back to the Gallery.

Father Hildebrandt listened intently, only interrupting her when he was unclear about an event. Jill thought what a marvelous listener he was, and she wondered at one point whether he, too, might be an Empath. To her surprise, he answered her aloud.

“No, I am not an Empath. I don’t have that gift.”

“But how did you know what I was thinking if you aren’t?” asked Jill, surprised.

“Because you, being an Empath, ‘think’ rather loudly, my dear!” said the abbot, chuckling. “I am merely observant, but unlike you and Polydora, I cannot project my thoughts into others’ heads, nor read theirs.

“Yours is a great gift, and one that will bring with it many temptations as you come to understand it better. Remember to always use this talent wisely, and kindly. You may find, in time, that many things you come to ‘hear’ from others, you may wish had remained secret.”

“I don’t understand, Sir.”

“Perhaps not yet, but hopefully we can teach you how to block out others’ thoughts unless you have an urgent need to hear them; that way you respect their privacy and preserve your own integrity.

“But, now that I’ve heard your tale, what do you still wish to know about last week’s events?”

“Well, Father,” said Jill, “I think we were all a bit perplexed by Brother Azarias’ concern about the portal going missing. I never heard anything from Sam about it during the week. What was that all about?”

Father Hildebrandt smiled and related the news that the Gallery had, in fact, been burned down, and that Brother Azarias had had to travel back in time to prevent it.

“The five men that were arrested weren’t, of course, the ones who instigated the arson…well, the attempted arson. That was someone else, of whom we know a few things. But the important point is that the plan was foiled. If it had not been, the painting you used to reach Orbaratus would have been destroyed in the fire and the portal would have gone missing. Does that make sense?”

“I guess so,” said Jill. “It’s hard to keep such things straight, though. I haven’t read much science fiction; I’m guessing this is the sort of thing that’s explored in the books Sam likes so much….”

“Time travel can be confusing to anyone,” said the abbot, smiling. “Happily, Brother Azarias’ plan worked, the gallery was saved, and you were all able to return safely. The Amenta are not to be trifled with, and this was far too close a call for all of us!

“But, speaking of the Amenta, there is something I need to ask you.”

“Yes, Sir?”

“Do you think what you have been through was of value to you? That is, were your experiences the sort of thing you would ever wish to do again…or have you had enough of framerunning?”

“Are you asking me if I want to continue helping Mr. Luke and Sam?” asked Jill. “You mean, like, that’s an option?!”

“Yes, of course it is. But I want you to think about it very carefully. You were put in very grave danger, and in a way that we could not have anticipated. You survived, and you even uniquely helped to prevent a great catastrophe from occurring. But you and Sam are still both quite young.

“I’m asking you whether you wish to continue working with Sam and Mr. Luke, given what you’ve seen about the reality of the danger and the evil that exists out in the world: ours  as well as others. There is no disgrace or shame if you should decide you’d rather not continue helping us; framerunning is not for everyone!”

Jill sat and thought for a moment. “Father, I know what you’re saying. But it seems to me that, if I hadn’t seen the tougher side of framerunning already, I’d be more likely to make a bad decision. Last week was very scary, but I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat just to know that I was able to help my friends.”

The abbot considered her for a long time in silence, but Jill could sense nothing whatsoever about what he might be thinking.

“In that case, all I can say, my dear,” said the Abbot, “is that Brother Azarias and Polydora, both of whom I trust more than anyone when it comes to understanding a person’s nature, are both quite right about you. You are, indeed, an extraordinary individual. And if helping your friends is what you wish to continue doing, then I would be a fool to deny you the chance.

“There is, however, one matter we must attend to, if you are determined to continue helping us in our work.”

“What is that, Sir?”

“We need to make sure that you are protected from the Amenta going forward. Sam, Luke, Polydora, and all of us are protected, and must be, in order to carry out our work. You know that the Amenta are attracted to the crystals, yes?”

“Yes, Sir,” said Jill.

“Well then, over the centuries, we have found ways of masking our whereabouts, and even masking the presence of any sapphires that we keep in our possession. If you are willing, I would like to bestow on you this protection. That way, if you ever are left alone with a crystal in the future, you will not be troubled by the ‘Howlers’, as Sam calls them.”

Jill was more than happy to be rid of the Howlers going forward. So, Father Hildebrandt had her stand up. He retrieved a small silver jar and a book from his desk, and, reading in a soft voice, spoke over her words that seemed to be in Latin, and that Jill could only describe as a sort of a blessing. When the Abbot had finished reciting the words from the book, he marked her forehead and the palms of her hands with a fragrant oil taken from the silver jar.

“There. You should be largely untroubled by the dark ones of the spirit world henceforth,” he said, smiling. “And welcome, my dear. Welcome into the Fratrum Simulacrorum. You can, if you wish, think of yourself as a Novice, which is what we call the aspiring folk who are seeking to come into the Benedictine order. And I pray that you are helped and strengthened as much as you help and strengthen us in the months and years to come.”

“Thank you, Father,” said Jill.

The Abbot returned the book and the silver jar to his desk. Then he walked over to his office door and opened it. “Sam, if Brother Carroll has done with you, I believe Miss Jonsson is ready to return home now.”

“Oh, great!” said Sam. He came into the office beaming. He turned to Father Hildebrandt. “So, she’s safe now?” he asked.

“Indeed, and you can quiz her on everything we discussed all the way back home again,” said the Abbot, smiling.

The trip back to the Gallery was a bit easier for Jill this time, to which she credited the delicious hazelnut-laced chocolates with which the Abbot had supplied them. And, true to his word, when she and Sam arrived back at the Gallery, Mr. Luke had a surprise awaiting her. He held in his hands a small silver box that was tied with a silver ribbon. He was about to give it to her, but then he thought better of it and handed it to Polydora.

Polydora knelt down in front of Jill with the small box cupped in her elegant, six-fingered hands. “Go on, open it,” Jill heard Polly’s voice in her head tell her.

Jill took the box and unwrapped it. Within it was a silver ring, not unlike the one that she had used to framerun before, but this one was smaller and more delicate. The emblem of The Framerunners was embossed on either side of the oval sapphire, and inside the band, her initials were engraved.

“This is to be your own personal sapphire going forward,” said Mr. Luke, “just as Samuel has his own and I have my own.”

“I actually have three!” said Sam, grinning. “And I never go anywhere without ‘em!”

“Hmm, well, that’s true. But then, Samuel is a Navigator, so he probably has more need of crystals than anyone. Polly, on the other hand, doesn’t have one of her own because she never leaves the Gallery, but that may be about to change….”

“What do you mean?!” asked Jill, “Is Polly going somewhere?! Isn’t she going to continue here as the Keeper of the Gallery?!”

“Yes, certainly, she is, have no fear on that score! But after our adventure last week, she has said she would like to accompany us on some of our future trips, should the situation allow her to do so. So, Jill, given that fact, and given that she may need her own sapphire going forward, could we have you do the honors for Polly…?” Mr. Luke produced another silver box and handed it to Jill.

Jill turned to Polly, who was still kneeling next to her, and placed the box in her hands. Then she threw her arms around the Ferrumari and hugged her tightly. Polly unwrapped the box and withdrew a ring very similar to Jill’s, but much larger. The engraving on the inside of the band was rendered in characters that Jill didn’t recognize.

“Are those your initials in the Ferrrumari alphabet?” she thought to her friend.

“Something like that,” Polly answered.

“But why would you ever want to leave the Gallery now? Especially after all you went through on Orbaratus? I mean, this is your home, Polly, after all….”

“Yes, it is. But I won’t be leaving the gallery except as needed. And besides, someone has to look after you when you’re out on your adventures, Little One.” The words Jill heard in her head were followed by the sweet familiar chiming of Polydora’s laughter.



          [ To read Episode 16, the conclusion to In the Company of Angels, click here…. ]




Older posts «