I met Jet-Poop!

... and lived to tell the tale!

This morning I received a text from JP and I started walking out towards the parking area from our conference. Now into the fifth day, my conference on Agile Software Development was finally starting to wind down. My walk to the parking lot was actually the first time I had even been outdoors in three days. While I was excited to finally meet a fellow everythingian, especially one who had been around even longer than myself, it still felt a bit surreal. You mean there are actually people behind these home nodes?

My wife had been a little concerned about me meeting someone from the wilds of the Internet. Her last instruction to me early this morning was, "Don't get murdered." That is generally words I try to live by anyway, but after a little reflection I realized that Jet-Poop and I both shared a love of horror and the macabre. Could it be possible he actually was an axe murderer? I had never even seen a picture of him. Given my recent indulgence in alcoholic beverages, would I be responsive enough to fend off a machete toting Texan psychopath? And what if, like some comic book evil genius mastermind, Jet-Poop had planned our meeting for this last full day knowing that the lure of the midweek party's open bar would ultimately be too much for this noder to resist? After all, I spent a significant portion of last night drinking Texas sized amounts of "Texas Tea". Would my cat-like reflexes be able to save me if he showed up in cover-alls and an inverted William Shatner mask?

But the time had come so, like McCready with a handful of flamethrower and dynamite, I walked to my (seemingly) increasingly likely doom.

We met on the walkway. No weapons were visible, no passerbys seemed to be bleeding from their eyes, and a quick glance assured me that he had two arms and two legs and no Cthulhu-like tentacles. At that moment I knew I was dealing with an insidiously evil creature, one so abhorrent as to appear normal, like a citizen of Innsmouth.

He extended his hand. Dare I touch him? Who knows what manner of alien microbes such an innocent gesture was actually meant to transmit to me? A firm grip, indeed, but I felt unchanged. Was that a gleam in his eye? His goatee seemed coarse, was Jet-Poop actually a lycanthrope? Damn, I could not recall the phase of the moon! Did he mean to distract with his extensive knowledge of everything2 and its denizens until the sun went down? And how did he have such knowledge in the first place? Was his apartment back in Denton a trophy room of past users, their decapitated heads staring blankly at his Lament Configuration? And what kind of place could this guy live in any way? Was the street named "Rue Morgue"? Did the neighborhood kids occasionally disappear in a Trick 'r Treat?

Re-entering the building, we were seated in one of the restaurants. He expressed his intent to consume large amounts of flesh, and with a growing unease I watched as he ravaged some recently deceased animal. I had him now, some kind of cannibal, and I must be careful not to take my eyes away from him for a second. As he easily discussed politics and film my mind kept returning to his dark secret. Was this some Wendigo-induced damnation? Or did he relish human meat has some part of tribalistic ritual? I had to get clear of him, and needed to put some distance between us and sort this out. Feigning a bathroom emergency, I raced to my room. Would he dare follow? How would I know if someone was at the door before trying to leave my room again?

My cell phone rang, it was him! He asked if I was okay, but I thought I heard the sound of sharpening steel in the background. I tried to assure him that I was going to be okay but would be unable to return to lunch. Was that suspicion I heard in his response?

As I write this I'm packing my bags. I've got to get the hell out of Texas. I may have escaped him this time, but will I have a chance come October?

A 2012 Horrorquest Warm-up

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