The Return of Jerome

It all started with a phone ring.

“You got the time, I got the time!”

“Is this Bob Senitram?”

“Sure, who’s this?”

“It’s Jerome, I need your help. They’re after me!”

“Hey, Jerome I haven’t heard from you since…wait, what?”

“You gotta come get me before they do!”

“Who? Who’s after you?”

“Don’t worry about it, can you come get me?”

“Sure where you at?”

He gives me the location and a half hour later, I’m welcoming an older, slightly desheveled Jerome into my car. It’s been 10 years since I’ve seen my good ol’ buddy, but he looked 20 years older.

Jerome’s was around in the early days of

The website was started 22 years ago by me and Stephen Johnson. Jerome just always seemed to be there, but I don’t remember how I met him or how he came into our group.

Anyways, back then, we had a lot of visitors and like many new internet start-ups, we opened up an office. We had two rooms with a small break room and pretended like we had a business.

Jerome just always seemed to be there, doing odd jobs like getting us coffee and taking out the garbage. Back then, we drank a lot of booze and nobody was ever in a condition to drive so he usually slept at my house, Stephen’s house, or the office.

Coming into the office and finding Jerome passed out on the floor was normal, but it wasn’t our only problem. There was also a problem with our business plan. Which was, we didn’t have one. We didn’t charge anybody for anything and we didn’t sell anything, so although having millions of visitors a month was nice, was a financial disaster.

When we finally closed our offices around 2012, that was the last time I saw Jerome.

Until now.

He looked like he’s lived a tough 10 years.

“Hey dude, can I crash at your place…I’m in some trouble.”

“Sure, no problem.” I replied. I wondered that if the years have been so rough, why didn’t he contact me sooner? I could have helped. But that’s a conversation for another time.

“Sorry to put you out.” Jerome remarked.

COMING NEXT: Who’s after Jerome?

Song in my head:

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Bob Senitram

Webmaster and editor of I obtained a bachelor's degree in micro-biology around the turn of the century but was quickly tracked down and forced to return it to its rightful owner and pay a $25 fine. *** A fan of science fiction, I started this website in 1999 as a portal for science fiction stories that have never been published. *** Completely devoid of talent, I decided to call on the public to supply content. Shortly afterwards Stephen and I started writing weekly columns and have continued to this day.

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