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“Katie got herself eaten over the weekend,” she said without looking up, her fingers dancing across the surface of her smartphone. “Some drunk driver hit her car, and her boyfriend reanimated before she could get to the gun in her glove compartment. Honestly, what idiot keeps her gun that far out of reach?”
Her husband grimaced. “That’s too bad. She was so good with Henry.”
Miranda snorted. “If she couldn’t even pay enough attention to notice all those ‘armed is prepared’ ads, how could she have paid enough attention to notice what Henry needed?” The zombie safety awareness campaign had been inescapable—it seemed like every time she’d clicked a YouTube video or watched something on Hulu, she’d gotten an ad where that smirking guy from Saturday Night Live reminded everyone to keep a loaded gun within arm’s reach; you never knew when someone might die, reanimate as a zombie, and try to eat you. How had Katie missed the message?
“Anyway.” Miranda found another nanny agency’s website—and another wait list. “The funeral’s Thursday, and we’ll go, of course, but for now, we need a second nanny.”
A pause. She brought up the next dead-end website, silently willing Stephen not to say what she knew was coming next.
He did anyway. “But… He cleared his throat. “Petra is still coming today, isn’t she?”
“Yes. She is. But one isn’t enough. You know that.”
“We never had trouble with one. Nobody ever had trouble with one. That au pair who fell down the stairs in Houston was a freakish one-in-a-billion—”
“That’s easy for you to say. You weren’t following the news.” Another dead end. When everyone had two nannies, the agencies ran out fast. “The only reason those kids survived after she reanimated was because the oldest girl paid attention in firearms class. Henry won’t even be old enough for Mommy and Me marksmanship for another three months.”
“What are the odds that Petra will fall down the stairs and break her neck? And even if she does, our HOA has the best snipers in the county, maybe the state.”
“That’ll only help if she reanimates outside. The odds are slim, sure, but I’m not gambling with Henry’s life. We need someone else here who can handle a gun. And anyway, she’s not the only one who might die. What if today’s the day Mr. Shaw decides to kick it? Do you want Petra to be here alone if he’s shambling around the neighborhood trying to eat people?” She tapped the phone. Were there any nannies in the entire DC metro area? She was going to have to look in Baltimore at this rate.
“If you’re only looking for someone to be a kill switch, you don’t need a nanny. Hire
a security guard.”
“Security’s even harder to find than nannies.” Something in her inbox, thank God. She skimmed the email and let out her breath in a whoosh of relief. “Graziela can come back tomorrow.”
“He’ll be fine with just Petra today.”
“No, he won’t. I’m telecommuting.” She was already pulling up the number for the office.
“Miri, for God’s sake—”
“I don’t want to hear it. I have plenty of personal days saved up.” And unlike Katie, I always keep a loaded pistol at my hip, she added silently.
Be Prepared to Shoot the Nanny – Rachel Kolar
Business as Usual – N. R. Lambert
Snow Queen – T. R. North
Never Miss: Moses Abebe is a Machine – J. T. Gill
By the time her husband came downstairs, Miranda was nearly frantic trying to find a kill switch for the nanny. “Katie got herself eaten over the weekend,” she said without looking up, her fingers dancing across the surface of her smartphone. “Some drunk driver hit her car, and her boyfriend reanimated before she could get to the gun in her glove compartment. Honestly, what idiot keeps her gun that far out of reach?” Her husband…
Q: Do you write with a particular audience in mind?
A: I don’t, really. I think I ascribe to Stephen King’s idea that the “perfect reader” exists in the head of every writer. I hope folks are willing to believe in the story that they’re reading. I hope that it can provide them entertainment, or escape, or whatever else brought them to the story. My hope is that, by coming to my work, someone finds something for them unexpected that resonates inside of them.
Sean R. Robinson’s story “The Snow Queen’s Daughter” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 27 January 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Eric Del Carlo lived in New Orleans up until one day before Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005. Since then, he has resided in his native California.
Eric Del Carlo’s story “Halfsies” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 3 February 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Jo was born in 1992 and they are a freelance artist from Italy. They love handicrafts and making things, so after studying engraving techniques and jewellery crafting, Jo often travels, living in different rural places for long periods of time where they learn other crafts, like woodworking and metalworking.
Kaos Nest‘s image “Giant” is the cover art for our February 2017 stories.
“Thank you for registering with NamMo.com, America’s #1 personalized munitions retailer…” The message arrived at 8:46 a.m. Andy was fixing his coffee for the drive to work when the alert dinged. He finished stirring and sat at the counter before flipping open his hybrid and tapping the tablet’s screen. “Thank you for registering with NamMo.com, America’s #1 personalized munitions retailer. As required by Section 80166 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of…