Lydia and the shark

Lydia and the shark

When I was 3 years old my parents had to work during the days. Most of the time I had a nanny Lydia, who would also clean house and take care of my lunch. Lydia mentioned that if you didn’t eat sharks, they wouldn’t eat you. As a child that seemed logical and I believed that. So when I was swimming in Haunauma Bay on Oahu, I ran into a shark. It was lucky that I had a speargun with me. I shot at the shark who it flipped its tail a few times and easily out distanced the spear, quickly. So maybe was Lydia right. I don’t eat sharks, and sharks don’t eat me.

from the notebooks of Doris Chu

A question for Rhoads Brazos

Q: How do pets/children/significant others help/hinder your process?

A: Almost all outside forces conspire against me. My son barges into my office, as nine-year-olds are wont to do, and tries to read my on-screen words. I’m a perfectionist by nature, so no one is allowed to see the first draft, but with him especially, I can’t shrink the screen quickly enough. I don’t want him to drink in the horrors of my writing and develop some sort of neurosis. As a parent, I feel I’m already doing unspoken psychological damage. I have to avoid anything blatantly scarring. This job is really hard.

At the same instant, my wife has been pestering me to continue a novella series I started for her amusement. I had bragged to her that I could craft a regency romance that would knock her socks off, providing I could give it my own unique twist. She doubted me, so of course I wrote it to prove how right I was. (This is standard husbandly behavior.) I’m not sure what genre the piece falls into. Picture a fusion of P.G. Wodehouse, Clive Barker, and Georgette Heyer. It’s charming in its lunacy. I could write five short stories in the place of a new novella, but just thinking about it now . . . perhaps I’ll build my daily wordcount and add another escapade.

I suppose the housecat is the only one who lets me work. He preferred my old boxy monitor, which made a toasty perch for him in the winter months, but he seems satisfied with the bench I’ve set up next to me. He has developed a habit of snoring, which I’ve never heard of afflicting a cat, but clearly it happens. It’s funny for ten minutes or so, until I find my breathing syncing with his own. That just feels weird to me, so I bump him to make him stop. Lord of the manor, and all that.


Rhoads Brazos’s story “… and now He erases” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 15 January 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

About Julia Warner

Julia Warner is an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia from Nashville, Tennessee. She loves running, writing, and playing guitar. She cannot live without books and spends more time in Westeros and Middle Earth than she does in this world.


Julia Warner’s story “The Machinery” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 22 January 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.