Man’s best friend, zombie’s worst enemy Part 5

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Stacy put a hand on Blas’s head to calm him because he wouldn’t stop growling. Julia smiled, seemingly enjoying the awkward silence as much as Stacy hated it. What was it with rich kids messing with her? She may as well tell the truth. “Ethan and I are not an item. I just thought I’d scare him off by making him pay an arm and a leg for supper.”

“Bless your heart, Torres. That’s his mother’s arms and legs he’s feeding you, and she has plenty more where that came from, believe me.”

“Some advice from one girl to another, the more of a show you put on for him the more he’ll chase you. If you stop giving him so much attention he’ll run out of steam faster than a Brixby Engine.”

Stacy nodded and moved to leave, but Julia kept talking, “Johann Brixby tried to make a competitor to my great great great great great grandfather Koji Sano’s steamboat engine, but it was just too inefficient. He didn’t have my family’s grasp of engineering. Grandpa Koji even managed to overcome intense anti-Japanese racism to keep the money in the family.”

“Is that why you changed your name to Sano and wear dragon kimonos? You know you can’t be more than -” Stacy did some quick math in her head “- 1/128th Japanese. Do you even know any Japanese people?”

“I met my great grandfather a few times. He was 1/16th Japanese. He was a Sano before Grandpa changed the name to Sable in World War 2. Now Japan is known for cute cartoons and Super Mario instead of naval bombings, so I decided it was time to bring the name back.”

There was one thing that Stacy had wondered about this. Changing your name was a step more drastic than an eyebrow piercing, after all. “What does your father think about this?” she asked. Julia smiled and thoroughly enjoyed her next bite of steak. She finished chewing and said, “if you’re wondering about the steak, it’s nothing to do with Japan. Steak is just delicious.”

“Uh-huh,” Stacy furrowed her brow.

Julia put her hand to her chest – “Stacy Torres,” but Jack interrupted her. He looked up from his bone and looked at Stacy and Julia at the same time, one with each eye and proceeded to speak at a normal volume. “Whoah, oh whoah, wow whoah, aowowowowowowo.”

Blas backed up a step, bumping into Stacy in his confusion. Julia just smacked her dog on the head. “Jakku, yamete. Nanisuruno? Eh? Bakugeta inu.”

She glanced up at Stacy, “sorry, I’ve been listening to Japanese podcasts for days. It’s really a beautiful language, I just wish there was anyone I could speak it to besides my dog.”

“Anyway,” she placed her hand on her chest once more. “Stacy, the honorable Romero Star deserves better than that Stowe boy’s antics. Please consider me a friend when it comes to ending this quickly.”

“Uh-huh,” said Stacy as Blas grumbled and kept himself between Stacy and Julia.

By Sam Munk

Science fiction and Fantasy author with a focus on philosophical inquiry and character-driven drama.

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