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An Interview with the Nanny

In Razors and Rust, our hero, Diego Santos, experiences a slow descent into madness. The story takes place over twenty years, covering Diego’s growing obsession with pyramid power, as well as his desperate need to answer questions Sir Wentworth Atlee has left behind.

It affects everyone around him, forever altering the lives of his wife, children, and closest friends.

But what about the nanny?

In an attempt to get to the root of Dr. Diego Santo’s obsession, I’ve invited Mrs. Pennyweather here to discuss her time at the Santos house, her years raising the children, and perhaps the most important question of all: which flavor of jam does Diego prefer on his toast? (Turns out it’s preserves.)

Warning: Mild spoilers for “Razors and Rust.” 


Mrs. Pennyweather, thank you for joining us today. I hope the flight was comfortable.

I’m sorry to say it was not. I rather doubt I will be traveling Egyptian Airlines again.

Oh. I’m sorry to hear that. What do you—

There weren’t even peanuts! Who doesn’t include peanuts on an eleven hour flight? Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I’ve enjoyed a legume? Dr. Santos wouldn’t allow them in the house. Said he was allergic. Though I never saw an inhaler…

Er…I see. Well, perhaps we should begin with the first time you met Dr. Santos, and how—

Not even pretzels? There should be a law: anytime you’re stuck on your bum for over an hour you get either baked snacks or peanuts.

I should have driven.

Mrs. Pennyweather, let’s try to stay on topic. Can you tell us about the first time you met Dr. Santos?

Yes, yes. The doctor. Well, he was a kind enough sort. Seemed a bit melancholy, though, always staring out the window and what-not. And not much use with the children. They’d yell after him, trying to get him to play a game or two, but he would just keep gazing out that window, ignoring the lot of us.

I remember one time little Wendell cut his finger and ran to Doctor Santos, crying and hollering, and making a mess of himself. I was about to grab him (the doctor didn’t care for noise. Sometimes he’d get the shakes if the children were carrying on), but Doctor Santos stopped me, and bent down to examine the cut. I thought he’d put a band-aide on it, or glue or something, but instead he…well…he…


He grabbed a tiny paper pyramid out of his desk drawer and told Wendell to put his finger inside. Said he had to keep his finger in the pyramid for a couple of days and it would be healed.

Fascinating. Did it work?

I haven’t the foggiest idea. As soon as the doctor left I put a band-aide on it. No child of mine is going to run around with a pyramid on his finger.

Did that happen often? 

Hmm…what, the pyramid? Of course not! What kind of household do you think I run?

I mean ignoring Diego Santos. He was your employer, wasn’t he?

I suppose so, but he never acted like one. In the early days I got instructions from the missus—

Julie Santos?

What? Yes. Stop interrupting or I’ll never finish.


You’re forgiven. Now, where was I…

Julie Santos used to give you instruction?

Now see? That’s what I’m talking about. Hush up.

Alright, let’s see, Mrs. Santos…

Yes. Right. She had some pretty strict rules for the little ones in the beginning. Only organic food, no television, no religion, no mention of Sir Wentworth Atlee, things like that.

Wasn’t Sir Atlee the family’s patron? 

I suppose. Maybe. Doctor Santos didn’t seem to work, and Mrs. Santos was always traveling, vacationing…I guess the money had to come from somewhere. But the doctor wouldn’t talk about it, and the one time little Addy asked her mom if they were rich Mrs. Santos flew into a fit and wouldn’t speak with the children for days.

That’s why I never gave them the letter Sir Atlee…whoops! Nevermind that last bit.

Wait? What letter?

Hmm? Letter? There was no letter. I didn’t shred it.

Mrs. Pennyweather, what have you done?

Nothing! Don’t you judge me, young man. You have no idea what it was like to live with the Santos’. I wasn’t about to start a fight by giving them some letter from a man everyone knew was dead. What good could it have done? And besides, that nice, tall man—I think his name was Richy?—who delivered the letter warned me it might upset Doctor Santos.

Now why would I go and do that? The poor man could hardly hold a cup of coffee near the end. The last thing he needed was a shock.

And you shredded—

Oh my, look at the time. I’d better be off. It’s been forever since I’ve visited the States, and I hear they’re frying Oreos now! I’ve got to try that.

And maybe I’ll get some peanuts while I’m at it.


Well, I’m afraid that raised more questions than it answered. But at least we know to avoid Egyptian Airways for the time being, or at the very least to bring our own snacks.

I’d like to thank Mrs. Pennyweather for joining us today, and wish her luck on her future travels.

And who knows? Perhaps someday we’ll find out what was in that letter.

It’s only a shredder, after all.

About nicwidhalm (46 Articles)
Nic Widhalm is a writer based out of Colorado, and specializes in stories of change, juxtaposition, and things that go bump in the night. You can visit him at

2 Comments on An Interview with the Nanny

  1. LOL! Very amusing 🙂 A nice insight into their family life. Great post.

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