A while ago, when I was around four or five, Mother told me our nanny came over to tell us that she wouldn't be working anymore.
She had recently had her third child and it was just a handful to be juggling all those tasks. So, my mother got us a new nanny.
When our new nanny, Ms. Daisy Marshall, came for the first day, my mother gave her a list of rules that she had also given to the previous nanny. The rules were quite simple: Don't let Ana stay up too late and don't say the forbidden word. I knew the forbidden word, but I didn't dare say it.
In fact, I can't even tell you.
It was sort of like a trigger word for...Her.
"She" was a nice, old lady that lived somewhere in our house a while ago, but I really didn't know where. Mother would carry on conversations about whatever with Her until she said she must be going. She didn't want Mother to leave, so She said that She would just stay here for her. And when my mother was gone, she would talk to me. Then, she started looking different and acting weird after our house flooded.
When Daisy finally saw that my mother had left, she looked overcome with curiosity. "What was that whole 'forbidden word' bit about?"
"I can't tell you."
"Why would you need to know?"
"Just tell me, Ana."
"You'll make her mad."
Daisy stopped. "Who's Her?" she asked slowly. I shook my head.
"I don't know," I lied.
She sat down. "Well. Okay then. Must be a playtime thing."
I was sitting on the living room floor, playing with my Legos, and Daisy kept an eye on me while she watched her crime dramas. Honestly, I can't see how people can watch those things, they're the same every time! In one part of the show, I could overhear two of the characters talking about how this murder victim had died. They suggested shooting, hanging, stabbing, until...
Suddenly, there was a really loud series of BANGs in the kitchen. Daisy bolted straight up from the couch and ran in to see if somebody had broken in. I insisted on following her, but she told me to stay put. I heard Daisy's footsteps trail down the hallway as she went to see what had happened.
Then, there was a shrieking, high-pitched scream accompanied by a burbling cackle. Of course, I knew what had happened, but I didn't tell my mother when she got home. She went to the kitchen, and I heard a sharp gasp, but that was all.
Then, she came back to tell me that Daisy had called us to quit.
And we were getting a new nanny.