Bob had heard rumors. Robots replacing humans. Nobody knowing man from machine. Humans fighting back, deactivating the usurpers.
He worried, because kind Mrs. Johnson stood rigid, her back to him, deadheading marigolds and ignoring his greeting.
“I said: “Good morning, Mrs. Johnson!”
She sighed and turned to face him. “‘Morning, Bob.”
“You seem distracted, Mrs. Johnson. Is your arthritis troubling you?”
Her flat chuckle unsettled him. “You’re a good neighbor, Bob. Downright ideal, these last two years.”
She reached for a hug. Bob obliged.
“That’s why I hate to do this,” she said, flicking the hidden switch behind his ear.
Melissa Mead lives in Upstate NY. She’s short, and tends to write that way too. Many of her stories are on Daily Science Fiction. Her Web page is here: https://carpelibris.wordpress.com/
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