Product Safety

Thank you for calling the Genigrow Customer Service Hotline. You are at the main menu. For payment and billing options, dial two. For the legal department, dial three. To speak to a customer service representative, dial four. If you are calling to report a medical concern, press the pound key.

You have dialed four. This call may be monitored for quality assurance.


“Hi, this is Melissa, thank you for calling Genigrow Customer Support, how may I help you?”

“Yeah, hi. I need to talk about a clone I ordered.”

“Okay sir, may I have your name, permit license number, and billing address?”

“Uh, yeah. This is Bill Diehl, three-four-eight Maple Drive in Piscataway, New Jersey.”

“Can you repeat that last part, Mr. Diehl? I’m having trouble hearing you. There’s some sort of animal noise in the background.”

“I said New Jersey.”

“Okay sir, and may I have your permit license number?”

“I’m . . . um, I’m not sure? Is it possible we can hurry this up?”

“Sir, do you have an invoice or a custom order in front of you? It references your license number.”

“Okay, that’s not— Oh. Oh god, quick, what’s the kill switch word?”

“Sir? Are you all right?”

“Jesus Christ, lady, tell me the damn kill switch word!”

“Sir? Sir in order to help you, I need to know your license num—”

“Call the police! Oh god!”

“Sir? Hello? Hello?”


Thank you for calling the Genigrow Customer Service Hotline. We are currently experiencing heavy call volumes. Unless this is an emergency, we suggest you hang up and try back at another time. Otherwise, please stay on the line.


“Hi, this is Melissa, thank you for calling Genigrow Customer Support, how may I—”

“Your clone bit me.”

“Excuse me?”

“What the hell kind of operation are you people running? I ordered another daughter, not this voodoo stuff. I want a refund. I can’t keep her tied to this chair forever. She destroyed my pantry, then she tried to eat my blue-ribbon Rhode Island Red.”

“Okay, ma’am, may I have your name, address, permit license—”

Carl! Stop poking it, you’re only making it mad! I’ve got to go to the hospital. My wrist is bleeding pretty bad. You’ll be getting a call from my lawyer.”

“Ma’am, would you like me to transfer you to our legal department?”

“I don’t have time for that now. I want this thing out of my house. Ow, this is swelling up.”

“I’d be happy to help. May I have your name?”

“Wanda Cummins. Twelve Chestnut Lane, number five, Lincoln, Nebraska. License number F-3640. See how I’ve got it all memorized? I’ve called you guys seven times, it’s the same routine over and over, no one gives me a straight answer.”

“On behalf of Genigrow I apologize for the inconvenience. Do I have permission to review your account, Mrs. Cummins?”

“This chair is an antique. She’s clawing through the varnish.”

“I’ll take that as a yes. All right, it looks like you ordered a cardio-enhanced Quik-Gro model from the DNA of deceased adolescent Liberty Anne Cummins. Is that correct?”

“It shouldn’t be able to swivel its head like that.”

“Would you like to schedule a pick-up?”

“We can’t sleep with this noise in the trailer. My husband thinks we should set it on fire. But that chair belonged to my great-aunt.”

“Ma’am, I strongly suggest you don’t do anything to the legally-pending living creature tied up in your home. It’ll affect your refund.”

“Yes, I want to schedule a damn pickup. What is this, is this pus? I think I’m gonna be sick.”

“I can schedule one of our vans to meet you at ten o’clock on . . . let’s see . . . August fourth. Does that work for you?”

“August fourth?”


“It’s June!”

“We’ve scheduled a lot of pick-ups in the past week, ma’am.”

“What kind of operation are you people running? You know what, nevermind. I’m dropping it off at your Omaha plant, right in the parking lot. We’ll see how you like it. Carl! Bring the truck around, and get me my Newports!”

“I work in Oregon, Mrs. Cummins. It doesn’t matter to me.”


Thank you for calling the Genigrow Customer Service Hotline. We are required by law to inform you that any products you ordered from us may be contaminated with what we now know to be an infectious necrotic accelerant. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

For a list of manufacturer recalls enforced under current martial law, please dial two. To find an emergency shelter by zip code, please dial three. To contact a trained specialist for clone disposal, or to report an infection, please stay on the line. If you know the extension of the person you are trying to reach, please dial it now.

Please hold while I connect you . . .


“Melissa, it’s Tom.”

“Hey babe, what’s up?”

“Joey and I have the trucks all packed. We got the dog’s medication, the toilet paper, everything. We are ready to go.”

“That’s great.”

“So, when are you going to leave work so we can head for Linda’s cabin in the Cascades?”

“I’m getting paid hazard overtime. Score, right? Why aren’t you at the garage?”

“The other mechanic was digging into a gas attendant’s skull like it was a casaba melon. The roads are getting worse, and— What is that noise?”

“It’s an alarm. Damn it. Tom, I have to go.”

“Are you okay?”

“They’re in the building.”

“Melissa? Are you coming home? Melissa!”



I’m sorry, the number you have dialed is no longer in service.


Erica Hildebrand  Erica Hildebrand's website is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and her art has appeared in Kaleidotrope and Space Squid. She currently lives in Pennsylvania, where she writes fiction, draws comics, and maps out contingency plans for escaping the zombie apocalypse.