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Smythe

“You’ve blown your filthy catalpa leaves into my yard for the last time, Jackson!” screams Smythe, red-faced, and whips out an ominous black remote control. He smashes its single button with one finger.

Behind him, his brown brick split-level trembles, quakes and erupts out of the earth. Huge titanium legs turn it around as blue-hot flames jet from its windows; the front stoop unfolds into three sets of gnashing concrete teeth.

“What does your catalpa say… to Housezilla?” shouts Smythe, through the din.

Jackson’s unperturbed. He glances sideways at eight-year-old Teddy, playing in the sandbox.

And thumbs his own remote control.

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