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Merle

The cat coughs up something headless, effervescent and green.

“Dammit, Taco,” mutters Merle, levering herself out of the Adirondack. Its wings are still spasming but, she notices as she bends down, it’s not a bird or a dragonfly. Taco washes one paw, looking insufferable.

Emerald stains the paper towel when she scoops it up. Suspicion worms into Merle’s chest and she googles up confirmation: Taco has half-eaten a garden sylph. Shit.

She packs the stupid cat off to Mom’s and hangs horseshoes on lintels, but the tribe still slashes her tires in vengeance. The neighbor’s dog doesn’t stand a chance.

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