Cory watched the flames licking out the top of the building, thinking it didn’t have to be this hard. Why I could have blown the place up with my mind easily enough, he thought from his position at the corner of the sandbox. All I need is a pretty good night’s sleep (for energy). Indeed, most of the kids attending Paper-Soap school, merged since ’71, were psychic to a high degree. They didn’t need primitive *physics* to destroy anything. Claude Jr. was behind the times, but he was a robot after all, mere mechanoid. The other kids tried not to make fun of his clunky, nay *dense* ways of thinking, but it was difficult, being kids too after all and not having the moral compass of a fully mature adult. One of their “sloooow” projects in class, as they called it, was the atrophying of the swamp down in the town’s southwest corner. In fact, Cory’s study group had brought up the swamp from lake to sea back down to swamp a good number of times now, and recorded the reactions of the residents living around it. The kids were experimenting on the adults. The kids were in charge. As a sea it flooded the sewer tunnels. Dinah’s bartender Stumpy wondered why he could never get rid of the black mold in the bathroom down there. He ended up just having to derezz the thing.
“Can you point me to the restrooms,” a somewhat tipsy customer asked him in tomorrow’s today. “Just go in the sewer outside like everyone else,” he commanded, wondering if he should bring the issue up to the town council, a council also controlled by kids of course. Their powers were ever-present.
Sugar McDermitt should have seen it coming. In fact, he did. “Those *kids* are up to something over there,” he mutters to himself, standing outside the soon-to-be destroyed Lost Boys Bar and Grilling. “They keep glancing over here and snickering. Damn kids,” he cussed, sorry he had 11 of his own. He doesn’t even give them names any longer, just numbers, starting with Ten. “Ten come here and polish my boots; Ten come here and wash the dishes for your old man.” That kind of thing. He and the current missues (a number herself by now — five) told the prying neighbors who watched him toil and sweat away the day, unable to play with their own kids because of constant work, that he was named for an Aunt Tinny. But really it was just pure laziness and convenience. “Albert!” loudly insisted wife #4 before she ran away to join a circus for clowns. But then the 5th that soon followed on her heels didn’t care — preferred numbers for better tracking and convinced Sugar of the same. “Why don’t we just smack a bar code on their rears and keep up with them that way,” she suggested one day in early May after 2 breakfast daiquiris and 2 brunch tequilas. Prisoners, then, they really were. Number Eight (formerly Jack) would soon have his revenge. He had a robot friend whose father Claude Sit-on was an expert in building demolitions.
Meanwhile at the playground:
“By the time I get to the bottom of this slide,” spoke the friend Claude Jr., golden hued like the playground equipment he perched at the top of, set to go, “something will happen. Ready? One, two, and sliiiiiiiiddde”. BOOOMM!!