Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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It hangs over the Lethal Magnet School, their marvelous station, the incredible warship and battle-boot of the House of Dreams.

It’s not just for stomping wolves, although that’s why it gets funding.

You can do so much more than that with a giant boot!

Sid accidentally summons a whole Thing, for instance. It is obviously beyond the power of a lower sixth student to contain it. It’s a whole Thing!

It ravens across the Lethal Magnet School for Wayward Youth.

Keith presses a button. Bombs fall from space. They have trouble falling for a bit, because there is limited gravity, but Keith assays a bomb-assisting meditation and they blow a full one quarter off the Thing.

Sid’s strong enough by then for a three-quarter Thing.

He takes it down.

A sea-drinking toad lifts its flabby bulk from the depths. It opens its mouth. It goes to drink the sea.

Magical jaguars do not stop it. It is Sunday. The magical jaguars do not stop world-ending threats on Sunday.

The Simon-says-playing robot, of course, is dead.

But this event stirs Cheryl from her grief. She stares down at the toad with reddened eyes. That a toad would dare to drink the sea!

She almost untethers the boot, drifts it out over the sea, and stomps the toad.

Tom puts his hand on hers. He restrains her.

They blow it up with space bombs, and Amber’s hula javelin, instead.

The scissors-rain intensifies, but gravity has stretched out and thinned out the swarm. There is time to analyze it. Time to dissect it. Time to rebuild and enhance humanity’s old defenses.

The world turns on its axis. Magical jaguars in a decaying orbit, GPS satellites, and all kinds of space junk float above it — and a boot.

And from that boot a scissors-shield extends.

Those bursts of a billion scissors that come by, now and then, are harmlessly repelled. Only a few dozen get through.

“Those are my shoes,” brags Mr. Brown’s daughter Susan, of Sussex, and she stares up at the booty glimmer in the sky.

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