Genre: MG Super-Villain Thriller
Word Count: 41,000

When your Dad’s an evil genius, life can be weird. But when he gets abducted and the kidnappers demand a super-weapon that can vaporize the entire city, weird turns to suck really fast.
When your Dad’s a cackling super-villain, you get some pretty weird stuff for your birthday. Like when I was six, he gave me a butterfly knife. And when I was ten, he gave me a Universal Remote Detonator. It’s one of those universal remotes you can point at any electronic device, except instead of turning it on it blows it to smithereens. And last year, he gave me a laser torch disguised as a tube of lipstick. Only I didn’t actually know that and almost melted my face off when I tried to put it on. So I really didn’t know what to expect today.
“Open it, Fiona!” Dad beams, stroking his pointy little goatee. He does that whenever he’s pleased with himself, and somehow that makes me even more nervous.

Hesitantly, I pull off the lid to find…a lighter?
I breathe a sigh of relief. No live grenade, no mutated anthrax. Just a normal, non-insane gift.
“Thanks Dad.” I beam. “I love it.”
“No, no, no. That’s not your gift. That’s just part one.” His grin is so wide it fills up his entire face.
“What do you mean?” I say.
“Oh, I could just tell you. But why tell—when I can show!” He pauses for dramatic effect, puffing up his chest before announcing, “To the weapons laboratory!”

As I watch him scamper off cackling like a hyena, I can only think “Oh, God. No good could possibly come of this.”

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