Peace, success, and total satisfaction–at least on the outside, and that's what matters in Denleighton. These idyllic neighborhoods were the first residential Realm of the Gri'x: a place for folks who haven't quite worked out how to generate and maintain their own personal planes, but have more than enough energy and resources to get close enough and make an impression on anyone who might be watching.
If you enjoy lavish displays, Community Association handbooks, and secret derangements–or, perhaps, upsetting those who do–Denleighton is for you. As you admire the grandeur of twisting blocks and endless rows of perfectly landscaped homes, you never know who's peering back at you from behind the tinted windows, wondering what you've got that they don't.
INTERVIEW WITH CARL AND DARLEENA DARMINSTER-BILKENHAUS, DENLEIGHTON RESIDENTS REVIEW COMMITTEE
Darleena: Hi, good morning, you're right on time. And that's one point for you... (marks paper on clipboard) So, let's take a look at your application forms. Now, I don't see a check here, have you already submitted the fee–
Carl: Ha ha, no, Hon, they're not potential residents. They're here for the tour guide write-up, remember?
Darleena: (pause) Oh. Well. (Sets clipboard aside) What exactly is it that you need from us? I have a wine-tasting in forty-five minutes.
Carl: Ha ha, isn't she a pip? I'm such a lucky guy. Let's head out to the front. Just look at this neighborhood! Nice big lawns, perfectly maintained, not a single bush or tree out of place, everything's been planned out for maximum aesthetic value.
Darleena: Stay on the path, please. I'm sure you can smell the roses from here. Don't touch them. They're very sensitive. Very expensive.
Carl: Sure are. Here in Denleighton, you won't find any of those mongrel plants, we can only grow the best of the best. This Realm is for citizens who've made it to the top, and we take pride in how well we guard against letting any sort of chaotic riff-raff bring down our frequency.
Darleena: This is a good neighborhood.
Carl: Yes, indeed! Our streets and noses are always clean! Have you ever seen so many beautiful, stately mansions? Each and every one of them chock full of the greatest products available.
Darleena: Kathee Houghton just bought an original Dieter Mannywann landscape. It's so big it takes up the whole east wall in their second living room. She wouldn't stop bragging about how much she paid for it at brunch last week. Carl, we need to see if Mannywann is taking commissions. I want one bigger than the Houghtons'.
Carl: Of course, Pumpkin. We deserve it. Hey, how about a mural in the whole foyer? That would definitely one-up the Houghtons.
Darleena: Hmmm...but how would we get it in there?
Carl: You don't have murals delivered, Sweetie, you have the artist come and paint–
Darleena: Ugh! No. Absolutely not. I'm not having some scruffy artsy-fartsy slop in my home for everyone to see. Tracking their dirty shoes across the carpet. Using our bathroom! Carl, no. Just no.
Carl: Ha ha, okay, Hon, okay! No murals! We'll figure something else out. You know, I could do it myself, I used to be quite the artist back in–
Darleena: Really, Carl? REALLY? Right here in the boulevard? We agreed never to speak of that again. Come on, let's show them the parks. My homeopath says that nature is restorative to the soul. Now, these are officially sanctioned recreation areas, so all the playground equipment is sanitized daily, and rules are clearly posted at every entrance.
Carl: Even perfect wood chips, custom-whittled by the best designers!
Darleena: Right. And even though there is a lot foliage, plants are NOT allowed to just grow any which way. We have people for that. They come every night to trim, prune, and weed the entire plots. Any developing portals to Twis'tangle or Tarnation County are shut down, pronto.
Carl: True, true. We can't always control what happens at the edges of the Realm, but we sure do spend a lot of energy on maintenance. Lots and lots of energy. Nothing weird or random ever happens here. At least, not that we can see. Most of the neighbors keep their drapes shut. In the unlikely event that something odd is threatening to interfere with the permitted frequencies, we have committee-appointed counselors to perform evaluations and prescribe a course of action, up to and including eviction.
Darleena: It's a good neighborhood. And it's going to stay that way. We're very happy here, aren't we, Carl?
Carl: Ha ha, of course, Muffin! It's perfect. We're happy. Very...very...happy... (sighs)