A shallow earthquake slides a California town full of bigots into Mexico. The Mexican mayor of the town across the border declares the Americans "drybacks" and won't let them leave. The two countries verge on war.
The small towns of Hinchville, CA, and La Lacrimosa, Mexico, dispute ownership of a small strip of land on the border between them. When an earthquake causes a bizarre landslide, and several of the houses in Hinchville end up in La Lacrimosa's town square, the minor dispute becomes an international incident.
The Mexican mayor turns the tables on the Americans by forcing them to perform domestic work for meager wages, while the mayor of Hinchville tries to figure out how to get his house back to California. When rumor of an airborne chemical weapon manufactured in the Mexican town reaches the U.S. State Department, military forces for each country assemble on the border, preparing for a potential conflict. But the longer the Americans stay there, the more they come to realize they have more in common with the Mexicans than they originally expected. But can they avoid military action?
word count: 37733 which is equivalent to 150 standard pages of text