Things were quiet for a day or so, but the kind of ominous quiet that portends bad things. I looked out the back door while I waited for Toto to finish crapping in the neighbors' rose bushes. I could see Little Miss Manners next door watching from her window, ready to bust her fat little gut, but she was too afraid of Glinda to do anything.
"Hey, wimp, grow a set of balls," I yelled at her across the yard.
The shutter flew shut with an audible snap, and then I could hear her shouting at her husband. What a lame-ass.
Toto was done, so I whistled him in and closed the door on the high-pitched hausfrau. Poor hubby! maybe I'd pop by sometime when the missus wasn't around and offer him a little neighborly comfort...
I turned and nearly bumped into Glinda. I jumped nearly a foot; she'd been out cold in front of the magic ball—which got great reception, by the way—when I'd gone to let Toto out.
"What the hell were you doing?" Her voice, which used to be high and clear as a bell, had first gone smoky, and then deeper still, until she sounded like she'd been gargling with Draino. "Were you flirting with that guy next door?" She took a brutal drag on her cigarette. "Because those Munchkins are not that well built. Take it from me."
That really pissed me off. I dragged a hand through my hair, which did massive damage to my spiky, cheeky 'do, by the way. Which pissed me off even more. I'd paid good money—actually, not money, in so many words—for that haircut, and for the chocolate-cherry color that went on it.
"That is so totally over the rainbow. I was bitching out that stupid little cow next door. And how the hell do you know how Munchkins are built? You said you'd never been with a Munchkin when we got together. So when ... "
My voice trailed off as I realized the implications of what I was saying. "You Jezebel! Have you been cheating on me behind my back? What the hell is wrong with you?"
Glinda smirked. "I can't help it if you're gullible, kid. Make me a batch of daiquiris. And this time, don't spit in the rum."
I stood blinking at her scrawny form. She looked more like Hymen the drag queen than Good Witch Glinda. What was it that made drunken old women invariably chose dingy satin with molting feathers? Before I could answer myself, there was a knock at the front door. Glinda looked back and glared at me. "If it's those fuckin' Munchkins again, tell 'em to get the hell off my property before I turn them all into toads or mushrooms or something. I hate those little pricks."
She went in and sat down on the couch with a huff of anger.
She'd lost a slipper on her way through the house, and looked ridiculous, smoking skinny cigars in an emerald green holder, drowning in a grimy satin robe with a big skirt and feathered neckline and sleeves. She was kicking her slippered foot back and forth like she was wishing someone's ass was in front of it. The slipper, one of those puffy donkey ones, looked like it was going to jump to safety any second. Feathers were floating through the air in tempo with her kicks.
"Really, Glinda, can't you just lighten up for once?"
She didn't answer. I sighed and went to the door.
There was nobody there. I was turning to go back in when someone hissed at me from the bushes. "Psst! Turn the porch light out—I can't afford to be seen here. But I have important news. Can I come in?"
I looked back at Glinda, that two-timing bitch, and then shrugged. "Sure, whatever." The hausfrau was looking out her window again, so I flipped her the bird and then hit the light switch on the wall as well, so the living-room was plunged into darkness.
I heard a thump and a muffled, "fuck!" and winced. Glinda must have been in the middle of crossing the room when I turned out the lights. A small figure slipped by me, and I shut the door and hit the light switch.
The little man looked more like a mole than a Munchkin. He blinked and shuffled in the light. "I . . . . "
There was another thump, followed by another muffled curse. We both turned to see Glinda rubbing a shin, while balancing a lit cigarette and a pitcher full of daiquiris. The end table was now a banana bush. Damn! I liked that table. When Glinda got to the couch, she dropped down on it hard, and glared at us.
"I represent the Society of Snitches and Sell Outs," said the Munchkin.
"What the hell do you want?" Glinda had decided to be her usual charming self. "Its three o'clock in the morning, dammit."
Actually, it was about nine-thirty, but I didn't bother to tell her that.
"Well, I have a song, and everything." He cleared his throat, but before he could sing a single note, Glinda cut him off.
"If you just came here to exercise your pipes, you can get right the hell out of my house, half-pint. I've got better things to do."
"No, no," he said hastily. "I've come here with an important message, oh Glinda, Good Witch of the North."
"What's that, tiny?"
He coughed into his hand, one of those polite, not-really-a-cough kinda coughs. Glinda rolled her bulgy eyes and reached for her bag. She pulled out five bucks and handed it to the Snitch. He looked at it, looked back at Glinda, whose face could curdle milk, and decided five was enough.
"The Guerilla Guild has put together a plot to overthrow you, Glinda the Good. The Malcolm Order, the Lolly Pop Guild, the Lullaby League and the Castro Commissars are committed, and we think the Stalin Society and possibly the Fascist Funsters are about to sign on."
"The Munchkins? Think they can overthrow me?" To our amazement, she burst into laughter.
It took her nearly a minute to get herself back under control. Her laughter sounded like a rusty chainsaw, and she didn't stop until it triggered a coughing fit. Sounded like she was ready to hawk up a lung. Then her face changed and she looked at the snitch and hollered, "get the hell out of my house, you lying sack of shit!"
He blinked and stepped back, then looked fearfully at the door. "But ... but ... "
"Brag about your butt on your own time, shorty." She pointed an imperious finger his way and magic sparked off the tip. Snitchy made his decision. Glinda in his face was scarier than whatever might be waiting for him outside. He flung the door open and rushed out onto the porch, then stopped, trying to figure out which way to go. In that second he paused, a shot rang out from the dark, and Snitch's head exploded all over the deck.
Glinda stood and walked over to survey the mess sourly. "Go out there and clean that shit up. And get my five bucks back while you're at it."