Until that electrified instant, that explosive moment with us standing there with our goofy grins in front of all those people who came to tell us goodbye, I would never have condoned punching a woman in the nose. But, since it was a teenage girl who delivered the blow and this woman had it coming to her, I guess it was okay.
One minute the woman, all dressed in white with sparkly bling draped down her floor-length gown like icicles on a wedding cake, was standing there with that self-satisfied smirk on her face, and the next she’s in mid-flight backwards, her hands up like she’s going to catch a beach ball and her stripper heels sailing over her head in different directions.
She rocked around several times in that giant lamp shade of a gown with her legs in the air dangling like the ringer in a bell.
The crowd immediately got silent, which is saying something considering all those people were cheering and roaring just before the punch. I could hear her crown rolling around on the stage like the wheel off a wrecked horse cart. The spell was broken when the woman’s shoes hit the ground. Thump! Then thump!
We’d been through a lot. Pretending to help the girl return to her home country, the woman and that con artist boyfriend of hers had deliberately set us out on a grueling expedition where our lives were in peril at every curve in the road. We’d been attacked and trampled by wild animals, set on fire on one occasion, drugged near to death, tormented with death threats from a psychopath and even kidnapped and tortured by said psychopath who swore she was going to kill us all by the most horrible means possible. We only escaped because the girl killed the psychopath. So, it’s easy to understand the girl’s fierce reaction when she realized that the woman had sent us on a fool’s mission to cause the death of her political competitor. We trusted her, and she used us!
“Dorothy you’ve had the power to return to your home all this time,” the woman said. “Just click your heels three times and say ‘There’s no place like home.’”
Dorothy looked stupefied. We all were.
“That’s it?” Dorothy asked.
I can still see the woman’s self-satisfied smirk.
“I could have done that all this time?” Dorothy asks.
“You knew this all along!” Dorothy shouted, but it wasn’t a question.
You’d think a woman with magical powers would’ve seen that right cross coming, but apparently, seeing the future was not among her special skills. Call me brainless, but even I could see that punch coming.
“Where’s that wizard?” Dorothy said, shaking out her hand. I could tell this wasn’t over.
Michael Gigandet is a lawyer living on a farm in middle Tennessee. He has been published by the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Reedsy, Spelk Fiction, OrangeBlushZine, Transfigured and Potato Soup Journal. He has published stories in collections by Palm Sized Press, Pure Slush and Down In The Dirt.