‘Cupid’s Day in Oz’ by Deb Hoag

The first time I saw Glinda, she was a tall, cool blonde with a big wand. And she was using it to zap Nessa, the Wicked Witch of the East.

I fell in love in a big way, but Glinda insisted I was too young for her, so she gave me a pair of shoes and a job—collecting on a gambling debt from Oz, the big kahuna in these parts.

When I was finally legal, I went back to Glinda and showed her a few tricks the Munchkins had taught me. They’re called that for a reason, you know.

Glinda and I have been together ever since.

Lately, though, we’d both been busy with our own interests—her with building a better bubble, me with online shopping.

So I was a little surprised when she invited me to dinner in the Emerald City for Cupid’s Day. “He’s really an asshole,” she said. “I don’t know why he’s got a day and I don’t.” She nursed a banana daiquiri and sulked. “Glinda Day. We could pass out bottles full of bubbles to the kids—I mean, to the Munchkins. I could totally see it. And bubbles don’t rot your teeth,” she finished on a triumphant note. “So, what do you say, kid?”

For a second, I thought she was asking me what I thought about Glinda Day, then I realized I’d never accepted her invite.

I smiled graciously, and hoped she wouldn’t make me pass out petitions for a holiday in her honor. “I’d love to.”

* * *

Everything went great until Nessa showed up. Nessa was a curvy green goddess of a witch, and she ruled in the east. A few years ago, Glinda had zapped her with her wand, then blamed it on me and my house. The zap caused a tiny bit of permanent memory loss on Nessa’s part. I got a new pair of sparkly kitten heeled pumps for keeping my mouth shut, and really, other than a little smoke that drifted out of Nessa’s ears from time to time, she was fine.

As Nessa walked across the room, I sneaked a look under the table to make sure I wasn’t wearin the pumps, just in case. Then I gave her a bright smile and a wave. “Hey, Nessa! How’re they hanging?”

Nessa had had a little augmentation done recently, and she smiled smugly and wriggled a little. “If they were hanging any higher, they’d be filled with helium, cute stuff. Wanna meet me later and bounce my balloons?”

Glinda gave her a sour look and turned one of the waiters into a mushroom. Diners eyed us nervously.

Nessa pretended to be surprised. “Oh, Glinda! It’s you. I thought Dorothy had finally got her Auntie Em to come for a visit.”

Glinda was swinging her foot like she wished someone’s ass was in front of it. Zap! Another waiter only good for putting into a Cuisinart. At this rate, we’d never get dinner. “Toady! I would have recognized you anywhere, if I could have seen you over your cleavage. I hope your plastic surgeon doesn’t charge by the pound.”

I started easing my chair away, just in case. Nessa really hates it when Glinda calls her Toady. And, really, she’s not that green. Nessa’s pretty emerald eyes turned to me so I tried to act casual. I’d been turned into a cabbage once, and I didn’t like it one bit. “Did I tell you I got a new wand, Dorothy? It’s a really, really special wand.”

I swallowed. “No, Nessa, I don’t think you did. What’s so special about it?”

Glinda looked at the wand suspiciously. “Yeah, Toady, what’s so special about it?”

Nessa gritted her teeth and ignored Glinda. “It vibrates.”

“It vibrates?” I said, totally not getting why anybody would want a vibrating wand.

She smiled. “Let me show you.” Nessa pressed a button in the handle of the wand, and there was a soft hum. She reached out and took my hand, and rapped it around the shaft. I could feel the wand thrumming with power. It felt … nice. Really nice. Nessa guided my hand up and down the wand for a few passes, and gave me a suggestive look. “Now imagine what two girls like us could do with that, Dorothy,” she said in a breathy voice.

I could imagine.

Unfortunately, so could Glinda. There was another Zap! And Nessa dropped like a rock. Glinda surveyed her casually and kept swinging her foot.

“If I don’t get our appetizer soon, I’m gonna make my own out of the mushrooms that suddenly seem to be taking root in this lame-ass establishment,” she said to no one in particular.

From the kitchen, I saw some poor shmucky Munchkin get pushed out the door by his fellows, bearing a plate of cheese sticks. He tried to get back into the kitchen, but the crafty bastards blocked the door. Shaking, he held up the plate and walked over to our table, skirting around two mushrooms and Nessa to do it.

“Here is your appetizer, Madame,” he said.

Glinda surveyed the tray and frowned. “That pitcher of daiquiris was about a six pack short, pal. Bring me another one.”

While we were munching on cheese sticks, I gave Nessa an experimental nudge with my foot. “She looks pretty out of it.”

Glinda shrugged. “She’ll be fine. So will the mushrooms, as long as nobody mulches them in the next … oh … twenty-four hours or so.”

“You’re pretty hot with that want,” I conceded. “I like it when you zap people. It makes me juicy.”

“And you’re just pretty zappin’ hot. Wanna go to the wand shop later and see what they have?”

It turned out to be a pretty smokin’ Cupid’s Day after all.

And the floor show wasn’t bad, either.

from Queer & Loathing on the Yellow Brick Road by Deb Hoag (due out May 2012, Dog Horn Publishing, £12.99):

Dorothy isn’t the happiest of girls. Kansas is pretty damn boring, her aunt and uncle are hicks, and it seems she doesn’t much belong. But when her shed gets picked up by a cyclone and dropped in Oz, things begin to get interesting.

There’s this broad called Glinda who’s taken more than a bit of a liking to her, and perverted munchkins who run a tabloid newspaper full of green celebrity snatch. There’s also Ozma, who runs Oz’s only transgender helpline—and who is toe-curlingly hot by the way.

Between silver shoes and matching purses, politics and dildos, lesbian witches and wizards with gambling debts, Dorothy must find her way home (wherever that might be)—and figure out who really makes her heels click.

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Filed in Stories on April 1, 2012