The Witch’s Revenge – M Cobbett.
The old woman stood staring out of the window at the blackening sky. A storm would hit soon, and it would be a bad one, but not as bad as ‘that’ one, the one that happened many, many years ago. There had been bad ones since but none as bad as that one, and today would be the last day she’d have to worry about tornadoes because today she was selling the farm to a property developer. She was going to move north, away from the inhospitable southern weather.
Where was that attorney? She was supposed to be here by now, and then Dorothy would leave and would never be seen in Kansas again, all that stood between her and retirement in a green and pleasant land, was this one stupid woman and the papers she had to sign.
Dorothy wrung her hands, then far out on the main road she saw the dust kicked up by a car headed her way. It swung down the little dirt path toward her house, and soon she could see the occupant.
The car skidded to a halt. The attorney near jumped out the car and slammed the door with such ferocity Dorothy took a step back from the window, then she turned, and Dorothy could see her clearly for the first time. She had what was probably long hair, straw-coloured tied at the nape of her neck in a bun, and loose strands played around her face in the quickening wind. She was slender and wore a black suit, and strode toward the house with more purpose than the sale afforded, and Dorothy thought she was a tad familiar, like someone she had known a long time ago but could no longer place.
In moments the attorney was opening the screen and banging on the door ‘hard’. Dorothy called out that she was coming and made her way to the door as quickly as her creaking bones would take her.
As she opened it, the attorney had turned her back, and turning around, removed her dark glasses as she did so. She greeted Dorothy as ‘Elzeba’ and shook her hand, smiling broadly a smile that did not touch her eyes. Eyes that wore green eyeliner, on green eyes, catlike eyes, and though Dorothy didn’t much like it, she invited Elzeba in.
Elzeba sat on the edge of a kitchen chair as if it would contaminate her but continued to smile broadly. She fingered the papers in her hands and fumbled with them slightly, which made Dorothy wonder why if the big leather gloves were so cumbersome, she didn’t remove them, but Elzeba didn’t.
Elzeba chatted lightly about the sale and asked about Dorothy’s plans, and it caught Dorothy that this was no local girl, so she commented.
She saw Elzeba’s hand stay for a moment, and the smile left her lips, while she was again struggling with the papers. Eventually, Elzeba looked up
“I’m from Oz,” she said lightly, and suddenly the sky turned a threatening shade of black, and it felt like it engulfed the room.
“Oz? And do you know Galinda?”
“Oz is a huge place.”
“Yes, I remember.”
“Oh, you’ve been there?”
“Yes, once many years ago.”
“Where did you go?”
At that, Dorothy could see Elzeba was confused.
“I’ve never heard of it—I’m from Melbourne myself.”
Elzeba took the papers, handed them to Dorothy and asked her to sign where she had marked with an ‘x’.
Dorothy took the papers, her hands unsteady. She took her reading glasses from the side table, not that they were of much use, and it was clear Elzeba was getting impatient. She took the pen Elzeba offered, and where Elzeba now pointed, Dorothy signed.
Elzeba stood abruptly and laughed or rather cackled out loud, and clapping her gloved hands together two human-sized monkeys with wings appeared at Dorothy’s sides.
“The papers you just signed give me the right to take you back to Oz to stand trial for the murder of Elpheba, the Witch of the West and Nessa, the Witch of the East.”
She ordered the monkeys to seize Dorothy, and at that moment, the tornado struck and took Elzeba, and Dorothy back to the land of Oz.