Everything in what once was a KFC was shattered. Even the ice cube and soft drink dispenser. “Ain’t seen a twister like that since Dorothy left Kansas in ’39,” Old Man Lahr said. “Must be witches about.”
He was standing with am EMT, who actually arrived after the FEMA helicopters because electronic communications were went down with the electric lines, surveying the damage from the storm-made promontory at the west side of town.
“Doubt that. It’s March. Witches usually work their mischief in October. Gale’s folks were counting hatchlings, as I remember. That’d make it Spring.”
“My memory ain’t what it used to be. All I know is, I never had the courage to leave my basement often enough to get to know my neighbors. Can’t give you any names to go with all them bodies.”
“So that medal you got in Oz….”
Lahr pulled a piece of bronze tied to a striped piece of taffeta from under his tee-shirt. “A ribbon and a hunk of metal don’t make a man. Sure am glad Dorothy moved to Ohio. Made it easier to hide the truth. Okay, I do recognize one person they identified as a kid. A Munchkin named Chip.”
The EMT wiped some soot off his face and tried the biker bandana around the lower part of his face. A steady breeze was whipping up mini-swirls through the littered streets. “This place had lots of kids.”
“Only seems so. Most of the little ones is illegal Munchkins. The young families left a long time ago. Silicon Valley. Sun Belt. One guy went to Philadelphia to find work, Chip said. He’d bring doughnuts. We’d play chess. Don’t know who’ll look after me now. Glinda bein’ crushed by the house. I’m all alone.”
“Could be witches about, then,” the EMT said.