TWISTED TAILS IV: Fantastic Flights of Fantasy
is overflowing with some of the strangest fantasies you’re likely to find on—or off this planet. Some of the works
presented here are fearsome, level five heart-stoppers and others are downright funny. All are twisted. Twisted in the manner
that only our convoluted cogitators...our warped, wonderful word-workers can provide.
What we prove in this collection is that it is
not necessary to venture off the mainroad to get a heavy dose of fantastic fantasy. Here we take it to the streets of the
everyday world, or close facsimiles of places we all live in...to locations and times familiar to all.
These books would not be complete without some input from K. L. Nappier and, trust me, she does it again. She
catches us looking the other way and throws us for an unexpected loop. But, hey, that’s just what these stories are
supposed to do or we couldn’t justify the Twisted Tails title, right? She reintroduces us to some young ladies we’ve
met before but perhaps have forgotten. Then she takes us down a path we all know from another context but has given it a few
new twists and wrinkles to keep us off balance. Wonderful stuff. Enjoy.
An Excerpt From K.L. Nappier’s
Sex and the Emerald City
When Goldi walked through the
double doors of the Yellow Brick Bistro, she was texting on her Blackberry with one hand and cupping the Blue Tooth at her
ear with the other. Dorothy waved her over with a flutter of fingers.
The cheek peck ritual was performed, lips barely
touching skin, then Goldi kiss-kissed in the general direction of Toto IV, ensconced in Dorothy’s handbag/dog carrier.
As if the day had been just too grueling to endure, Goldi flopped into one of the chairs opposite her friend.
"Thank Oz it’s Friday."
Dorothy tilted her head sympathetically. "Tough
"This bear market will be the death of me."
Dorothy cocked an eyebrow. "I’d think a
bear market would be right up your alley."
"Oo, witty." Goldi dropped her Blackberry into
her bag. "Just got calls from Glenda and Sno. They’re running a few minutes behind. We’re supposed to order for
The girls’ usual waiter, a squat troll,
was already approaching. Chest-high to the table top, he rested his fingers against the beveled granite edge and smiled.
"Ms. Gale," he greeted, then turned to Goldi.
"Ms. Locke. Always happy to see you both. The usuals?"
"Yes, please, Stilt," Goldi said. "If I
ever needed my usual, I need it after the week I’ve just had."
The waiter laughed appreciatively. "Two Ozmopolitans
coming up." He gave Toto IV’s chin a tickle, and the pooch wriggled with pleasure.
"Four," Dorothy corrected. "Ms. Goodewich and
Ms. White will be hear before the chill is off the glass."
Glenda and Sno arrived from opposite directions,
the wind suddenly gusting around them, and their faces brightened as if they hadn’t seen each other in months instead
of last Friday. They duck-hugged, and the wind followed them through the double doors. Sno’s step was so dainty she
practically twinkled across the lemon slate tile. Glenda’s no-nonsense glide was as confident as the day she and Dorothy
first crossed paths in the hinter lands of Munchkin.
Stilt, arriving with the Ozmopolitans -the pale
emerald cocktails glistening in martini glasses- joined the conversation. "With the season coming up, I thought you ladies
would have left the city."
The Blackberry in Goldi’s bag trilled. She
glanced toward it, but picked up her drink instead of the call. "Hear that, darling? That’s what keeps me tethered
24/7. It never stops. Where else in Oz could a city girl go and still stay connected?"
"I hear the North is lovely this time of year,"
Stilt said, "and that the Fall isn’t nearly as harsh as it is here."
Sno smiled up at the waiter, her face open, ready
to charm. "You’re a good one to talk, Stilt. The city’s half empty, but just like us, you’re still here."
"Well...perhaps some day," he replied, wistfully.
"But, this place...it keeps me busy, you know." He changed the subject. "Will there be anything else for now?"
"No," Dorothy said, "thanks, Stilt."
As soon as he was out of ear shot, Sno pressed
her hands to her face and groaned. "Oh, what an idiot! I’m sooo embarrassed."
Goldi waved away her friend’s distress.
"Don’t worry about it, honey."
"But that was so insensitive of me!" She looked
at Goldi. "Do you know that most of the people in the service industry can barely afford the rent in this city? It’s
true! I read an online column about it. So sad." Sno gazed in the direction of Stilt’s exit. "He wears a wedding ring,
you know. I’ll bet he tries to survive off his tips and lives in some tacky little sleeping room, so he can afford to
send his paycheck to his wife and children. Maybe he has aging parents to support, too..."
Goldi nodded in agreement, but not with sympathy.
Sno gasped and looked around her, even though
the bistro was almost empty. "Goldi! That’s so bigoted! And hypocritical. You’re an immigrant. I’m
"Not the same kind, darling."
"Of course you are. You’re a Grimmlander,
I’m a Grimmlander and I don’t know a single troll that isn’t a Grimmlander."
"Like you know so many trolls," Goldi retorted,
then added with a wink and a smile, "Of course, I completely understand why your sympathies lie with short, squat men."
Sno’s milky complexion pinkened. "Goldi!"
Dorothy chimed in, over the rim of her Ozmo, "Which
means, I suppose, if Stilt had the build of a Kodiak, you’d be meeting him after hours tonight?"
Glenda and Sno grinned at each other. "Oooo, snap!"
Goldi set her glass down thoughtfully and half-purred,
half-growled. "Mmmm. Don’t knock it till you try it. By the way, when was the last time you tried it, sweetheart?"
She made a show of peeking under the table at Dorothy’s shoes. "Maybe pastel socks with red slippers don’t stiffen
your scarecrow’s straw like they used to...?"
Sno and Glenda couldn’t hold back their
glee. "Ooooh, girl!"
Dorothy straightened her shoulders in mock offense.
"One does not mess with a successful trademark. I’ve made a mint off this footwear and its variations. Oh! That reminds
me, girls..." She dipped down, gave Toto IV a little scritch behind the ears,
then pulled out a manilla folder. "I want your
opinions on the latest model-in-progress. I call it Raging Ruby Lust."
Glenda, Goldi and Sno hunched over the table as
Dorothy opened the folder.
Goldi’s eyes widened. "Look at that arch!
Darling, it looks positively tortuous. Marvelous. How tall is the stiletto?"
Dorothy smiled and held up four fingers. Goldi
almost salivated. "Will the red and white knee socks come with them?" Glenda asked.
"Not included, but we’ll stock them in all
"Oh, the bow!" Sno chimed in. "That big, red bow
A chorus of phone trills interrupted, as
if the women’s cells were synchronized. They laughed at the coincidence and dived for their purses.