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"I've stolen their jewels!" she shouted, dancing around the fire. "I've stolen them and they will be hard pressed to get them back!"
Clink, clink went the diamonds and rubies and emeralds and sapphires inside the pouch she had tied around her waist. Millions of beautiful stones clinking away in the darkness of her magic bag.
She imagined all of them just pouring into their mirrors, mascara running down their cheeks and into their blush.
"El-oh-el!" she shouted and her cackle echoed far off through the woods. She skipped and danced clockwise, then counterclockwise, then began to sing:
O long, long ago,
The two spirits, you knowe,
Were powerfulle magicians!
They could feel like ladies
And see like men,
Interpret dreames and visions!
But oh, howe their magic's been loste!
Buried beneathe the Crosse!
And nowe the shamans are tainted!
Rude and selfish and painted!
And now advice is ad and vice!
And now the healers hawke merchandise!
The love's been lusted!
So fewe to be trusted!
In control of the Earth!
Bringing deathe, not rebirth!
Thank goodeness for Rainbowe Greenestripe!
She's stolen their crowning jeweles!
And now their crownes are barren!
And now their crownes mean nothing!
"Wow. You're kind of being a jerk about this, Rainbow," said Grenwald Toad, the witch's pet. He was shivering next to the fire in his white rabbit skin onesie, his little green face turning blue between the two floppy lifeless ears. "And referring to yourself in third person? And what was with all those extra schwas? Pretentious, if I do say so, Rainbow. Definitely not your best. Can we go inside now? I'm freezing!"
"Okay, okay," said Rainbow Greenstripe. "Let's call it a night then. We'll warm up with some cabbage rolls before bed. "
And the fire went out.
"...canticles... beautiful... mffuhfuh... billionaires... hmmpf... charity... zzzz... utopia..."
Rainbow Greenstripe's eyes jolted open just in time to see Grenwald's long, pink tongue roll back into his mouth. He was in his squirrel skin housecoat, sitting on the Bible that lay face down and open on the blanket.
"Wake up, Rainbow! It's almost noon and I'm hungry."
She groaned as she wiped the frog saliva from her eyelids with the back of her hand. "Oh my. I can't believe I slept so much, Gren."
"You were talking in your sleep again."
"Really? I was having the most wonderful dream..."
"It must have been the Jewel Recovery Spell - wiped me right out!" she said, yawning as she slipped into her midnight grass robe with the embroidered moonsilk flowers - made by a friend, she would often tell Grenwald.
And the frog's reply would be something fun and sassy like, "Is your friend Gautier?". Or "Work it, Rainbow! Castrate that couturier, dahhling!" Or. "Good morning, Beautiful, and make me a dragwitch!" Or "Ribbit." Or "Trés féminisme!"
It was an exquisite garment that had cost her nothing. It was priceless.
She danced robily around the modest burrow as she made omelets with and without flies.
Getting dressed was easy for a gal like her. She had one wig - a long, white, wavy thing that she wore down over her ears to soften the squareness of her jaw. She looked like her sister in it.
And she didn't see the point in too much makeup. She felt that most queens had that area covered and it felt very satisfying to represent another kind of woman - someone who might do a lot of gardening and attend a lot of plays. A librarian, perhaps. A woman who liked canoes and poetry. She enchanted with just a little foundation.
The thriftshop gray wool sweater with the brown beaver intarsia, her current pair of jeans, her beaded house moccasins, the practically bursting leather pouch tied safely around her waist, and her favourite necklace with the simple red tiger's eye pendant. She was ready for another cozy January day at home.
"Oh, Rainbow, you look like such a boring old snob!" teased Grenwald, who had shimmied into the jay feather tunic she had made for him after last summer's window incident. "And for God's sake,
do something about those brows."
"Nope. Not Gren today, sweetie. It's Lily. Lily Pads."
Weekly to do list:
- bring up more preserves from cellar
- make candles
- lunch with Endora?
- plan needs-based jewel redistribution program
- wax and shine broomstick
- reapply for student loan interest relief
- harvest shadowy ice lichen
- take clutter to goodwill
- brainstorm straight male/lesbian accessibility - engines? sports? sorority pillow fight scene?
- finish canvas
- troll for lol's on FB
- yoga ev
Her pencil froze mid-word. What was that noise coming from outside? She hoped it was just the squealing of winter wind, but she knew in her heart they had come.
"Lily. Nap's over. It's showtime."
As they clunked up the ladder in their big, black boots and matching black capes, the squeals became discernible, high pitched, whining voices.
"OH. MY. GOD. Can't we just forget about this bitch go back to L.A.? There's snow in my pump and my lashes are freezing together - all six pairs of 'em."
"Ugh. I know, right? I, like, literally have an icicle dangling from each nostril. Not cute."
"Put a biscuit in it, you two, or I'll cut your royalties from the show in half!" hissed a loud, authoritative voice. "Besides, we're here. Can I get an Amen?"
Lily leaped onto Rainbow's shoulder as she wiped the fog from the pane of glass with her glove.
"Oh my stars!" gasped Lily as she peered out into the yard. "Rainbow!"
Rainbow ducked her head and was amazed. Seven tall goddesses stood in front of the fire cauldron, each one draped in white velvet, fur lined, pom-strung, hooded cloaks with silver clasps that flowed down just above the calf. Oh, their matching heels! Oh, how their handpainted masks beamed into her soul! Oh, how the cold had frosted and sparkled the frames of their tiaras in the afternoon sun!
"Aren't you cold, ladies?" said Greenstripe as she and Lily stepped outside to greet them.
"Ha!" said the Queen of the Glamazonians, who stood in the center of the ravishing septet. "You'd be surprised how warm you stay under eighteen layers of pantyhose."
"How did you find me?" asked Rainbow. "Have you come to reclaim your jewels?"
"We tracked your phone with GPS. And no. We've come to apologize on behalf of Glamazonians everywhere. We realize now that we could not see beyond our own struggles. We're sorry, and we're committed to helping you create peace on Earth."
"Oh, no need to apologize," Rainbow replied. "So many stars play the rags-to-riches game and think they're finished as well. And in truth, you were quite an inspiration to me growing up, Your Highness. You still inspire me and so many."
They hugged before Rainbow continued.
"And if you really want to help, you can start by using your own voices to champion many different causes. Dancing, intoxication, fashion, and sex are fun, but there is much more going on in this world, and you all have the most beautiful minds and creativity to create profoundly positive change."
And the winter wrens exploded into chatter among the snow glazed branches. "Here, here, Queen! Here in the garden!" they seemed to say.
"I know what we can do to start today!" exclaimed the Queen of the Glamazonians. "We can have a Winter Wonderland World Benefit here tonight in your lovely garden, Rainbow!" Her wig held up to the cold real nice.
"What a beautiful idea," said Rainbow Greenstripe, feeling honoured. "If that's the case, let me invite some of my friends."
She lifted one of her legs and her queef-signal reverberated deep and loud throughout the frosty forest.
And suddenly, from what felt like all directions around that quaint clearing in the woods, there was the sound of crunching snow and breaking sticks, first from afar, then closer, until the spirits of the forest appeared; a black bear lumbered in from the east, a gray wolf dashed in from the west, a white rabbit bounded in from the north, a brown beaver waddled in from the south, and then an owl with feathers and spots of all these colours descended from above and perched on the roof of Rainbow Greenstripe's porch.
"Hello, ladies! Tonight we'll have a ball!"
So Rainbow and Lily, the Glamazonians, the bear, the wolf, the rabbit, the beaver, and the owl went down into the burrow to get ready for the evening's benefit. They ate and drank a little and made costumes out of whatever they could find and each thought about what kind of number she would do.
But the sun was so unusually warm that day that all of the snow outside melted while they were getting prepared. And so when they reemerged at around 11pm Rainbow said, "Well shit. I guess we'll just have to dance in the mud and puddles."
And with that, Rainbow untied her magic sack and with one great flourish, sent all of the jewels flying into the sky where they hung like stars and into the trees where they hung like Christmas lights on the soggy branches. Some of them even formed into pretty snowflake shapes! The moon worked her wonder and the dazzling set was complete.
A couple of the lesser Glamazonians ran an extension cord up out of the burrow and plugged in an old ghettoblaster. It was agreed that they would take turns playing dj.
The Winter Wonderland World Benefit was underway!
The wolf was up first. She was wearing a red Jessica Rabbit-esque evening gown and she just kind of prowled around the cauldron to saxaphone music, letting everyone know who was boss. She had gotten into the the blue eyeshade and one of her whisker follicles had been accentuated with a black eyebrow pencil to create a sultry Munroe.
It was really inspiring to see such a new queen portray such boldness. These masks were powerful.
A little chipmunk ran up and held an acorn out to her. And Luna accepted it humbly before tucking it into her bosom.
One of the Glamazonians went next. Not the Pimp-Queen Herself but one of the Hooker Underlings. She had turned her white velvet sleigh rider into a silver Santa baby . It was very prostitution-as-art.
She lipsynch'ed to a song from the queen's amazing Christmas album and it was a pretty tight synch.
She did this cool thing with her arms that suggested she might be a snowflake. It was beautiful and empowering.
In the denouement of the performance, she got too close to the fire and her plastic booty warped a little.
"Paris is Burning!" Lily shouted. Applause.
The beaver had had a few too many beers and her hilarious country cutie number suffered for it technically. As she held that twig between her teeth, drawing it back and forth over her scaly, washboard tail, her paw-stomping was way off beat from the rhythms of Dolly's "Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That." Indeed, the morning would be rough for Madam Iscleanerthanyourdam.
It was a good thing she was safe here with her sisters otherwise some buck-toothed brute might take advantage of her, get into her wood chopper, get her pregnant or maybe even worse.
Lily Pads was a showgirl so it was no surprise when she stepped into that warm glow in her Jay. Feather. Tunic., looked everyone in the audience in the eye, and said fiercely and matter-of-factly:
"No, really. Paris. Is. Burning."
Then the beats dropped and she vogued like a precious child from the legendary House of Greenstripe.
She was flexible, she was fast, she could do those bouncy moves that are really hard to do, and her long limbs threw flame after flame into EACH and every onlooker's soul.
"My grandbaby!" said the Queen in ecstacy. "Rib. It."
The smooth twinkle of the music began and the rapture that bound the group as one exhaled. A gentle euphoria fell over the listeners like the constant, calm, cascade of jewel-star light.
Eugenia, a Glamazonian, tiptoed barefoot through the softened tundra in a catsuit made of white velvet, her golden midriff, her thin shoulders, her collarbone shining slightly in the temperate rainforest hearth.
Her dark hair fell in humid, careless rivulets to kiss her breasts as if nothing mattered but the sweet and sleepy notes.
It didn't matter that no one else knew Portugese. That's Tanto Tempo for you.
Lady Grand-Ours and Babette Galette hit it off right away. Those big girls tend to stick together, even if they belong to entirely different orders, families, and genera. Plus they both spoke French!
They did a delicious duet that they wrote themselves called "Beurre":
"Miam, miam!" sang the Glamazonian-guimauve.
"Miam, miam!" sang the bubbly bear.
The choreography was undeniably cute, what with their little arms happily windmilling in front of their perplexingly enormous bodies. They concluded the piece with faked heart attacks.
Everyone cheered. "You're fat with THREE ph's!" shouted Rainbow Greenstripe.
Meanwhile people starved to death overseas.
Maya Mariah Hexagon Threadgoode was a southern belle Glamazonian known for her breathtaking headpieces. In one tipsy afternoon she had created a huge, fur-ribbed, Heaven-hailing hive complete with a veil made of doilies that had been given to Rainbow by her grandmother.
Tree limbs trickled as she plodded around morosely to "Just Like Honey", her Hedwig hair combed to plantation princess perfection.
It was a solemn affair, and it brought to mind old secret lives of deeply betrayed lovers, of collapsing colonies, the ghosts of fruit.
A bellows filled with yellow glitter squeezed halfheartedly into a modified audience.
"Fucking drag queens..." Rainbow mumbled. "...getting glitter all over my yard, my outfit..."
Then Bunny Fukufufu hopped out from behind the meditation boulder in OMG - it was Grenwald's rabbit skin onesie!
Everyone almost killed themselves laughing as she hopped around with her two heads lolling - one real, one hanging from her shoulder, stuffed with velveteen and fur scraps and embellished with red button eyes.
When the guffaws subsided, she did a hauntingly beautiful lipsynch to "The Flower of Carnage", and move over turtles - mutant ninja moves were never so slow and graceful.
The moon radiated her approval upon the twins.
It was getting pretty late by now but there was still a handful of performances to get through. To everyone's relief, the two remaining lesser Glamazonians
and it was just marvelous. Everything from their hair to their nails to their shoes to their makeup to their dancing to their names to to their repurposed costumes was fantastically original. It was all so good, in fact, that it could have been the opener for a $100/ticket charity show on Broadway. It was outdated that these angels squandered their talent and creativity in seedy bars.
Moonlight, fire gazing, unseasonable weather, etcetera.
High on the foyer again, the owl shamaness stood naked save for a black buckled hat. The blazin' rap witch's scarlet saucer eyes flashed down at the crowd below:
"We can make it love
We can make it last,
We can pick 'em up
And shove ill omens
Up they ass WHAAAT!"
Then Twiggi Striggi convulsed and a large, tightly packed green pellet flew from her beak straight into the fire cauldron.
"Sir Greendown" began to curl from the speakers as the strange clouds enveloped the partygoers.
"Tax it. Once a week MAX it. 21 and OOOOVERRRRRRR!" said Twiggi, flapping.
When the smoke cleared, when the music stopped, and everyone below was thoroughly stoned, the owl convulsed again, but this time, instead of hacking up sativa, she turned into Rainbow Greenstripe!
"Hee hee hee!" laughed the old trickster. "Being a witch doctor sure is a hoot!"
Everybody was gobsmacked as they looked up with droopy eyes at Rainbow, who stood smiling next to the solar panels feeling quite pleased with herself. She wasn't naked but rather she was back to wearing the Gaga-esque ensemble made of empty toilet paper rolls that they'd all thought she'd be performing in.
Once Rainbow took her seat, it was time for the Queen of the Glamazonians to end the Winter Wonderland World Benefit. With renewed energy, the Queen boogied on up to centre stage in a recreation of the raiment she wore in the "Love Shack" video so many years before. Her afro jiggled regally as she grooved on up passionately a to a beat that only she could hear, one she would dedicate her life to in order to inspire generations to come.
"Remember, children: You're all stars, and cheap toilet paper is never a bargain. Now let's break it down!"
...and if a tree did the b-52 badger tranky doo dee-lite in the foxtrot forest would anybody hear the alicia keys skunk samba spin and fall florence above the freddy fandisco drag queen machine dishin' out the daft polka punk porcupine dutty wine with the deer who could-could not stop til they got enough of a conga cougar cakewalk twerk takin' over a marvin muskrat moonwalk mashed potato minaj woohoo lorde genius of love love a lambada limbo by the woodpecker whippin' a wren with a weasel waltz shakin' the cha-cha shack and a vole vogue...
Rainbow awoke in the early afternoon to the memory of sore feet, laughter, and jewel-stars dwindling in light of dawn. Had they fallen back to earth into homes of the poor as she had cast?
Was it all a dream?
She lifted her head and confirmed the epic mess that was her burrow. It looked as if there'd been drag queens there for a
She found two notes taped to her mirror:
Sorry to break it to you, kiddo, but those were rhinestones. - The Queen
Didn't want a sad goodbye. Will write from L.A. Love, Gren
She cleared a space in front of the mirror and rolled out her mat. This was how cried, letting the tears come and pass almost as soon. She was far from perfect and was sure of so little, but how could she wallow for long when still so much beauty reflected back at her?
She saw they saw she wouldn't go. She'd been planted inside a unique wilderness and she was determined to stay and scatter seeds there. There was fertile soil in every forest.
Just then there was a bang on the big baby's door.
It was the wizard.
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