More…ah, you know.

Although we’ve met Elmira before, I’m not sure you remember what I told you about her. She was rather creepy looking, even as she was influential in the town. She had very few teeth, and most people don’t realize how important teeth are to keeping spit inside one’s mouth, for when Elmira got on a real tear, she could spray and foam like a sprinkler system on turbo-speed, which meant during council meetings, if it was her turn to talk, everyone sat in the back.
This didn’t make her a bad person, however. Looks aren’t everything (as they say!), and despite some bad decisions in her life (like taking a hoe and killing a dog and then lying about it), she was generally rather nice. She was on the council because she wanted the same things most people want for their towns: parks, good schools, parking, and a decent income for everyone.
She also knew how scary she looked, and how she intimidated people, and so she tried, at least on first impressions, to talk slowly and softly. The problem was, it was too easy to get her into a temper.
She wasn’t in a temper when she answered the door, but she did recognize the three men, and she felt a little twist of dread in her stomach.
“Can I help you?”
“Hullo, Miz Goolch,” said Mapleface. He doffed his hat and bowed his head slightly. A little respect wouldn’t go amiss. “My friends and I would like to speak to you about a financial issue. May we come in?”
“HOE!”
With a look of pure horror, Tweak jammed his elbow into Chunk’s ribs.
“He meant ‘hello’, I’m sure. You have to forgive him. He’s a bit slow.”
Elmira narrowed her different-colored eyes at Tweak, then turned back to Mapleface.
“You’re here about the dog, aren’t you?”
Mapleface saw no point in pretending. “We are. We wanted to discuss something with you regarding…er, the disposal…of Utoh.”
Elmira shrugged to herself. She supposed she should have expected this. They more than likely wanted her to pay for burying the animal, and that was a fair request. She stepped aside and motioned for them to come in.
“Surprised I didn’t hear from you sooner,” she confessed. “But let’s talk about it like civilized people, with some tea and cakes. No need for every popinjay on the street to hear our business.”
“CAKES!”
“At least he’s quit saying ‘hoe’,” Tweak observed.
“HOE!”
“You know better, Tweak. You really do.”
“HOECAKES!”

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