Friday, April 8, 2011

On Mayhem: For Whom the Heart Bleeds

I'm part of a fun, interesting project called Dorothy: Locked and Loaded, which is - in creator Scott Meek's words - the serialized, collaborative novel effort of five writers, each of whom will play a very specific role within the story of the return to Oz of "Dorothy". Only this time, it is not "Dorothy Gale" of the original; it is "Dot", her granddaughter, who grew up listening to the wild and hardly believable tales of her grandmother's adventures in the land of Oz.

What fate awaits our heroine in an Oz that has evolved, or dare we say "devolved", over the course of fifty years? What new or old dangers lurk? What has been the fate of Dorothy's old companions? Will they still be there to help the newest stranger in the land? Will they be who she's always heard they were, or have they changed? And was it for the better?

Stay tuned and find out right here as Dot, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion, as well as your faithful narrator, tell the story of "Dorothy: Locked & Loaded". Toto is a little more lethal than he ever was, but this isn't Kansas or your grandmother's Oz!

Here's the beginning of my latest installment, posted today:

I thought that they could never die. That’s what I was told. That no one in Oz ever dies.

It was a lie.

Scarecrow sat by my side while I was on the throne. While I was Emperor of the Winkies, he traveled with me, chattering ceaselessly, reciting poetry he learned from his professor friend. What I wouldn’t give to have him here with me, now, on this lonely road to the Emerald City. For these are hills familiar to him, forests deep and known, and I should know them, too, but my head is filled with nothing, with dust rising in a wind of thought, of need, my mind dusty and rusting and turning on itself.

This was the road we took to find her. To find my Nimma, my rose, my love.

But then, she was called Nimmie Amee.

I pause on the edge of a forest, eyeing the trees shivering in the fading pink light of dusk. Leaves turning over, silvered, offering themselves to a coming rain. I have to get out of the open, under cover, before it comes. Ignoring a groaning that rises either from the wind through the trees or my own aching throat, I start toward the dim, the depth, the held breath of the forest.

My steps echo on the flaking brick road, bounce off the trees and back to me, bounce off the tin that is me and back to the trees. We are playing, the trees and me. Calling out, step step step. Knock knock knock. Tik tock. Tick tock.

The trees are reaching arms and gnarled grey bark faces. Maybe it’s my tired eyes, my rising mind, but they seem to yawn and snarl, to eye and scorn me. Last time they punished us for Dorothy’s collecting their fallen fruit. They were hateful and scorned. But that was then, when our world was different, before my empire of shining tin crumbled into dust and ruin.

What's the Tin Man's deep, dark secret? How many beating hearts did he carry in his metal chest?

No comments:

Post a Comment