Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:17 pm
Current Obsession: Writing
Main Role: Fan
Wicked Rises Again Chapter 3
Just when I thought I could settle back into my old routine, things changed again the very next morning after breakfast. I was giving the Wizard his morning tip when I heard the doorbell ring at the front door. The sound echoed eerily throughout the castle, giving unpleasant chills down my spine. I wrapped my shawl tighter around me and went to see who my visitor was. With some difficulty, I managed to open the heavy door, and it slowly creaked open. There stood Lexi on the doorstep, and I remembered my plan. She smiled at the sight of me, and stepped in, uninvited of course. Lexi is not one of the most polite people one would come across. The door slammed shut behind her as she stowed her wand back into her bag.
"Awful morning it is, right Elphaba?" Lexi asked. She briskly started down the hallway, and I noticed the Wizard standing nearby. I sent him a 'code red, hide the others' signal I had never used before, but had trained him to recognize immediately, given there if were to be an emergency, I thought this was necessary. The Wizard nodded and sped off to obey my order. Fortunately, this went unnoticed by the Wicked Witch of the East.
"I love what you've done with the place," Lexi commented. I said nothing, just nodded and kept a fake smile plastered to my face in order to hide my panicking. She looked around, occasionally commenting on the drab paintings and unkemptness of the general place. Eventually though, she fell silent and simply walked with me. About halfway down the hall, however, she began to get impatient.
"How long is this stupid hallway?" Lexi demanded.
"This is why I have my broom with me at all times," I responded, already losing interest in the conversation.
She noticed my sudden boredom, and said nothing for the rest of the walk to my bedroom. I lit the candle on the nightstand by my bed and motioned for Lexi to sit down. She obeyed without question. I was about to set my plan into action when the Wizard walked in with a note in his hand. I carefully opened it, and recognized Glinda's handwriting.
Look before you leap there's a chance you might fall if you don't. Many people think that's not true, and there are dire consequences because they didn't listen.
I swiftly scanned the note and handed it back to the Wizard in the same minute. He bowed out of the doorway before Lexi could suspect anything. Glinda seemed persistent with getting her point across, so I decided to think it over. It seemed really mean to build her trust then take it away at the last second. It appeared to make more sense to find out what her eventual plans were, and if they contradicted mine, then I could follow through with my original plan. But if not...I tried not to think about that.
"So, what was that about? It seemed important enough to hide from me. Do spill the details, what's going on?"
She leaned forward in earnest, and I knew I couldn't simply tell her the truth, yet it looked unavoidable now. I thought back to last night, and skipped through the events backwards; starting at when I reversed the enchantment I put on Glinda I thought would help her. I rewound our conversation all the way back to when I convinced Glinda to talk when she stubbornly wouldn't, and an idea popped in my head.
"Well, now that we're working together, I think we both need to be honest with each other, and what I think will work best here is if you tell me what you're planning to do out on your own in Oz."
I gently spoke each word, not trying to sound forceful, but not extremely weak either. I could tell I was breaking down her defenses. Her confident air swirled into doubt and uncertainly, and she didn't seem quite as sure of herself as usual, but she didn't answer. She quickly stood up, and then crossed the room in seconds. She pressed her hand on a certain brick on the wall, and a door suddenly revealed itself. Lexi turned the handle, and the door slowly swung open, almost as if it didn't wish to be opened. A dark tunnel loomed ahead on the other side of my bedroom, and I hesitantly headed through it, the door slamming shut behind me.
"Lexi, are you there? Hello? Why won't this door open?" I felt through my surroundings, trying to find the handle. All I felt were smooth stone bricks and cobwebs with still-living spiders crawling up my arms. I ignored them and kept blindly searching for the door, when I tripped over a root and went tumbling though the air. The fall seemed endless, and I was sure everyone in Oz could hear my surprised and terrified scream slice the air in two.
"I'm telling you! I wasn't turned into a scarecrow! That was a disguise so I could meet Elphaba undetected!" I shook my head, listening to a faint sound that grew louder every moment: a drawn out scream of terror, getting increasingly closer by the second.
"Fiyero, what's that noise?" A second later, the low ceiling opened out to admit a falling Elphaba into the cramped prison. She immediately stood up and brushed herself off, glaring up at the closed trapdoor.
"You're going to regret messing with me, Lexi!" she cried, shaking a fist at the indifferent ceiling. Suddenly, she just realized she wasn't alone and swiftly backed into the wall in a defensive crouch, a force of habit.
"What the..?" Fiyero gazed at the trapdoor and mentally measured the height of the area, then realizing it was still too high, he sighed and sat on the ground, scratching cartoons on the wall with a stick he had found. I rolled my eyes at his inconsiderate nature.
"What happened? How did you get here?" I asked Elphaba, who had now straightened up and looked unhurt from the recent fall.
"Lexi tricked me, the bastard. I was almost ready to trust her too! By the way, I got your message. There's really no need for it anymore, we can't trust her. There is one thing we can do, though, to give us an advantage." I leaned forward in earnest, Fiyero dropped his stick. Elphaba smiled at both of us, and took a deep breath. The suspense was so high strung it was almost painful.
"I need you guys to spy on her for me. Now, here is what we're going to do." We listened intently to Elphaba's whispered plans, nodding and making suggestions every now and then. Fiyero did most of the talking, though. I think he understood Elphaba's powers more than I did, though I knew about it longer than him.
It was nearly midnight when the plan was official, and even then, I was still unsure of myself as I went over the complicated flying patterns Fiyero produced for Elphaba, and the complex spells everyone was depending on me to have perfected by morning. Instead of falling asleep, I remained awake and wondered what Boq was doing right now, and if he was worried about me and where I was. It seemed hours later when I finally fell asleep, leaving troubled thoughts for another day.
It seemed only moments later when I suddenly sat up and snapped out of the strange dream I was having. I was back at the Ozdust Ballroom, dancing with Fiyero. He gently held me like a gentlemen. We swung in time with the music, a soft ballad about true love in Emerald City on a warm evening in summer. As we danced, we talked a little. One part of the dream stood out clearly, though.
"Glinda, I would like to ask you something," Fiyero said as they turned again. I briskly glanced around the ballroom; we were alone.
"Go on," I said softly, cuddling closer to him. I closed my eyes, enjoying the moment.
"You know how you're married to Boq, right?"
I nodded against his chest. "Well, why did you marry him? Don't you still love me?"
Suddenly, the dream turned out to be a nightmare. I pulled away from Fiyero, and started for the exit. The door was locked. An elevator dinged behind me, and I took off running again. Fiyero's footsteps were following close behind me.
"You can't run from the truth!" he yelled after me as I ran on and on down an endless hallway, with posters on the dimly lit walls alternating between the faces of Boq and Fiyero, constantly asking me, "You love me, right? Don't you?"
I shook my head and tried to forget about the nightmare as Elphaba came over to her and quietly sat down with her spell book, intently concentrating on the ancient language. I took this time to observe her carefully. It may have just been my imagination, but did those dark eyes lose the slightest of their usual spark? Did her carefully composed expression lose a bit of that calm? As I studied her concentrating face, I began to wonder what she was thinking. I was about to ask when Elphaba suddenly slammed the book shut and stood up. Her tall frame towered over me and her long cloak swept around her body in one fluid motion from her shoulders to her ankles, leaving nothing but her high, pointed boots exposed to the weak lighting of the room. She hurriedly approached the exit, and I followed her without thinking. She came out into a hallway I had never seen before, but I didn't stop to look around, for Elphaba was already far ahead. Desperately, I ran after her, and nearly ran into her suddenly stock-still form.
"What do you want? I'm very busy right now, as you can see." Elphaba crouched over her spells and started muttering words under her breath. I stepped back a little and decided to watch the spectacle. A purple and pink glow began to engulf my vision, the color of a new dawn. Then it faded to golden amber before disappearing completely.
"I thought you could use an outfit change, since complications arose, making you unable to change this morning." Elphaba explained as I twirled around in my new sunshine dress, admiring the multiple shades of yellow and orange blending with white gingham checks faded just enough not to overwhelm the person viewing the bright colors. My shoes were no longer heels, but dusky orange ballet flats with white buckles. My hair was newly brushed and washed; the scent of vanilla was captured in my bouncy, shining curls.
"Thank you, Elphie. I greatly appreciate it." Suddenly, the dream came back to me in a flash, and remembered this was the outfit I was wearing in the dream. Elphaba seemed to notice the change in my expression, and stepped forward. I stepped back, unwilling to talk. She stepped toward me again, and I finally decided to give in and talk.
I woke up with a start, and realized at once that I was alone again. I stayed calm, though, and located the door, discovered it was unlocked, and opened it. Moments later, I was loping down the hallway, exploring. On my way, I came across a grand piano, and wondered if it was still in good condition. I gingerly brushed the dust off the keys before settling down to play a piece I had composed for myself a long time ago. As I reached the last few measures, I decided to dedicate the piece to my lovely fiancée, the only girl I ever loved. At last, the song came to a close, and the last note seemed to hand in the air and echoed throughout the castle, concluding the retold tale of love through music and a passion for the piano. I stood up and kept walking, my arms swinging casually by my sides. My worn leather shoes occasionally kicked up dust as I shuffled on the uneven ground, hinting at the fact that this ancient hideaway must be older than one could ever imagine. My thoughts were interrupted when I saw a golden light ahead of me, and I raced ahead to find out its cause. The light faded before I had gotten anywhere near it. I refused to be discouraged, and continued to charge forward, almost tripping over the broken stone beneath me. I came to a sudden halt, though, at the sound of Glinda's voice.
"Well, the dream was quite odd, but the point is I can't decide between the two of them. It's like trying to choose which arm you want cut off," she was saying as I ducked into the shadows. I leaped into a nearby closet before Elphaba's sweeping gaze could meet with my curious stare.
"Oh, I see. Did anything else in the dream stand out besides the posters and the hallway?" I heard Elphaba asked. Silence. Glinda probably just shook her head, I thought. I couldn’t stand not being able to see what was going on. Slowly, I turned the knob and burst out of the closet, and in the same moment, rounded the corner to surprise them. Elphaba rolled her eyes, while Glinda looked surprised and started to hand back Elphaba her big volume of spells and potions. Elphaba motioned her to wait, and stepped toward me. She smiled sweetly, and my heart skipped a beat in its rhythmic thumping and rattling in my chest.
"Fiyero, my darling. What are you doing here? Don't you remember the plan was for you to stay until I came to get you?" She lovingly caressed my cheek, and I trembled in delight, but managed to keep my composure and not start a random make-out session in front of Glinda. I saw, behind me, the sweet girl give me a long, sad look of longing before turning away. I ignored her, though I desired to rush to her side and comfort her at once. I resisted, though. Elphaba was waiting for an answer from me.
"I was looking for you because I didn't know where you went. Remember what happened last time you went off on your own, and look where we are now, in a bigger mess than a single one of us can handle on our own." I explained.
I looked over at Glinda in that moment, and noticed she was wearing an entirely new outfit. I gave her a puzzled look, but she simply smiled and pointed at Elphaba, then the spell book she was holding. I understood, and nodded affirmatively toward her. Elphaba ignored the exchange and went to take the book back from Glinda.
"Enough of these distractions. Let's see what this broom can really do..." She clutched tighter at her duffle bag, now bulky with the enormous spell book, and took off into the air, smoothly gliding toward the exit and out of sight. I stared after her for a long time, and then quickly gathered control. Glinda smiled uncertainly at me, and looked away again. Her eyes seemed faraway and distracted.
"Glinda? We should probably get going. Set up the radio communications so Elphaba can contact us in case there's an emergency," I suggested. I could hardly stand seeing her like this. Perhaps all she needs is a little distraction.
She suddenly snapped out of the trance and took off for the radio tower at once, leaving me alone for the second time that morning. Not to be outdone, I jogged through the castle in search of the Wizard, wondering if he ever had any free time when Elphie wasn't busy ordering him around. After about an hour, I finally located him up in the north tower that faced toward the Emerald City, quietly sketching on a notepad. I could see the morning was quickly turning into afternoon after a brief check at the window.
"Wizard?" He looked up and closed his notepad. Before standing up, he set down his drawing pencil on the windowsill. It rolled onto the floor with a clatter. He ignored it.
"Yes? Is she gone?" I nodded. The Wizard sighed in relief. Apparently, Elphaba has tortured him in her free time away from saving the oppressed animals. A lazy grin slowly spread over his face, giving the odd impression that he really obeyed Elphaba's harsh commands for his own personal, crazy reasons.
"Hey, do you have a real name?" I asked suddenly, mentally cursing myself for being so impulsive. The once Great Wizard of Oz sat down in surprise, and nearly knocked over a set of paints innocently sitting on the windowsill. Red, green and purple paint splashed onto the floor in little drops, giving a little life to the dull and colorless scheme of the cramped room.
"If I do, I can't remember, moreover, I don't wish to. It’s not important anymore, and frankly, it has been too long since I have been called D-I mean by my real name," he confessed quietly.
I didn't press the matter further, and just said nothing for a while. I thought back to two days ago, back when I thought it was still possible to be a free man. I skipped forward through the memories, and stopped on the moment when he overheard Glinda's conversation with Elphaba shortly before. I began to ponder her troubles, and wondered if she knew who was right for her. As Glinda's face appeared in my mind, paired with Boq's, my thoughts suddenly turned to Boq, now made into a strange man made of tin and without a heart.
"What is on your mind, my boy?" the Wizard asked loudly, startling me and causing me to upset the paints all over the floor.
The colors blended into a midnight black and swirled grimly around my feet, giving the impression I was surrounded by tar. I glanced up, and saw Elphaba at the window facing in the opposite direction, reciting a spell under her breath. I heard a squeak of shock come from the window; Elphaba had turned around and noticed the scene before her. She gritted her teeth in frustration and zoomed off again, her hair blowing behind her in the wind. The Wizard gave a confused look at me, but said nothing. He leaned back in his chair and twiddled his thumbs peacefully, lost in thought. Annoyed with his unassuming air, I stormed off and took the stairs two at a time, each time when I hit the ground; I imagined the Wizard's face under my feet. I finally reached the bottom, but before I took another step, I ran into Glinda.
"Oh! Fancy seeing you all the way over here. What are you doing so far away from the radio tower?" I quizzed her.
"I lost connection with her, so I came looking for you. What was going on up there? I heard a squeal, and also a crash just before that. Is someone hurt?" Glinda looked worried, her lip trembling slightly.
She silently probed me for an answer as if she could read me mind, or predict it like a psychic medium of the far off lands I had been told of in stories as a child. I gave her a reassuring smile in return of her questions, which seemed to comfort her. I have always been a little amused by Glinda's constantly changing mood, it changed by the hour, sometimes by the minute. I knew her intentions were well-meant, however, and I forgave her for that.
"I'd better go then," Glinda mumbled, and she pushed past me, to probably find her way back to the radio tower and reconnect with Elphaba. Her shoulders slumped and her eyes were downcast, avoiding eye contact with me. I had never seen her so upset before, not even a couple nights ago, despite the fact that it was mostly anger. I started to say something, but Glinda just shook her head and took off at a run, leaving nothing behind but confusion and a touch of concern. I sprinted after her, hoping to fix everything before it all fell apart.