Saturday, May 30, 2015

This Week's Oz Short Story

Well, I say "short" story, but compared to the rest of the stories in I Should Have Stayed in Oz, "Suffer Not a Witch to Live in Kansas" by Steven-Elliot Altman is, at sixteen pages, an epic! It's a little schizophrenic, in that the story is clearly set in The Movie, but for legal reasons it can't actually say so. Thus, the shoes are silver, and even Quelala gets mentioned. But the flying monkeys are the Wicked Witch's servants, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry have (nameless) farmhands, and the first time we see Dorothy sure looks like Judy Garland's first appearance in The Movie. Anyway, this story opens not long before the events of The Wizard of Oz, with the Wicked Witch of the East talking to her apprentice, a teenage girl named Lorelei. It turns out that everyone in Oz has a doppelganger in Kansas, and if one travels from one land to another, the double must also move. The Wicked Witch of the West reveals that her plans are about to come to fruition, and Lorelei is about to change places with her Kansas counterpart, Dorothy! Yes, this is the story of Lorelei's adventures in Kansas while Dorothy is in Oz. It appears that the wicked witches have not always had Lorelei's best interests at heart, and she's being used as a pawn in their schemes. The background action and manipulation of characters reminds me a bit of Volkov's Magic Land, and adds some interesting depths to the story. But we all know that's not how it really happened. Don't we?

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