Sunday, September 17, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

Another new ending for King Rinkitink from the 2016 issue of Oziana is titled simply "Rinkitink" by Karen Diket. It starts with a flashback to the last time someone survived the three trick caverns, the wizard Zenoro. Before leaving, Zenoro left behind a trinket for the next person to get through them. Sure enough, Inga finds that he has new powers, as his spoken wishes come true so long as he is in the Nome Kingdom. His first wish is that Rinkitink, Bilbil, and he would be in Gilgad, so he can't do much else with them until they return to Roquat with some of Rinkitink's guards and enough treasure to outbid what Gos and Coregos presented to Roquat before. While surprised, Roquat considers the proposition while Inga just wishes to see his parents again. Suddenly, he is with them in the Metal Forest, where Kittikut and Garee treat him to a meal of the three-course nuts. Inga returns to his friends, and uses his new knowledge of the three-course nuts to free his parents. (Thanks to the white pearl, he also learns about Zenoro and his gift to those others who survived Roquat's trap. Why Inga didn't just wish his parents away before joining them is beyond me!) During the course of events, Bilbil reveals that it was Zenoro who also transformed Prince Bobo into his current form of a goat, so Inga also wishes Bobo to resume his natural form right before they leave the Nome Kingdom—all without Roquat ever knowing about Zenoro's gift. That pretty much wraps things up, the final resolutions are tied up pretty quickly, and Bobo decides to stay in Rinkitink instead of returning to Boboland. Were I a judge, I would probably put this one in the pile for further consideration, but the convenience of a new wishing power, a couple of logic breaks, and the rapid resolution would probably knock it out of consideration for the final prize.

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