Sunday, October 15, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

I am nearing the end of the 2016 issue of Ozinana and all these new endings for King Rinkitink. This week it's "King Rinkitink Conclusion" by Sarah Hadley, which sees Rinkitink accidentally reveal the existence and powers of the pearls to Roquat! (He got carried away singing one of his impromptu songs at a banquet.) Roquat makes it clear that he's going to try to acquire the pearls, so he's not letting our party go. But Bilbil, sensing that Roquat is a tyrant and the rest of the Nomes don't like him much, befriends Kaliko and enlists his aid in helping them to escape. Kaliko shows Inga, Rinkitink, and Bilbil where King Kitticut and Queen Garee are to be found. Unfortunately, it's in Roquat's palace, and if you remember the events of Ozma of Oz, you know that means the King and Queen of Pingaree have been enchanted into ornaments! Fortunately, the enchantment proves to be much easire to break—literally!—than touching an ornament and saying "Ev". Dozens of ornaments prove to be victims of Roquat's wrath, and join their liberators in a ragtag army. But Roquat, upon finally appearing on the scene, has a business proposition: Kittikut and Garee in exchange for the pearls. Inga appears to give in, but in the process Bilbil chomps down on and breaks the blue and pink pearls. This disenchants the King and Queen of Pingaree! But in exchange for the white pearl (which is a lot less helpful to Roquat that it is to Inga), the Nome King agrees to abdicate, and Kaliko becomes the new Nome King. There are a lot of good ideas in this telling, and I like incorporating the ornaments of Ozma of Oz into the story. But I have to wonder how Kitticut and Garee could have been the pearls all this time. It just does not add up. So I can certainly understand why this one did not win the contest.

No comments: