Dorothy's life had become rather "normal" since her tornado-driven visit to Oz years before. Living on a farm left a lot to be desired, though Dorothy loved her family, the wide open spaces and some of the farm animals she helped tend to.
There had been a lot of speculation and people would lean their heads together, whispering, whenever she entered a room. It didn't matter if it was the library or church, a restaurant or the beauty shop. Townspeople had all thought she'd "dropped her basket" after she had that terrible fever as a child. She swore she had been somewhere called "Oz" and babbled about a wizard, witches (both good and bad), flying monkeys, and a talking lion, a scarecrow and a man made of tin. Dorothy believed it was real, but no one else did. Lately, however, even she herself had begun to wonder if it had been real.
Dorothy had earned a reputation of being high strung and flighty, even though she was really down to earth and as practical as a girl could be. But, all the eligible suitors had in the end chosen to marry one of the other girls. It was usually from pressure put on the boy by his mother or father, or sometimes his friends.
By the time Dorothy reached twenty, she was ready to go see the world. Her Auntie Em helped her sew some new clothes for a trip to Kansas City, in hopes that she would land a job (and possibly a beau) while she was there. Em knew Dorothy was too bright and too full of life to be happy on the farm.
So, the day came for Dorothy to leave. Her uncle drove her to the train station. It was a dry, dusty day and she felt like she had eaten a dirt sandwich by the time they got to the station. She excused herself and went into the powder room to see how bad she looked. "Not too bad" she thought as she freshened her lipstick and tucked some unruly locks back into place. She would be a sight by the time she arrived late that afternoon. She double-checked to be sure she had the hotel information in her purse, and the phone number, just in case she got lost.
She and her uncle each had a meat pie that Auntie Em had sent for the drive, and he handed her the ticket that the conductor would be along to collect after the train left the station. Hugs and tears, then a wave, and Uncle was gone. She found her car and tried to look for Uncle out the window, but her eyes were blurred with tears and she couldn't find him. In fact, she never saw him again.
She settled in, taking note of the other passengers in her car. There was a |
cheerful, kind-faced older woman who reminded Dorothy of a mother hen back
at the farm. Three young men were on their way to Kansas City to attend
school. A doctor, who kept straightening his necktie, was returning to Kansas
City after visiting his ailing father. And in the corner was a thin, ashen
middle-aged woman who looked very bitter. Dorothy kept getting this odd
feeling that she knew all of them, but couldn't remember how.
The first hour or so of the train ride, there was small talk, everyone getting to
know a little bit about the other passengers, well, except for the lady Dorothy
had decided should be called Miss Bitter. With the meat pie in her stomach and
the rocking rhythm of the train, Dorothy became drowsy. She had fought off
sleep as long as she could and fell into a deep, restful sleep.
That is when things got weird.
She awoke to someone shaking her shoulder and saying "We're here! We're here!"
She shook her head as if to get the cobwebs out and then looked out the window to
see what Kansas City looked like.
To her amazement, she saw that she had returned to Oz! She couldn't believe
her eyes, and all she could think was "How did this happen?!?"
As she got her bearings, she realized that the people in her car were all the same,
but different. It began to dawn on her just why they had all seemed familiar before.
It was Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow (the boys headed to school), the Good Witch,
the Bad Witch, and the Wizard, still straightening his tie. They were all smiling at her,
except for Miss Bitter. Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow all scrambled to help her with
her luggage, but Tinman won out and was beaming at her as they walked toward the
terminal. Dorothy kept thinking she would wake up and be back in Kansas, but it
didn’t happen. She felt like she was falling through space and was hoping there was
a good explanation for all of this.
The wizard invited everyone to a banquet that night, just to give everyone a
chance to catch up. They all wanted to know why Dorothy had disappeared
all those years ago - and without a word! She didn't know the answer to that
question, and felt helpless as they all looked at her with puzzled looks on their
Over the weeks, and months, that followed, Dorothy settled into a routine in Oz,
becoming the assistant to the Wizard. Things were different at Oz than when she
Even Miss Bitter had softened up a bit. Maybe she had just been misunderstood
before. Anyway, the Lion, Scarecrow and Tinman all seemed to have embraced
their human characteristics and gave all the credit to Dorothy. The wizard had
become a respectable public official. He no longer felt the need to overcompensate
for his shortcomings.
Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow were all quite attentive, but Dorothy couldn't help but
be drawn to Tinman. He had changed somehow. Perhaps it was realizing he had
a heart. He no longer had that facade of armor, and she found him quite handsome,
and very sweet. They spent hours together, talking, eating ice cream at the parlor
and talking about the years in between. Over time, they became close friends.
The next Spring, Tinman and Dorothy were strolling along the forest road, still paved
with yellow bricks. Tinman was acting awfully nervous when he touched her arm and
stopped walking. She turned to him and saw that he was blushing, and he was teary
eyed. The look in his eyes said it all. There was no mistaking how he felt about her.
He took her hands in his and, taking a deep breath, said "Dorothy, when you left before,
I was lost without you. Now that you've come back, it's like you never left.
I want you to stay here in Oz. With me." He paused to see what her reaction would be,
but she had put on a poker face. He was confused by this, but it seemed to be something
she had learned since leaving Oz. He had butterflies in his stomach, but thought to
himself "It’s now or never". It seemed like hours before she responded, but in truth,
it was probably 5-6 seconds. She raised her chin and looked up at him and said
"I want to stay here in Oz. With you." Tinman let out a squeal before he could stop
himself, then blurted out "Let's get married!"
Dorothy smiled a contented smile and
closed her eyes as he bent down to kiss her the first time.
It was a whirlwind from that point until their wedding day. Weddings are only held annually in Oz, and the official Wedding Day was only two weeks away. There was no bridal shop in Oz, at not least for someone her size. She would have to wear the periwinkle blue gown she had intended to use in Kansas City, the only gown she brought with her. She got it out of the closet, aired it out and checked the fit. It would have to do. Tinman would find her irresistible...
The wedding was a happy event. Everyone in Oz, from Munchkins to Flying Monkeys, helped the happy couple celebrate in their own way. There would be no wedding like it for years in Oz.
Dorothy fell asleep in the enchanted carriage on the way to the forest castle where she and Tinman would spend their honeymoon. All that cake and merriment had worn her out! She hoped Tinman would understand.
When she awoke, she was no longer in the enchanted carriage, but on a train, stopped at a station. Two of the school boys got off the train, as did Miss Bitter and the Doctor. The sweet, elderly lady asked an attendant for help with her luggage and was soon gone too. The last passenger in her car, hesitated and when he got up, he cleared his throat. She looked up at him and her eyes got as big as saucers. It was Tinman! Not really Tinman, but he looked just like him, the one from Oz that she had just married. Or had she gotten married? Oh, she was confused! His face lit up when their eyes met and his broad smile lightened her heart. He held out his arm to her and asked if he could be of assistance.
Dorothy smiled a contented smile and thought that she just might be getting married in that periwinkle blue dress after all.