2013 Oz Wedding Challenge - Entry #3

"The Return"

by Philip Griffiths

Dorothy sat by her open apartment window listening to the sounds of the early evening, a slight warm breeze was gently moving the lace curtains. Dorothy was thinking of that time when she was whisked away to OZ and the wonders that she had encountered, especially of Tinman, whom over time had made her heart feel warm and safe. As Dorothy began to doze a distant voice seemed to penetrate and arouse her from going into a deep sleep,
"Dorothy, Dorothy where are you".

Auntie Em, Dorothy had one of those wishful thoughts. Dorothy sat bolt upright and the lamp in the corner flickered and seem to shine its glow on the trunk that sat next to the lamp where it had sat ever since Dorothy had brought it back from the farm after Auntie Em had passed some 10 years earlier, a year after Uncle Henry had also passed.

Dorothy was left the farm and contents in Auntie Em's will but had only taken the trunk when she left to return to her apartment. The trunk had remained how she had brought it, unopened. It had never seemed the right time for her it to open it up because of the memories that it might contain. Dorothy approached it and knelt before it, hands trembling as she released the stiff lock. Dorothy moved closer holding her breath slowly as she lifted the lid. Tears stung her eyes as she picked out the items the trunk contained; letters from Uncle Henry wrapped together with a worn ribbon, various knic-knacs, a simple cotton gown. Auntie Em's wedding dress, discoloured now but still folded neatly. As she lifted the dress from the trunk an envelope fluttered to the floor landing face up on the front it said simply 'to Dorothy'.

Dorothy's hands again trembled as she opened the sealed envelope. It was definitely written in Auntie Em's hand she read "My Darling Dorothy if you are reading this then I am no longer with you, please know I have always loved you as if you were my own daughter, but please don't be angry I only did what I did to protect you. Go to the barn and seek and you shall find, love Aunty Em". Just then a small key dropped from the envelope. 'I wonder what this is for', Dorothy asked herself. And what does "seek and you shall find mean? Why did she say that."

The next day Dorothy awoke early and decided she would go to the farm, Dorothy arrived late afternoon with some apprehension she entered the house, oh so many memories the place looked just how she remembered. Dorothy settled herself in and made a wonderful cup of coffee the aroma smelled so delicious she decided to enjoy it on the porch.

Dusk was approaching it was going to be a vibrant sunset this evening, as she slowly sipped her coffee her eyes were drawn over to where the barn sat. A voice in her head said 'seek and you shall find'. Dorothy rose from the porch and walked over to the barn.
Dorothy pushed the door slowly creaking its way open. Dorothy stood there for what seemed like ages staring at the dull interior looking for what???.
Suddenly a bright orange red glow streamed through the barn window, the rays pushed forwards in the dullness to a corner of the barn and just seemed to settle there. Dorothy walked towards to where the light seemed to settle and looked down the earth looked relatively soft so Dorothy decided to take a chance and began to dig pulling the earth away with her hands. Before long she felt something as more of the earth was removed she saw it was a box.
Dorothy gently lifted it from the ground and noticed the small lock. The key! Dorothy removed the key from around her neck where she had placed it so she wouldn't lose it. The lock turned with a soft click and it was open. As she lifted the lid her stomach churned at the thought of what lay inside. Dorothy lifted the lid and 'Oh my' she could not believe her eyes, she blinked and rubbed her eyes lying there were the ruby slippers. It wasn't a dream, they were really there. Dorothy quickly slipped off her shoes and tried on the Ruby Slippers, they fitted perfectly, 'I wonder' Dorothy thought . Dorothy closed her eyes clicked the heels three times and said over and over return to OZ, return to OZ. A wooziness came over her a warmth fell onto her face and sounds not of the night but the distinct sounds of birds and the sweet sensational smell of flowers.

With heart pounding and with baited breath she opened her eyes hardly daring to breathe.
Oh my as her eyes focussed lay before her was the Emerald City shimmering the sunshine.
Dorothy began to walk swiftly and before long she was running along the yellow brick road
up to the large doors of the City.
Knocking Dorothy waited, just as she about to knock again a small door opened,
"What do you want" a voice yelled.
"Uh..hello, it's Dorothy, I have returned."
"Why so it is! Dorothy, come on in!".

"How is everyone? Is Tinman still here" asked Dorothy.
"Why sure he is, he will be so pleased to see you!"
"You need to know Dorothy, there have been some changes. Tinman is no longer Tinman".
"What do you mean" asked Dorothy. "Well Dorothy, Tinman was the son of the woodcutter
but, he had such a cold heart, his father in desperation sought the help of a woman who
may be of some help. She cast a spell upon him that until he was able to do unselfish deeds
and have love in within him he would be forever cold as tin at which he was transformed into
The Tinman."
"Oh my," said Dorothy then what happened?
"Well Dorothy, not long after you left the spell was lifted, it was because of you, he changed
back into his old form but, now had love in his heart and a love for everyone and everything.
He is in the Wizards old palace."

"Can you take me there?" asked Dorothy.

"I can't, I am unable to leave my post, but a horse of a different color can!"

As Dorothy approached the doors of once where the wizard resided, her heart was
beating so fast she thought it would burst, before she knew it she stood inside the
Emerald palace, walking down the long corridor she approached the wizards throne room
her heels clicking the floor as she went. Before long she stood in the doorway of the
great room, sat at the far end was the most handsome man she had ever seen.
Dorothy stood transfixed , the man looked up, stared at her, moving his gaze up and down
before settling on her feet. Suddenly a big warm smile lit up his face "Dorothy!
Dorothy you've come back". He ran towards her then scooping her up in his strong arms.
He turned his face towards hers and gently said "It's me Dorothy, Tinman no longer.
"I can't believe it" said Dorothy, "I have dreamed of seeing you for so long."

Dorothy explained that she had been told of his transformation, he in turn told her
everything that had gone on, he told her that people call him Ozman, but I will always
be your Tinman. "I love you Dorothy, always have, it was only after you left I realised."
"I have felt the same for all these years" said Dorothy.

"That is fantastic" news said Ozman. "Dorothy", said Ozman "will you honour me
and become my wife".
"Oh My yes, oh yes I will" replied Dorothy.
"Wonderful! we will marry day after tomorrow here in the throne room".
"I have nothing to wear" cried Dorothy.
"Hmm I know" said Ozman, "you need to go and see Miss Sem Stress, her shop is
just outside next to where the horse of a different color is."

Dorothy was soon at the shop and knocked gently. Soon the door gently opened and a small but cheery
woman stood before her. "Miss Sem Stress, I am Dorothy".
"Oh, I have been expecting you, news travels very quickly here in Emerald City".
"I need a wedding gown for the day after tomorrow, can you help?".
"Why sure dear do you have something in mind?".
Dorothy said, "well...white?" a little apprehensively.
"Oh" said Miss Sem Stress "here in Emerald City no one wears white."
"Then what?" asked Dorothy.
"Why Emerald of course!" said Miss Sem Stress. "I have just the fabric, silk spun from the
young of the Emerald butterfly and webbing spun by the green spiders of the north."
"Will it be ready for the wedding?" asked Dorothy.
"Come back tomorrow it will be ready for you."
"Oh thank you" Dorothy replied "how can I ever repay you."
"Just be happy" Miss Sem Stress replied.

Next day Dorothy hurried back to Miss Sem Stress's shop. Dorothy entered and said "Is it ready?"
"Why sure it is my dear come and try it on".
Dorothy stared in disbelief the dress was beautiful so soft and felt like it was made of air.
"Oh my, it is simply gorgeous" Dorothy cried.
"Go now and rest before tomorrow and remember be happy."
Dorothy turned and thanked her.

The day soon dawned and as Dorothy prepared, she put on her gown and made her way
to the throne room, before she entered there standing before her were Scarecrow
and the brave cowardly Lion.
"Dorothy, may we be the ones to give you to Ozman" said Scarecrow.
"You can" said Dorothy "it would not be the same otherwise. It is so good to see you."

As they entered together Dorothy looked towards the front of the room and standing there
was her beloved Ozman, but to Dorothy he will always be her beloved Tinman.
The ceremony was absolutely beautiful, She had never felt so blissfully happy as she did
right at this moment. Ozman leaned towards her he gently kissed her and whispered
"I love you Dorothy".

And so their lives began together with so many long and happy years together in front of them.