2013 Oz Wedding Challenge - Entry #12

by Jole Provost

"Dorothy. Earth to Dori!" The Brooklyn accent was thicker when Margaret would try to get her attention. Dorothy glanced out the window of her office before she put the last label on her box. "So you're really in the zone to head to Kansas, huh?" "Yes." The stern, mature, serious young woman said as she packed her final box.

"Your true storm hunting dreams are coming true. No more weather girl here, huh?" The blonde laughed. She handed her a small box and left the room. For the mean woman of the channel, she seemed upset Dorothy was leaving to become a Storm Chaser. All her life she was determined to figure out what exactly happened all those years ago as a child. She took a deep breath and left the news station. She was heading back to Kansas after all these years, now as an adult, through therapy and ready to start becoming a storm chaser. Time to put her whole childhood behind her, and what better way than to go where it all started.

Days of travel and she finally arrived. Conner, a man with little to say
but a big brain, was awaiting her arrival. Vans and technology up to date
and ready for adventure. In the summer weather in the mid-west was
perfect to show off her skills. The man smiled and reminded her of a
smile long ago that has always been nagging at her. Where has she
seen that smile, other than their meeting back in New York.

"Ah, Dori."
"Um...hi" She said, shaking hand of the large, strong stranger.
This man reminded her of someone also. She shook her head.
Must be the fact she was back in Kansas making her screwy past
creep up on her. "So...we're ready to go?"

"Um...but Dori, wouldn't you want to rest a bit? You did travel far and
you just got here..." Mumbled scrawny Conner.
"Nah I'm fine, let's go." She smiled, and headed for the van. The two
men shrugged and got in.

She watched the radars and scopes. The paperwork and news reports.
Nothing. Boring. Just as useful as it was to be in New York all those
years, denying her need for the twister twitch in her blood. She huffed
out a breath and saw a small bag tucked underneath the desk. It looked
dull from the outside, but when she opened it, she was in awe.
It had swirls and was silky printed brocade floral all inside.
It was beautiful to her. "Like it?
You can have it if you want." She nearly bumped her head on the desk
as she saw Conner sheepishly smiling. "I um...found it after a storm hit.
Nobody claimed it after a year, so I just have it hanging out in here. In
case we find its owner or something." He froze as he heard a blip on
the radar of a storm in a county nearby. "Well, well. Let's head out, eh
Dori?" She smiled and they left.

Suddenly the van started to shake. "Um...what county are we in...?"
Aaron quivered. The trio looked out to find a large swirl of dirt and
housing twist and swirl in front of them. "Oh my...you have GOT to
be kidding!" And he floored the pedal and drove backwards, hoping
to somehow outrace the tornado headed straight towards them.

"This is it..." She muttered. "The storm...I've been waiting for." As she
closed her eyes calmly, the guys started to freak out, as their van was
sucked into the air like a dust speck in a vacuum.

"Welcome back, Dorothy!"
A large crowd of Munchkins cried out in unison. Conner and Aaron crawled out of the van as if they were crawling out of bed. "Look! She brought friends with her this time!" One said.
"What the heck?" Conner stared and poked at one of the overgrown vibrant flowers. "Amazing...what a discovery..." Conner laughed.
"Hey what are they? Living gnomes? Reminds me of those creepy little garden things in my grandma's yard." Aaron snorted.
"I am NOT a gnome! I'm a munchkin!" Aaron tried not to laugh.

After they got settled and found a place to stay, the three tried to think of a way home to Kansas in the real world. "So you had to beat some witch last time?"
"Is THIS what you were talking about all those years ago when we met?" Conner asked, sipping what someone gave him called Emerald Tea.
"Yes" Dorothy said "I...I was told all these years that it wasn't real...but...here it is."
"Here ya go, darling." An older man said joyfully. "It's a dress we tinkers give our women" he said winking at Conner. "I think you'd look mighty pretty in it." She stared in astonishment. The same fabric as the lining in the bag they found. "It might be a good day tomorrow to wear it?" He said. Conner simply turned red and gulped.

"YOU WHAT?!" Dorothy yelled, and Aaron yelped. Come to find out Conner was once a Tinker of Oz. He somehow made an odd contraption that sent him to Kansas. And he travelled to New York, and met Dorothy. That bag was mine, made from a little piece of my mothers gown he said sheepishly.
"And...I've been trying to find the nerve to tell you something ever since we met and you told me...but you sounded ashamed of this place."

"Ashamed? I've been questioning if it even existed!" She laughed. "So if you knew who I was, then why did you act so shocked?"
"I didn't know this place and your 'therapy back to reality' was one in the same." They stared at each other. Aaron huffed out a breath and kicked his legs up. Conner blushed at Aaron's irritation. "And I kind of been wanting to ask you something but never found the right way to say it...but here it goes..."
Before he said anything, she smiled and kissed him. Dorothy was back where she felt she always belonged.
And tomorrow will become a Tinker's wife.