Emerald City

“Sam?” Graphic asks as Wicked says.
“Friendly mutations?”
Somehow FREAKS sounds less offensive. She finally dusts the rubble from her hat and coat as she stands getting her chance to really examine their new discovery. There is life beyond the wall, not just on the coast, not just beyond the ocean-you can fucking breathe out here!
He’s tall, blonde and lanky. Wearing a peculiar leather jumpsuit, faded blue with a faded yellow sun on the right breast.
“Yeah, I mean… sorry…uh what-”
“Back home they call us FREAKS,” Graphic laughs popping to her feet, “Where you from?” she’s moving on, she doesn’t care and never really has-just labels right?
“uh-oh um well I’m headed to-”
Wicked interrupts, “Come from, where’d you come from?“ she doesn’t like new people. Sometimes, they end up being Graphic.
He takes offense even though he should understand he’s been in The Barren long enough.
“Is that really important? The past and al-”
“Past is who we are, so-who are you?”
As the exchange is made Graphic looks from one to the other her expression round and happy. She loves meeting new people, especially with Wicked.
He sighs and shakes his head this particular encounter doesn’t seem worth it, but looking at the girls
“California,” the sound is dry. He’s waiting for the reaction thinking-here it comes.
“What’s California?” the girls both say in unison Graphics head tilted, Wickeds brow furrowed.
His jaw drops. Californians think they’re so special.
“What do you mean-What’s California?-It’s California: sunny, our door is always open.California:the globe’s one time longest running super power-California,” his shoulders shrug and face scrunches, he’s frustrated, this isn’t the first time he’s had this discussion.
They look at each other before Wicked’s eyes light up.
“Oh do you mean the Nation of the Western Coast?”
He sighs again, another stupid name.
“Seriously, Nation of the Western Coast? That’s worse than Lost Kingdom of Angles, but yeah I think we’re thinking of the same pla-”
“Why’d you leave? Exile or something cri-”
“Technically it’s a crime to leave but,” he mumbles quietly and quickly, “Where are you two from? Always lived in The Barrens?”
Wicked has lost all interest. He’s alive, in The Dead Zone, and that’s about as much use she can see him being worth. Unfortunately, her doe eyed companion has other thoughts.
“No, we’re new here,” all smiles, like a puppy, “Where’d you say you were headed?”
The pair begin talking he says something about The Enclave, but that’s as much as Wicked overhears. She’s at a window now looking out into The Dead Zone, a place they were taught could not sustain life any longer. A dead, empty place. Our Liberated FREAK looks out in awe of the natural moon, painting the landscape the oddest blue. She breathes deep. The air still burns, but she likes it.
“Wicked!” Graphic squeals “We’re going to The Incline!”
“Enclave,” he corrects dryly watching her jump up and down.
“Enclave!”

Life beyond perimeter

“Wake up-wake up now-wake up!”
Wicked’s screaming through her teeth, eyes still bulging now watering from too much air. The girls find themselves still sitting in the ancient house atop the broken roof. Graphic’s snoring, drooling and reacting rather positively to being shook.
“Fuck,” she groans through closed mouth.
She knew better and now she feels stupid. As she sulks down onto the floor rubble dust covering the top of her hat, and everything else, she resigns herself. The sounds outside begin to sound like music, the force of the wind almost surreal. This certainly isn’t Liberation Land. This place feels almost wild, the burning air, the bellowing winds even the colors were alive. Yet, dead.
Wicked doesn’t dare move. Simply breathes deep. She can hear music inside, she’s playing it for herself hoping to slow the rapid pace of her heart. In and out. Deep breath-in and out. Over and over again she does this until her eyes close. No thoughts, just breathing, calm rhythmic breathing. She’s almost back in school behind the curtain, the calm right before the rush.
The door handle turns. The sound slow and jarring her whole body goes stiff-it’s locked. Now holding her breath she bites her lower lip, they jostle the knob then stop. For a moment everything’s quiet almost as if the person is gone, they aren’t. The jostling begins again this time more methodical-picking the lock!
She sucks in air hard as a hand falls on her shoulder she screams the sound immediately muffled. Eyes wide she turns-it’s Graphic. Of course. She’s all smiles as the lock clicks. They got it.
The door knob turns slowly our girls just watch as it opens and a man steps in. He doesn’t notice them, not at first, not as he closes the door, but when he turns back around the room is green. Wicked can’t contain it, she’s glowing.
“What the fuck-”
“HI!” Graphic exclaims happily eyes round. New faces can do that to a girl.
He pulls his gun as she moves towards him.
“He-hey don’t move!“
She tilts her head, looking confused and a bit sad.
“What the fuck is with the green.. Is-is she irradiated?“
Perking up, “No, no-well maybe I really don’t know, but you’re safe… sorta,” she looks down at Wicked who just sits, stunned.
She’s tired, just fucking tired. All she wanted was a normal day. A. Normal. Fucking. Day. But no, of course not.
“Wicked?” Graphic pokes her, “Wiiiiicked,” and then again.
Before a third time, “It probably isn’t good,” she sighs shaking herself awake, “Put down the gun, and I’ll tr-”
Interrupting, Graphic presses her cheek against Wicked’s her eyes flashing that toxic green.
“Rogue time bitches!” the glow transfers between the two women and then dies.
Wicked pushes her off.
“I told you never to do that!“ rage replaces the green only to be interrupted.
“Alright, that was pretty cool,” the man drops his gun, “I’m Sam, and let me just say I never thought I’d be lucky enough to meet a pair of friendly mutations!”

Reactionary choices

“This is an awful idea,” Wicked groans as Graphic skips by her side.
The sounds of cars rushing by keeping her nice and tense. Our green lady tugs at her hat pulling the wide brim down with a sigh, was she glowing? Our girl is fearing pitch forks while Graphic just wants some fries.
Sticking her tongue out Graphic laughs.
“No, it’s a great idea-I don’t know why we don’t do this all of the time,” her stomach growls, “See? My stomach agrees.”
Wicked just shakes her head, watching her feet as two men in suits pass opposite them.
“I don’t know why I agreed to this-we’re supposed to be laying low,” she pulls up her gloves fidgeting all over, “Someone is going to notice” she growls, her green lips thinning as she bares teeth.
“You’ve got the money,” her companion says simply.
Her face immediately drops to a pout as Wicked stops short, gloved hands now balled fists, her green glowing eyes shining just under that wide brim.
“What!? You said it yourself it’s a waste to spend it down there,” she whispers the last words.
Wicked says nothing just continues forward, not wanting to admit, she’s just as guilty. The pair resume their walk just as before getting only a few steps before-boom.
The girls turn instinctively just in time to witness the short flight of what could only be an old militarily transport. Their eyes wide as the vehicle falls. Both backing up slowly hoping not to fall down with impact. Catching breath they can’t look away as tires fall on unsuspecting victims the red splatter almost art.
Everything slows then rapidly begins again as the truck barrels through the streets bulldozing everything in its path. The girls stand silent Wicked holding her hat down with one hand breathing steady. As they turn to begin their walk again, planes rise from underneath the now fallen building, cars-unmarked and police units alike fill the streets.
“Shit-shit-shit!” Wicked screams though in the roar of chaos her words melt away.
Units begin to race towards them, panic fills the space between them-they were supposed to be laying low. Without a second thought our Wicked witch throws her gloves off, hands glowing toxic, she flings all her panic at the cars. Green fumes permeate her flesh as the force released explodes knocking the planes out of the sky. Graphic grabs her underneath the arms propelling them into the air.
“Keep them off-I’ll get us out!” she’s laughing, but can see the fire. Our nameless little drifter knows the score-FREAKS burn.
She doesn’t respond as her glowing eyes keep focus on the streets below, the yellow man has taught her well, but is it enough?
Graphic flies above the city looking for a place to drop,but it doesn’t come. She can feel her friend grow limp, she can hear the stealth units on either side of her, and then her stomach growls.
“We’re fucked! Aren’t we?” Wicked laughs weakly. She’s falling asleep her green eyes no longer glowing.
Her stomach growls again. If they die Graphic doesn’t get fed-that’s unacceptable. With added gusto she pushes forward, eyes catching the dead zone.
“Maybe! But it won’t be here!”
The witch has already passed out practically snoring in her arms, but that’s probably for the best.
The stealth units halt as the pair fly passed the border walls, over the barbed wire, the red lights and the unmanned watchtowers.
Graphic’s smiling looking over her shoulder knowing they got away, not recognizing they were also falling out of the sky.

Showfolk and FREAKS

Once again we’re with our wicked witch, she’s cackling. In a room full of green smoke, three girls sit before her screaming at one another.
Her eyes roll, “You’ve asked the questions-now pay for the answers” her voice is a deadly kiss, her glowing green eyes fixed on easy prey.
The middle of the trio throws bills on the table her face completely soured.
“Take it-just take it,” she stands abruptly pulling the other two with her their arms linked tightly.
Their chairs fall back: one, two, three, causing the middle to jump.
And the one to her right to scream, “I can’t fucking believe you!” her eyes fixed on the one far left.
“Me?! you-you’re never there for him!“ the victim of the glare wails her blue eyes bulging out of their sockets.
Wicked can take no more.
“You two! Money. Now.” She snarls pearly white teeth revealing themselves under her ever thinning patience.
Simultaneously the girls’ focus snaps to her direction. Glaring at our soothsayer, pausing a moment before shoving fists into pockets then, just like their friend, they throw crinkled bills on the table.
“Get out,” the witch demands with an on going cackle. One that accompanies the air as it cracks into a thunderous boom which forces the trio to flee in terror.
The door closes behind them with a slam leaving Wicked to count the bills, smiling-they overpaid.
Giggling, “That was good,” Fiona comes up from behind, her body sloshing as she reforms, “how’d you know that stu-”
Scoffing she interrupts, “I didn’t.”
She folds half the earnings, turning to the thunder and smoke with a smile, “It’s not my fault they’re awful people.”
Her companion takes her cut laughing in that odd aquatic way. The green lady sighs overheating in her shoes, skin greener than before, every trick adding another godawful shade. Not to mention the body heat.
Fiona shakes her head with a smile using her newly formed hand to shape more acceptable cheeks. She’s savoring the feeling of cash-beautiful currency! But she’s not convinced in her partners denial of skill.
“Okay, yes-no is that easy. The name, though? Like the girls dad?” she’s unusually hopeful, still giggling.
Breathing deep and smiling cheek to cheek.
“Let’s just say I surprised myself with that one.”
Both burst into laughter Fiona cursing as she hiccups, a bubble escaping her freshly minted lips. Popping the delicate sphere with a long sharp fingernail Wicked sighs contently.
“Seriously we gotta work together more often.”

Anything your heart desire

“There’s a green lady somewhere in the old Candy District-where-where all-”
An impatient friend interrupts, “The Alley, right? All the black market shops,” she cups her lips in her palm as she speaks the last of it, leaning in to the group she adds, “all the FREAKS.”
The girls are in a crowded train heading to Market 3-many people are listening. Though no one really cares. People rarely do.
The first begins again, “Yes. They say,” she lowers her voice and head, “there’s a green lady-a witch,” pausing, the three exchange glances, “that can tell you anything.”
“Anything…” the girl who’s yet to speak gasps her eyes wide with possibility.
The impatient friend scoffs unimpressed, “Yeah, yeah-there’s always one: a red one who can boil bathwater, a yellow one who can make you see heaven, and a-”
The first interjects, “Shush! And lower your voice,” the last words an actual whisper, “It’s just what Jimmy told me, okay, sheesh.”
She pouts scanning the train cart praying no one they know can hear them. No one likes FREAK talk. Though, everyone loves FREAK talk.
Miss Impatient rolls her eyes as their wide eyed friend breathes, “But what if-like-what if it’s true?“
All three gasp, their eyes hungry, their plans change-it’s not a long walk from the market.
Making eye contact, each nodding firmly-the new plan is go.

Once off the train they link arms. All dressed in University uniforms showing their Pinkerton pride, pleated skirts brush up against each other as they move taking each step with purpose.
Three hungry young women pushing through the crowds as a wall. It makes the older generation smile, the Liberated love to smile.
They get to the walkway those lovely little inbetweens each girl thinking-what if.
All this dreaming makes the journey go faster as they reach the border-the district gates: open.
“They don’t close it anymore, do they?“ the wide eyed friend asks. Her heart sad for reasons she can’t comprehend. She stops so they all stop. Her big brown eyes begin to water-why?
Hearing the sadness The Impatient just sighs, “No-why would they?” Shaking her head she pulls the trio forward through the threshold, “What would they be protecting?”
Once in the new district the air changes. Of course it’s different in the inbetweens. You’re inside but Miss Impatient hates how the atmosphere changes in some places-just like the sky.
They enter closest to Manufacturing where the other district shadows The Alley, shielding everything from the light.
They shiver.
“I think it might be early,” our impatient girl states to annoyed to be terrified.
Looking around. It’s empty, but they’d have a walk to get anywhere with life.
The leader opens her mouth to speak, but gasps instead as a green light flashes across their vision.
Huddling closer they turn toward the source: the front window of a dilapidated building. Each tilt their head to the right-frozen. Silent and holding their breath they stand still. Again the green light flashes, again the girls gasp-it’s calling them.
Eyes wide they march forward. Swallowing hard, this is what we came for, they push open the soft wooden door-once a beautiful shop entrance, and walk in. The front room is empty, but another door to the girls’ left calls attention to itself. Smoke seeps from underneath-green fog beckoning them.
They press on, crossing the next threshold with bated breath. When they enter the room it’s internal pressure pulls them in-or so it feels. Their eyes all drawn to a crystal ball sitting at the source of the smoke. A cackle-they see the witch!
Her green skin becomes they’re entire focus as she hisses, “Sit-sit my guests-I have been waiting,” And, she has-the benefits of networking.
Chairs come into view as the smoke begins to move. They shuffle to the seats. Eyes yes still wide, breath: still bated.
“W-wh-who are you?” the first asks, her mouth dry.
The witch cackles again throwing her head back as the sound of thunder crashes over them.
“Who-who am I? Ha!“ green lightning strikes hitting the crystal ball then dissipating into a ghostly figment of death. “I am the one who can tell you, all you desire-SPEAK-child and tell me what you want to know,” she demands her voice raspy and full. She’s pointing a long devilish finger at the leader of the trio.
Frozen, but trying to speak the dryness holding down her tongue, “Uh… I uh… um-should I say yes to Billy?!” the words escape fat though they bleed together, her tongue slow to pronounce producing a sluggish panic.
Her friends are both in shock-say yes to what?
Lowering her head the wicked witch places two green palms just over her crystal ball and hisses. Green fire appears within its depths-the room growing hot.
She growls, “no.”
The girl’s heart sinks, but she’s silent.
“You,” a green finger extends to the wide eyed friend who now shivers with insecurity.
Swallowing hard those wide eyes close-what to ask?
Then-inspiration strikes.
“Who is my real father?!” when she opens her eyes again they’re wide, wide with panic. Her friends are mortified realizing together-no middle name.
Green lips twitch as our witch summons green flames, her crystal consumed as she growls.
“Fred R. Miller,” wide eyes sing-Mr. Miller!
“Now you,” her finger points to Little Miss Impatient.
She’s been waiting.
“Should I break up with Billy?” her voice is poison. The kind our Wicked loves.
Our green soothsayer smirks not bothering with tricks growling, “Yes”.

Sweet dreams are made of

We once again find ourselves falling. Crashing, really. Graphic and Wicked collide with a roof and then with a couch though with roof under them it really doesn’t matter.
They’re surrounded by the old world, the old, old world. Picture frames still hang on the walls, trinkets lay out on tables, and a fireplace sits before them with a radio on it’s mantel. The girls don’t see this. They don’t see anything at all. Graphic sleeps, deep and hungry. Wicked’s waking up, but she can already tell-they’re no longer in Kansas. She finally understands what that means.
Eyes still closed she reaches for Graphic, “Dude… you alive?” smelling the air: it’s entirely foreign. It almost burns her nostrils and then she remembers.
“We-we went over-we went over!” eyes burst open, “Fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-wake up!” pulling rubble off her slumbering friend she feels the burn of untempered sun, she’s panicking.
Her skin’s growing greener the previous expulsion long gone, it’s effects rendered useless. Grabbing Graphic by the shoulders she shakes her violently.
“Wake up-wake up!“ she tries to keep quiet afraid of what could be around.
Graphic doesn’t stir only mumbles and drools. Wicked’s eyes bulge, her heart’s pounding while breathing in the heavy acid air. The freshness is killer. She looks around, it’s just a normal house. A normal centuries old house. A dead person’s house, a long, dead, person’s house. She prefers the sewers. As she looks at the dusty walls all the pictures blank destroyed over time-all the colors faded, hey mouth goes dry.
“Graphic get up-please-please wake up you bitch! You have to get us out of here!”
They should be dead-completely, and utterly dead. Wicked bought the warning: hook, line, and sinker. They’re in the dead zone and her only way home is dreaming of fried chicken.

Withdrawal

“Green?! Green!?” We find ourselves again with dear Wicked. Who after several days of normal pleasures consisting of traveling through Liberation Land, enjoying a read in the gardens, and even taking in an afternoon of free theatre finds herself in a fit. “NO! NO NO NO NO!” but even as she wailed she knew, she always knew this would happen. Hot tears run down her grassy cheeks as she stares wide eyed into her broken mirror. She isn’t nearly as green or vivid as before, but as her blood boils she can feel the color grow. She watches in horror as brown eyes turn green and crumbles to the floor sobbing “how… how could I-” stopping herself in that very instant she rises from the floor. It’s been four long years since she made her bed in the sewers and this wicked witch isn’t about to give up. She moves toward the door grabbing her hat as she races for the cure.
Once out she’s taken aback by the sight-just yesterday everything looked bright, but today everything looks like the town of Blight. Tears swell again “what the fuck did he do to me?” Boots crash against the muck as she finds the yellow bricks. Our witch is on fire now running down the road memories of slick yellow men and the tongue not her own all playing in her head. Her skin is glowing greener, as madness builds she runs deeper and deeper-until the pitter-patter of tiny little feet catch her ears. She sees the yellow glow, hears the disturbing giggles and veers clear of the road.
She’s headed now to the Town Below, the seedy side where the drunks and addicts roam. Wicked doesn’t notice she’s after the tiny feet.
As she runs suddenly one appears a little yellow man glowing, giggling, and singing “if you want another taste-another cleanse of skin-follow me to the place where all your dreams begin!” the sound sends shivers down her spine as she can feel the slick flesh on her tongue.
Deep green lips part “get back here! You creepy tiny little MAGGOT!” but he doesn’t look back, just continues to giggle, as he runs up wood steps and disappears through a shop door. The Clinic. Wicked doesn’t know this place, but her instincts tell her to go.
She takes one step up, and then another, her mind is screaming no. Visions of the blindfold darkness, and the physical memory of restraint near choke her, but she moves on. Green hand on the door knob she throws herself inside, pulling down her hat to obscure her eyes she sees them-FREAKS of all kinds. They’re laid out on couches, the floor and each other. They’re smiling-all smiling. The corners of their lips twitch. They don’t even know I’m here she thinks as she notices a curtain taking the place of a door. Again her instincts scream, but she moves towards it. Pulling it open, eyes shocked to what they see, a yellow, slick blob melting into itself, and a circle of FREAKS wrapped in it, sucking on tentacles of it, molested by it.
Wicked wants to run, wants to wash her eyes with acid, but as she turns to leave a gurgling bloop happens and he’s there.
The yellow man stands grinning though almost translucent “welcome wintergreen, time for another round?
“What the fuck did you do to me?” she ask through her teeth. Her legs won’t work and her body won’t scream.
He looks at her sort of bewildered “I gave you what you wanted”
“Well then why am I green!” Stamping a foot-she can move! Now that she isn’t trying to run her body relaxes, she wants the answers she came for-she wants to see if this FREAK has blood.
Shrugging “unfortunately there’s nothing I can do, permanently. You are what you are and I am what I am-”
“Which is?” She’s pulsating and glowing brightly trying not to remember one more thing.
He laughs watching her intensity grow almost salivating “a dream maker” he winks.
“Don’t-” puts a slick almost airy finger to her lips.
“I live off your energy-and you are quite delicious. Some don’t provide for me, but I can take them places I-”
“You drug them yo-” again the finger falls this time she smacks him away her hand going right through his finger, dirtied and wet with his slick.
“I’m the drug-as you can see” he gestures toward the circle, but she doesn’t look “you can think what you want, but you’ll be back again.”
“Fuck you.” She spits moving past him. Our girl has seen enough, but mostly tears have begun to well and she doesn’t cry in public.
“That would make it last longer” he tempted smoothly as she hears the gurgle and bloop right before he appears in front of the entrance stopping her dead in her tracks “or whatever you’d like. I’ve never tasted anything like you-you don’t have to give up cash-just the taste” someone fell out of their seat behind her, but she doesn’t move, doesn’t look. Memories and tears threaten to shatter her as she can hear the land above “you can be a part of that” he says softly as if he knew-did he?
“Get out of my way”
He smirks “you can walk right through” and so she does feeling the slick of his substance cover her.
She doesn’t turn back. She just keeps walking home. Feeling the corners of her lips twitch as the world appears cleaner, and she knows.

After taste

Back in the shack we still find Wicked enamoured with her flesh. She hasn’t moved an inch yet. She’s breathing slow and steady, heart beating loud within her chest-not green. A smile breaks the silence a laugh escapes before she leaps to her feet eyes on the front door. Before she can exit a flash of light catches her attention. She turns to see a mirror and for a moment looks closely at her face. Her hands touch soft skin the rosy cheeks that once always came with exhaustion-they are back! She kicks her heels before exiting.
Boot clad feet hit the familiar yellow bricks which led to this salvation. Cleaner now they seemed. She almost sang. Running down the yellow road to the bright light of day. Through The Town Below blind to all the FREAKS that were stunned by the lack of glow. No one really knew her but you can’t forget that green. Our girl doesn’t notice their stares she just races towards the light to run past it’s beams and up, up a ladder. She’s climbing into an abandoned building up, up, and up she goes, out through the dark sewers, out of a makeshift manhole.
Our girl is tired, but she’s too excited to mind. Huffing and puffing after the climb Wicked’s still smiling as she collects herself “slow down, breathe, and walk out slow” the corners of her lips twitch as she speaks.
Taking one confident step forward and then another. Putting one foot in front of the other while giggling inside. Walking out into the shadowy streets she breathes in deep, moving towards civilized folk, checking her hands periodically. Only half chancing on believing.
Light hits her brown eyes as the sounds of the street hit her ears. There’s still a few shops including the cafe and bookstore she revered. It’s been four long years.
Our girls a worker as even the unwanted need to eat and today she’d feast.
Turning left onto the sidewalk she sees a few children and some young adults presumably meant to watch them. Their collective attention on the shop windows. On candies being made by a craftsman one of few that remains, a showman of course-they are captivated. She passes it all merely smiling at a young girl who held one hand on a lollipop stick the other on an child who pulled constantly away. They didn’t scream she dances inside the corners of her lips twitching.
She enters the glass door of the cafe-she gets it all to go. Several bags worth of treats; baked, pre-made sandwiches, and several bottled drinks. The cashier just smiles commenting on her hat. Our girl actually blushes remaining silent but handing him her cash. He shrugs it off as she dances away. Tucks away her bills flashing one last shy smile before she’s back on the sidewalk. Walking down the streets she’s repressing singing, she’s almost hysterical with all of the joy. She’s didn’t think this was possible, but she made it to the bookstore.
Once inside let’s just say our girl, she spends hours-and hours flipping through pages.
When she finally makes a purchase the day has nearly turned into night. She leaves carrying all the goods the long way-going through Eden to keep out of sight. The last thing she wanted was to deal with someone else’s desperation.
Tonight Wicked has a taste of luxury when she finally gets home she forgets all that came before its almost like she’s a girl again-like before she had to run. She’s happy here, reading and believing it’s done.

Just a taste

Peering out from the gutter eyes glow green, a passing dog begins to growl the owner tugging at its lead, and a child sitting outside the small cafe sees the twinkle under the sidewalk. The child stares deep through the gutter bars catching her subject, eyes wide as her tiny mind makes out the visage-green skin, green eyes, wide brimmed hat? The image is confusing, disturbing to the child’s mind and she begins to blubber.
Our Wicked witch flees back below before anyone else could see her, boot clad feet echoing in the sewer puddles. Reluctantly she’s heading back home.
Wicked sighs as she walks lamenting her life, it’s been too long since this girls sniffed between pages. Nothing in the sewers was worth half a shit. FREAKS didn’t read-they drink, but that’s just not Wicked. Removing the glove from her right hand she grimaces-green. Toxic, unnatural-green. A tear escapes her left eye as she just stares at her flesh, still moving. Our girl walks, and walks. Absently entering The Town Below she hears nothing, but echos from the past. She sees nothing, but that toxic skin. Completely unaware of the yellow bricks her feet decided to follow.
She used to be beautiful. She used to have talent. She would have been on the stage. She would have lived normal-but now? These thoughts are what’s crushing her even though other memories keep surfacing she knows, this is her life now. But is there an answer? Could there be hope?
Suddenly she trips. Face first into slick, grimy brick the sound of tiny footsteps all around. She looks up in a panic, yellow little legs dash past in a whirlwind then the sound of inhuman giggling “welcome! Welcome! Welcome!” tiny voices cheer. To Wicked ears though they are all the same. A dozen little men-all the same circle around her.
“Get away from me!” She wails. This is just too much-tiny, glowing, yellow men, giggling like children “get! Get! Get!” She’s standing now.
While the tiny man directly in front of her frowns “well you don’t have to be rude” little hands at his side he kicks out his leg “just saying hello”
Another chimes in from the crowd “thought you might want a taste”
All together “yeah!” Wicked doesn’t know what to do, or what they’re talking about, but she’s seriously disturbed.
The ‘leader’ speaks again “yeah, a taste of something special-for you today it’d be free!”
Another chimes in “it’ll make you feel incredible!”
And another “it’ll make you a lot less green!” The group snickers in their very disturbing way.
“Less green?” She’s interested now. She’d do anything now-until a tiny little yellow man holds out his hand, she recoils. All the tiny little faces frown as the same tiny little yellow man thrust out his hand again. This time she takes it resulting in cheers, they’re all the same person Wicked thinks as shivers run down her spine.
Still circled around her they lead our girl down the rest of the brick road to a little brown shack resting deep within the sewers. They are surrounded by black the only light coming from the yellow glow emitted by the tiny men and of course the glow of Wicked. The stress of the situation lighting her eyes and skin in a brilliant display that’d give most nightmares.
All at once everything is black Wicked cannot see, there is no yellow glow and certainly no green. Reaching out she feels something slick, not wet, not sticky-just slick like oil. She hears a bubble pop, and the sound of muck gurgling and then a mouth covers her own. Eyes wide to no avail-she cannot see! Reaching for her face her arms get pulled down hard to her sides. She cannot breathe. Cannot move. She panics-mind racing our girl fears for her life. She doesn’t give in though, oh no, Wicked knows pain-our girl knows trauma. Memories explode behind eyes as she begins to thrash her head hits a slick solid substance knocking the blindfold just slightly revealing a yellow glow. It’s too late to think, too late to cool down her flesh is burning now. Screaming into the mouth of her captor it’s probing tongue enters her as she is preparing too explode.
She screams and screams.
And screams.
Basically our girl spends about 45 minutes screaming into the slick captives mouth only to grow extremely tired, and limp. She’s let go, dropping down, down, down onto a what feels like a bed. The blindfold fully falls off and she sees the bare mattress she’s laying on, dirty makeshift walls, and the glow-the yellow glow. She pushes herself up hoping to strangle the closest little man she can grab only to find a man, a yellow average sized man, standing, staring, with a grin. “Was it as good for you as it was for me?”
She flies at him without thinking hands gripping his neck before recoiling-his flesh is slick! “Ugh! I’m going to kill you!” The rage instantly exhaust her as she calls back onto the bed burying her head in her hands.
“I’ve no idea why you got what you wanted.” She looks down at her hands, eyes wide, not green-not green! Looking up the yellow man is gone.

Dorothy May Parker

She’s packing her things away smiling nervously as the theater empties. Our Dorothy doesn’t want to go home, but as the house lights flick off there’s nowhere else to go. Bag over shoulder she exits the dark. The sky is grey blue, the wind blowing hard, her dress whipping about her legs. She throws her arms out smile bright “at least I got this” if there were hills they’d be alive.
While she walks she takes her pulse, all day a weird feeling. She’s warmer than she’s ever been, but it feels oddly comfortable though her skin does feel clammy to touch. She keeps walking the wind picking up static is in the air it crackles as our sweetheart hums herself into a happy place.
Turning left, there’s her front door, her blue little house a picture of wholesome until-crash. Someone’s in the kitchen with Dina and our young Dorothy knows who. With a sigh she walks down the stone path smash up the stone steps thud hand on doorknob thump opens the door “you like this!? Is this what you want!?” Her mother screams as she quickly shuts the door. Rule one after all.
“Alright!” Paul screams from the kitchen floor as she passes by, his face is stone. Dorothy never really knew why it got to this, but Paul typically asked for it.
In her room she quickly changes to pajamas she’d stay late enough no one would question it. At least she hopes. Tucked in tightly Dorothy silently recites her lines her mind spinning to the tunes of the stage.
Hours pass with our girl sleeping sound when in the middle of the night the floor boards outside her door creak.
She doesn’t open her eyes. Sometimes she won’t stir her if she’s not awake. Hand on leg the blankets begin to move. She breathes in slowly-scent is different. Eyes open there’s Paul he’s smiling face stone. Her eyes are wide-she had a birthday last week. He’s smirking, she breathes-is it getting hot in here? The blankets off, she’s sweating, he has no clothes on.
Why button up pjs? Mom likes them. One button comes undone as he climbs on top he’s breathing heavy and hot but it feels cold. Her top undone his mouth meets nipple-it’s cold. She squeals and squirms her body is tearing apart. His hand between her legs pinching her mound as he mindlessly tires to rip off her bottoms. He tries again and again, she screams.
Is the room light on?
why is his face green?
Looking her dead in the eyes his face is no longer stone. He’s afraid-petrified. Her bodies ripping apart. Boom. The room turns toxic green, the house shakes, windows rattle and Paul’s not breathing anymore.