What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Santa Bus 2 - part 4 - by Sven Pertelson

The weed choked yellow brick road wound between trees overgrowing the edges and Arwin and PM had to duck under them as they climbed the hill. As they neared the top the trees grew more sparsely and by the time they reached the summit the woods gave way to open grassland. In the valley below they could see a dilapidated village of small round houses with peeling paint and threadbare thatched roofs. Small threads of smoke came from a few chimneys and they could see the final spiral of the yellow brick road in the central square of the village.

“Want to meet a Munchkin?” Arwin asked PM. “Well, perhaps, if they exist?”, replied PM. Arwin laughed, “I wonder if they could imagine a holographic elf exists? Let's go and see if any of us exist.”. As they neared the village they could see that someone had spotted them and the streets were filling with small figures and they were running along the yellow brick road to meet them.

Arwin had not anticipated that Munchkins would be armed and came to an abrupt halt as she saw the leading party carrying axes, scythes and pitchforks. “Go away! We don't want any humans here. Go back to Kansas and leave us alone.” the Munchkins yelled. Arwin was nonplussed, whatever had happened to the sweet little people she had read of. “I'm not from Kansas.”, Arwin shouted back, “And my little friend is elf, not human. Can we talk? Santa sent me.”

There were some muttered consultations between the little people and finally they thrust forward a very rotund grey bearded Munchkin to the fore. He cleared his throat and with several looks back over his shoulder began to speak. “I am Boq, the head of the Lollipop Guild and was here when the last human visited and ruined our lives.” From behind him someone muttered “It is all the fault of that dratted Dorothy,” Boq continued, “We have been waiting for help for many years and one of our ladies from the Lullaby League did send a letter to Santa. If you have come from him then we welcome you. Please follow us and we will explain.”

Seated in the Munchkin town hall on a seat two sizes too small Arwin listened as Boq and others told of the aftermath of Dorothy's visit to Oz. Nobody noticed a problem until the winter after she had melted the Wicked Witch of the West. By that time the Dorothy had gone back to Kansas. The winter rains were no heavier than normal but there was flooding in the West of Oz and it did not subside in the spring or summer. Each succeeding winter the flooding grew worse and despite all efforts by Glinda and the Wizard nothing could stem the rising waters. Eventually even the Emerald City was flooded and deserted and the only dry land were the Munchkin Hills. Everyone in the whole of Oz was now living in the hills and there was barely enough land to support them all.

Glinda had finally realised the link to the melted witch. If Dorothy had only mopped her up afterwards and put her in a bucket there would have been no problem. However Dorothy had just washed her away with more water into the ground. The witch kept on attracting more and more water, hence the flood. “So what can we do?” asked Arwin. Boq replied, We need someone to go under the water, Scoop up the remains of the witch in a bucket and the floods will go down. Nobody in Oz can go that far under the waves and even if we could how could we breathe?”

Arwin thought for a while and then it struck her. “As long as we can find out where the spot is PM and I can go under the water in my bus, it does not leak and it steers fine. I can't think how we could scoop up the witch though without drowning.” turning to PM she asked, “Any bright ideas?” By this time PM was jumping up and down with her hand in the air. “I do, I do.” she chortled. “You forgot. I'm a holographic elf, not a real one. I don't have to breathe. I can hold onto the outside of the bus with the bucket while you drive.” There was loud cheering from the assembled Munchkins and Arwin and PM were raised on their shoulders and carried round the town.

Suitably equipped with a large bucket, with lid, and a shovel Arwin and PM led the Munchkins back down to the bus on the beach. For some reason it reminded Arwin of summer holidays.
As Arwin got into the drivers seat and started up the GPS the holographic PM lashed the shovel and bucket to the outside door handle and then secured herself. Arwin searched the GPS for the destination 'Wicked Witch of the West, Oz' and waited while the screen read 'Calculating Route, avoiding poppy fields, deadly deserts and purple spiders.'. Soon Pepper Minstix voice chimed, “Ready to go! Hold tight and dive, dive dive!”. Arwin drove the bus into the water and waved to PM who gave her a thumbs up as they submerged beneath the waves.

Guided by Pepper Minstix voice from the GPS Arwin steered the bus past the long submerged Emerald City heading ever westward. Eventually in the distance they could see the ruins of the Wicked Witches castle and an evil green glow coming from the castle yard. Arwin pointed the bus downwards and grounded it just outside the castle gate. The bus only just fitted between the gate posts and from outside the bus PM guided Arwin with hand signals until they reached the scene of the Wicked Witches demise.

All that was left of the witch was a green glowing stain on the ground. PM worked away with the shovel until no sign of the green was left on or in the ground and then tightly fixed the bucket lid in place. Soon they were ready to leave and with PM once again hanging onto the outside of the bus they headed back to the beach.

Arwin eased the bus back up the beach and was met by a huge crowd of Munchkins, Quadlings, Winkies and Gillkikins. Everyone had heard about this attempt to save the Land of Oz and standing at the front of the crowd were Queen Ozma, Glinda and the Wizard. Glinda and the Wizard, who were the only ones allowed to use magic in Oz, took charge of the bucket and bound it in spells to keep it sealed.

Queen Ozma thanked Arwin and PM for their help and declared them honorary citizens of Oz, free to return at any time they wished. When Arwin tried to decline her invitation to a party the next day in their honour as she had to get back to work Queen Ozma laughed. “Don't you know that time spent in Oz takes no time at all in your own world. You can stay here as long as you like and when you leave it will be the same moment as you arrived.” That sounded very good to Arwin, all the holidays she could ever want without having to worry about when to go back to work. She would have to thank Santa for sending her on this adventure when she dropped her passengers off at the North Pole, sometime.

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