Chapter 1: A Girl Named Dorothy
"This sucks," Dorothy said as she studies herself in the full-length mirror on the closet door in her bedroom. "I'm 18 freakin' years old and if I want to go party on Friday night, I'll go," she fumed. She pulled her long straight black hair away from her face, the fingers of her other hand languidly stroking her high cheekbones before falling away. All her friends at school said she could be a model and Dorothy believed them. She was tall and wonderfully formed with waist-length charcoal hair so black it reflected blue from the overhead light in her room. Yes, Dorothy was beautiful, but...innocent. Her aunt and uncle, with whom she had lived since childhood, kept her focused and away from what they felt were inappropriate influences. So, Dorothy carried a 4.0 average in high school, but had never been on a real date. She knew the boys looked at her in the hallways, the admiration and hunger reflected in their eyes, but she always turned away.
That didn't mean, though, that Dorothy didn't have her own secret desires. Thought her aunt and uncle did their best to keep her pure, in 2003 that's an impossible task. Television, movies, pop culture, the Internet, all were filled with frankly sexual energy and voluptuous Dorothy, though innocent still, was no prude. But nothing had made Dorothy feel like she felt the day she and a small group of friends walked giggling past a downtown specialty shop called Disciplinarians. She'd grinned and averted her eyes with the rest, but the store called to her in places within herself she previously didn't know existed. The following weekend, telling auntie and uncle she was going to visit a friend, Dorothy scraped up all of her available cash - saved from her allowance and babysitting gigs - and took the bus back to the city. She stood in front of Disciplinarians for several minutes, feeling the blood drain from her hands and feet, and her stomach knot. When she could take it no longer, when it was fight or flee, Dorothy wrenched open the door and stepped inside a new universe. The disparate but somehow synergistic smells of leather and rubber assaulted her nose as she turned, trying desperately to take it all in, the racks of instruments and clothing and other...things...she didn't recognize. She did, however, recognize that falling sensation in the center of her being, that sensation that felt like home.
And then she saw it and everything around her gelled into hard focus, a burgundy leather corset hanging by itself. In a store chock full of competing products, it was as if some unknown being had shined a spotlight on the corset. Dorothy didn't remember walking toward it, grabbing it or taking it to the register and paying the multi-pierced and branded young woman behind the counter. She barely remembered re-boarding the bus to return to the quite suburbs of Wichita. But she remembered touching that leather for the first time and the shock that traveled down her spine. Dorothy would never forget that feeling.
Chapter 2: New Skin
So as young Dorothy admired herself in her bedroom mirror on another lonesome Friday night, she reached into her sweater drawer and withdrew her treasure. As she held it in front of herself, her bull terrier, Toto, nosed into her room and stared at her, tail wagging and tongue hanging out. "Oh, Toto," she exclaimed, "you scared me, beautiful." She turned her attention back to the mirror, examining the cut of the corset and feeling the buttery suppleness of the leather. She longed to feel the leather against her bare flesh. She tip-toed out of her bedroom and peered furtively over the railing and down the stairs. Auntie and uncle were watching network TV. Network TV. On a Friday night. They didn't even have the gumption to get cable. Shaking her head, she strolled back into her room, locked the door behind her and drew the curtains. As Toto slept on her twin bed, Dorothy stripped off her ankle-length skirt, sweater and department store undergarments and stood naked, her voluptuous, untouched body nearly steaming in the cool air of her bedroom. As she wrapped the corset around her, another shock - even more intense that the first one she experienced in the store - traveled sinuously down her spine into her core. She shivered as she cinched the corset tight around her midsection. She stared down at herself, feeling the leather against her skin, trying to find the courage to look across the room and into the mirror. "One, two, three," she mumbled to herself, jerking her head up on three. "Wow," she gasped, stunned. Dorothy was ravishing. As she stepped toward the mirror, she felt a small tremor in the house and then nothing. Toto woofed in his sleep, stretched, and was quiet. The cut of the corset was fantastic, it's edges cupping her breasts, so tight it cut grooves into her flesh, making her already small waist even tinier and accentuating her hips. She smiled a secret smile.
"I wish I could pull it even tighter," she began, just as a massive shock hit the house, knocking Dorothy to the floor where Toto fell beside her, howling. "What the hell?" she heard Uncle roar. She imagined him catapulting off his recliner, the customary can of Budweiser he held in his crotch splashing over the fake velour of his recliner. She was still trying to struggle to her feet when the final blast struck.
Everything went black.
Chapter 3: A Road Less Traveled
The bright sun woke Dorothy slowly. She could feel the light working its way beneath her eyelids before she even fully realized she was awake. She heard Toto woof softly beside and sat bolt upright. "Toto, baby, are you okay?" He was, standing and stretching his rear legs the way he always did. The sun hurt Dorothy's eyes, but it's brilliant warmth made the pain nearly pleasant and she turned her face up toward it. Another quiet woof from Toto, following by him head-butting her leg forced Dorothy to open her eyes and take in her surroundings. "Sweet Jesus," she said as she began to comprehend her situation. Very clearly, Dorothy was no longer in Kansas.
The bright orange sun shone down on a lush landscape nearly tropical in nature. She stood on the side of the only visible constructed element in sight, a road of sorts, built of cobbled, uneven stones the shade of daisies faded by years of sunlight. Beyond the road - using the term loosely - which wound vaguely in the direction of the rising sun, the landscape was completely wild, overgrown to the point of chaos. Rich green trees crowded the yellow-stone road. Beyond that...nothing. No movement, more importantly, no sound. It was absolutely, blissfully silent.
The last thing Dorothy remembered was standing naked but for her glorious corset before...naked! She looked down at herself and was immediately relieved to see she was again - though mysteriously - fully clothed. Sensing a comforting constriction around midsection, Dorothy touched her stomach and gasped. The rich leather corset was still attached, though hidden beneath her sweater. Trapped in a strange new world, unsure of where to go or what to do, the corset exerted its power, calming Dorothy. As she looked around, her breath regulating itself and her heartbeat slowing, Dorothy made a decision. Never before on her own, she immediately knew that she was in a precarious position and her life - as well as Toto's - was in her own hands.
"Toto, c'mon, baby," she called out and began walking the uneven yellowish stones toward the rising sun. Was it east in this unknown world? She felt so and the beautiful trees all seemed to bend slightly in that direction. Four hours later, after the sun had passed its zenith in the bluest sky Dorothy had ever seen, both she and Toto were tired, hungry and out of sorts. She decided it was time to take a break and sat down to rest in the cool shade beneath a massive tree that appeared to be a cross between an oak and some sort of pine. Toto curled up next to her on the rich soil and before she knew, both fell into a deep slumber.
Dorothy awoke some time later, how long she didn't know, to sounds. The first sounds other than her own steps and Toto's excited breathing she'd heard since arriving in this strange land of blue skies, orange sun and green trees. That brightly comforting sun was setting in what she presumed to be the western sky. She was suddenly frightened.
As Toto jumped up from his resting place prepared to let loose a volley of shrill barking, she grabbed him. "Toto," she half-whispered, "please be still." He followed her command, but his muscles were stiff with fear beneath her trembling hand. As soon as she spoke, the noises - coming from the direction of the road she'd been traveling - stopped. And then a voice from the growing dusk.
"Hallo, is anyone out there," came a voice in what Dorothy recognized as a clipped British accent. A fierce growl ripped from Toto's throat and she froze in a sudden premonition of coming horror. But it was too late.
Chapter 4: The Trio
The three shapes - one skinny, one medium-sized and one large - moved forward far enough for Dorothy and Toto to see them more clearly. Dorothy gasped and Toto growled again at what stood before them. It was like something from a fairy tale: a massive lion cowered toward the rear, his yellowish eyes turned toward the ground, a pile of scrap metal that vaguely resembled a medieval suit of armor with friendly blue eyes and a pile of straw and sticks that gazed at her curiously with it's small head cocked sideways.
Dorothy looked at the strange trio and rubbed her corset. She waited to see their intentions. They moved closer, the scrap pile coming closest and attempting to kneel slowly, his rusty joints fighting against him in a squeal of tortured metal. He looked at her and spoke in soothing British tones. "My name is Nicky Chops, my dear, and these are my friends Lion and Scarecrow. Some folks call me the Tin Woodman and that's fine, too. Who might you be?"
"Um, my name is Dorothy Windtower and this is my dog Toto," she replied. "Where are we?" The Tin Woodman looked at her oddly, though his metallic face didn't seem capable of displaying emotion or expression. "Why, my dear, you're in the land of Oz. Didn't you know?"
"No," Dorothy said, tears beginning to streak her beautiful face. "Toto and I are lost...I don't know how we got here. We're from Kansas..."
"Kansas," he repeated to himself. "No, I'm not familiar with that province, but I'm sure it's just as lovely as you are." He paused "Wait a second and let me confer with my comrades." The three huddled together whispering while Dorothy waited and Toto tensed in a silent stare. The Tin Woodman returned slowly and looked down at her, not daring to bend as before. "My dear, my friends and I are on a quest, each of us for our own reasons. We are headed east down the road toward the Emerald City to meet the great Wizard there. It is said that the Wizard can perform miracles and we hope to gain his audience. We'd be delight if you'd join us. Emerald City is a bit of a walk still, but perhaps the Wizard can also help you solve your problem."
Dorothy sat with her back against the strange tree and tried to think. But too much had transpired, she was away from home, lost in a strange land, hungry, tired. Her very foundation had been shaken. The only things keeping her sane were Toto and the subtle hear from the corset. She knew she needed help and the three travelers seemed friendly. "Okay," she said, "I'll join your quest. Thank you. Perhaps the Wizard will be able to help me get home."
"I certainly hope so, dear," the Tin Woodman said with a near-smile. And with that, they were off, down the cobbled yellow road toward destiny.
Chapter 5: A Common Goal
As they traveled the winding road toward Emerald City, the fivesome got to know one another quite well. In the end, it wouldn't be well enough, but they had a delightful journey nonetheless, stopped when they needed rest, subsisting on berries and delectable greenery, drinking crystal-clear water from an occasional flowing stream.
Dorothy and Toto's goal - though his remained unspoken and only hinted at in the occasional volley of barks - was simply to return home to Kansas. While Dorothy had been frustrated with her life, at least it was consistent. Better that, she thought, than walking through a strange land with a dog and a freak-show trio out of a kid's book. Still, their conversations had kept her calm and focused. Once she'd gotten over her amazement at a walking and talking lion, scarecrown and misshaped pile of metal, Dorothy found them fascinating. The freaky three each had a goal much more complex that Dorothy and Toto.
The Scarecrow wanted a brain. The Tin Woodman wanted a heart. And the Lion wanted courage. Dorothy wished each of them the best, but she was most concerned about finding her way back to Kansas. She prayed the famed Wizard would be able to help her and Toto. As the hours turned into days, the quintet made steady progress eastward. The land changed from heavily forested to a great plain. And then, on the morning of the third day, they saw it. Emerald City, rising from the ground like a grave mound, not exactly emerald, more of a dusky grayish-green.
They all pulled up short and stared. Toto, too, his eyes bugging from his head and his body trembling.
"My God," Dorothy mumbled, unconsciously rubbing the corset. She turned to the Scarecrow. "Is that the Emerald City?" He nodded dumbly. "I believe it is, young miss." After staring a bit longer and then looking at one another, silently asking the question, "We're going in there?" they moved on. After all, what else could they do?
Chapter 6: At The Gates
And so they trudged onward, more slowly now, as the Emerald City grew from a bump on the horizon to the dominant feature of the landscape, like a single rotten tooth jutting from a jawbone. Dorothy was reminded of an old nuclear fallout video her class had been shown in middle school. The air was thick and smelled peculiar. By late afternoon, even at a dwindling pace, they were close enough to see the entire vast city was encapsulated by a massive retaining wall. Dorothy wondered briefly to herself if the wall was built to keep invaders out...or to keep something else in.
The road had become less yellowish and more brown as it was covered by dirt and debris. Suddenly, Toto leapt forward and dashed toward a small bundle barely visible along the side of the road. Dorothy followed him and saw what appeared to be a pair of silver boots just lying there in the dust. As she looked closer, she glimpsed the letters d-o-r scratched into the earth before trailing off into unintelligible. It was if someone or something had left the silver boots for her to find. Or perhaps Toto had accidentally scratched something in the ground that she was misinterpreting. Regardless, the boots were...incredible. Vaguely resembling the combat soled, eight-eye laceups that had been in style some years previously, these boots had massive soles and straps instead of laces. But the color, Dorothy thought to herself, was unlike anything she'd ever seen. It was dazzling, as if some alchemist had turned the sun silver and captured its essence on leather. She bent, picked the boots up and felt a pleasant jolt of energy run up her arm. She held the right boot against her right foot and it appeared to be the correct size. Inside of the left boot, she felt a rattle and pulled out a key on a chain. Without thinking, she slipped it around her neck and felt immediately and strong pull toward the gates of Emerald City.
She picked the boots up - perhaps deep inside recognizing them for the talismans they were - and rejoined the rest of the group heading toward the manned gate now visible where the road petered out. The group unconsciously picked up speed as it became clear their journey was coming to an end. None knew what awaited them, but all were ready to find out. Better sooner than later. As they approached the gate, they saw it was "manned" - for lack of a better word - by a phalanx of oddly shaped monkeys and humanoid midgets. They congregated in a near military formation when they saw Dorothy's group approaching.
"Why do you approach the great Emerald City?" the monkey in charge asked in clear, uninflected English. "Do you have business here?" The Tin Woodman moved to the front. "Yes, m'lord, we had hoped to gain an audience with the Wizard." He half-bowed, the plates of his armor shrieking in metallic agony. The monkey laughed, blowing a great whoop of foul air in the group's general direction. "An audience with the Wizard?" He giggled again. "You must be joking...our leading is far too busy to meet with a band of hobos fresh off the yellow brick road." As the creature began turning away, Dorothy, in a flash of inspiration, stepped forward clearly flashing the talismanic key around her neck. She didn't say a word. The monkey jumped and caught himself with the help of his coiled tail. He looked her up and down slowly, as did the rest of the group of monkeys and odd humanoids. He backed away almost imperceptibly and nearly bowed. "Wait here for my return," he said and withdrew thought a door just to the side of the main gate. Minutes later, he returned with a new attitude. "If you folks would kindly follow me, the Wizard will see you as soon as he is available."
The quintet - Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Lion - looked at each other and nodded. Then, without a backward glance, they walked into the place each of them had been seeking.
Chapter 7: Waiting Room
Inside the walls, the Emerald City was less cancerous than it appeared from the outside. It was like a cave with residences and businesses built level above level against the wall. The center was populated with parks, open spaces and high-rise buildings. The monkey led them to the tallest building, the one that towered well above the level of the outer wall. There were more security forces - the same oddly shaped monkeys and humanoid midgets - standing at attention up the marble entry staircase. Once they made it through the old-school revolving door, Dorothy found herself in the most sumptuous waiting area she'd ever seen. Hand-plastered walls with what she could have sworn were solid gold chair rails and trim pieces. Carpet so thick, it was like walking through sand at the beach. "Wait here," the monkey said, "the Wizard will send for you shortly." He glanced curiously at Dorothy once last time and hustled out of the foyer. The rest of the group stared in awe at their surroundings while Toto sniffed around. Still holding the heavy silver boots, Dorothy sat thankfully in a rich leather side chair and waited.
It wasn't long.
An ornate wrought iron-front elevator whooshed down from somewhere above. An odd little biped - half housecat, half elfish human - emerged, wearing a lab coat, black gloves and black galoshes. The little creature looked up at them without fear, emerald green eyes reflecting the dim light of the room. "I am the Scientist," he announced ponderously in a deep voice that belied his stature. "I am the Wizard's assistant. What is your business with the great one?"
Dorothy rolled her eyes. These layers of bureaucracy were starting to becoming annoying. She stood, grabbing her boots in one hand and the key talisman in the other and stepped toward the gone. "That's between the Wizard and us," she said, taking care not to show too much anger. "Take us to him." Dorothy thought she saw a grin quickly crease the Scientist's face. "As you wish. Let us go." And so they went, up to the top floor of the building in the hand-scrolled elevator. No conversation. No questions. The moment they had all awaited - for different reasons - was at hand. Dorothy rubbed the corset and waited.
For the endgame.
Chapter 8: The Meeting
At the top of the building, the Scientist led the way through an anteroom, then a guard threw open the double doors to a massive ballroom, hung from the floor to ceiling with jewels, crests, and artwork. At the far end in front of a vast tapestry, was a throne. On it sat a man dressed in shades of emerald green with some sort of a breather attachment on his face and a horned head. The portions of his skin that were visible appeared rutted and creased like dried hamburger left in the sun. Physically, he was revolting, but he had a presence, a strange magnetism everyone in the room could feel. He stood and stepped down gingerly, walking toward the group. Halfway there, he gestured to the Scientist, who rushed over, pulling out a massive syringe and injecting the contents into the Wizards chest piece. Immediately, the Wizard straightened and walked with more of a purpose. He strode across the room to stand directly in front of Dorothy. She looked at him, cringing at his physical appearance, but strangely attracted to his formidable presence.
"You're from the land of Earth," he said to her in a rasping voice, ignoring the rest of her group. Without awaiting an answer, he continued. "My assistant supplies me with a special, shall we say, chemical concoction when I need it. This Oz atmosphere is hard on me." He looked Dorothy up and down, glanced vaguely at her companions and down at Toto before taking her up with his stare again. "What is it that you wish, my pretty?" he asked, his eyes boring into her, distorted behind the emerald green lenses of his mask.
Dorothy swallowed rapidly, unsure how to react to the Wizard's...proximity. She worked enough saliva into her mouth to speak. "I don't know how I ended up in this land, but Toto and I came here to request your help in returning us to our home in Kansas." Her speech sounded oddly formal, but it seemed right. "My friends, too, each have a specific and special request..."
"Forget your friends," he cut her off midsentence, his left hand slashing a short diagonal through the perfumed air, his right holding the peculiar walking stick he favored. "They'll get what the deserve in the end...we all do."
Without seeming to move, the Wizard closed the distance. As he did, the rest of the group shrank away, huddling together, like they could see something Dorothy couldn't. Behind them, the great hall doors swept open and the odd-looking monkeys and humanoid midgets began entering. The Wizard reached out casually and touched Dorothy's midsection, causing a ripple to course through her body. She shivered uncontrollably.
"I've been awaiting your arrival, dear girl, awaiting you for years," he said, his voice growing more hoarse. "Years."
The entire world seemed to dilate to a pinpoint for Dorothy. Eighteen years of life had brought her to this time, to this place, to this...man, for want of a better term. Nothing else existed in this time and place, not the Tin Woodman, not the Lion, not the Scarecrow, not even Toto, who she loved dearly. Just the Wizard and Dorothy and the power that was brewing between them.
The Wizard leaned in even closer, any closer and he'd be inside her skin. "Remove your top," he said quietly.
"What?" Dorothy stammered. "I said, remove your top," the Wizard said again. "Your true power, Dorothy, lies beneath."
The world around Dorothy compressed even more, time was like a tiny air bubble in a syringe. There was pressure and heat, a crescendo...and then a wave of pure silent bliss washed over her. She pulled her top over her head in one motion and dropped it forgotten at her feet. She bared herself proudly to the Wizard, the rich leather of her corset gleaming in the low light.
"Very good," the Wizard said and backed away a step. He raised his voice, no longer just addressing Dorothy, but speaking to the entire assemblage.
"Today is a magical day in the Emerald City. A day that will be spoken about in hushed tones until the sun no longer rises. Oz is a magical land and that power is concentrated in me, an Earth creature. Now, the moment I've awaited is at hand. A powerful fellow Earth creature has come to join me here and I welcome her.
"As I said, Oz is a land of magic. It's a land of granted wishes. But, you see, the wishes granted aren't always the ones asked. The laws of Ozmic magic don't work in that fashion.
"You may not be granted what you wish for...but you always get what you deserve."
He paused and turned his attention back to Dorothy.
"The silver boots are talismans, put where only you would find them. The time is now to put them on or not. The decision is solely yours and there will no going back once your decision has been made." He gave her a minute. "Dorothy, my queen, what will you do?"
As is a fallacy of the human condition, the largest decisions often receive the least amount of thought. Dorothy felt the heat from her corset and stared into the Wizard's bug like green eyes, feeling his power, his domination.
She never hesitated.
Dorothy bent down and removed her sensible walking shoes. A hush, thick and expectantly tangible, fell over the assembled freaks. Toto moved toward her, whining quietly in the back of his throat. He put his paw on her arm - perhaps to stop her - but Dorothy shrugged him off. She grasped the thick-soled silver boots, looked up at the Wizard again, than began putting them on.
And all hell broke loose.
Chapter 9: Destiny Awaits
You see, it was the boots - in combination with the corset - that brought forth the power. Dorothy, and her inner unspoken needs, was the source of the power. The boots and corset were the conduit. The Wizard was the director. Remember, the magic power of Oz is discretionary. It can be harnessed, as the Wizard did, but its fundamental nature cannot be changed. And that nature can be cruel to those born into cruelness and debauchery.
Remember the caveat: In Oz, you may not be granted what you wish for...but you always get what you deserve.
Such was the case as the Ozmic power coursed through Dorothy, channeled by the talented hands of the Wizard. The ugly core of all those in the great ballroom was brought kicking and screaming to the surface.
The Wizard and the Scientist remained unchanged and watched silently (and frankly stunned at the power that poured from Dorothy) the apocalyptic vision unfolding before them. The odd-looking monkeys and humanoid midgets transformed into their true selves. The monkeys, failed biomechanical experiments, sprouted their bat wings and quasi-mechanical appendages. The midgets turned into Munchkins, viciously deformed little trolls all suffering from a severe case of Napoleon syndrome.
The Lion, a meek creature coming to the Emerald City in search of courage, became what he had been in a previous existence outside Oz: a mercenary Crusader who abandoned his brothers in the heat of battle. Fierce though he may look, the Lion is now forced to wear a permanent mark of shame: the enemy's weapons that pierced his back as he ran from the battlefield. Holding his entrails in one hand, the Lion will exist in excruciating pain for the remainder of this mortal life.
The Scarecrow, the gentleman coming to the Emerald City in search of a brain, became what he had been in a previous existence outside Oz: an Inquisitor who visited torture upon hapless victims for his government. The Scarecrow's specialty was a barbaric form of craniotomy while the "patient" was still conscious, before finishing them with his rusty scythe. He still carries that scythe, but it's useless now, his rotting body - held together with twine, sticks, straw and prayers - doesn't have the strength to wield it. In suitably grim irony, the contents of his skull are being liquefied by an ancient lobotomy contraption while a pair of undead crows picks at his remaining flesh.
The Tin Woodman, the kindly - if rusty - hunk of metal coming to the Emerald City in search of a heart, became what he had been in a previous existence outside Oz: a sickly doctor who removed the limbs of healthy patients in a desperate attempt to rebuilt his own failing body. Something of a Dr. Frankenstein crossed with an old-world cyborg, the Tin Woodman will be forced to spend eternity moving limbs made of junk parts and scrap metal. He still has his trusted axe, though his limbs are too stiff and rusty to properly utilize it.
Toto was a sad tale. A loving pet dog on Earth, he had no real sin to bring to the forefront. Still, the magic of Oz works in strange ways, often dark and never pleasant. Through no fault of his own, Toto had been corrupted by the very air in the land of Oz and was transformed into a great slug of a beast, something of a mammalian toad that the Munchkins used for transportation.
Dorothy awoke from the transformation blinded by the leather hood wrapped around her head. She was aware of a constriction around her midsection, the corset had been cinched so tight she could barely breathe. A thin leather strap snaked over her breasts and bound her arms so tightly behind her back that she could no longer feel her fingers. The emerald key dangled around her neck.
She felt his presence as he drew near. The Wizard. She could feel his hot, shaky breath on her neck, she felt his fear and trepidation being so close to her power. She could hear the sounds of Armageddon all around her, squeals of pain, roars of agony, the torture cacophony of the winged monkeys and the raspy chirps of the Munchkins. But it was all so far away as she felt the Wizard, her power channeling through him as she stood bound and sightless.
"Mark her," she heard him say, his deep voice nearly breathless.
She felt a prickly rope tighten around her and then - though she couldn't see them - a pair of chattering Munchkins branded her hip, marking her permanently with the sign of Oz.
Dorothy had never felt a pain so intense, so liberating, so sensual. It was deep and coarse and ground through her veins carrying with it a dose of adrenaline that made her gasp and her knees buckle. The pain was monstrous and alive. She screamed while a smile of pure joy lit her lips.
Gone was Kansas. Gone was Toto. Gone were her aunt and uncle and her room and her friends and all the boys who didn't understand her. Her secret was out, the bondage freed her in ways she simply hadn't imagined. As her hood was lifted away, she stared into the green eyes of her first and final lover, her body still shaking in recovery, her diaphragm struggling with the pressure around her torso.
"Welcome home, my pretty," the Wizard said, stroking her burned flesh, a man turned boy in the face of Dorothy's unusual power.
She smiled again.
If this was Hell, Dorothy would be its queen...and she would rule the kingdom.