The Heartless TinMan


The TinMan stood as still as a statue, the vines twining about him. He hunched, shoulders slumped in despondency as rust cemented the pose, the will to move having left him long ago. The rain came and pounded his sides and the sun beat down and scorched him, but though the ice weakened his joints and the wind blew, still he did not take shelter from the elements.

The TinMan sank into a stupor, no longer caring whether his miserable existence continued or not. A broken heart is not an easy thing to live with. Most days he wished that the Wizard's experiment had not failed, that he really was heartless. It would have made life much easier.

And as days turned into weeks turned into months turned into years, the salt tears slowly rusted the TinMan in place.

His arms ached. They always ached. Whoever had decided to put him up on this cross really must not have thought this through very well. Or maybe they had and that's why he was stuck up here.

He was a failure as a Scarecrow. In fact, he'd been a failure since he'd been created. He was supposed to be brainless, because really, what use is a Scarecrow that knows how miserable its existence it? Needless to say, the experiment hadn't turned out so well. He was more intelligent than he was supposed to have been. In fact, he almost rivaled the Wizard's own intelligence. Sure, the Wizard's experiments had all failed, but that man was a genius nonetheless.

The wind blew, whipping through the cornfields and plucking pieces of straw from his stuffing. It was like being hungry, he supposed. Little by little, he felt emptier and emptier. His hat was tied to his head so that it wouldn't fly off. Even so, the wind whipped at him, clothes flapping around him as he withered away in the wind.

He turned his eyes to the sky, praying for some kind soul to come save him.

He shivered. The forest was full of sounds, and in the darkness of night, the sources of the noises were invisible. He curled in on himself, whimpering quietly to himself. Some lion he was. Truly, he was pathetic. He couldn't even make it through the night without waking up at every crack and creak of the forest around him. What kind of lion was he, anyway? He was a disgrace, that's what he was. He was supposed to be a ferocious lion, one of the elite guards of the Oz Palace. Instead, he cowered in fear at the sight of his own shadow.

It was fate, he decided. Destiny decreed that he would spend his days trembling in the forest, the laughingstock of all of Oz, the Cowardly Lion.

The Munchkins had been somewhat helpful, she supposed. At least they had tried to be. Really though, "Just follow the yellow brick road?" What kind of advice was that? All roads in Oz were of yellow brick. They may as well have just said, "Keep following the path." It amounted to the same thing.

And, honestly, who had started this Dorothy nonsense? Her name was Thea. Just Thea. And the obnoxious dog wasn't hers. She kept trying to ditch the thing, but it always managed to find her. Stupid Munchkins. No, she had not "forgotten" her dog. She'd meant to leave it. She figured they probably didn't want the thing either. It really was rather annoying.

So, alone save for the dog, dressed in the ridiculous blue-checked dress her aunt had forced her into, Thea began to skip down road, because, really, how else does one traverse a yellow brick road?

With no goal in mind, Oz's newest celebrity continued on her (somewhat) merry way.