“What are you doing?”
Dorothy’s voice sang out over the giant stalks of the bustling red plants. Everywhere, she saw munchkins, with their tiny little bodies sprawled all over the ground. On one another, covered in the pollen of the dangerous flowers, reeking of poppy seeds and the guilt of succumbing to an aching addiction.
Tim smiled. “Self medicating”.
Dorothy cocked her head to the side as she looked down at him. His tin face shining in the sun, she had to smile. Even covered in pollen, surrounded by the giant, frightening poppies and the addicted and loopy munchkins, something about him drew her in.
“Get up Tim. Nothing good ever came from this.”
Dorothy reached her hand down to grab her Tin Man friend. He snickered as he grabbed her hand and pulled her in. She squawked as she fell into him, to the ground, bumping one of the prickly stalks of the giant poppies as she hit the earth. The golden dusted pollen sparkled, as deadly as the edge of a glittering sword, as it fell to the ground and on top of them.
Tim chuckled as Dorothy coughed from the deadly glitter entering her lungs. She sat up, trying to regain some composure. Tim wrapped an arm snug around her hips as he helped her sit up straight. Dorothy felt his cold tin hand on the edge of her skirt. That was Tim, always so close, yet always held back.
Dorothy began to feel heady as she leaned against Tim. Her head resting against his, she felt his head turn gently and press his hardened lips against her forehead. She snuggled in closer, thankful for the coolness, and suddenly aware that she was feeling very warm.
“Yes, my dear?”
“What do you want from the Wizard? Like, what do you really want? I know you have family somewhere else. I know you have a happy life here in Oz…and really, the poppies are less frightening when you get used to them.”
She felt his body, hard as steel, shift slightly under her. She turned to look up and over at him.
” I want what you want Dorothy. I have a feeling I know exactly what a woman like you wants from someone like me.”
Dorothy felt confused…and a little defensive. What the Hell does he mean? she thought.
” Oh really? What could we both possibly want?”
Tim grinned down at her. God she loved that smile, even when it was surrounded by sin, addiction, and wit.
“My heart, DeeDee. We both want me to have a heart.”
Dorothy shifted to turn sideways. She wanted to see this man with no heart for herself. “I believe you have one, Tim. I really do.”
Tim shook his head, an ironic smile playing at the edges of his silvery complexion. “You just said it Dorothy. I have a family somewhere else, and here I am sitting on the ground with you, still soaring from this ridiculous dust. How can you possibly believe I have a heart still?”
Dorothy had to give that a moment’s thought. She looked around to see some of the munchkins stumbling about, when they caught her eye. There were two of them, young munchkins, who seemed to be trying desperately to crawl towards the fields next to them. Dorothy wasn’t sure if this was the time to be concerned or not, so she chose to inhale again to clear her mind of thought. She wanted to focus on Tim’s question. Why was she so sure?
Looking over at him again, she saw the dark, brooding tears of a man not quite made of steel building up in his eyes. It came to her immediately. “Your guilt!”
He looked stunned for a moment but seemed to recover quickly. “My guilt?”
“Yes, your guilt! That’s how I know you have a heart!” That is also, she realized, how she knew it belonged somewhere else. “Your guilt! If you didn’t have a heart, you wouldn’t feel bad about the people and things you left behind! You would just, float into the future, not caring at all. Like the poppies!”
His hinged jaw fell open, and Dorothy heard the subtle squeak of the metal. He was stunned. Never before had he thought of it that way. He knew somehow that she was right. If he had no heart, he would not ever miss them. He would never miss her, the queen that he had adored for so long. He would never consider giving it all up and going back.
“I have to talk to the Wizard!” Dorothy suddenly knew again that