Sorry about the absence. I hope to be back by
September 15 October 6, with a full explanation. Or, at least, a decent excuse.
As they followed the Yellow Brick Road Melissy said to the Scarecrow, "Don't worry. I'm sure the Wizard will give you the brain you need."
The Scarecrow asked, "What makes you think I need a brain?"
"You agreed to travel with us. Besides, you keep walking into a tree."
Mr. Toto said, "The worst part is, it is the same tree. Walk around it already. Wait. I hear something. This way!"
Just off the to the right there was a poorly constructed tin statue of a woman holding an axe. It was trying to say something!
"What's it saying?" asked the Scarecrow.
"I believe it is saying, 'Oil me up...'"
Melissy took a step back. "A horny Tin Woman! I ain't doing it!. And you ain't either, Scarecrow!"
"No. She means her joints are rusted. She needs that conveniently placed can of oil so she can move."
They oiled her. Two or three poorly-placed drops of oil undid years of rust and neglect. Unfortunately... "You got some in my eyes! I can't see! Great, now I have no eyes and no heart."
"You have no heart?"
"Yup. No emotions. Feel my chest. It's empty inside."
"Banner Scarecrow," warned Melissy, "if you try feeling this skank's chest I'll spread your straw over three acres... that do not border each other."
"Come with us. We'll set up a harness, and I'll guide you until your eyes clear. The Wizard may have a heart."
"Bets?" muttered the Scarecrow.
As they continued, Melissy looked at her traveling companions. She thought, Scarecrows and Tinchicks and Dogs, oh my! Scarecrows and Tinchicks and Dogs, oh my! Scarecrows and Tinchicks and Dogs, oh my!
Then a lion burst out of the forest!
He was tall. His mane was full and golden-brown. He was well-muscled, and well-groomed. And though he stood on his two hind legs, he lost none of his magnificient animal power.
"I am Antonlion, The Forest King! You have invaded my domain and attacked my squirrels! Return the way you came! NOW!" Melissy stepped forward, tried to slap him. He blocked her easily with one huge paw. "Try that again, cupcake, and I'll have that hand for a light snack!"
"Hey!" shouted Melissy. "Ain't you supposed to be cowardly?"
"Cowardly?!? ME!?! I am Antonlion, The Forest King! Who dares call me coward?"
The Tin Woman said, "there is a Lion known as Antonlion, The Cowardly Lion, in this forest. If this is him, maybe we could use his knowldge of the woods."
"Forget it," said Melissy. "He doesn't have the balls to come with us."
"I am standing up. I am naked. You can see how well-gifted I am that way, too!"
The Tin Woman's grip raised her axe. "Which one of you exactly squirted the oil into my eyes?!"
The Not-So-Cowardly Lion sighed. "It's no use. There was a Cowardly Lion in these woods. But that was over sixty years ago. But now, no matter what I do or how brave I am, people are still prejudiced against lions."
"Perhaps you should accompany us to see the Wizard of Dez. He may be able to aid you in your publicity problem."
"I've heard of the Wiz!" said Antonio. "They say he is a wonderful Wiz, if ever a Wiz there was. Yeah, if ever, ever, a Wiz there was, the Wizard of Dez is one because... because... because... because... because... becaaause... It's right on the tip of my tongue. Because... uh..."
"Because of the wonderful things he does, you moron!" Melissy said.
"That's it! So, think he knows anything about getting good press?"
Go to Chapter 69: Mom Was Right!
Go to Chapter 71: The Emerald City
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