It was almost comforting for Absolom when he made his way out of the crowd and walked off to his office. The noise these citizens made was unbearable for his old, beaten ears. He covered them, looking down at the floor while rapidly making his way through the golden streets. “What a strident bunch of mooncalves”, he thought to himself. “I’d rather listen to Galinda’s barmy laughter instead of being with them again”
The wildest revolutionaries from the crowd followed the man, cheering for his efforts in executing their enemies. Absolom blocked their ramblings, ignoring their thankful comments and greetings. The monkeys were never of much concern for him, as he knew there was a bigger problem beneath them. Galinda knew about it. The witch knew about it. The Wizard, who irresponsibly left the Land of Oz after everything went down, knew about it. He wondered if he’d reached the office, as his poor ears and tiny hands were not enough to cover the distracting screams of the herd of nitwits behind him. Besides, his old, torn legs did not help at all. He looked up, and as he saw the golden door upon him, he knew he was done. He faced the crowd with an uninterested smile and a wave, and quickly reached for the door’s handles. He stepped back and went right inside, closing the door with the same cheeky smile. The smell of mint in the lobby comforted him, as he knew he wasn’t to be faced with those foul commoners again. He loathed their smell, their clothing, the way they cheered and screamed after every execution. Slumping through the green-coated room, Absolom covered the flooring with the muddy mixture of gunk that remained on his shoes. He shook it off, as a few chunks of crud fell to the ever-shining floors. He sighed and straightened his emerald tie, still limping around the lobby. He looked forward, not caring about the tired servants who cleaned the mud he left behind. Finally, he reached another golden door. This one, however, had a shining plaque above it. COUNSELOR, it read. He swiftly opened it and let out a loud sigh as he walked inside. Surprisingly, a woman with a bright blue dress that covered her legs was inside. She had a stern face.
-“Good day, Absolom” she greeted in a very low voice.
-“Ergh… Galinda. Didn’t expect to meet you here” said Absolom in a grim tone.
-“Why are you doing this?” she asked. “Why are you helping them?”
-“Listen, dear, I’m actually helping the people express themselves while you’re away with the fairies” explained Absolom.
-“Away with the fairies? I’m the one who is actually trying to find the Wizard. I’ve been looking everywhere. I’ve sent patrols out. I’ve done everything in my power”
-“Oh, really? What have you found?”
-“Nothing at the moment, but…”
-“See?! You’re not helping at all. You only have your spot because the people out there like you. I myself am helping them overcome their own problems. All you do is sit around and tell them everything will be alright every once in a while”
-“Absolom, I don’t want this to turn into a fight. All I want is to know why you’re helping the people out”
-“I’m trying to make them accomplish their goal, darling. By going with them, I’ll make them like me. When the time comes, they’ll stop if I tell them to”
-“You’re just spreading the fire now, Absolom. This won’t end well for anyone here. Listen to me, I know. You need to start having a tough voice on them. They won’t listen unless we go hard on them”
-“What do you know, you chav? I know what I’m doing. Now, leave my office before I gouge your eyes out”
-“Listen to me. Your rage is taking over you, Absolom. This needs to end. Please, just try to appreciate my work for once and join me. The Wizard needs to come back”
“It seems like I have taken over your job, dear. You seem to not be listening to what I’m saying. I will drive the people out of this ditch, and then bring the Wizard back. Now, go back to your idiotic plans” Galinda glanced at Absolom and walked out of the room. “You’ll see what this brings you” she mumbled before closing the door and walking off.
Galinda made her way through the hustling streets of the Emerald City, her shiny slippers clinging with the golden bricks below her. What Absolom said to her was worrying. It seemed like this would truly be the end of the city. She had to step up. Remembering what the counselor told her, a tear rolled down her cheek. After the Wizard’s departure, it seemed like every single citizen despised her. They discovered how she was only a spokesperson for the Wizard, and none of her actions ever benefited anyone but her. It was almost deadly to leave her government-granted house, as one of the main goals for the revolutionaries outside was killing her to end her expenses. In the distance, she could hear the yelling and the crackling flames emanating from the fallen buildings around the palace.
- First appearance of Galinda.
- First mention of Absolom's rivalry with Galinda.