Good morning. That’s a lion way over there! Am I in Africa?
Something weird about that lion. He’s standing on two legs. I swear it even looks like he’s talking with someone.
I creep quietly out of a bed of leaves. Don’t draw the lion’s attention…
I tiptoe away avoiding the crisp forest droppings when I spot a tiger perched on a thick low tree branch. Wait. What are tigers and lions doing in a deciduous forest?
I go the other way, quietly, stepping slowly..
And come face to snout with a brown bear!
The bear is startled, turns and lopes away. Lucky for me!
Lions and tigers and bears? Oh my.
Obviously I have to conceal myself and try to observe my surroundings if I’m going to make sense of things. I find a place between trees concealed by bush on a hill just above the woods. I watch across the landscape. Like a hunter I sit motionless for hours, senses alert.
That forest is grim. The trees have an aura of menace about them. I’m certain that I’m being watched, but I don’t know why.
In a while I notice activity at a distance in the sky. It takes time to realize exactly what it is I’m seeing. Flying winged monkeys! I have a feeling I’m not on just any other Earth any more.
Flying monkeys? Are those chimpanzees? Or are they bonobos? By golly after a little observation it’s clear that there are three different families of flying simians in three directions, largely segregated.
The flying chimps are a nasty bunch who’ve been liberated to be themselves since the melting of their slaver. They’ve basically broken into two warring gangs causing a lot of collateral damage.
The smaller flying bonobos are a peaceful and highly sexual tribe dominated by females. They’re the only peaceful sect in the land that I hear everyone calling Oz.
The ruler of Oz is a scarecrow called Scarecrow. Under his straw, Emerald City has degenerated into a green mess. His lack of comprehension, inattentiveness to detail and strenuous efforts to think have garnered mass confusion and conflicting objectives throughout the metropolis. While the former leader was a shyster who pretended to be scary, Scarecrow is an incompetent whose bumbling results actually are scary.
Over in Winkie County the Tin Man has been running things since The Wizard departed. The Munchkins suffered fearfully when the Witch of the West dominated their land and threatened all of Oz with her airborne ape army. Glinda, the Witch’s sister, was the only force that could oppose her effectively – besides water – but Glinda spends little time in Oz, as she’s able to transport elsewhere and seems to prefer it there. It was up to a girl from a land called Kansas to rub out the bitch. Glinda only shows up when everything is nice and peaceful.
Sadly, Tin Man’s reign has not been a happy one. While he supposedly attained a “heart” before The Wizard disappeared, he shows a stunning lack of compassion when meting out the law. He has a tendency to swing the ax and chop off the offending hand unemotionally as a simple matter-of-fact. It’s a simple philosophy. Act according to the rules or be chopped down.
The Lion was recruited as King by the Forest animals after The Wizard went away. There is no doubt that The Lion found his courage. Unfortunately it seems he’s gone even further. The squirrels and bears are whispering “bully” these days when discussing the King’s behavior. Why the former coward is now even getting ready to stand up to his old ally, Tin Man. Conflicts are arising between those who want to cut down the Forest and those who want to live in it.
With The Lion running things in the Forest, Tin Man lording it over Winkie and Scarecrow on the throne in Emerald City, both of the flying chimp gangs are taking advantage of the new lack of territorial unity.
Explosions and fires are breaking out in Emerald City itself. Scarecrow has declared a state of martial law, not even knowing what that means. A horse of a different color blows up the grooming salon, the bomb sewn into him by an out of work, radicalized member of the Lollipop Guild.
Then there is intervention. The skies fill with ominous clouds unlike anything seen since that house got dropped on the Wicked Witch.
All of Oz quiets down as an ethereal image descends from the sky, mountainous columns of storm opening a calm gap for her arrival…
“Citizens of Oz. You are but children to me. I would help you rise from this sordid place into a golden realm. Will you let me lead you to the greater universe beyond?”
Hmm. The Munchkins are buying it. The chimps are suspicious. Emerald City is looking for stability so the majority there is ready to cave. The Forest is nervous. And the bonobos are having group sex.
Hold on. That image fluttered. The Goddess wavered! She’s practically digital! It’s an avatar. The Goddess of Oz is playing us from the outside world. It all happened in my head! “She” is one of the aliens of the Intergalactic Council that has detained me for questioning out here in this forsaken corner of the cosmos.
“Please forgive our intrusion of your brain,” communicates the alien operator. “We now hope to have a more comprehensive overview of your home world. You will be returned to your cell while we review the findings of our probe.”