Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Tin Man

Few know of what happened after the events of the "Wizard of Oz". Sure, Dorothy got to go home, but she never knew of the ruin that followed her visit.

Shortly after getting his heart Tin Man got his first crush. As Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man worked their way back along Yellow Brick Road they found a young woman out working in a field. Her long dark hair was pulled back into a rough knot, her soft round features covered in tear streaked dirt, her plain dress stained and torn and outgrown a year or so back. His companions went on but Tin Man's heart caused him to empathize with the sad farm girl. He stopped to see if he could help.
She told him of her lazy father who whipped her and made her tend the fields so he could sit at home drinking. Tin Man decided to help this lovely dirt covered damsel in distress. He set to work next to her to help finish the fields faster. His fingers became a blur of motion, his powerful pistons and motors ripping up the stubborn turnips and tossing them casually into a pile on the basket sitting at the end of the row.
Having finished that the woman took Tin Man back to the house. She washed her face and brushed out her hair and set Tin Man to work milking the cattle. A smile and a little flash of leg and she set the Tin Man reshoeing the horses. The horses tried to warn Tin Man about the woman but he wouldn't believe a word against her.
When done with the horses he made her a colorful new dress which she wore when she ran away with a handsome young man from Emerald City leaving left Tin Man behind.
Tin Man continued doing chores around the farm waiting for the woman to come back until her father came out and mocked him for letting her play him for such a fool. The father mocked and mocked until Tin Man finally understood that the pretty girl had just used him to do her work and wasn't coming back for him ever.
Tin Man, his head bowed and his shouldered sagging, shuffled his way back to The Yellow Brick Road. He crept along the road for weeks, looking neither left nor right, his eyes focussed on a point a foot in front and two feet below his toes. Finally he returned to the woods where Dorothy had first found him. He tried cutting down a tree but couldn't find the strength to do more than put a knick in the bark.

Tin Man couldn't find the motivation to do anything else. His heart was broken, he'd returned to the closest place to a home he knew, even his primary function of cutting trees seemed pointless. His owner had left him rusting for so many years before Dorothy found him that it was clear they didn't even want him or care if he cut down any trees. Tin Man dropped his ax, let his knees give way, and slumped to the ground. There he sat, staring a hundred yards past the roots of an ancient oak. The rains came to do his crying for him and still he sat. Mushrooms grew around him, fires passed, and still he sat. If his joints are rusted even he doesn't know since he doesn't even bother to try them. He just sits there, year after year, with the heart of a human and the absolute, unfading memory of an android.

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