|The Good Witch of the South
Author: Leia Emberblaze PM
Despite all its attempts at accuracy history is forgetful. There are always holes in the story that time eventually fills in. All of Oz remembers the witches of the west, east and north but what about the south? What about the witch that history forgot?Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Friendship - Chapters: 35 - Words: 63,951 - Reviews: 181 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 12-04-10 - Published: 03-02-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5786754
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This story has been a big part of my life for a year (I started developing the idea and doing research in December of 2009) and it hurts like hell knowing that I will no longer be able to spend time with these characters I've grown to love like they are real people. Most of all I will miss Leyen. About halfway through this story she evolved from a list of mannerisms and character traits into an actual person. A person who I abruptly had no control over. Now she just reacts to things in my writing and I figure out why she reacted that way later…it's actually a little spooky.
This story will stay with me always and, no matter which path my writing takes, it will have a special place in my heart. I will sincerely miss everyone who reviewed so faithfully. I will miss hearing your valuable critiques (I would like to give a special thanks to The Witch's Cat who gave me some of the best and also most helpful and detailed reviews of my life) I was honored to have you all go on this journey with me. There are not words to express how thankful I am.
I hope that you will continue to read my new stories. I'm attempting another 'serious' story called 'The Winged Witch' but I doubt it will ever be as good as this one.
Leyen was walking through a field of poppies. They were a little taller than she was and made a canopy of wrinkled, scarlet blossoms above her head. As she moved a sense of anticipation possessed the good witch, as though something immeasurably wonderful was waiting for her. She moved faster and the light filtering between thick, green poppy stalks became brighter and brighter.
Leyen stepped out of the poppies and onto an expanse of green. Gently rolling hills, swathed in soft, thick, grass spread out towards the blindingly brilliant horizon. Between the blonde and that far off light were a gathering of people. Most were standing far enough away that their faces were indistinguishable, but a small group of two waited close by.
"Yenlay!" One of the nearer people, dressed in a well woven quadling dress, came running towards Leyen.
"Purus?" The blonde had just enough time to register that, yes, the girl sprinting towards her was in fact an old friend, when Purus tackled her.
"Yenlay I've missed you so much!" the quadling exclaimed.
Leyen couldn't speak, for she suddenly found her throat constricted with emotion. "Sweet Oz," she managed to choke out. "Purus I…" Tears poured down the blonde's face as she hugged her little sister tightly.
When Purus drew back Leyen scrutinized her. "You're all grown up," she remarked in surprise, realizing that her little sister was a young woman now.
"So are you," the quadling countered, grinning. Fieb, the figure who had been standing beside Purus, approached. She, unlike Purus, looked slightly younger. Years no longer weighed on her body.
"Fieb!" Leyen exclaimed, stepping forward to receive an embrace from her adopted-mother. "I've missed you."
"And we you," Fieb replied softly.
"That's why we were the ones to greet you," Purus explained. "Everyone else is waiting further back."
"They are?" Leyen turned to look at the mass of far off people. They were a mixture of races and ethnicities; Gillikinese, munchkin, quadling, Vinkun. The blonde was sure she didn't know that many people.
"Well, almost everyone," Purus admitted. Her voice grew sad, drawing the good witch's attention.
"What do you mean?" Leyen asked in puzzlement. Fieb sighed.
"Some people are so attached to another person still in Oz, or so stubbornly stuck to their beliefs, that they choose to stay in the poppies," she informed the blonde.
It took Leyen only a second to realize what Fieb was saying. Her eyes widened. "But Nessa wasn't…I mean she wouldn't…" The good witch trailed off in sorrow. "Oh Nessa." It felt as if someone had knocked the breath out of her.
Of all the people Leyen had been ready to see again, Nessarose had been one of the foremost. Now it seemed as though her friend, so staunchly Unionist, had refused to accept this happy reality and chosen to remain in a sort of limbo. A single tear trickled down Leyen's cheek.
"Will she ever come out?"
"When she's ready," Fieb replied gently. As the three reunited loved ones stood there on the grass another figure emerged from the wall of poppies. Leyen looked up and drew in a sharp breath.
It was Nessa. She was wearing a simple blue dress, more reminiscent of her happy days at Shiz than the strict governor she'd become, and had her features pulled into a look of absolute glee. And she was standing. Barefoot. Without a chair. Without enchanted shoes.
Leyen watched her in shock for a moment. Then dawn broke across the good witch's face. She rushed forward and toppled Nessarose onto the grass. "Sweet Oz, Nessa I thought you were going to be your proud, unyielding self and stay in there for a couple lifetimes," she cried in a rush of laughter and tears.
"I was just waiting for you," the brunette explained. She looked sheepish. "I was scared actually. Even after all my preaching I'm terrified to actually meet the Unnamed God. I mean, I was wrong about so many things. There are people here that I would've thought would be damned."
"But why were you waiting for me?" Leyen's confused expression did little to soften the unadulterated joy on her face.
"Because you seemed to understand it all better," Nessarose confided. "I mean, you were on a first name basis with the Unnamed God. Or Heway. Or whatever He's really called. I thought it would be better to have you with me."
"Oh." Leyen considered this for a moment and then pulled her friend in for a spontaneous hug. "I missed you so much. It was like losing a sister. I felt like…like there was a hole punched through my gut."
Nessa squeezed the blonde tighter in response. "Is Elphaba alright?" she wondered against Leyen's shoulder. The brunette choke whimpered. "I said such awful things to her. She must hate me."
"Nessa, your sister could never hate you," Leyen replied. "She and Fiyero went into hiding, mostly, I think, because it was your dying wish that she be safe. I think it will be a long time before they join us here."
Nessa's eyes widened in relief. "Thank Oz."
"Come on Nessa, Yenlay!" Purus called from a few feet away. "He's waiting, and so is everyone else."
Leyen pulled Nessa to her feet. "Are you ready?"
The brunette straightened into stiff, formal, posture, an old reflex. "I think so."
So they walked forward, into eternity.
Kucharo stood on the bridge where he and Leyen had shared their first kiss. As usual, on such a clear night, the air was thick with fireflies. Little bouquets of flowers were tucked into the latticework; gifts from villagers in the area. The bridge, now called Locasta's Crossing, was a memorial to Leyen. It was nice to see that people cared and remembered her, but there were times when Kucharo resented sharing this place. Tonight he ached for the days when it belonged to just him and Leyen.
Tears dripped from Kucharo's eyes, mixing with the current below. It had been a year and he still could hardly spend more than an hour without something picking his heart apart again. Sometimes it was a particularly vivid butterfly rose or girlish laughter that was almost as perfect and untainted as hers. Kucharo knew, deep down, that Leyen wouldn't have approved of the sorrowful whirlpool his life had become, but there wasn't much the quadling could do about it.
She'd left him here without so much as a single sign to bolster his faltering faith in the world. To Leyen the world was full of Heway's magic and love and family. To Kucharo it was devoid of anything but cold, heartless logic and pain and fear; even when things were improving drastically under the reign of Glinda the Good.
More bitter drops of saltwater plopped into the river. "How could you just leave me like this Princess?" Kucharo demanded quietly of the still, summer air. "You were like the sun. Without you I can't seem to keep the darkness at bay."
A gentle, cajoling breeze ruffled Kucharo's raven locks. When he continued glaring down at the water it became more incessant, tugging his chin upwards. Startled, the quadling finally looked up. The fireflies were denser than usual. They swirled and zigzagged in front of Kucharo in unusual, unnatural patterns until, eventually, the flying insects stopped their movement and simply hovered.
Kucharo watched them closely and, in a fit of realization, felt his knees go weak. Tears poured down his face in long streams. It was the sign he'd all but prayed for, spelled out in gleaming, pulsing fireflies.
I love you.
If that wasn't Heway's magic Kucharo didn't know what was.
Ozian history did not remember Leyen. Her moment of heroism, which few important people had witnessed anyway, was soon shoved aside, because, on the surface, she'd had no other part in what came to be known as the Witch Revolution. It was the first and last time that Oz's four segments were divided between four witches. It was also the first and last time that a revolution was won by four young women with the luck, or misfortune, to be called witches.
Children in school were taught the basics; Glinda the Good versus the Wicked Witches. Eventually they would learn about the Witch Hunters and the Wizard, but that was for later, when things were no longer black and white.
One day, for the sake of public image, Glinda the Good, ruler of Oz, was invited to tell stories at one of the Emerald City's older and more prestigious primary schools. Usually she told ones about the Wizard's downfall, until some particularly bloodthirsty child asked for something about how the Wicked Witches were killed. However today the children, who sat on velvet cushions in a circle, got creative; one little girl requested a new story.
It took Glinda only a moment to think of whose story she could tell. Elphaba may have forbidden her to clear her name, but Leyen had not. "Alright, I've got a new story," the blonde began thoughtfully, sadly, "It's called The Good Witch of the South."
Thanks so much to everyone who read and reviewed. It's been a wonderful ride. God bless you all!