Disclaimer :- The Wizard of Oz was published by Frank Baum in 1900. No copyright infringement intended, No plagiarism intended, No profit being made from this venture. Written as an expression of thoughts and entertainment. Please do not sue. Check before using or referring to any of my stories. Reviews always welcome.
All characters are sourced from the above adaptation exception for the witch's cousin who is a original character. This story may also be considered as a Fairy Tales crossover as the magic mirror used in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs also makes an appearance.
Working Title :- Cousin West
AlternateTitle :- Tale of an Idiotic cousin
T'was an ordinary day in the West. All was dismal and miserable as it should be, however this was the time when things were going to be different. My cousin the Wicked Witch of the West who I grew up together with since childhood, had an awful headache and decided to take an early night. Till then, until tomorrow morning the task of holding the fort fell to me. During this time cousin West was not to be disturbed no matter what.
My instructions meanwhile was to ensure that that the castle was spotlessly clean and tidy by the time cousin West returns from her slumber and most importantly under no circumstances were any intruders to be allowed to wander into the West or Winkies country as the region was commonly known.
My cousin the Wicked Witch of the West had only one eye. She lost the other one a long time ago when we were babies and even I have no idea about the circumstances as to how that happened. These days she wore an eye patch to cover her faulty eye, but her good one was as powerful as a telescope and with it she could see every inch and corner of Winkies country.
Mine on the other hand was comparatively weak and I could only see things in the field of my own vision. For example just within this room and if I'm lucky outside of it. To carry out my task of keeping away all the intruders, my cousin gave me a telescope one of my favourite instruments. She instructed me how to use it and with this I now had a full view of everything that was going on in the West.
Cousin West gave me a bucket of water and a mop with which to clean the castle, while I was still in her presence had to be very careful because she is very allergic to water. - In fact it is fatal to cousin West. She also gave me her whistle and instructed me how to use it. It was a magic whistle only to be used if I spotted any intruders. Otherwise during her absence I was tasked with its safekeeping.
The instructions were as follows "Blow it once and you'll summon a pack of wolves, twice and you will summon a pack of powerful crows, three time and you'll summon a swarm of black bees - most importantly whatever you do, Do not show fear or they will not respect you. Once they have been summoned just give them the order to dispatch any intruders that has the audacity to invade our domain and they'll take it from there." We both remained hopeful that it was going to be an uneventful evening, but it always pays to be on the safe side.
With all said and done Cousin West went off to bed and I got ready to begin my evening shift. Setting off to work I laboured hard to make sure that the castle was spotless, neat, tidy and shiny. I wanted my cousin to be able to see her reflection in the floor and in the stone walls when she woke up. A testament of how clean the castle was and how good my work is.
Periodically checking the telescope to see all was well I finally spotted some intruders, about four of them heading towards the castle. I had never before seen any such strange intruders in my entire life. They were a girl in a blue dress, a scarecrow, what seemed to be a guy made entirely out of tin and a lion. Of course I followed my cousins instructions to the letter but in the end it turned out to be no good. The intruders must have been very powerful because they destroyed all opposition I dispatched towards them, overpowering our defences and leaving me totally mortified.
Then I realised that there was always the possibility that I could use the golden cap to summon the winged monkeys. That could be one more line of defence, but I could not use the golden cap because my cousin had only used it two out of three times. She had to use it one more time before the cap could be passed on to another owner and my standing orders were not to wake her while she was asleep.
Now I was desperate, the intruders had breached all lines of defences in the West and were now on their way to the castle. When cousin West finds out what has transpired she would be furious and she's not a pleasant personality to have around when she's angry. I thought and I thought what could I do possibly drive them away once and for all.
Suddenly I had a brainwave which is quite unusual because ever since we were children my cousin never stop telling me how stupid I am and how I'm best suited for a subordinate or a personal assistant only. After all these years I'm in agreement with her.
Anyway, I re-called one of my cousin's best kept secrets, a mirror given to her or acquired by an ancient Queen who lived in another kingdom said to be far beyond the realm of Oz itself, within unimaginable distances. Thus I raced to find the key to the room where the magic mirror was kept, made my way in and asked the mirror the key question.
"Mirror Mirror on the Wall, - how to get rid of these intruders once and for all."
The magic mirror came to life and gave an answer
"Thou dear West - these intruders are surely intrusive, but desires they have and desires they seek, fulfil those desires and surely they would leave."
"Great!" I said "that's helpful - that's really helpful and how am I supposed to find out what their desires are."
"Thou dear West - thou have no need to panic, ask the intruders and surely they should speak."
And upon saying that the Mirror went back to - Sleep?
And then the mirror's words of wisdom occurred to me and I said.
"I know - I'll ask them" and with that I left quickly and prepared for the intruders arrival.
The intruders arrived, I greeted them as they made their way inside.
"Hullo" I said nervously
The scarecrow was the first to speak.
"Are you the one who sent all those wolves, crows and bees after us."
"Yes nothing personal" I said "It was my cousin's orders. - I am sorry but they were explicit - She said that under no circumstances were intruders to be allowed in the West. - I'm sorry to say that you folks are intruding, I am afraid I shall have to ask you to leave.
Then the girl in the blue dress spoke up
"The Wizard of Oz sent us - we have no choice but to do what he says, because if we don't I shall never be able to return to Kansas."
"And I shall never be able to have a brain" said the scarecrow.
"or I, a heart" added in the tin man.
"and I will never be able to get any courage" replied the lion
"but where is the wicked witch of the West anyway" asked the girl.
"She's in bed" I replied as a matter of factly "Asleep! - She had a terrible headache this evening and took an early night. She asked me to mind the castle and make sure it is spotless and clean until she wakes up next morning. What does the wizard want from my cousin anyway."
The guests said nothing and it was then that I guessed that they were here to kill my cousin. I knew the story of long ago how my cousin used the flying monkeys to defeat the Wizard of Oz and drive him away from the West. It stands to reason that he extorted these people to assassinate my cousin so that he could invade and reclaim the West for himself again. Too bad for him neither he nor the intruders knew that to kill Cousin West all they needed was a pail of water.
Cousin West may be a Wicked Witch but she is certainly is not the sort of person who deserves to die and I also couldn't help feeling pity for these folks, they didn't seem that bad, but most importantly - now that I knew what was the fondest thing that these folks coveted it was now a question of how to give it to them. If they acquired what they wanted maybe they would leave.
Suddenly one of the last thing the intruders said hit me.
"Did you say courage." I asked turning towards the lion
"Yes I said courage" he replied
"There is something called an elixir of courage." I said "I am sure my cousin has one somewhere – ah there it is."
Reviewing the item I just fished out I continued "All the wizards and witches in Oz have on of these." Then I poured some of the stuff in a spoon and told the lion to drink up. "It must be remembered" I said "that courage comes from within inside of yourself, courage is when you still feel afraid but still do the brave thing."
He was a little reluctant but I urged him to drink. I took a shot myself to prove that it wasn't poisonous. Finally he drank up. After he had done so I asked him.
"How do you feel."
"Full of courage." he replied
"I feel the same too" I responded "why didn't I try some this stuff before" I wondered to myself.
I wasn't sure what to do next, how to get a brain, a heart and go to a place called Kan Sas but the elixir of courage must have been having some effect on me as well, so I figured maybe some of my cousin spell books might give me some clues as to the answers. As I have already mention, my cousin is a very powerful witch.
So the intruders and I sat down and ran through as many books as we could hoping to find the answers. Eventually we found out that the solution was that we needed to cast three different spells one for a brain transplant, another for a heart transplant and the third for a surgeon that can carry out the transplant operation.
The next step was simple to assemble all the ingredients needed to cast the spell. It took some efforts to find everything but since nothing was missing we were able to cast all three spells. The surgeon carried out the transplant procedures, the tin man and scarecrow's heart transplant and brain transplant respectively were successful.
But I didn't have much luck in helping the little girl named Dorothy I don't know all my geography and I have never heard of a place called Kan Sas much less how to get there. Then I had another idea. Dorothy could go and visit Glenda the Good Witch of the South. She is a grand lady with many good ideas, cousin West didn't like her very much - for obvious reasons. Everyone knows that Glenda is good, Cousin West is bad and I am just a bumbling idiot. Still there was favourable chance that if Glenda couldn't help Dorothy get home, she undoubtedly had access to the knowledge that would bring the little girl closer to doing so.
Unfortunately the road towards the South was paved with dangers, however while we were looking for the answers to fulfil the intruders wishes, I recalled seeing a portal spell in one of cousin West's spell books. I went to look for it again and upon finding it cast the spell to open a portal from the room in our castle to the doorstep of the Good Witch of the South's palace. I said farewell to the intruders and they quickly stepped through the portal and out of site. I quickly finished tidying and cleaning everything up, I ensured that everything was back where it was suppose to be. Then I retired myself to bed.
The following morning I submitted a full report to cousin West and told her everything that transpired. She didn't react much as I told her my story but looked cross. After I had finished she queried about some shoes that Dorothy was wearing, and if I happened to acquire them. When I said 'no', she completely lost her temper and called me an idiot.
" How long does it take you to get rid of those intruders - a minute, an hour, 10 hours and through all this time did it never occur to you about securing the silver slippers" she asked angrily. Then she told me to get out of her sight while she figured out what she was going to do next.
When she had calmed down, she abruptly announced that she was going to depart on a quest to retrieve the silver slippers, and instructed me to help her pack. I readied her broom for departure though I was wondering, how was she going to get hold of the silver slippers, I could only guess she had figured out somehow where they ended up. Perhaps she asked the magic mirror it would know and it could never tell a lie.
Cousin West said she would be travelling alone. She was also going to take the golden cap with her on this trip. As before the task of minding the castle fell to me once again and this time it would be for an extended period of time. This time she did not stress the importance of keeping intruders away from the West and in any case all our defences had been destroyed. This left me wondering how was I supposed to be carrying out my previous orders which I assume were still standing.
The days went by, then the weeks and then an entire month had gone by. I carried out my duties to the best of my abilities, ensured that everything was in order, that the castle remain clean and spotless, that there were no intruders in the West. All was calm and quiet.
One evening I had a sudden urge to ask a question of the magic mirror. I was curious about the time when the intruders came and was wondering if the little girl named Dorothy really managed to get home to that place with the strange name 'Kan Sas'.
So I raced to find the key to the room where the magic mirror was kept, made my way in and asked the mirror my question.
"Mirror mirror on the wall - Did the little girl named Dorothy managed to make it home after all."
The mirror replied,
"Thou dear West - there is no place like home, but the truth I must speak and this I do vow - the little girl named Dorothy has safely returned home to Kansas."
" Great!" I replied. "That's wonderful news - I hope that cousin West has managed to find the silver slippers she was looking for, I wish she would come home soon, she may be wicked but I love her to bits. It feel so alone to be here without her."
Then something awful happened which I cold never have foreseen. The magic mirror replied.
"Thou dear West - there comes a time of great sorrow, but the truth I must speak and this I do swear - your cousin the Wicked Witch of the West is dead she found the silver slippers and then set off for home, - but her broom broke down, - and down into the middle of the lake she went with a tremendous splash."
I sat down and cried, I knew that water was fatal to cousin West if she fell in the middle of the deep lake she would have disintegrated before she could even drown. My cousin the Wicked Witch of the West was gone.
A few days later the winged monkeys arrived. The King handed over to me my cousins broom, her hat and a pair of silver slippers. It turned out that upon finding the silver slippers cousin West headed straight back for the castle but unfortunately her broom broke over a Lake before she plummeted to its depth. She had managed to summon the winged monkeys but not in time for them to save her or to receive their orders. It was also the last time she could call upon them. By the time they had responded she presumably had already turned to mush and all they could do was pick up what remained of her and then bring it back to the castle.
And thus came the end of the reign of cousin West. Having used her final wish, the golden cap came into my possession. With it I would be able to use the summon the winged monkeys a total of three times. I decided that after I had done so I would gift the golden cap to Glenda the Good Witch of the South. I'm felt also sure that she would be able to use it more wisely than I or cousin West were able to do so.
After cousin West's departure the Wizard of Oz was able to invade the West and make it part of his domain. Then democratic elections were held, the scarecrow and the tin man returned to run for the election as did the wizard. I did not run for election preferring to vote instead. I will only say I wouldn't vote for the wizard and that it was the tin man who won the elections at the end of the day.
Today I still live in the decaying and decrepit castle which is my only home. I mourn for the loss of my cousin even if she was wicked, but every time I see the scarecrow the tin man and lion I can smile upon myself for having been able to make a difference in their lives. It also bring me much happiness and joy to know that the little girl lost, was finally able to find her way home.
There is no place like home - for home is where the heart is.
* As before I should like remind the audience that in Frank Baum's original novel did not suggest or mention that the two wicked witches were related in any way.
* I considered incorporating the part where the Wicked Witch of the West is set to be afraid of the dark but ultimately decided to omit it.
* In Frank Baum's original novel the Wicked Witch of the West is not given a name. In Gregory Maguire's novels she is called Elphaba. I had intended to name her as Mildred with her cousin calling her Milly before settling for the simple Cousin West.