Disclaimer: I own nothing from Wicked except the soundtrack and the ability to look up everything I can about it on the Internet.
Title: Finale (for lack of anything better)
Rating: PG – 13/T
Summary: Elphaba's thoughts at the end of the musical.
I sit in this damp, dark, room beneath a trapdoor in Kiamo Ko. Too scared to light the lamp I put down here while I can still hear them above me, I can see light from above through cracks in the trapdoor.
They're looking for the Monkeys, the girl is sobbing, that wretched dog is barking I beg whatever forces watch over me (and hope that they exist) that the mutt won't smell me, and I'm alone beneath their feet. I only hope they won't notice the hairline cracks in the floor.
Finally they leave and I hear Glinda's voice, muffled by the floor.
I hear her walk across the room, see her shadow cross the hairline crack of the trapdoor, and then she cries.
"Miss, Miss Glinda."
Another voice, Chistery, I hope he's giving her the bottle like I asked him to. I wanted to her to have something to remember me by – something that means a lot – she knows how much my mother means to me and I'm sorrier than I can imagine that I can't tell her I'm not dead.
She doesn't say anything, at least nothing I can hear, and the world above me is silent for hours before I finally decide she's gone. Of course I'm fairly certain she had left straight away, I don't know what she would do but I hope it will be…Good.
I wish I had some way to tell the time down here. I'm still too scared to light the lamp or maybe it's just that I find the darkness more comforting at the moment.
In the dark it's easier to understand what you're feeling.
What am I feeling?
Regret, guilt, hope, sweet hope that I have always trusted and often been disappointed by.
Why should this time be any different?
Because it's Fiyero and he, him loving me, is the thing I have hoped for as I never hoped for anything.
He's coming back.
All I have to do is wait.
Waiting was never my strong point.
I distract myself by imagining what is happening in the world, I don't have much sense of how much time has passed, I think a lot of people must know by now.
A thought crosses my mind and I am startled but not really surprised.
It's more of a memory really.
Just after I met Madame Morrible, may she rot for eternity, I had a vision and what do you know I do believe it has come true.
A celebration throughout Oz that's all to do with me!
Well the vision was hazy indeed; I never imagined they would be celebrating my death.
As if the memory set off something I have another vision. I'm not sure but I think what I'm seeing right now is the present or something that will happen soon.
Glinda arrives at the Emerald Palace and enters the Throne room. Madame Morrible, standing next to the Wizard, sees her.
"Glinda! I thought you'd be out festivating."
Glinda holds something out.
"This was Elphaba's."
"What's that you say?" asks the Wizard.
"It was a keepsake. It was her mother's. She told me so herself. I've only seen a little, green bottle like this one other time. It was right here, in this very room. You offered me a drink from it."
Oh sweet Oz! I plead; please don't let this be what I think it is!
But it is.
He stares at the bottle, looking shocked.
"This was her mother's? Oh…my lord…I am a sentimental man who always longed to be...a father..."
"So that was it." Exclaims Morrible. "That's why she had such powers! She was a child of both worlds!"
Those words echo through my mind as I watch the Wizard, my father? Crying for me. A child of both worlds. The Wizard came from another world? I'm his child…my mother go the bottle from him? That makes sense. No wonder she hid it.
Glinda speaks up again.
"I want you to leave Oz. I'll make the pronouncement myself: that the strains of wizardship have been too much for you and you are taking an indefinite leave of absence! Did you hear what I said?"
Oh Glinda you wonderful, wonderful, woman!
"Yes, Your Goodness."
"You'd better go get your balloon ready. Guards!"
He leaves the room, as meekly as you please.
Could my death really have had such an effect? Or is he just surprised by the change in Glinda?
And now it is Morrible's turn I realise gleefully.
"Glinda, dear, I know we've had our miniscule differentiations in the past, but I hope we can put those all behind us now."
"Guards! Madame, have you ever considered how you'd fare in captivity?""What?"
"Captivity..." Glinda articulates. "Prison! Personally, I don't think you'll hold up very well. My professional opinion is that you do not have what it takes. I hope you prove me wrong... I doubt you will. Take her away!"
The guards 'escort' Morrible out of the room. She goes outside, to her flying bubble, and Chistery appears carrying the Grimmerie.
There is a sense of movement and now Glinda hovers above the Emerald City where the citizens are celebrating.
They see Glinda and everyone cheers. She silences them with a simple hand gesture then speaks, still holding the Grimmerie under one arm.
"Fellow Ozians--friends, we have been through a frightening time. And there will be other times and other things that frighten us. But if you'll let me, I'd like to try to help. I'd like to try to be... Glinda the Good."
I feel a sense of disorientation and as she speaks the last words and the scene changes yet again. Now I see…is that? Yes, it is him!
Boq, the Tin man, stands on the balcony that has always been used to make announcements to Oz.
"My fellow Ozians." He begins in a deep, grim, tone.
I notice, or perhaps I just hope, that he seems to be at peace with himself.
"It is my sorrowful duty to inform you of what many of you have already heard. Our beloved ruler, Lady Glinda the Good, passed away last night."
There are shocked cries, and sobs from the crowd, mothers hug their children close, and husbands comfort their wives while trying to hold back their own tears.
"Prime Minister, how did it happen?" calls out one person, her question to be picked up by most of the crowd.
"Lady Glinda passed on peacefully in her sleep, late last night. We believe…"
His voice cracks and he has to start again.
"We believe that she was aware of this event because she left all of her affairs in order. She left a message for the people of Oz, which I will now read for you.
'My fellow Ozians,
It has been the greatest joy of my life to lead you through these many years. Though I have not met all of you I feel as though each and every one of you is my dearest friend.
And now, dear friends, the time has come for us to part. I love you all but I grow weary. I hope that you will love and support my successor as you have loved and supported me.
My life has followed a long strange road and I am glad to have walked that road with all of you but now I stand at the crossroads.
I see my oldest, dearest, friends waiting for me. They have been patient. They understand that I could not leave you all, my new yet just as dear friends, but now I am too tired to keep up with you all on the long road and I go to join them.
I hope you will all remember me fondly,
Lady Glinda the Good, formerly Miss Galinda Upland of the Upper Uplands.'
By now there is not a dry eye in the crowd and Boq's voice cracked so many times as he read that the letter was barely understandable.
The scene shifts again and I know, without knowing how, that this is a memorial service for Glinda. Boq speaks again.
"I first met Lady Glinda the Good over sixty years ago, when I was still a man and she a Sorcery student, she often joked recently that I was the only person in Oz as old as she.
Even as a student it was obvious that there was something special about her. Words cannot begin to describe my grief, knowing I will never speak to her again.
Today I want to speak of the past. The great things Glinda the Good did in her sixty years of leading Oz are too numerous to count so I will only mention the most prominent ones and the ones dearest to my heart.
She discovered the evil nature of the Press Secretary of the leader of the time.
She replaced that selfsame leader when he took an 'indefinite' leave of absence. We all waited a long time for the Wonderful Wizard of Oz to return to us and throughout those months she always referred to herself as the Regent of Oz, never the ruler.
Finally the government decided that anyone who had been away so long did not need to be waited for any longer and they declared Lady Glinda the Good ruler of Oz.
When she first came to power times were turbulent, Munchkinland was in disarray, the King of the West was considering war with Central Oz after the death of his beloved son, and everyone was confused after the Wizard's sudden departure.
She brought equality for all citizens of Oz including the Animals who were much maligned under the reign of the Wizard.
She united all of Oz including the previously reluctant West and South lands of our great land.
She was responsible for the first Council of Oz to include members from all of the races including several Animal Elders.
On a more personal level, she helped my dear, departed, friend – the Lion – find his courage and she…she helped this Tin Man learn that you don't need a heart to have a soul.
She has been loved by generations of Ozians and she will be sorely missed."
There is a moment of silence after Boq's words, the entire crowd (a good percentage of the population of Oz) is weeping for Lady Glinda.
"All of you have heard the words Lady Glinda left for us in her letter. I now have, for your ears, a note she wrote just after that – it is dated the night she died – which I only just found this morning as I prepared for this service.
I know that you will cry for me and I cannot ask you not to. It is only human to weep for the loss of loved ones.
I ask instead that when you think of me it will be as I was in my youth.
On the inside I have always been that beautiful young blonde girl in my portraits that wore a sparkling blue dress, a shining tiara, and carried a beautiful wand.
I have always loved Oz and my love only grew as I continued to guide our wondrous land, first as your Regent then as your Ruler.
Now I am gone but do not despair for I have nothing but the greatest faith in my wonderful granddaughter and her ability to follow in my footsteps.
I have done all I could and laid the foundations for her to lead. She has been a capable Regent in my later years. She will be a strong and caring leader.
The era of Glinda the Good has come to its end. I do not regret this.
My fellow Ozians, I give you the new Ruler of Oz.
Long live Lady Yssandra the Wise.
The last words of Glinda the Good are repeated a thousand times over as the crowd repeats them.
"Long live Lady Yssandra the Wise!"
The vision ends and I am alone again, crying, weeping because I know what she will do in the future.
Look at you. I whisper. You will do all I couldn't do!
I realise why I have seen all this, I have never had such a clear vision until now, I can leave Oz with a clear conscience. I have done all I could and now it falls to Glinda.
There are still unanswered questions: I will never know who she married, if she developed her magic powers, if she learned to read the Grimmerie.
I know the answers to the important questions. She will do as I asked and not try to clear my name. She will be loved by all of Oz and rule them well.
It is not all I want to know but it is enough.
I turn my mind to practicalities; I light the lamp, stare blankly at the food I put down here even though I have had no desire to eat since the day I tried to save him and thought I'd failed, I change my dress to pass the time – my elaborate black gown is too recognisable – I exchange it for a simple garment of a blackish-greyish colour.
Time passes, it could days or just hours, I can't tell how long. I sleep a little, I think a lot. I hear footsteps above me and hastily blow the lamp out. There is a knock on the trapdoor and then it is thrown open as I hear the words 'It worked!'
I am already standing on the steps and I pull myself up as quickly as I can.
"Fiyero!" I pull myself up so I'm seated on the edge of the trapdoor. "I thought you'd never get here!"
I lift my hand stroke his scarecrow's face then nearly drop it down again.
He is alive but is this what he wants?
"Go ahead, touch," he tells me, pulling my hand to his face. "I don't mind. You did the best you could. You saved my life."
"You're still beautiful!"
I tell him and oh how I mean it! He is alive and that is what matters!
"You don't have to lie to me."
He repeats my words and I find it only fair that I should do the same.
"It's not lying... its looking at things another way."
He kisses my hand and helps me up. I hug him tightly, how odd it feels, and he hugs me back.
I whisper 'I love you' over and over and he does the same.
We're together again and that is what matters.
I don't know what my future will bring but we're together and I'm ready to find out what our future together holds.
"It's time to go." Says Fiyero as he pulls away with reluctance.
"We can never come back to Oz, can we?" I reply, as the full extent of his words hits me.
"No." he replies as he holds onto my hand.
I can't follow him just yet. There's one more thing I have to express before I can leave this behind.
"I only wish..."
"That Glinda could know that we're alive."
"She can't know. Not if we want to be safe. No one can ever know."
I already knew that was true I just needed to hear it out loud.
He walks towards the door that leads, eventually, out of the castle. I pause to look East. If I close my eyes I can imagine that Glinda is here with me, I can even hear her voice…Who can say if I've been changed for the better but…
And I join her to finish the words.
…Because I knew you I have been changed.