A/N: Okay, here with my first Wicked fic. Um… inspired by LadyBianca's "No One Mourns the Wicked, but What About the Good?" So, if you get the chance, read that. Last time I checked it was on page 20. Erm… completed on 7-31-04, if you wanted to find it. So, um… that's it. Please review, criticism accepted, flames… not so much.
Ghosts of Her Past—Chapter One: The Good Die Alone
Glinda stared out her window at the celebration below. It was the fifteenth anniversary, yet the scares on Glinda's very being were still as fresh as they were in the beginning. She sighed and shut the window so she couldn't hear the crowd's jeers and people pretending to melt. I should've stopped this madness long ago, Glinda thought. But she couldn't, not now.
Glinda hadn't been the same since she'd lost Elphaba. Her health was failing, and her hair had been gray since her mid forties. She was a shadow of her old self. Each year, when the anniversary rolled around, she'd been forced to smile and wave, and act as if she were truly happy, when, in reality, she felt like she were being torn to pieces.
They say a hero dies once, but a coward dies a thousand deaths, she thought. How many more deaths until I'm no longer… me? How many, until I'm just a shell?
Glinda had quit attending the balls and parties after ten years. Ten long, long years. She knew there was gossip in the city about her. They said she went crazy. They had no idea what she had to go through just to get up in the morning. They didn't know what happened to her every time she saw two schoolgirls running through the city that she was instantly reminded of when everything went wrong.
That day was supposed to be the best. But, instead, it made everything worse. Everything went wrong that day. Everything! Why did the Wizard have to do that to us? Why? We did nothing wrong. But, Elphaba wanted to see him. No one believed in him more than her. Glinda sighed. The noise from the celebration below was penetrating the window as more and more people got themselves drunk.
She hadn't left her room the whole day. The maids left her alone. Glinda wished they didn't. She needed some company. No one came to visit her. Kids acting on a dare would run a circle around her house, or throw a rock at her window. So far, it hadn't broken. The kid who actually broke it would be sorry. Glinda would have them punished… if she even cared anymore.
If it weren't for the promise she'd made, Glinda would've tried to convince the ozians about the truth, but she was also afraid that, like Elphaba had told her, they'd turn against her. She wouldn't be able to bear it if their hate were directed at her. Oh, Elphie, what should I do?
Glinda found herself asking for Elphaba's help more and more often than usual. She rarely left the palace, anymore. Oz had to rely on itself, for a change. Things went on. The citizens of the Emerald City took pains to avoid Glinda's house. And when it was unavoidable, their eyes never strayed to the face at the window. Glinda watched them go by. She always watched. She saw boys laughing and pointing, she saw the sympathetic faces of the women, she saw the confused looks from girls, she saw the pained expressions on the men's faces. She saw everything, but did nothing. Just like before… at the time of her false engagement to Fiyero.
"Oh, Fiyero, what have I done?" she whispered to no one. "This isn't how it was meant to be. Nothing should ever have to end up like this. No one should have to deal with this." Her voice grew even softer, if that was even possible. "I lost everything that day. That day fifteen years ago. Everything went wrong!" Glinda found herself screaming, now, though, when her voice rose, she didn't know. "Wrong, wrong, wrong! It shouldn't be this way! She needn't have died! I could've saved her! Why didn't I come out of hiding? Why?" Glinda went over to her bed, and fell into an uneasy sleep, her dreams haunted by her best friend's face.
Gabrielle wandered the streets of the Emerald City until she found the one she was looking for. It was deserted, but it wasn't like she didn't expect it to be crowded with the celebration. "Hah, some celebration. It's a celebration of death. Death, even of one who is supposedly Wicked, it's still wrong. Death should be mourned, not celebrated. But, is there anyone to mourn her? I don't even know her name! Nobody would tell me," she muttered under her breath. "Whatever her name was, I doubt anyone would be named it today."
She hadn't realized that her pace had slowed. Gabrielle kept her eyes peeled for the house she was looking for. 403, 404…Ah, here it is, number 405. She stopped in front of a white brick house with a golden archway. She took the time to notice that there was someone looking directly at her from a second-story window. A woman, with ragged gray curls falling past her shoulders. Glinda. So this is her house, after all. I hope she'll accept a visitor.
Gabrielle did have a reason to want to see Glinda. And she wasn't sure if this was the right day to do it. Since she'd found the house, she decided to wait until tomorrow to show Glinda the photo. It didn't seem right, considering the day, and all. So, she walked back to her house, the image of Glinda stuck in her mind. She looked… distant, haunted. Gabrielle couldn't tell why. She'd had everything, after all. And she just… lost it. Everyone said the responsibility must've gotten to her. That she couldn't handle the pressure. People that had known her at Shiz University said that she'd gone to the city one day and came back… changed. They said that the Wizard had proclaimed her "Glinda the Good" that day, but she didn't seem happy when she got back.
"She was always frilly, and bubbly," Gabrielle was told.
"I don't think she'd ever had any other concerns other than what she would wear that day!" others said. But, Gabrielle wasn't sure. People had feelings. To them, Glinda was just… Good, nothing more. She had feelings, she's a sentient being for Oz's sake. She wasn't just a social icon. She was more than that. And I need to know what she really is. Behind the fake smiles.
That night, Gabrielle slept fitfully. She dreamed of false titles, mistaken identities, and a woman crying. None of it made sense to Gabrielle. As soon as she woke up, she took her shower, and put on a black dress. She braided her hair and set off for Glinda's house.
Gabrielle's thoughts were so muddled from images from her dream, that she passed up Glinda's house the first time. Cursing, she turned around and walked straight up to the front door before she lost the nerve. Kids stared at her as she knocked and asked the maid if she could see Glinda.
"Well, I'll see if she'll let you in, but she's very secluded, these days. Mutters in her sleep, too. If we could help her, we would," the maid told her.
"Oh, how sad!" Gabrielle replied. "But, doesn't anyone know what caused her to be that way? I mean, something had to do it. And don't say it was the responsibility! I've had enough of that garbage. So, when did her health start failing?"
"Not really sure, meself, to be honest. One of the older workers says it started at the death of the Wicked Witch! But, that's when she took power, too. When the Wizard left unexpectedly. I guess it could've been either. But, she must be lonely. No one ever comes to visit her. No one!" The maid didn't look all that surprised. "Ah, here we are."
She knocked on the door and called softly, "Miss Glinda? Miss Glinda, there's a young lady here who wishes to see you. Shall I let her in?"
"Yes. Fine. Send her in," came Glinda's muffled reply.
Surprised, the maid opened the door and stepped aside to let Gabrielle in. "Would you like some tea?"
Glinda looked at Gabrielle, signaling that she should answer. "Uh… no thank you," she said, and walked in.
"What is it that you wanted?" Glinda asked, plastering on a smile.
"You don't have to pretend for me, I don't mind. I just need to ask you something," Gabrielle said.
Glinda's smile faltered and eventually fell off. "Wh-What do you want? If you're here to tell me to come to some party celebrating the death of the W-Wicked Witch of the West, I'm not going. Don't waste your breath."
"That's not why I'm here. I think it's wrong to celebrate the passing of a person. Death is death, and should be mourned, not celebrated. But, there's no one to mourn her. No one cared." Gabrielle looked straight into Glinda's eyes, and saw the same haunted look she'd seen in her features the day before. At the mention that no one cared, Glinda's eyes showed extreme sadness. Could she trust her? Does it even matter anymore? "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you…" she broke off.
"N-No, you didn't. Please, just… what did you want to show me?" Glinda said in an oddly flat voice.
"I, um… I was looking through my mom's old yearbook from Shiz, and I found an… interesting picture there. I guess I just… had to know the truth." She pulled the yearbook from her bag. Opening it to the bookmarked page, she pointed to the picture and showed Glinda.
(Glinda's POV …sort of…)
Glinda gasped. It was a picture of her… and Elphaba. Even though the page was in black-and-white, you could still tell that Elphaba was… well, green. They were in front of Elphaba's favorite tree to read under, she even had a thick book under her arm. Her other arm was wrapped around Glinda's shoulder—in friendship. Both of them beamed at the camera, both truly happy. There… sticking out of Elphaba's book was the reason: the letter from the Wizard. This was taken the day before they left for the Emerald City. Forgotten conversations played themselves in Glinda's mind.
"Elphie…" Glinda whispered, tears welling up in her eyes. "Oh, Elphie. Look at us… you melted and me broken."
"So it's true. You were her friend!" Gabrielle's voice cut off Glinda's thoughts.
A/N: Ohh! Aren't I evil! Cliffhanger! All right, whacha think, like, or no. I won't be able to tell unless you REVIEW! So, um… another update soon. 'Kay?