The Loss
Title: The Loss
Author: Allronix
Originally posted to Tinman100 LJ Community
Prompt: Sugar (Table 6)
Word Count: 436
Characters: Ozma Galinda (Lavender Eyes) and Child!DG
Disclaimer: Oz belongs to L. F. Baum. The idea of the Quadling gypsy and the Madeline Mountains were borrowed from Greg Maguire. Ozma Galinda (Lavender Eyes), DG, Azkedellia, and the general situation belong to Long-Mitchel, Van Sickle, and the Sci-Fi Channel

As far as anyone knew, they were just a mother and child on the run – from the law, from an abusive husband, from some dire hardship. But running they were, from a danger that all of Oz didn't know was coming.

"Mama, why'd Daddy have to go?"

Galinda stroked her daughter's dark hair. "He has some business to take care of. Don't worry, dear." She tried to keep the worry out of her voice, but knew she wasn't doing very well.

"Mama, why isn't Az here? What's wrong with her?"

"Azkedellia isn't well, DG. She needs to get better." She kept her voice low.

They were stuffed inside a Quadling vardo and Galinda had bribed the owner, a snaggle-toothed crone, into smuggling them through the Madelines, the old wagon shaking precariously as it wound its way through the mountain passes. Galinda clutched DG tighter as the wagon made a tight corner, the child making slurping sounds as she sucked on a sugar stick. That was Ahamo's little ritual. If he had to go away on a trip, he would take those cheap candies and break them in half, giving "half now, and half when I get back" to his daughters. This time, however, he did not break the candy in half before giving it to DG. The implication wasn't lost on Galinda. He was dreading the prospect that this separation would be a permanent one. Even under the best of circumstances, the family would be apart for a very long time.

"But Az says I always make her feel better."

Galinda sighed. "Your sister is very, very sick. Your father and I will try to make her better, but we don't want you getting sick, too." Galinda shuddered, glad that DG didn't seem to remember that horrible night.

They had tried to exorcise the presence from Azkedellia. The alchemists, Sorcerer's Guild, and even Chieftain Growl of the Viewers had worked with her for a fortnight. They believed they had succeeded, only to have Azkedellia murder her sibling the next day. Galinda had given up the Spark of Lurline, the source of Oz's life, to save DG. That was the other reason her daughter had to be sent away. If the Witch somehow managed to augment her power with it...

"Mama, you're crying."

"It's just because of the cold, my angel. Please try to sleep."

DG crunched through the last of her stick and snuggled up to Galinda, the child's sticky fingers clutching her gown. Galinda wrapped the ruby cloak she wore around them both. She did not dare sleep, but she could at least weep.