Epilogue: Movie Magic
Dorothy awoke to a gasp from her cross-stitching Auntie Em.
"Henry, she's come to!"
"Where am I this time?" Dorothy muttered. She pulled her hand across her sleepy eyes.
"Dorothy, dear. How do you feel?"
Auntie Em looked worriedly at Uncle Henry, who shrugged his shoulders.
"Kids today, I tell ya."
Dorothy sat up straight, remembering her adventure.
"Oh, Auntie Em, I had the weirdest dream!"
"I don't doubt it. I told you not to eat those chocolate peppers Miss Gulch sent you. But did you listen? Noooo."
"It was like this…"
But no matter how hard she tried to explain it, nobody seemed to understand. Although bummed, Dorothy had an idea. When her muttering aunt and uncle finally left her alone for a minute, she pulled a notebook and a pencil from her bedside drawer. Bent double over the paper, she wrote until the sun went down. Finally, she sat up and dusted the eraser shavings from the bedspread.
"What do you think, Toto?"
The little black dog barked and wagged his tail. For once, it was a bark of approval.
"I'm glad you're on my side, Toto." She scratched his head playfully while she thought out a plan. Two minutes later, she had her answer.
"Toto, darling, how do you feel about Hollywood?"
By the time the Greyhound bus pulled into the station, Dorothy had hugged Auntie Em, packed Toto into his wicker basket, written down her address (when you're the only one around for miles, you tend to forget such pointless details), and promised to write.
"Auntie Em, do you really think I would leave you and Uncle Henry all alone without so much as a letter from me?"
"Dorothy, dear, I hate to be a bother…"
"Oh, it's no problem whatsoever."
"Dear, make sure the chilies are red, not green, before you eat them. We don't want another… incident."
"But Auntie Em, if it hadn't been for Miss Gulch's peppers, I wouldn't be going to Hollywood."
Her aunt brightened. "Well, that's true, I suppose." She patter her niece's hand comfortingly. "Have a good time, Dorothy. And don't eat anything bigger than your head."
The flabby, red-faced man tapped his cigar against the silver ashtray. The deep mahogany wood paneling seemed a little claustrophobic to Dorothy, but she shrugged it off. She'd had worse. She leaned in to hear what the head director of Hollywood studios had to say about her script.
"Well, it's certainly original, I'll give you that."
"So you like it, Mr. Fleming?"
"I wouldn't go that far. But it has potential, I'll give you that. A few character revisions, maybe more plot development in this section"- he pointed to the script- "and something needs to be done about the priest."
"Oh, he's too stupid?"
"No, he's a member of the clergy. I don't have any qualms about that, but the lawyers would have a field day with that. Religion in a kids' movie, that kind of thing. That's the stuff that gets us censored, ups the rating."
"Oh, but it's not a kids'-"
"Look, darlin', no adult audience would buy this. I'm not bein' critical, I'm just sayin' the honest truth. But this could be a huge hit for the kids' market." He spread his hands wide and looked her in the eyes.
"Well, if that's what you think is best."
"Trust me on this one. Now, I think this robot man-"
"Yeah, him. Don't you think he'd be better as like, an iron woodcutter, somethin' like that?"
"Hmmm. The Tin Woodman?"
"Now you're talkin'."
Dorothy sat in the Hollywood preview room, munching on a handful of chili/chocolate popcorn while Toto sat in the seat beside her. She luxuriated in the velvet-covered armrests and seat backs. This was really the day she had been waiting for, all her life. To see the credits roll before the film and see her name as the writer and the lead role. Yes, this was the moment.
"Here it comes, Toto."
Starring: Dorothy as herself. Writer: Dorothy.
"Well, you'd think they could have at least put my last name," the girl said grumpily, even though she realized that she was a juvenile and all, although she preferred the term minor, because juvenile made her sound like a criminal. Cheering up a bit, she realized that everyone who knew her and bothered to see this movie would think of her as a movie star. Yes, Kansas was never going to have the same "no place like home" feel it once did. She was gold, baby.
(A/N: So, was it a successful conclusion? Tell me what you liked about it, especially if you read all the way through. I hope I can write more fanfics, so reviews will help me gauge how to go about doing so. Thank you, and good night.)