She's dead! She's dead! We've killed the witch! Three cheers for Dorothy!
Glinda sobbed quietly in the corner as the mob's celebration sounds faded into the distance. She sank to the floor, and tears flowed freely down her face, utterly ruining her makeup. The hard stone floor made it impossible for her to find a good crying position. She didn't care. She curled up in a ball, the witch hunters' terrible, cruel, cheers remaining in her head long after they themselves were gone. Pain and suffering, loss and mourning, emotions that Glinda's bubbly disposition never taught her to deal with, all raced through her blood, filling her with despair.
Elphie's gone. Elphie's gone and I didn't save her! I could have! I'm Glinda the Good! I could have saved her!
The dark, intimidating, scary, and depressing stone walls of Kiamo Ko castle seemed to reflect her mood. She had always hated Elphie's choices in fashion, and she had despised this castle and its less than cheery appearance. Right now however, she couldn't bring herself to insult anything about Elphaba. This was Elphie's place, Elphie had died here, and Glinda never wanted to leave her friend. She shifted uncomfortably, turning onto her side. That position put Elphie's remains in plain sight, and it made Glinda sick.
Teary-eyed, with mascara running down her face, her hair tangled and dirty from tossing and turning on the filthy floor, and her once pristine dress muddied and wrinkled, she stood shakily and slowly, leaning on her wand for support.
How she wished that her sparkly, perfect wand had real power. How she wished she could bring Elphie back, magick her life back into her, have her pop up and say,
"I'm here Glinda! It was a joke! Just a mean joke!"
But that was silly. Elphie was dead, and Glinda knew it. After all, there in the middle of the chamber was Elphie's hat, and underneath it was a puddle of green ick, with Elphie's dress surrounding it. It was oddly mesmerizing, like watching a particularly terrible train wreck. In repeat. Slow motion. Forever.
Glinda trembled as she trudged slowly toward what was once her best and only real friend in the whole of Oz.
Each step reminded Glinda that Elphie should be here, with her, and that Glinda should've spoken up, should've had herself killed instead of Elphie. Each step brought pain. Her brain swirled with it. There were no coherent thoughts, only a picture of the brave green girl who was everything Glinda had wanted to be (minus popular, but suddenly that seemed strangely irrelevant) and was everything Glinda never could be.
After what seemed like hours dragging herself futilely toward Elphie's lost memory, she reached her remains. She collapsed on the ground, crumpling like a marionette with its strings cut. The trademark "Wicked Witch" hat lay only an arm's length away from her.
That hat… I gave that to her…
Glinda was launched back into reverie.
ShenShen and Pfanee ruffled through Galinda's things as they all prepared for the Winkie prince's party at the Ozdust ballroom. Galinda was perfect, as usual, a picture in pink ruffles. ShenShen and Pfanee, looked nice too, but that hardly mattered. Galinda was in the tedious process of attaching a pink lily to her platinum blonde curls- it was a lost art, and it made Galinda proud to perfect and carry on this art of flawless hair care whenever possible- when she heard a scream of horror echo from behind her, utterly throwing off her concentration. She whirled around to give them a thorough scolding about just how hard fixing hair was and how she would have to start all over when she saw what they were holding.
"Galinda, what in Oz's name is this?!" They demanded.
"Just… pretend you didn't see that," she said hastily as she snatched the hideous black hat from their hands," She held it disdainfully by its tip, biting her lip. "My Granny was always terrible at giving gifts. I'd give it away, but I don't hate anyone that much."
Pfanee and ShenShen exchanged a wise and knowing look.
"Yes you DO!" They exclaimed in unison.
Galinda knew immediately who they were talking about. Elphaba Thropp, her detestable roommate, the constant thorn in her side for weeks now. It would fit… a clashing hat for a clashing human, if one could call her that.
"I couldn't…" She said doubtfully, then giggled. "Could I?"
Her friends nodded gleefully, and they all broke down into a giggle fit. How scandaliciously perfect!
How shallow she had been. She had given Elphie that gift out of hate, and had been amazed -and even more hateful- by how well it had suited her. Elphie had worn that hat almost everyday since, and Glinda had grown to love it as much as she did her friend. Now, the only hate Glinda felt was towards herself.
Slowly, carefully, tentatively, Glinda reached out for the hat. She touched it hesitantly, then grabbed it, holding it close.
"Oh Elphie…" Glinda sobbed, the rest of her never-to-be-finished apology catching in her throat. Holding that hat was almost like having Elphie there, hugging her, reassuring her, telling her that it was going to be okay. Almost. But not quite…
Sorrow consumed her, and it took her to all the places that she, as a bubbly and happy person, had never been before. Guilt, intense, earth-shaking guilt wracked through her body. She shook her head fiercely, causing her less-than-immaculate curls to toss and tremble, telling herself that Elphie wouldn't have wanted that. But what would she know about what Elphie thought? She couldn't know, because Elphie was dead.
A small, timid question reached her ears, disrupting her from her thoughts. "Miss…Glinda?"
Surprised by the sound, she screamed unbecomingly, leaping to her feet and whirling away from the voice, not knowing who it was, or whom she could trust. It would not do for Glinda the Good to be seen "mourning the wicked" as it were. She wiped away tears and put on her best, well-practiced "knock-them-boys-off-their-feet" smile and turned back towards the voice.
She sighed with instant relief, and semi-anxiousness. It was only Chistery, one of Elphie's flying Monkeys. She had always feared him, but right now, she knew she could trust him. Elphie had.
"What is it, Ch-chistery?" she asked, her voice cracking and her smile slipping off her face. For Oz's sake. And she had wanted to sound in control. She wanted to prove to Elphie that she could be calm under pressure. Guess that plan had failed miserably, just like- Stop it Glinda. Don't even think about it or you'll break down. Then what will you have to prove to… her?
Chistery held a small, green bottle, covered with dust and a peeling label, out towards her. She shrunk away from him at first, but she hesitantly took it. It was exceedingly familiar. She had seen it many times, the first in the room Glinda and Elphie had shared at Shiz.
"Let's tell each other secrets we've never told anyone before!" Galinda squealed happily. Elphaba shot her an unwilling, pleading look. "I'll go first!" She continued before Elphaba could object. "Fiyero and I are going to be married!" She jumped up and down excitedly.
Elphaba looked unimpressed. "He's asked you already?"
"No, he doesn't know yet." Galinda pouted, and Elphaba rolled her eyes. Galinda pressed onward. "Now you tell me why you sleep with this funny green bottle under your pillow!" She retrieved it and waved it in Elphaba's alarmed face.
"Give that back!"
"No! Tell me why!"
"Tell! No! No! Now!"
"It was my mother's! That's all!" Elphaba shouted, snatching it from Galinda's hand and running back to her bed.
Glinda thought about that with a smile, even though she still wished she could apologize for it. But she had also seen it somewhere else, many years later, in the Wizard's throne room.
Glinda glanced, heart-broken and shocked, towards Elphaba and Fiyero's retreating figures. Those two were in love? Her friend and her fiancé… lovers? Glinda's heart shriveled, and bitterness filled her.
"Here. Drink it." Came the Wizard's voice from behind her. He was laying, propped up on a stair, holding out a funny, yet ornately decorated, glass bottle. "It'll take the edge off." Glinda didn't want drugs, didn't want to be happy right now. She liked the edge, it reminded her that she wasn't completely fake.
"No, thank you." she said coldly, her voice strained with politeness. The Wizard shrugged, and took a huge swig.
She knew that the one Chistery was offering her now was Elphie's, but she had never made the connection between the two funny glasses until now. How in Oz's name had those two come to possess identical sets…? Odd. Then again, everything was topsy-turvy now. Elphie… Oh Oz, Elphie. She was supposed to be alive, helping Animals and being all around wonderful. The Wizard… he was supposed to be gone, his wicked ways revealed to the citizens of Oz. She… she… she was supposed to be Glinda. Perfect. Shallow, happy, and popular. She was… in a way. But she was changed. Forever; indefinitely; for good.
"Thank you, Chistery. You're a w-wonderful Animal. I p-p-promise that El-el-el… She, won't have died in vain. I'll get rid of the Wizard. W-we'll all be happy. Y-you'll see."
Where did that sudden bit of determined altruism come from? That was not expected. However, it was there. Determination. Determination made more powerful through grief.
"You'll see Chistery." She said more confidently. She felt a serious and pressing need to make things happen. Now. Her pain… it didn't matter, not now, not when she had bigger Fish- wait, wait, wait- fish to fry. She wiped away the tears and stomped her wand forcefully on the ground. It didn't do anything, but it echoed nicely across the chamber and made her feel powerful and in control. She needed that.
Summoning her patented bubble, she looked at Chistery and vowed once again that she would make things right. All confidence and bravado, she flew out of the gloom of the chamber, away from Kiamo Ko and Elphie in her shining, luminescent, perfect bubble. She flew over the huge crowd, the blinding fireworks, and the cheers below her, tear free.. Until she looked back.
Those stupid tears again… Why? She knew why. It was a stupid question. Stupid tears, stupid question, stupid Glinda. Her friend was gone, forever. But she, Glinda Upland of the Arduenna Uplands, was going to make it right. She was going to get back at the Wizard. Get rid of him. For good.
She still had one problem however. How to address the celebrating citizens below. She needed time to think. She didn't get it.
"Looooook! It's Glinda!' a man cried below. She steeled herself and held her hand up to stop the cheering.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
A pause fell, and the tension was palpable as everyone waited for her to speak.
"Fellow Ozians," she began shakily,
Because I knew you…
"Friends…" Pain shot through her, as she realized she would have to celebrate the death of her friend with these strangers.
I have been changed…
Oh Elphie… I'm going to miss you!
… For good.