Disclaimer: Ownership rises up and smitheths yoooooooooooooooooou…but I have no ownership so I am safe.

Author's Note: This is one of my older ideas. It tried to get lost for a while but showed up again about the time I started writing out my ideas list (which is at least 8 pages long last I checked, waaaaaaaaaaaiiiiillllll). That being said, I guess muse decided it was time to dust it off and get it down. Maybe because the opening narrator of my next Gulchverse story IS NOT COOPERATING, but he will soon OR I WILL SMITE HIM! Ahem. Where are those spoons, I need to make me some prairie oysters…


...


It wasn't her fault, really, she was just a child. A very young, exceedingly curious child who held far more power than was wise to let wander unattended into darkness such as this.

Well mostly unattended. To give her credit, the elder girl did try. And maybe if she hadn't been so obviously terrified herself she might have managed to keep her hold over her sister. Not that she had the power to change anything. So tempting, so easy really, how was one to resist? Just a 'boo' and a grab and a flick of the hand and by the time the elder girl was picking herself up off the floor of the far side of the cave to go run to mother, the way frightened children will, it was all over but the crying.

And the crying didn't last long, smothered as it was by layer upon layer of ancient, indomitable will. Tears turned to whimpers, whimpers to silence, and from the silence came the first breathy wheezes of sound, building steadily, manically into the terrible, triumphant laugh of vengeance unleashed, made all the more horrible for its issuing from the throat of a five annual old girl. At last, at long last she was free! Defy her would they? Melt her body into a puddle of slime, imprison her spirit for all eternity and forget the very tomb in which she lay? Fools, she would make them pay! Fly, my pretties, fly! Why did those monkeys have wings? Because they were mobats, mobats have wings, she thought absently.

There'd be nothing to stop her this time.

It was light out when she left the cave, cursed light, but she would fix that. This time she would get it right. Already in the distance she could see one of those wretched daughters of light running. They would all run soon enough, and she would chase them all down. Feed them to the darkness; let them rot in its embrace. And over there, that palace would burn, and over here the trees threw apples at you if you insulted them.

When did she-ow! Had good memories, the ancient will thought vaguely, wondering just when she'd turned this way. She'd raze the orchard to the ground, too, just after she finished with that palace. It would burn, all of it would burn, and she would skip stones in the lake...

Something was wrong here, she thought, staring at the stone in her hand in puzzlement. It was far too small to crush skulls with; she couldn't think why she picked it up. Not that she planned to crush her enemies skulls, no, that was too…clean a death for her enemies. They would suffer as she had suffered and worse, far worse, she would give them a time out…

A small flicker of doubt disturbed that moritanium will, that thought could not have been hers. The small fingers of her appropriated hands curled into claws as she called the darkness to her, turning it inwards, wielding against the enemy within. The voice quieted and she cackled once more with glee. So powerful this little one, but so unskilled in its use, and they would all fall thus; her mother, her sister, all the descendants of Dorothy, even that bear. Bear? What b- Hey! She was a witch; she had no need to fear a mere bear! So her new feet could stop running right now! The ancient mind raged as it forced itself to a halt and turned its stolen body back towards the palace. She was not to be hindered by a mere ch-Az says not to go near the edge of the Crack.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE EEEEEEE! FLYING MONKEY BATS!

Stone, marvelous stone, she'd never appreciated it before, the solidity of it underfoot-let's do that again!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH HHH!

ENOUGH! That. Was. It! She was not going to be defeated by a mere little girl-ooh shiny-again. She was Elphaba! The Great and Powerful Oz trembled before her! Those weak, mewling good witches were powerless against her! No child would-I wonder what that is? NO! She was in control!...

It was dark out when evil descended upon the palace. Torches were lit everywhere, guards were swarming the grounds in search for the captured princess, but they'd been evaded with frightening ease. She was but a shadow in the night, unstoppable. The majestic queen gasped and clutched her eldest daughter to her as the throne room door was flung open, the guards hesitating to charge the five annual old child silhouetted within. For despite the torn dress and matted hair, they recognized the bedraggled, wild eyed girl as their princess and would do her no harm, the fools. She flung them aside with a casual flick of her wrist even as she dragged the eldest princess from her mother's arms.

"No!" cried the Queen, reaching out desperately as the hijacked princess pounced upon her elder sister, but she was too late. Those grasping hands closed on the princess' wrists in a merciless iron grasp, reaching for her power, all of it, she needed all of it. The elder sibling was not strong as her sibling, but it was enough; the light came forth, blazing up, enfolding them both in a protective shield of light…

…and flinging one grateful spirit clear out of that light spawned demon! Temptation nothing, that child was bait. The dreaded Witched Witch of the West was going back to her cave where it was safe!