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Sometimes, when Glinda looks in the mirror, she swears she can see hints of green verdant swirls traced across her skin by slim fingers that left a mark invisible to all but her. Then she wishes that were really true, that she was streaked and sullied by sweeping arcs the exact color of Elphie's skin. She thinks that if that were true, then people wouldn't gather at her feet like acolytes and invent parades for her to helm and sigh and simper at every word that crosses her lips as if she's ever said anything of consequence. She's sure that if she could be marked as who she truly is, the spurned and abandoned lover of the Wicked Witch of the West, then she wouldn't be burdened with the never-ending playact known as Glinda the Good.
How could she be Good if she loved Wicked? How could Wicked be wicked if she loved, and was beloved by, Good?
Heady thoughts, she thinks before rapidly dismissing them, and looks down from her balcony at the crowd gathered there, anxiously awaiting her next decree. It's already been written, the boring speech, the pontifications on the grand state of Oz, but in her head she mentally rearranges it. She makes it the truth, and she delivers it with a bright smile and a casual toss of her ringlets, as if the words were a welcomed reprieve from years of lies and not, instead, the early fomentations of revolt.
"I was a silly, shallow schoolgirl. She cared about things. She wanted to make a difference. She was smart, and brave, and loyal. She carried on with her life as if the things people said about her didn't matter. She was the best person I'd ever met. I mean it when I say that, I choose my words carefully."
She imagines the people staring up at her with adoring and open faces falling to their knees in collective shock, doubting their own ears for hearing such seditious words coming from her lips.
"I loved her. Yes, you heard me correctly. I loved her. I loved Elphaba, Thropp Third Descending of Nest Hardings. That was her name, you see. She was never a witch, you know, or wicked. She may have been magic, but she was no witch, and I refuse to let her be known as such any longer. She loved me back, too, and we did the things that two people in love did, which I think you should know even if it shocks you."
But while she'd like to tell them all about her first lover, the only love she'd ever truly loved, she didn't. Elphaba was gone, done in by a raw-boned farm girl from a place that didn't exist but that was nonetheless known as Kansas and a bucket of water, and no matter what anyone said about her (even Glinda the Good) she'd never be known as anything other than the Wicked Witch of the West. And maybe it was better that way, Glinda acknowledged privately. With the population banded together in their hatred of the woman who could secretly have been their savior, Glinda went merrily about her business, Elphie's long-ago given counsel guiding the future of Oz.
The irony of it would have made her happy, had Glinda still been able to feel the depth of that emotion. But, without Elphaba, there was nothing but rote performance of a duty she had never wanted. Perform it she did, though, taking an almost sadistic glee in affecting all of the changes, and more, that her lover had wanted to see.
Wicked Witch, indeed, thought Glinda, stepping out onto the balcony amid the cheering cries of the people of Oz. Basking in the adulation despite herself, she smiled, the expression a little too razor sharp for her girlishly beaming countenance, and took in a deep breath.
"Fellow Ozians "
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