Evil returned

It was morning before the sun had crested the distant hills. The hour was early enough that the throngs had not yet begun to traverse the city streets. Even with the lack of sunlight, the previous gloom of the day before seemed to have faded ever so slightly.

Vee strolled along, not a soul in sight. Her steps were lighter than they had felt on the previous day, for she had barely mustered the courage to leave her modest house on the far edge of the city. Not far had she traveled, not even to the hedge of the shopping district when she was met with something that was not to be heard of inside the Emerald walls....she was instructed by a rather disgruntled shop keeper to go back from where she'd come, and with several colorful expletives that made her small, round cheeks blush with embarrassment and confusion.

Nevertheless, she had done as instructed and returned home. There she'd spent the remainder of the day, unable to forget about the encounter with the mean shopkeeper, for she knew him well and was determined to have words with him at a later time.

That was neither here nor there, for on this day she had made sure to leave the house at an hour that NO ONE would be out. She would make her way into the center city and do so before anyone could tell her otherwise. She skipped along, a spring in her step that had not been there the day before. She was exhilarated to be in the City, finally. She would go about her errands and nothing was to get her down today.

As she approached what was sure to be the fulcrum of the day's activities, she could see something of a strange shadow in the distance. She stopped and observed it carefully, cautiously. It seemed to be swinging overhead from one of the buildings in a manner that was odd and out of place. Vee looked around to see if anyone else was there yet and if she was the only one that had noticed this oddity.

There was no one to notice what she had, so she closed in on the swinging object with care. When she came close enough to discover what it was she was witnessing, she stopped dead in her tracks. All of the color drained from her face and she could barely move. She let out a scream of terror once she was able to release it from her lips, for in front of her, swinging from the building overhead, was the ghostly body of a beautiful, green-haired woman. All of the life appeared to have been drained from her delicate features as the cord about her neck swung her like a pendulum in the cool morning breeze.

The day preceding this one had been dark. It was felt all over the city, all over the land. It was, however, this little, dainty munchkin that had discovered how truly dismal it had been, for after a decade, evil had returned to the land of Oz.


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