Disturbing news

The room was silent, save the clicking that the Lion's claws made on the green marble floor as the magnificent beast paced. He was not a patient creature, at least, not as of late. His mane shifted with every step he made, his hips dodging with the transfer of energy from his muscles his powerful legs moved him around the room.

The Tin Woodman glared at him incessantly, irritated by his pacing. He was not alone as the Scarecrow joined in his gaze. The two sets of eyes burrowed into the thick, brown fur of the Animal King. They were all impatient, even Glinda that was a model of patience and virtue.

"Say it" roared the Lion, turning to realize he was being watched.

"Pardon?" asked the Scarecrow, making eye contact with the ferocious beast.

"Say whatever it is you are thinking, or adjust your stare somewhere else" explained the Lion.

Glinda cleared her throat, constant peace keeper. It was only by her tender spirit that the three had not come to blows in recent months. Their dissension had caused the initial split of the Ruling Council that they had formed so long ago. If she had known that such good friends would have the capacity to turn so violently on each other she never would have proposed the formation of the Council.

Had it been so long ago that the comradery they had experienced, the bond that had resulted could dissipate and leave nothing more than bitterness to bind them? It saddened the Good Witch's heart to think of this. Now as it were, only the direst of occurrences would bring them all together. It was for this reason that she hoped and prayed daily for them to remain in their own Kingdoms. It was truly a sad day for Oz.

A small, stout Munchkin emerged from the room beyond that in which the four of the Council say impatiently.

Glinda practically leaped from her seat and approached him first. "Well?" she asked, looking intently at him. "Have you any news?"

The Munchkin, short and round, adorned in a crisp, green three piece suit, hung his head that was topped by a round top hat. His face was saddened, but there was something else. Something was mysterious about him, or was it because of the knowledge he possessed about what lay beyond in the other room?

"I....am not sure what this means, Lady Glinda" began the short man, "but the cause was not....NATURAL" he revealed.

The Lion grumbled as he approached. "What does that mean?" he asked sharply.

Glinda placed a soothing hand on his coarse fur. It calmed the beast to feel her gentle touch. He sat back on his haunches feeling her caress.

The Tin Woodman kneeled down beside the Munchkin to coax him to explain. He leaned on arm on his ax that rested on the marble floor. "Do tell us, my friend" he said in an echoey, metallic voice.

"As I was trying to say, your grace, the death was not natural, nor was it violent. The rope was not the cause, but merely an implement of display" said the Munchkin.

The Scarecrow passed in front of the Lion and looked at Glinda. The concern was written on his face. "If the death was not Natural" he said.

"And there were no violent injuries" interjected the Lion.

"There is only one explanation" said Glinda despairingly. She opened her mouth to say the words but they seemed almost too much for her to even utter. It took her several moments until she mustered enough courage to forcefully spit out the one word that she feared was the truth. "MAGIC" was all that she could say.

The others looked at her in shock, though knowing that they were all in agreement. Magic had killed the poor soul that was found swinging from the spire in Center City. Magic that had not been used since a decade past in all of Oz. Magic that was dark and sinister and had been long abandoned. The days of light had since passed, for the evidence remained. There was a darkness again in the Land of Oz, hidden, lurking. Somewhere veiled from the naked eye there resided something evil. It was only a matter of time until it revealed itself. And until it did, time would stand still.

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