An Incomplete Journey

Dorothy came to a gradual halt. The footsteps of her new friends had dwindled, so she placed her fingertips to her lips and spun about, waving a hand over her head with a cry of encouragement.
“Come on! We simply must make it through this forest before nightfall!”
She slowed, beaming each a smile and hooking arms with them as the scruffy Scarecrow and stiff Tinman came alongside. Neither seemed to share her exuberance.
“They say there is a monster in the forest,” Scarecrow mentioned. “Perhaps we should find an inn for the night.”
“Oh, I’m sure we’ll be fine. I have you two to protect me, don’t I?” Dorothy felt the grip upon her arms tighten, stalling her momentum. “What’s the matter? Did you see something?”
The two shared a glance over her head.
“What is it?” Something in their expressions unsettled her. They began walking deeper into the dense woods.
“Dorothy, we’re not going to the Emerald City.” Tinman brandished his axe. “Scarecrow needs a brain and I, a heart.”
He set his jaw.
“We’re taking yours.”

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