by Nathaniel Lee
Fresh wails assault my ears as I leave the cell and haul the rusty door shut. The lock clicks. I wonder briefly if anyone still has the key. Well, the witch can sort it out if she wants to. I’m too tired to care.
I see the witch, standing two cells down. She seems hesitant. ‘It’s very… damp,’ she remarks.
‘Apologies, mistress,’ I say, sweeping into a bow. ‘I gave the girl water to drink.’
‘She’s losing it fast enough,’ the witch remarks. ‘What has her crying so hard?’
‘Her lost friends, mistress. And her pet. A small dog. Toto, I think.’
‘She must be calm if I am to speak with her,’ says the witch, rubbing at her chin. ‘We must have leverage.’
I close my eyes and pray for patience before speaking. If I do not offer, she will command it of me. ‘Permission to go and retrieve the child’s missing pet?’
‘Yes,’ says the witch. ‘We have Dorothy. Bring me her little dog, too.’