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Christmas in Oz 

by jenben

Rating: PG-13 (for some vulgarity)

Disclaimer: I don't own the A-Team or the Wizard of Oz.  I don't make a profit off of this story.  Heck, I don't make a profit off of any story.  Why is that?

Summary: An unhappy Murdock discovers that there is no place like home.  Even if home is with three forgetful friends who love you a whole lot.

Author's note: It isn't easy to blend my favorite show with my favorite movie so be kind and don't flame me if the characters aren't exactly perfect.  Mean people are yucky.  People who flame are mean.  Thus, people who flame are yucky.  Remember that.

 

 aaaaaaaaaaaa

            Some of the V. A. patients were happily singing Christmas carols.  Others were devouring the popcorn the staff had set out.  Still more sat in front of the television.  Murdock sat in his room, contemplating the holidays.  He loved Christmas.  It was his favorite holiday.  Yet it was Christmas Eve and Face hadn't broken him out of the hospital.  That only meant one thing he was going to wake up alone on Christmas morning.  He sighed pitifully.

            One of the nurses opened his door and smiled kindly.  He had been acting peculiar (even for Murdock) the last two days.  She was hoping the evenings activities would cheer him up.  "Everyone is in the rec-room, Mr. Murdock.  We're going to watch the Wizard of Oz.  Why don't you come?  We have lots of popcorn."

            Murdock loved that movie.  He jumped off his bed and called Billy to follow.  "Can Billy have some of the popcorn, too?  I promise he won't eat it all."

            "There is no dog, Mr. Murdock."

            "Shows how much she knows," he whispered to Billy as they headed down the hall.

 

            Murdock watched the television, enraptured.  He loved the Wizard of Oz and every time he watched it he would tear up when Dorothy had to leave the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion.  Nobody noticed him quickly brush a tear from his eye, but watching Dorothy say goodbye to her friends reminded him of having to say goodbye to his friends all the time.  More painfully was the fact that it was Christmas Eve and he was stuck at the hospital without Face or Hannibal or the Big Guy.  Stupid friends couldn't even bother to break him out for the holidays.

            The credits rolled and the nurses filed people out.  Crazy people need a set schedule and lots of sleep or they will get crazier, Murdock reasoned.

            "Meds," a nurse said as she walked into his room.  She handed him a cup of pills, he swallowed them and handed back the cup.  "Merry Christmas Eve," she chirped.

            "Billy needs some pills, Miss Fireson."

            "There is no dog, Mr. Murdock.  Good night."

 

             "I'm sorry," Face apologized as they sped along in the 'vette.  "We got an emergency mission last night that needs to be done today.  There was no way any of us could pick you up yesterday.  'Fraid it's not gonna be much of a Christmas this year, but the mission'll bring in a good amount of money."

            "'Sno problem," Murdock mumbled, though he had been miserable waking up by himself that Christmas morning.  "What're we doin'?"

            "A little town on the Coast is being terrorized by a corporation.  One of the town's residents happens to be a geologist and knows that if the corporation gets what it wants-to set up an electric company with dam power-the environment will go to pot.  The geologist called us and asked for our help.  The entire town put up 60 big ones so we'll stop them before they start building the power plant.  Tomorrow."

            Murdock sighed.  He knew that 60,000 dollars was too much for Hannibal or Face to pass up.  And it was a good cause-it would help save duckies and fishies.  He smiled a little.  "Face, when we get the money, can I use some of mine to by a ducky?"

            "Sure, Murdock."

            "Any ducky I want?"

            "Any ducky you want."

 

            The four had met with the geologist-Mr. Joshua Richards.  He had explained the problem in greater depth and shown the Team where the corporation planned to first tear down a building and then erect a new one.  After they parted with Richards, the four men went back to the hotel.

            "I got you presents!" Murdock yelled cheerfully as soon as they walked through the door.  He pulled out five packages and howled "Merry Christmas" as he handed each one to his friend.  He gave B. A. two.

            "Foo', why you give me two?"

            "The one in the comic newspaper is for you mama.  I made it in the recreation room.  It says "B. A.'s Mama" in glitter."

            Nobody opened their presents.  "What's wrong, guys?"

            "I didn't get you nothin'," B. A. muttered.

            "I haven't had any time to go shopping," Face admitted.

            "With all the missions we've had lately we've all been too busy.  When this mission is over we'll all go buy each other Christmas presents, Murdock, but none of us have anything for you."

            There was silence.  Murdock didn't know what to think.  Christmas wasn't about getting, it was about giving, but his closest friends hadn't even made the time to get him anything.  They hadn't even thought about it.  He shrugged, deciding not to let them see him upset by it.  "'Tsokay.  We'll wait until after this mission to open the presents."

            "I know mama will like this."

            "I got a plan.  B. A., you make sure the van is in top shape-I think we're gonna need it to be."

            "Don't you be hurtin' ma van, Hannibal."

            Hannibal grinned.  "Face, Murdock, go get some food.  Tomorrow's a big day."

 

            Tomorrow was a bigger day than any had expected it to be.  Joshua Richard's secretary told the corporation that the A-team had been called in.  Not long after they got to the site, the corporation showed up.  With a lot of hired help.  Who had a lot of guns. 

            As the skirmish ensued, Murdock saw Face get hit in his mouth and felt very sorry for his vain, albeit very handsome, friend.  B. A. hit a lot of people, including the one that hit Face. 

            From the roof Murdock aimed his gun at the corporations help.  He shot a few-not dead, but enough to make them stop fighting and slink away for help.  With all his focus trained on shooting, he didn't hear the man sneaking up on him until it was too late.  He spun around only to feel the bullet enter his shoulder.  It forced him to continue spinning.  Right off the roof.  He landed with a thud and didn't move.

 

            "Ugh, I feel terrible!" Murdock whispered.  All of the fighting had stopped and the bad guys had disappeared.  His head hurt a great deal, though the gunshot he had taken wasn't there.  He finally opened his eyes.  "Hannibal?  Face, where are...you?"

            The scenery wasn't the same as he had left it.  He sat up and found himself lying right next to a house that was very out of place in the village he was in.  The town was very small; little houses, little streets, little everything.  "Where am I?" he asked in confusion.  Billy nudged his arm.

            "Hey, Billy boy!" He was grateful to have something familiar in the foreign land.  "I don't suppose you know where we are?"

            Billy barked and started to trot away.  "I guess you know best," Murdock conceded and followed the dog to a platform in the middle of the village.  Out of nowhere a giant pink bubble appeared and formed into a woman.  "I am Glinda."  She looked very familiar, but Murdock couldn't place it.

            "I'm Murdock."

            "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"

            His brow furrowed.  "I'm a pilot."

            "Oh.  Well, the little people who live here called me because they thought you were a witch.  Is that your house that fell on the Wicked Witch of the South?"

            "No."  It didn't look familiar.  Her words struck him suddenly and his eyes went wide.  "It landed on somebody?"

            "Indeed.  That house landed on the evil Witch of the South who has been tormenting the Munchkins for a long time.  Since it fell on her she is dead, and now they are free.  You're a hero.  You can come out now," she called to the Munchkins.  "Come and thank the man who saved you from the Wicked Witch of the South."

            Many cheering, very small people ran out from behind bushes, houses, and under ground.  They started to sing.  Murdock stopped them.

            "Why are you singing?" he asked incredulously.  "You're not good at it.  Gosh, I've heard dying cats sing better."

A sudden ball of red smoke hit the ground and an ugly looking witch appeared.  Murdock's jaw dropped.  "Who's that?"

"The Wicked Witch of the MP's."

The witch was a guy.  He had beady little eyes and a mean, scrutinizing expression. He scowled at Glinda, then at Murdock, then turned to the house.  "Who killed my sister?"

"It was he," Glinda said haughtily, pointing at Murdock.

"That isn't my house!" Murdock yelled.  "I don't know what happened.  I was unconscious!  I'm sorry.  Aren't you supposed to be a lady?"

Glinda pointed at the dead woman half sticking out from under the house.  "Don't you want the ruby bomber jacket?" she asked slyly.  As soon as the witch ran to his sister, the jacket was off the dead and on Murdock.  The witch didn't notice until the Wicked Witch of the MP's pointed at the pilot.  "Take it off!" the witch yelled.

Murdock looked down and was quite dismayed to have a ruby-studded bomber jacket on his shoulders.  Glinda protectively put her arms around him.  "He'll do no such thing!  He wants it because it is very powerful," Glinda whispered to him.  "You mustn't give it to him."

When Murdock didn't hand it over, the Wicked Witch of the MP's growled that he would be back for it and left just as he had come. 

Murdock turned to Glinda.  "How did I get here?"

            "I don't know."

            "How do I get home?"

            "I do not know that either."

            He sighed.  "Ma'am, is there anything you can tell me?"

            "I do not know how you can get home but I know someone who could tell you.  You must see the Wizard of Oz."

            A murmur went around the Munchkins at the name.  Murdock glanced nervously about him.  "Okay, I'll go see him.  Where is he?"

            "You must follow the Yellow Brick Road."

            He looked around.  Blue road, green road, red road, rainbow colored road-no yellow road.  "There isn't one."

            Glinda looked peeved.  "Crap.  Okay, they all go to the same place so just pick one and start walking.  Do you have your broom?"

            "No."

            "Then you can't fly to the Wizard.  You'll have to walk.  Be careful, though, because since you killed the Wicked Witch of the South, her sister will be after you for revenge.  Have a nice day."  Glinda disappeared.

            "That isn't my house!" Murdock yelled.  "And what do you mean I can't fly?  I'm a pilot!"  He sighed.  "Billy, which road should we take?"  Billy started down the green road and Murdock followed.  He put his arms out like wings and made flying sounds as he ran down the road.

 

            "Billy, don't bark at the scarecrow.  You might hurt his feelings," Murdock admonished his dog.

            "No, that's okay, I don't mind," the scarecrow said suddenly.  "I like dogs."

            Murdock was completely unfazed by the talking Scarecrow.  If a talking-bubble witch, a bunch of singing little people, and an evil guy witch had perturbed him, a talking scarecrow certainly wasn't.  "I like them, too.  His name is Billy.  Do you want to pet him?"

            "You'll have to get me down first."

            The scarecrow was very handsome.  His straw was golden and he had a very charming smile.  Murdock immediately felt friendship well up in him and he helped the scarecrow down.  "I'm Murdock."

            "Scarecrow.  Where are you going?"

            "I have to follow the green brick road to the Wizard of Oz so I can get home.  A witch in a pink dress said he'll tell me what to do."

            "Can I come?  I need a libido.  All these cute girls pass by and they want to come up on my post with me, but I just can't do anything for them.  I just can't...get it up."

            "You could nail it up with the rest of you."

            Scarecrow's face wrinkled.  "How masochistic do I look?"

            "Well, I did have to pull you down from the post in the first place.  Shall we go?"

            "If you could wait a moment, I'd like to break out into a spontaneous song and dance number bemoaning my lack of a libido and my joy at getting one from the wonderful Wizard of Oz.  Would you mind?"

            "Sounds like fun.  Can I help?"

            "Anytime you feel like adding something, just make it rhyme and start singing."

            Scarecrow danced better than Murdock, but his voice wasn't nearly as good.  Still, he was better than a dying cat (and the Munchkins).  When he was done, he fell over and landed next to Murdock.  "Wanna go?" he asked breathlessly.

            Both headed down the road flapping their arms and making airplane noises.  Billy followed from a safe distance.

 

            "I'm hungry," Murdock complained as they continued down the road.  "I can't remember the last time I ate.  Got any food?"

            "I wish I could give you some but I've been stuck on a post my whole life.  Oh, and I don't have a stomach.  But I know how we can get you some.  See those trees over there?"

            Murdock looked to his left and saw a forest of trees.  Off of the branches hung packages of Ho-Ho's as far as the eyes could see.  He nearly tripped over himself running to the food.  Scarecrow followed.

            As soon as Murdock grabbed a package of Ho-Ho's, the tree grabbed him.  "What do you think you're doing?"

            "I'm hungry!  You have Ho-Ho's and I want some.  Please?"

            "Do I go around grabbing you?  What makes you think you're so special that you can just walk up to any tree and grab the food off its branches?  You gotta lotta nerve, buddy!"

            Scarecrow approached his friend.  "Don't talk to him that way!"

            "Do you want to fight, too?" the tree rumbled.  He let go of Murdock to try and grab Scarecrow.  When he was free, Murdock grabbed Scarecrow's hand and ran out of arm's (or branch's) reach.

            "I'll bet your Ho-Ho's are made with bleached flour!" Scarecrow yelled.  "I'll bet there are even traces of peanuts in them!"

            The infuriated tree and his infuriated friend-trees began to throw their Ho-Ho's at the two travelers.  Murdock and Scarecrow greedily picked them up.  "That's amazing!  How did you get them to give us food like that?"

            "It's just a gift," Scarecrow replied.

            As he was picking up stray Ho-Ho's, Murdock chanced upon a man made of steel.  "Hey, Scarecrow, you might wanna look at this!  He's all rusty."

            "That's what happens when you don't exfoliate."

            The Steel Man made a squeaky noise.  While Murdock and Scarecrow tried to figure out what he said, Billy picked up the oilcan and took it to his master.  "You're so smart, Billy."

            After ever joint was oiled, the Steel Man stretched his limbs and breathed a sigh of relief.  "Thought I'd never get out of that position.  Thank you both."

            "No problem."

            "What happened?" Murdock asked.

            "I was rehearsing a scene in the latest monster movie when it started to rain.  I rusted over and got stuck.  Unfortunately, I wasn't made with stainless steel."

            "A monster movie?"

            "Look, I'm a man made of steel.  I take what I can get.  Where are you boys headed?"

            Scarecrow smiled.  "I'm headed to get a libido.  That or Viagra, which ever the Wizard has lying around."

            "We're going to see the Wizard of Oz because I need to get home.  We were on our way when we found you."

            "Do you suppose I could go with you two?  I'd like to ask the Wizard for a plan."

            "What do you need a plan for?" Scarecrow asked.

            "Dunno.  I just have this...urge."

            Scarecrow rolled his eyes.  "Tell me about it."

            "Aren't you going to start singing and dancing and tell us all about how much you need a plan and how wonderful it will be once the Wizard gives it to you?"

            "Do I look like the kind of guys who goes around singing and dancing?"  The Steel Man pulled a cigar out of a cabinet in his chest.  He looked at the scarecrow.  "Got a light?"

            Scarecrow pulled a lighter out of his pocket and handed it disdainfully to the Steel Man.  "Light in the direction opposite of me, please.  Dry straw and fire doesn't mix."

            "We should get going," Murdock announced, starting to walk.  As soon as he hit the green brick road he threw out his arms and began his plane noises.  The Steel Man stopped him.

            "What's that for?"

            "The pink witch told me I couldn't fly so I'm being obstinate.  It's one of the things I do best."

            Steel Man shrugged and put out his arms.  "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

 

            They weren't long down the road when the Wicked Witch of the MP's stopped them.  He was standing on the roof of a cottage.

            "I see you've made some friends," he yelled.

            All three looked up on surprise.  "Who's he?" Steel Man asked.

            "Wicked Witch of the MP's.  Not a very nice fellow.  He wants this jacket for some reason."

            The scarecrow grimaced.  "I don't know why.  That has to be the tackiest thing I have ever seen.  Why don't you just give it to him?  It's ugly as sin."

            "I'd love to but the pink witch told me I had to keep it 'cause it's powerful.  She seemed to know what she was talking about."  He looked up at the witch.  "Why don't you just leave me alone?  I didn't do nothin' to you."

            "That's my jacket, boy!  Give it to me before I come down there and take it!"

            "Hey, don't talk to him that way!" Steel Man yelled.  "Get lost before you fall off the roof.  Jeez, a guy shouldn't be wearing a dress like that and standing on the roof.  Come to think of it, a guy shouldn't be wearing a dress."

            "I'll do as I please!" the Wicked Witch of the MP's yelled.

            "Now with our friend you won't!" Scarecrow shouted.

            The Wicked Witch of the MP's formed a fireball in his hands and shot it down at Scarecrow.  He jumped out of the way but not fast enough to avoid getting a few straws lit.  While Steel Man patted the fire out of Scarecrow's straw, Murdock glared up at the witch.  "Don't you hurt them!  You want to pick on somebody then you'll pick on me.  But leave my friends out of this."

            Scarecrow and Steel Man flanked Murdock.  "Oh, no!" Steel Man yelled.  "She just made two more enemies.  We're together now.  Get on your broomstick and fly before I throw Scarecrow's head at you!"

            "What?!"

            "We can always sew it back on," Steel Man whispered.  "Don't worry about it."

            "This plan really stinks," Scarecrow muttered.

            "I'll be back!" the Wicked Witch of the MP's bellowed before he was engulfed in a cloud of red smoke.

            Murdock turned to his friends.  "D'you guys really mean that?"

            Steel Man put his arms around the shoulders of Murdock and Scarecrow.  "Sure thing, kid.  I'm not gonna let some punk witch push us around.  Now lets get to the Wizard before anything else happens."

 

            "This forest is giving me the creeps.  Isn't there another way to the Wizard?"

            Murdock nodded in agreement.  "There could be all kinds of scary things here.  We might find orderlies."

            "Or MP's."

            Murdock's eyes got wide.  "We might even find...Celine Dion."

            "Don't even joke about that!" Steel Man yelled.  He had been quiet up to that point but even the mention the singer sent chills down his spine.

            "Orderlies, MP's, and Dion, oh my!" Scarecrow whispered.

            All three chanted the phrase until they came upon a big black lion working on a car motor.  They stopped, surprised and frightened.  The lion turned around.  "Wha' you foo's want?"

            Billy started to growl, the hair on his back standing up.  Murdock tried to grab the protective dog but it was too fast.  He ran right up to the lion and barked fiercely.

            "Foo', I ain't gonna hurt a dog but I sho' as heck gonna hurt you if ya don't get it 'way from me!"

            "You're bein' a little mean there, don't you think?"  Scarecrow paused after saying that.  He quickly added, "Mister big and obviously powerful lion whom I don't want to offend."

            Murdock picked the little dog up.  "What's your problem anyway?"

            The lion sighed and leaned against the car.  "Man, I been tryin' to fix this car for ages now.  I can't get nowhere with it.  It's makin' me real angry.  And if that dog don't stop growlin' I'm gonna make you feel a lot of pain."  He was looking at Murdock.

            "Hey, kid, maybe the lion can come with us to the Wizard.  If the Wizard can get you home, he oughta be able to fix a car.  Wha'dya say, lion?  Wanna come with us?"

            "Some wizard's gonna help him to get home?"

            "I'm getting a libido."

            "I'm getting a plan."

            "I'm in, but that dog better learn some manners."

 

            "It's a field of poppies!" Murdock yelled excitedly.  He ran around in them with Billy before keeling over.

            Steel Man turned to Scarecrow.  "Aren't poppies used to make some powerful barbiturates?"

            "Yep."

            "We're in trouble."

 

            FAST FORWARD TO THE WIZARD SCENE BECAUSE THIS IS GETTING A LITTLE LONG.

 

            "Come forward cowardly lion!"

            "Foo', I ain't no coward.  I just wan'chya to help me fix ma'car!"

            "Silence!  If any of you want my help you must defeat the Wicked Witch of the MP's.  Bring me her-"

            "It's a guy," Murdock interrupted.

            "Bring me his broomstick and I will give you everything you have requested."

            Murdock's brow furrowed.  "Hey, if you're so powerful, why don't you kill the witch yourself?  He's really just an annoying little man-you could take him."

            The image before them rolled its eyes.  "Look, I don't make the rules, I just enforce them.  Do you ask yourself why Cinderella had to be home by midnight?  Do you question why some idiot stuck a sword in a stone for Arthur to pull out?  Why didn't he just give the kid the sword?  These are just the facts of life.  Now go kill the witch or forget about seeing Aunty Em again!"

            "Aunty who?"

            "Go!"

 

            "I say we go through the front door," Steel Man suggested.

            "That has to be the worst idea I've ever heard.  Won't he notice us walking in?"

            "I agree wit' the straw man."

            "Scarecrow."

            "Whatever."

            Murdock didn't know what to do.  He was about to ask for other, less masochistic ideas, when a flock of giant, flying penguins flew through the air.  They dove at the four men, picking up Murdock and Billy and attacking the others.  As Murdock was carried off he yelled to his friends.

            "I guess penguins really can fly!"

 

            Murdock sat in the witch's castle, petrified.  The penguins kept stalking the room, a hungry look in their eyes.  He knew they were envisioning him as sushi.  The door bust open and the Wicked Witch of the MP's strode in.

            "Did you think I wouldn't see you coming?  Just want to check up on me?"

            Murdock laughed nervously.  "Actually, I was hoping I could have your broom.  I'll give you a..." he pulled out his pockets, "a rubber ball, a piece of string, and an unwrapped Starburst for it."

            "You can keep your junk.  I'll just take the jacket."  The Wicked Witch of the MP's grabbed the coat and was immediately shocked by a powerful unknown force.

            "Ooh," Murdock awed.  "Static electricity."

            "Give me the jacket!" the witch screamed.

            Murdock made a face.  Did the witch always act that stupid?  "I'd give it to you if I could but the darn thing won't come off.  I guess you'll just have to let me go.  It was nice meeting you; I'll have my people call your people.  Check please."

            "I think I'll kill you."

            "Good idea: going to visit a friend.  Bad idea: going to visit a wicked witch."

            "I'm going to kill you dog, too."

            Murdock's jumped up from his seat.  "No!  You can't do that!  Please, don't hurt Billy."

            "I'll spare the dog if you tell me where you friends are.  I have a score to settle with them as well.  Your dog for your friends."

            Murdock glanced around, wishing there was a way out of the situation.  He couldn't give up his friends-even for Billy.  They liked him.  They were nice to him.  They were his friends.  "I can't do that," he whispered.

            The Wicked Witch of the MP's grabbed Billy but he bit the witch and ran out the door, down the stairs, and disappeared.  Murdock looked out the window and saw Billy running into the bushes.  He was safe.  Murdock breathed a sigh of relief.  The relief was short lived.

            "When this timer dings you die.  Enjoy the next hour.  It'll be your last."  The witch and the penguins left.

            "Guys, I hope you get here soon.  If you don't, I'm gonna end up as penguin food."

 

            "Murdock?"

            The yell was from outside the locked door.  Murdock had almost given up hope, but that was Scarecrow's voice.  "I'm in here!  The door's locked and I'm gonna be dead in about two minutes.  Help!"

            After only a second, Murdock heard a giant thud against the door.  There was another, then another, and four more followed that.  Finally the door burst open and Lion tumbled into the room.  He grabbed Murdock and pulled him out just before the timer went off. 

            "You guys are amazing!  Thank you!"  He paused.  "Why are you dressed like penguins?"

            "It was Steel Man's idea.  We took on a few of the penguins and came here in disguise.  We'd better get going if we don't wanna get caught by the witch."

            They ran down the stairway but didn't even reach the door when a swarm of penguins surrounded them.  Actually, it was a flock of penguins.  "Where do you think you're going?" the Wicked Witch of the MP's asked.  He pointed at the men.  "Get them."

            Lion pulled on a string and dropped a chandelier on the penguins.  "Run!"

            They didn't run far.  They were cornered in a tiny room at the top of the castle.  "This really stinks," Scarecrow muttered in Steel Man's general direction.

            "What?  I didn't say my idea was foolproof."

            "How about witch-proof?" Murdock asked as the witch approached.

            He pointed at Murdock.  "I'm gonna kill your three friends and let you watch, and then I'm gonna kill you."

            "Blunt, aren't we?"

            The witch approached with a lit torch.  She was about to touch it to Scarecrow's straws when Murdock grabbed a bucket and threw its liquid at the torch.  The torch dropped to the floor and the Wicked Witch of the MP's skin started to dissolve.

            "Oh my gosh!"

            "Holy cow!"

            "How on Earth does water do that to somebody?"

            The witch was quickly dissolving into the floor.  "It wasn't water you idiot!" he shrieked.  "That was acid!  This is my workroom!  Oh, I'm melting, melting!"  He was gone.

            Murdock looked over at the penguins.  "Are you gonna eat me now?"

            "No, of course not!  That's gross," an obvious leader said.  "We wouldn't eat somebody who freed us from the reign of an evil witch."

            "Oh good.  Then, can I have her broom?  I have this deal with a wizard."

            The penguin threw him the broom and started singing with his fellow penguin-guards.  The four friends left very quickly.

 

            "We got it!"

            "Got what?"

            "The broom!"

            "You got it?

            The wizard was incredulous, but he composed himself quickly.  "I'm glad to hear that.  Now go away and we'll talk about your reward in a few days."

            "A few days?  What are you? a politician?"  Steel Man was angry.

            "You promised!" Scarecrow yelled.

            "Foo', don't you go back on your promise or I'm gonna show you a world of hurt."

            While the four argued with the giant wizard head, Billy moved to a curtained cubicle and pulled the sheet back.  He revealed a man in a white lab coat speaking into a microphone.  At Billy's barking, all four men turned around.

            "Don't pay any attention to that!" the wizard head directed.  "He's just an old...phony."  The man hung his head.  "I'm sorry."

            "You tricked us," Murdock whispered.

            "I can't believe this.  How cam I gonna get my libido?"

            "And my plan?"

            "Who's gonna fix ma' car?"

            They spoke the last sentence together.  "Who's gonna get Murdock home?"

            "Well, what you're asking isn't nearly as difficult as you make it out to be.  For instance, Scarecrow, you're not lacking a libido.  You're just lacking the proper tools.  Here, take this mirror."

            "Why."

            "You're face could turn anyone on."

            The scarecrow smiled, then looked into mirror, and immediately found that his problem was solved.  He shifted uncomfortably in his pants.  "Use the mirror wisely," the wizard advised.  "And you, Steel Man, you don't lack the ability to plan, you just lack this."  He handed Steel Man a CD.

            "Jazz?"

            "Trust me.  Now you, Lion.  A car is not an easy thing to fix.  There are many things that could be wrong with it.  I think though, that if you had this, it would make your life significantly easier." 

            "Gold jewelry?  I don't think...hey!  I bet the problem with the car has to do with dirty spark plugs!  The current isn't getting into the cylinder and that's why the car won't start!  This is great!"

            Murdock frowned.  "I don't suppose you have anything that will get me home."

            "Take this."

            Murdock opened his hand and the wizard dropped a pill into it.  "This will take you anywhere you need to go."  He brushed his hands on his pants and started towards the door.  "Now, if you don't mind, I need to get going.  I'm taking an air balloon to the Board of Psychiatric Health conference in Toledo."

            When the wizard left, Murdock tossed the pill around in his hand.  "I can't wait to go home," he murmured.

            "I'm really gonna miss you," Scarecrow whispered.  He had a lump in his throat.  "Sure had a lot of fun together.  Heck, if it wasn't for you, I would still be on that post."

            "I'd still be standing in the forest all rusted."

            "I guess I'd still be working on that car.  I'm gonna miss you, Murdock."

            Murdock didn't know what to say, but he knew he didn't want to say goodbye.  At the same time, the pill in his hand was going to take him where he belonged.  "I won't forget any of you," he said as he wiped a tear away.  As he wiped away the tear, the pill fell out of his hand and directly in the path of Scarecrow who was moving to hug Murdock.  Scarecrow stepped and squashed the pill under his foot.  "No!" Murdock cried.  He scraped the powder into his hand and stared at it.  "How am I gonna get home now?"

            Scarecrow looked down, ashamed.  "You could stay with us," he said, barely audible.

            "We'd sure like that," Steel Man added.

            "Long as that dog stays quiet...yeah, you can stay with us."

            As soon as Lion finished his sentence, the glowing pink ball entered the room.  She formed into Glinda (the person, not the bubble) and smiled warmly at Murdock.  "I'm so glad you're here!  The wizard gave me a pill but it's dust now.  I'll never get home."

            "You could have gone home at anytime, Murdock."

            Murdock's jaw dropped.  "I'm sorry, what?  You couldn't have told me that sooner?"

            "You needed to learn something very important before you could go.  Have you learned anything while you were here?"

            "Yeah, stay away from witches.  All witches."

            Glinda glared at him.  "Another comment like that and I'm gonna stick my wand up your...nose.  Didn't you learn anything?"

            "I suppose...I wanted to go home, and I thought that the pill was going to get me there.  But it didn't.  And then my friends offered to let me stay with them--to have a home with them.  So even if the wizard couldn't get me home, I would have had one with them.  With or without the pill...my friends wanted me to be with them."

            "That's an excellent answer.  Would you like to go home now?"

            Murdock thought about it.  He truly felt like he knew Scarecrow, Steel Man, and Lion, but he could feel something missing in Oz that he needed.  "I'll miss the three of you so much, but I need to go home."

            "We understand."

            They hugged each other and then faced Glinda for directions.  "Zip your jacket up and then think of what is most important in your life-whatever it is.  Keep thinking about it and when you open your eyes you'll be home."

            Murdock shrugged.  "Easy enough." 

            He zipped the jacket up and closed his eyes.  It took him a moment to remember but the names came to him and he realized what he had been missing in Oz.  Face...Hannibal...B. A...Face...Hannibal...B. A...Face...Hannibal...B. A...

 

            "Face...Hannibal...B. A...Face...Hannibal...B. A.  Face?"

            "He's awake!" Face yelled.  B. A. and Hannibal rushed into the room.  "How do you feel, Murdock?"

            "Am I really here?  Is it really you guys?"

            B. A. sat on the bed.  "I think he hit his head harder than we thought."

            "No, I didn't!  I went away-I was Oz.  You guys were there, too!  You, and you, and you," he pointed at his friends.  "And I wanted to get home but I didn't know why and I could hardly remember what was so important, but then I remembered!  It was you guys!"

            Face smiled.  "I think you need more rest, Murdock.  You've been unconscious for a couple of days and we only just got your wound fixed."

            "Faceman, I went to Oz!  You couldn't have sex and Hannibal needed a plan and B. A. couldn't fix a car.  And Dr. Richter was there and so was Colonel Decker!"

            "Murdock, get some more rest," Hannibal commanded.  "I don't want you to exert yourself right now.  We need you to get well quickly because Face keeps shaking those Christmas presents in the living room and he's driving me crazy."

            Hannibal and B. A. left, both wearing large grins.

            Murdock looked up at Face who was smiling.  His large blue eyes gazed kindly at his friend.  "I'm so glad your well.  I thought we were gonna lose you."

            "No way, Faceyman.  There's no place like home.  And that's where I am."



Christmas In Oz by jenben

 

 


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