If I only

If I only…
If he moved an inch, the oblivious passers-by would discover him. Likewise, if he stayed where he was, he would be more at risk of being discovered and he could not explain the destruction around him. He had always been an outcast with no intelligence, no courage, and no heart. A coward is a dead man walking – his fate would be sealed if his actions were heard of… he couldn’t face it.
Wandering down the deserted road leading deep into the fog, it was as if he was going nowhere. There was a frosty chill in the air, the dead leaves crunched underfoot. Wondering where he was going and towards who, he knew what he wanted, but how was he going to get it? Suddenly a noise emitted from the trees, but it didn’t startle him, as if he was expecting it. Investigating the noise, Oscar’s curiosity took over and he summoned what little courage he had. A girl. Possibly 19, led unconscious whilst blood oozed from the laceration just above her eye. Her emerald eyes flickered open; she groaned in pain and discomfort, like she’d suffered a serious fall, like from the sky and eased herself into an upright position. As she did so, her perfect red nails shimmered against the yellow traffic lines of the brick road. Offering his hand to help her up, Oscar gave an encouraging smile, but his eyes were distant, callous even. Reluctantly returning the smile, she took his hand and slowly rose from the ground.

“What happened to you?”
“I fell I think. I can’t really remember.” There was a sense of urgency in her voice, confirmed when she muttered, “I need to get home. There’s no place like home.”
“You need to go to the hospital.”
“No. I’m fine.” Her reply was hasty, like she had somewhere to be.

“Well I can help you get home. Oscar Crew.” He held his hand out once more in a kind gesture, which she graciously accepted.

“Dorothy Gale.”
Finally, a man who cares. A man with a heart.

Dorothy took an interest to Oscar, even though they had only just met. But she wondered what his story was and as he spoke, she couldn’t help interrupting him to ask to question eating her up inside.

“What are you in need of?”
Looking at Dorothy as if she was a flying monkey, it was clear this question had taken him by surprise.
“Knowledge. I need a worthy brain if I’m going to be successful in my life.”
As time passed along with the mist, the moon began to rise, so the pair stopped to rest. A silver sliver of the moon could be seen through the silhouettes of the branches and as Oscar lay under the stars, his mind wandered. She has what I need. Rising to his feet, he approached where Dorothy rested, merely metres away. But a strange noise, nearly a shuffle of feet, interrupted his actions and Dorothy woke up in the process. Staring perplexed up at him, fear was glaring in her eyes and she shook violently from the sight of the tin he gripped.

Dorothy stared at him, looking him in the eyes but she saw nothing. Just darkness. She knew then her only choice was to run as far away as she could from Oscar, now. So, she ran, gaining speed with every step she took, frantically dodging obstacles. Stopping for cover in a cavern, Dorothy let out a sigh of relief as she had outrun him. But something still told her he was waiting so she did not move. Just as she thought, the coast was clear; she emerged from her cover only to find she was wrong and she stood toe to toe, face to face with Oscar. There was a hunger for Dorothy’s blood in his eyes and she was about to learn his story. I thought he cared, but he’s heartless. Dropping to her knees, pleading with him, tears stung her eyes as Oscar held a tree branch in his fist.

“You don’t have to do this Oscar, please.”
“I wish that was true” His voice was coarse and cold, not like the Oscar she knew. With one violent swing, he smashed the branch against her skull, knocking her to the ground. He dropped to his knees beside her and, the hope of the Emerald City faded from her sight along with her life as Oscar took what he wanted. Dorothy’s brain… and heart.