Dorothy tenses up, Tin Man tightens his hand around an axe, awaiting for a reason to swing. The figure turns away and begins to squeeze some sort of juice over the body “I’m of no danger to you, no need to handle your weapon.”
Tin Man looks down at Dorothy and back to the man before letting go, he slowly begins to step forward.
“You two hungry? Got plenty of food to share, take a seat. I’m no killer, if that’s what infects your mind, was dead when I came across her body, just trying to survive is all.”
Tin Man plops down on a log near him “You a cannibal then?”
The man looks over, scrunching his knapsack face in anger “Ain’t no sicko, just surviving.” He sniffs then responds “Blood on you is what I smell, you seem more of a killer, what gives you reason to accuse me of crimes when it rests in your body?”
“I kill trees, not people.”
“And I explained she was dead when she was found, mans gotta eat. Since you or your company ain’t asked, names Scarecrow, or it is now.” He wore tattered fabric for pants, he wore a torn green shirt, frayed at the edges with tuffs of straw protruding from points. His hands had black gloves over them, a dirty hat leaned sideways, he smelled of dirt and blood.
Scarecrow stands up gripping the iron bar on both ends before placing the woman on the ground. He hungrily begins to rip parts of her body off with his mouth, chewing chunks of meat and tendon. He mutters in between eating “Join in if you’re hungry enough.”
Dorothy turns away hurling mixtures of stomach acid and scraps from the night before, she rubs her stomach tearing up at the eyes, this was almost to much for her.
“I’ll pass, Tin Man is my name, this lovely lady accompanying me goes by Dorothy.”
Pulling back a hunk of muscle, he swallows it whole and stares ahead “Tin Man and Dorothy huh? And what may I ask, brings you my direction? Surely not the succulent meal offered? State your objective or leave me be, my hospitality is wearing thin.” He burrows his face into the stomach of the woman, tearing into it viciously.
“We were just passing through, we’re hunting the wicked witch, we wish to kill her.” Dorothy manages to say from the distance, vomit still trickling down her chin.
Scarecrow stops eating and turns her general direction “You wish to kill the witch? How do you propose to do such a feat?”
“Honestly I don’t know, but I have to try.”
Scarecrow crosses his arms letting them droop in-between his lap and mutters “The witch. The wicked witch. She took things from me. I was normal once upon a time, a farmer here in the valley. She drew her evil spells and changed this all, my wife Loraine was picking fresh cobs when her dark magic infested my land. The fields, they came to life, wrapping around her frail body, I’ll never forget the sounds she made. And how I felt knowing I was too late to do a damn bit of good, they had skinned her alive, stripped her of every ounce of flesh stuck to her body, I tried to save her….Lord knows I did. I was forced to watch, helpless, as the life slowly drained from her eyes. Those beautiful eyes of hers I used to get lost in, forced to watch my soulmate die a miserable death as the stalks gripped my arms holding me in place. They only let go after she had bled to death. I set the crops on fire, and keep burning them before they have a chance to grow back. I kept this small patch as it doesn’t turn on me, maybe it can tell what will happen if it does, I don’t know.”
Tin Man reaches over and places a hand on his rough shoulder “My condolences, I’m so sorry to hear that. She’s taken from me too, which is why I wish to end her once and for all.”
Dorothy quietly speaks up “I’m sorry to hear that, it’s awful Mr.Scarecrow. I’m sorry to ask but I’m confused about ho-”
“How I’m a scarecrow? Or that I’m blind?”
Embarrassed she replies “Both honestly.”
“A world without Loraine, isn’t one I wanna see. I gouged my eyes out after I buried her, the pain was too much. I set the crops on fire and the witch came back, guess she thought I hadn’t been through enough, told me I had the thoughts of a fool to go against her wishes. I was nailed on a cross and stuck in the field, they ripped my skin off and stuck straw to my bloodied body. But that wasn’t all,” He pulls his hat off revealing a hollowed bowl exposing his skull “Took my brain as she said I wasn’t using it properly, I don’t exactly know how I came to life, figured it was sheer anger and force of will, mixed in with the magic of this field I was left in. I pull my body through the nails and dropped down, reborn and baptized in the fires of hell created by a new devil. I learned to adapt to sound instead of sight over time, eat whatever and whenever I can. You say you’re hunting her down? Well if you’ll have me, I’ll assist you on your journey, if anything for Loraine’s sake.”
Tin Man looks to Dorothy, she nods her head and forces half a smile.
“Scarecrow, welcome aboard.” Tin Man exclaims.
Continuing their journey down the yellow bricks, they come across an open field filled with decaying bodies of animals and humans in the stages or rigor mortis, the grass dead with random sprouts of weeds, blood stains the area like dark oil spills.
“Don’t like the looks of this place, stay close Dorothy.” Tin Man says.
Dorothy wedges in-between the two and keeps her guard up.
Scarecrow halts suddenly “Someone’s coming.”
Tin Man slides his axes out quickly turning his back against Dorothy “Where?!”
Scarecrow tries to focus, loud thumps slam the ground from nearby “Can’t tell, its close though!”
He turns and begins to yell when he’s suddenly tossed aside flinging into the rotting remains of a cow. Tin Man pushes Dorothy back with his right arm, his left hand swings but misses as a large beast spears his stomach sending him flying back. The lion pounces upon Dorothy, its horridly scarred face erupts a hot blast of steam into her face, her hair blows back into the dirt as he stands over her body with a paw arched back, finally it speaks.
“Who sent you?!”