Prolog

When the image spread across the screen there was a pop and crackle somewhere inside the television. Black and white Kansas landscapes spread across the glass. The family trio huddled together on the couch, somehow managing to squeeze mother, father and daughter underneath an afghan meant for one.

“Older movies are much more fun than these new fangled C.G.I flicks,” quipped Mr. Firr as he dug is hand deep in the bowl of buttery corn. “They leave more to the imagination, just like a good book!”

“I agree,” piped in Mrs. Firr. “Not to mention there isn’t one model slash actress these days who could begin to fill Judy Garlands ruby slippers.”

“Shush! It’s my favorite part,” whispered Rydell.

Everyone grew silent as they stared into the box. The picture abandoned its gray hues and suddenly burst into Technicolor. Over-pronounced blues and yellows bounced from the screen. It was simply magical.

The trio gasped in wonder together. They had seen the film dozens of times, but the beauty of this scene never ceased to amaze them. Not wanting to tear their eyes away they grabbed handfuls of popcorn from the bowl never looking down as kernels fell between the cushions.

“Why does it do that? I mean…after going through something like a tornado why does the world all of the sudden become colorful for Dorothy?”

It was a simple enough question. Mr. and Mrs. Firr tilted their heads in thought and stared at the wall behind the TV. After it gave no answer they turned and stared at each other, silently hoping the other knew how to respond. Neither did.

As the minutes passed Rydell slumped deeper beneath the afghan, disappointed her question would go unanswered. She concentrated on the screen as Dorothy and Toto skipped merrily down the vibrant yellow brick road, memorizing every word and gesture, determined she’d riddle out the question that still sat unanswered in the back of her mind.

The minutes continued to pass by, the movie cut to rolling credits and Rydell still hadn’t a clue.

 

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