Great and Powerful

By Thomas Grayson | Posted: Wednesday July 22, 2020

“I am Oz the Great and Powerful. The Great and Powerful. Who are you? Who are you?”

“I am Dorothy, the small and meek….”

Blah.. blah… blah. Honestly. This show is so overdone. Seen it…. A million times. I don’t know how they do it, but each time I see ‘The Wizard of Oz’ they manage to make it even more boring than the last run of it. If I was “great and powerful”, like Oz, I would stop this steaming pile of garbage from ever being done again.

Oh, there’s Maisy, my sister. Flying Monkey of course. No one ever gets good roles unless they do drama… Actually, even the ones that do drama get the subordinate roles. Popularity wins again, I guess. All the things that I could do as Oz “The Great and Powerful.” Popularity would definitely no longer be an influencing factor if I was great and powerful. Everything would be based on skill and competence. At least that way the right decision is made every time. Maybe that way the Drama kids that put their heart and soul into their acting and singing (as much as Drama kids grind my gears) would get the roles they so deserve. That would be nice. Maybe then I might not feel inclined to end theatrical performances all together. Maybe, actually watch one every now and then. At least then the main roles can actually act and they can’t just sleep with the Drama teacher to get the role of Dorothy.

The lights come on for intermission. As some other great and powerful character once said, “Let there be light”. Other viewers shuffle around me moving to the bathroom, to the food stall, to talk to a friend. Normally, I would be moving too, at least to stretch my legs. But looking around I see my classmate. We have been at the same schools since primary, as people often do in small towns. She is Glinda, the good witch. Talking to a few of her friends in the audience, she is glistening like the stars littering our rural town's skies. The light seems to dance off of her, the stage lights sending clusters of radiant beaming lights off her costume, splashing pink, silver and gold hexagonal shapes skittering across the theatre walls.

Never actually gained the courage to get too close to her - as much as I would have liked to - but we have remained friendly.

Her mother passed from cancer last year. She had been in remission for two years. Thinking about it, the cancer left so quickly it was sort of like the Wicked Witch of the West. It just melted away. However, this time the witch came back and got what she wanted.

A series of green flashing lights erupting in long, reaching fingers brings my attention back to centre stage. “I’m melllting, meellllting.” The witch was meeting her demise once again, as she had done thousands of times, in thousands of different renditions. I exhale a quick laugh, slightly entertained by the coincidence. Life is too cruel to the wrong people, people who have never done anything to hurt another. Those who live to make people love and laugh end up dying in the most sickeningly, painful way possible. If there is a God that loves their beautiful creations, why force them to suffer?

My attention is stolen away by the sparkling, good witch striding back onto stage, strangely entrancing in this light. I chuckle quietly to myself. More so than usual. Oz was patting the Lion on the shoulder giving him “courage”.

The “great and powerful”, able to give people what they so desire and deserve and equally able to take away what they don’t. I would be able to remove the hurt, to give back. Just as easily as Oz gave the Tin man a heart - albeit fake - I could return Glinda’s mother to her family, fill the hole in their hearts so ruthlessly torn. Equally, I could take as much as I give. Evil men and women, scourge of the earth, I can ruin all of them. They kill, they steal, they hurt just like the cancer that poisoned Glinda’s mother stole her life’s ambitions, hurt her family and in the end killed her. I can be the one to cure the earth of its plague.

But in the end would it help? The hurt has already been done. What difference would it make to remove the evil, when without it there is no good? Bringing back the dead… it wouldn’t help at all. Stephen King’s Pet Sematary was enough proof that having anything come back from the dead, even if they were to come back unchanged, is an ethically unfit choice by any stretch. It would never fill the hole. It would never cure or numb the hurt of watching a woman who gave life to you, and love, waste away in a hospital bed to nothing but a withered husk of the person you originally knew. Wounds heal eventually, but scars? Never. I really don’t think I am cut out for this whole god thing. There are way too many conflicting and confusing issues surrounding it. I mean, to be honest though, it would still be nice if capability came before popularity.

Applause shakes me awake. The end of the show. Thank the lord. The usual after show antics begin to kick into full gear. The bows. All smiles. Happy.

The lights rise to a full beam. Everyone starts to manoeuvre their way around other families to find their way out of the theatre. My family thinks better of it and assesses the chaos before we make our move towards the densely packed foyer, full of proud parents, beaming performers, musicians, backstage crew, teachers, all ecstatic after another successful night.

Don’t get me wrong I feel that I would make a good “great and powerful” wizard. However, the job title requires a little more contemplation than I am really qualified for. I might leave it up to whoever’s handling it at the moment. I am sure they are trying their best. There is something that I want to do, though. Or, rather, I need to do.

She walks out into the foyer, in a much baggier attire than the blinding dress. Track pants and a cardigan slouch lazily over her body’s petite figure. Glitter still sparkles on her rosy cheeks. I approach her. “H-Hi.” I wave awkwardly, cringing internally at the greeting. Not the great and powerful anymore, are we, eh?

Well, at least it's a start.