By M. Night Wolfalona
By M. Night Wolfalona
For the most part, the Scarecrow never really regretted choosing a brain over a heart. After all, it was only because of his intellect that he was the royal adviser to the rightful ruler of Oz, and before that, one of the most respected kings of the history of that wondrous and magical fairyland. All-in-all, it was certainly nothing to scoff at.
But on days like this - when the entire world celebrated the ability to love and honored those with a heart beating soundly in their chest - well, it was hard not to feel a little left out.
The straw man looked out from the window of his study in the Emerald Palace, watching as everyone laughed and danced in the soft pink and glowing golden fairy lights that floated daintily in the Royal Gardens, lighting the evening like magicked fireflies of love. His friend the Tin Woodman had suggested having a Valentine's Ball, and Ozma had agreed to it readily enough. Now the entire city was decorated in a multitude of shades of red, white, pink and gold in joy of that most enchanting day of love.
Love. It was an odd concept indeed, for no dictionary could define it properly, and just about everyone described it differently. Some said that it was like butterflies dancing in your stomach, others said that tingles went up and down your spine in a pleasant manner, and many told fondly of the feeling of sparkles dancing along flushing skin. But every description, from the young and wise alike, had one key feeling in common:
At some point in love, hearts were aflame with passion, or skin was scorched by the intensity of the burning sparks of attraction, and (for some reason) a feeling of rising heat would light up in the depths of the belly, which the poor Scarecrow never quite understood, despite perusing many a book in the royal library. He simply couldn't understand why anyone would want to be on fire - or feel like they were - for the life of him. Every time he was on fire, he panicked in fear of losing himself to the greedy little flame. Why was it, then, that no one else seemed to shy away from it? Perhaps it was one of those funny human characteristics - they were very curious creatures, after all, none of them quite alike.
But after these "passionate flames" had burned down, the adviser had heard of the ever-pleasant warmth that lingered for days, months, even years at a time; a warmth that made eyes glitter, smiles brighter, and the whole world look even more beautiful than before.
And sometimes, the Scarecrow wished he knew what it was like.
But it was too late now, he thought, glancing mournfully at the paperwork scattered across his desk. Hearts were for the living people, the ones who had breathed and felt the world around them, like Dorothy or Nick or Ozma or Jellia. No; love and fire would never be for him.
He took one last look at the group below in the gardens, smiling and twirling around the roses and paper hearts strewn wildly over the stone paths, before turning back to the stacks of paperwork that awaited him, a heavy feeling in his chest as he picked up a pen and steadily worked into the night over the various political jargon that swam before his painted eyes. They shone as though the paint was wet and freshly painted.
After all, love was not meant for the heartless.
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