John R. Neill & Marcus Mebes
JENNY JUMP'S ADVENTURES IN TIME AND SPACE
By Nathan M. DeHoff
Edited by Joe Bongiorno 4/24/15
In Dorothy's bedroom in the Royal Palace of Oz, the famous Princess from Kansas was telling the story of her first Oz adventure to Betsy Bobbin, Trot, and Jenny Jump. Although all three listeners had heard this story many times before, they paid close attention to every second of the recital.
“I wish I could've seen that adventure,” stated Jenny, after Dorothy had finished telling how she had used her Silver Shoes to return to Kansas.
“You prob'ly could, Jenny,” said Trot. “There must be time-travel devices in Oz. What about the Ring of Time Button-Bright and Ojo used?”
“I don’t think it would be a good idea to travel to the past,” warned Dorothy. “Any change in the past could greatly affect the present.”
“It didn’t seem to for them,” objected Betsy. “Besides, just watching might not hurt.”
“Don't even think about time-travelling,” said Toto, Dorothy's dog. “The space-time continuum should not be fooled around with.”
“Oh, what would a dog know about that kind of thing?” argued Eureka, the Pink Kitten.
“More than you might think. It took the Wizard a while to remedy a certain incident with that Roly-Rogue and the Indian woman. And didn’t I read about you making a trip to ancient Pinkaree?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” stated Jenny. “I just thought it might be interesting to see. I don't actually plan on seeing it.”
Now, Oz is a place of wondrous beauty and joy, but beings strange and old also live there and in the surrounding countries, and some of these are not as wise or benevolent as those in the Emerald City. At that moment, a little wicked fairy was passing by, and took an interest in Jenny’s speech. He’d long known about her, having followed the tales of her exploits, and marveled enviously that so capricious a girl would be made a Duchess in Oz and not banished, as he had been from his original home in the Island of Gee-Whiz. So, he thought to himself that he would play a little trick on her, and stood by in the shadows watching and waiting.
“Well, I'm making a journey soon, but not through time,” announced Trot. “Cap'n Bill and I are going to the Nonestic Ocean next week.”
Trot then began to talk about her trip, but after about a minute, someone knocked on Dorothy's door. Dorothy answered the door, and saw Sister Six, who assisted Jenny in her Style Shop.
“The shop is a madhouse, Jenny!” said Sister Six, in a worried voice. "You have to come back!”
“All right,” sighed Jenny. “Goodbye, everyone!” Jenny and Sister Six hurried through the palace, out the open front doors, down Strawberry Street, and into Jenny's famous Style Shop, where at least thirty people were waiting to walk through the Magic Turn-Style. This device, which Jenny had found in a ruined house said to have belonged to a Munchkin magician, could alter styles of clothing. These customers, and more who came into the shop later, kept Jenny and Sister Six busy until nearly eleven o'clock at night.
Finally, the last Ozites left the building, Sister Six returned to her uncle's house on Pudding Place, and Jenny closed the Style Shop. She perhaps might have seen, lurking in the dark corners of the shop, a pair of hooded eyes grinning down at her, but she was tired and hungry. The young Duchess of Oz then ate a quick dinner and brushed her teeth. The girl programmed her Turn-Style for a purple silk nightgown in the current Gillikin style. Just as she entered the Turn-Style, she heard a thunderclap. A bolt of lightning followed, and the Turn-Style began to spin at an amazing speed. With that, the wicked fairy laughed and sped off, gleeful that the punishment she sorely deserved had begun.
For Jenny, everything went dark for a minute and thirty-six seconds, when the darkness was suddenly replaced with bright sunlight. Jenny fell out of the Turn-Style, and landed, not on the floor, but on the ground. The magic instrument landed next to her, and continued to spin. When the Duchess was able to stand up, she touched the Turn-Style, and received a shock that sent her two hundred sixty-four feet into the air.
Jenny was accustomed to moving around in the sky since she often launched herself into the air with her fairy shoe. However, the girl was still dizzy from spinning and falling, so she tried to fly to the north until she saw a familiar landmark or a place to sleep, but her motion was jerky. She soon fell into a deep green forest, and landed in a stream. After Jenny had climbed out of the water and her ears had emptied out, she heard a raspy and somehow familiar voice.
“Well, objecting isn't going to do you any good, you silly old goose. Goose? Now that gives me an idea!” The voice muttered something, and then laughed evilly.
Jenny heard a great squawk, which was followed by the words, “Help! Help! Somebody help! This woman is a witch!”
“Oh, shut your bill, you pathetic bird-brain! No one can hear you out here! And don't go trying to tell anybody else about what I'm doing! If you so much as make a peep to anyone about my transformations, you will disappear from the face of the Earth! Now leave, you miserable little fowl! I have a King to enchant!”
Obviously the goose did not obey the witch, since Jenny heard the evil woman screaming a few seconds later. The Duchess then heard, in the witch's voice, “Get out of my sight, you feathery excuse for a Prime Minister! And never cross my path again!”
A great witch-wind suddenly blew toward Jenny, and riding in this wind was the goose himself. The girl managed to grab the bird just before the gust knocked her into the stream.
“Get me out of this water!” yelled the goose, as he frantically swam around.
“There's no need to get so excited over water,” advised Jenny. “You're a goose. Or a gander, rather.”
“Oh, yes,” said the fowl, in a calmer tone. “I, er, forgot.”
“I'm Jenny Jump, a Duchess of Oz. Who are you, and where in Oz are we?”
“I'm, uh, a goose. And I'm not sure where we are. It's some forest near the Royal Castle of Oz.”
“Well, come on, goose,” said Jenny, as she climbed back onto dry land. “We have to stop that witch from enchanting your King.”
“I, uh, don't know what you're talking about.”
“Oh, yes you do. I heard everything. A witch just turned you into a goose, and now she's going to do something to your King. But I know how to deal with witches.”
“And how is that?” asked the bird, as he followed the girl onto the bank of the stream.
“You'll see. First, I need something that holds water.”
“There's a goblet tree right over there,” stated the goose, as he indicated a nearby plant with his right wing.
“These are a little small, but they'll probably do,” said the girl, as she picked three green glass goblets from the tree. Next, Jenny filled the goblets with water from the stream.
“Are you some sort of magician?” inquired the goose, as he watched Jenny.
“I guess you could say that,” laughed the Duchess. “But you’re better off staying here, goose, while I go and stop that wicked witch.”
The bird pointed in the direction from which he had come and went back to the water to practice swimming. The girl eventually reached the spot where the witch was walking and rushed right up to her, flinging the contents of a goblet at her face. She then repeated this process with the other two glasses. Now, many of you know that water will destroy witches. Only a small amount was thrown at this witch, but it was enough to start a reaction. Anger.
“And what exactly do you think you’re doing?” asked Mombi, raising her outstretched hand, into which a nearby branch flew, a branch she clearly intended to strike across the impudent girl’s face.
“I thought I was melting you,” replied Jenny, suddenly nervous.
Mombi paused, thinking for a second, “And why would water do that?”
“Well, everyone knows water melts witches.”
“Does it now?” Mombi asked, still keeping the branch raised high and taut. “How does everyone know that?”
“It’s just common knowledge,” Jenny said, puzzled and backing up a little in case the harridan saw through on her threat to hit her. “Surely you know the Wicked Witch of the West was melted by Dorothy—by accident, she claims—when she first came to Oz. Don’t you read or have any friends who’ve told you the history of the land you live in?”
Mombi didn’t speak, but pondered the girl’s words carefully. At first she thought she was making some kind of poor joke, for she knew the Ruler of the Winkies was alive and well, but there was truth in the girl’s eyes, voice and body language. Few could lie to Mombi and get away with it. No, there was something else going on here. Mombi had heard of such things, but had never imagined they might be true. “I don’t keep much company,” she said, lowering the branch. “I’m an old woman, after all, and many avoid me because they think me a witch. That foolish goose, for one.”
“Well, clearly you’re not, otherwise that water would have melted you. Sorry about that.”
“I get confused too,” Mombi said with a smile of plastered sincerity. She couldn’t easily be lied to, but she was a master of dissimulation, a fact that had kept her alive in the wake of two of the most powerful witches Oz had ever seen, witches who she ensured saw her as a less powerful servant of theirs, a deception they would soon find out was far from the truth. “In fact, I often forget where I am or what day it is.”
“Oh, that’s nothing,” said Jenny, “I often forget what day it is.”
“But not the year, I imagine!” laughed Mombi. “In fact, now that I mention it, I have forgotten!”
“It’s 1994,” offered Jenny.
“Indeed? Very interesting.”
When the old woman grew preoccupied with her thoughts, Jenny thought it would be the right time to depart. “Speaking of the time, I’m reminded that I should probably get going.”
“Yes, yes. Farewell then, young child. It was a real pleasure meeting you.”
Jenny didn’t quite like the way the old woman accented the word pleasure, as if she was making some private joke to herself, but she shrugged it off.
Jenny returned to the stream where the goose was playing.
“So did you destroy the witch?” the bird asked.
“Oh no, it turns out she’s just a lonely old woman.”
“Lonely old wom… and I’m a cat!”
“Look, she didn’t melt, all right?”
“Fine, but what about the king?”
“What king? Let me guess, he’s a goose too?”
“No, he’s a man, like I was, and he’s the king, as in the King of Oz!”
“I’m sure,” Jenny said, growing tired of this game. “And where is this King of Oz then?”
The goose, as if suddenly realizing he was a bird, began to flap his wings in an attempt at flight. Surprisingly to him, it came naturally. He flew slowly, both to avoid crashing into anything, as well as to ensure the girl followed him. Finally, he took her to where a man was tied to a tree. Jenny was surprised. This king was strangely familiar to her. He made no movements and spoke no words, which was entirely understandable since the man was tied up tightly and had a gag in his mouth. With some effort, Jenny Jump freed the King from these bonds. His Majesty thanked the young Duchess of Oz.
“And who might you be?” asked the monarch. “Are you a sorceress, or a wizardess?”
“Your Highness,” addressed the goose, who stepped forward. “She claims to be a Duchess of Oz, but I'm not sure I believe her.”
“No, neither would I. No respectable Duchess would be out here in the middle of the woods wearing naught but a nightgown.”
Now, Jenny had not noticed it, and the goose had not mentioned it, but the Turn-Style had worked the magic that Jenny had programmed it to do, and she was dressed in a purple nightgown and pink socks. These clothes were exceedingly wet, too, due to the time that she had spent in the stream.
“Well, I was just about ready to go to bed,” explained Jenny in an embarrassed voice, “when I was magically whisked out of my home. I guess you two would know how irritating magic can be.”
“Oh, absolutely. Well, never mind all that then. Thank you again for rescuing me. I am Pastoria, King of Oz. And this,” the King stated, indicating the goose, “is Pajuka, my Prime Minister, who is, unfortunately, not in his proper form.”
“Yes, more’s the pity,” said the Prime Minister. “You seem to know some magic. Do you think you could disenchant me?”
“Oh, I don't know much about that kind of magic,” admitted Jenny Jump.
“But you managed to whisk out of your home in the middle of the night to here.”
“Oh, that wasn’t me; that was my magic turnstyle.”
“Whatever that is, does it know how to disenchant people who have been turned into geese?”
“If I could get home, the Wizard or Ozma could help you.”
“Ozma?” asked the King with a suspicious look. “Is this Ozma a member of the Royal Family?”
“Yes. In fact, she's the Queen of Oz.”
“The Queen of Oz?” exclaimed Pastoria, in a puzzled voice. Perhaps his rescuer was some kind of madwoman. “My wife Cordia is Queen, and she has vanished, likely transformed by that same witch who turned Pajuka into a goose. No, Oz hasn't seen an Ozma as Queen in a long time.”
“But you look just like Ozma's father. His name is Pastoria, he used to be the King of Oz, and his Prime Minister was named Pajuka. In fact, I think Pajuka was once a goose.”
“Yet, I am still the King, and Pajuka is still a goose. And I do have a daughter named Ozma, but an infant she still is. Very few people know of this.”
“I suppose she's going to claim she’s from the future,” mocked Pajuka. He had intended this statement as a joke, but Jenny seriously considered this possibility.
“What year is it?” inquired the Duchess.
When Pastoria told her it was 1871, she exclaimed, “Leaping Leprechauns! That's fifty years before I was even born! That magic that took me out of my shop must have taken me back in time.”
“You have a shop? What manner of shop?” asked His Majesty.
“Well, it's a Style Shop. I produce clothes for people.”
“So, you're a seamstress?”
“Well, sort of.”
“I've always been fascinated by the work of tailors and seamstresses, but I've never had a chance to do any tailoring. I've been too busy kinging it over this Land.”
“You'll get your chance.”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, nothing,” said Jenny, who realized that she should not give too much information about the future to the people of the past. “Do you know of anyone who could help me return to my time?”
“You ask that as if it’s a mere trip to the country! There is no one I know who can… wait, there is a powerful Sorceress, by the name of Glinda. She is an old friend of Lurline’s and lives deep in the Quadling Country, but I cannot say if even she knows of any magic to take you through time.”
“Well, we may as well ask this Glinda.” Jenny did not mention that she knew Glinda very well. The Duchess could not recall the Sorceress having any time-travel magic, but then again, Glinda was very mysterious, and no one knew the full extent of her powers.
The King pulled a watch out of his pocket, looked at it, and stated, “The hour is late. Mayhap you should stay at my castle tonight, and travel to Glinda in the morning.” The girl agreed to this plan, so Pastoria led the way to his magnificent green castle at Morrow towards the center of Oz. It was not quite as lovely as Ozma's Palace, and was more heavily fortified than that building in the Emerald City, but it was a very nice place nonetheless. The King, the goose, and the girl walked through the front gate, the front doorway, and the entrance to Pastoria's Throne Room, saluting the many guards along the way. In green arm-chairs in this chamber sat Palunda, the King's Personal Valet, and Pasulda, Pastoria's Royal Bodyguard. Upon seeing their liege, the two officials jumped up from their seats and approached His Majesty.
“Why did you leave the castle without me?” demanded Pasulda.
“Where have you been?” asked Palunda. “And who are the goose and the girl?”
“I am Pajuka,” answered Pajuka. “That witch Mombi turned me into a goose, and she tried to enchant the King, as well, but this girl saved us. Her name is Jenny Jump, and in the far future, she will be a Duchess of Oz.”
“I suppose Oz will have some strange customs in the far future. Duchesses today don't wear their nightgowns in the public square.”
“They don't in my time, either,” laughed Jenny. “Magic took me back in time when I was getting ready to go to bed.”
“So, you're from the future, eh? Could you tell us something about it?”
“No, I couldn't. That would be too risky. I've probably already told too much to His Majesty and Pajuka.”
“Jenny is going to stay here tonight,” announced Pastoria, “and in the morning, we shall visit Glinda in the Quadling Land.”
“This time, I'm going with you,” stated Pasulda. “I won’t have you getting caught by any more witches.”
“Oh, we no longer have to worry about witches. They can be destroyed by mere water.” Jenny wondered if it was good for these people to know how to destroy witches, but she decided that no harm could come from this little piece of information.
“I'll have a room made up for the lady,” said Palunda. The servant then left the Throne Room.
King Pastoria pulled a bell-cord, and the Chief Steward entered the room. His Majesty ordered that dinner be served at once in the Great Banquet Hall. The King then led the way to this Hall, and seated Jenny at his side. At dinner that night, Pastoria told his courtiers what had transpired in the forest. Everyone applauded Jenny for saving the King, who was an extremely popular monarch. The Poet Laureate wrote a poem in her honor, the Royal Declarer of Holidays made the day into Jenny Jump Day, and the Official Presenter of Medals gave three medals to the girl.
Jenny slept in a large and magnificent room of Pastoria's castle that night, and in the morning, after a light breakfast, she, Pastoria, Pajuka, and Pasulda set out to the south. Their journey was shorter than anticipated as they discovered from a passing flock that Glinda was currently staying at a small house not far from the green country. The small party reached this dwelling at noon, and Pasulda knocked on the wooden front door. Glinda herself answered, warmly greeting the King of Oz and his bodyguard. Pastoria introduced Jenny Jump, and told about Mombi's transformation of Pajuka.
The King and his companions followed Glinda into her dining room. There, they noticed that she had another guest, a small leprechaun with a red beard.
“It's Psychopompus!” exclaimed Jenny.
“Ah, a smart one, she is,” said the leprechaun. “Knows me name, she does, an’ ne’er before have I seen her. An’ I sense somethin' magical about her. Be ye a fairy, my dear?”
“Actually, I'm a half-fairy. I'm from the future, and you gave me my fairy powers.”
“An odd story, shure.”
“Yet, it's absolutely true,” stated Glinda, who had been looking at her famous Truth Pearl, which turned black when a lie was told. “Or at least she believes it to be.”
“What are you doing here?” asked Jenny of the leprechaun.
“Another odd story, that is!”
“And I would certainly love to hear it, but I don’t think I should stay in this time any longer,” Jenny said to Glinda and Psychopompus. “Can’t either of you help me to return to my own time?”
“I’m sorry me lass,” replied Psychopompus. “But even though I be the one as gave ye your powers, ye can’t simply return home by spinnin' ‘round four times on your left foot, an' stampin' your right foot six times. That only teleports you, but not through time.”
“As you’re probably already aware,” Glinda said to Jenny, “Psychopompus is no mere leprechaun. He has great power. And yet, for no reason that either of us can discern, he appeared here in my castle.”
“Shore's me beard!”
“I am the reason why you are all here!” This was spoken by a beautiful woman, with long flowing raven-black hair and a black dress who suddenly appeared in the room. Jenny thought she saw a giant, green-and-multi-colored tropical bird, a kind of psittacine, but with horns and hooves, flit besides the woman, but just as suddenly it was gone.
“You are one of the fairy rulers from the Land of An,” said Glinda.
“Yes, I am Zeitra, the Queen of Time. And as the Mistress of Time Travel, I govern and protect the stream of time in the fairylands. I have to come to fix a great wrong.” With those words, she gestured to a spot in the room where Jenny’s Turn-Style suddenly appeared.
“At last!” exclaimed Jenny. “The longer I stay here, the more damage I might do to the space-time continuum.”
“That is true, my dear, but there is one more person that we must await. Also, there is a truth about yourself that I wish to reveal to you. You, Jenny Jump are not like other girls from the outside world.”
“Not so fast!” said another voice that came from nowhere and everywhere at once. A flash of whiteness burst the room, followed by a peal of thunder, and a dark man-shaped being appeared. The wicked fairy leered at Jenny with a hideous and twisted face. Indeed, it was the very same wicked fairy that had started her on this path. “If I am to be punished for my harmless pranks than so too will she!” The Turn-Style suddenly began to light up and turn. Then, with a pinch of magic, the wicked fairy and Jenny were gone.
Jenny was suddenly on a wild and hair-raising flight upon what appeared to be a jagged, electric beam of light, with the wicked fairy sitting behind her, and the sky around her morphing into strange and unreal shapes and colors. “Though you don’t yet realize it, you are not very unlike me,” the wicked fairy said. “Together, we would be a force to be reckoned with.”
“No!” Jenny said to him. “I’m not the person you think I am. Not anymore.”
“Liar! You still wish to rule,” the wicked fairy said. “To see to it that every being bends their knees before you, the one who knows how best they should dress… how best they should live. With my help it can come to pass.”
“How many times do I have to say no before you get it?” exclaimed Jenny. “Now put me back down!”
“Very well,” the fairy said, his visage now turned cruel and hard. “We’ve arrived anyway. Now we’ll see how true your words are.”
With that she materialized in her bedroom. Her first thought was that she had left her Turn-Style in the past, but a quick look around the room revealed that the magical device was nearby, however, Jenny was too exhausted to even think of using the Turn-Style to change, so she went to bed on a couch in the clothes that Pastoria had given her.
The Duchess awakened at nine o'clock the next morning. Had it all been a bad dream? She assured herself it must have been while she changed into a pretty white frock. Just then she realized that the room she was not in her own bedroom. She had been too tired to notice it the night before, but the room, although laid out like the one in which she usually slept, had a few minor differences. It was slightly bigger, and the picture of Number Nine that used to be hanging on the wall was no longer there. In its place was a portrait of Jenny herself, dressed in robes and a crown. It was not her usual ducal coronet, either, but the Royal Crown of Oz. A look out the window revealed that the room was higher up than usual, and overlooking completely different scenery. Instead of the bustling intersection of Strawberry Street and Banana Boulevard, the busiest avenues in the Emerald City, there was a garden surrounded by a high wall. While Jenny sat and pondered what might have happened to make these changes occur, there was a knock at the door.
“I’m sorry, but we’re not open yet,” said Jenny, who assumed the caller was a customer for the style shop.
“But Your Majesty, there are already eighty people requesting an audience with you,” came the voice from outside the door, which Jenny recognized as belonging to Jellia Jamb, Queen Ozma’s personal maid and head of the palace staff. It sounded a little off, though, as if Jellia had a cold or something.
“Jellia? What are you doing here?”
“I’m here because you’re already fifteen minutes late for holding court, Your Highness.”
“Holding court? Highness? What?”
“Is something wrong, Your Majesty?”
“Majesty? What, have I been promoted to Queen overnight?”
“Overnight? You’ve been Queen for over fifty years now. Is something wrong?”
“Queen of what?”
“Queen of Oz, of course! Are you sure you’re all right? You didn’t accidentally drink some of the Water of Oblivion, did you?”
“But what happened to Ozma?”
“Ozma? Who’s she? I think I remember hearing that some of the early rulers of Oz were named Ozma, but there hasn’t been one in centuries.”
“Jellia,” stated Jenny, as she opened the door to her room, “I don’t think I’m feeling very we—Aaaah!”
The reason for Jenny’s scream was that Jellia did not look like she had the last time the Duchess has seen the maid. Rather than the young lady Jenny was used to seeing, this Jellia was an old woman.
“What happened to you, Jellia?” asked Jenny frantically.
“Nothing’s happened to me. I’m worried that something might have happened to you, though. I’ll take you to see a doctor, but you’ll have to hold court first. You can’t keep all of your subjects waiting.”
Now, when Jenny had first arrived in Oz, she had a great desire for power, and had wanted to rule Oz. She ran against Ozma in an election for the throne, but she ended up losing. Although very angry about it at first, she had later pretty much forgotten about it. Still, she sometimes felt a bit jealous of Ozma, and often wondered what it would be like to rule the Land of Oz. Therefore, although she was quite confused by many things, she could not help being excited as she followed Jellia down to the throne room. Upon seeing this room, she was even more excited. It turned out to be exactly how she would have designed the throne room. The green marble throne was gone, and replaced with an iridescent throne of gold and silver. The walls were decorated with spirals and waves, and there were several works of modern art hanging on them. A wide variety of courtiers, some familiar and some not, was gathered throughout the room. As Jenny walked to the throne, they all stood and bowed, while the High Chamberlain demanded, “Make way for Queen Jenny, Royal Ruler of Oz!”
“My loyal subjects,” said Jenny, “I am now prepared to hold court.”
So, for the next three hours, Jenny did just that. Settling disputes was sometimes a difficult matter, but the new Queen thought it was worth it to receive the praise from her subjects. Lunch was also excellent. As the number of people in the throne room dwindled, Jenny decided she was going to like her new job. That is, until the Winkie spy ran into the room.
“Your Majesty! Your Majesty!” shouted the spy. “Igu’s forces have taken Fort Hexia! They’re planning a march on the capital!”
“Wait a minute. Who is this Igu?” questioned Queen Jenny.
“The evil sorcerer who rules the northern and western Winkie Countries, of course,” replied the spy, in a puzzled manner, “he who’s been waging war against the rest of Oz for nearly a century now. Are you feeling well, Your Majesty?”
“Oz is at war?” asked Jenny, who was now thoroughly confused. “And what happened to the Tin Woodman?”
“What ten woodmen would those be, Your Majesty?”
“No, no, TIN, not TEN. Emperor Nick Chopper. Doesn’t he rule the Winkies?”
“The Winkies are divided between the territories of Gloma and Igu,” replied an old man near the throne, whom Jenny now knew to be her Prime Minister. “Gloma has been assisting us in the war against Igu. I’ve never heard of this Emperor Mick Chopper.”
“Then who rules the other countries of Oz?”
“Mombi rules in the North, and she too is at war with us. King Philador rules in the East, and Glinda in the South.”
“Strange that you would forget all of this, Your Majesty,” said the High Chamberlain. “With all due respect, I would advise Your Majesty to see a physician at once.”
“Well, all right. I think I will,” stated Jenny.
“Dr. Wisteria, would you take Her Majesty to your office?” asked the Chamberlain, speaking to an old man who bore a certain resemblance to Herby, Ozma’s Court Physician, yet was somehow different. Jenny followed Dr. Wisteria to his office, which was located on the second floor of the palace. Here, she lay down on a couch, while the doctor started writing on a pad.
“So, Your Majesty, what seems to be the trouble?” asked the doctor.
“Well, Dr. Wisteria—”
“Just call me Herby, Your Majesty.”
“Herby? Then you ARE the same Herby I know? But you’re taller, and your eyes are different!”
“I am the Head Physician in Your Majesty’s Royal Court. I don’t know what you mean about my being taller.”
“Well, that’s just what I mean. It’s as if my whole world has changed. I mean, I know you, and Jellia, and Glinda, and Gloma, but you’re all different.”
“Different how? Tell me about it,” said Herby patiently.
“Well, okay, in the world I’m used to, Ozma rules Oz, and I’m just a Duchess. And Glinda rules the Quadling Country, but the rulers of the other kingdoms are different.”
“And how am I different?”
“Well, the Herby I know is shorter, and has cough drops for eyes, and a medicine chest built into his body. You don’t have that, do you?”
“No,” replied Herby, somewhat laughingly. “And how did I get such bizarre features?”
“Let me think,” said Jenny, who had heard so many odd origin tales of Ozian celebrities that it was sometimes difficult to keep them straight. “Oh, yes. You got into a fight with Mombi, and she threw you into a cauldron of cough syrup. You were trapped in a bottle until Prince Philador of the Munchkins freed you, and then you had those features.”
“A fight with Mombi? That would be a one-sided battle. Next to Glinda, she is the most powerful being in Oz. Were it not that she is at odds with Igu, Philador and Glinda, I’m afraid all of Oz would be hers.”
“This is crazy! How did she—what happened to the Wicked Witches?”
“Well, I wouldn’t know about that. The witches died long before I was born. The legends are a little unclear as to how, but they involve you.
“Me?” asked Jenny, feeling a lump forming in her throat.
“Yes, you… or someone who went by your name, told King Pastoria how to destroy them. Mombi destroyed the witch in the west; Pastoria’s prime minister the witch in the east. That’s one reason why you were elected Queen in the first place. Some people thought that the savior of Oz had returned. I’m not sure what to believe, myself.”
“That WAS me who told them how to destroy the witches!” exclaimed Jenny, who had finally realized the truth. “And I shouldn’t have! I need to go back and stop myself!”
“Go back where, Your Highness? In time?”
“Exactly! See, last night, I was sent back in time, and I accidentally changed Oz. That’s why everything is so different to me.”
“Well, that would explain your condition, although it is a very odd story. I don’t know anything about time travel, though. I don’t know that Gloma does, either. Glinda might, although she isn’t really that friendly with us.”
“Why not? Glinda is still a good sorceress, isn’t she?”
“By all reports. But she refuses to recognize your government, saying that our ruler should be King Pastoria’s long-lost daughter. She’s been searching for this daughter for a century now, though without any luck. Many simply think she’s become addled over the years. No one would tell her that, of course, since she’s so powerful. I’m not sure what to believe. King Pastoria could have had a daughter, I suppose, and if she was a fairy, as the legends claim, she could still be alive.”
“What happened to Pastoria, then, if Mombi never enchanted him?”
“I hear he died of stress during the war against Kliund, but I could be wrong. I’m really the wrong person to ask. Maybe you should go to the library and do some historical reading. It was really before my time.”
“Fine, which way is the library?”
Herby guided his Queen to the palace library, after which he returned to his office for what he deemed a well-earned nap. Jenny looked around for books on Ozian history, finally finding five that seemed promising. According to these, a girl named Jenny Jump had come to Oz long ago and helped Mombi and King Pastoria’s Prime Minister Pajuka destroy the Wicked Witches of the East and West who were then threatening to take over Oz. After their defeat, however, a Munchkin wizard named Kliund had tried to conquer the country, and a war ensued. Pastoria had died during this war, apparently of stress, although one historian had suggested that he might have been poisoned by one of Kliund’s agents. Pastoria had left no heir (some legends spoke of his having a daughter, but very few people believed them anymore), and his Prime Minister Pajuka, who took over as Regent, had been an ineffective ruler, whom Kliund had easily overthrown. Kliund had been succeeded by his son Kluuon, who, by some accounts, was even worse than his father had been. After numerous attempts at overthrow by various internal and external forces, eventually, there was a successful revolution against Kluuon, and an election was held to determine the next ruler. The two main candidates were Igu, the magician who ruled much of the Winkie Country, and was suspected by some to have been in league with Kliund and Kluuon, and Jenny herself. Jenny won the election, and Igu had been trying to overthrow her government ever since. So far, he had not accomplished this goal, but this Oz seemed to be a much more dangerous place to live than the old one.
Many of the important figures in the familiar Oz did not seem to feature much, if at all, in the history of this changed Oz. A man who arrived in some kind of flying device and claimed to be a wizard was killed in a magical duel with Kliund. Towards the end of Kliund’s reign, a girl arrived in the Munchkin Country in a flying house, and there was hope that she would be the savior of Oz, but it turned out that she merely wanted to go back to her home in some place called Kansas, and Kliund had sent her back there quite easily. These were apparently the Wizard and Dorothy, but one had died and the other never returned to Oz, so they had not been able to accomplish what they had in the Oz familiar to Jenny.
While Jenny was reading about Glinda, who, as Herby had indicated, had refused to recognize Jenny (or Kliund or Kluuon) as ruler, and was constantly in search of the mysterious daughter of Pastoria, a messenger came rushing into the library.
“Your Majesty! We’ve been looking all over for you!” exclaimed the messenger. “The castle is under siege! Igu and his forces are attacking!”
The messenger ran back out of the room and down to the castle basement, apparently expecting Jenny to follow him. Jenny, however, wanted no part of this Oz, and instead returned to her own rooms, hoping to find her fairy gifts. While she searched, she heard banging and loud yelling in a strange language on the other side of the door. Just as Jenny was looking under her mattress, the door was knocked over, and two skinny, yellow-skinned, horned goblins, who were armed with spears, burst into the bedroom. They ran toward Jenny, attempting to grab her. The Queen, who had flown into a fury, promptly spat fire at the men, and stamped her foot, causing her to rise into the air.
“So I can use my powers WITHOUT my fairy gifts in this Oz?” asked Jenny to herself. “That means I can get out of here!”
While the goblins were busy trying to beat the flames out of their clothes, Queen Jenny opened a window, and flew toward the south. The castle looked very similar to the one Pastoria had inhabited, although it had a few differences in style, probably brought about by Jenny herself. There was a small village surrounding the castle, but no Emerald City.
As the half-fairy flew over the Quadling Country, she noticed that the territory was mostly familiar, but different in some subtle ways. Finally, she reached Glinda’s palace, which was, thankfully, in the same place as in her own version of Oz. Jenny landed in front of the door, and waited impatiently as a girl guard answered her request for an audience with Glinda.
“And why should Glinda talk to you, Your Majesty?” asked the guard, in a sarcastic and unpleasant tone. “She knows you’re just a pretender to the throne.”
“Look, I realize that, and I’m not really even the Jenny you know. I wasn’t even Queen of Oz until today, and I know Ozma is the rightful ruler, and I just want to go back home!” explained Jenny hurriedly.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I’ll let you talk to Glinda. Wait here while I tell her.”
In a few minutes, Jenny had been admitted into the presence of Glinda the Good. She was the same Glinda with whom Jenny was familiar, except there was something different about her expression. She seemed both angrier and more worried than she had ever been before, even when dealing with wicked witches.
“What is it you want, Jenny?” asked Glinda.
“I just want your help—“
“Look,” said Glinda, her expression softening somewhat. “I have nothing against you, Jenny. I realize you have nothing to do with the disappearance of the rightful ruler of Oz, but you have also done nothing to help me in my search for her, although I have contacted you about it many times in the past. Princess Ozma DOES exist, and the troubles in Oz will not end until she is restored to the throne. I assume you have come here seeking help in the war against Igu, who has invaded your castle. I know all about the attack. I will not help you, however, unless you agree to help me.”
“Actually, that’s not what I came to ask about at all,” answered Jenny, much to the surprise of the Sorceress. “I’m not the Jenny you know.”
“Then who are you?”
“I’m from an alternate version of Oz, where Ozma DID take the throne. Yesterday—well, yesterday in my world, anyway—I accidentally went back in time and changed things. I know I’m Queen now, and before you or anyone else says it, no, I don’t actually like being Queen, especially over a war-torn version of Oz.”
“I fear this Oz will always be war-torn, unless Ozma is able to take the throne. The health of any country, especially an enchanted fairyland, depends on its ruler. If you really come from an Oz where this happened, though, what happened to her there?”
“She was turned into a boy by Mombi, the old Wicked Witch of the North, after the Wizard of Oz gave the child to her to protect her from the other witches who would have killed her. The Wizard eventually left Oz, leaving the Scarecrow to rule. A girl named Jinjur conquered the Scarecrow, and he came to you for help. You captured Mombi and made her restore Ozma, who ruled Oz ever since then.”
“Well, I doubt Mombi had a hand in Ozma’s disappearance in this Oz. She took control over the Gillikin lands before Ozma disappeared. And in our Oz, there was no Wizard to hand into her keeping.”
“I heard he’d been killed. This is too upsetting. We have to rectify this!”
“So you really were the one who told Pastoria and Mombi how to kill the Wicked Witches? I remember a girl visiting me shortly after these events, and I’ve heard the stories about you being that girl, but I didn’t think they were true.”
“They are. It was a result of my time travel. And I didn’t know Mombi was a witch. I even threw water on her and she didn’t melt.”
“She’s not that kind of witch,” Glinda replied with a weary smile. “I would be glad to live in an Oz where Ozma had been restored to the throne, so I don’t blame you for wanting to go back there. How did you travel through time?”
“I used my Magic Turn-Style during a thunderstorm, and it brought me back in time. I’ve never heard of such a thing happening. I’ve used it during storms before, and nothing like that happened. Actually, now that I think of it, strange things did happen sometimes. Like that time when I was trying to give Mr. Dozryn a new coat, and he ended up dressed in clothes that were identified as belonging to Polacky the Plunderer. I thought it was just a malfunction, but maybe there was some time travel involved.”
“Well, I’m sorry, but I don’t know much about time travel. I would help you if I could. Are you sure that is all that occurred?”
“Actually, wait a minute. When I met with you in the past, there was a Queen there, some kind of Mistress of Time, I think she called herself. She was going to send me back to the right time, but then a dark fairy appeared and took me on some kind of beam of light, and then I ended up here. I thought it was a dream at first.”
“Yes, I recall that now,” said Glinda. “It was Zeitra who was going to help you until the wicked fairy arrived. She said she would find you again, but that tracking the wicked fairy would take some time. I suspect he had a part to play in all this.”
“That makes sense. And it’s a start. Thank you for all your help.”
“I wish I could do more,” said Glinda in parting, “but I have a feeling things are going to work out for you.”
“They usually do!” said Jenny encouragingly.
The Queen promptly left Glinda’s palace, turning down her invitation to stay for dinner. Her first thought was to fly over the Great Sandy Waste and see whether the surrounding countries had changed. After a little bit of thought, however, she came up with another idea. If using the Turn-Style in a thunderstorm had sent Jenny back in time, maybe repeating that action would allow her to go and change things back. It was a long shot, but it was the only chance she had. Off she flew to her castle, hoping the goblins had not taken the Turn-Style.
Upon returning to the palace, she found it completely surrounded by Igu’s troops, most of whom were hideous monsters. Where in Oz had they come from? In addition to more goblins, similar to the ones she had seen in her room, there were several hags, numerous imps, a cyclops, and a group of insect-men. There were even vulture-like birds circling in the air above the castle. Despite the diversity of creatures in Igu’s army, all of them seemed thin, malnourished, and sickly. Had Igu transported them over the Deadly Desert? Or were they from the various underground realms in Oz? It was a question she’d have to ask when she got back to her own time… if she ever got back!
Jenny tried to sneak past the birds into the window of her bedroom, but they had excellent eyes, and one of them grabbed her and handed her to a goblin who was standing on the other side of a nearby window. The goblin carried her down the hall to the throne room, which was occupied by more of Igu’s hideous creatures. On the throne sat a tall, skinny old man.
“Well, you must be Igu,” spoke up Jenny.
“Jenny!” exclaimed Igu, in a rather sickening voice. “I just left you in the dungeon! You could not have escaped! Are you her twin, or some magical homunculi made to look like her?” When she didn’t respond he continued, “It matters not. You negotiated a treaty, and yet still your people fight to prevent me becoming the ruler of Oz, so the war will continue until I am.”
“Oh, right,” said Jenny, who truly had no idea what Igu was talking about, but assumed that he must have captured the Jenny Jump from this world.
“Well, Jenny, or whoever you are, your army has now been destroyed, and you are my prisoner... again. I suppose this finally makes Oz my kingdom.”
“I suppose so.”
“You have struggled against me for years now, but I am victorious, as befits the descendant of the greatest wizard ever.”
As Igu was gloating, Jenny was trying to escape from the goblin’s clutches, but the creature was too powerful for even her superhuman fairy strength to overcome. Yet, Jenny continued to struggle, and eventually grew quite angry. In her anger, she spat fire across the room, which almost hit another goblin. This goblin panicked, and ran right into the one holding Jenny, who dropped his captive. This gave the Queen the chance to spin around in the manner Psychopompus had shown her years earlier in another time. It worked and she ended up in her room while Igu was busy with a fire extinguishing spell. The Turn-Style was there, so she removed it from the floor and flew out the window with it, straight up in the air for miles. Once the Duchess reached the upper part of the troposphere, she used her fairy eye to search for the Palace of the Rain King, which she soon found and entered.
Inside, the powerful King was sitting at a desk, examining maps and papers.
"Excuse me, Your Majesty," said Jenny.
"What?" exclaimed the Rain King, looking up from his work. "Who are you?"
"I am Jenny Jump, half-fairy and Duch—er, Queen of Oz. I have come to ask you for a favor."
"What kind of favor, Miss Jump?"
"Last night, a thunderstorm in the Emerald City—"
"The Emerald City? I have been all around the world, and I have never heard of such a place."
"That's because it doesn't exist anymore. Or, rather never came to exist. You see, a bolt of lightning hit my Magic Turn-Style and sent me back in time. I accidentally changed the past, and I would like to go back and change it again."
"So you want me to provide a thunderstorm?"
"Yes, Your Majesty."
The Rain King shook his head. "I believe that would be too risky, my dear. Striking this Turn-Style with lightning may not send you to the same time that it did before. Besides, I really cannot spare any thunder-storms at this time."
"Then how will I return to my own time?" asked Jenny, who was on the verge of tears.
At that moment, the door to the castle burst open, and a rugged, bearded man in a horned Viking helmet ran into the room. Despite the man’s tough appearance, he was in a total panic, as he cried out, “Your Majesty! Your Majesty! The lightning treasury has been robbed!”
“Robbed? How? Isn’t it locked with thunder bolts?”
“The new apprentice did it!”
“The small, unattractive one?”
“Yes, he must have become an apprentice just so he could rob the treasury!”
Jenny, who had a feeling she knew exactly who that was, was looking out the door—which the newcomer had carelessly left open—and saw a brilliant flash in the air outside, accompanied by an incredibly loud thunder-clap.
“What was that? What was that?” asked the Viking, as he spun around to observe the cause of the disturbance.
“We have your castle surrounded, Rain King!” shouted a voice from outside. “Surrender it now to the forces of Igu the Great, King of Oz!”
“Since when is Igu King of Oz, and why would he want my castle?” demanded the Rain King.
“Igu the Great just conquered Oz today, and I imagine he wants your castle so that he can control the world’s weather. So surrender it now, or we’ll thunderbolt it to Kingdom Come!”
“Oh, I’ve been to Kingdom Come, and it isn’t very nice. Somebody do something!” fretted the Viking.
“Leave the Rain King alone!” yelled Jenny, as she flew out of the castle, spitting fire at the creatures outside. Most of them were the same vulture-like birds that she had seen back in Oz, some with goblins on their backs, but the leader was a skinny man with messy hair and a helmet much like the one worn by the man who had reported the robbery to the King. He sat on a cloud, and had a black box full of lightning at his side. Jenny flew toward this man, hoping to push him off the cloud, but he quickly tossed a lightning bolt at her. She dodged just in time, only to collide with a black-haired girl in a black dress. The man promptly froze in place, and Jenny turned around to look at the newcomer.
“Miss Jenny Jump, I’ve spent a long time looking for you,” said the girl.
“Well," replied the Duchess. "I’m glad you finally found me."
It was, of course, Zeitra, the Queen of Time and Mistress of Time-Travel, who ensured that history wouldn’t changed by the various time disruptions that could occur in a magic country. “I would have come sooner, but you were not so easy to find thanks to a certain dark fairy, and then there was a matter of a Greek witch who needed my help. I’m glad to see you safe."
"Can we go back to Pastoria's time, and prevent me from telling Mombi and Pastoria about the way to destroy witches?"
"Yes, but it will take a little bit of work. The problem, as you know, goes beyond your little faux pas in the past. You see, this was not the first time the Turn-Style has wreaked havoc with the fabric of time. Anyway, hold my right hand, and we shall see what can be done.”
Jenny held Zeitra’s right hand, and the Queen of Time wound her watch three times. She then clicked her heels together, and the scenery blurred around Jenny and her companion. In exactly fifty-eight seconds (although time is relative, especially when magic is involved), the two of them materialized in a room full of clocks. Two men sat on a black leather couch on the other side of the room, one recognizable as Psychopompus.
“It’s about time you came back!” said the man, in a grumpy tone. He was a tall man, dressed in a smart navy blue suit, blue boots that pointed up at the ends, and glasses.
“Jenny Jump, may I present the wizard Kliund?” said Zeitra.
“Kliund? You mean the former ruler of Oz?”
“Well, yes,” replied the man. “I’m also the creator of this Turn-Style, which you’ve used to muck things up.”
“You didn’t do a much better job with it, Kliund,” admonished Zeitra.
“So you’re the magician whose house exploded?” asked Jenny.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, although I didn’t see it myself. My mother-in-law had problems with water, so she would make sure she knew ahead of time when there was a storm, and let me know. The last time, though, she didn’t. Later, I found out she had died, thanks to a house dropped from the sky.”
“Then your mother-in-law was the Wick…uh, the Witch of the East?”
“That’s her. When the lightning struck my house, I was thrown through time, and I can’t say I know exactly why. Next thing I know, I have an entirely new set of memories, ones in which my mother-in-law was killed years earlier, and I launched a rebellion against King Pastoria. Oddly, I ended up disappearing into my Turn-Style at the same time I did before.”
“Ye canna fight fate, me laddie,” put in Psychopompus.
“Yes. Well, both times, I ended up years in the future after I entered the Turn-Style, and it had been relocated to the capital. I went to your shop, but it was so busy that I never got the chance to look at it. So instead, I used a spell to summon a Parrot-Ox, which took me here to Zeitra’s palace.”
“Did you mean for the Turn-Style to be able to travel through time?” inquired Jenny.
“No, as I said, I really don’t know why that would be, unless it was some sort of leakage from the neighbors. There was a Winkie named Igu who lived down the road, and who knows what he was doing? I think he might have mentioned wanting to go back in time to locate his great-great-grandfather, who was apparently the greatest wizard of all time.”
“I just met Igu. He was leading an army of monsters against me to take over Oz.”
“Take over Oz? Igu was never that sort. He’d seen enough of conquerors when he worked with the Witch of the West. Then again, I never wanted to do that either, although I wouldn’t have minded if my wife could have ruled the Munchkins. The power vacuum created by the Witches dying early must have changed a lot of us.”
“I’m thinking the best idea would be for you to go back to when the Turn-Style was first built, to see if you can figure out how the time travel magic got into it,” advised Zeitra.
“So when was that?” questioned the leprechaun.
“1871,” replied Kliund, “the same day old King Pastoria went missing. Well, at least in the original timeline. In the new one, it was right around when he found out that water could kill witches. Some of them, anyway. My wife never liked water much, but it wouldn’t make her dissolve into a puddle.”
“That sounds like it might be the same day I went back too!” exclaimed Jenny. “Maybe we can set everything right at the same time.”
“Yes, I had wanted to go alone, but Zeitra said you needed to come along. In addition to your change, you’ve worked with the Turn-Style for years, and you apparently have some kind of inborn proclivity to time travel.”
“What do you mean? I’ve never time traveled in my life! I hope you’re not blaming me for what happened. Siko, what do you know about this?”
At that, the room erupted into shouts and accusations.
“Silence everyone,” demanded the Mistress of Time Travel. “There’s a lot to explain. And if you’ll be patient, I’ll keep it as simple as I can.” Once everyone settled back down, she continued. “To begin with, history cannot be eradicated or destroyed. To prevent that is the reason I exist.”
“But it was changed,” insisted Jenny.
“Actually, no, it wasn’t.”
That drew a stunned silence from her hearers, followed by another cacophony of questions and exclamations.
“Patience, everyone” exclaimed Mistress Zeitra, “please.” After the room fell silent again, she continued. “As I was saying, it is my duty, along with the Parrot-Oxes who serve alongside me, to ensure that the history of our world remains untouched and untouchable. Yet because this is a magic realm, you can indeed find ways—rare though they are—to travel through in time, such as the hidden Ring of Time, the Turn-Style, and other obscure means. These trips, though they affect the traveler, cannot change Oz itself unless I or Father Time allow for it. Whatever changes are made are smoothed out or woven into the fabric of the past so that the original timeline remains preserved.”
“That’s why Button-Bright and Ojo didn’t change the present when they went into the past,” offered Jenny.”
“Yes, and the Ring of Time is special. It helps to ensure that actions flow back into the ways they had been before. However, there is other time-magic, forbidden time-magic that seeks to thwart the natural ways. And there are those who would alter history for their own designs. This is no secret to us. When one leaves Ozian time for the past, I am aware of it. Should that traveler make any kind of significant changes, even ones that don’t seem so at the time—like the one you inadvertently made when you mentioned the Achille’s Heel of the Wicked Witches—instead of changing the past, as it would, the traveler is brought forth into a different dimension, a tertiary world that is similar to the original one, and indeed connected to it, but which is historically altered by the effects of the changes the time-traveler brought forth.”
“I’m think I’m getting a headache,” stated Kliund, holding his head.
“I suppose it must be complicated for those not used to the vicissitudes of time as I am,” replied Zeitra. “Try to think of it for what it is, a protection. You, Kliund, were sent by the Turn-Style into a hypothetical future Oz in which things began to unwind in ways that were different to how they were in the real Oz. Whatever magic was built into the Turn-Style, and it certainly sounds like forbidden time-magic to me, it shunted your memories so that life for you would begin anew in this alternate version of Oz.”
“So,” Jenny interrupted, “you’re saying that as soon as I changed history, I was no longer in our Oz, the real Oz, but was transported into this… tertiary dimension I think you called it?” At Zeitra’s assent she went on. “But Kliund had already been brought into this same dimension, only 123 years ago! Why didn’t you correct it back then?”
“That’s a good question,” said Kliund.
“For this very reason time-magic is forbidden. Do you recall that I said how it thwarts the natural ways? It does so in very tricky ways. Because you were sent into a hypothetical future dimension, real Oz time and history were unaffected. For us, you simply winked out of existence. Father Time noticed an alteration in space-time, as if a ghost dimension suddenly came into being, but as it seemed to have no deleterious effects to Oz…”
“…You just let it go,” said Kliund tartly. “I guess I didn’t rate.”
“I am sorry we didn’t look into it sooner, but we didn’t know you were involved, and there were other problems afoot, namely the witch Mombi had gotten ahold of forbidden time-magic, as well—and I can guess from whom—and had used it, very craftily I might add, to send King Oz, the elder Pastoria, backwards in time. She knew exactly how to weave this in ways that would prevent the Guardians of Time from easily undoing it. But there is always a way.” She added this last part enigmatically, and would speak no further on it.
“Ok, let’s get back to me for the moment,” said Jenny. “Why didn’t the Turn-Style’s magic alter my memories when I was transported here?”
“That was the dark fairy’s doing. He saw to it that you kept your memories.”
“That is strange. This is the same dark fairy who not only brought me into the past, but then when you were originally going to straighten the matter out, showed up again and took me into the future?”
“Ok, so this is where I’m confused. The wicked fairy took me away and skipped me into the future. So how could I have become Queen? I wasn’t around for any of that to have happened.”
“The future cannot happen until it happens, Jenny. Think of it like this: in a tertiary world, you are already one step away from reality. When the Wicked Fairy took you forward in time, just as when the Turn-Style took Kliund forward in time, what you entered was a potential future reality, not an actual one.”
“Now I know I’m having a headache,” stressed Kliund.
“So, it was like a part of me was brought into yet another dimension, but one even less real than this one. Meanwhile, another version of me was left in this version of Oz and eventually became Queen.”
“Well done,” said Zeitra, smiling. “You’d make a good Time Fairy.”
“Thanks, but no thanks! Wait a minute! What happens to me and all these people when we fix my mistakes?” said Jenny, suddenly. “On second thought, I’m not sure I want to know.”
“I know it seems strange, but the fact is they never really existed. Oh, they have a form of life at present, but they’re echoes of another reality, that’s all. And when time is fixed, as it always is, they and their surroundings will merge back into their counterparts in the real Oz.”
“That’s heavy,” said Jenny. “And yet somehow I get it. Ok, last question.”
“Yes, please!” cried Kliund. “I’m afraid I don’t quite have the level of comprehension that our dear Jenny has, and frankly I don’t care.”
“Oh hush,” said Jenny, “This is important. Mistress, why did the wicked fairy do this to me?”
The Mistress of Time sighed, “I had wanted to tell you this earlier. Do you recall when I told you that you weren’t like other mortal children? This is true. You are the product of your great, great grandmother’s success in mastering a kind of reincarnation.”
“What?” replied Jenny, shocked at what she was hearing, and not liking it one bit.
“Ye never really knew yer family,” said Psychopompus. “Yer mother died in childbirth, and yer father not long after. What else do ye remember?”
“I was mostly raised by my Aunt Eileen,” Jenny continued. “It was she who taught me about fairies and leprechauns, but she disappeared about a year before I first met you, Siko, and came to Oz. I do know we lived in the Jenny Jump Mountains, and I used to imagine that they were named after me. I was only fifteen when I left, though, and the name is much older than that.”
“Weell, they were, in a way,” said the leprechaun. “‘Twas an earlier version of ye who jumped to her death there. Truth is, ye were reborn many times since then.”
“That’s just crazy.”
“It may seem so,” said Zeitra, “and it is somewhat complicated, but your ancestor managed to find a way for a new Jenny Jump to be born whenever the last one died. Usually, as was a daughter, which is why your mother died giving birth to you. You are a kind of reincarnation of her.”
“You’re saying I’m my mother! And my grandmother! And her mother and grandmother before her? I think I need to sit down.” After a moment to calm herself, she thought to ask, “If that were so, how come I don’t remember anything from their previous lives?”
“Ye probably recollect odds an’ ends of ‘em. It takes a while for ye to realize, and it does nae always work out well. One of ye, when ye found out, bewitched a barrister to sue the fairies in the mountains, sayin’ ye—well, she, had more claim to ‘em. ‘Twas difficult to straighten out, that it was.”
“That’s not right! First I change history without even trying, and now I find out I’m some kind of strange attempt to cheat death.”
“It’s not crazy, Jenny,” reassured Zeitra. “You’ve known for some time that you’re a half-fairy. Where did you think that half came from? Did you think Pyschopompus bestowed that upon you?”
“Glinda said he was powerful.”
“And powerful I am, lassie, but ain’t no leprechaun in all the worlds who could turn a mortal into a fairy.”
“You—and your ancestors on your mother’s side, who you are—are fairyborn with mortal blood.”
“Why did my ancestors marry mortals? Don’t fairies usually, I don’t know, stay celibate and amongst their own kind. Isn’t that like a big deal to break away from that?”
“Yes, it is,” acknowledged the Queen of Time, “but your ancestor had a tragic tale. Her name was Gwenhwyfar and her brother was Kukaloris, but she called him Gobo, and he called her Minsi. They loved each other dearly, and used to pretend to be the King and Queen of Fairyland as they worked alongside one another in the Valley of Gold, which the Fairy Queen Zurline had hidden from the eyes of mortal man. But in time, Gobo developed a sickness for gold, loving it in the way that mortals often do. He began to change and this did not pass by the notice of his sister who saw the effect the gold-lust had begun to have upon him. Then one day, she overheard his plans to open the gates to dark beings he’d summoned to aid him in taking over the realm. At first, she tried desperately to talk him out of his plans, but to no avail. So she went to Queen Zurline, who governs the Valley of Gold, explaining to her all that she’d discovered. The Fairy Queen changed the mountains and put up new gates and sentinels, including the famed dragon Jankow, and banished Gobo. He never forgave his sister and swore to avenge himself upon her, so she fled the Valley of the Fairies for the outside world, certain that her brother would never discover her there. So it was that in time she fell in love with and married a mortal man. Not wishing to live forever while one husband died after another, she learned to die, of a sort, and be reborn through her offspring. This is why you have no memory of your past lives. But you Jenny Jump are this Gwenhwyfar, or at least part of her, and the wicked fairy who’s been pursuing you is Kukaloris.”
Jenny stood stunned and silenced by this revelation. Kliund interrupted her reverie: “A wonderful story, truly, but I don’t really care. No offence, Jenny, or whoever you are, but can we just get this matter settled so I’m no longer living in two different timelines?”
With that, Jenny and Kliund walked through the Turn-Style, which Zeitra hit with a bolt of lightning that she had brought along for this occasion. When the girl and the magician emerged, they found themselves just outside a ruined house in the Munchkin Country.
“What happened to my house?” shouted Kliund. “Don’t tell me we’re back in the future again!”
“It’s earlier than when I found the Turn-Style here when I first came to Oz, because it was terribly rusted then,” observed Jenny.
“Looks like we’re going to have to find out what year it is. Why don’t you do that, while I take a look at this piece of junk?”
So Jenny made her way across the land until she reached a more inhabited area, where a Munchkin couple was sitting on the porch of a large and opulent house, just off the road of yellow brick. On closer inspection, she noticed they were Boq and his wife Johanna, important people in the country.
“Excuse me, do you know what day it is?” inquired Jenny.
“What day? Why, where have you been?” asked Johanna.
“I’ve been under a spell for a while,” stated the half-fairy, who figured that this was more or less true, and easier to understand than time travel.
“Oh, I see. Lots of strange goings-on recently,” stated Boq. “We also had a house land in the country to the east. A little girl and a tiny animal, she said it was a dog, were in it. She stopped by here and said she wanted to get back to some place called Canvas, I think.”
“It was Kansas, dear,” said Johanna. “Not that I know where it is either.”
“We said she should visit the capital and ask the Wizard Kliund, the Ruler of Oz. He’s not the nicest person, from what we’ve heard, but he’s supposed to be quite powerful.”
“What was the girl’s name?” asked Jenny, who was not surprised when the Munchkins told her it was Dorothy. She then hurried back to the house where Kliund was looking at the Turn-Style.
“This thing is totally unusable right now. I might be able to get it working again with some grumgrum oil and a bit of pradlin powder, but I don’t have any of those around. The lightning really did a number on my stores, apparently. Too bad we don’t know of any other wizards.”
“No, but you’re apparently the ruler of Oz now, so that should help matters.”
“Then we DID go back too early. When I ruled the land, I came here to my old house to get some ruritanium for a project I was working on, and that’s when I was caught in the Turn-Style in a thunderstorm. It must not be much later now.”
“Yes, and Dorothy has only just arrived here for the first time.”
“The one whose house fell on my mother-in-law?”
“Yes, although I don’t think it did now, in this timeline, or whatever you call it. She was killed with water years ago, remember?”
“Right. As if history wasn’t complicated enough, now I have to remember two of them. Anyway, maybe I have the proper equipment in my castle.”
So Jenny and Kliund walked to the Road of Yellow Brick, and after a short journey down it, they came across a young girl in a gingham dress with pigtails and worn-out shoes. Next to her walked a little black dog. She was rather tired, as she had been walking for some time.
“Excuse me,” called the half-fairy. “Are you Dorothy, from Kansas?”
“What? Who’s there?” As the girl turned around and the dog started barking, Jenny reassured them that she meant no harm.
“I am Jenny, and this is—”
“Kurrilk,” said Kliund, as that was the first name that popped into his head. “Might you be on your way to see the Wizard Kliund in the capital?”
“Oh, yes! I’ve been on my way for some time now, and haven’t had any help,” answered Dorothy. “The people are friendly, but they say there’s nothing they can do for me.”
“Well, we should be able to get you there shortly,” stated the magician.
“What?” whispered Jenny, after taking Kliund aside. “She still needs to find the Scarecrow, Nick Chopper, and the Lion!”
“We don’t know that they even exist in this reality. From what I’ve heard, your Nick Chopper was engaged to my mother-in-law’s servant, and she enchanted his axe. If she’s been dead for years, then that probably didn’t happen, and he’s still just a human woodcutter.”
So Jenny returned to Dorothy and Toto, and telling the girl to pick up the dog, held both her hand and Kliund’s. Stamping her foot brought her into the air, and she promptly flew over the road, arriving at the castle at its end several hours later. It still looked pretty much the same as when Pastoria had lived there, and at Kliund’s instruction they entered one of the towers through a window. There, they came across a younger dark-haired man in a dirty apron and a girl Jenny recognized as Jellia.
“Father? When did you get back?” questioned the man.
“Never mind that, Kluuon! What are you doing in my workshop?” demanded Kliund.
“Well, you had been gone a while, and I thought I’d see if I could find something to do while I was waiting for you to come back.”
“Don’t give me that malarkey! You were trying to work magic, weren’t you?”
“Look, I’ve lived here with you for years, and you’ve never taught me anything, not even the simplest spell!”
“And what is the maid doing here?”
“Her name is Jellia, Father, and she’s my friend.”
“I don’t have time for this right now, Kluuon! Just get me my skeropythrope, grumgrum oil, and pradlin powder.”
Kluuon was not sure what these things were, but Kliund was able to pick them up quickly. He then returned to the window and departed with Jenny, leaving Dorothy and Toto waiting there. After a flight back to Kliund’s old house, he managed to get the Turn-Style working again. Before he could step into it, however, Kluuon, Jellia, Dorothy, and Toto appeared right next to them.
“What? What are you doing here?” shouted the magician.
“You weren’t telling us what was going on,” said Dorothy, “so your son used one of your potions to bring us here and get an answer. I have to say you’re not a very good father. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are often too busy with the farm to talk to me, but at least they’re not as rude as you are!”
“And haven’t I seen the girl’s picture somewhere?” inquired Jellia.
“Look, ruling Oz is a job that keeps me busy,” began Kliund, “and being a wizard as well just makes it even more difficult to be a good father as well. Besides, thanks to Miss Jenny here, I now am living two different lives. All of this would be better if I could just figure out why this fairy-blamed contraption keeps sending people through time!”
“Oh, you mean because of the chronic fluctuations built into the center pole. Didn’t you get that from old Igu down the road?” asked Kluuon.
“What? What are you talking about? Is this something you read about in one of your quingle store novels?”
“No, it’s true. I used it a few times before, back when we still lived here.”
“And you never told me?”
“I figured you already knew.”
Kliund let out an exasperated sigh at this, but before he could say anything, Jellia told him, “If you’d talked to him more often, you might have found out earlier.”
“I don’t remember getting the pole from Igu,” stated Kliund.
“Well, not directly from him,” observed Kluuon. “He threw it out, and you needed one, so you used it.”
“And I suppose Gobo must have used its already-existing powers to send me through time,” added Jenny.
“Come to think of it, I do remember getting it from the scrapyard. I wish I’d known about this earlier,” said Kliund
“Well, you have no one but yourself to blame for that,” admonished Jenny.
“How would you like me to leave you here?” asked Kliund. Nonetheless, with his son’s help, he set the Turn-Style so it would take them back to when it was newly made, then saying goodbye to his son, Jellia, Dorothy and Toto, he grabbed Jenny’s hand and walked through it with her. When they emerged, the house was in much nicer shape, and another Kliund stood in front of them.
“Clumping Kalidahs!” exclaimed the Kliund who had already been there. “I thought this was just a Turn-Style, not a replicator!”
“There’s more about it you might not know, or at least won’t know for a while,” replied the Kliund who had gone through with Jenny. “I’m from the future.
The magician took this more calmly than you would think, as he had seen a lot of strange things in his life, and heard tales of other people being visited by alternate versions of themselves.
“Unfortunately, it’s not safe to use the Turn-Style. It has Igu’s center pole in it.”
“Let me guess, he enchanted it with some kind of time-magic?” said the other Kliund.
“That’s right. He was always dabbling in things he shouldn’t.”
As the two Kliunds talked things out, Jenny told them she’d see them later, stamped her fairy foot and flew to the center of Oz.
“Do you know where we are?” asked Mistress Zeitra.
“I think so,” replied Jenny. “This must be where all the trouble started. And if I’m correct, it’s also a kind of meeting place between the real Oz and the alternate Oz.”
“Very good,” praised the Mistress. “It’s one of the few places where the walls of the two dimensions are lined up, and it’s here where I’ll leave you. Goodbye Jenny Jump!” The two embraced and parted.
When Jenny arrived in the forest where Mombi and Pastoria had been, she saw herself talking to Pajuka. At that moment, the Jenny Jump on the land said, “I'm Jenny Jump, a Duchess of Oz. Who are you, and where in Oz are we?”
“I'm, uh, a goose," replied Pajuka. "And I'm not sure where we are. It's some forest near the Royal Castle of Oz.”
“Well, come on, goose. We have to stop that witch from enchanting your King.”
Jenny quickly landed in front of herself, and shouted, “Stop! You must not speak to Mombi!”
“Who are you?” inquired the other double. “You look exactly like me!”
“That's because I am you. When our Turn-Style was struck by lightning last night, you were sent here, which is the past for both of us.”
“How do I know you're really me, and not one of the witch's tricks, meant to stop me from helping the King? Or a Phanfasm or Mimic, for that matter?”
“What year is this, goose?”
When the goose replied “1871,” Jenny asked, “And who rules the Land of Oz?”
“Why, King Pastoria, of course.”
“I remember now!” exclaimed the Jenny who had not met Zeitra. “Mombi turned Pajuka, Pastoria's Prime Minister, into a goose, right before she enchanted the King!”
“Correct. Now, what you must do, Jenny, is travel to the south, until you reach Glinda's castle. Tell Glinda you need to be sent to the palace of Zeitra in the Land of An. She can help you. Goodbye, Jenny!”
“Goodbye, Jenny,” returned the other Jenny. This other Jenny then set out toward the south.
“As for you, Pajuka,” said the Duchess, “you can't help your King at this time. However, he will someday be restored to his own form. I would like to tell you more, but it might have serious effects on the time-space continuum.”
Jenny Jump then stamped her fairy foot, and soared back up into the sky, where Zeitra appeared before her. The puzzled Pajuka tried to make some sense of what happened, but, since he could not, he returned to the water to practice swimming.
“I’m sorry I didn’t come earlier,” apologized Zeitra. “I know you ran into a bit of a snag with the Turn-Style. That’s one reason I try to keep time travel as tightly controlled as possible. You can return to your time now.”
“And what about Kliund?”
“I’ve put him to work fixing other problems caused by time travel. I figure it’s only fair, considering it was his carelessness that led to this particular difficulty in the first place.”
“By the way, are you any relation to Father Time?”
Zeitra smiled, “I’m sort of his caretaker, you might say. We go back a long… well, time.”
Zeitra pressed the button on her watch, and Jenny was quickly sent to the same place in a different time. The Duchess could no longer see Zeitra, so she did not know if the Mistress was still there or not. Jenny flew down to the entrance to Ozma's Palace. She then entered the castle, and rushed through the halls. The Duchess was so intent on seeing her old friends again that she almost tripped over the Glass Cat.
“Would you watch where you're going, Jenny?” complained the glass feline.
“Sorry, Bungle,” said Jenny. “Oh, by the way, who is the Ruler of Oz?”
“Why, Ozma, of course. Are you feeling all right?”
“Yes!” And Jenny continued her run through the corridors, eventually coming to the Throne Room, where Ozma was holding court.
“Good morning, Jenny,” said Ozma.
“Good morning, Ozma," replied Jenny. "I'm so glad to see you on the Royal Throne again.”
“What do you mean? I haven’t gone anywhere.”
“No, but I have! I’ve been the Ruler of Oz, and met three other people who were as well.”
Later that morning, a large crowd of Ozites, including Pastoria and Pajuka, gathered in the Throne Room to hear about Jenny's adventures. The recital sparked thoughts in the minds of many people. Pastoria thought of his transformation by Mombi, and tried to picture Jenny rescuing him. Herby wondered what life would be like without his medicine chest. The Scarecrow pondered over why Dorothy would not have met him if the Wicked Witches had been killed earlier. And Pajuka remembered the day when he had met the two Jenny Jumps, which he had been puzzled about for years, and finally understood what had happened.
Jenny had her own thoughts and recollections, and she pondered on her tragic past lives, first as a fairy, then as a part fairy in the mortal lands, and of her vengeful brother who had finally found her and tried to corrupt her heart as his had been so many years earlier. In the end, content in the fact that no matter who she had been before or what her strange past was, she was still Jenny Jump, and she had good friends and a good life and a Style Shop to run.
For Synposis and Continuity notes, go here