The Heartless Tin Man

steampunk-1809590_960_720There once was a farm girl from Kansas named Dorothy whose house was picked up by a tornado and flung all the way to a place called Oz where it landed on top of a witch.

Hey, these things happen.

After that, things got complicated. She got into a tiff over footwear with another witch then was directed to follow a yellow brick road by a crowd of diminutive and somewhat portly people.  Later, she fell in with a scarecrow who was dumber than a box of rocks.

All of this was bewildering and somewhat stressful until the yellow brick road happened to pass through a woods….

“Oh My Goyd,” she chortled, “he’s goygeous!”

For there, standing among the trees was the hunkiest hunk she ever laid eyes on. Granted, Dorothy was from a little farm town in Kansas where the males trended toward chunky rather than hunky – but what she saw truly was goygeous.

The object of her instant affection had copper-skin, broad shoulders, six pack abs, dreamy tattoos and shiny brass plates and gears that sparkled in the sunlight.

He was heavenly. A veritable steam-punk angel.

She had never seen anything like that and was on him in a flash. Leaping into his arms, her ardor was instantly chilled by cold unyielding metal.

WD-40,” he squeaked.

Being a farm girl, she knew exactly what that was and after rummaging around, came up with a can of penetrating oil – which she applied first to his jaw.

“Ah,” he said, “keep going.”

“More than happy to,” she giggled.

Working down his neck and across his shoulder, she got well into his whirly parts before coming to an abrupt halt.  “Uh,” she said, being a modest Kansas girl, “maybe you ought to finish this yourself.”

He did.

“Say, would you like to join us on our quest to the Emerald City?” she asked.

He stared at her coldly.

“Come with us,” she implored.

“Is that a command?” he asked.

“Why, yes it is,” she said slyly and sure enough, the hunky tin man fell in step with her, her dog Toto (whom I have to yet to mention) and the scarecrow on the yellow brick road.

In the course of their journey, they picked up a lion as a traveling companion, met a wizard and were set upon by a flock of flying monkeys.

Again, these things happen.

During this last encounter, Dorothy and Toto were almost carried off by the monkeys.

“Do something!” Dorothy cried as the monkeys lifted her off the ground.

The tin man looked confused.

“Save us!” she shrieked.

So the tin man did. He reached down, picked up a rock, measured its heft and flung it at the flying monkey carrying Dorothy.


It cracked against the monkey’s skull like a rifle shot.

And down came both Dorothy and the monkey.

“Save Toto!” she cried.

A moment later….

WHAP! and down came Toto too.

“Why didn’t you do anything when we were first attacked?” Dorothy cried.

“It didn’t occur to me,” the tin man responded flatly.

Dorothy was spitting mad.  “You know what you lack?” she shrieked.

“What?” he asked calmly.

“Heart. You lack heart.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Yes, you do.”

“I have heart right here in my accessory box.”

Dorothy could hardly believe it, for there in a box that the tin man had been carrying all along were two hearts.

One labeled Eco and the other rated Turbo.

“Is it complicated to install them?” she asked.

“No, they just snap in,” he said and to demonstrate, he set the Turbo heart in place.


Instantly his eyelids began to flutter, his lips started to tremble and his whole hunkalicious body commenced to quiver..

“How beautiful you are,” he exclaimed.

He swept her into his arms.

Just then, a voice that sounded like rotten cabbage being force-feed through a wood chipper, exclaimed, “Am I interrupting something?”

It was the witch.

“Darling,” Dorothy crooned, “do that trick with the rock, except use a big one.”

The tin man was horrified. “I couldn’t do that.”

“Why not?” the increasingly desperate Dorothy asked.

“Maybe we should look at things from her perspective.”


“Historically witches have suffered oppresion….”

“No way!”

“She’s green.”


“Maybe the last of her species…”

“Oh, pity sake,” Dorothy hissed.


The Turbo heart popped free.

“Now, do the rock trick.”


“From now on, we go with the Eco heart.”


“Whatever you say, dearest.”



This story was in response to D. Wallace Peach’s wonderful monthly writing challenge:  May’s Speculative Fiction Prompt

** Pixabay image by Brigitte Werner

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