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The Wicked Witch of the West is cruising around Oz on her broom, tracking a group of oddballs down the Yellow Brick Road: a "huge Cat," a Scarecrow, a "shiny woodman," and some chick from Kansas who's sporting some snazzy shoes.
If this all sounds familiar, don't worry – it won't be for long.
The Witch settles down in a tree to eavesdrop on the group and overhears some interesting gossip.
Apparently, the Wicked Witch of the West was…"castrated a birth"? She's a drug addict, an abused child, a widow, secretly a man? And, to top it all off, she's green.
The Wicked Witch is about as stunned as we are at this point. She wonders what these crazy people are talking about and how these rumors about her started.
The Witch is fascinated by Dorothy's shoes and she's about ready to mug her.
But then a storm blows in and it starts to rain. As anyone who's seen the movie knows, our Witch hates water.
She hides under some branches and plots her next move.
The Witch refuses to give up under adversity: "Though Oz had given her a twisted life, hadn't it also made her capable?" (Prologue.31).
We're about to find out all about said twisted life. On to Chapter 1.