Friends of Dorothy

Copyright ©1998 by Bob Kanefsky

with apologies to L. Frank Baum

Adult readers only

Unlike the stories on which this is based, this story is decidedly not appropriate for children, and is not intended to be read by anyone under the age of 18. It describes intimate, erotic physical contact between two humanlike characters of male identity.

“A Tin Woodman? How queer!” exclaimed the little wanderer.
“Well, perhaps our Emperor is queer,” admitted the servant...
— The Tin Woodman of Oz
The Scarecrow ran for shelter as fast as his increasingly unresponsive legs could carry him. From just behind him, he could hear the desperate clanking of his best friend’s feet, struggling unsucessfully to keep up with him. This rainstorm had come up so suddenly, and was so unusual for this season, that it had to be the work of the Witch of the West, in yet another attempt to keep them from rescuing Dorothy.

His limbs were growing very heavy. Although he had weathered many a rainstorm in his life, and had been none the worse for it by the next day, a little thought made it obvious that he was now much more vulnerable to them. At the moment, he would have given anything to be back up on his pole again — or better yet, in that nice dry box in the barn where the farmer had once stored him for eighteen years to satisfy some obscure legal requirement.

There are advantages, he told himself, in the security of having something to support you, even if it restricted your freedom to go out and have wild adventures. Now that he had to support himself on his own two feet, he didn’t dare risk becoming soaked. The water would weigh him down to the ground, as he felt it threatening to do now. Once flat on the ground, his body could take weeks to dry out. Unless the Lion found him in time, he might never live long enough to dry out at all; his damp clothes and straw would rot very quickly. He’d lived within sight of a compost heap for almost his entire waking life, so he had an uncomfortably clear picture of just how quickly cotton fabric and wheat straw could decompose when touching damp soil. He had to make it to safety, even if it meant leaving his best friend behind. He reasoned that this gave his comrade a better chance, ironically enough, than if he were to stop and wait for him. He realized that his companion might not see it that way, and would probably feel he was being abandoned. Well, he’d sooner let him worry for an hour than rust for a year, especially this close to the Witch’s castle. He should be safe for the moment; rumor had it that the Witch had never been seen outside on a rainy day and even distained to walk through the mud.

Finally, he spotted the invitingly dry opening of a shallow cave with a generous overhang. His feet felt like lead by now, but he managed to make it there. Once under the overhang, he turned around to check the progress of his woodman friend. The clanking footfalls had slowed, and he’d fallen far behind. With a heavy heart, the Scarecrow spotted him, limping and obviously very stiff already. He briefly fantasized about a daring rescue, throwing his comrade across his back to carry him to safety, but he knew that if he tried that, in three paces he would become not his friend’s rescuer but his straw pallet. This might be comfortable to the reclining man, but would not be pleasing to the pallet. He could only watch, wringing his hands — and his arms and legs, which yielded a frightening amount of water — as he saw his friend stumble, recover, take a few more slow, painful steps toward the safety of the cave, and finally freeze in position just a hundred feet away, heartbreakingly close. The Scarecrow waved reassuringly at him and hoped he could see.

After what seemed an eternity, the rain stopped. The sun was still high in the clearing sky, though, and he was mostly dry and feeling much better by the time he felt it was safe to venture from his shelter. The lingering dampness was somewhat uncomfortable and made him even clumsier than he was used to, but as he walked through the sweet-smelling after-shower air, he felt uplifted by a feeling of invincibility.

He walked over to the helpless Tin Woodman, whose sturdy torso was gleaming wetly in the afternoon sun. “I’m sorry, friend Woodman, that I couldn’t help you get to shelter, and that I didn’t come back for you sooner. Still, a friend in need is better than a friend who’s reduced to a sodden heap on the ground beside you.” There was no reply from his motionless comrade, which was only to be expected. The Scarecrow reached for his friend's tin belt, and removed the oil can.

He hunkered down, planning to start with the joints of the woodman’s legs. From this vantage point he noticed, for the first time, a short rod hidden between his friend’s legs, with a pair of shiny bearings just below it. “Apparently, your friend the tinsmith did a more accurate job of copying your meat body than I had realized,” he commented, touching the equipment lightly. Muffled squeaking noises were his only reply.

This was one aspect of life in which the Scarecrow had had a great deal of experience, albeit only as an observer. He had seen many unclothed bodies, especially male ones. Near his old post had been a secluded spot, hidden from the road by rows of corn. It was a popular location for the farmhands, when they thought no one was watching. They would come there individually when they wanted a few minutes of privacy. Often they came with a circle of buddies. A few of them would come there in pairs. Others brought young maidens there to woo. A few did a little of each — people do go both ways!

“I think I’ll start with this,” he proposed, fingering the rod gently. “Does it have any moving parts?” More squeaks, louder this time, but no more intelligible. He applied the oil liberally and gave an experimental tug on the rod. Sure enough, with sufficient lubrication it was able to telescope out to several times its original length. He worked it slowly in and out with his hands, slicking more oil on it, ignoring the weak little squeaks of protest from above. As he quickened his rhythm, the squeaks got louder and faster, and the Scarecrow, wrapping himself around the bulk of a tin leg to brace his lightweight body, could feel shivers running up and down his friend’s frame. Suddenly the squeaking ceased, with a shudder and a sort of a long whistling sigh. He stood up.

“Well, now,” he said, slapping his friend resoundingly on the back, “what part of you shall I oil next?” Renewed muffled squeaking. “What? I can’t understand you. Oh, you want your mouth oiled? Hmm? Was that a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?”

The torrent of words that finally emerged out of the mouth, once the jaw was working again, made the Scarecrow glad that Dorothy wasn’t there to hear it. Strange, he was always so polite when the little girl was around! This must be the way woodmen talk when they’re felling trees in the forest and there’s no one there to hear.

“You sound very upset, my friend. Why, I almost expect to see steam shooting out the top of that funny hat of yours.” These words did not seem to have a soothing effect. “I’ll let you cool down a bit while I go fetch something. Anyone can see how hot you are.” He punched his friend on the arm, which rang like a bell. “I’ll be right back.” He ambled past his immobilized companion and returned ten minutes later with a large chunk of beeswax, along with a few especially persistent bees still trying to sting him for his troubles. Approaching from behind, he began drying the Tin Man from head to toe with his handkerchief. “What a well-built body you have, friend Woodman. There, I’ve got all the wet spots off of it. Let me buff it with this.” He began rubbing him down with the beeswax, starting at the shoulders and working his way up. “Stop biting my fingers. Don’t you want me to get your head nice and shiny?”

The woodman finally ran out of curses and began constructing actual sentences. “You sneaky, lumpy, flimsy, flea-infested sack of moldy hay! Wait until I get my hands on you! I’m gonna beat the stuffing out of you! I’m gonna bury my axe in your scrawny chest!”

“You’re welcome to beat me all you want,” the Scarecrow replied cheerfully, “but I can’t have you slashing me. If you ripped my shirt, I wouldn’t be able to contain myself. Let’s bury the hatchet instead.” He calmly removed the axe from the woodman’s belt, inches away from the twitching tin fingers, and tossed it into a pile of leaves. “Now. You were saying?”

The helpless woodman responded with some variations on his earlier language. He was much more inventive with invective than any of the farmhands had been, when the plough hit a rock. Sighing, the Scarecrow continued polishing the woodman’s broad chest. He finally ran out of curses at about the time the Scarecrow had finished buffing his arms.

A few moments later, having worked his way slowly down the torso to the legs, he couldn’t help but admire the shiny hardware attached down there, still slick with oil. “The tinsmith certainly put a lot of detailed work into that,” he said to the Tin Woodman. “Why did he take such care with such a small part? That is,” he added hastily as he felt his friend stiffen, “small compared to your limbs and suchlike.”

The Tin Woodman sighed, and finally spoke civilly, if relucantly. “I didn’t tell the whole truth before. When the Wicked Witch put that curse on my axe to keep me from marrying Nimmie Amee, it wasn’t my leg that was the first casualty.”

“Oh.” The Scarecrow was silent for a long moment. He had noticed that the subject of dismemberment had always seemed somewhat distressing for his friend to talk about. He stood up and laid a hand on his shoulder in sympathy. “So, tell me the truth,” he finally asked. “It was frozen like that even before this rainstorm, wasn’t it?”

His friend looked like he would have looked away, if he could have. “Well. Yeah.”

“How long has it been?”


“Why didn’t you say something when we first found you?”

“Well, I couldn’t very well ask a little girl to oil it, could I?”

“Oh. Of course not. I’m sure I would have thought of that if I had a brain.” He took out the oil can and squeezed a few drops into his friend’s stiff shoulder joints, working each arm back and forth until it swung loosely and no longer elicited little grunts of pain. “Couldn’t you have, you know, done it for yourself, once we’d oiled your hands?” he asked, gently rubbing the back of his comrade’s neck with oil.

“I thought about it, but somehow it didn’t seem right to have it working until I had a heart hooked up to it.”

“Ready for a little elbow grease now?” The Scarecrow oiled the elbows, grasping his friend’s upper arm and forearm to straighten and bend the elbow several times. He used his thumbs to gently work oil into all the joints of the each hand. Then he bent down to lubricate his waist and lower back, grabbing his friend by the shoulders to turn and bend him this way and that, until the joints worked smoothly. He bent down to smear oil on his hips, then knelt to oil the knees. Standing behind him once more, he lifted his friend’s foot to bend the joints, and at the same time used his thumbs to rub the ankles; the Tin Man had to flail his arms to keep from crashing forward. The other leg was easier; he kept his balance by flexing the first leg. Finally satisfied that he had his friend well lubricated, he handed the can back, saying, “I’m glad you’ve calmed down. From the way you were talking a minute ago—”

With one smooth, well-oiled motion, the Tin Woodman yanked the glove off the Scarecrow’s outstretched hand and slapped him across the face with it, then flung it down at his feet. “I’m gonna take you apart, pal,” he said slowly and softly. He began menancingly advancing on the Scarecrow, who backed away until he tripped over a tree root. The tree, unfortunately, was not the kind to get involved with what was going on. Such interference would have been a welcome diversion.

The woodman reached down and grabbed his shirtfront, hauled him roughly to his feet, and shook him until he began to fear his stomach would not stay down. Then he slammed him hard against the tree, his head striking the trunk with a soft rustling thud. Holding him helpless, with his back against the rough bark, his metal fingers worked the top button of his shirt loose. Then the second button. Then several of the others — the Scarecrow lost count after two. It was hard to count without a brain even at the best of times, and now it was impossible to think clearly enough even to remember how many buttons his own shirt had. Suddenly it was ripped entirely open, the damp straw of his chest exposed to the air. The Scarecrow trembled as his friend’s fingertips lightly ruffled the surface straw. Then he moaned as the hand slowly reached deep inside his chest. The sensation of the smooth fingers sliding through the straws of his body was like nothing the Scarecrow had ever experienced; he was too overwhelmed to speak. He felt the fist close slowly around a handful of straw and watched as his friend pulled it out and help it up before him. Slowly the woodman opened his fist and let it fall, one straw at a time, rubbing them between his fingers. The lush yellow grass felt cool and soft against those straws. When only one straw remained in his fingers, the Tin Man put it in his mouth and nibbled on it gently, causing the Scarecrow to gasp. Then he reached into his shirt again, heartlessly helping himself to a handful of more of his chest. He wriggled in his friend's grasp, but to no avail. This handful the Tin Man piled neatly on the ground. The sunlight felt wonderful on the damp straws.

Soon his friend had his entire upper body spread over the ground, and was standing with one metal heel resting carelessly upon what had been his stomach and the other on what had been his neck. His metal toes were planted firmly on the Scarecrow’s booted feet. With his arm fibers uselessly scattered all around them and the sleeves hanging limply at his sides, the Scarecrow was utterly helpless — much as the Tin Woodman had been totally at his comrade’s mercy not an hour before.

His shirt was soon completely empty, and his friend was supporting his head with one hand cupping his rough chin. He finally tucked his head under his arm and removed the shirt entirely. He turned it completely inside out, and gently brushed the last remaining straws from the soft inner lining, then hung it neatly from a tree branch. From his new vantagepoint under his friend’s arm, the Scarecrow watched as the Tin Woodman’s free hand reached down into his pants and stirred the sensitive straw in that area. He moaned into a tin-plated armpit. His friend gathered handful after handful, pausing frequently to hold it to his nose and inhale deeply. At one point, he laughingly thrust the Scarecrow's head down into the pants, rubbing his face in the musky, musty scent of his own straw.

At length, all his pelvic straw lay strewn on the ground, mingling intimately with his chest straw. His friend then knelt at his feet and yanked one pants leg out of the boot. He rolled it up to the knee, and started slowly teasing apart the long straws of his calf. The Scarecrow felt his knees grow weak, then collapse and slide down his pant legs, one by one. It was almost a relief when the woodman upended his boots and shook the last of his body out onto the ground.

After draping his pants over a branch beside his shirt, the woodman held up his head in front of him, facing him eye to eye. “Once piece of clothing to go,” he taunted. “Not my hat,” the Scarecrow whispered. The Tin Man whipped off the hat, shook it out, and tossed it aside. He reached for the Scarecrow's throat and unknotted the string tied around it. Grasping the loose threads at the top of his burlap head, he began shaking gently. The Scarecrow felt his very head go limp.

Breezes tickled every part of his exposed body, and warm sunlight trickled through him. Powerless to resist, unable even to protest, he could feel his friend’s hands turning him over, bit by bit, spreading him out, making sure every square inch of naked straw was exposed to the hot sun. He drifted off into a pleasant state of non-awareness, every fiber of his being in tune with the wind and sun, and the touch of his friend.

When he came to, he found himself hanging by his arms, tied by the wrists to a branch overhead. He was back in his clothes again. His friend was stuffing straw down his open shirtfront. “Thanks,” he said huskily, when he had found his voice. Indeed, the Tin Woodman seemed to be doing an excellent job of reshaping him as he put him back together: better than new. His arms felt thicker than before, his shoulders and chest were bulging, and his stomach and hips were thinner and more tightly packed. His shirt, which the woodman’s tin fingers were now busy rebuttoning, smelled of rainwater, wind, and sun, with not a trace of damp straw despite the storm and their long journey. His straw was as dry as he could ever remember it being, which was pleasant, yet made him feel curiously vulnerable.

“That should do it,” the Tin Man said finally, squeezing his shoulder and giving his flat stomach a final pat He stepped back and admired his handiwork.

“Thank you again, friend Woodman. You’ve done a fine job. I feel like a new man.” He waited expectantly, but the Tin Woodman, who had recovered his axe, made no move to cut the ropes. “Well?”

“Well, what?”

The Scarecrow was getting impatient. “Don’t just stand there grinning! Cut me down! We’ve got to find Dorothy!”

“You’re not going anywhere, friend Scarecrow,” said the Tin Woodman, holding up the Scarecrow’s boots, then tossing them carelessly aside.

The Scarecrow looked down and saw that bare straw was sticking out of his pant cuffs where they dangled above the ground. Even if he were cut down, he would only fall to his knees at his friend’s feet. “That’s the last straw! Stop fooling around and let me down, or...”

The Tin Woodman plucked a errant straw that was sticking out from between his captive’s shirt and pants. “Or what?”

“You’ll regret humiliating me, the next time I get ahold of a can opener!”

“Ha! Brave words, from a man who is helpless and in my power. Your spirit in the face of utter defeat is breaking my heart. Oh, that’s right. I don’t have one yet. Might as well make the most of that while I can.” He put the straw in his mouth and shifted it idly from one side of his mouth to the other, the silver-tongued fiend. “If you want me to let you go, you must first agree to one condition of surrender.”

“It seems I have no choice.” admitted the Scarecrow, who was squirming in his bonds as his friend alternately sucked and chewed on the straw. “It is useless to negotiate when one is hanging by the wrists; and a scarecrow who is shoeless, and footless to boot, is at the mercy of his friends. Name your terms, for I am sure I will agree to whatever you demand.”

The Tin Woodman stepped close to him and hooked a finger in his collar, playing with the straws that stuck out of it. “I want you to do all of those wonderful things to me again, every night, at least until we get back to the City. After the breathers are asleep, of course.”

All this having been happily arranged, the Tin Woodman returned the boots, and released his chosen comrade, the Scarecrow. The two friends were sure to pass many pleasant hours together as they continued their adventures among the meat people, for as they neither ate nor slept they found their greatest amusement and pleasure in each other’s company.

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