2.8: The Direct Approach

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"These puzzles are too hard," thought Dorothy. "I bet I can find the coin just by looking for it." With that thought in mind, she resolved to go looking. She kept a journal of her search.
The griffin was a little scary, but I had faced lions and tigers and bears before. Besides, its spinning toy nearby kept it from having a threatening demeanor. I headed into the other whirligig and emerged on the edge of a forest. This wasn't nearly as scary as the ones in Oz (and none of the trees accosted me). It was still early, so I didn't stop to rest. The climate must change quickly around here -- by the time I reached the other side of the forest, the trees were of a different type. I paused at the border to admire the grad students' vehicles, though they didn't seem well suited to the weather.

A sight for sore eyes beckoned me on. It was Glinda and her little sisters! I asked them if they knew where the coin for the W.I.Z.A.R.D. was. They said to continue on behind them since I wasn't out of the jungle yet.

Sigh... I thought I had come out of the forest, but now found more wildlife than ever. Continuing through, I heard some hissing snakes off to one side, so climbed as fast as I could to get away from them. (We can't all have the courage of a lion!) As I paused for breath, some strange magic beams hit me squarely in the face. Still afraid, I dashed off to my left until I could go no farther.

I am definitely going to have to discuss this with my therapist. I hope I don't run into anymore dead ends. Stranded in a deserted corridor -- this will take years to work through. I looked around, searching for something familiar. Even my traipsing about Oz was better than this. There was a yellow path, and with nothing to lose, I went part way up it. Soon I had to decide between paths. Being a good little girl, I went the way that wasn't forbidden. I passed into what seemed like another world and had yet another choice to make. Grappling with my indecision, I blindly struck off to one side. Was it the path less travelled? I fear I shall never know.

I thought I might have stumbled back into the wilderness since I saw a modern zebra to my left. I couldn't see the trees for the forest, so they must not be there and I kept going. Following the dotted line seemed like a good route to take, but maybe this wasn't such a great idea -- I soon felt a chill, and wondered if this meant my search was getting cold.

By this point it was much later, so I stopped for a quick snack to eat. While there, a car came for me; I told it to take me to the stars. Sadly, it must have misunderstood. I ended up near one of W.I.T.C.H.'s torture chambers, and snuck past as quietly as possible. I followed the arrows, but they only led me back to where my search began! Clearly the coin wasn't here, so I would have to look elsewhere....

After pondering my predicament, I began to think about the whole universe and its predicaments. As long as I was at MIT, I figured, perhaps I should find out how the world works. Setting off to find an expert, I soon found where they were, but couldn't get in, and all this theory wasn't going to help me with finding the coin. Getting back on track, I decided to restart my quest. I could see down a long hallway; it looked like a promising path.

At a four-way fork, I heard some voices. They sounded all too familiar, and didn't tell me anything I didn't already know or offer advice about which way to continue. Left didn't look promising, and neither did going up or down, so I took the rightmost path. Looking out a window as I went by, I saw only boring buildings and snow, and didn't tarry. A fierce woman soon confronted me. She wasn't quite as scary as that witch from Oz, but I wasn't about to take any chances. Believe you me, I shaped up fast and changed my ways.

Twisting and turning, I followed my newly chosen path. I saw some tracks that reminded me of tractors, which made me a little homesick for Kansas, but then recalled why Kansas sucked so much: those darn twisters that come out of nowhere. I headed straight down a winding road to lower ground, just in case.

I turned to my left and walked down into a becolumned plaza. Seeing more of Glinda's sisters scattered about, I went out to them to ask them for directions, but they told that I had to backtrack. "How far?" I asked them. They said, "You'll know when to stop." Starting back, I had gone up a short way and paused for breath. There I saw some writing mentioning my old friend Tim, but couldn't understand the rest of it. This must be the sign! I headed that direction to see if he could help me with this search.

With each step I got colder and colder. I spied a place to warm up, and maybe a coin could be made there! But as I went nearer and warmed my hands, I realized that sort of forgery didn't take place here.

I tried to think of where else to look. All of a sudden, a great gust of wind picked me up and carried me through the air! Flashbacks to Oz gripped me, and I was frozen with terror! Luckily, it dropped me not too far away, where I saw the source of the wind: a cave where it seemed to blow even worse inside than outside, if that were possible.

Keeping the cave to my left, I passed into a short canyon. There must have been something valuable nearby, since there were mercenaries guarding the edge of the path. I passed by four white columns, went under a bridge, and came to a road. There, I decided to head to my left, in the direction of most of the traffic.

At the corner, there was a model of a little red house. I felt better because its address started with my lucky number. Lo and behold, behind it was a door that ended in my lucky number, too! I went in, straightaway, and decided to warm up by climbing some stairs.

Up and up I climbed until I spied lightning through a window. That didn't seem like a safe place to be, so I headed back down and left the stairs at the first place I could escape, and went in the direction that the arrows indicated. I passed a small spring on my right, but didn't detour.

My continuing lack of success made me feel hosed and my morale tanked. I didn't want to sink any further but I only had the energy to raise myself a couple of notches. No sooner had I done so when all my gains were erased. Rather than go any farther down than necessary, I walked on, knowing I was heading for greener pastures. Passing through them, blue skies greeted me.

I felt a little lost, but soon noticed a sign. Looking at it, I found it told me where I was, but not in any way that was useful to me, so I turned to my left and went on. Luckily, I spied something I knew would help me! The Yellow Brick Road, floating in the air up above. Following it forward, I turned the corner... where it went into a wall, and I couldn't go any further.

Sigh... this adventure sure didn't help me with my T.O.O.L.-age. I'm just going to stick to trying to solve W.I.T.C.H.'s clues.