Chapter 10: Cliffhanger: Resolved!
The fire was spreading fast. Scarecrow ran around in circles, screaming and flailing, as the fire moved up his arm, nearing his torso. It might’ve been hilarious to Ed and Al, if not for the fact that this was the one person they had met so far who had a shred of sanity.
“Brother, we have to help him!” Al said frantically, searching for some source of water in the now-burned orchard.
Luckily, there was a small stream rushing happily just behind the charred apple trees.
“That’s lucky,” said Al as he and Ed trotted over to the water, apparently ignoring the girlish screams of the Scarecrow behind them.
“That’s what we call a ‘writer’s convenience,’ Al,” Ed said, clapping his hands together. He then slammed his hands to the ground, and the air was momentarily filled with crackling blue energy. The very earth cracked, and then shaped itself into an enormous bucket. Al lifted the bucket easily and dipped it into the stream, which obligingly filled it.
Al dumped the water on the still-screaming Scarecrow. There was a resounding sploosh as the liquid gushed over the now-crispy straw man.
“Aw, man…my arm burned off.” Scarecrow sounded merely annoyed at this. “You’re a fairly skilled alchemist, aren’t you, despite your size?” he added, looking at Ed shrewdly.
“What of it?!” Ed said indignantly. He had, after all, caught that despite your size comment.
“Well, just transmute me back together,” Scarecrow shrugged with his remaining shoulder. Seeing as Ed was about to say something cautionary about human transmutation, Scarecrow added, “I’m not a human, so you really don’t need to worry about that.”
Still looking reproachful, Ed said, “So what are you, anyway? A soul bonded to a body of straw, or what?”
“No, nothing like that,” laughed Scarecrow. “The truth is….”
Here Ed and Al leaned in close, as if to hear him better. Was he really going to tell them the secret to creating life?!
“….I don’t know.”
The Elrics both fell over with a resounding crash. Scarecrow laughed some more as their feet twitched. A few seconds later, the brothers regained consciousness and huddled together to discuss this newest development.
“What do you think, Ni-san?” Al whispered.
“Well…we’ve seen other ‘inanimate’ objects talking and moving, right?”
Al nodded and said, “the apple trees!”
“Right,” Ed continued. “So maybe that’s just how things are in this world?”
“That’s as convincing as anything else in here,” Al shrugged.
“Anytime you want to put me back together would be peachy,” said the Scarecrow loudly. “And thanks a bunch for soaking me…now I’m too heavy to lift myself,” he added sarcastically.
Ed sighed and clapped his hands once more. The Scarecrow’s ashes (which had miraculously not blown away) re-formed themselves into an arm and attached itself to the rest of Scarecrow. Finally, Ed separated all the water from Scarecrow’s body, so he was now light enough to lift himself.
“Good job, Munchkin,” Scarecrow said, not unkindly.
“Why don’t we just keep walking?” Al suggested. Ed and Scarecrow nodded in agreement, Ed still fuming from the Munchkin comment.
As they set off, one thing kept nagging at Al. How did Scarecrow torch those trees? It so resembled Mustang’s favorite alchemical trick…
After Al asked him, Scarecrow pondered for a moment, then said, “That’s another thing I don’t know. I just think of fire, beautifully burning flames, then I snap my fingers, and foosh! There’s fire!” Smirking, he added, “Somebody once told me I’m a pyromaniac. I guess it’s true.” Then he snapped his fingers. “WAAAAAUUUGGGHHH!!!!”
Quick as a flash, Ed clapped his hands and slammed them to the ground, forcing all the loose dirt flying at Mus- er, Scarecrow, smothering the flames before they could spread. Scarecrow coughed and spluttered, spitting dirt out of the hole in his burlap-sack face that served as his mouth. Under his breath, he muttered something about “damned Munchkins”.
“What was that?!?!” Ed said in a murderous voice, then gave chase as Scarecrow ran like hell.
Al sighed deeply, causing the inside of his armor to echo slightly. I take back what I thought about him being sane, he thought as he watched Ed chasing Scarecrow down the winding Purple Brick Road.
See? I wouldn't kill off such a beloved character! ^_^