Welcome back to Bloganuary, the daily encouragement from WordPress for bloggers to post something each day. If you want to participate in Bloganuary, just click here! Today’s prompt asks to: Interview a fictional character.
NAME: Dorothy Gale
Initial Assessment: Dorothy Gale, age 10, was discovered early this morning amongst the debris of her home outside of Sterling. Being so young, she had no identification, however she was able to tell first responders her name and the names of her guardians, Henry and Emily Gale, an uncle an aunt who are, as yet, unaccounted for following last night’s storms. Dorothy was brought to St. Lyman’s Psychiatric Hospital for a psychiatric assessment in light of the trauma she has experienced. With her guardians missing, it is likely that Dorothy will be placed in temporary foster care until they can be located.
The following interview transcribed by J. Carroll, assistant to Dr. Barrie.
Dr. Barrie: Hello, Dorothy, my name is Dr. Barrie. But you can call me Lewis if you’d like.
Dorothy: (whispering) Hello, Dr. Barrie.
Dr.B: How are you feeling? I know you’ve been through an awful lot recently.
Dorothy shrugs her shoulders and seems reluctant to make eye contact with Dr. Barrie.
Dr.B: I know that places like this can be scary, especially when you feel so alone.
Dorothy nods her head.
Dr.B: Dorothy, can you tell me what you remember about the storm?
Dorothy shakes her head at first.
D: It was scary… and loud. Toto got so scared he jumped out of my arms when I was trying to carry him down to the cellar.
Dr.B: Toto is your dog?
D: Yes, sir. Aunt Em yelled at me not to go after him. She said he would be fine, but he’s so little! Uncle Henry always told me that if I got a dog that he would be my responsibility and I had to take care of him. I couldn’t just let him run off with a tornado coming!
Dr.B: Where did Toto go when he jumped out of your arms?
D: To my room. He liked to hide under my bed. I crawled under there to get him. But that’s when the whole house started to shake.
Dr.B: And where were your aunt and uncle?
D: I guess they were still in the cellar. I got so scared. It felt like the whole house was falling apart. I remember crying and calling out to them. I don’t think they could hear me.
Dr.B: So when would you say is the last time you saw your aunt and uncle?
D: I’m not sure. A couple weeks ago?
Dr.B: Dorothy, I’m sorry, I’m a little confused. You said you haven’t seen your aunt and uncle for a couple of weeks?
D: That’s right.
Dr.B: But the tornado that took your house just happened last night.
D: I know, it doesn’t make sense. I think time is different there than it is here.
Dr.B: Where, Dorothy?
D: In Oz. Have they been able to find Uncle Henry or Aunt Em yet? I really want to see them.
Dr.B: I’ll tell you what, let’s take a little break and I’ll go speak with the officers that brought you here this morning and see what I can find out. Okay?
Dr.B: They said you hadn’t had anything for breakfast. Would you like me to have a nurse bring you something to eat?
Dorothy nods again, smiling this time. Several minutes later, a nurse brings in a breakfast tray.
D: Thank you.
Dorothy proceeds to eat while waiting for Dr. Barrie to return to complete the interview.
Dr.B: I’m sorry that took so long, Dorothy. And I’m sorry, but they have not had any luck locating your aunt and uncle yet. But, there is someone here who I think wants to see you.
A police officer enters, carrying a small black dog.
D: Toto! Oh, Toto, I was so worried about you! I didn’t know if you made it back with me.
Dr. Barrie nods to the officer who then steps back outside.
Dr.B: Made it back with you?
D: Yes, sir. Toto was with me in Oz. I was worried that he had gotten scared again and jumped out of my arms when we made the trip back.
Dr.B: Dorothy, what can you tell me about Oz? Is it a place? Because I have actually never heard of it before.
D: Yes, sir. Oz is definitely a place. It’s this whole other country. But it’s different than America. It’s magical. There are witches and talking animals and a wizard.
Dr.B: Was Toto able to talk in Oz?
Dorothy laughs at this.
D: No… But I think that’s because he’s from here.
Dr.B: And you said it had been a couple weeks since you saw your aunt and uncle. Does that mean you were in this place… Oz… for a couple of weeks?
D: Yes, sir. At least, I think so. It was hard to keep track of the days sometimes because there was so much going on. The house landed…
Dr.B: The house?
D: Yeah, when the tornado picked the house up off the ground, it carried the whole thing to Oz and dropped us in Munchkinland.
D: Oh, yeah… Oz is split up into different parts. I guess they’re like states. Munchkinland is to the east, the Winkies live in the west, the Quadlings live in the south, and the Gillikins live in the north. And in the middle is the Emerald City. That’s where the Wizard lives. Or… that’s where he lived. He left when he was trying to figure out how to get me back home.
Dr.B: Really? How was the Wizard trying to get you home? With magic?
D: Oh… no… because he wasn’t actually a wizard. He was faking. He just had all the people in Oz believing he was a wizard with all of these frightening powers. But they were like magic tricks. The way magicians here do magic.
Dr.B: Then how was the Wizard planning to get you home?
D: He was going to bring us back in a hot air balloon. See, he’s from America, too. He was with a circus and his balloon got blown way off course and he wound up in Oz a long time ago.
Dr.B: But that’s not how you got back?
D: No, sir. The Wizard’s balloon accidentally took off before me and Toto could get in it. So then we had to travel all the way through Quadling Country to meet with Glinda, the Good Witch of the South.
Dr.B: We? You mean you and Toto?
D: Well, not just us. But my friends the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion. Though he wasn’t cowardly anymore.
Dr.B: And this… Glinda? She was able to send you and Toto back home?
D: Sort of. She actually told me I had the power to get home all along. See, I had been given these magic silver shoes by the Good Witch of the North after my house landed on the Wicked Witch of the East. And these shoes would let me go anywhere I wanted.
Dr.B: What happened to the shoes, Dorothy? The fire fighters who found you said you were just in socks. No shoes on.
D: Hmm… I guess they fell off while I was flying back home. They weren’t really my size. They’re made for an adult to wear.
Dr.B: I see. Well, Dorothy, it sounds like you’ve had a pretty fantastic adventure. I just wish I could understand how you experienced so much in so little time.
D: I don’t know, either.
Dr.B: Dorothy, would you be willing to meet with me again sometime?
Dorothy slowly nods her head.
Dr.B: Good, because I want to hear more about Oz. But for now, I want to let these officers take you somewhere where you and Toto can get some rest. Okay?
D: Okay. Bye, Dr. Barrie.
Notes: I am hesitant to make any kind of diagnosis at this stage. After all, Dorothy is only 10 years old and has been through a great deal of trauma in the past 24 hours. Her aunt and uncle are missing and, sadly, presumed dead. My initial belief is that Dorothy has an overactive imagination and has created this imaginary world where she has been able to overcome difficult obstacles while dealing with her true fears in the real world. It is recommended that Dorothy continue receiving weekly sessions to monitor how strongly she chooses to cling to her delusions and/or hallucinations as well as to see if they continue in any way moving forward. If this proves to be the case, medication and/or hospitalization may be warranted. -LB