The Once-ler Fic!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A Back story to how Audrey Discovered the Truffula Trees, Because she cant just find them out on her own! plus a little insight of how cool her grandmother is :P

Audrey Rushed to the Hospital, Worrying for her Grandma, She had fallen and was alone for several hours, when she had found her. She lived alone for almost all her life. She made her way into the Emergency Room and sat patiently waiting for the Doctor to give her the results. Minutes turned into hours, before the Doctor came to her to tell her that she was alright, just fainted due to lack of fresh air, so he prescribed her twenty free air supplies, which would help her recover enough so she could get back to her job as a freelance painter. After the Incident, Audrey insisted that her grandma come live with her, and she agreed. A few days later, she checked out from the hospital and Audrey Helped her pack her things up. Whozits, Whatzits, Whistles, And a Thneed, Perfectly folded, this striked Audrey’s curiosity, for thneeds became old news when the factories shut down, the softness, the versatility. It intrigued her to no end. She asked her grandma what it was made of.

“The tufts off the truffula trees.” she told her.

“What are…” she began to fold the Thneed into her hands, memorizing the softness of its fabric. “…Truffula trees?”

Without Hesitation, Audrey’s hand was snatched by her grandmother’s and was already being dragged to her room of secrets, things that have been stored away, in a windowless room locked by fifty locks and the key hidden under a  trap door covered by a rug of some sort. She swiftly unhinged every lock with ease, as if she had done this many times, wanting to get away from the world, and soon she knew why, as the light switched on and color flooded the room. Paintings of these beautiful lollipop shaped trees, tufts of softness extended from their round body. It was so real, so beautiful, yet so unreal, where in Thneedville everything was fake, unreal, steel, metallic, electric, nothing of what this beautiful tree was. She finally put the landscape in front of her as the answer her grandma gave her to the question she asked.
“That is a truffula tree?” she stroked her hand on the painting, knowing this was a memory from long ago, the paint had already dried.

“Yes,” Her grandma stroked the landscape along every stroke, as if we were repainting the canvas. “Isn’t it beautiful?” her eyes squinted, flickering of nostalgia.

“Where are they?” Audrey asked with hesitation.

“All gone” She replied. Grasping lightly the painted truffula tree, as if to

Pull it back to reality.

“What happened?” she asked

“It was a long, long time ago…” she began, “… I was a young girl, maybe around your age.” Her wrinkled face began to light up as if her flash back was reversing her aging.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The Story Folds out revealing the once old hag, as a bubbly, bright, beautiful, young lady, almost resembling her granddaughter, accept she was tanner and had close to black hair.

Her high cheek bones rested just under her eyes, giving her the look of innocence, and youth. She was dressed in a tee and jeans; she wore sturdy boots upon her feet, and she tied her hair back with a piece of string.

She sighed happily as she rested in the softness of the grass, listening to the song of the humming fish, watching the swanie swans drift by with the white clouds, this was her heaven, her resting place, they were her friends, the barbaloots, the humming fish, the swanie swans, and the trees. The beautiful truffula trees, this was paradise. But it was almost time to go back to town, with the snarky people, and the shallow glances, she didn’t want to go back, she wanted to stay.

She huffed as she got up and slung her bag across her shoulder, and dashed towards the sunset where her hometown lied. She made it home just in time before the sun set, and it was too dark to navigate with confidence around the area.

Even though she was surrounded by bricks and houses, she closed her eyes and started to take in what was at the distance, her true home, calling to her, folding her snugly, and softly whispering her to sleep in her paradise. How she wanted to return, but for now, she had to set the table for her evening meal, she still lived alone at this time. After her meal, she cleaned her dishes and went on up to bed. She quickly fell asleep, letting her dreams take her back to her haven.

The next day she grabbed her bag and her sketch book, and set off to her paradise. Not even telling anyone where she was going, she had no family, no one she cared about here, just herself and the paradise she did not want to share, in fear they might destroy it.

She sat down in her usual spot, a hill that looks over a beautiful landscape made of green grass, various colors of truffula trees and pristine lakes where humming fish went happily among their day, and she began to make a rough sketch. Etching every general shape then adding details with a finer pencil, every tuft from each tree, every shimmer on the lakes, and every blade of healthy grass, and most importantly the creatures. Then she was hit in the head with a frying pan.

“Hey!” she yelled in the general direction of the frying pan, “What’s the big idea!?” she got up and walked towards the man who was flinging things out from his wagon while humming a little tune. She put her composure back together, and tapped him on the shoulder very politely. He stopped humming and turned around. She then presented him with the frying pan “this hit me on the head.” She stated

“Oh! I’m sorry!” he quickly apologized and took the pan. “I didn’t mean to hurt you; I didn’t even know there was another person around here.”

“Who are you any ways?” she replied in question

“I,” he introduced himself with pride “Am the Once-ler”

“The once-ler…” she repeated distantly. She never heard a name like that; it was a very curious name. “Where did you come from?”

“Far away,” he pointed at a direction “is there a town near by?”

“Yes,” she stated pointing in the opposite direction “that-a-way.” He started to squeal happily. She stopped him from his squealing with a question. “What are you planning to do anyway?”

“I am going to revolutionize the world!” He Bragged.

“How?”

“By Making… A thneed!”
“A thneed?” the word, like his name, also struck her curiosity. It was different, she wasn’t used to different, she was used to everybody else going in order, and no one wanted anything different. This is why she never made friend, or met someone special, or anything for that matter.

“Here.” He took her by the hands. “Let me show you.” He took her to his house. It was set up like a circus tent. She wandered curiously about the house. Until she turned a corner and an amateur drawing was shoved in her face. She took the paper, examining every line, every curve, every thoughtless detail, his name, the name of his invention, and what it looks like, she was intrigued.

“What is it supposed to do?” she asked hesitantly
“Everything!” He cheered. This took the girl back, she was startled, he has come up with the thing everybody just might need. Infinity in one object, the possibilities were endless.
“Make it.” She commanded.

“Sure thing let me get my ax an...”
“No!” she interrupted him “we don’t need to cut down trees okay?”

“Um…. Okay?” he replied “how do we get the tufts though?” She answered his question by plucking the tuft off a truffula tree, it immediately started growing back.
“We don’t need to cut down these trees, they take a really long time to grow, and mature, but once they are there, their tufts can be harvested within a matter of days.” She smiled brightly at him.

“Well okay” he smiled back. So they began to pluck at the truffula tree nearest his house, and only harvested enough to make one thneed, no more, no less.

“We need to take care of our world, it’s the only habitable thing we have in an infinite mater of light-years away in any direction. Once it’s gone, so are we, and the beautiful creatures that live here with us. If we take care of our world, it will take care of us in return.” She lectured as the once-ler was knitting.

“How do you know all this stuff?” he asked

“I spent most of my days in the library, researching my questions about, well, everything.” She answered “well, before I found this place. I will visit the library every now and then to answer some questions or learn something new, but I mainly come here now.”

“Why is that?”
“Why not?” she replied exasperated “have you not seen how beautiful this place is?”
“I traveled a long way to find a place like this, actually.”

“So you understand why we need to take care of our world.”
“Now that you have explained it; yes.” he smiled at her. And at that moment, she fell in love. Noticing how beautiful his smile was, how bright his eyes were. This was the first time she really got a good look at him. His face was bright, it wasn’t snarky. It was natural, real. Like the truffula forest, not fake like the townspeople are.

“Hey,” she began

“Yeah?” he asked

“Can we do this again tomorrow?” he paused for a moment.

“Sure”

“Good” she smiled and left his house without further word.

 

The next day she woke up early, checked out a few books from the library, stored them in her bag, bought some fruit, and set off to meet the once-ler again. On her way there she ran into a few barbaloots and gave them an apple from the store, chatted with them some and went on her way. She started to skip until she reached the hill, and she saw one stump with rocks covered around it.

“Once-ler” she growled.  She stormed down the hill and slammed the door only to find several barbaloots munching on pancakes, and an orange figure.

“Not another one of you” he whined.

“The Lorax!” she exclaimed. She sat down immediately, eyes still on the fluffy yet stubborn creature. “Hello.” She said plainly. He blinked at her.

“Yes?” he said “may I help you.” She was brought back to reality and the intent on the mission…

“Have you seen the once-ler?” she asked

“He just went to town.” He said

“Darn! I missed him.” She whispered under her breath. “I guess I will wait here then.” She then sat down on his bed. “so, why did you decide to appear today?”
“He cut down a tree”
“I noticed, I told him not to.” She Grumbled

“Oh I think he left something for you, he made it last night,” he pointed to a weird fuzzy arrangement of knitting with a note on it.

 

My first customer! Thank you!

“So this is a Thneed.” She whispered, holding it gently, not to destroy it. She studied each fold, each sleeve, and every crease. Was this really what he was going for, or did he give her this as one of the mistakes? She fuddled it together and placed it in her bag. As soon as its fabric left its fingers, her hand yearned for its plush softness. She brought it back out and carefully winded it around her neck, making a scarf. It was so soft, and comfy she never wanted to take it off. She held the note in her hands, bringing it to her heart.

“So, you help him cut down that tree?” the Lorax asked

“No! Heavens no! I know a lot about these trees! I would never cut one down.” She replied, hurt by the question.

“Okay...” he grumbled “I speak for the trees ya’ know!”

“I do actually” she replied “And I am also on your side about this.” There was a long moment of silence. The Lorax shrugged and went back to eating his pancakes. She went back to snuggling in her very own thneed. After a while, the once-ler came back to his house to find his friend, and the Lorax there.

“Hey,” he smiled at her. Then turned to his ‘buddy’, the Lorax, and groaned “you’re still here?”
“Yep!” he proudly stated. The once-ler huffed, and sat down on his bed next to the girl.

“I noticed you found my gift” he smiled

“Yeah.” She giggled. Then noticed he was wearing his thneed exactly the same way as she was. This then brought her back to her anger mission. “You cut down a tree…” she started.

“I know,” he interrupted. “I made a promise with the Lorax not to do it again.” He crossed his heart, symbolizing the promise he made.

“Well I am gonna make you double promise. Promise to me, you won’t cut down another tree.” She demanded

“Hey, that rhymed” he laughed

“What do you think we’re in? A Dr. Seuss Book? Please promise me.”

“Okay, I promise to you, that I will not cut down another tree.”
“Good.” She smiled at him and gave him a hug, “where have you been?”
“I was out trying to sell my second Thneed.” He bragged.

“How’d that go?” she asked.

“Not so good.” He confessed, slouching in defeat. “At least you see how amazing my invention is” he smiled at her.

“Yes,” she held her head in pride. “Its cause I’m awesome” she teased him. The Lorax was quietly watching the two, when he said he needed to leave.

“I’m gonna go check on the swanie swans.”
“Okay” they both said.

“Bye!”
“Bye” The girl waved happily.

As soon as the door shut, the once-ler started to set up the table for dinner, dinner for two. The Girl soon realized what was going on and began to help, but he stopped her.
“No you don’t have to help.” He smiled. “Here” he pulled a chair out for her. She then sat down, and patiently waited for dinner to be ready.

Moments later, dinner was set. The food was made by the once-ler himself and the setting was quiet, small, with a beautiful forest just outside. It was just the two of them. Softly the humming fish faded onto a romantic ballad. While the barbaloots set up candles and lit them.

“Awwww…” she cooed. “Did you plan this?”
“Actually, yes.” He laughed.

“So, you wanted to go on a date.” She stated.

“Hehe, yeah,” he blushed. Then she took him by the hand and ran outside.

“Good, I always wanted to go on a date.” She skipped along, still holding his hand, and he did not let go. “I will share my world then, with you.”

For several hours dragging into the night they laughed and frolicked around in the truffula forest. As soon as she realized how dark it was, it was too late to take the journey home. So he invited her to stay the night. She reluctantly accepted.

Setting up the futon, she started to wish out loud.

“I wish I could stay here forever”

“Me too.” Was all he said. When they had finished putting the futon together and preparing it for slumber, she went off and dressed in night clothes he lended to her. When she got out she found the once-ler already in the futon.

“Um…” she began

“I thought it would be better if I had the futon and you slept in the nice bed” he smiled brightly.

“Oah, that is really nice of you,” she smiled “thank you” He replied with a happy yawn and drifted off to slumber.

She then unfolded the covers to his bed, and tucked herself in. Pipsqueak jumped in and snuggled along side her, and she hugged him till she fell asleep.

 

The Next morning, she woke up, got dressed in her normal clothes. And was about to head out, but was interrupted by the once-ler.
“Would you like to stay for breakfast?” he asked “I made pancakes~” he sung temptingly. She laughed.

“Of course I will.” She smiled and sat down with him for breakfast. After breakfast, she had set out to get back to town so had he so they walked together. They separated at the gazebo, he to advertise his thneed, and her to home, to put herself back together. When she finished she went back outside to see how well his advertisements were going. That’s when he got hit in the face with a tomato. He then gave up, and threw away the thneed, walking away with his head in shame. She followed him quietly, not to draw any attention to them.

“Hey” she huffed as she caught up to him, “What’s up?”

“Nothing,” he grumbled. “Nobody wants my thneed!” he griped.

“Just give ‘em time.” She eased her voice to encourage him. “Tomorrow, you and I can go sell your thneed together.”
“Not happening.”
“What? Why not.”

“I threw it away.”

“You WHAT?!” she gasped.

“Nobody wants a thneed!” he retorted.

“Just give them time, all it takes is a little time” she pleaded. But nothing got through to him, she pleaded as he bitterly rejected her philosophies all the way home. Still she stayed to comfort him. It was several hours before they heard a song rising from the hills, it was the whole town, wanting, needing, and pining for thneeds. Fists chocked full of money were waving in the air. He went out to greet his customers. She stayed inside and watched all the commotion play off. After the crowds left, the once-ler returned inside.

“My family is coming to help make thneeds” he announced happily.

“Oh! That’s wonderful Oncie!” she exclaimed, hugging him.

“You were right.” He stated with stillness in his voice.

“Of course I was” she smiled, holding him tighter.

 

That night, the once-ler asked the girl to be his. She said yes.

 

The next morning she woke up in his bed, he was sitting on the bed with his hand brushing through her hair.

“Hey” she smiled “how is my Oncie” she brought his hand to her lips.

“My family is coming, to help us with the production.” He smiled.

“Wonderful” she whispered, her genuine smile making another appearance.

 

When his family arrived, she was introduced. They were surprised but accepted her with open arms anyways.

Everyone seemed to get along at first to her. Production had been going smoothly and the once-ler had so far kept his promise to the Lorax and his girl, until his family demanded to chop down trees to speed up production. Oncie, wanting to please his mother and family, complied with their wishes, shutting out the Lorax, and ignoring her arguments. She started to use her art to get through to him, painting beautiful truffula trees, mountain scenes, and so forth. But it had no affect on him. She felt torn apart, the one person she believed she could trust with her world, was in fact; the very one who was destroying it before her eyes.

One Fateful night, Her and her now Fiancé were eating dinner at a much larger house of there.
“Hey,” she whimpered,

“Yes dear? What’s wrong?” he asked, taking the whimper as a sign of distress.

“Do we really need this many thneeds?” she asked, it was true, they were overproducing as it is, on that day they had made a million thneeds but maybe only sold about one-hundred-thousand.

“But my Dear,” he exclaimed “Everybody Needs a Thneed!” he smiled dashingly. She just looked down, and thought.

 

Bad enough to destroy my world

 

“Hey honey,” he cooed, to comfort her. “Our wedding is in a few weeks!” he kissed her “aren’t you excited?”

“Yes I am, But...”
“But what?”

“I wanted to have our wedding in the Truffula forest….” As the words poured out so did her held back tears, her sobs, and her sorrow, just everything. All he could do was apologize, hug her, and explain how they were gonna get married in a beautiful church, where previously was the place of their first date. She quickly composed herself again, and nodded happily.

 

This is what she wanted, ever since she saw his beautiful smile. To be his wife, to be Mrs. once-ler, and to be with him till death do them part. It was funny because before he even proposed, people around town were already calling her Mrs. Once-ler.

 

“Look there’s Mrs. Once-ler!” people would say to their friends in hushed voices

“Wow! I can see why he took a liking to her, she’s beautiful!”  They might of said or “That lucky woman! If I had met him first he would have been mine!”

 

So it wasn’t a shock to her when he proposed, that people were baffled, thinking they were already married. Some girls cried, jealous of her, wanting to be his love, and who wouldn’t? Also on the other hand there were guys shedding manly tears for she was also beautiful, Beautiful, but not theirs.

 

“I love you, Honey.” He whispered, kissing her on the nose.

“I love you too.” She whispered back. Knowing her pain, her suffering didn’t even get him to understand what was happening.

 

On the day of the wedding, everyone was rushing to put things together, to prepare the ceremony. She had no one to walk her down the aisle, so she walked by herself. Every step she had, her voices grew louder, her doubts stronger, her pain bigger.

 

This isn’t what I wanted

 

“Do you take this woman to be your lovely wedded wife?”

My world is gone

 

“I do.”

 

I love him, but…

 

“Do you take this man, to be your Husband?”

I LOVED him

 

“I don’t.”

 

And with that, she turned around on her heel and ran off.

 

After Hours of searching, He found her, still in her wedding dress, way outside of town, in a place where no machine has touched. She was taking a nap from her sorrows, when he appeared.

“Hey, what’s Wrong?” he cooed as he held her in his arms.

“I don’t even know you anymore…” she sobbed

“But honey,” he lifted her face up softly “it’s me… Oncie…” he smiled. She turned away

 

“You’re not the once-ler I once knew.”

 

She then walked away from the mess, empty handed.

 

As time passed she fled back to the vicinity of her shell, the library. Where she spent her time alone, the once-ler continued his expansion on his company, and the Lorax still continued to protest.

 

One day, she came back to him, hoping she could talk him into leaving his company.
“Now why would I do that?” he scoffed, blind with ambition and greed.

“For Us.” She stated. “Do you want it to work out?”

“But dear,” he cooed mockingly. “I’m not the once-ler you once knew.”

“You are still in there somewhere….” She gazed deeply into his eyes…

Maybe if you knew…

 

“No...” he slapped her hand away. “You are just crazy!”

The words hurt her like a bullet to the heart. This was the word people used to describe her before she met him. The word his family used to describe him before his dream was recognized. She kept her composure and replied softly.

 

“I suppose you are right…” and walked away yet again, this time never to see him again. As she left the building she held her hand closely to her womb, and whispered to herself “Crazy enough to think you cared about your child and her mother.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

“Wait a minute…. So you are saying, my Grand pappy… is the once-ler!?” Audrey was confused.

“Yeah. Basically…” she shrugged.

“And he doesn’t even know?”
“Mhmm.”

 

After additional conversation and helping her settle in, Audrey then went off to the craft store and bought some paint.

“Time to recollect some memories...” she sighed and with the first stroke, began to paint the exact truffula trees she saw on her grandmother’s painting, to her house.


Submitted: April 14, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Myioki. All rights reserved.

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