Life Fades QuietlyOnce-ler had been unusually tired since getting up that morning. He'd gone about his usual routine of breakfast and tidying up with shuffling steps. The movements were more difficult. The Lorax noticed immediately and chalked it up to exhaustion from a late night before. The old man had slept little, his thin frame shaken with the painful hacking of dirtied lungs.
He was still coughing throughout the morning, even as he shuffled through the yard to tend the tiny saplings springing through the new grass. He paused every few moments, coughed into his fist, and sighed under the watchful gaze of the guardian.
The Lorax worried only a little, until the old man stumbled and went to his knees, his watering can spilling over the grass next to him. From his knees he crumpled face first into the dirt and the Lorax was by his side in an instant. "Hey! Hey, beanpole, you alright? Didn't break a hip, did ya?" he joked as he helped Once-ler roll onto his back. The old man looked startled and he lay
Heart of the EarthHeart of the Earth3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Ted didn't like thinking about how much time had passed since that day that would live on forever in the history of the until recently named Thneedville. He was twenty four years old now, a strapping young man with the kind of height his grandfather would be proud of. He was lean, muscular where it mattered but not overly so. Unfortunately, as he had gotten older, and spent so much time reading and studying for his degree in business college he had ended up needed glasses.
His mother blamed his genetics, but Ted didn't mind that much. "They make me look smarter!" he had joked the day he'd gotten his rectangle glasses from the eye doctor. They were deep green, the colour chosen for a special reason that nobody had to ask why about, and had proudly worn them ever since he turned nineteen.
Things had indeed gotten better around the now named Greenville, that much had to be said. The skies were blue and beautiful, the seasons came and went as they were supposed to, the sun shone brightly e
The Lorax: The Guardian CaresOnce-ler just got his bed stolen, woke up floating in a river on his stolen bed, and was brought back to life by the Lorax. After all of that, he had a right to be mad and tired. He just promised to not cut down anymore Truffula trees, and the Lorax promised to keep an eye on him.The Lorax: The Guardian Cares2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"... But first I have to find my bed," Once-ler moped away from the river bank, in search for his bed.
After searching for an hour, the Once-ler's bed was nowhere to be found. And what was worse, he was getting exhausted. He had lost his bearings from being so tired. So, Once-ler just picked a spot under the shade of a Truffula tree and lied down. He closed his eyes and fell asleep almost immediately.
The Lorax, meanwhile, went to the Once-ler's camp to return a sock he found of his. He knocked on the door, waiting for him to open it. When no action came from within the house, the guardian peeped through his window. The Lorax's eyes widened when he didn't see the tall human inside.
In Our Autumn Years Part 4In Our Autumn Years Part 43 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"What ya got there, Beanpole?" Lorax asked, looking up from lounging on Once-ler's bed as he came walking into his cottage one late evening.
"Look how many times do I gotta tell you, keep off my bed?" he scowled, reaching and picking the orange one up under the arms and set him on the floor.
"Aww but your bed's so cozy and warm!" whined the guardian, playfully, before pointing again to the thing that Once-ler had under his arm. "Again, what's that?"
"This, is called a book." Once-ler held it out to the other, and flipped the pages open and watched as the Lorax stared at it with disinterest.
"Mrf. How many trees died for this thing?" he asked, seemingly capable of being able to tell anything that was made of trees with one whiff of his nose.
"It's not about that, you furry meatloaf." Once-ler said as he sat down on the floor, and flipped through the book. "This book mentions you."
"Oh ho?" the Lorax's eyes widened as he hurried around, climbed up Once-ler's back, and balanced himself on
Family Tree - Part 1Family Tree - Part 13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The soft, Southerly drawl of his mother drew Once-ler out of his moment of silent contemplation on completing the plans for his Thneed factory. He turned his head slightly to see his mother standing outside his window, hands clasped together.
"We got us a lil' problem." she elaborated.
"Problem?" he asked, turning in his seat now to look at her, tilting his head curiously like a dog.
"Mmhmm." she nodded. "You see we're not makin' thneeds fast enough " she added and behind her, Once-ler caught sight of his uncle Ubb pushing along a large rolling cart full of harvested Truffula tufts.
"Harvesting the tufts takes too long!" he dramatically lamented; even going so far to wipe his arm over his forehead for melodramatic affect.
Once-ler sat in his seat, drumming his white pencil against his lips. He had promised the Lorax he wouldn't cut down any more trees, hadn't he? Sure the little furry meat loaf had put him in the river to drift him away but he'd still saved him, even if h
Family Tree - Part 6Family Tree - Part 63 years ago in Drama More Like This
The fire was growing around him, with every passing second the air grew hotter and harder to breathe, seeing became impossible due to the flames, and the smoke. He could not see, he could not breathe, and the only sound he could hear was the roar of the fire, inching closer and closer.
"Norma? Norma??" Once-ler heard his voice, though he couldn't remember speaking, but it fought through the flames and the smoke. "Norma where are you?" again, his voice trembled and shook, betraying the bravery and strength he was trying to desperately cling to. "Norma p-please "
He was suffocating, the strength in his legs began to weaken and he felt an ache ripple through his lungs but then, when it felt as though his strength was losing him, he heard a noise that fought its way through the fire and smoke.
It was a baby's cry, and even if he had yet to hear the cry of his and Norma's child something told him it was theirs. The cry was familiar, though impossible. The high pitched cry returned the
Tale of the Lorax - Part 8Tale of the Lorax - Part 83 years ago in Drama More Like This
Chapter Eight: The Seed
Once-ler, as keen and eager as he was back then to answer supply and demand, was working morning till late at night knitting his thneeds. He would harvest, collect, work on them with the spinning wheels and then spend the rest of his time knitting away. Norma would sit up with him too, knitting in their bed together, wishing that they could be possibly doing something other than knitting. The young woman cast a glance towards her husband whose head was bowed as always, blue eyes narrowed, and concentrating on the work at hand that morning.
"So when your family arrives " she started, "They'll be doing this work?" Norma asked, watching his face carefully.
"Huh?" Once-ler glanced up at her before looking back down at his precious knitting, the almost completed thneed spread out down his body. "Oh yeah sure that's the idea you know. They come in, they help me produce more of them to keep up with supply and demand and all that fun stuff." already th
Family Tree - Part 5Family Tree - Part 53 years ago in Drama More Like This
This was quite possibly the hardest task that Once-ler had ever undertaken in his life, and that included leaving home, packing up everything he had, and moved to a whole other part of the country. Even starting up his thneed company, having to go into town every day to be humiliated and having tomatoes thrown at his face. Compared to that, heck, all that was easy as beans.
Trying to ferry frightened bar-ba-loots, who can't swim, into the water to avoid being hurt by a fire? Now that was a difficult thing to do. The flames were growing closer with every passing minute and the sky was thick with black smoke, though thankfully it wasn't clouding his vision. In situations like this you had to take what good moments you could, and run with it.
"Guys c'mon, c'mon. Hold onto me, like that likeow ow, not too tight okay okay," he was already up to his knees in the water, Pipsqueak clinging to his shoulder as a few other small, still young bar-ba-loots were in his arms since no way could
Family Tree - Part 3Family Tree - Part 33 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The company was coming along swimmingly, if Norma could say so herself. Her husband, Once-ler, was doing incredibly well with himself. His machines built to humanely harvest the tufts from the Truffula trees continued to work through the day on a strict routine. Work didn't start till eight thirty, and stopped dead on five o'clock. He had people manning the machines, and rather then leave it up to machinery to knit the thneed she had hired a great deal of people with knitting skills. This meant there was no threat of pollution seeping into the air, or soil, from noisy, bulky machines.
She was so proud of him, and she made certain to let him know that every single day he came home from the company. He always looked so classy, in the outfit he had made. It was a vibrant green colour to match the grass, with black pants, a top hat, and he had a tiny pink tuft in his lapel that looked like a flower. Every morning he would leave for work after sharing breakfast with her, they would kiss, an
In Our Autumn Years Part 1In Our Autumn Years Part 13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
He can recall a time when Thneedville was nothing more than a map, and a small set made in miniature scale, sitting on his desk. The Once-ler, at the height of his wealth and power, had bought out the land from under the feet of the people in Greenville. Promising them a far superior town, with better roads, houses, hospitals; better everything, all made on the backs of the Thneeds he was shipping world wide. The small town, where he had been hit with tomatoes, was destroyed and in its place Thneedville had been built.
That was so very long ago, now.
Today, the Once-ler stands at the door of his house that teetered on the edge of the cliff, and stared at the distant town. The big, circling wall was now completely removed and destroyed. The fields were slowly growing grass again, the skies were blue with lazy clouds drifting on the surface it was an actually pleasant day.
This, ultimately, made this all the more unbearable for the old man.
"Nope. Not doin' it." he announced loudly
The Tale of the Lorax - Part 1The Tale of the Lorax - Part 13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Chapter One: The Once-ler
Like every little boy, no matter the situation in which he'd been brought up in, Ted Wiggins had a crush. He had a horribly, powerful crush upon his next door neighbor. Her name was Audrey and her hair was a vibrant orange color, she had freckles that were like kisses from the sun itself, and a beautiful green shade for her eyes that challenged the fake green painted cement people called grass. She always had a smile on her face when she talked to him, and that was reason enough for the young boy to end up falling for her.
She visited his house a lot, though unfortunately never to speak to him. Audrey had a project in school, to interview an elderly member of society and do a paper on them and since Audrey had no grandparents she had chosen to interview Ted's grandmother. The two would always sit upstairs behind closed doors, talking away for hours on end and it infuriated him. He adored his grandmother as any young boy should but he was so insanely jea
In Our Autumn Years Part 10In Our Autumn Years Part 103 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
He had decided to walk back into town. Even if Ted insisted that he could ride his bike with Norma, the old man had refused. If he was about to meet his brothers again the last thing he wanted was to show up on that, since he may end up tripping over himself. He hadn't heard their conjoined laughter in over 42 years now, and he certainly didn't want to hear it now at his expense.
How old would they be now? Seventy three, at least yes seventy three. He would never have thought they would get this old, all of them, much less himself. He had once been so full of life, so full of spunk. Now he was slower on his feet than he'd care to admit, and the pains and aches in his joints made him sometimes so mad he'd just glare at the world and pout like a child.
Driving alongside him was Ted, Norma riding on the back.
"How'd they show up?" Once-ler asked as he walked, arms bent and swinging with purpose.
"I don't know," Ted explained. "I just got home and Ma had these two guys there. S
In Our Autumn Years Part 3In Our Autumn Years Part 33 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Once-ler stared down at the food on his plate in front of him before slowly lifting his gaze and stared at Ted who was picking at the green, broccoli shaped gelatin on his plate with his fork. He then turned his gaze to Norma who was bouncing the, what he could only assume to be, chicken since the shape was that of a chicken. He slowly ran his tongue over his lips, and pointed.
"I'm sorry but what is this?" he asked.
"Food. And I use that term lightly." Norma answered as she finally stabbed her 'chicken' with her fork.
"But " Once-ler looked down at the jiggly food on his plate, and poked at it with a knife. "It's jelly."
"Well," the older woman sat a bit more comfortably, leaning on an elbow, as she looked at the older gentleman. "After everything went down it became impossible to grow food any more. Rather than open a means of bringing in food from out of town, O'Hare simply gave people this instead. They each hold the nutrition that you'd get from the actual foods, vitamins, th
The Tale of the Lorax - Part 3The Tale of the Lorax - Part 33 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Chapter Three: Norma and Once-ler
The panic in the air was still thick as Grammy Norma's hand held tightly onto Ted's as they ran through the streets. It wasn't until they were almost home did the young boy realize he had forgotten his bike in all the commotion but one could barely blame him. When there was gun fire in the air, your grandmother pulling you along in a run he never thought she'd be capable of, and having a vigilante at your back shooting back at guards you tended to forget important things like that. He felt his stomach empty out and he felt sick; what if they found the bike? What if they traced it to him being out after curfew? His grip on his her hand tightened greatly and she squeezed back just as tightly.
"How?" Ted asked shakily as they snuck back into the house carefully, quietly, so not to wake his mother even if she was a deep sleeper. "H-how do you know that Grammy, it's "
"Shhh." she hushed him softly, pressing a finger to his lips. "Questions
In Our Autumn Years Part 6In Our Autumn Years Part 63 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Norma could remember the first time she met Once-ler's family, on that balmy summer day all those years ago. It had been just like any other morning for her, she had awoken, gone through the usual morning routine of showering, getting dressed, and enjoying her breakfast. It was all so very ordinary, and mundane she could have cried. But, like every other day, what she looked forward to most after working in the local book store was heading out to the valley to visit Once-ler.
By that time of day she would normally find him doing his washing out by the stream, or pegging his laundry on the single line he stretched from his cottage to the nearest tree. On more than one occasion she had come in to find him chasing the bar-ba-loots who had stolen various items of clothing, in particular his underwear. It seemed as though one of them, named Pipsqueak, had taken a fondness to the heart covered underwear.
Why, though, she couldn't rightly understand but a bar-ba-loot's mind was a very tricky
In Our Autumn Years Part 8In Our Autumn Years Part 83 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Pappy Once-ler, I got a question."
Once-ler glanced up from where he'd been watering a few of the sprouting saplings.
"How come there's all these saplings around? I mean didn't you have the last Truffula seed in existence?" Ted asked, holding his own watering can in his hands tightly.
"Oh that's easy," Once-ler replied as he moved closer to the boy. "It wasn't the only seed, not really. You see after well everything happened I spent a long time combing the valley night and day looking for seeds. When I found them, I planted them, tended to them but none of them ever sprouted, or grew." he explained as he leaned down and cleared some dirt away from a new sprout that was poking itself out of the ground.
"So you kept planting all of them until you had one left?" Ted asked.
The old man nodded his head. "More or less. Which Well. Now that people believe in the trees again, I guess the valley is growing all over again. The Lorax's powers must be doing this," he said as he
Family Tree - Part 4Family Tree - Part 43 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"I can't believe this I really can't believe this I didn't think this would happen for ages oh man, oh man, this is so exciting can you believe it I can't believe it we're gonna be parents I'm gonna be a dad and you a mom and we're all gonna live together and I'll look after each and every one of you 'n I'll make pancakes on Sundays and marshmallows mixed in too and"
"Oncie I appreciate your excitement!" Norma laughed, turning to look up at him, "But you really think this is the place to say all this?" she asked, tilting her head with a bemused smile.
"Uh?" Once-ler asked, lifting his head and stared around at the people around them. Norma felt it was only fair to go looking at furniture together, getting things like a crib, changing table, and even a rocking chair for when the baby arrived. Granted, when bought they would be put into storage since Once-ler had insisted that he design, and have built, a brand new house for them.
As fond as he was of his cottage it wasn't big enou
In Our Autumn Years Part 5In Our Autumn Years Part 53 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Oh wow it's really comin' down out there isn't it?" Mrs. Wiggins asked as she stared outside her window as the rain continued to pour outside, splashing against the window. She had stared at wonder at the rain when it had first started, since she couldn't rightfully remember rain that well.
She had vague memories, as a baby, of her mother holding her in the window as rain came falling down but it was around that time the rain began to stop falling. It had a beautiful quality to it, a magical feeling, one that gave Helen a sense of nostalgia she couldn't rightly place.
The woman smiled faintly, in the privacy of her home, and moved away from the window. Just as she did this, though, she missed watching her mother and the old Once-ler walking up the street together. Norma still held the bag of goods in one arm, the other hand gently holding onto the green clad glove of the elderly man who, in his other hand, held the Swomee-Swan umbrella still.
They came to a stop at the end of the path
Family Tree - Part 7Family Tree - Part 73 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"What do you mean there's press outside?" Once-ler asked, doing up his shirt buttons slowly.
"Just what I said. Press outside." Norma said as she approached him, setting the suitcase she had brought in with her on the bed. "They must have caught wind you're leaving the hospital so they camped out in hopes of getting an interview with you."
"But why?" he asked, cautiously moving to the window to peek out. There weren't too many of them, but enough to be annoying.
"You survived a forest fire? To see how you look now? To ask how you'll be managing your business? How it's been affected? What shirts you wear?" Norma listed off as she opened the suitcase and pulled out some shoes and socks for him, as well as a long jacket and a hat.
"I hate the media." Once-ler whispered quietly, moving away from the window, heart heavy. He had been working up to his dismissal from hospital but knowing people were out there waiting with cameras and microphones, it really just got to him. Did they know
The Tale of the Lorax - IntroThe Tale of the Lorax - Intro3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Theodore Wiggins was born and raised in Thneedville which, in itself, wasn't exactly a bad thing. The town was well looked after, it had the best hospitals, the best schools, recreational activities, but the only problem was that the town was very, very bad. For one there was no mayor, no electoral committee, nothing to represent the people's views and opinions on matters. Those rights had long since been given up when O'Hare, a man of short stature, had rose to power in the ranks of the city.
You see, Thneedville was in a bad state.
Beyond the safety of the all powerful wall was a wasteland, where miles, and miles, and miles of what had once been pristine grassland had been slowly transformed into an inhospitable land. There were remains of tree stumps scattered absolutely everywhere. Old, rusting machines that looked more like rotting carcases scattered the land. The ground was rock hard, and incapable of sustaining life. There were no trees, no bushes, no animals. The only things th
Mother's Day MorningNorma enjoyed sleeping in. There was no question about it, sleeping in was a wonderful things for her. Being married to the most successful man in Greenville, a loving mother and owning a popular bookstore left her drained on some days, but getting to sleep in on the weekends with her husband was always a favorite. Except today. Something was wrong.Mother's Day Morning3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
She normally woke up to her arms around him, one of his arms around her because he could never break the habit of sleeping like a dead log. Today though he wasn't there, just empty air where he normally would be. She wanted to get out of bed and look for her family, but then she heard something coming up the stairs. One was happy and small, jumping up and down and trying to be quiet with their footsteps, the other calm and heavy, but both very familiar to her.
"Come on now sprout, you need to be quieter or you'll wake your Ma up. We want this
The Tale of the Lorax - Part 5The Tale of the Lorax - Part 53 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Chapter Five: Empty Promises
Ted had never expected that he would be taken into the old man's house, and to be perfectly honest with you he felt a little terrified. He had just witnessed this man take down two men using only one bullet, and on top of that the last time they met he had leaped him over The Wall as if it were nothing. He could shoot crows, in midflight, between the eyes. The man could take down men younger than him, stronger than him and if that wasn't intimidating, than nothing else was.
The old man seemed to drive in zigzags across the field once they were close enough to his house and Ted looked up at him, feeling the blood clotting in his nose. "Why"
"We might be being followed and it's harder to shoot a target that keeps moving."
And now Ted was even more terrified than before, and the old man seemed to pick up on that. "I doubt it though, that lug couldn't get himself back there and alert anyone to us that quickly." Once-ler finally reached his house an
The Tale of the Lorax - Part 2The Tale of the Lorax - Part 23 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Chapter Two: The Lorax
The true story, the real story, started on a farm in the middle of nowhere. There was a house of wood cutters by trade; the Ler's were their names. Long ago the father had left, abandoning his family behind to fend for themselves. In his abandonment he left his young wife, her sister, her sister's husband and his three children. The first child was Once-ler, tall, skinny, gangly as a tree. Then there were the twins, Chet and Brett, boisterous and playful as any twin boys would be. After the abandonment of the father, however, life in the household took a sharp nose dive.
Once-ler, who looked so much like his father, was put upon.
"Never going to go anywhere in life."
"Won't achieve a thing."
"Should never ever happened!"
These and more insults soon became a daily occurrence for the young boy. Very quickly did he learn crying got him nowhere, since every time he did his mother or nearest guardian would groan and leave him alone. Now some
In Our Autumn Years Part 7In Our Autumn Years Part 73 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Now that he was standing here, Once-ler didn't know what to think, really. He had gotten up in front of crowds so many times in his life, he'd had fruit and vegetables hurled at him too, yet then he'd had no nerves. It had felt as though the young man would never feel nervous about anything and yet, here he stood, feeling nerves climb up his back and bite the back of his neck in an unpleasant way.
"Whassa matter, green bean?" The Lorax's voice piped up, causing Once-ler to jump, and glare down at the being who had accompanied him on a trip that he really shouldn't have.
"Shht." Once-ler huffed before looking back at the display of jewelry set before him. So far, his thneed business was really getting off the ground quicker than he hoped. His family harvested every day, not a single tree was chopped down, and they were just making demands. That was fine, right? And yet the young man had realized, seeing his girlfriend dealing with his family as well as she had, she may very well be the
The Tale of the Lorax - Part 4The Tale of the Lorax - Part 43 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Chapter Four: The Outcast
He had just made it over the wall and went falling to the ground below when he heard a noise from around the curve of the wall; a noise that Once-ler knew all too well, a noise that he feared hearing every day of his life since this horrible, disgusting wall had gone up around the town that he himself had designed. After having rolled a few times after landing, managing to not grunt or even hiss when his bandaged arm hit the dead ground as he rolled. The man came to a stop and pushed himself to his feet immediately and ran for cover.
"No please, god no I'll pay I swear!"
"Take everything we have please don't do this!"
"I'm afraid we can't do that."
"You can't do this!"
"We can and we are."
Once-ler pressed himself against the vast metallic wall and dare not even to try and see around the curve; he knew this routine. Somebody was being sent beyond The Wall. Whatever the reason it was hardly mattered, there were so many reasons