Charlene And The Chocolate Factory
"…five lucky kids will follow in his footsteps, but only one will find his heart.."
This is a story of an ordinary young girl called Charlene Bucket. She was not prettier, or smarter, or more intelligent than other girls. Her family wasn't rich, or powerful, or well connected: in fact, they barely had enough to eat. Charlene Bucket was the luckiest girl in the entire world, she just didn't know it yet.Chapter 1-Charlene
The freezing hale slashed at Charlene's bare face as she tramped through the snowy streets, pulling her scarf more tightly around her and squeezing her small jacket as close as possible to her cold body, trying to ignore the cold. She was returning home after a hard day's work at Lollipops&Sugar, the sweets shop where she was employed.
It was truly terrible for her to pass eight hours a day surrounded by sweets of all sorts, without being able to afford them. Charlene could very well get past the cakes, the cookies, even the candy, but she absolutely couldn't ignore her all-time favourite sweet in the whole wide world: chocolate.
Every day, several big boxes, filled mostly with chocolate bars, were delivered to the store from none other than Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, producer of the most delicious chocolate bars in the world. And who else, if not poor Charlene, was responsible of unwrapping all of the boxes and carrying the load of chocolates all the way from the warehouse to the store? Every single day, Charlene spent a good part of her working hours doing just that, so that by now she knew all of Wonka's products, from the chocolate bars to all the other sweets: every single one.
Charlene loved Wonka's sweets, even though the occasions in which she could afford buying them were unfortunately rare: her family needed the money she owned to prevent from starving completely, since they already had problems with buying essential foods. But sometimes, Charlene would be lucky enough to earn a extra few dollars, and she would then be able to buy a couple of Everlasting Gums, or perhaps a Loony Lollipop, or, most importantly, the thing she craved most: a single Wonka Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight chocolate bar.
There were also other occasions in which Charlene was lucky enough to earn a few fair pieces of chocolate. For instance, at times the store's cook would ask for her assistance, perhaps when he had to bake a particularly large or complicated cake. When this happened, Charlene would stand by the cooking counter, rushing around now and then to fetch a spoon, or a bowl, or whatever the cook needed. Sometimes he would bake his famous chocolate fudge cake, and he would tell Charlene to take a couple of Wonka bars and provide to chop them all up and place them in a pot, to make them melt slowly above a dim fire. Charlene would carefully cut the bars into equal squares, and then she would put them in a large pot and light the fire, keeping a close eye on the chocolate as she watched the squares melt together. She loved to spend the next minutes watching this happen, occasionally stirring the dense creamy liquid and then smelling the wonderful perfume of the chocolate.
It would rarely happen that a few squares of chocolate would be left over, perhaps when the cook used them in the end to decorate the cake, and in these rare occasions the fat cook, who was always very fatherly with Charlene, would gladly give her the remaining piece. And oh, what a joy she felt as she slowly nibbled one of them, pausing in between bites to feel that fantastic sensation only chocolate can give you spread in her body!
But she would never finish all of the chocolate, she would save a good portion of it to bring it home to her mother, her father, and her grandparents, who lived all together under the same roof in a small, old house at the far edge of the city, practically opposite from where Lollipops&Sugar was.
The family had owned the small cottage ever since Charlene could remember. Her father worked in a toothpaste factory, where he sat all day long putting the caps on the tubes. However, the hours were long and the pay was miserable, and as Charlene started growing the pay wasn't nearly enough for all of them, so she had left the local public high school when she was only sixteen years old, and had immediately provided finding a job right in the shop where she used to spend many hours when she was little, staring at the towers of sweets and chocolates exposed in the shop's windows, and secretly hoping to own a place like that when she grew up.
Charlene stopped in her tracks and raised her head slowly: she was standing in the front of great iron gates that were locked. Beyond those gates, there was a courtyard filled with many delivery trucks, and beyond that… huge, towering, massive, it stood in front of Charlene's eyes, like every day: Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, the biggest one in the entire world. Every day Charlene would pass in front of that factory, and the smell of chocolate filled the air for a very long distance from it. As always, Charlene began daydreaming, and it was as it the cold and the snow had faded away…
That factory had been in that city for nearly fifteen years now, and it was still in perfect conditions. Grandpa Joe, one of Charlene's grandparents, had often told her many stories about that factory, so that she felt as though she knew everything about it. He had told her that he was once one of Wonka's loyal workers. Apparently, this was the story: Mr Wonka had started with only one shop some twenty years ago, but soon the extraordinary success of his sweets had brought him to build and open the Chocolate Factory. Grandpa Joe had told Charlene so many stories on that wonderful place. Things were going perfectly for Mr Wonka, that is, until other candy makers had begun to grow jealous of his success and had therefore provided with sending spies to his factory to steal his most secret recipes. Soon after the other candy makers had started copying his inventions, Mr Wonka took a very serious decision: one day he asked all the workers to leave and to go home, for he was going to close his factory for ever.
"I am closing my factory for ever," he had told them, "I'm sorry. Go home."
And so it happened: the workers left, the factory stopped working, and nobody ever saw Mr Wonka again. Yet one day, the most amazing thing happened: suddenly, the factory's chimneys started smoking again, and the machineries started whirring again, and very soon the trucks began to distribute loads of sweets once more all over the world. But the strange thing was, nobody ever got his job back. And, even if the factory was working and had continued doing so throughout the years, nobody ever saw Mr Wonka, or anyone else, for that matter, ever enter or leave the factory.
Charlene knew that the place kept a secret, a secret nobody was supposed to know, and yet, how she craved to be able to pass through those gates and enter that factory! Oh, the wonders she would certainly find! And Mr Wonka…well, meeting him would be the most fantastic thing that could ever happen to her! But sadly, she thought with a sigh, the chances of her ever doing so were nearly zero. And yet, she through as she trudged on towards her house, there was always hope, wasn't there?