Just off the bat I like to say that Horton Hears A Who rocks my face off!! (Coughs) now with that out of the way…..
This is my first Horton fanfic! Hooray! And just for some info to the readers, this is set about…seven months after the whole speck on a clover thing. This story is mostly about the Mayor and Horton and the jungle of Nool, BUT to the Jojo fans, do not fret, he plays a big part in this story …so drop the pitch forks please!! Thank you and I hope you enjoy!
Ned O'Malley stood in the middle of the town square alone, an eerie silence flooding the area. Time seemed to stand still as he walked slowly forward his footsteps echoing around him. The mayor turned his big eyes up to the sky, dark grey clouds hanging above him. This isn't right, he thought his heart rate increasing. This isn't right at all.
In Who-ville, it was never quiet. The citizens were always laughing, singing, talking, making music, playing games; Who-ville never stopped making some sort of noise! But now there was nothing, nothing at all. No music, no laughter, no playing, no one. He twirled his body around his eyes nervously trying to locate some one familiar.
"Sally!" he called out in a shaky voice his hands cupped over his mouth to gain more volume. Nobody answered back.
"Holly!" nothing. "Hallie!" silence. "Hooly! Hedy!!"
The wind answered him this time, blowing strongly against him and sending a cold, deathly chill through his body.
"JOJO!! Son, where are you!!" He yelled panic flooding over him. Everything was still. Everything was silent.
All the Whos in Who-ville had vanished.
The mayor grabbed at his white tie and wrung it in his clammy hands, an old habit he adapted whenever he got nervous. His breath hitch in his chest and sweat mounted his forehead. Where was everyone? Where was his family, his friends? Where in all of Who was anybody!
A low hum filled his ears and his eyes, which he didn't realize were closed, popped back open. Ned whipped his head up again towards his the balcony of his office and smiled brightly. The horn, his horn, was shaking slightly in the drain pipe. Horton! He thought excitedly, Horton was still there! Horton was still with him!
Ned couldn't figure out how he had gotten up there so fast, maybe it was his adrenaline, the fear, or heck even happiness to hear his long lost friend's voice, but in moments he was barreling out of his office and onto the white marbled deck. He grabbed the brass horn with both hands and pulled his body up till he was just a few inches away from it, his feet barely touching the ground.
"HORTON!" he cried out of relief, "Horton it's me! Can you hear me? HORTON!!"
"Mayor!" he heard the elephant's cheerful voice and almost danced with joy. Thank goodness. He wasn't alone after all!
"Horton something horrible as happened here! Everybody in Who-ville, my family, friends, and secretary are all gone!! They just disappeared!"
His friend didn't respond this time. He stood looking into the dark tube for what felt like hours. The wind picked up, and again silence took over. Ned stared at the horn in absolute terror.
" Oh no, oh no, no!!" He screamed in horror shaking the device as hard as he could. "Horton! Come back!! Don't go! Please just answer me!!" He tugged so hard that he yanked his only communication out of the drain pipe and tumbled backwards. He rolled until his head connected with the railing, pain and stars exploding into his vision.
Ned shook the stars away, and looked down at the horn still held tightly in his trembling hands. "No!" he exclaimed scurrying quickly to his feet and to the pipes hung above his door, trying to stick the infernal thing back. It wouldn't go in! For some reason the hole was too small, almost non existent. Feeling dread rush into him he realized that he just lost the only possible way to make contact with his other world friend.
"This can't be happening!" he mumbled tears threatening to fall, "NO! SOMEBODY!!" turned to the city, grasping the railing as hard as he could. "ANYBOBY!! ANSWER ME!!"
"NOOoo!!" he heard Horton shout, relieved and confused at the same time. Why would his friend yell no at him? Ned's eyes caught hold of the horn still lying detached on the floor and his brows furrowed. How could he hear Horton if the horn….
"This will teach you to believe that there are people living on specks!!" a female voice snarled, sending a jolt down his spine. Realization dawned on him. Horton wasn't talking to him. Horton was talking to someone else, and the mayor knew exactly who it was.
"You're making a mistake!" Ned heard his friend cry out, his voice sounding father away. His face paled. It was happening again. Oh god it was happening again.
"NO! No someone is here!!" The mayor screamed knowing it was useless. It took the whole town and Jojo's inventions to make just enough noise for them to hear last time, and now he was all by himself. There was no one else left to save him. "HORTON!!"
In one quick movement from above his world was turned sideways sending him plummeting over the railing. He tried to grab hold of the slick marble, but it was too far away from his reach. The law of gravity surfaced and sent the Who falling hard and fast towards the ground. Ned closed his eyes and allowed the darkness to take him as he connected with the surface.
"Ned!!" a voice screamed as his head smack hard onto the oak desk. The mayor shot up from his seat with a loud scream, clutching painfully to his aching forehead.
The world seemed to sway as he stood, nearly falling backwards. Familiar hands grabbed onto his arm gently and guided him back to his chair, removing his hands from his face. Relief flooded through him as he watch his wife inspected the bump on his head; her fingers brushing threw his hair as she pulled away.
"We're probably going to need to put some ice on that. I'll just ask for some fro- OH!" Mrs. Yelp suddenly materialized by Mrs. O'Malley, an ice pack in her hands. Sally frowned at her in confusion and slowly took the pack. "Thank you?"
"Mmm hmm," was all she said as she walked out of the office and back to the front desk.
"What are you doing here?" Ned asked his wife his in a raspy voice as she placed the ice on his head, feeling a cold sensation make its way across his scalp.
Sally's eyebrows knitted with worry. "I came to check up on you. You been worked to the bone this week, with that silly celebration coming up and you barely slept a wink in the past few days."
"I have too slept." He defended.
"Passing out in the middle of the kitchen at four in the morning does not count."
"Okay point taken." He sighed though a small smile appeared on his face, "But hey the celebration's tomorrow, so after today I will get a good night sleep, I promise." Or at least he hoped.
Since the Whos found out that their world was just 'a small speck', Dr. LaRue had taken it upon herself to insure the safety of the people. Of course Horton saved all their lives by taking them to the top of Mt. Nool and none of the whos doubted that they were in a stable, safe environment, but there was still a small amount of concern on what would happen in the future.
For the past six months that's what the brainiest Who in Who-ville had been slaving over, and finally, over two weeks ago she had completed her invention! The council was ecstatic and announced that a celebration would be held, and there the Doctor would present her creation. And since then the mayor hasn't had a minute of peace. Everyday it was something different to prepare; deciding on entertainment and games, new decorations to approve, and mountains of paperwork to sign. He couldn't even remember the last time he had had a good nights sleep.
"I wish you would try and get some rest now." Sally said crossing her arms and staring at her husband sternly. "I swear between you and Jojo…"
"Jojo?" the mayor asked.
"Yeah, every night he's been going to Dr. LaRue's and helping with her presentation. Didn't you know that?" Ned shook his head and she rolled her eyes. "Of course not! Heck you haven't been at home long enough to know!"
The mayor smiled with pride at hearing about his son, though he felt slightly guilty for not knowing sooner. Ever since he had seen Jojo's work in the old observatory, he had come to understand his son so much more, and slowly, they have been able to come closer. Jojo talks a little more to him and actually smiles every now and then. They still have a few rough spots to work out, but Ned couldn't be happier.
"It's not like it would kill you to take a two or three hour break for a nap." His wife continued pulling him from his thoughts.
Ned shook his head, the ice pack slipping off and onto the floor, the bag ripping and spilling the melting cubes onto the floor. He sighed in annoyance, leaning his face in his hands. "I don't exactly feel like sleeping right now. Not after that dream…"
"What dream?" she asked and the mayor had immediately wished that he'd kept his big mouth shut. He looked at her between his fingers, seeing the obvious concern in her eyes. Ned let out a sigh of defeat.
"Well…"He told her about his nightmare without looking up from his desk, feeling her stare on him the entire time. Though the dream made him feel uneasy, he never realized how stupid it sounded when he said it out loud. His cheeks were burning red by the time he told her about hearing Horton's voice.
Ned felt a slight pang in his heart. It had been so many months since he'd heard from his friend. He knew they had only known each other for a few days, but the mayor had never realized how lonely he had felt when he couldn't talk to the happy elephant. Truth be told, Horton was probably the closet friend he ever had.
"…and then you woke me up. That's about it." He finished still deciding not to look up at his wife. Ned felt Sally's hand on his shoulder.
"You miss him a lot don't you?" she asked making him look up in surprise. He nodded rubbing his face with his hand.
"It's funny. I barely knew the guy, yet I feel as though I had known him forever. I don't know… I don't even know what he looks like but…I…I just wish I could talk to him one more time." He let out a small, sad laugh. "Pretty stupid huh?"
Sally shook her head. "No it's not." He smiled up at her as she squeezed is shoulder. "I better go. It's not very smart to leave 96 girls alone in a house for too long."
Ned's face paled. "Oh the whole place is probably burnt to the ground."
"No, I'm pretty sure the worse will be that the whole house is painted pink with glitter over anything that was standing still." She kissed his forehead. "Love you."
"Love you too." He said watching her walk out of his office. As the door closed he slumped back into his chair; his eyes glancing towards a familiar brass instrument stuck the drain pipe. The mayor didn't know why he kept that infernal thing lodged in there, but for some stupid reason, he knew Horton would come back, and when he did, he wanted to be the first one to say hi to the elephant.
Slowly standing up, Ned made his way towards the horn, running his fingers across it. He stood in front of it in silence for a minute, and taking a deep breath, spoke into it.
"Hello?" he asked into the horn. "Horton, are you there?"
Even though he wasn't surprised, he could help but feel disappointment when silence answered him back.
Sally was deep in thought as she left her husband and exited the air tube, making her way towards the exit of the City Hall. When she came into his office only minutes ago, she was relieved to see him sleeply so soundly. She was going to leave him, when he started muttering in his sleep. Hearing him sound so scared frightened her. Ned was always such a cheerful, happy go lucky guy. Sure he panic, frequently, but he never sound down right petrified. Waking his the only thing that she could do for him. Sally let out a small sigh. She just hoped after this stupid celebration that he would return to his normal self.
The sun shined brightly in the sky as Sally exited the building and descended down the step, paying little attention to the commotion around her. She was so busy in thought that it took her a few seconds to realize that her only son had just ran passed her.
"Wha? Jojo!" she called causing him to stop on the third stair to the top. He looked at her, also surprised to see her here. "What are you doing? I thought you were at Dr. LaRue's lab?"
He shrugged. "I was." She waited for more of an explanation but that seemed to be it. Sally rolled her eyes, slightly annoyed by her son's lack of communication skills.
"Sooo what are you doing here?" she asked.
A smile started to creep on Jojo's face as he dug his hands in his pockets. "I...I mean Dr. LaRue and I, just finished an invention that dad might be interested in. I wanted to…show him."
She smiled proudly at Jojo, fighting the urge to pull him into a bear hug. But she knew how teenagers were about parents and showing affection in public. "Oh honey! I'm so proud of you!" his white face turned red with annoyance and embarrassment. "Well I won't keep you then, and your poor father needs some cheering up." She shook her head as if to banish a thought and smiled back up at her son. "Just call if you two are going to be late for dinner." Sally ruffled her son's hair and with a wave said goodbye.
Jojo returned the gesture and started back up the stone steps of the City Hall. He entered building and made his way silently towards the air tubes, shoving his hands back in his pockets as air the air pressure pushed him up. After a few sharp turns the teen Who was deposited outside his father's office. Jojo walked past his dad's secretary, not sure if the woman didn't know he was there or if she was purposely ignoring him. Mrs. Yelp was definitely a strange Who.
He was about to knock on the door when he noticed it already slightly ajar. Shrugging his shoulders Jojo pushed it open further; poking his head through the crack.
Immediately he saw his father standing on the balcony, his back towards him, leaning on the railing. Though his over excited father use to get on his last nerves, in the passed few months, after his dad found out about the observatory, he was getting better. He stopped shoving the mayor titled down his throat, instead becoming fascinated by his inventions. Unfortunately his father still tried to talk 'cool' in front of him, which made him look like a complete idiot, but that still didn't change the fact the he was trying to understand him. And that was about all Jojo wanted.
Now, looking at his father, all he wanted to do was make him happy again. And he knew the invention that he and the doctor had created would do the trick…hopefully.
Jojo stepped into the office and shut the door silently behind him, though he probably could have slammed it as hard as possible and his father still wouldn't have noticed.
The mayor's head perked up and turned slowly towards his son, a warm smile spreading across his face. "Well hey Jojo! What are you doing here?"
He gave his dad a small smile and motion toward the door with his head. "Follow me." Jojo turned and walked out the door. The mayor stared after him, confusion written across his face.
"Okay?" He followed, wondering what his oldest child was up to.
Jojo lead his father down the tubes, which he got stuck in; again, and out of the building. In the square a large crowd was decorating for the festivities tomorrow morning. Some Whos were tying huge balloon animals to the pillars, while other were hooking the Who-streamer guns up on the ceiling. Another group was working on the stage where the Who-band was nearby tuning their instruments. Ned shot his hand up to cover his face as he passed the councilmen, not wanting to be seen.
He ran after his son, who was always a few feet in front of him. Twice he thought he lost the kid, then after a few seconds he would see his black hair threw the crowd and began to run after him. Finally, after fifteen minutes of follow the leader, Jojo stopped in front of the stairs of Who U, waiting for him patiently.
"Jojo, I'm glad you're not taking a vowel of silence anymore but you really need to work on explaining things clearer." The mayor huffed, stopping to catch his breath. "You could have just said, 'come with me to see Dr. LaRue.'"
Jojo grinned, "Yeah, but that wouldn't have been as fun."
Ned watched his son walk up the stairs wide eyed. "Did you just make a joke?"
"Ah Mr. Mayor," Dr. LaRue greeted happily as they entered her classroom, adjusting her eyewear on her head as she poured a blue chemical into a red, causing the substance to turn yellow.
"Hello." The mayor said looking curiously at the bubbling yellow liquid," So, what's the reason for having Jojo drag me across town?"
Her grin increased dramatically, "Ah yes of course! I almost completely forgot. This way please..." beckoning the two to follow as she led them out of the classroom and down the hall to her laboratory.
Dr. LaRue opened the door for the mayor who walked through, looking around the room. It was a circular area, chalk boards hung across the walls, littered with different equations and theories. There were five different testing stations, all occupied with test tubes, different tools and computers.
Scanning the room he cocked an eyebrow at the eight foot tall machine humming loudly in the middle of the room. It was a spiral shape device that seemed to go out of the ceiling, a small door latch leading into a chamber that connected the two different spirals. Patches of colors illuminated the tubes, never in the same place twice. A jungle of wires littered the floor, all linking to vast number of computer screens.
"Uhhhh…what is that exactly?" Ned asked.
"That," She answered beside him in her usual lisp, whipping her glasses out her face, "is why you are here. This beauty you see before you, which I have titled the Who-Porter 956, is our very first world class transporter! The Who-Porter 956 is design to reform our molecular structures and beam us Whos out of our atmosphere, where it will recreate our structure in the world above into our normal, respective height."
Her eyes glistened as she turned from her creation to him, and an uneasy feeling started to develop in the mayor's stomach.
"And we have chosen you to be the first Who to test it out."
Ned gawked at her.
"You want to run that by me again?"
The doctor blinked at him. "We want you to-"
"NO!" the mayor shouted, looking from her to his son like they were stark raving mad. "You've got to be kidding me! I can't leave Who-ville! I'm the mayor for crying out loud!! I've got piles upon piles of work to do, and what about the festival!! The council would rip my head off and throw it in the dumpsters if they found out I went running off to another world during such an important time! Why would you even ask me to do something so ridiculous?"
"Because you miss Horton." His son's voice said from behind him. Ned turned to Jojo in surprise, the younger Who's eyes catching his in a determined glance. "You may not like to admit it to anyone, but it's painfully obvious."
"Your son designed this for you." Dr. LaRue interjected, causing the mayor's eyes to widen. "He came to me a month after the speck ordeal, begging me to help with the modifications. We ran the test, and it's in perfect working order."
Ned's eyes never left his son's, watching as the boy's white face redden. He smiled, bending down to on one knee and putting both hands on his shoulders. "Jojo… I don't...I don't know what to say."
Jojo looked up, a small smile forming on his lips. "Say you'll do it."
The mayor glanced at the beeping machine, his nerves working over time. He gulped. "Wha…does your mom know?"
"She will tonight." He answered with a carefree shrug.
That didn't calm Ned's nerves.
Jojo watched his father bite his lip, hesitating on what to decide. The teen shot a look at Dr. LaRue, who caught it and nodded, another smile forming on her face. Jojo nodded back, grabbing his fathers hand and pulling him forward.
The mayor shot his son a questioning look, but realized what he was planning when he saw the brainy Who open the latch to the contraption. Oh no.
"Jojo…don't you dare do what your about to-WAAA!" he was cut off as his son slung him forward with unknown strength, sending his father spinning widely into the machine, the doctor closing and locking the door behind.
Ned's face connected with the inner wall, sending a sharp pain back through his forehead. He just couldn't catch a break today. There was a crackle of static and then Dr. LaRue's lisp voice echoed throughout the chamber.
"You know what they say Mr. Mayor! Everyone needs a break sometime. Consider it one of those times!"
"How about considering letting me out of here?" He hollered banging his fist on the door. This time his teenage son's voice entered through the static.
"Sorry dad, but you need this more than you realize."
"JOJO!! If you don't let me out of here I'm going to ground you! You know I have the authority!"
He was shock to hear his son's laughter, but realizing that he was laughing at him it quickly turned to anger. "You'll thank me and LaRue later." Something told him it wasn't likely.
"Now mayor," LaRue's voice said mingled with static. "There is a small, hand held radio device latched on the wall beside you." He looked sideways a saw a small circular object with a springy antenna coming out of it. In the middle was a black screen, speakers above with and three buttons below it. "That will be your source of contact to our world."
Ned took it in his hands and studied it carefully while Dr. LaRue explained how it worked. "The screen will let us see you as well as you see us when the contact is made. The antenna will work for catching our reception as well as your speaking device. You will be able to hear us from the speaker above the screen."
"The blue button is to answer our transmissions, red is to connect with us, and green disconnects. Any questions?"
"Yes. When are you going to let me out of here?"
Jojo and LaRue looked at each other and rolled their eyes in unison. Typing furiously on the small blue keyboard, Dr. LaRue put in all the codes and directories. The machine began to flicker with life, the colors racing across the spiral tubes faster and faster. The chamber started to turn warm, the mayor's brow starting to collect sweat. The small room began to shake slightly as he felt a strong pressure slowly push him to his tip toes.
"Don't worry dad, this isn't going to hurt." He heard Jojo's voice mixed with the loud thudding of the machine.
"Hhhowww sssuuuurrreee arrrrreeee yyyooouu?" he asked, his voice shaking terribly along with the chamber. His body felt scrunched together as the unknown force pulled on his body harder, pushing him closer to the tube.
"Hmmm….about 80...85 percent."
"85!!" was the last thing the mayor screamed before Dr. LaRue entered the last line of numbers, pushing the enter key. Rainbow of colors flashed across his eyes as his body compressed together and shot forward. He couldn't see, couldn't think, couldn't breath. All the mayor of Who-ville could do was scream in terror as he was shot out of the chamber like a cannon and up the tube, knowing the only direction was up.
One by one all the Who's in Who-ville stop what they were doing as a bright blue and green light propelled into the sky a loud, penetrating scream filling the air. The citizen stood in the streets silently, their eyes glued to the sky above.
The Chairmen blinked twice, an angry frown forming on his face as removed his glasses, wiping his hand across his face. He knew that voice. He could recognize that annoying voice anywhere. But for that person's own safety he would double check, though he knew the answer already.
"Some one," he said through clenched teeth, "please go and see if they can find the mayor."
Sally nearly threw herself out of the window as the familiar scream echoed throughout Who-ville. Her face paled as the speck of multi colored light faded into the atmosphere, the scream evaporating along with it. Her stomach churned nervously as she gripped the window sill, her eyes grew wider.
"Oh my gosh, Ned!"
See you next Chapter! And reviews are most appreciated!!
See you next Chapter! And reviews are most appreciated!!