The Three Point-Strike-Flag System
A Lorax Fanfic Series by Digitaldreamer
I: Point to Column A
Oh look guys, I'm back. And with a new fandom, surprise.
So. The Lorax. I actually wasn't a huge fan of the movie. However, I do think there was potential in the character of the Once-ler and the expansion on him, as well as the vitrolic friendship between him and The Lorax. Thus, fanfiction was necessary, if only to make me feel a bit better about my inane love for the character designs.
Right, so this is gonna be a series pretty much starting from that point where-in the Once-ler is trying to sell his thneed, failing, and just kinda bro-ing it up with the Lorax and all the other animals. It'll then just go through little snapshots of time within the plot of the movie, hopefully culminating in this multi-part Once-ler and Lorax character study… thing. Yes. They're usually written in one shot, little to no editing, just type and go. Hopefully you guys enjoy~!
"…What in the name of the Whos is that?"
The Once-ler's smile didn't waver as he glanced from his latest invention to the foot-and-a-half high ball of fluff that called itself the Lorax. "D'ya like it?" He chirped as he propped his hammer against his shoulder, speaking over a shrill squeal of glee from a hummingfish. "It's my latest invention!"
He received a scowl for his trouble, the Lorax's blue eyes narrowing to irritated slits and nearing vanishing in a veritable forest of orange. "I can see that, Einstein," the creature drawled as he stomped his way across the griffle grass, gaze flicking from the crowd of animals swarming the area to the culprit. "That don't mean I can tell what it is."
The Once-ler gave a breathless laugh at this, tugging absently at his shirt collar in an attempt to get some sort of breeze through. The heat here was usually comfortable, but it wasn't really made for actually doing anything in. "Why, it's a waterslide of course!" Here he gestured up at the contraption in question, green gloves flopping a bit around his hands as he illustrated all twelve feet of it- loop-de-loop bit and all. "You know, everyone goes up the slide, slips back down into the water? It's fast, it's fun, and for the moment it's completely free if you're really that worried about it." The last bit came out in the sort of speedy rush normally accompanied by a sales pitch, and the young man flashed that winning grin at the end that would have made just about anyone putty in his hands.
The Lorax glared. The Once-ler beamed back. The tension went completely ignored by the other animals, who were all lining up for the waterslide with the sort of excitement that generally went with mealtimes and sing-a-longs instead. Finally, the Lorax gave a huff and stomped closer to the slide, one eye becoming impossibly wide as he leaned in to inspect it. "You're kiddin' me, right? This thing can't possibly be safe."
"Well, that would leave the egg on your face, you furry sack of righteous environmentalist anger, because I'll have you know that the animals and I tested this personally~!" The Once-ler declared. "Why, Pipsqueak's been on it loads of times and nothing's happened to him! So don't get your mustache in a knot, this slide is one hundred percent safe-a-roonie~!" The last bit was punctuated by the young man tapping a gloved hand against one of the supports. The slide gave a horrid sort of creak, which combined with a yelp of terror from a barb-ba-loot at the top did quite a bit to destroy any confidence that smile may have instilled.
"Uh… huh," The Lorax said slowly, stretching out the word as he stepped back from the contraption and scratched his head. Finally, something clicked and he scowled, spinning to glare at the young man again. "'Ey, ain't this Truffula wood? You promised-"
"Hey, hey, relax!" The inventor cut him off, flinging up his gloved hands in what he hoped was a peaceful gesture. "Those trees were down when I got there, I just used the wood that was already there. No axe involved, I promise. Come on, you can't possibly be mad at me for that!"
The forest guardian glared at him for another moment, the silence punctuated by another squeal of glee as a Swomme-Swan sped down the slide. The Once-ler bit the inside of his lip and held his breath- he wanted to believe something had gone right here, but well, the Lorax had made it explicitly clear he was not a fan of most things the young man did. In fact, as far as the Once-ler knew, the Lorax just happened to quite enjoy not taking well to everything he did. Not that the Once-ler particularly cared, mind you, but lectures were annoying and he had better things to do.
Fortunately, it seemed fate had spared him this time. The Lorax gave a huff and crossed his arms before him. "Whatever. That's a point on the record, Beanpole," the creature muttered.
"See?" The Once-ler chirped. "That wasn't so hard, actually agreeing with me for once, you- wait, what! I have a record! Since when do you keep records!"
He received a shrug in response, the motion punctuated by another shrill squeal of glee from the waterslide. "Cosmic requirement, and it's a pain in my furry behind too, lemme tell ya. What, did ya really think the powers that be wouldn't have some sort of bureaucracy? Use your head, kid."
Again came the awkward silence in which the Once-ler just gave the Lorax an incredulous stare. Finally he scowled, reaching up knock his fedora askew and scratch his own head. "I think that phrase lost all meaning the day the cosmic guardian of the forest appeared to be a full-time pain in my… look, whatever, what does a point even mean!"
"Dunno," The Lorax shrugged again, arching his back in an attempt to stretch that made him look more like a furry jelly bean than ever. "I haven't actually decided that yet. Or maybe I have, I ain't tellin' you, that's for sure."
"What!" The Once-ler sputtered. "But that's not- that doesn't even- it's not like you can kick me out!" His furry nemesis simply arched an over-fluffed brow at him, causing the young man to give a growl of frustration. "Look, the slide's not even hurting anything! It's fun, it's safe and everyone loves it! So why don't you just-"
He was cut off by a low, rumbling sort of call and a worrying creak. The arguing pair glanced up to see the largest Barb-ba-loot perched triumphantly at the top of the slide. The Once-ler instantly paled. "N-no… W-wait, buddy, I don't think you should-"
Too late. The Barb-ba-loot let out another warbling squeal and leaped onto the slide, bulky fur spilling over the sides as he launched down it. He sped downward, water splattering everywhere, the slide giving an unfortunate creak and lurching to one side as the animal hit the loop-de-loop. There was a splintering crack from one of the supports and a cascade of water over one edge, but fortunately the contraption stayed whole as the animal finally went flying into the river with a great, impossible splash!
The Once-ler stood there for a moment, eyes wide with shock. Then he gave a small giggle, then a chuckle, followed by a booming laugh that shook his entire frame like a tree in a hurricane. "It works! Oh man I thought for sure that was gonna be a disaster but it works! I mean sure the supports need work but yes!" He exclaimed, punching a fist in the air before spinning to face the Lorax. "Oh man, hey Meatloaf, did you-"
His elated cries came to a stop as he met the Lorax's narrowed eyes- or at least what he could see of them. The liquid soaked into those eyebrows was making vision a bit hard- though the rest had left the Lorax looking more like a drowned pillow than anything else.
There was another beat of silence as the Once-ler and all the gathered animals stared. The Hummingfish started first with their giggles, followed by a snort from the Barb-ba-loots, then a cackling laugh from the Swomme-Swans. The Once-ler felt a smile fighting for dominance on his face and he bit his lip to keep it down, though it did little to stop the snicker.
The Lorax scowled. "Oh, fine! You can all fall t' your deaths, see if I care!" He snapped, waving a tiny claw in the air. The movement sent water splattering onto the Once-ler's vest, which only seemed to make the Hummingfish laugh harder. With that the guardian of the forest spun on his heels and stomped off, each footstep giving an awkward squelch. "You're still gettin' a point for the deathtrap, beanpole!"
His threat very nearly went unheard as the Once-ler collapsed into laughter himself, thin arms squeezed around his middle as he fell back next to a sopping wet Swomme-Swan. He had no idea what a point was and really, it was true, the slide was kind of dangerous- probably unsellable as much as beyond the attraction it made up now.
But oh, that had been worth it.