Disclaimer: I do not own any of the versions of Charlie/Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. If I did, I woud never give a character a name as horrible as Mike Teavee.
Author's Note(s): I, myself, much prefer the 1971 version of Roald Dahl's book. I still enjoyed the 2005 movie, but being a fan of classics, in my mind it could not compare to the original. However, there was something about the new(er) movie that caught my eye, I found all of the "bad" children, especially Mike Teavee's characters intriguing (I know, not weird at all!)
Being the devil's advocate that I am, I always had issues with the morals of CATCF. I found Wonka's character more twisted and disturbing than Norman Bates or Hannibal Lector (okay, maybe the latter is a bit of an exaggeration. I'll know when my dad finally lets me watch Silence of the Lambs.) Then, I began thinking: what if the children got revenge? It began as simple idea that I began writing in a school notebook one day when I was bored. I now have over fifty typed pages of this story on my computer and it's not even done yet!
Anyway, enough of my pointless tangents. Enjoy!
Oh, and before I forget, this chapter contains a word that I would never use in real life. I only put it in because Mike himself uses the word in the movie. I do not agree with his use of it, and find it very offensive. It is not a swear word, per say, (although several minor ones do show up in the story,) but I know that it may cause controversy.
Fourteen-year-old Mike Teavee grumbled and swore to himself as he struggled to get a hold of his pencil. Nearly two years of physical therapy and nothing to show for it! At this rate, he'd never finish next week's math homework in time to watch The Simpsons! Why was the world so cruel? He chuckled ironically to himself, rethinking the context of that last sentence.
Mike checked his watch. It was exactly 6:23 PM. Perfect. He still had thirty-seven minutes left. That should be plenty of time to finish up. His homework was on radical equations. Pfft, easy. Mike had actually mastered radicals all the way back in sixth grade, while his fellow eighth graders were just grasping the concept. Retards, thought Mike in disgust. If there was one thing he hated it was an idiot.
"Alright," he mumbled to himself, "four, square root five over six . . ." If he could just get a grip on his damn pencil . . .
His thought process was interrupted by his father, who shouted from downstairs, "MIKE, SOMEBODY'S CALLING YOU ON LINE 2!"
Mike groaned. The house phone was all the way across the room. Too bad I can't use The Force to lift it, he thought wistfully. Mike had learned about that the hard way when he was five and had attempted to levitate a steak knife . . . the results had not been pretty.
Wearily, while clutching his desk for support, Mike forced himself up. Immediately, he felt a rush of sharp pain go down his left leg, causing him to fall back into his chair. Mike groaned, finding the agony unbearable. He should have been used to it by now, but he wasn't. Now he wished that he had done his stretches that morning like Dr. Watson had said.
Okay, so standing was out of the question. He would just have to be creative.
Mike gathered all of his strength and pushed off his desk with his feet. Since the chair had wheels, he slid more than halfway across the room. Mike was able to use his feet to shuffle himself the rest of the way.
Upon reaching the phone, Mike glanced at the caller ID. Being the child prodigy that he was, Mike had memorized the phone numbers of all his friends (granted, he didn't have many), enemies, family members, and therapists. So he was surprised when he did not recognize the number, and even more surprised when he saw where the call was from: Buckinghamshire, England. Did he know anybody in England?
The young teen glanced at the phone suspiciously. If there was one thing he learned from his trip to the chocolate factory, it was to never trust anyone: always be paranoid.
Hesitantly, Mike picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"What took you so long?" a voice demanded on the other end. It was a girl, she sounded around his age. This befuddled him even more; girls never called him. She spoke with a posh, upper class, snobby British accent.
"Who is this?" he demanded.
Even though he couldn't see her on the other end, Mike had no doubt that she was probably rolling her eyes at him. He stiffened with indignity. "Don't you remember, TV boy? I'm Veruca Salt; we met on the tour."
Oh. Now he remembered. How could he possibly forget? Mike still had nightmares about that place three times a week!
Yes, he knew of Veruca. The little demonic girl who had nearly been murdered by a dray of squirrels. He hadn't heard from her (or any of the other children for that matter) in nearly two years. Why was she calling him all of a sudden?
"What do you want?" he asked suspiciously. There was no way that this was just a casual hello. There had to be an ulterior motive. There was always one (especially when the said person had not contacted you for over a year).
There was a pause as if she was trying to find the right words. Veruca spoke in a sly whisper. "How would you like to get revenge?"
"Revenge?" Mike repeated, as if testing out the word on his tongue. "Revenge on whom exactly?" Although he had a feeling that he already knew the answer.
Veruca snorted obnoxiously. "Revenge on Willy Wonka, of course! Lord, you're thick. And they say you're supposed to be the smart one!"
"I am smart!" Certainly smarter than you, anyway. "I bet you have no idea what a parabola is! I bet you don't know the first ten digits of pi! I bet- -"
"Enough," the British girl growled. She managed to keep her voice surprisingly calm, although there was quite an edge to it, as it shook slightly with rage. She's probably not used to being insulted, he reasoned. Oh, well. Too bad for her. If she was talking to him, she was going to have to get used to it.
"Whatever," he said, shrugging it off. "You said something about revenge. What did you mean?"
"Exactly what it sounds like- -" Veruca was cut off by the sound of a woman shouting. "I'LL BE DOWN FOR DINNER IN A MINUTE, MUM!" There was a pause, and Mike was pretty sure he heard the woman ask whom she was talking to. "NOBODY!" Veruca said quickly. "UM . . . A FRIEND . . . NO, I AM NOT TALKING TO ARTHUR! I DON'T EVEN LIKE HIM ANYMORE . . . WELL, THAT WAS LAST YEAR!"
Mike listened to the one-sided conversation in interest and amusement. He was so engaged in the quarrel, that he was almost disappointed when Veruca returned to the phone.
"That was my mum," I figured. "She's been giving me a really hard time . . . um, hello? Are you still there, Mike?"
"Who is this Mike you speak of? My name is Arthur!" he said, doing his best imitation of a British accent. Oh, if only he could see her face right now. He imagined it entirely red with embarrassment.
"Oh, real mature, Mr. Tea-"
"Tea? Oh, what a lovely idea! Would you like to come over for a spot of tea and crumpets?"
"Shut up!" she screamed angrily. At this point, Mike was having a hysterical laughing fit. "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! I . . . I don't even LIKE crumpets!"
"Then would you prefer a biscuit, dear?"
Veruca growled like a rabid dog. She had to use every last shred of willpower she had not to lash out at him with death threats. "Do you want to get revenge or not?" she demanded.
Mike stopped his stereotypical impression at once. Revenge, right. THAT'S why he was talking to her! Still, he couldn't help but wonder, "What's the catch?" he asked, instantly serious once again.
"Catch? Paranoid, often?" she asked.
"Please, after what I've been through, I think I'm entitled to be a little bit paranoid. Nearly being torn in half by a taffy stretcher does that to you." Mike involuntarily shuddered. He really hated candy. "Now, can you tell me why you actually called?"
"Okay, okay. Fine. So I figured out a way to get even with Wonka, but then I realized that . . . that . . ." her voice trailed off, and then she muttered something unintelligible.
"What was that?"
"I said I wouldn't be able to do it alone," she grumbled, annoyed, "I realized that I needed a . . . a . . ." once again she couldn't seem to bring herself to say the words.
"A computer genius?" Mike suggested, ever so modestly. "Child prodigy? Brilliant strategist? Astounding mathematician?"
"Well, that . . . but what I really needed was someone who hated Wonka as much as I did. Somebody who would do anything to get back . . ."
That made sense. She needed someone with a similar motive. But he still didn't quite understand . . . "But why me? Why not one of the others?"
"It's kind of like you said, I need somebody who's good with computers. You know, to break through security and the like . . . "
"Go on . . . "
"I still have some things to work out," she admitted, "it should be complete in a week or two."
"School's out in nine days," Mike offered, "how about we talk then?"
"Yeah, I'll send for you. Really, nine days? We've been on holiday since Tuesday."
"It could have to do with the fact that we had five snow days, and our school heater was out for nearly a week." He didn't bother mentioning that he had been the one who had broken the heater.
"Okay, bye – YES, I'M COMING, MUM!"
Mike Teavee was in love. He stared at the computer screen in wonder, or rather, the beauty that was portrayed upon it; a beauty by the name of the Galileo Wheelchair. A high tech device that could change positions, climb stairs, and even elevate him to reach high things. And to think, all this time he had been using his legs like a sucker!
After the taffy stretcher, Mike had measured an astounding seven feet, four inches. That made him more than a foot taller than the second tallest kid in his grade. He had been forced to endure months of physical therapy just to learn how to walk properly, which he was still attending weekly (in addition to the other three he was seeing for his "anger management" issues). Sure, he could walk, but the process was always slow and painful, and sometimes he needed to use a leg brace. At least it was an excuse to stay indoors playing video games on a nice day, rather than run around outside.
Still, there was some good that came out of it: his parents had felt so guilty about what had happened that they didn't seem to scold him for anything anymore (although, lately, they had become a more nagging). He was sure that if he approached the matter carefully, he could convince them to get him the Galileo, even if it was several thousand dollars and would have to be shipped from Israel.
Unfortunately, Mom and Dad seemed more interested in as to why a mysterious girl had called him earlier that day. Thank goodness his parents didn't know how caller ID worked, or else he'd be doomed.
"Oh, that. That was just a girl. A friend from school," the lie sounded pathetic, even to him.
Mr. Teavee's fork clattered onto his plate. "You have friends?" he asked.
Mike gave a snort that (he hoped) sounded indignant. Way to be supportive, Dad! "I have friends!" he insisted.
"Mike, that Japanese boy you play chess with online doesn't count."
He shook his head. "That's not who I was referring to."
"Mike," Mr. Teavee said, "name three friends that you have other than that girl."
Mike thought hard. "Well, there's Paris Themmen, Jordan Fry, and . . . um . . ." he struggled to come up with a third name. "Roald Dahl?" he offered lamely.
His parents exchanged skeptical looks and Mike, now satisfied, returned to his own business: creating a fortress out of his mashed potatoes, mimicking his own virtual one in Minecraft.
Mike's mother cleared her throat. "We, your father and I, though that maybe you would want to actually do something with your summer . . ."
Mike paused his construction of a moat. He raised a suspicious eyebrow at his parents. He did not like where this conversation was going. "What did you do?" he joked nervously, "Sign me up for summer camp?"
Once again, his parents exchanged knowing looks and Mike's eyes widened in horror. "You didn't . . ." he buried his face in his hands. "Oh, god. You wouldn'tdare . . ."
"We thought you might want to actually do something productive this summer."
"I was going to!" he shouted, now unable to contain his rage. This was so unlike them. Sure, he had noticed that his parents had been a little less laid back about his activities the past few months, but this, this was something altogether different. Angrily, Mike slammed his fist into his potatoes, demolishing his fortress. "I had my whole summer planned out!"
"Mike," his father said gently, "you can't just spend your whole summer watching TV . . ."
"That's not all I do!" he protested, now shaking from head to toe in utter fury. "I play video games, I design websites, I . . . I . . ."
"Need to socialize. We understand how hard it's been to adjust to life since the factory, but you can't just be a recluse your whole life- -that means a shut in."
"I KNOW what it means!" he roared. "What do you think I am, a retard?" (A/N: As I stated in the author's note above, I would never use this word myself. I find it extremely offensive and politically incorrect. But if you remember, Mike Teavee's character is not always very likable. In fact, he uses this word several times throughout the film.)
"Michael Thaddeus," his mother warned. She must have been furious, for she never used his full name. "Didn't we agree that you should never say that word again?"
"Then don't talk me like I'm an idiot!"
"Young man," his father said sternly, "you are going to camp on the twenty-first, and that is final."
"The twenty-first?" he repeated, incredulous. "But that's the day after school ends! Then I don't get to enjoy any of my summer!"
"The school wouldn't have needed those extra days if you hadn't smashed their heater with your text book."
"Seriously? You're still going on about that? That piece of crap was, like, fifty years old and didn't work half the time. It was going to give out at any given moment. How was I supposed to know that was the central heater system in the school?" he argued. "Besides," Mike added, "Mr. Jenkins had it coming to him."
"Nobody had it 'coming to them'. It's your responsibility."
"That's it!" thundered Mike, slamming his silverware onto the table. "I'm not hungry anymore." He left the table and headed for his room.
"At least take the dog out!" his father called after him.
Mike groaned, but whistled anyway. "Mario!" he called, clapping rapidly. The giant Rottweiler bounded over towards the young teen. "Come on, let's go out, you stupid dog."
Mario was the only thing other than school that could get Mike to leave the house. The dog had been a we're-sorry-that-we-forced-you-to-go-to-a-chocolate-factory-even-though-you-hate-chocolate-and-wanted-to-sell-the-golden-ticket-and-ended-up-growing-over-two-feet-in-a-taffy-stretcher-that-almost-tore-you-in-half-causing-you-to-become-the-laughing-stock-of-all-your-peers-here's-a-puppy gift. Mike had originally gone along with the plan, in order to make his parents feel guiltier about the situation. He had wanted a pit bull in order to make him look tough, but apparently the state of Colorado had other ideas, seeing as the ownership of pit bulls was illegal in Denver. So Mike had chosen the next best thing: a Rottweiler.
Unfortunately for Mike, Mario turned out to be the complete opposite of what he had expected. The dog was happy, fun loving, clumsy, and sociable. It disgusted him.
"A quick walk around the block, that's it, no detours," he told him, even though he knew the dog could not possibly understand what he was saying.
Mario cocked his head, confused. "Aroof?" he could've sworn the dog said with a question mark.
"Never mind. Let's go."
It was late out and Mike wanted to get it over with quickly. Not that the dark scared him- -no, he would never be such a pussy. What worried Mike was the thought of someone seeing him. Recently, the local bullies whom Mike had once been acquainted with had turned on him. Mike knew that he would never be able to outrun them in his current state. He tapped his foot impatiently as Mario sniffed a bush.
"Hurry up!" he ordered, tugging on the leash. But Mario was in no rush; the dog took his sweet time, sniffing every available millimeter of the bush. At times, Mike was sure that the animal purposefully annoyed him. "Come on, let's go before someone—"
"—Sees us." Mike looked behind him to see who had been calling. He groaned. It was Jonathan, the captain of the high school basketball team. He was seventeen years old, having just completed his junior year, and roughly six feet tall. Still, he looked like a midget in comparison to Mike. The older boy had been trying to recruit him ever since he returned from the factory. That boy was causing him to seriously reconsider his high school options.
"Go away," he grumbled.
Jonathan ignored him. "So . . .have you thought about my offer?"
"Yes, and my answer has not changed: no. I am not interested."
"Aw, come on. Don't be like that, Teavee. The team needs you. You would be the star!"
"Listen, Jonathon," Mike said with exaggerated patience, "I can hardly walk, let alone run. I would be horrible."
"You don't have to!" he insisted. "We'd take care of everything. The entire game, you could just be standing near the other teams hoop, and whenever we would pass you the ball, you'd just drop it in. It's an infallible plan, and everybody comes out a winner- -well, I mean, other than the team we would be playing against, but you know what I mean . . ."
Had it be anyone else but Jonathan, Mike would have probably beaten them up, or at least use some pretty creative death threats. But Mike was smarter than that. Jonathon was not a person to make enemies with. In addition to being a star athlete, Jonathan was also on student council and a model student. All of the younger kids looked up to him. Mike would be a freshman the following year, and it was always good to have powerful allies, Jonathon being one of the top choices available. So for the time being, he would have to endure the boy's annoying attempts to get him to join the team.
"Jonathan, listen to me: I. Hate. Sports." He was careful to emphasize each word, to make sure that the message stuck. "I have no intention of ever joining the basketball team. End of story."
"I said end of story. We're done."
This was how most of there conversations went. Jonathan gave Mike a sad smile, patted Mario on the head, and told him to just "think about it", before walking away. Mike knew that he would bring up the subject the next time they met. And the next time. And the next . . ..
Looking down at Mario, Mike could swear that the dog was smirking at him. How a Rottweiler could smirk? He had no idea, but Mario managed to pull it off.
"Alright, you had your fun. Let's go inside."
The next day, much to Mike's relief, was Saturday. He slept in until twelve, and after his morning stretches (he might as well have been limp without them,) took his sweet time taking a shower and getting dressed. Next, came the most important part of the morning: his hair. Mike must have spent ten to twenty minutes every day trying to get it to stick up just right in the front. It was his signature look.
Mike debated going downstairs for breakfast, but decided that he would rather spend the morning playing video games, then face his parents after the previous night's incident.
Mike had beaten most of his old games, and he was able to pass almost all of his new ones with ease. When people asked him how he did it, he would say it was just like a mathematical equation. Every level followed a specific pattern that had to be memorized, and then beaten. Mike refused to say anything more. Anyone who was too stupid to figure out the code by himself didn't deserve to pass anyway, he had reasoned. It was all patterns. If only real people were so easy to decode.
As he played, Mike felt his mind begin to wander. He thought of Veruca. What was that girl's plan? And more importantly, where did he come into it? Revenge on Wonka would be nice, but Mike knew that it wouldn't be easy. He had underestimated the candy maker once before, and would never make that mistake again.
Mike killed off a zombie in his game.
The young boy wrinkled his nose at the thought of the twisted chocolatier. There was no one in the world that he would rather destroy. He acted like a child, despite the fact that he was a full-grown adult. The man seemed to live in his own fantasy world, where he could make anything happen that he wanted.
"Die, already!" he shouted at the screen.
At times, Mike wondered how Willy Wonka managed to avoid arrest. Surely, a health inspector must have entered the factory at some point. Was he the only one who realized just how messed up that place was? Everything in that building defied all logic and possibility. And it was all for . . . candy! Why would anyone in the world devote his life to something so incredibly pointless?
"Candy doesn't have to have a point, that's why it's candy," he remembered the other boy, Charlie, telling him.
"To hell with candy!" shouted Mike, blasting his character's ray gun, disintegrating his opponent.
How could Wonka even get away with what he did? The man had labored slaves (and illegal immigrants), tortured children, created an unlicensed flying device that surpassed the city's limits, not to mention handing an entire factory over to an eleven-year-old. How could the courts possibly miss that?
Mike quickly dodged a spear that nearly hit his avatar.
Yes. Vengeance on the dreaded chocolate maker would be most satisfying, but it would be difficult. He would have to beat Wonka at his own game, always staying a step ahead. With his intelligence and Veruca's wealth, they could not be beaten.
Soon, a plan began to formulate in the young mastermind's head. It would be so perfect, so clever, and so ingenious that no one would ever see it coming.
Mike killed off the boss battle and proceeded to the next level.
Wow, over 4,000 words! I'm so proud of myself!
In the next chapter, Mike gets into a fight with his psychologist and Veruca finally shows up!
Please review and let me know what you think. Reviews will be replied to in the next chapter. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, just no flame please!