JustCookie/BTG2-The first chapter is always the hardest! This is my second Lorax fic, but my first multichapter Lorax fic. So the timeline will be kind of screwy, but hey, it's fanficiton. I am not entirely sure how this story will turn out, I have nothing planned, yay for writing by ear! Eventually the Oncest will make an appearance. I hope you enjoy this story of mine.
Warnings: Angst, bad attempts at humor, confusion, sad and sappy times, moral corruption, physical and emotional abuse, and ONCESTONCESTONCEST!
It's Not About What It Is, It's About What It Can Become
The First Chapter
The split was painful.
A million needles pricked his skin; Digging into his pores, scraping the surface of his bones.
A pounding rumbled his skull, and his eyes itched and stung.
Pearly teeth chattered harshly, making the gums leak a coppery flavor.
His limbs buckled and stretched, joints disconnecting—reconnecting.
His belly flopped and condensed, intestines being pulled to their outmost lengths.
With quaking fingers, he unsuccessfully reached out to grasp his ghostly self that was quickly vacating through his chest.
Finally a voice that was his own, but not- left his throat in a ghastly white shriek to be heard by the darkness he had succumb to, only to enter into another.
The Once-ler had become two men.
"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees!"
" You leave me no choice…if you're not gone by the time the sun sets on this valley, all the forces of nature will be unleashed upon you….you have been warned…"
…But I didn't listen…
Regaining consciousness was mostly likely the very last thing that The Once-ler wanted to do at the moment. His body was worn and in pain. He was in his bed in his modest home surrounded by truffula trees and wildlife. The Once-ler's hand smoothed over his face, clearing his sinuses and rubbing his tired eyes with his thumbs. Streaks of moonlight made their presence through his window, the curtains pushed to the sides. On a shaky arm, The Once-ler was finally able to sit up on his bed. He noticed his hat was missing and he was in his bunny pajamas, even though he could not remember ever putting them on or falling asleep for the matter of fact.
But that dream. That pain.
So he must've gone to bed like normal to even dream, right? Rubbing his eyes again, his stomach growled, begging for food. Maybe pancakes, even if it was the middle of the night. Last he had pancakes, he and the Lorax were still on speaking terms. After selling his first thneed and calling upon his family to live in the valley with him—the Lorax would only leer at The Once-ler, raising his hand, eyes pleading—begging him to stop making thneeds. The Lorax could already tell that with the success of Once-ler selling his first thneed, was leading to a much darker future. Only one tree has been chopped down, but the tufts were slowly being plucked, and then knitted into the strange invention.
No longer a rinky-dink operation.
The Once-ler family had yet to arrive, considering how far the valley is to their home in the middle of nowhere. The clock hanging from the wall told him it was half past three.
His head still hurt.
"Aw man, what a dream…"
Then out of the darkness came, "Dream? Do tell, Once-ler."
The Once-ler stiffened, too afraid to move his body but his eyes scanned the darkness. Only strands of the moonlight giving him some sort of idea as to whom or what was in his home.
That voice. It was mine.
"Wh-what, who are you? Who's there? What's going on?!" Once-ler shot out of bed, his pathetically thin wrists up in defense in front of his face. In the corner, near the fridge, out from the darkness—came the figure which had spoken to him. The figure was tall and thin, with dark hair under a fedora—his fedora? The figure's clothing consisted of a gray vest, a white, long sleeved undershirt and a pair of striped gray and black pants—HIS clothes too?! The figure from the darkness was himself.
"Uh—uh—wha—umm—who—me? You are ME, but I'm me. I'm pretty sure I'm me, and I've always been me! So who are you, who are you?!"
"Jeeze, are we always this high strung? Or is tonight special?" The other Once-ler said in a very sarcastic manner.
"Tell me who you are or I'll, I'll—I'll do something!" The frightened Once-ler reached for his guitar that was propped up behind him against the wall and lifted it over his head in an 'intimidating' manner. The Other Once-ler only laughed into his hat.
"Hey, stop laughing at me, ME!" The Other Once-ler stifled his chortles and stood up straight. He took three long strides to his counterpart, grasping the neck of the guitar still above The Once-ler's head. He pulled it roughly from the other's hands.
"You want to know who I am right. I am The Once-ler, we are The Once-ler. I thought that this would be obvious. I mean, c'mon."
"But there can't be two me's. I've been me my whole life. Who are you to pop up out of nowhere and say you're me too?!"
"Because I am made from you, Once-ler…"
The original Once-ler was pushed onto his bed with an 'oof'. The Other Once-ler took a seat on the kitchen chair, dragging it closer, so he could sit directly in front of himself. He crossed his legs haughtily, his back straight.
"So I am assuming you do not remember that late afternoon. After Mustache said his little curse on you? Don't you remember the pain….the split? You must think it to be a dream."
The Once-ler— the Once-ler sitting on the bed that is, let his jaw hang open and his mind race.
"Too complicated for you?" The Other Once-ler snickered.
"NO! Just—give me a minute. You said something about a curse? Mustache can curse people?! How long have I been asleep? That dumb argument we had for at least a week ago!"
"Yes, but the effect of his little threat didn't take root until three nights ago. So that dumb argument as you call it actually happened almost a week and a half ago."
I sold my first thneed three days ago…
"… I was pulled out of you, like a spirit, and then I took this form. It's crazy, I remember everything. I've had three days to think about this as you slept. I awoke before you; well I was never really asleep. After I was extracted, or birthed if you want to call it that—I was on the floor and in a daze. I was naked and cold. Hence why I am wearing this drab outfit—"
"—which I took out of your drawers as you can tell. I did not feel like walking around naked. Seriously, don't you have anything green? I find myself liking that color, hm. Anyway, you, on the other hand was passed out on the floor; but you were also shaking a bit. You would've been kinda cute if you weren't crying as you slept."
"So it was you who put my pajamas on me?"
"Well, yeah. I couldn't leave you on the floor; it was rather annoying having some lump on the ground. So I picked you up, got you into your little kiddie pjs and tucked you in. I've just been hanging around your little bear friends and eating your food, waiting for you to wake up. I even knitted some thneeds. Mustache didn't like that you chopped down more of his precious trees to make them. He likes to glare, doesn't he?"
"Woah, I was asleep!"
"Well he kinda thinks YOU did it," The Other Once-ler picked at his nails.
"Thanks for elaborating things for him, you jerk…"
"Well he was the one who did this right? Shouldn't he already know who I am, who WE are? Doesn't the mystical Lorax have some sort of inkling as to what has happened?" The Other Once-ler pouted childishly, his bottom lip sticking out. The Once-ler rubbed his eyes.
"Ugh, but HOW did this happen? And why? I thought the peanut was going to keep pulling stupid tricks to scare me out of the valley, NOT THIS. What's the purpose? And don't you think it's strange that—at least from what you are telling me—we are the same person, same DNA—but we are functioning as if we were always separate people? Just, I don't know what to think anymore..."
The Other Once-ler shrugged.
Is THIS really not a dream?
"You asked if it's a dream. It's not…"
The Once-ler's eyes popped.
"You-you can hear me-?"
In my head?
"This is too heavy for me—ummmm-"
"Nononono, I'M The Once-ler. I've been The Once-ler the longest! Plus I'm the original."
The Other Once-ler smirked, tipping his hat, "well maybe it's time for an upgrade."
The Once-ler stood to his feet, hands on his hips as The Other Once-ler merely watched with a bored expression, "don't get your thneed in a knot, I'll just call you Oncie, it's cute."
"…Mom calls me that..."
"Then you know that it bothers me! She calls me that when she's disappointed in me, which is ALL THE TIME."
"Well we can't go around calling each other 'The Once-ler' people will think we are cracked."
"People will think THEY'RE cracked when they see both of us walking around together in town."
"Then we won't go to town, at least not together, Oncie."
"Stop that!" The Other Once-ler stood up from his seat and took off the fedora and put it on Oncie's head, "it's cuter on you..."
"Why do you keep calling me cute, a bit narcissistic, isn't?"
The Other Once-ler merely grinned, showing his teeth to Oncie, his eyes narrowing, "we may look alike, but the way you act—it's cute, Oncie. So fidgety."
The cute Once-ler ignored his nickname, "the way I act? How would you know?"
"I've been inside you the whole time, moron. The Lorax merely brought me out. Now I am a living breathing personification."
"Personification? Of what?"
"I don't know. Coolness?"
"Oh, oh you are just a piece of work, you know that? Yeah, we are different. I can already tell that you are narcissistic, sarcastic and a jerk." Oncie crossed his arms and sat down back onto the bed. His hunger long forgotten, now replaced with a heavy annoyance in the pit in his stomach.
But he's apart of ME.
"If you wanted to hurt my feelings—"
"Ugh, cut the dramatics."
"Hehe, you caught me."
"Alright, we can figure this out when the sun is up. I know I've been asleep for three days, but after all this, I am exhausted."
Both Once-ler's climbed into bed, after The Other Once-ler shed his pants and shirt, leaving him in heart boxers—scooted next to his twin. Oncie gritted his teeth uncomfortably. Having yourself sleeping beside you-it HAS to some kind of twisted dream induced by a rancid bar-ba-loot fruit. He will investigate in the morning.
Unconsciousness is most definitely the better option.
What a pickle the Once-ler(s) found himself (themselves) in.
So what do you guys think? Boring, I know. First chapters usually are, hopefully I can get some encouragement to keep writing. Here's to some angsty Oncest!