Title: Is It Scary, volume I
By: IDOL HANDS
Warnings: Implied dark themes and slash explored thoroughly in later volumes.
Disclaimer: The characters portrayed are not my property but that of the estate of R. Dahl, Tim Burton, Freddie Highmore and Johnny Depp.
Summary: Mr. Wonka decides to ask Charlie a question; one that has been nagging his conscience. His young heirs reply is not what he expected.
"The time has come my friends to talk of many things"
It was a typical day in Mr. Wonkas sprawling chocolate factory. The Oompa-loompas were busy at work. The Bucket's dilapidated, yet mysteriously sturdy, abode was bustling with new activity. And a short distance away relaxed the luckiest boy in the entire world; the winner of the 5th golden ticket and the heir to the entire eatible empire.
Mr. Wonka had instructed his tiny workers, no bigger than his knee, to busy themselves elsewhere for the day. So, the Chocolate Room had been unusually peaceful. Only the intermittent sound of the automatic suction devices could be heard over the dull roar of the immense chocolate waterfall. Not much time had passed since the large family had been moved in, just enough for Wonka to further ponder the implications these recent changes had created in his previously routine life.
Charlie! Chirped the enigmatic chocolate maker. He was often seen traipsing towards his heir with great enthusiasm. Today he was no less energetic, but he had something rather important on his mind. His pale face was plastered with a serious intent. The look only accented by the tall top hat that endowed him with undeniable authority.
The pale, slender English boy looked up from his book, his face delighted to see Mr. Wonka. Despite his mentor having offered him new clothes, he had clung to the old, patterned sweater and worn-out pants that his family had provided. After all, he was still the same Charlie Bucket: still modest, shy, and polite. Why should his clothes change? The child had been leaning against a tree whose bark smelled like spearmint, sugar, and vanilla. Its blooms were all marshmallows, dense puffs in tones of white and pink. The horticulture marvel served to support the child and impart him with a clean and sweet fragrance.
Oh, Im sorry, Ive disturbed you. The chocolatier stated. Charlie appeared to be reading one of the books from his library, Alice in Wonderland. It was one of Willy Wonkas personal favorites. He had that volume bound in burgundy leather with real gold type on the cover. The original illustrations were in tact along with many, many more. All printed on the finest paper and in richly colored inks. He was glad to see that the boy had started to use the small set of keys that he had given him: especially the one that accessed part of his personal quarters. He was afraid to ask the boy to get closer to him, the best he could do was encourage it.
No, its OK, Im having a hard time concentrating anyway. The boys blue-green eyes met Mr. Wonkas twinkling purple ones, which appeared a tad blue at the moment. How the mans eyes could seem dark and bright at the same time always perplexed the youth. There was something definitely special about those eyes alone, even without his other features to consider. He had heard people use the expression, Eyes are the windows to the soul. If that were true, than what did Willy Wonkas eyes say about him?
Yeah, that happens to me a lot too. Replied Wonka with a silly grin.
Mr. Wonkas smiles always had the most unusual effects on people, for he had the most unusual set of teeth. Each one was perfectly flat not round, not pointed, just flat, all the way into his mouth. They were also perfectly white. Not regular white, they were like Rudolf the Reindeers nose, one could even say they glowed white. Along with the unique results created by his fathers bizarre braces, was the distraction of his lips, which seemed forever stained a reddish hue. This made the gleam of his smile stand out even more and the shape of his perfectly shaped lips impossible to ignore. All of these elements combined made Mr. Wonkas smile capable of looking ethereally beautiful, or plastic, or even
He had been momentarily distracted from his original purpose by the boys charms. His small voice, his admiration, the swoop of his button nose, the way his ears stuck out without hair or a hat to cover them, even his crooked teeth. It was all so pure, so un-tainted. His mind wondered back to what had originally been concerning him, the contrast of the two of them. His concern that he could ruin this perfect child and that was the last thing that he wanted.
Willie Wonka really wanted to be a better person, especially for Charlie, but the truth was that he just wasnt. He never really was, even before his trust was completely broken in humanity. There was always a fear, a resentment, and a weight of isolation that other people caused him to feel. At Charlies age, Willy was already a rebel and a hedonist. He still was.
Wonka thought to himself, For Charlies sake I have to be a better person.
But he had no idea how to do that. The universe itself seemed to cater to Mr. Willy Wonka, physics took a break and obeyed whatever laws were necessary to help the chocolatier make better and more incredible candy. Mr. Wonka himself did not appreciate this fact, for he was entirely unaware that they didnt already exist solely to do that in the first place. No, Willy had never had to change anything about himself for anyone. He had only recently made an exception for this little boy. He almost forgave his cruel father, the infamous dentist, Dr. Wonka for him! Why was this little person so special? What was driving him to change for someone after all this time?
Charlie was used to Mr. Wonka taking long pauses before speaking. His eyes and face would shift seamlessly through a myriad of expressions, all too brief to interpret accurately. The boy was desperate to understand how his new friends mind worked, how he was able to create so many impossible things, what all those thoughts were. Sometimes he could grab them, reach into his psyche and pull them out, but this was not one of those times.
Mr. Wonka got a look on his face as if he had finally made up his mind as to what it was he wanted to say and leaned down into a squat position to talk to the boy. He used his cane like a pole for balance. The sprouting growth of the candy lawn (or swudge", as the candyman had named it) interrupted his dark silhouette and tickled his fine velvet coat.
Are you scared of me, Charlie? Asked the man, a deathly serious tone to his voice.
Charlie was surprised by the question and his tone. He looked right into his iridescent lavender eyes.
No. he answered reflexively. Then quickly looked away and swallowed.
Wonka sensed the pause and said nothing. Giving Charlie the same opportunity for deep thought that the boy had given him a moment ago. Fair was fair.
Charlie had been taught not to lie. And what he just said wasnt quite the truth, but he wanted to be polite. Plus, that was a very difficult question to answer at his tender age.
He started again. Wonka stared intently, holding his breath for the rest. Maybe a little.
Yes, that was closer to the truth, the child thought. There was always something about Mr. Wonka that captivated him; it was a confusing sensation, but a pleasant one. He still wasnt happy with his statement and turned to meet his benefactors jewel-like eyes again. The mans face and posture was completely frozen. He could have been a grand statue placed to stand forever in guardianship of the sprawling artificial park.
But I like it. The boy added after a few seconds. His voice was quiet, his eyes like that of a gentle woodland creature that has been drawn to an immense mythical dragon.
It was what the chocolatier had said about his grandparents smelling like old people and soap. He had exclaimed, I like it! That was what made Charlie realize that those were the right words to use, strange as they were. Clearly no one would like someone to smell like old people and soap, but if that smell reminded you of love and a sense of feeling welcome, then that fragrance, no matter how humble, became a pleasant one to you. It was how Charlie felt about the way Willy Wonka made him feel. He was a little frightened, but he liked it. Yes, that was it.
Wonkas large eyes had flicked open slightly wider at this comment. No other part of his serious face had changed.
Charlie worried that he had said something wrong, but he had to be truthful. His honesty was one of the reasons the great man had chosen him to inherit the enormous factory and all that it contained.
Something tingled deep inside Mr. Wonka. His heart had skipped a beat at that last statement. No one had ever said that to him. He replayed the image in his mind: the appearance of those innocent features saying that, the way his eyelashes pressed upward, the gentle roundness of his cheeks, the appeal of his accent. It was startling and wonderful. He liked it.
Thank you, Charlie. The elegantly dressed man finally managed to say. He stood up; something seemed to be wrong with his eyes. They were getting watery. He looked down at Charlie who gave him a sweet smile in return, revealing his dimples. The boy felt reassured that he hadnt said anything wrong. Wonka repeated it once more, Thank you. The child-like quality of his voice had momentarily left him and it was a true mans voice that Charlie heard just then. He liked that voice. He was the only one who ever heard it. Mr. Wonka wasnt hiding who he was. He just was many things all at once: a child and a man, a genius and a fool, an artist and a lunatic.
O.K. then, Ill just let ya get back to what yer reading. He said shakily, ending with a quirky smile. Wonka started to walk slowly from his young heir, allowing him to return to the tale of Alice lost in the madness of Wonderland.
His hand shook a little as he limped his way through the winding and permeable surface of the Chocolate Room. The cane wasnt of much help to him with such a poor grip. Willy was going to need to sit and think about this incident some more. Alone.
He likes it. He muttered to himself in awe.
Yes indeed, this changed things quite a bit.