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He shouldn’t have even bothered getting out of bed.

At the moment, the thought of being home, the safest place he knew, with his family and finding a new way to get Audrey to let him into her house, seemed so far away and hopeless. Like he was not going to walk away from this.

His eyes had been trying hard to look away from the face so close to his, but they snapped back when the Once-ler suddenly spoke, “Something in particular you came here looking for?” At Ted’s questioning look, he hissed, “Surely you didn’t get yourself into this mess just because you wanted to say ‘hi’!”

He gulped, “Uh, yes.”  His heart skipped a beat when he saw the man’s eyes narrow, but he continued, “I th-thought that, you know, m-maybe someone like you . . . The person who got rid of the trees wou-.”

“Would find it in their hearts to actually give a young intruder information, or heaven forbid, a seed?” He shook his head, and laughed, “Oh, you are not the first!” He released his grip on Ted’s hair and took a step back from the window, as if to observe him, “No, you’re not getting anything out of me. But I’m sure that you’re going to give me what I want . . .”

Ted felt a lump growing in his chest. It was both fear for his life, and the anger in the thought of never seeing anyone again. “L-let me GO!” He shouted, making the Once-ler jump in surprise of the sudden change of behavior, “I want to go back home! Back to my family! Let me go, you freak!”

The bitter smile that had seemed stuck on the Once-ler’s face slowly melted into a frown. “We’ll see if you still have such pleasant things to say to me when you’re in here, with me.”

“Wait, wha-?!” Ted felt himself drop abruptly and then, seconds later, touchdown harshly onto the ground, but he was still being held by that claw thing and escaping was pointless. It was stronger than he was.

He was then hauled over to the door that had sent him flying earlier, only it seemed to have changed a bit. Most obvious reason how, it was wide open, letting him see right into the Lerkim.

That was, until a tall figure suddenly blocked his sight, jolting him back into realizing the danger he was in. He slowly looked up.

For certain, the rest of the Once-ler sure was not what he had expected.

He would have at least thought that his suit would have maybe one rip, or be a little dusty or something immaculate after all the time this guy had spent doing who-knows-what.

But no. The Once-ler looked as though he had been preparing himself to go to an important date. His garments without a wrinkle and his hair perfectly trimmed. Even his teeth, which were poking out slightly due to his sneer, were as white as snow.

Ted felt as though he was being exchanged as the claw let go of his collar just as the Once-ler grasped his wrist and yanked him inside.

“What do you want from me?!” He yelled, trying to resist the firm grip, but failing.

The Once-ler, who seemed to be stronger than he looked, only turned his head slightly as he began up a flight of stairs, “It’s not as much what I want from you as what I need from you.”

A blinding light suddenly hit Ted’s eyes. He blinked rapidly, shielding them with his free hand and trying to get used to it. The Once-ler, however, seemed to be fine with it and continued forward.

It was discovered, only moments later, that it was only the man’s office and the fact that Ted had been accustom to the dark that had made the few lamps in the circular room appear to be so intense.

“Now, I want you to listen up.” Ted was abruptly thrown into what seemed to be a large, plush chair which he quickly gripped onto as he stared up at the Once-ler, who continued in a low tone, “As long as I will need you, you will cooperate until I am finished. Follow my every word without error, and I might let you go. There is no room for error in what’s about to happen in your life. Got that?”

Ted blinked in surprise. Might let me go? Hope began to churn madly inside of him as he nodded swiftly.

“Good.” The Once-ler reached into an open drawer that came out of the large desk that sat directly in the center of the room and acquired from it what looked like a pad of black foam with a dark red lining that was solid.

It was then slammed down on to Ted’s lap who stared at it oddly.

“Press your hand into it.”

“Oh . . . ” He squashed his hand into the foam only to retract it, “Gah! It’s wet!”

The Once-ler chuckled and then picked it up and placed it back onto the desk. Ted noticed that a perfect replica of his hand was now molded into it. The Once-ler then proceeded to pull a piece of paper out of his coat pocket along with a pen. “What was your name again? And give me your full, I need the details and nothing but!”

“Uh, Ted…” He shook his head, clearing his distracted mind, “Ted Joseph Wiggins.”

The Once-ler, who had begun to write, stopped as he mentioned his last name and looked up; A queer, thoughtful  molded his face that slowly began to stare the boy down as it persisted, as if he had zoned off.

“Mister? Helloo?” His voice did the trick. The Once-ler shifted his eyes back down and he jotted the rest.

He then folded it up and shoved it back to where it had come from and cleared his throat, “’Wiggins’ wasn’t it?”

Ted nodded.

“Hmp . . .that’s a very rare name, you know . . . I’ve only heard it once before . . .” He proceeded to put everything else that remained on the desk away, his eyes still distant. After a minuet of that, he turned to face him. “Hey, kid, you see that extra room over there?” He gestured towards the open door.

“. . . that’s a closet.”

“It’s your sleeping quarters, goodnight.”

I know that this one was shorter then the last, but this was the best place that I could stop.

New mystery! What in the world does the Once-ler have to do with Ted's last name?
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numbuh35 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012
That part where ted puts his hand on the black pad. It made me feel like he was making a pact with the devil or something! I feel bad for Ted. Not to mention I thought the Once-Ler might indulged in some tickle torture or something silly like that. Thank God he didn't, but a closet? I doubt Ted will be sleeping anytime soon. :(
KomoDo-Dags Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, that's part of my book! Getting people to pity Ted!
Nah, I wouldn't do something illy like that. lol it would be humorous but not at all practical!
And no, probably not. He's probably going to think of a plan!
SilverRaven14 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Student Artist
Omg!!! Love it!! :love:
KomoDo-Dags Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! That means the world!
SilverRaven14 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012  Student Artist
your welcome!
lexyoh Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012
well the only thing i have to say is i love it that you made him still young, but i think you made it a little too rushed sorry that is just my opinion. i also would think that the once-ler would not keep a poor defenceless boy captive. but it is your story so please continue on. also just to tell you i am writing a once-ler story too i got 3 chapters so far and i would love it if you could read it and give me feed back on what you think.
KomoDo-Dags Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No, its ok! I really want feedback on this! So thank you! Man, I have always had a problem with rushing the story, its one of the things i'm tying to work on!
To say, the Once-ler needs Ted for something, that's why he's captive. :D
And I will read your story in one minuet! Just let me clear a few things on my page up!
lexyoh Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012
ok thats good sometimes i axadently something mean and dont know it. i was ust worried i did.
KomoDo-Dags Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
nope, your good!
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Submitted on
July 15, 2012
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