This is the last knowon Copy of the story i sent to be published by Lulu publications. I have the published copy but there is one minor edit i want to make before i resubmitt it. If i get it published again i’ll get several copies and make sure my family get those copies.
Sent: Thu, February 5, 2009 12:10:11 AM
Subject: The Everlasting Wonka 2/4/09 draft
This story or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise – without prior written permission of the publisher.
This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or businesses in practice, are purely coincidental. The views expressed here are my own, as are whatever factual errors exist in the text.
This is my attempt to take the writings of Roald Dahl and continue on with an idea of what might take place following his “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”and “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.”
The last words in the latter saga of Charlie’s adventure are, “It’s not over yet . . . it hasn’t even begun.”
With that in mind, and with all due respect to the author, Roald Dahl, I take great pleasure and ask for a little poetic license to go on with Charlie’s inheritance.
Please consider this as a type of fan fiction.
“THE EVERLASTING WONKA”
TOM E. BAILEY
(2ND Typed draft 1/26/09)
What happened to Charlie Bucket after his amazing trip to Wonka’s Chocolate factory and his stupendous ride on the glass elevator?
Do you recall he became heir to the Chocolate Factory and had a lot to learn before Mr. Wonka left it all behind?
Mr. Wonka loved Charlie and his entire family and moved them into the Chocolate Factory. Having Charlie’s mom and dad there, as well as his four grandparents available, offered a little structure, order and lots of love to the otherwise chaotic life as experienced in Wonka Land ! As Charlie and Mr. Wonka sat and brainstormed for hours at a time, they came up with some of the most unbelievable and innovative ideas: new concepts that required changes; updates that improved the factory and its distribution of the best chocolate in the world; incomparable types of sweets that could only be produced by them.
It wasn’t all fun and games, however. Oh, no! There were the normal difficulties with some merchants, some customers, and competing companies. And although Mr. Wonka thought he had taken care of all the challenges dealing with spies trying to steal his ingredients and ideas, something occurred that upset his whole system. Much to his dismay, one of his best Oompa-Loompas requested a vacation to return to his homeland. But instead the Oompa Loompa traveled to other candy factories and chocolate investors, sharing not only secrets, but other information about Mr. Wonka’s future plans.
When Mr. Wonka found out about this, his heart sunk, to think he would be betrayed by an Oompa-Loompa! When the police asked if he wanted to press charges for this invasion of copyrights and trademarks, Mr. Wonka just said, “No, no, of course not. I couldn’t possibly press charges and let my poor Oompa-Loompa family member and friend spend the rest of his life in prison.” Rather, Mr. Wonka allowed the Oompa-Loompa traitor to return to live in the factory! How grateful the Oompa-Loompa was! What would prison be like for such a small, different person? Still, Mr. Wonka felt so hurt because one of his workers couldn’t keep secrets. We’ll hear more about that lucky Oompa-Loompa later, but first, let’s catch up on how Charlie and his family settled in with Mr. Wonka.
Charlie’s grandpa Joe became a completely different person and as his other three grandparents finally got out of bed, they were like kids again. Unfortunately, their bodies had spent so much time running that it was impossible, even with Mr. Wonka’s vita-wonk, to make them physically younger. Mr. Wonka was heard to say, “To live forever seems such bliss, but true peace comes when death you kiss.” In response, Charlie started coming up with his own sayings, such as, “Live long and be blessed, but know someday you’ll finally rest.”
They had lived full lives and Charlie had grown so much as the years flew by. He kept getting older, but remained bright-eyed, and knew and appreciated what it meant to be alive and have every opportunity to do whatever he put his mind to.
Even though living in the factory was like living in a world where nothing was impossible, Charlie, like all of us, had to witness the death of his grandparents. He watched them fail, but it was not painful for them at all. Oh, heavens no, not with the inventions that Mr. Wonka was able to put to use! Mr. Wonka made sure that each of them received transfusions of the purest chocolate, made to stimulate the all-natural endorphins their bodies produced, giving them the feeling of falling in love. Charlie said his good-byes as they smiled and went, not just in peace, but in true bliss.
Charlie also watched his parents age. He watched Mr. Wonka age. He knew he would some day be alone and have complete control of his life and management of the factory. Life inside the Chocolate Factory kept him young at heart, but he found himself growing older. As children do when they become adults, he also became wiser and more clever. (Well, as some children do when they become adults!)
One day, alone, Charlie entered the Chocolate Room. Usually he and Mr. Wonka joined each other on this morning stroll, so what a shock to find Mr. Wonka lying on the bank of the Chocolate River . In dismay, Charlie yelled for help. The Oompa-Loompas were just waking up, but ran to Charlie’s aid. Mr. Wonka was fading fast. Charlie flipped him over and away from the edge of the river. Mr. Wonka just looked up at Charlie with his tired eyes and managed to get out the words, “This … is it … Ch … ar … lie …”
Charlie coughed and began to cry, “No, Mr. Wonka, no!”
“Oh yes, my dear boy.” and then, with a smile, he made his best attempt to signal the Oompa-Loompas. They all surrounded him as Charlie tried to stay close, touching Mr. Wonka.
In frustration, Charlie anxiously yelled, “What are you doing? Mr. Wonka, what are they doing!???”
Mr. Wonka just smiled again and whispered,“It’s O.K., Charlie. Things have to be this way. It’s really the ONLY way.”
Charlie stood by in dismay, watching the Oompa-Loompas move Mr. Wonka back to the edge of the bank of the Chocolate River .
“Charlie?” Mr. Wonka called in a raspy voice.
“Yes, yes, what is it, sir?
“Let them … “
And then Charlie realized what they were doing. They were going to throw Mr. Wonka into the river. He would surely drown. He was barely breathing by this time! When Charlie tried to stop them, several of the Oompa-Loompas surrounded him, making him fall to the ground as they tripped him. Charlie got up on his knees, reached out his hand to Mr. Wonka, but it was too late. The little Oompa-Loompas ran away, singing.
Charlie scolded them, “What have you done?! Why, why would you do that?! You’ve all gone completely mad!”
Mr. Wonka floated on his back, just as if he were lying down for a nap, with his arms up under his raised head. And as the current took him away, he was able to call to Charlie, “It’s O.K., it’s all yours.”
The Oompa-Loompas continued to sing as Charlie ran toward the hidden door that held the special monitoring room set up to see every part of the factory, inside and out.
Charlie heard the Oompa-Loompas singing the song they had been saving for just this moment:
“To live is bliss, what did you miss?
Or did you cry an alibi?
You know some day you’d have to pay
And this, … my friend, is … the … end.”
It was short and sweet, but that was what Mr. Wonka was all about.
Charlie made it to the control room door and struggled to find the right key. Talking to himself, he moaned and grunted, “COME ON!” Jostling the keys, the Oompa-Loompas knew he desperately wanted in, and so they finally opened it from the inside.
“Which screen?!” Charlie cried.
In a room filled with monitors that faced every area, in every angle possible, they pointed him in the right direction. Charlie watched the cameras following the Chocolate River . For a brief moment all the monitors went black, then just as quickly, one word appeared on 3 different screens, creating a message that Charlie read aloud, “Don’t be alarmed.” Again, the screens went blank, flashing back on with the message, “This is all part of my request, Charlie.”
Then the recorded voice of Mr. Wonka came over the speakers, as pictures of the river flashed here and there on the screens. “Charlie, and my dear family, all of you,” they heard Mr. Wonka begin,“consider this my Last Will and Testament of sorts. I’m not good at good-byes. I don’t like good things to come to an end. I especially hated closing down my factory years ago, but, lesson learned, just as I shut down the factory and was able to open a new one, so also my life here is closing. But a new one opens, and I am trusting Charlie and each of you to be that new life. Let me and my dreams live on in what you do.”
A strobe light then pulsed as the monitors went dark again. As the strobe light went faster and faster, the voice of Mr. Wonka began again, also increasing in speed. “Ah hah! Now I will take you on one last adventure. So watch, listen, feel, smell and …” A puff of sweet cotton candy aroma filled the room. He then ended with the last word and stimulated their last sense, “Taste.”
You could actually breathe in sweet, soft, cotton candy and, oh, who doesn’t like THAT! But wait, there was more. Mr. Wonka paused, the strobe light turned purple and hit a mirrored disco ball in the center of the room. Although Charlie was now in his twenties and knew Mr. Wonka did everything with such flair, he was as confused and sad as he was filled with anxiety, fearing for Mr. Wonka’s life. Willy Wonka was not just a mentor, nor was he even just a friend, he had become family. The light hitting the mirrored ball sent a message scrolled about the room and Mr. Wonka’s pre-recorded voice matched the written words and carried his typical flare, “In a moment you will all see my last few moments with you on this earth. I have programmed the monitors to show exactly what happens to me and how it happens, but I am sure you all are asking, ‘Why?’ Very well, enough dilly and enough dally, if I do say so myself,” he chuckled. “Soooo, here is what gets who. I mean, . . .” clearing his throat, “who gets what.”
Just then it was as if everything broke down. The Oompa-Loompas started shouting, “The Wonkerator!” This is the name they gave the generator. The room was too dark to find the main switch. Just then, Wonka’s voice came through the overhead speaker, very calm and comforting, “I have many things I could not reveal to anyone when I was alive, not even to Charlie, so I will now show and tell. But first, I want all of you to put your busy little worried wart heads to rest. I floated down the Chocolate River and, thanks to my Oompa-Loompa buddies, I was funneled to the end of the river where another water fall drops into the incinerator.”
There was not a dry eye in the room. Charlie’s parents and the workers outside the room heard the voice on hidden speakers throughout the factory.
“Now, dear friends, don’t fall apart, keep it together. Many people are cremated these days, and what better way than this? Know this as well that my premeditated plan was to drink large sips of chocolate from the river, so by the time I reached the end, I would be in a complete state of nirvana, completely high from the coco bean’s effect.
The lights began to come on in the room. But, very slowly, from floor to ceiling, it was orange, red, a little purple, and amber. It actually looked like a sunrise. They realized it was Mr. Wonka’s doing. Not one detail was left out. He whispered, “Now … hus.s.h.h … don’t say a word and don’t tell anyone else what I am about to show and tell you.”
The screen at the far edge of all the monitors came on very slowly, revealing a type of surveillance camera showing people going through their everyday lives. Charlie gasped, but the Oompa-Loompas were not shocked at all. Charlie crawled over to a chair, never taking his eyes off the screen. Revealed were the lives of all the children who found the golden tickets.
First, Augustus was shown, eating, eating, eating … and yes, some more eating, and putting away a lot of soda. He looked and acted so greedy, like everything belonged to him and was for him to eat.
Next, Charlie saw Violet at her house, the gym, and school. Charlie saw another girl next to her chewing gum. “That must be her competition,” he thought.
Then Veruca was heard yelling at the top right corner of all the monitors. There was footage documenting her mom and dad’s involvement: how Veruca, nor her parents found the ticket; how they made many women go through countless cases of candy, tearing the paper from each Wonka bar they touched.
Finally, Charlie noticed Mike Teavee. A camera peeking down under his desk, catching him playing with a hand-held video game while in the school classroom. Another hidden camera showed him watching a small DVD player while sitting in an assembly. The special guest spoke to them about the importance of reading.
“Wait,” said Charlie. “What … wha …” he hesitated. Then said one word, “Explain.”
The Oompa-Loompas were about to try to explain, but the pre-recorded words of Wonka blared out. “I can explain. I paid people, specialists in surveillance, tracking, and investigation, to find someone pure, sincere, and honest. I wanted to show the world that no good can come from being bad. We found five that fit all the typical behaviors and attitudes. These I chose to come in and see my factory. When I found each particular child that would portray the particular point I wanted to stress, we would plant the golden ticket where they were bound to find it. Yours was planted too, Charlie. As I have already told you, I knew you’d be the one, and now the day has come. You were the HARDEST kid to get the golden ticket to because your family couldn’t afford it. But we are so glad we were finally able to put one in your path. We had to use seven tickets on Augustus because he kept eating them right along with the candy bars.”
He paused as each child was shown in their everyday life behaving exactly as they did when at the factory. One screen showed Augustus burying his head into a bowl of some kind of chocolate pudding, then flashed to him reaching into the Chocolate River . Another screen captured the attention of everyone by its shear loudness. It was Violet. She was all mouth, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, while the whole time chewing, chewing, chewing, chewing. Clips of her before she came to the factory revealed her talking in the halls, bathroom, and classroom. She even talked as she waited to see the school principal for talking too much. The sad thing was that every time she opened her mouth to talk, it was about GUM! The video faded, and they watched as she snapped when Wonka got to the gum machine.
As the surrounding speakers began to make a rustling sound, a sort of static, everyone thought there would be another breakdown. Then, they realized it was all part of Wonka’s overall show. The rustling got louder, some voices were added to it, then, some bells and whistles started sounding off. When all those sounds diminished, all you could hear, coming from every direction, was Veruca’s voice, making greedy demands. One overlapped the other, until finally, everything went silent. Screens lit up slowly, first dark brown, then light brown, then gray, and finally, reaching their full capacity, each screen showed thousands of little pictures together, when looked at from a distance, made up her full face, and, somehow, Wonka even got the image to say, “I WANT.” What followed was a rush of images the day she was in the factory. They slowed down just showing her face. Everyone witnessed how she appeared as she was going down the garbage chute.
Once again, everything went blank. No light appeared in the room at all, just Wonka’s voice, trying to sound like a movie announcer, reverberating around the room, “Ladies and genteMEN … en … en, of ALL … L … L AGES … s … s … I introduce … s … s to YOU … ou … ou to … oo … oo MMMmmmmister MmmmikeTeaveE … e … e.
The room went from completely black to an overbearing brightness. No one was able to see a thing, but they heard Mike in school telling other kids how dumb THEY were and even mouthing off to the teachers, thinking he was smarter than they. As light descended, each screen began to show a different TV show, ones Mike liked the best. The room was filled with racket and then all the monitors worked together as one big screen, showing Mike insult Mr. Wonka in the TV room and sending himself through the Wonka-vision machine and being pulled out of it.
The screens showed a curtain closing as if the play was over, then they slowly opened back up revealing Mr. Willy Wonka standing in the middle of a stage. No one could top him. His first words were,“Don’t try to grab me like we did Mike Teavee.” He then smiled, twirled his cane around and, as the cameras moved in, he declared, “I have lived a full life. I have done more in ONE DAY than most people do in their whole life.”
Emotionally, he finished, “Greed, rudeness, selfishness, and lack of interaction with other human beings: these are the four traits we must stay away from. I had to pick the right ones for the right job, otherwise not only would my point not work. but the Oompa-Loompas would not know who or what to sing about.” He winked and the picture started to fade, going fuzzy, full of static.
“Am I fading? Just a little?” He coughed, and just as he faded completely, his voice came through with “My factory will help you stay young and playful and never grow up or get old, Charlie. . . life is just TOO sweet. While you’re alive, enjoy it!” Then, heard circling around them, from speaker to speaker, was the word, “Sweet.” That was the last they saw or heard from Mr. Willy Wonka.
The factory was entirely Charlie’s, now. No longer was Mr. Wonka there to lean on or learn from or depend upon. Depressed, not only at losing his grandparents, but now Mr. Wonka, too, he went to his mom and dad’s bedroom. In comforting each other, Charlie’s mom suggested they get out of the factory for a little while, get some natural sunlight to help take the blues away.
Living in the factory they never saw much true sunlight. There were sun roofs here and there, but they were still shut off from the outside world. So they did what his mom recommended. They piled into the glass elevator and took off through the ceiling as Charlie reminisced about his first trip in the elevator with Grandpa Joe and Mr. Wonka.
Getting out into the sunlight did the trick and inspired Charlie with his next new idea and invention. He exclaimed, “A garden, a CANDY garden!”
“You already have the chocolate room, Charlie! Why, that’s just like a garden,” said his mom.
“Yes,” replied Charlie, “but that is inside. I am talking about a garden outside, with grass you can eat, cotton candy trees, a taffy merry-go-round, lollypop see-saws, swings of licorice strips, and a sandbox filled with fine shaved chocolate! We’ll call it a CHOCOLATE BOX, and use white chocolate that will look just like sand. The moms and dads could let the kids eat it instead of yelling at them to not eat the sand! We’d have enormous candy cane poles to slide down and even a gingerbread house, trimmed in huge pieces of candy, big enough for someone to live in!”
“But, Charlie,” his dad interrupted. “It will melt in the hot sun!”
Charlie put his hand on his dad’s shoulder and grinned, “Dad, you’re talking to the candy man now. Mr. Wonka invented ice cream that wouldn’t melt on the hottest day in July. He made kites of compressed fruit candy that endured the wind, rain and sun. Come now, back to the factory! No time to dilly or dally. We have so much time and so little to do.” Charlie stopped dead in his tracks. He, along with his parents, realized he was even beginning to talk just like Mr. Wonka now! A short second later, Charlie said, “Wait a sec. Stop. Reverse that, Okay? Onward, moving right along now, folks, oooon we goooo!”Charlie shouted as he took the wonkavator back in for a safe landing.
Charlie’s walk back thru the factory was a mimic of Mr. Wonka, followed by his parents, struggling to keep up. It was as if Charlie was possessed with the same charisma, innovation, and quirkiness.
So Charlie and his workers soon began making the outdoor garden and playground a reality. Charlie didn’t share the secret ingredients with anyone, or the directions on how to make the durable edibles for outside. He just kept them in his head where no one could get in and steal them.
The day arrived, faster than Charlie thought possible, when it was time to send out public announcements, welcoming all to come and see the garden, and for children to come and play on his delightful, magical playground.
At the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting, Charlie declared, “I know we all wish Mr. Wonka could be here. As you know from what you’ve read in the newspaper, he has left this old land, free, and is in in candy heaven with cotton candy clouds, eating from a huge banquet table more amazing than our minds could ever conceive.
“But we are not here to mourn, we are here to celebrate! Just as Mr. Wonka originally told all the LUCKY winners of the golden tickets so I tell you, please, stay very calm. Don’t lose your heads. We wouldn’t want anyone of you to do that. Now I, formerly Charlie Bucket, now Charlie ‘Wonka’ Bucket, declare this public park, the new ‘Wonka World,’OPEN!”
With these words, Charlie cut the candy ribbon and all the police, security guards and special riot prevention SWAT teams could not hold back the rush of people.
As Charlie walked through the crowds, he thought, “Perhaps I should have allowed only a certain amount of people in at a time.” People not only swarmed throughout the park, grabbing and gobbling, but men, women, boys, and girls pressed against him, asking all sorts of questions, some of which were very private and personal.
“Excuse me, all questions must be submitted at the end of the day, in writing. Thank you for calling and have a nice day,” was Charlie’s stock answer.
When asked his secret about how the candy was made to last outside, he replied, “Folks, candy is dandy, but . . . silence is GOLDEN, and a little silence now and then is cherished by the wisest men.” Charlie thought it best to keep them guessing.
He smiled as he tried to get away from the crowd, but one final shout stopped him, “Charlie, can you keep up with the demands of production like Mr. Wonka did?”
Charlie turned slowly, and from out of no where, like magic, there was a puff of smoke. In one hand he held up Mr. Willy Wonka’s cane and candy shot out of his other hand just as an illusionist keeps pulling scarfs from his sleeve. Candy sprayed all around them as if a global size pinata had just been broke open! While the people were busy with the candy shower, Charlie was able to get away, pushing through to take refuge inside the factory.
Once inside Charlie took a deep breath, still happy and excited about the opening. He rushed to the top of the main smokestack and peered out a little window, just big enough for his eyes. “They look like ants,” Charlie said aloud to himself. “Oh my, oh my ohmyomyo!!! he exclaimed. “What have I done?”
He raced back down the spiral stairs and announced over the internal speaker system,“blblblblbl, all Oompa-Loompas, blblblblbl, come quickly. Drop whatever it is you’re doing. Meet me in the front lobby of the factory. This is an emergency. Blblblbl, flapflapflap, eeeahhwww. This is NOT a drill.”
He slammed down the microphone, started to rush off, and then, in one quick, jerky motion, picked up the microphone again and yelled into it, “Thank you. That is all!”
Off he raced to the lobby, where he announced to them, “We are in grave trouble. The people are behaving like locusts.”
The Oompa-Loompas stared at him in confusion. “Oh, you don’t know what locusts are, do you? Well, ah . . . “ he searched for a word. “Oh, I’ve got it! They are like vicious conides or romming winzzels, and they are ruining our garden.”
Several Oompa-Loompas spoke up.
“Sir, I’ve got an idea!” said one.
“That is their nature, sir. Just like the children Mr. Wonka let in the factory. They are all full of greed, uncontrollable lust,” blurted in another.
“With no respect,” shouted another.
“Spoiled,” interjected another.
Floodgates of indistinct chatter filled the air, murmurs of how badly people behaved on the outside as opposed to Loompaland. Charlie felt as if he were losing control and nervously managed to pull them back together.
He said, “Okay, so at least we all agree, and we are all on the same wave length of thinking.”
“YES!!!” THEY ALL CHANTED IN UNISON.
Surprised, Charlie went back to the first one who said he had an idea and asked, “What is your idea?”
As the little Oompa-Loompa scratched his head, the scratching sound turned into the sound of a musical shaker, followed by a group of them hitting their bellies making a boom-boom sound like a big bass drum. Then the rest of them started humming. Finally they all broke out into song!
“Oh, we knew this would take place. These people are a disgrace.
We tried this all before. They kick, they punch, they knock down the door.
What shall we do? What can we do? We must come to a rescue.
Help, help, you say, and so we must take down this nasty ornery cuss.
Aliens are what we are, we come down like a shooting star.
Aliens are what they see, so let’s all go and set them free.
We do not need them in our place. They are all up in our face.
So, let’s go scare them, one by one, and not stop until our job is done.”
And with that, the song was done.
Charlie applauded their performance and said,“You are the best! Let’s get out there and scare them away!!”
Charlie got on the public address system that blared outside the factory and proclaimed,“WARNING! EVERYONE, WARNING! THE WHOLE FACTORY IS BEING INVADED BY STRANGE AND DANGEROUS ALIEN CREATURES. THEY ARE ALL OVER THE INSIDE OF THE FACTORY AND ARE NOW COMING YOUR WAY OUTSIDE TOWARD YOU. ALL OF YOU, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!”
Charlie smiled, set down the microphone, and headed toward the stairs that led up to the little smokestack window. With a quick jerk, however, he returned and picked up the microphone. “Thank you. That is all.” he said.
Laughing maniacally, he raced up to the observation window. Peaking out to see what was taking place, he hunched over and whispered, “This is going to be a good show!”
A smile spread across his face as he watched people running around like crazy people! The Oompa-Loompas scurried out of the factory, and when the tourists saw these knee-high men of different color, they screamed, hollered, and shrieked in fear so loud that Charlie could hear them all the way up in the smokestack. The sight made him giddy. Even the official public police and security forces didn’t know what to make of all this pandemonium. Within sixty seconds the crowd cleared out, not just out of the park, but out of sight. When the Oompa-Loompas came inside Charlie met them with a big “Thank You!”
They all nodded in response and laughed.
Charlie said, “I’m sure you are ready to sing another mischievous song, huh?”
Laughing in unison, they returned to their own areas of the factory, back to the work they loved.
Charlie went out to assess the damage. Standing on the front steps of the factory, his eyes scanned the horizon, and he wept as he surveyed the destruction caused by the general public. The white cigarette candy fences that surrounded the garden was completely broke down, as well as the area containing the organically edible candy treats that made the garden such a splendid place to visit. Although the fences were extra high, the public literally ate their way through the barriers. The gingerbread house had gaping holes in the walls. Everything on the playground had been leveled to the ground.
Charlie stepped back into the factory, slammed the door and fell face first against the door, with his head buried in his arms. Suddenly he felt a warm hand touch his shoulder. “Son,” his dad whispered. And that was all his dad needed to say. Charlie turned into his father’s arms and cried like a baby.
Later, during a nice family dinner, Charlie, reflected on how Mr. Wonka had closed the factory because of the spies and how he started it up again, but with no outside workers, then opened it for the five children, and how, after Charlie and his family moved in, no one from the outside was allowed entry.
Charlie’s mom said, “Son, we, you, I mean all of us, the Oompa-Loompas included, may not be able to deal with the public, other than selling and shipping the chocolate.
Charlie made no response, just hung his head, looking down. His dad then tried to comfort him,“Charlie? You know most factories that do mass production do not allow the public to come in for open house or tours through the factory.
Looking up, Charlie said, “But Dad, this is not like most factories. This is Wonka’s.” Dinner was finished in silence.
For the next several months they all retreated back into the factory. Even though the interior climate was warm, the atmosphere remained cold and dark. No natural light came in. Fear of spies gripped Charlie. No one would help him preserve the outdoor garden because of the public’s lack of respect. He felt so alone.
Years passed and Charlie’s parents became bed-ridden, just as his grandparents were. Charlie had lost his grandparents and Mr. Wonka. Now he had to accept the fact that his parents were not going to live forever. Heavy hearted, he recalled that even one of Mr. Wonka’s Oompa-Loompas deceived them and threatened the future and heritage of the factory by selling secrets. The future would see Charlie’s decision on what to do with that Oompa-Loompa, but meanwhile Charlie knew exactly how Mr. Wonka felt just before he made plans for the five golden ticket tour. Loneliness was preferred over the disrespect of his family and workers and the display of typically selfish human nature and unruly behavior of outsiders. Charlie was the owner of a lonely heart. He felt that was much better than owner of a lonely heart.
Charlie came to his parents with an idea of developing robots that would look and react like human beings. They didn’t say anything, but he saw in their eyes their true opinion. “I’m trying, mom, dad . . . “ he said, holding back tears.
In a raspy voice, his dad tried to speak clearly,“Charlie . . . son, we love you. We know you want to have more than just us.”
“It’s more than that, dad.” Charlie replied.
Then his mom spoke up, softly and gently, “Oh, Charlie, we both know. It is Okay, son. You don’t just want, you need more than us. You need . . . “
Charlie looked away before his mother finished, but then turned back to face her as she beckoned. “Don’t go, son. I haven’t seen you like this since before you came to the factory the very first time. Remember what Grandpa Joe said when I asked him not to fill your head with dreams? He said, ‘Let the boy dream.’ And you wanted that golden ticket, that golden opportunity, more than anything, son.” Taking a deep breath and releasing it, she went on, “Dream again, son. Cheer up Charlie.”
Charlie went to their bedside and hugged them both, saying, “If we can’t go out of this factory because of the way people treat us on the outside, we’ll have to bring them in . . . somehow . . . I just don’t know how, yet.”
They both nodded their heads, saying, “You will, son . . . you will.”
Just like the great outdoors cannot be duplicated, so also people cannot be synthetically duplicated. Nothing is like nature other than nature itself, and metaphorically speaking, the same is true with the character of the human race. In Charlie’s eyes, he saw how human beings had let their own nature crowd out any good, deep-rooted, well-rounded mannerisms and relationships.
As Charlie fell asleep that night, his mind continued to work and search for the ultimate answer to this whole dilemma. His concerns had nothing to do with financial gain. Growing up he had become accustomed to living with bare necessities and knew that memories and family members were more important than money. He remembered the old house they lived in as he dosed in and out of sleep. With each toss and turn, his mind wondered, pondered, and stormed. Finally, he could sleep no more. His restless mind went through rough draft after rough draft, crumbling one thought and onto another. Finally, just like Mr. Wonka himself, Charlie kept going back to figure out the right recipe so things would be as sweet and tasty as possible. He heard Wonka’s voice in his head, “Some of my dreams become reality and some of my realities become dreams.” With that, Charlie’s body gave in, his mind rested, and he dropped into a much needed deep, deep, sleep.
When awaken, he swiftly sat up in bed and proclaimed, “A muse, a muse!!!” Inspiration and creativity blossomed in his mind. All his jagged thoughts became consolidated and solidified into one picture perfect tapestry. A muse is a label given to someone, or something, that inspires original and innovative ideas, some type of being or entity that gives visionary concepts so the one needing and receiving it can bring that burst of art to life.
Charlie could not control himself. “A muse, a muse, a muse, a muse,” He kept exclaiming, getting progressively louder each time he repeated it. He catapulted out of bed, ran through the factory halls and rooms, and barged into his parents’ room, which had been specially equipped with health care needs and Oompa-Loompa medical staffing. He leaped into the middle of the one big bed they both shared, waking them from their deep sleep. Charlie never knew whether they would be asleep, awake or even alive. However, Charlie brought them to consciousness quickly. Their eyes flew wide open, disbelieving what they were actually seeing. Charlie was jumping so hard he almost bounced both of them right out of bed.
He continued to shout louder and louder, “A muse, a muse, a muse, mom, a muse, dad!”
His parents looked at each other in wonderment. They had seen some very strange and bizarre behavior from Willy Wonka and Charlie, but this was beyond explanation. Mrs. Bucket said to her husband, “What does he mean, dear?”
Although they were both hard of hearing, they could not help but hear Charlie’s over-excited cheers. His father replied, “It is not what he means, dear, it is what he is meant to do!”
When Mr. Bucket uttered those last few words, Charlie abruptly froze, almost in mid-air. Charlie looked down at his dad and whispered, with a smile,“Say it again, dad. Say . . . it . . . again.” There was a certain desperation in their son’s voice. His father swallowed hard, looked at his wife, and then back to his son.
Charlie riveted his attention on his dad as Mr. Bucket repeated, “It’s not what you mean, Charlie. It is what you are meant to do.”
Then, as if Charlie’s dad could read his mind, his father said slowly, “It is what you were meant to do. It is your contribution to the entire world, Charlie, as only the candy man can!
Charlie dropped to his knees right there in the center of their bed. He spoke softly, but his parents were able to hear, “Mom, dad, you mean more to me than anything else in life, and the words I just heard from you provide me with the missing link, the final ingredient I need to bring this factory, with all its glory, back to life. His mom lit up as if a radiant angel flowed into her body. Charlie never saw her face beaming with such joy as she uttered the long awaited and victorious statement, “A muse, as in amusement.” She smiled even wider and began to laugh out loud, “an amusement park, Charlie?”
Charlie sprang to his feet and said, “That’s right!” And as he jumped up and leaned back, he yelled, “an amusement park, wooo hooo!” He landed on his back, still directly in the center of their bed. Upon landing, he burst out in laughter.
His exuberant child-like joy was contagious. They all began laughing as if they were silly, giddy, school kids. The Oompa-Loompas laughed also, but, then again, they were always laughing! Charlie jumped up and they all grabbed hands. Charlie could hardly speak having lost all control of his composure. He just kept repeating, almost unintelligible, “an amusement park . . . “ Like singing monks, the Oompa-Loompas joined in as the chant was kept up,“an amusement park, an amusement park! ! !”
Building an amusement park was exactly what everyone needed: to bring back the whole spirit of Willy Wonka.
Charlie sat in bed with his parents for four days, working with them as a CEO or president of another company would with their board members. They ate all their meals right there in bed while they bounced ideas off each other. Some concepts they had only dreamed of making into a reality long ago, and many other new ones evolved right then and there very rapidly. As a tightly knitted sweater, they all joined their ideas into a warm quilt of amusement.
When Charlie’s parents would dose off, unavoidably, into a slumber, Charlie continued. He relentlessly, put into place all the necessities to erect an exclusive signature amusement park unlike any other in the world.
Charlie was even able to use some of Mr. Wonka’s original plans use when building the palace for an Indian prince. He remembered that structure was a disaster only because of heat from natural sunlight; or was it the fact that the prince did not begin to eat it right away? This made Charlie smile. Natural sunlight is what the factory was missing. But in this case, he realized, it would be the perfect environment for such a monument. He laughed out loud in glee realizing that building structure would last forever.
Fears that haunted him from the horrible experience with the outdoor candy garden were pushed far from his mind. In an amusement park setting, he would be in control. There would be security, proper guides, trusted operators, and other general employees who would receive a good pay to help take care of and contribute to the future of the park.
As his parents took their cat naps, Charlie sat in the center of their bed, legs crossed, and let his dream soar unlimited. The whole time Charlie wrote nothing down. He could see in his mind a clear vision of the factory turning into a place of enjoyment that would grow, bloom, and continue to advance and develop. He was able to envision the what, where, when, and how of each newborn idea.
At the end of the fourth day, Charlie jumped up and walked briskly through the various halls that led from one room to another, talking out loud to himself. He waved his arms manically here and there, pointing out what was going to take place throughout the entire factory. It was as if he was a professional tour guide leading a crowd behind him, with a memorized script, pointing out the surrounding highlights.
He walked faster and faster, until he was literally running down and around through the long corridors, darting in and out of rooms, the whole time continuing his monologue, proclaiming such things as, “and here we’ll build a roller coaster that dives into and through a wall of whipped cream, covering its thrill-seeking riders with a light, sweet texture.” He had already configured how the wall of cream would be reconstructed and ready for the next exhilarating stream of oncoming roller coaster cars eager to blast their way thru. He could see, taste and hear the impact, with cream flying everywhere!
An electrical excitement surged through Charlie’s body and mind, occupying his very being. This hype and eccentric presence had not been present since Willy Wonka originally developed the factory. In his mind, the chocolate water fall became a spiraling slide with several dips and swoops. To get to the top of it on the other side was a challenging rock climbing course with three different skill levels, all made out of the best rock candy, of course. Guests of all ages would enjoy the climb as well as the taste.
Charlie came to a long hallway that held lots of memories. He stopped, closed eyes, and took a deep breath. He could smell all flavors of candy. Opening his eyes, he turned his head toward the wall and licked the wallpaper. He then smiled and said, “The shnozberries still taste like shnozberries. We are still the makers of music and we are still the dreamers of dreams. Thank you Mr. Wonka.”
Charlie was ready to set a date to re-open the factory. There were a few more things that needed to be completed, and as Charlie himself prepared to lead the first tour around the amusement park, even more original ideas came to him. To capture the attention of those on the outside of the factory and to build up a desire to visit, Charlie, along with his workers, took part in painting the factory in bright cheerful colors. All of the paint was laced with candy so that no unpleasant paint fumes were emitted, and the smell of different types of candy settled over the whole city.
People pressed against the gates, making remarks that Charlie got a kick out of. Many times they would shout out questions, but Charlie would just turn, smile, and say, “All in good time, my friends. All in good time.” Sometimes, when the shouting from the television and newspaper media got to be too much, he would simply turn and tip his hat to them.
The most difficult task to finish in time for the opening was reconstruction of the old outdoor garden that he had tried to share with the public. It was decided that the most interesting thing to do, which was also the fastest and easiest, was to turn it into a haunted forest, leaving the old rotted, broken fence just as it was.
Charlie set up an insect barrier to keep outdoor bugs from entering the factory. He continued to feed the bugs outside the factory to keep them satisfied so they would not come any closer to jeopardize his work with other sweets. However, that barrier around the outside garden area had been consumed and there was a problem with insects. To resolve this, he went to the top of his smokestack and dumped scalding syrup which, as you can imagine, killed the insects and sent them to their own candy heaven. The syrup was thin and you could see through it as you walked around the transformed garden. You were able to see bugs of all kinds under your feet, much like dragonflies caught in amber. The Oompa-Loompas were then able to set up the barrier to keep any other insects from entering.
The garden, now labeled “The Haunted Forest . . . that will give you the willies,” depicted the horrible results from vandals. It showed the truly terrifying side of life around us. It displayed the message that human nature can be very ugly. Behind each bush of spearmint leaves, under every destroyed hard tack bridge, were spine chilling scares. Charlie called all this “controlled chaos.”
After creating all amusements in the park, indoors and out, Charlie interviewed and hired employees for extra supervision, ride operators, and security. The Oompa-Loompas continued with their jobs, making the candy, and Charlie was the only one adding the ingredients, so the secret could never be divulged by anyone.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
Finally, Opening Day arrived! Rather than having the usual brass band play at the opening for the newly vamped factory, Charlie had a rock band.After the performance of a few songs, Charlie came down from the sky in the famous glass elevator. But it was much larger than before, and he wasn’t alone. It was also filled with Oompa-Loompas. Many people still feared them, thinking they were aliens of some kind. The elevator landed so quietly, you could hear a candy wrapper drop!
Charlie exited and stepped up to a microphone:“Attention! May I have your attention please! I am honored to announce that with the help of my staff, my very own parents, and the one and only Mr. Willy Wonka himself, the muse, I have been able to change the factory into an amusement park. You will see things here that you have never, and will never, see anywhere else. Today I welcome you one and all, but I also ask that you do well while here. I want to give so much, but I don’t want you to take too much. There is a time to play hard, yet at the same time remain responsible. No adult will be allowed to enter without a child and no child will allow the adult they are with to misbehave.” He ended with, “We must all use common sense. Come on in, the candy is fine!!!”
With that, he cut the candy ribbon, the rock band fired up again, and each person, checked by security, entered. The glass elevator had set down right in the center of a foyer area. The people were not full aware of what they were about to see, but when the Wonkavator landed, it showed them just the tip of an iceberg, or as Charlie would say, “An icecreamburg”. The Wonkavator had been made larger and was equipt with strapped-in seats for one hundred visitors. Once inside, a very realistic, lifelike hologram of Mr. Willie Wonka himself was the tour guide. His famous quotes baffled, but also impressed, everyone. The trip ended with a shot up and out, straight up through the artificial glass roof. When it landed once again the doors opened to the entrance of Willies Haunted Forest. The guests were reminded of the need to be more conscious and considerate of everyone and everything while in the factory/park.
Immediately after walking through the old garden, they were shocked upon entering one of the largest green house rooms imaginable. The thick crystal clear Plexiglas enclosed exotic plants of all sorts. When guests would press their hand against the glass, they would freak out as huge exotic animal lunged right into the glass. The barrier was a foot thick but seemed much thinner when these creatures banged into them.
The guest were then greeted by a tour guide telling them, “There are little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous . . . ” subtly adding,“nothing deadly.” It was at this point that some of the guests thought, perhaps they should not have come. But they soon learned that they really were safe and specific provisions were in place to protect them.
They also learned that the animals in that area fed mainly on organic candy grown on the ground, as well as the much needed coco bean. The visitors watched as the coco beans were devoured by these never-before-seen insects and creatures with names they couldn’t even pronounce correctly. It was explained that coco beans were scarce at times because they were the main food for all living things in the area and also cherished by the Oompa-Loompas who shared the environment.
An amazing feature was then introduced as the eye-opening tour continued. Right in the center of the domain was a sealed off area. It was a complete and exact replica of Loompaland. Remember the Oompa-Loompa mentioned earlier who had sold Wonka secrets? It was not forgotten that he had lied when he told Mr. Wonka that he was returning to his home land for a vacation and no charges were brought against him. Rather, a lush, yet outlandish and deadly cell was provided for him to live in. Spectators had a full view of this. His every day fight for survival could be seen. Most of the guests found this to be sick and demented, yet were still amused, nonetheless!
It was also learned that a dangerous beast that had been imported produced a rich fertilizer that was better than any other available source in the reproduction of the foliage, trees and indescribable plants found only in Loompaland.
The specially constructed cable cars, better known as sky riders, traveled directly through the center of Loompa Land but provided a safe haven. Each car was made from upside down gumdrops, completely enclosed!
At the top and end of the ride there was an enormous movie theater. The screen was made of marshmallows and the curtains of thin fudge, their sweet aromas filling the air. The show was the video footage of the children who went through the factory so many years ago, entitled The Lucky Golden Ticket Wieners. So that the audience wouldn’t think the word wieners was supposed to be winners, there was an immediate introduction and narration. Everyone had the opportunity to see first hand how embarrassing, rude and selfish those first guests were. The parents featured in the video threatened to press charges until they found out that the footage was completely legal according to the contract they had signed. The message was to give everyone knowledge and understanding that no rebellion nor over-indulgence would be tolerated. This assured that, as Wonka used to say, “No one lose your head. We wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone. Stay very, very calm, and enjoy!”
Financial provision flowed in bountifully, and much more money was put into what Charlie called Scrumdillioumscious Candy School , named after one of Wonka’s largest chocolate bars. The purpose was to train children and young adults, as well as those young at heart of any age, to carry on the art of candy making. This also insured the factory’s future. Without giving away any secret knowledge of ingredients, the pupils were rewarded with jobs as their skills developed.
With the reality that candy, sugar especially, raised the risk of tooth decay, the Association of Dental Hygienists generously, yet secretly, made yearly contributions to the school. They realized they profited from it as well!
Meanwhile, the guests were able to enjoy gummy bear bumper cars, a taffy tug-o-war, licorice strip swings, and even caramel bungee cord jumps, all made of the finest ingredients, of course! Everyone was pleasantly surprised when a shower of fruit flavored snow flakes began to shower upon them and they stuck out their tongues to catch as many flakes as they could!
Best of all, out of all the amazing and mind bending rides and attractions, was when Charlie Wonka Bunket would lead a tour himself. This was reminiscent of what Mr. Wonka did with all the same unpredictable shenanigans. Charlie only did these tours on the weekends that had the fewest amount of people entering the gates. Attendance varied from day to day/ The welcoming staff, dressed like Mr. Wonka, kept count of how many people were allowed to entered each day.
When the park first opened any group fewer than two hundred was taken on tour, this being the number of seats available on the new boat that drifted down the Chocolate River . The boat still ventured through numerous intricately placed cascades and tunnels.
After a number of years the news spread world-wide and attendance was never under a thousand people a day. At times people had to wait in line to get in as others exited. Charlie would not allow more than four thousand in at a time. If five people left, five were allowed to enter. Some had to leave “the old way” because they ignored the rules and stepped out of set boundaries. Those waiting in line hoped that some would get kicked out, shot out of one of the garbage shoots or escorted out by a bunch of wild, yet trained squirrels. Many would wait overnight in hopes of getting in the next morning.
Charlie had to come up with a way for everyone to have a chance to explore, visit and learn what Wonka started. And so, he assigned his best Oompa-Loompas to set appointments. This allowed Charlie to limit the amount of people entering the factory. After all, this was also his home!
When crowds were just too large, Charlie spent most of his time with his mom and dad. How he loved and cared for them. They shared a beauty that only a good family life can provide. The satisfaction of acceptance and bonding with each other is what kept them alive so long.
As Charlie observed the oneness in his parents’ lives, he also began to long for that unity. So he decided to search for a wife, a companion or simply a friend. The problem was that every woman and potential “friend” seemed to have the wrong intent and motive for wanting a connection with Charlie. It was as if they were all gold diggers, or in this case golden chocolate diggers, lusting for Charlie’s fame and fortune.
At the end of each day, the last Oompa-Loompa could be seen passing out a type of key to the city, much like a mayor would award to a visiting dignitary. It was called “the Wonkey.” When asked why, Charlie said, “It will fit any lock. If you’re ever locked out of some place important, here is a spare, the Wonkey.” When asked how, he was quoted, “As you can tell it is made from some of the finest candy and you can just lick it until it is the right shape!” Charlie continued, “And if you’re not ever locked out, but you’re very, very hungry, then here is a snack!” They could almost hear Mr. Wonka himself as Charlie laughed in the same distinctive way!
One strange day, for some reason, it seemed to be a little brighter than others. Charlie was giving the standard tour when he observed an extremely shy young lady who hardly lifted her head for fear her eyes would meet Charlie’s. He couldn’t keep from staring at the most humble, meek, shy and stunningly attractive woman he had ever seen. Recognizing her significant attributes, he knew immediately that somehow he HAD to get to know her. He found out where she lived from the appointment log and then he sent her a regular Wonka chocolate bar, enclosing was a classic golden ticket which was actually the very same ticket Charlie found as a boy. He kept it in a frame in his room, only now deciding to use it in hopes that it would have the same allure to this young lady as it did to him. The difference was that there were not five other tickets involved. Although he felt a little deceptive, he felt it was a unique way to arrange a personal meeting.
Done in the utmost secrecy, the media, which would have created a frenzy, had no inkling of his formulated plan. Charlie wanted her to be completely comfortable at their first meeting.
A SWEET FAREWELL
Charlie’s wishes came true as the young lady accepted the invitation. She said she thought there was something personal, very personal, about the “date set up” because she could see how old the ticket was and that it was exactly like those she had seen in photographs.
After some time getting to know each other, Charlie and his beautiful new friend, Chalet, knew without a doubt that they were destined to get married and spend the rest of their lives as one.
Not long after their small, private, very informal wedding, Chalet gave birth to an extremely enchanting baby girl whom they named “Willma Wonka Bucket.” It was a bittersweet time because as the baby began life in the world, Charlie’s parents came to the end of their stay in the world. They were bid farewell as Willma bid hello!
She was raised right there in the factory, where she enjoyed the amusement park right along with all the other entertainment. But most of all, she loved her mom and dad so much. When she was asked, “What is your favorite part of all that surrounds you?” She answered, “Spending time alone with my mom and dad, JUST them.” Willma Wonka Bucket grew into a very refined young lady, learning what happens when a child is given too much, or is disrespectful, or shows irreverence. She knew that she didn’t want to be like those children who had first visited the factory: overeaters, always trying to be the winner, spoiled, or fixated on TV fame.
Upon Charlie’s first visit to the Chocolate Factory, he learned that human nature can be vicious and that “doing the right thing” will always be rewarded in the end. As he recalled, Mr. Wonka said, “So shines a good deed in a weary world.” And now, now Charlie is passing on the legacy to his daughter, the new heir. They are still running the Chocolate Factory to this very day and continue to preserve the concept that we can all make a difference for the better in this world if we focus our interest on others, not on ourselves.
THIS is the sweetest thing life offers.
This story or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise – without prior written permission of the publisher.
This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or businesses in practice, are purely coincidental. The views expressed here are my own, as are whatever factual errors exist in the text.
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