The onceler sighed as he placed his pillow on his newly found bed. It took him hours to scrub off the excess salt water off of it, but he managed to get it off smoothly. He yawned and got on the bed with a smirk. Boy, that was a bumpy night.
But before he laid on the bed, he heard a sweet, melodious song come from right outside. It sounded like...sweet nightingales who sang their songs passionately. He opened his windows to look outside to see...her. sitting on the grass, watching the fireflies fly by. Her orange, wispy hair and light green dress shining preciously in the moonlight. He sighed lovingly. She must've been thinking about this whole ordeal too.
Then, he heard it.
Oh, Life is blur, where joy of it sings,
Where moon, stars and sun ring the bells, let them ring.
Oh, I wonder, why that is?
The Once-ler's jaw dropped at this melodious voice. But he kept quiet and watched.
Oh, Life is a joy, where love of it grows,
The pain follows me wherever i go...
Oh, I wonder...How it works...
The Once-ler rested his head and listened to the tune of her voice. It felt sad...yet comforting...yet...inspirational.
Someday, Where all of the precious plants grow,
Where i'll be right here, where nobody knows.
My love will come find me, I know it! I bet!
But for now...I know...Not yet...
The Once-ler imagined himself in his best suit and tie, dancing with his dream girl, like they were the only two in the room.
Someday, at all, where my life is a breeze,
Where no one will judge when i do as I please...
A tear fell down her cheek as she sang the last part.
My love, find me...
"Nice song." A voice startled her.
She spun around to see the Once-ler resting his head on his hands on the the window sill of his tent. She felt her cheeks heating up.
"Ah- How long were you there?" She asked nervously.
"Long enough." He replied with a smile.
"Oh...Well...D-do you like it?" She asked.
"Like it? I love it!" He said proudly, making her blush even more.
"Well, comes right off the table i guess." She smiled before yawning.
But before he could respond, she brushed the grass and laid on it, closing her eyes and sleep. The Once-ler watched in disbelief. He stepped outside and watched the beauty sleep, shaking his head.
"Ok, no,no,no, no, no." He said, waking her up and approaching her. "This can't work."
"What can't work?" She asked, puzzled.
"This! This whole mess, You can't sleep out here!" He said matter of factually. "It's freezing!"
"Well, for your information,I sleep here all the time!" She said defensively. "From the time i was a kid! Lay off!"
"wait, wait, wait , wait, wait." he said. "You've been here before?"
"Yes!" She replied grumpily. "I used to come here all the time, You weren't the only human, y'know."
The Once-ler stared in shock. Did other humans really come to places like these?
"Ok..." He said. "Look, you're sleeping with me tonight. Period."
"But-" She started.
"No "buts", "Ifs" or "ands". I insist!"he said.
She sighed. "Well, alright. But just for tonight."
" Yes!" He exclaimed excitedly, pumping his fists in the air before turning around and keeping a composure. "I mean- yeah, yeah, cool."
"And no funny business, got it?" She said.
"Yes, ma'am." he smiled respectfully before walking to the house with her. " And y'know, it's gets kinda lonely nowadays, so i'm glad you came."
She smiled. "A pleasure to help."
It didn't take long for the two to get acquainted, as it turned out, they really weren't different, they have the same interests, same motivations and same taste in style. Laura smiled as she took a sip of her tea.
"Wow Once-ler." she laughed. "You really know how to crack a mean joke."
"Yeah..." He sighed. " My family doesn't like them though."
"Why? What's wrong with your jokes?" She asked in concern.
"What's wrong to them?" he sighed. "They think their the jokes of a failure."
"But you're not a failure."
"Uh...Ok, enough talk about me, Lets talk about you." He smiled. " Where did you come from?"
"Oh...Well.." She cleared her throat. "When I was a little girl, my sister and I-"
"Sister?" He asked, puzzled.
"Yes. My sister's a sprite. Her name is Fantasia." She spoke.
"So, doesn't that make you a sprite, too?" He asked.
"Oh, no. We're related, but its different from the human world. You see, I'm a nymph. My sister is as old as time itself, but, she couldn't look a day over twenty-three. You see, when I was little, she used to take me here to help guard the forest (Along with practicing my magic along the lines),"
It was nineteen years ago, the sun was shining, the truffula trees with blowing with the breeze, and a certain little nymph with light blue eyes and orange hair was practicing her magic, her elder sister watching it.
Fantasia was as old as time itself. Yet beautiful and kind as the spring. her long flowing hair was the color of a red rose, adorned with pink flowers, she wore a dress made of fresh, pink flowers, with eyes the color of a fresh green leaf, and her voice was so soft...filled with life and joy when she was happy.
Now Laura, back then, Didn't even have a name. She was about six years old when she last visited this magical place, still handling her plant magic, Fiora showed her how, and she seemed to understand, but...no matter how hard she tried, it just didn't seem to work. They were on a hill side when Laura tried again.
"Come on, kid, you can do it!" Fantasia encouraged her as she strained to get something to grow.
"I don't...think...I can handle this!" Laura squealed, sweat pouring from her brow.
"Just a little more! Come on!" Fantasia said, a glint of encouragement in her eye.
Just then, a tiny sprout appeared from the soil, Young Laura fumbled and landed on her tush, blowing a strand of stray hair from her face. Fantasia looked at the little sapling, unsure of it. Laura was especially upset. It took all her strength and time to grow this?!
"Well..." She said with a nervously smile. "You certainly gave it your all..."
"Aw," The young one whined. "That's not even enough to feed a bunny."
"Aw, don't be so hard on yourself. " Fantasia spoke, placing a hand on her shoulder. "We can try again next time."
"Ugh, There won't be a next time, Fanta..." Laura sighed. "No matter how hard I try, i just can't handle this."
"Come on, kid, you'll get better, I just know it!" Fantasia reassured her, only for her to huff.
"I doubt it." She scoffed.
"hey, hey. Look at me." Her elder sister spoke, turning her around to face her. "We don't ever use the word "doubt" around here, Ok?"
Laura looked up with her big blue eyes, but didn't say anything. Fantasia smirked and placed a hand in her pocket.
"Y'know..." She spoke. "I was saving this for later, but..."
She pulled out a necklace with a thin silver chain, and in the middle stood a crystal green tourmaline gemstone in the shape of a butterfly. Laura gasped.
"Your necklace of eternal life." She whispered in realization.
Fantasia nodded. "And it's all yours. Just as long as you wear this necklace, not only with you live forever, but my memory will live on in you."
Laura's eyes sparkled with anticipation as Fantasia placed the necklace over her head and gently pulled her hair over it. Her elder sister smiled proudly as she saw her, in that beautiful necklace.
"There... Now you've gotta promise to keep this safe at all times." Fantasia instructed. "Can you do that?"
Laura quickly nodded reassuringly. "I will, Fantasia! I promise!"
Fantasia smiled and planted a soft kiss on the young one's forehead, knowing that she could trust her with this great gift.
But then, Laura heard a low cough. She looked up to see Fantasia in a fit of coughs, She held onto her worriedly.
"Fantasia?!" She croaked. "Are you okay?! What's wrong with you?!"
"I'm fine, kid-" Fantasia started before coughing more sickeningly and frequently.
The sound of trees falling startled them, they turned to see a young man nearby, with light brown hair and blue eyes, wearing black and grey tacky attire, black gloves with a grey vest and blue skinny jeans, holding some sort of...ax, Carrying a fallen Truffula tree to his hideaway.
"Oh no..." Fantasia said in a low whisper. She turned to her sister in fear. She had to get her out of there!
Using her magic, Fantasia summoned a portal, just about Laura's size.
"i need you to get in there, Now!" Fantasia instructed.
"But-But what if-" Laura started.
"Just go!" Fantasia screamed, and before Laura knew what was going on, Fantasia had already pushed her inside the portal.
The next thing she knew, Laura was inside a room, where nobody knew she was even there. She looked around, trying to look for someone, or something to talk to, but it was no use. She was all alone. She curled herself in the corner of her bed, hugged her knees, placing her face on them and sobbed.
This was it. She was never going to see her sister again, and now she's stuck in who knows where. She lifted the necklace to stare at this gash of a reminder that she had just lost her sister. She felt...alone.
"Now, who can guess why she didn't come back for awhile?" Laura asked her children, and almost immediately everyone raised their hands.
"Ooh, Ooh!" Rose exclaimed. "I bet she fell in love with the man! It'd be so romantic!"
Buttercup stuck out her tongue. "Aw, that's mushy stuff! I say she smashed the human to bits!"
"Or," Ivy interrupted. "She had a heart-to-heart talk with the guy. There's no harm with reasoning."
Laura shook her head and chuckled. But then she looked up to see her eldest daughter, silent as a mouse.
"Vi," She said in a soft voice. "What do you think?"
Violet looked up solemnly. "Um...What Rose said."
"SEE?!" Rose exclaimed. "Even big sissy agrees with me!"
"Whatever!" Buttercup mumbled before Rose blew a raspberry at her.
"Alright, Alright. Settle down." Laura said in a motherly tone, quieting them instantly. "Ok, here's how it went..."
"It took months for her to come back," Laura said softly, tears streaming down her cheeks. "I was worried sick!"
The Once-ler stared with sympathy. "Oh, you poor thing, I'm so sorry..."
He placed a hand on hers, only for her to pull it away to make him flinch.
"B-but I was just a kid. What was I supposed to do?" She mumbled sadly.
The Once-ler bit his lip. "Yeah...I know how you feel... I used to feel helpless too when i was a kid.."
Laura perked up at this new word. "Helpless? What's that?"
"Um...Its as feeling, when you feel alone and the world has turned against you, and...you just...don't know what to do."
"Oh..." Laura said solemnly.
Silence filled the room, only the crickets chirped as the youths looked away from each other for a moment, until the Once-ler broke the silence with the question:
"So...What happened to Fantasia?"
Laura looked at him, pain written clearly in her eyes. "Well...She came back...But..."
Young Laura still sobbed in her little corner, waiting patiently yet sorrowfully for her dear sister's return. Until... she felt something soft brush through her hair. She gasped and looked up to a familiar face of peach, with rose red hair that flowed to her waist, adorned by multi-colored flowers, and her eyes...her green leaf eyes are what gave her away as she smiled brightly at the young nymph. Laura recognized her immediately.
"Fa-Fantasia?" She croaked.
The woman only spread a wider smile, Laura's lips matched her smile as she realized...
"It is! It really is you!" She squealed as she wrapped her arms around the sprite's neck.
Fantasia giggled as she carefully wrapped her arms around the little one's tiny body. "That's right, I'm here...I'm sorry for not coming back for a while, kid. It's just...I got...distracted."
"Distracted?"Laura let go of her and stared in confusion. "What do you mean... "Distracted"?"
Fantasia giggled nervously and rubbed the back of her neck. "Well...When I pushed you in the portal, I...consulted with the human..."
"Well... after a few days...I enjoyed spending time with him..."
"AND?" Laura pressed. She was getting impatient now.
"Well...One day...I started to..."
Laura's face showed utter horror and sadness as she slowly started to realize what was going on. Fantasia bit her lip and shifted her eyes away from the little one.
Laura sniffed and felt tears fall down her face. "No...It can't be true...You...You..."
Laura couldn't bear to even look at the sprite as she uttered the words:
"You're having feelings for him, aren't you?"
Fantasia knelt to her eye level and placed her hands on her shoulders. "Kid, I'm so sorry."
Laura pushed her hands away and walked towards the door. "all this time...And you never thought of me first?!"
"Please, try to understand..." Fantasia spoke.
She couldn't hear it. She'd had enough. Laura sprinted out of the room and into the cloud kingdom, the screams of her name following her.
"HA! I KNEW IT! Rose said, interrupting the story.
"Whatever!" Buttercup frowned.
"Alright Rose, no need to brag." Laura said.
"And after that...we never spoke..." Laura explained.
"Oh..."The Once-ler said with empathy carved in his voice. "Wow..."
"At least for a little while," She sighed, before lighting up. "B-but after a little while, our relationship got better again."
"Oh!" He smiled in reassurance. "That's good to know."
Awkward silence filled the room for a while. Laura couldn't help but sneak awkward glances at this fascinating young man who had chopped her tree down earlier today, whereas the young man did the same. But...when they did look at each other, Laura started to wonder about the features of his face, how his cheeks were perfectly round and squishy, his hair was the the color of coal, fresh, smooth coal...And his eyes are what got her the most. How they were bluer than the river, and almost the daylight sky. She felt so... safe with this man, somehow. Like they're the only things that make her feel warm inside, and she liked that.
The Once-ler, on the other hand, was getting lost in his trance with this...enchanting woman's appearance. Her hair reminded him of pumpkins and carrots he used to eat back at home, her glowing skin look soft and gentle, like a little baby. and her eyes, those precious, jewel eyes, they looked like a clean, fresh ocean peacefully resting on the earth. He tried his best not to blush at the small giggle she made. Like he said before...she was irresistible.
"So..." Laura spoke, breaking the silence. "This brown water with the small white cylinders in it...what is it?"
"Huh?" He said, still in his love struck trance. A second later, he shook his head and blushed. "Oh! That! R-right...Um...That's called "Cocoa"."
"Oh. How...How is it made exactly?" she asked curiously. "Does it come from a tree?"
"Well...If you put it that way...yes." He shrugged. "Fun fact: The liquid is actually made of water. We get it by preserving rain drops and-"
"Preserve? What's that?" She asked in curiosity.
The Once-ler giggled a bit. This girl was so adorably oblivious.
"Well, Preserve is when you wanna save up or to keep things safe for later." he explained.
"Ah, I see." Laura said, slowly starting to understand. But then she turned and saw a strange pink object lying on his bed. "What's that thing?"
"Oh! That's my invention."
"Invention?" She said, puzzled.
"Yeah. An invention is something new that you create out of ideas. It can be used for something useful." He explained. "For example, This thing is useful, cause it can help me for my business to grow-"
"What's a business?" She asked.
he sighed with a smile on his face and shook his head. "You really are the inquisitive one, aren't ya?"
"Inquisitive?" She asked with a puzzled expression on her face.
"Yes, it means "asking a lot of questions just because your curious." He explained before yawning. "Welp, that's enough questions for now, time to get some sleep."
He laid his head on his pillow and invited her to laid down next to him. With a hesitant glance, she reluctantly did so. She surprisingly got comfortable, and he pulled the cover sheets over them and turned to her with a smile.
"Sweet dreams, buttercup." he smiled tiredly.
"Will I ever see you in my dreams?" Laura asked.
"Well...Hope for the best, sunshine..." He yawned before closing his eyes. "Hope for the best.."
Laura blushed as he made those adorable noises again, but this time, she smiled to herself, as she too felt her eyes heavy, and not realizing that she herself dozed off.
They've had enough adventure for the night.