Oncie had finally reached his breaking point.
For three months he had tolerated Greed-ler just...being there in his life. (they had avoid a few situations when they were accidentally caught together in public by saying they were newly discovered lost twins, but still kept a low profile) From running the entire Thneed factory practically single handed or actually getting the respect of self-centered and snobs he was forced to call a family. But this time; this time he hit him where it hurt!
He actually had the nerve to try to make the Thneed advertised as this...this thing you used to tie your children to a chair when they misbehaved!
His invention! His family friendly invention!
Need less to say; Oncie was fuming when he heard about the new angle suggested for their advertising.
Oncie, with a fire fresh in his belly, then marches right up to the huge oak doors of Greed-ler's office. He then slams them open, and, as usual, finds Greed-ler at his overly-sized truffula-tree wood desk doing who knows what kind of paper work - an amused grin playing on his lips.
"Greed-ler!" Oncie angrily shouted at his counterpart.
The green suited man keeps eyes on the paper before finally looking up at Oncie. "Hello Once." Greed-ler says rather cheerfully. He had an expression that, while showing he was thinking about something totally different, was relaxed.
"Don't "Hello Once" me! Did you really think I wouldn't find out?!" Oncie says - his voice going slightly harder with each word. Greed-ler looked confused for a moment, but then breaks out in a series of amused chuckles.
"I take it you've heard about the new advertising direction?" Greed-ler asked with slight tease.
"Yes I have, and...and it's crazy!" Oncie screams. "Greed-ler, for god sakes, the new commercial showed parents tying their child to a chair because they were acting up! This is a family friendly product; not a devise you use to punish kids! That would send the wrong direction for our factory and company!" Greed-ler's lips then seem to spread into a more wide smile, and he suddenly bursts out in howling-like laughter.
"I think you mean my factory and my company Once." Greed-ler corrected him. "You're just here for the ride, babe."
"Okay, that is it!" Oncie hisses; going up to Greed-ler's desk, and slamming his down angrily on it. "I'm sick and tired of you, Greed-ler! I don't know why you suddenly think this is all a joke, but it isn't! It's reality, and, in reality, I'm the one in charge! And, if you remember; I was the one who originally made the Thneed! I was the one who dragged myself to town until the people finally stopped throwing tomatoes at me long enough to see my invention's use! So by right; it's all mine! The factory, the company, even this office! I'm the original, and your just a useless copy!" Oncie then starts to breath heavily after his rant, but his heated blood suddenly turns to ice once he gets a look at Greed-ler.
His per-occupied expression is now very down to earth. The amused smile on his face was now gone, and his green eyes were filled with an emotion that can only be classified as rage. Greed-ler then stands up, and walks around the desk toward Oncie. The innocent man then takes a step back, but Greed-ler still gets centimeters from his youngers face.
"So...in other words...you're not happy?" Greed-ler asks in a low, boarder-line whisper tone.
Oncie gulps, and begins to shake a bit. "...n-no...I-I'm not..I'm not h-happy at all." Oncie instantly regretted his answer as soon as it rolled off his tongue. He had expected Greed-ler to lash out on him, but, randomly, Greed-ler gets a curled smile.
"You know Oncie...I don't tolerate sadness here." Greed-ler says; putting emphasis on the word tolerate. "Now you know what I have to do?"
"W-what?" Oncie asks slowly; scared of the reply.
Greed-ler's smile then seems to widen, and he leans in a bit more. "I'm going to have to fix you so you'll be happy all the time."
The way Greed-ler said the words "Fix" and "Happy" were enough to cause a shiver of fear to run up Oncie's spine. Before he could ask Greed-ler what he meant, his older self suddenly grabbed his arm. The following struggle ended with Greed-ler pinning Oncie face-down on the carpet. Greed-ler suddenly ties something around his mouth, his eyes, and bounded his legs and arms.
Oncie had never been so terrified in his life.
He then felt Greed-ler pick him up, and sling him over his shoulder like a human rag doll. Moments of traveling seemed to drag on, and a million thought were going though Oncie's head.
Where is this maniac taking me? Is he going to kill me? Why did he blind-fold me? And what did he mean by...fixing me?
The thoughts continued for several more moments, but then Greed-ler suddenly put Oncie into, what the innocent man guessed was, a chair of some kind. The binds were taken off, but, instantly after being taken away, they were replaced with what felt like...fuzzy restraints. The chair Oncie was in seemed to get leaned back, and thing covering his mouth along with his blind-fold were removed. At first, the glare from an over-head light blinded Oncie, but, when his eyes adjusted, the innocent man took in his new surroundings.
The room vaguely resembled one used in hospitals for surgeries. The walls were a gray color, and the floor had brilliant white tiles. But, other than the piece of furniture Oncie was tied to, the room seemed to be otherwise empty. As Oncie had thought; he had been bound to a chair like ones you'd find at the dentists office - ironically with a Thneed instead of the custom strap. And beside him, leering down at him with a almost-crazed looking smile, was none other than Greed-ler.
"G-Greed-ler...w-where am I?" Oncie asks; trying his best to wriggle out of the restraints but ultimately failing.
"In relative terms," Greed-ler began in an eerily calm voice. "We're somewhere in the factory only I know about. I had actually kept this room aside and secret for...experimental purposes. Of course, in figurative terms; we're in space. And, ya know, there's this funny thing about space." The green-suited man then bends down, and speaks right next to Oncie's ear. "No one can hear you scream." Oncie's eyes widen, and he struggles harder.
"I...I want you to let me go!" Oncie demands, but it dulls to more of a plead.
"Oh, but my dear naive friend, you're not fixed yet." Greed-ler explains; standing up straight once more. He then walks over into the shadows, but then comes back wheeling something.
A cart with only four items.
A syringe, a small jar that was labeled "Anesthesia", a needle, and a spool of green thread.
Oncie gulped. "W-why d-do you n-need those things?"
"To fix you, of course." Greed-ler answers as he carefully fills the syringe with the anesthesia in the jar. He then puts the two items down, and suddenly picks up the needle - spinning a bit idly in his hand. "It's funny. I've always wondered how sharp a needle had to be to pierce through more than just simple fabric. I guess today I get my answer." Oncie's heart practically stops beating for a full second. Greed-ler was...was going to some kind of horrible, twisted operation on him!
"P-please Greed-ler!" Oncie shrieks. "L-Let me go! I-I promise I'll n-never get in your way again! I-I'll even move out of the factory, a-and you'll never hear from me again! Just...p-please let me go!"
Greed-ler's eyes gleamed in satisfaction, and laughed cruelly - putting the needle back on the cart. "Oh, it's a little to late for apologies Once. You yelled in my face, and specifically told me you weren't happy. I have to fix that." Out of the corner of his eye; Oncie sees Greed-ler pick up something from the cart. "Besides, I'm doing you a great service." Greed-ler then lifted his arm, and drove the syringe deeply into Oncie's left shoulder - injecting all of the liquid into the innocent man. "You won't be conscious to feel a thing." Oncie's body instantly starts to go limp, and, soon, his whole world gets forcibly gets plunged into darkness.
Terrible, maddening dreams played in Oncie's head. All involving Greed-ler and the needle...
He hadn't been sure how long he'd been out, but, regardless, Oncie's eyes slowly began to open. The chair was now in an upright position, and the restraints on his hands and feet were gone - both being replaced with a single Thneed tied around his waist and to the chair.
"Ah, you're awake." Greed-ler's voice says from somewhere in the room. The greedy man then appears from the shadows, and suddenly puts a finger under Oncie's chin - tilting his whole head up. "I gotta say....this is some of my best work. You should feel honored to have this done to you, Oncie." The innocent man, now fully awake and in reality, was confused by his olders words.
He tried to ask him what he meant, but...no words came out.
In fact...his whole mouth just felt...numb.
"That's right; you still need to see my handy work." Greed-ler says; reaching over to the cart that was suddenly beside him. He then picks up the only item laying on the cart: a hand mirror offering it to the younger male. Oncie, with shaking hands, slowly takes the mirror from Greed-ler, and slowly lifts it to his face. "So, what do you think?" the question went UN-noticed by Oncie because he was busy staring at his own reflection in terror.
His mouth was now sewn into a smile with the green thread (now more of a weird purple color due to the blood from his lips that had soaked it) that had been on the cart. A small stream of blood ran from his mouth to chin. He then slowly brings a trembling hand to his lips, and runs his fingertips along the stitches. A new set of questions started to fill Oncie's head.
How would he even breath and eat?! Were the stitches permanent?! Could one even survive with their mouth sewn shut?!
"If you don't wanna suffocate; I suggest breathing through your nose." Greed-ler says in a rather bored tone. Oncie then realizes he'd been trying to heave in and out through his mouth, but, for obvious reasons, it failed. Oncie then forced himself to calm down, and started to steadily breath in and out of his nose. "And don't be such a baby. It's totally possible for a person to live with their mouth sewn shut. Now, if you do as I say, and be a good boy, I'll consider taking the stitches out in about three months. If you don't, well, lets just say I have many torture methods I've been dying to try out." Greed-ler then gets his taunting smirk back, and his tone changes to match. "So, Once, did you learn something today?" Oncie's eyes suddenly fills with tears, and his entire being fills with fear.
But, he slowly nods.
"Good." Greed-ler says; victory dripping like fresh honey in his tone. "And is it clear that I'm the one who's in charge? That your just my play-thing I can break and throw away any time I want?"
Again, Oncie gives a slow nod.
"Congratulations Once, you actually learned something. Now, I'll leave you to reflect on today's little lesson." Greed-ler then ruffles Oncie's hair a bit, and turns to walk away, but turns back around instead. "Oh, and, if you even try to remove the stitches; I'll just have to re-sew them. And, next time," Greed-ler then leans in, and gets only an inch from Oncie's face. "I won't be giving you anesthesia." Greed-ler then smirks right in Oncie's face, and slowly ran his thumb across Oncie's slightly swollen lips causing a rush of pain to Oncie. Greed-ler then stands once more, turns around, and walks out.
Oncie looks in the direction Greed-ler went, but then his gaze slowly lowers to the mirror in his lap that was previously forgotten by even himself. His reflection stared back at him....that hideous sewed-smile...
Suddenly, as if not in control of himself, Oncie finds himself throwing the mirror to the ground - causing it to shatter into a million little pieces.
After what he had done caught up with him; the lanky man slowly lifted his legs into the chair, and hugged his knees to his chest. He then rests his head on his knee-caps, and lets soundless tears flow from his face. He was now a monster...even if the stitches were taken out; he'd be to scared to speak ever again. After a few good minutes of crying; Oncie then starts to notice the silence around him. In a completely different state of mind...he actually wished Greed-ler were still there - if nothing more than just to talk and ward off this terrible silence filling the room.
But...Oncie knew he had to get used to it...for it was going to be his only companion for a long time.