Not Quite Happily After, Ever (part one)

“Charlie. I’m old. Am I going to understand this before I die or just hope St. Peter gives me Cliff’s Notes in heaven?”

Charlie looked exasperated. He didn’t know it, but it was exactly the look that a man he’d loved and despised in equal measures used to assume when talking to grown-ups.

“I have an elevator. Had an elevator. Which could go up, down, sideways, backwards, diagonally, across and wherstward-”


“Parallel to erstward; what, haven’t you ever cheated on a crossword puzzle?”

“And how did you get ahold of something like that in a chocolate factory?”

“I inherited the factory from the inventor of the great glass elevator, Mr. Wonka.”

Marty’s eyes ignited in sudden recognition. “Wonka! He was that man who was sued by all those people who visited his plant and suffered those bizarre physical injuries and psychological trauma! Whatever came of all that!”

Charlie sat and put his head in his knobby hands.

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