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Brothers and Sisters

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Slackbot, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Scooter may not be much of a guitar player, but he does have one skill that is practically a requisite for Muppethood: the ability to make a disaster entertaining. If you're messin' up, mess up funny, get the audience on your side! As for Fraggles, I don't think they regard music as a performance as much as a way of expressing yourself. Seen from that angle, Scooter just might make his point very well.

    (And Janken will finally be even with him for that jug-band number.)
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  2. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Brothers and Sisters
    Part 5: Wacky Wall Walkers
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    Gobo Fraggle led Janken, Scooter, and Skeeter through a series of twisty little tunnels. Skeeter noticed signs of habitation before Scooter did: the cave floor became smooth, worn down by generations of Fraggle feet. As the passage widened, they heard voices in some of the tunnels branching off on either side. There seemed to be some sort of mild commotion not too far away.

    Gobo pushed aside a curtain blocking a door-sized opening and stuck his head in. "Guess what followed Uncle Matt and me back from outer space?" Without waiting for an answer he looked back and beckoned to the rest of the entourage.

    They walked into a well-lit room. One wall was covered with things hanging from pegs: pans and other cooking utensils, dried herbs, racks of small bottles, and other such items. Another side of the room was crisscrossed with strings from which wet clothes were hanging. A small, pudgy, moss-colored Fraggle wearing a white coat and a cap over his eyes was saying worriedly to Gobo, "It's not some sort of rampaging, disease-bearing beast again, is it?" He glanced over as Janken entered. "Hi, Janken. Janken? What're you doing-" Then he stopped and stared at Scooter and Skeeter.

    "We found a new Fraggle hole, and these are my friends, Scooter and Skeeter," Janken said, unperturbed.

    "Janjanjan!"

    A ball of green tackled Janken. Taken by surprise, he was knocked backwards to the ground. He gasped, "Medic!"

    Sage, the older of Janken's two little sisters, got off him and helped him up again, jabbering, "Jan! You came back! I didn't know! When did you come back?" When he was on his feet she hugged him hard.

    He hugged back, noting that even though she still had more growing to do, she was now as tall as her father, Boober. He said, "Go easy on the tackles, sis. You're getting big."

    "Sorry." She looked around, caught sight of his companions, and said in amazement, "Are those Silly Creatures?"

    "Sort of." He let her go and said, "As I was saying. Guys, these are my friends, Scooter and Skeeter." To the twins he said, "This is another part of my family. Papa Boober's in the white coat and the one who just clobbered me is my li'l sis Sage."

    Sage said to Scooter and Skeeter, "You're from outer space? I thought you were supposed to be bigger, like Doc!"

    Scooter smiled. "We come in all sizes."

    She started forward. Urgently Boober said, "Sage!"

    She looked back. "What?"

    "You don't know where they've been!" To Scooter and Skeeter he said, "No offense."

    Janken shot them an embarrassed smile, then said, "Boober, I know where they've been. With me. Sage won't catch anything from them that she hasn't already exposed herself to by hugging me."

    "And that's supposed to make me feel better?" He sighed—it was hard to give up long-held beliefs, chief among them the germ saturation of anyplace that wasn't Fraggle Rock—then said, "Sorry. Welcome to Fraggle Rock. I'm sorry I can't stay to talk, but they're having a Fraggleathelon, and I'm the medic."

    "I'm assisting," Sage interjected.

    "If we don't hurry they'll start without us, and who knows what mayhem they'll do to themselves," Boober said, picking up a bag of cloth strung around a frame of bent wood rods. Sage picked up a similar bag and followed him.

    Janken said, "C'mon, guys, let's go watch!"

    Most of the party followed Boober and Sage out the door. Scooter stopped Janken and asked in a low voice, "Uh, Jan, how much do they know about us?"

    Surprised, Janken said, "They know about you and me, if that's what you're asking. I wouldn't keep something like that from my own family."

    "Um."

    Janken put an arm around Scooter's shoulders. "I've told you before, it's no big deal down here. I have three Papas, remember? Don't worry about it, I promise they'll like you."


    *

    It was only a few steps to The Great Hall, a huge cavern seething with Fraggles. They sat on arches, boulders, nameless rock formations, and anywhere else they could keep their balance. However, none were perched on the flowstone shelves along the walls, which looked like the best seats in the house. Looking around, Skeeter wondered what event they could possibly hold here. Even the pond was full of Fraggles. There wasn't any room for a Fraggleathelon, whatever that was.

    Janken scanned the crowd, and found Wembley and Mokey close to the other side of the wall. He couldn't see their faces, but he recognized their hair. Red wasn't with them, but that was no surprise. If there was an athletic event of any kind, she wouldn't be watching. She'd be competing. He decided against trying to push through the crowd to get to them now, and found a place where he, Scooter, and Skeeter, could stand and watch.

    The chatter quieted when a green Fraggle called out from a raised platform at the end of the Great Hall, "Hear ye, hear ye! The World's Oldest Fraggle will now start the Fraggleathelon!"

    A bespectacled gray Fraggle with a long white beard held up a staff and shouted, "On your marks!"

    "Wait, Your Agedness. We haven't said the rules yet."

    "I know that! Why didn't you say that before?" He bopped the green Fraggle on the head with his staff. "Get on with it!"

    "Sorry, Your Impatience," the green Fraggle said. "This part of the Fraggleathelon is the wall race. Each contestant must race along the walls of the Great Hall from one end to the other without touching the ground."

    "Is that it?" The World's Oldest Fraggle asked.

    "Yes, that's all the rules."

    "Are we ready to begin?" the old Fraggle inquired in a soft voice.

    "Yes, Your Seniority." The green Fraggle said, sounding nervous.

    The World's Oldest Fraggle cried, "Then on your marks! Get set! GO!"

    The contestants had not been in place; the World's Oldest Fraggle's dialogues with Henchy could go on for a while, and they didn't want to waste their strength by hanging on the wall while they squabbled. Now they leapt onto the wall and started across. The assembled Fraggles began urging their favorites on, or cheering for more than one, or just cheering in general.

    Two Fraggles were climbing across each wall. Scooter was sure that the one with pigtails like orange pompoms had to be Janken's aunt Red. Following her was a small brown Fraggle with blond hair. On the other side was a mint-colored Fraggle and a pink one.

    The cave walls were opposite each other, so one could only watch one wall or the other. Most of the Fraggles were watching Red. She was the one to beat in this race. She always was.

    Red climbed higher. Gobo watched, interested. She was taking a shorter route, but one that was tougher. The rock was much smoother there, fewer shelves and cracks for fingers and toes to grip. It would be just like Red to take that route to show off, then fall. It would also be just like her to actually make it across.

    Boober watched Red anxiously. As high as she was climbing, if she fell she would be likely to break a bone. He was ready, with sticks and cloth for splints, threadroot for pain, and lots of bandages.

    Scooter wondered about the uneven competition. Red was making good time. So were the pink and green Fraggles. The small brown Fraggle, however, was lagging behind, slowly inching along narrow flowstone shelves, only a few feet from the floor. He could see Boober hovering under the brown Fraggle, ready to catch it if it fell.

    Then there was a cry from the crowd on the opposite side. The pink Fraggle had fallen. Sage rushed through the crowd, pushing Fraggles out of the way. She knelt by the pink Fraggle and examined him. He hadn't fallen far, but he had landed on one arm. She checked that arm, found it painful but not swollen, and splinted it for Boober to look at after the race. Then she cleaned a few scrapes from the fall.

    Skeeter said, "If Red fell she'd kill herself!"

    Though she had spoken to herself, Janken replied, "Nah. We Fraggles are pretty tough, and we know how to take a fall. It'd hurt, but Boober wouldn't tolerate anyone dying while he was on the job."

    Red stopped and was looking around as if seeking the next crack or ledge. The wall ahead of her was smooth. Matt commented, "Red appears to have gotten herself stuck."

    "Maybe," Gobo replied.

    She dithered while the brown and pink Fraggles kept going. The green one was about as far from the goal as she was. She looked back, then tensed and sprang sideways. There was a gasp from the crowd—and a little scream from Boober—and then she caught herself, scrambling a little, just beyond the smooth patch.

    Janken sucked in his breath. Had she rehearsed that? He sure hoped so. She must have; as many times as she had climbed this cave, she had to know every inch of it.

    The hardest part out of the way, Red made her way to the far wall and jumped onto the plateau that served as the finish line. She raised her hands and declared, "Red Fraggle does it again! Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" Then she jumped down, ran over to the wall she had just crossed, and began cheering for the brown Fraggle. "Attagirl, Poncle! You're getting there! You can do it!"

    The green Fraggle made it to the finish line, and was cheered by her supporters. Now that Red was spotting Poncle, Boober went over to where Sage was sitting with Rumple. "How is he?" Boober asked her.

    She reported, "His arms and legs got scraped a little, and his arm is hurt. I'm not sure how bad."

    Boober unwrapped the splinted limb. "How does this feel?"

    Rumple winced when Boober flexed his arm at the elbow and pressed on it, but there was no sharp pain. And he saw only a tiny bit of swelling. He said, "It looks like you've bruised your arm, but it might be sprained too. I'm putting it in a sling. Be careful with it, and I'll look at it again this evening. If it begins to hurt worse or swell up come to me immediately."

    On the other side, Poncle finally reached the finishing point, cheered by the crowd. Red immediately swept her up onto her shoulders. "Let's hear it for Poncle, the youngest Fraggle ever to finish the wall race!" The other Fraggles shouted, and Gobo, Matt, Wembley, Mokey, and Sage all made their way over to congratulate the excited little Fraggle.

    Janken was pleased that nobody else had noticed his approach. He stepped into the group and said, "Way to go, Poncle! You'll be beating Red in no time."

    "Yeah!" Poncle shouted.

    Startled, Wembley asked, "Jan? Where'd you come from?" right before hugging him.

    "Don't you know, Papa? I thought Mama told you about that," he said. He hugged those of his parents he hadn't already paid respects to and rumpled Poncle's hair, earning a giggly squawk, then said, "I met Gobo and Matt at a new Fraggle Hole. And I brought a few friends with me. These are Scooter and his sister Skeeter. Guys, these are Red, Poncle, Wembley, and Mokey."

    Surprised, Wembley said, "Wow, hi! I thought I'd have to go into Outer Space to meet you."

    Mokey said, "I feel as if we've known each other for years, Janken has told us so much about you." She took Scooter's hands and said "You've made Janken so happy, I just know we'll be good friends!"

    Janken told Scooter, "See, I told you."

    Poncle, who had been staring at Scooter and Skeeter, said, "You're so skinny!"

    Janken shot them a sheepish grin, then said, "They're not skinny. They just don't have fur."

    "Why not?"

    "They aren't Fraggles. Their kind of people don't have fur or tails," he explained.

    "No tail?" Poncle exclaimed, boggled.

    "Not a one."

    "Oh." She looked at them in pity for a moment, then said, "Look what I can do with my tail!" She wrapped hers around Red's upper arm and fell backwards off her shoulders. She ended up swinging under Red's outstretched arm. She spread her hands and said "Ta-daah!"

    Red, chuckling, said, "That's great, kiddo, but turn loose or my arm's gonna fall off."

    Poncle released Red's arm and landed on her hands, then rolled and popped up on her feet. "Ta-daah!" she repeated.

    Skeeter applauded the little Fraggle, who joined in to clap for herself. Skeeter said to Red, "That was pretty good. I've done some rock climbing myself, but never on anything like that." She gestured at the cave wall.

    "Really?" Red asked, interested. "What'd you climb?"

    "Mountains and cliffs. They're a lot rougher. Smooth cave walls like this, I don't see how you don't slide off."

    "It takes a lotta practice and skill," Red said. "I've been doing it all my life."

    "Think you could give me some pointers?"

    "Sure!"

    Janken murmured to Scooter, "Is she putting Red on?"

    Scooter replied, "I don't think so. She only yanks your chain if she knows you."

    "In that case, they ought to get along like a house on fire."

    "Panic, sirens, wanton destruction..."

    Gobo, having finally navigated a hall full of Fraggles in motion, said, "Not bad, Red."

    "Gee whiz, thanks," Red replied.

    "Did you see me?" Poncle asked eagerly.

    "I sure did. You were great!"

    "Yeah!"

    Back to Red, Gobo said, "Really, I was impressed. I didn't think you'd make it that fast-"

    "Hah! You know your old record couldn't stand forever!"

    "-without someone to set the pace for ya."

    Startled, Red stared at him for a moment. "You think you could set the pace for me? Is that why you arranged to be 'exploring' today, huh?"

    "Oh, no, that was just a coincidence," Gobo said with an infuriatingly insincere smile.

    "Well, explore this!" She grabbed Gobo, swung him around, and launched him into the pond in the center of the cave.

    Janken remarked to Scooter, "Bet you saw that coming."

    "Actually, no, but I'm not surprised either."

    Red leapt in after Gobo. The two began a splash fight that was ninety percent splash and ten percent fight. Poncle leapt in after them and joined in, and soon other Fraggles entered the fray. Soon everyone in the vicinity of the pond was wet from friendly fire. Scooter told Janken, "Go on. You know you want to."

    In half a second Janken had shed his denim jacket and leapt into the water. Skeeter said to Scooter, "What about you? You've got your suit on under your jeans, so you said."

    "No thanks," Scooter replied. "It looks kinda crowded in there."

    "In that case, here." Skeeter handed him her glasses, then kicked off her boots and, clothes and all, jumped into the pond.

    *****

    Scooter and Skeeter are copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC. All Fraggles except Janken, Sage, and Poncle are © The Jim Henson Company, LLC. All copyrighted characters are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Janken, Sage, and Poncle Fraggle and the overall story are copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
    muppetfan24/7 and GopherCoffee like this.
  3. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Fun chapter. Did you borrow the title from Muppet Babies? Also, I have to admit I got lost a little with the race's competitors. The pink Fraggle who fell would be Rumpel? And the green one Poncle? Then who was the blond-haired brownish Fraggle? Good job with World's Oldest and Henchi. Hope to read more when you can post it.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  4. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    The title is based on wacky wallwalkers, a toy I remember from my childhood, and The Wacky Races, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Rumple (the Fraggle who kept losing bets to Boober in Wembley and The Great Race) is the one who fell. Poncle is the blonde/brown Fraggle. The green one is... I dunno. Some green Fraggle.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  5. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Looks like everyone's excited to see Janken and the twins. I liked seeing everyone's reaction to their arrival, especially how excited Sage and Poncle got. Thanks for posting!
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  6. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Heh... Wacky Wall Walkers I also remember, that's pretty much where and when the nickname of "wallcrawler" was coined for Spider-Man. The MB episode I refered to was the one where the kids are watching over Officer Caruthers' pet rat overnight. When it goes missing, Gonzo believes it to be the work of the Wallwalker, a kind of Koopa-esque creature plotting world domination. I could say R.L. Stine got inspired by this for an episode of his Haunting Hour series, what with the creature called a "Klemant" (SP?) who had bony claws, a syrup sweettooth, and dwelled inside a house's walls.

    Wacky Races, yes, I've watched it on Boomerang. My fave is Car #2, the Creepy Coupe driven by the Gruesomes. Funny enough it was a way for HB to showcase some more obscure characters in their library. And they'd tried it before with their Yogi cast under the name of FenderBender 500 Races (a segment in the show Wake/Jump Rattle & Roll).

    To be honest I thought Lou and Tosh when you presented the green and pink Fraggles at the beginning of the race, but I don't think either of them would be the competitive sort. Maybe the green Fraggle was an extra player from the rock hockey team? *Shrugs.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  7. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -----------
    Fun! I particularly like the "panic, sirens, destruction" line. Yes...Skeeter and Red becoming friends might lead to injuries, since both are so competitive they don't know the meaning of the phrase "friendly contest"...

    More!
    ------------
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  8. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thankee! Janken has been telling them about Scooter, and they can see how much happier he's been since he found a "special friend" in the outside world. The parental units, anyway. Sage is just glad to see her big bro--who she will someday clobber for real if she doesn't give up Enzotackling him--and Poncle is just happy to have someone new to show off for.
    Tosh is pink and Lou is purple. I just pulled pink and green out of the air because those colors weren't already in action. I have no idea who the green one is. If you find a female green background Fraggle we'll say it's her.
    Yeah. I think someone might have to make a mental adjustment. Now who it will be, I'm not sayin'. BTW, the sirens part ought to be easy, as Wembley's always on hand. (His job is to be the siren for the volunteer fire squad.)
    I think I can accommodate that request. ;)
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  9. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Brothers and Sisters
    Part 6: Thwack
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    "And this is my tug-o-tails trophy!"

    Skeeter, her clothes dripping wet from her recent dip in the pond, looked at the trophy that Red was so proud of. When she had first seen it she hadn't been able to figure out what the two entwined curves were supposed to be. However, she hadn't remained in the dark for long. Red had wasted no time before showing off her favorite possessions. To Skeeter's eye Red didn't look particularly athletic. She was basically a ball of fur with arms, legs, googly eyes, and hair like a cheerleader's pompoms. After seeing her "pump granite," even lifting weights with her tail, however, Skeeter revised her opinion.

    Red said, "Wanna give it a try?" indicating the weights.

    Skeeter looked at the two barbells. She was sure she could manage the smaller one without any problem, but that was the one that Red lifted with her tail. So, despite her misgivings, she tried the large barbell.

    Red leaned against the wall and watched as Skeeter grasped the bar, worked her hands to get a comfortable grip, set her feet, and tried to lift. The Silly Creature's technique was good; she was pushing up with her legs rather than putting bending forward and trying to straighten up, which was a good way to hurt your back. There was a stone-on-stone scraping noise as the barbell moved a little.

    Skeeter let go. She could strain all day, but she'd never be able to lift it more than an inch, and she would only embarrass herself trying. "That's too heavy for me," she admitted.

    "Don't worry about it. Nobody else can lift it like I can, not even Gobo."

    "This is more my speed," Skeeter said, picking up the smaller barbell. It, too, was heavier than she expected. And Red lifted this with her tail? Where did she put the muscle to do that? Skeeter raised it over her head, then set it down again. "Remind me never to arm-wrestle you."

    Red grinned, pleased at the recognition of her skills. Poncle, who had been uncharacteristically quiet for the past three and a half minutes, declared, "I can lift it!" She grabbed the smaller barbell with both hands and strained as hard as she could.

    Red chuckled and, taking the barbell by the weights, picked it up. "With a little help."

    "See?" Poncle said proudly.

    "Wow," Skeeter said, amused.

    The Fraggles put the barbell down again. Then Poncle said "Thwack me!"

    "All right, get in."

    The little Fraggle scrambled up into the low-slung hammock and sat facing a hole in the wall. Red pulled the hammock far back, then released it, slingshotting Poncle out of the room. Skeeter, alarmed, rushed to the window just in time to see Poncle splash into the pond in the Great Hall.

    "Wanna go next?" Red offered.

    Poncle surfaced, none the worse for wear. Whew. Skeeter said, "No thanks. Maybe later."

    "Okay," Red said with a shrug. "Say, you said you do rock climbing. Tomorrow's Fraggleathelon event will be scaling Schist Cliff. Winner gets the rock-climbing trophy. I was planning to win it back from Gobo, since he's not competing this time. Wanna give it a try too?"

    "You sure I can? I'm not a Fraggle."

    Skeeter meant it as a joke, but Red replied in a serious tone, "Sure. Our stuff used to be Fraggles only, but that was before we really thought about inviting anyone else. It just never occurred to us. These days contests and events are open to anyone who wants to join in. Well, if they're able. A Doozer can sing, but they're no good at rock climbing. Too stubby. Still, if one wanted to try nobody'd say no."

    "Well... I doubt I have much of a chance against you, but sure, I'll give it a try. What supplies or things do I need?"

    "Nothing," Red assured her. "It's nice and rough, lots of handholds. And there's a pond at its base, so if you fall you'll just get wet."

    "Oh? Cool. And speaking of which... do you have a towel?" Skeeter asked.

    "A what?"

    "A towel. Something to dry off with? My clothes are all wet, and I'm getting cold."

    Wet clothes were a problem for Silly Creatures? Boy, Red thought, she was glad to be a Fraggle. "Is that like a clothesline?"

    Fraggles didn't know what towels were? Oh brother. She might have anticipated that, knowing how Janken never minded walking around soaking wet, but she hadn't. She said, "Um, in that case, is there someplace I can change?"

    "Change what?"

    Oh boy. "My clothes. I have something dry in my backpack."

    "Oh. Sure, you can change right here."

    " Er... would you mind turning around? I'd rather you didn't look. We 'silly creatures' are funny that way."

    "Okay, if you say so," Red said, and turned toward the window. She thought it was dumb to worry about someone seeing you change, but decided it was easiest to humor the Silly Creature.

    Quickly Skeeter stripped off her wet clothes and started getting into her one-piece bathing suit. Scooter had worn his under his pants; now she wished that she'd had that much foresight. She had almost gotten the suit on when Mokey appeared in the cave entrance. Skeeter yeeped and covered herself. Mokey paused, mildly surprised to see Red's guest, then continued to her side of the room. Hastily pulling the upper part of the suit into place, Skeeter said, "Sorry! I was getting cold in those wet clothes, and I had to change. I didn't think anyone would see."

    "Who're you talking to?" Red asked.

    "Me," Mokey answered. To Skeeter she said," No wonder you're cold, with no fur to keep you warm. Here, wear this until your clothes dry out." She took off her robelike sweater and offered it to Skeeter.

    "Wow, thanks," Skeeter said. She put it on. It was soft and warm and not as heavy as it looked. "I really appreciate it."

    "What're friends for?" Mokey said.

    Red said, "You want my advice, take your clothes to Boober. Ask him to wash 'em."

    "They're not really dirty, just wet."

    "Yeah, but Boober loves doing laundry. He's never seen clothes like yours. They'll make his day."

    *

    Janken led Scooter through the Great Hall, saying, "There's one Fraggle I really want you to meet. The Storyteller. She doesn't come up here often, so we'll go to her place."

    "What's her name?" Scooter asked.

    "Y'know, I don't know if she has one. Everyone just calls her The Storyteller. She's been almost an aunt to me—more like a great-aunt, actually, because she's crackers over Great-Uncle Matt—and her stories... well, they tell a lot about us, and they're fun to listen to."

    As they crossed the Great Hall Sage called from the pond, "Jan! Come swim with me."

    "Sorry, not right now. We're gonna go see The Storyteller."

    "Wait." She swam to the side and pulled herself out of the water. Dripping wet, she said, "Pick me up and throw me in."

    Janken smiled wistfully. "Sorry, Sage, but you're getting too big for me to lift. I'm not Red."

    "I'm not that big! C'mon!"

    "I'll try later, okay, sis?"

    She looked at him for a moment, then turned her back on them both and jumped into the water.

    *

    Janken led Scooter through the caves. He didn't take the direct path; there were some interesting sights to see in this area, starting with the Spiral Cavern. As they walked down the helical passage Janken watched Scooter for any sign of the claustrophobia that surface dwellers were prone to. Thus far he was doing all right. Wary, but in an unfamiliar cave who wouldn't be?

    After passing through the Spiral Caverns, the Squeaky Cavern, and Wax Falls—so named for the flowstone patterns that resembled giant, multicolored, dribbly candles—they arrived at a cave that was incongruously disguised as a house front, complete with door. It was the only door Scooter had seen in these caves; even Boober only had a curtain at the entrance to his cave. Janken pressed on a star shape. A chime sounded.

    Moments later an older female Fraggle opened the door enough to look out. Surprised, she lifted her glasses and peered at Janken and Scooter, then said, "Well, I didn't expect this! Welcome back, Janken! Have you brought your friend to me for a story?"

    Janken said, "I brought Scooter here to meet you, Storyteller. But if you want to tell us a story, we'd like to hear it."

    "Always the sweet-talker," she said, and opened the door all the way. "Come in, come in."

    They went in. The area just beyond the door was a chamber with lots of throw cushions on the floor and a stool on one side. Janken sat on a cushion and patted the one next to himself. Scooter sat by him, and The Storyteller perched on the stool. She said, "Why don't one of you tell me a story?"

    Scooter and Janken glanced at each other. Janken said, "I'll start."

    *

    They spent the afternoon exchanging stories. Janken recounted events—some funny, some more serious—that had happened among the Muppets, and told one shaggy-dog story that The Storyteller didn't recognize as a joke until the punchline. She told them about some of the events that had happened in Fraggle Rock, and some that were either historical events or folklore. Scooter was impressed; every tale she told sounded like an epic, and she wove songs into the stories—or perhaps wove stories into songs—in a way that drew the listener in. Janken had told him how all Fraggles but him had the talent to improvise songs. He wasn't kidding. At both Janken's and The Storyteller's encouragement he told them about some of the things that had happened to him and the other Muppets over the years. They weren't much as stories, but The Storyteller seemed very interested.

    When they left hours later, promising to return before they left for the surface, they both had slightly sore throats. Janken led them back to the main colony by a different route, one which included small, moss-bordered pool. Janken told Scooter, "Here, drink this."

    The water was colored pink. "Er, are you sure?"

    "You think I don't know what's good to drink? This is sweetwater. Taste it." Janken knelt and bent far enough forward to slurp directly from the pond's surface.

    It still didn't look like natural, clean water to Scooter, but he trusted Janken. He knelt and scooped some of the water up in his hands, then sipped that. It did taste good.

    Janken watched, amused, as Scooter drank several double handfuls of the water. It seemed silly to raise the water in your hands rather than simply drinking right from the pond, but it was harmless and it worked for Scooter, so who was he to criticize it? He said, "What do you think of The Storyteller?"

    "I like her. She can really tell a story. I don't know if what I told her was what she was looking for, though."

    Janken explained, "For us, stories aren't just stories. They're history, events, parables, myths...they're culture. She's one of the keepers of our culture, really. She wants to know about the outside world. Not about the things you find out there, but about how people are. I've brought her a few things, like a book of Aesop's Fables."

    "That sounds better than bringing her a newspaper," Scooter remarked, then drank another double handful of sweetwater.

    "I'd never do that to her. I like her," Janken replied in mock horror, then said in a more serious tone, "And, of course, I've told her about you, and I knew she'd want to meet you. And, to answer the next question, yes, she knows."

    Scooter said, "Actually, I wasn't thinking about that."

    "You weren't?"

    "Nope. It slipped my mind. Heh."

    Janken put an arm around Scooter's waist. "You're gettin' it! Now lemme show you something really great. You haven't seen Fraggle Rock until you've seen Belching Boulder."

    *

    Sage was half-in, half-out of the pond, resting her chin on her hands on the mossy boulders while her legs kicked slowly to keep her in place. She had been here so long that her hair and the fur on her back had dried. She heard Scooter and Janken's voices, and turned toward them.

    They crossed the Great Hall, laughing about something or other, without noticing her. She had waited all this time, and they just walked by and didn't even look at her! Her fingers tightened angrily in the moss.

    There was a boing and a yelp, then a big splash. A moment later Skeeter surfaced, sputtering.

    *****

    Scooter and Skeeter are copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC. All Fraggles except Janken, Sage, and Poncle are © The Jim Henson Company, LLC. All copyrighted characters are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Janken, Sage, and Poncle Fraggle and the overall story are copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
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  10. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Good update. Nice to see Storyteller involved again. Schist Cliff? Why do I get the feeling that's a name coined by all the Fraggles who've attempted to climb it cursing the fact they keep falling down into the pond below rather than a proper name.Uh-oh, looks like Sage's angry. If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's you never want to make a greenish Muppet-looking character angry, you wouldn't like them when they're angry. Or sad either, cause then you get the sad walking away music playing in the background. And hey, Skeeter got herself thwacked too.

    One thing I don't quite get... When Skeeter asked for Red to turn around while changing clothes... I thought that was when there's a boy and girl in the same room, the girl asks the boy to turn around so he doesn't see her unclothed... But I thought that if it's a group of girls that problem doesn't arise. Maybe some cattyness in comparing each other, though I feel that wouldn't happen with Fraggles involved. Also, the fact Mokey just waltzed into the room does throw a bit of a monkeywrench into that theory.
    *:busy: is suddenly thrown off of his Doozerstick ledge.

    Thanks for sharing, post more when you can.
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  11. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Schist is a kind of metamorphic rock made of several different kinds of rock. It'd be unusual in limestone caves. If Fraggles were to curse it, in my universe they'd call it Guano Cliff.

    Yes, you don't want to make greenish Muppets angry. They might have a yelling, arm-waving fit. Or throw garbage at you. Or put too much starch in your laundry. You made me giggle with the remark about the sad music, BTW.

    You've never been a woman, have you? Persons of the female persuasion can be modest among themselves. Skeeter simply didn't want someone she'd only just met, and who practically is a common-law in-law, to see her nakedidity. It's a good thing that Mokey was the one who got flashed, because Mokey's not likely to be startled. She just thought "Oh, that's what Silly Creatures look like under their clothes," and went on. It's a very good thing that Poncle wasn't there, because...well you know how little kids ask embarrassing questions, right?

    Side fact: I used to model for art classes. Yes, like that. The hardest part wasn't standing up there while a classroom full of people drew me badly, but disrobing. Nothing makes you feel more self-conscious than taking off your clothes while people are looking. Well, for me at least.
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  12. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Interesting. Yes, and sometimes us big kids also ask embarrasing questions too. Like I said, thought it was a boy/girl together in the same room type of notion. At least now we know better. Yep, Mokey's the type who wouldn't get weirded out, guess it plays into that older understanding sisterly vibe she's got going on.
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  13. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Loved this installment! The weight-lifting, Skeeter's brush with Fraggle norms, the thwacking, everything. Thanks for posting.
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  14. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    ------------
    I had no idea Red was that strong. I guess she really knows her Schist! ;)

    Very cute scene between Red, Skeeter, and Mokey...and grinning here at the exchange between you and Ed (who apparently doesn't mind disrobing in front of anyone, hm Ed?) hee hee hee... I like the contrasts, in general, you've painted between Silly Creatures customs, habits, and hang-ups, and the freewheeling Fraggle lifestyle. (Good frog -- don't ever let any of the fundies read about Fraggles. I can hear it now: "They're trying to recruit our younguns to a wanton lifestyle of naked fur, skinny-dipping, and rock climbing!!")

    Interested to see what becomes of the irritability of Sage. Er...heck hath no fury like a Fragglette scorned?
    ----------------
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  15. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    :attitude: Would someone hand me a robe?
    Excuuuuse me for applying traditional TV/literary/societal conventions when something similar pops up in a fanfic like Skeeter being self-conscious about her "nakedity" as Slackbot coined it. Now don't rile me up Kris, or I'll open up ma chest of demons and set 'em loose on the unsuspecting Muppets before Ascention Night. :scary: :p

    Er, yeah, so... More story please?
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  16. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -------------
    Oooh! Riled up AND unrobed! (Is that anything like Stuffed & Unstrung? Are there MORE jokes to be made here?)

    --------------
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  17. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *In flapping winged bat-robe. Do you seriously want to raise heckfire and unleash all manner of unearthly frights here in a nice FR fic? For shame. Besides, hasn't Kim exposed them to enough what with the twins and Janken going to a showing of RHPS?

    As Sam would say: You're a disgusting no-good sick weird freako!
    And as Alice would say: Why thank you Sam.
    :attitude: Freako, 1; Civilization, 0.
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  18. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    ---------------
    Exposed them...heh heh heh.

    Just a sweet transfragglite...or something...

    Anyway. 'Scuse the muffins. Carry on.
    ---------------
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  19. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    And thanks for the thanks! Er, that does make sense, doesn't it?
    Groooooan. Shaaaame on you. I may steal that joke.

    Scooter and Skeeter may have a hard time trying to figure out the rules in Fraggle Rock. Fraggles may say they don't have rules and leaders and such, but there is one very important rule, and if the twins figure it out all will be well. If not... well, it won't make for a happy story. But what is a story without conflict?

    As for Sage, well, she may be as big as Boober, but she still has some growing up to do. She would do well to stop taking her cues from Boober and look to Unca Wembley for answers this time.

    As for the rest of the conversation, I'll just sit back with a fresh, tasty muffin.

    Oh--speaking of RHPS, I just found and started posting an ooooold comic I drew back in 1992: The Ducky Horror Comic Strip. It's a twisted mashup of RHPS and Darkwing Duck, and I've been told that the ending is "just plain wrong," and I'm proud of that.
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  20. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    And you don't want to know what's going into the blooper reel from this chapter.
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