Chapter Seventeen Kermit stood there, becoming numb himself. He saw Deadly, eyes closed, his hand on Eleanor's shoulder. A few tears were rolling down the old dragon's snout. Life had walked inside the room, although Deadly never noticed it. The frog just stood against the doorframe. He could go inside, yet he couldn't leave. Something kept this old frog pinned to the spot where he stood. Life patted Deadly on the shoulder, she knew his mind was replaying old, painful memories. "It is alright, old friend. Do you know what shall happen now?" Deadly opened his mouth to speak, yet nothing came forth. He then simply shook his head. "You know not, dear friend? You yourself said it. At least in your thoughts. You had wished for Eleanor to come here...to die in the theatre so she might stay with you for all eternity. Is that not what you wished, old friend?" His voice was a deep, gruff growl now. "I thought it, yes. But I realized that was too foolish for an old dragon to think of. Not a wise choice you know. For it is only Death that can grant such privilages to the desceased. For all I know, she might very well have wanted to pass on!" "Why did you choose to stay behind then, Deadly?" Life asked simply. "I felt I had unfinished business. And I did." Deadly looked back at Kermit, who had still not moved yet. "Did you accomplish it, then?" "That, I cannot be sure of." He looked towards where the stage is outside of the rooms. He's been a player in their TV shows. He's even been in one of their movies, when they filmed here at the theatre. He's an accomplished actor of stage and screen. A bit player, but still...a player nonetheless. He has done what he had set out to do. Life merely smiled, with no words. Her expression said it all....everything and yet nothing. She knew what Deadly suddenly realized. "I cannot go yet, Life...please. They have become my friends....I've protected them time and again!! They need me!!!" "Are you sure that they need you Deadly? Most times they complain, that you are in their way. What do you say to that, dear frog?" Deadly frowned, looking over at Kermit. Then he laughed a bit. "To this weary frog, everyone's a bother when it's the night before the show! Everyone is in everyone else's hair, people are shouting, and it is pure chaos!! This frog, Kermit...he is the eye of this hurricane they call The Muppets. He watches over these frogs, and dogs, and bears, and chickens...and whatevers." Life did not smile, nor did she frown. "But...what about phantoms?" Kermit took a few steps inside, and he placed his hand on Uncle Deadly's shoulder. "It's because...he watches over me, while I watch over them. He has stopped robberies, Life. We wouldn't be here, if it weren't for him. The theatre most likely wouldn't be here either....we're proud to say that we have a ghost watching over us!!" "YEAH!!" All the muppets had clambored outside the door, and where yelling in appreciation of Uncle Deadly, and what Kermit just said. "He got me down from the rafters, after my cannon exploded!" "He helped get rid of all the pests inside this theatre." "He helped find my joke books my Ma gave me when I had lost them!" Kermit nodded, watching the others say of things Deadly's helped them with. It may have been a small thing here and there. And granted, he's scared them more then helped them, but whatever he did they all still loved him. "So, you see Life. You can't take him away just yet." Kermit was almost pleading with Life now. Life laughed softly. "You see, dear frog. It is not my matter weather or not he stays or goes. A good friend of mine, Death. He is the one you shall need to speak with, dear frog. Plead your case to him, not me. He shall see fit should he stay or should he go. Now for me, I need to leave as well. If Eleanor shall be restored to life as had Uncle Deadly, I shall be back for that time. If not, you will most likely never see me again. So, I bid you farewell. Death awaits for you in one hour." The Muppets watched as Life poofed out once more, quite possibly for the last time, as she had said. They left to go sit out in the theatre seats. They were for the most part quiet. Which was very strange for them. They all reflected on what Life had said, and what they saw. Then Rizzo and Pepe started to fight over some sandwiches. And Scooter and Fozzie where fussing over how much time Fozzie should get in the next show. So far, it was life as usual for everyone. But...they still remembered, no matter much they tried to push it out of their minds, it was like an ink blot on a white sheet: Death was coming. And he was sure to be angry at what's happened here.