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Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TogetherAgain, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Chapter Nineteen

    Clifford straddled the old malfunctioning light and pulled a screwdriver out of his pocket. He shoved his sunglasses up his forehead and set about unscrewing a large metal plate.

    He felt a frown on his face. Dumb light. Dumb, lousy light. It never worked. Why did he have to fix it?

    He pulled out the unscrewed screw and turned to put it- aw, rats, he’d forgotten to bring a bowl for the loose screws.

    Man, why couldn’t they just buy a new light, like a normal theater?

    He looked at the screw in his hand.

    Too many loose screws around, that was why.

    He balanced the screw on the metal grating of the catwalk behind him, careful that it wouldn’t fall through to the stage below. It was stupid, but it worked. A lot of things were like that around here.

    On the stage below him, Kermit and Fozzie were practicing their song and dance number for the show. It was going better than the diner skit, which wasn’t saying much.

    Clifford cringed at the thought of the diner skit as he began to unscrew the next screw. Why did he have to be the one behind the counter? Why was he the one to put up with everyone else’s insanity?

    He sighed. It wasn’t so far off from real life. Hey, Clifford, could you fix that light that’s broken, and nobody can figure out why it’s broken… Could you spend the rest of your life fixing it, when it would be cheaper and easier to just buy a new one?

    He pulled out the unscrewed screw, turned, set it next to the first screw, and turned to unscrew the third screw.

    Yeah, sure, he’d be happy to waste away his life just slaving away fixing this dumb old light. It wasn’t like he had anything better to do. Not like he’d ever dreamed of anything better than lurking in the shadows with a wrench in his hand. Why would he dream of that?

    Man, couldn’t the frog, of all people, understand dreaming? Couldn’t the frog understand that ambition to do more, to be more? So why keep him fixing this dumb old light? Who did the frog think he was- Beauregard? Andy and Randy Pig? Man, even Pepe was moving faster than he was, and that shrimp was a lying, scheming, no-good money-hungry back-stabber!

    He didn’t grab the unscrewed screw fast enough, and it tumbled down to the stage below.

    “Aw, MAN!” Clifford glared down at the falling screw. He shoved the screwdriver back into his pocket, grabbed the railing above and behind him, and pulled himself under it onto the catwalk.

    His feet kicked against the two precariously balanced screws, knocking them through the metal grating.

    He clenched his jaw as he watched the screws fall. “Typical,” he muttered. Talk about good-for-nothing. Even if he’d had a bowl for the screws, he would’ve kicked it over.

    “Ah! It’s raining hardware!” Fozzie’s voice carried up from below.

    Clifford’s muscles tensed. It WOULDN’T be rainin’ hardware if that frog would buy a NEW light and let me-

    “Everything all right up there, Cliff?” Kermit called up.

    Clifford clenched his fists. “Yeah, it’s cool, Kerm.” He marched along the grid of catwalks until he reached the tall metal ladder, which he then grabbed hold of and lowered himself down.

    This was just typical. All he wanted was to make something of himself, and he couldn’t do anything right. He was stuck fixing the same light, day in and day out, dropping screws, screwing up his love life-

    His feet hit the wood floor and he turned to the stage, yanking his sunglasses off and shoving them into a pocket as he squinted to spy the screws.

    “What happened?” Kermit asked.

    “None of your-“ Clifford caught himself, not looking at the frog. “Uh- nothin’, Kerm. Just butterfingers, that’s all.”

    “…Okay,” Kermit said, something unsettled in his voice. “…You need any help finding-“

    “I got it, Kerm.”

    “…Okay…”

    Clifford picked up one of the screws, squinted, and spotted the other two in the band pit, on the carpet, near Animal’s drum set. He groaned, swung himself down, and picked up the screws. He shot a warning glare of don’t ask at anyone in the band pit as he straightened up. As he trudged up the steps to the house, his eyes passed over Rowlf’s piano.

    You can’t live with ‘em, you can’t live without ‘em…

    “Where are ya when I need ya, Ol' Brown Ears?” Clifford muttered under his breath.

    His fist clenched around the three screws in his hand as he pushed his way into the old supply closet. Everything in this theater was old.

    “I gotta get outta here,” he muttered. “No guy here has luck with life. Or women.”

    He snatched a small bowl and slammed the screws into it.

    Rejected.

    Carly, cute Carly from the checkout line at the grocery store, had walked out on him just a few nights ago. Before her, Stacy had stopped returning his calls without explanation. Before her, Rebecca had dumped him for some jerk in the South Korean Army. Brittany had left him for the garbage man. Now that HURT.

    But one look at the company he kept, and how surprised could he be about it? All these guys, and the only two with good relationships were Gonzo and Floyd, a weirdo and a musician, with a chicken and another musician.

    He yanked his sunglasses off and thrust them onto his face. “You are who your friends are,” he muttered.

    He glared through his shades at the three screws in the bowl.

    For the thousandth time in his life, he thought about quitting the Muppets and moving to some remote village near the Amazon. From the way Scooter talked about his twin, Skeeter, that was where the really good women were, anyway.

    And who would miss him here? Nobody would notice if that dumb light NEVER got fixed! And they all hated him, anyway, because he was the one who had gotten that show cancelled.

    He snatched the screws, clenched them in his fist, and shoved the bowl into his pocket. He left the supply closet.

    It wasn’t the first time he’d thought of leaving. Maybe this time… Maybe after this show… When that lousy diner skit was through…

    He hauled himself up the ladder, reached the catwalk he needed, and felt the screws slip from his hand.

    He groaned as he watched them fall. “Typical,” he muttered, climbing down. “Good for nothing…”
  2. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHH!

    Oh it was SO funny! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! You haven't posted a chapter of this since December, then you bounce back with this? Holy PIGEON SNOT Lisa! AH! It was SO funny! SO SO SO SO funny! But then the end... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    MORE! PLEASE!
  3. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    Oh my Lord it's an UPDATE! This was great! No one has ever dug into Clifford's mind like that before and it was brilliant! I loved it! While this chapter does work with the story, it almost could be a stand alone one shot, it's so good!

    Ok so more please of this and Heart of Gold and Flippersteps! PLEASE?
  4. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Pats book... An update, that's what we needed around here.
    Gonzo: What's that?
    An update.
    Gonzo: To what?
    For the story.
    Gonzo: Which story?
    *Points at title, this one.
    Gonzo: It could use an update.
    Sheesh...

    You deserve a good lengthy review, but I don't have enough names and Prawny's the one who's good at that with names for you. But I rully liked Clifford's mindset at having to fix the light so many times now... Please post more and thank you for the new chapter.
    *Hugs to Lisa.
  5. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Poor Clifford...and poor Muppets...they need a Rowlf to talk to...
  6. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    And we need more story to read. Post more Toga or the penguin cannon'll be aiming square at your general direction.
  7. BeakerSqueedom

    BeakerSqueedom Active Member

    Wow...I loved reading the chapters. I went through emotions like crazy. <3 I lovvee it. Update!
  8. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Good. Others penned by this talented torturer include...
    Destination: Home!
    Chasing Robin.
    Summer in the Theater.
    Swamp Call, her magnum opus where we found some of Kermit's family that some of us borrow from time to time with permission from the author.
    A Heart of Gold.
    The Gift.
    Flippersteps in the Sand, leave this one for last, you'll understand why when you read it. And be prepared for the tragedy of Chapter 9.
  9. BeakerSqueedom

    BeakerSqueedom Active Member

    :confused: Oh nuus.

    Edward, you seem to be my story recommendation officer. XD Thanks I love reading.
  10. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Well... It's only because I do quite a lot of fanfic reading myself. There are lots of stories posted, and some authors are my friends. So whenever someone new shows interest in one of their works of fanfic literature, I encourage they read all other works produced by the same pen/keyboard.

    That, and the fics I recommend are ones I've enjoyed myself, both personally and professionally as we like to reference each other's works in our own stories trying to connect bits and pieces. For instance, the layout of the town of Hensonville is something Sara (ReneLouvier) and I cooked up together based on Erin (MuppetNewsgirl)'s story A Little Knight Music, which'll probably be embellished just a bit in Catherine (Ruahnna)'s Wearing O' The Green. Should rully get back to my Hensonville History fic... Dunno when I'll get the chance to do so though.
    LMK when you've finished and ready for more.
  11. BeakerSqueedom

    BeakerSqueedom Active Member

    That's very cool <3! Lol! I like to read so I always follow what you recommend. : D

    Thanks.


    now to..

    *Huggle everyone to death* *Flees the thread until it has been updated*
  12. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Ooh, good idea! I'll flee the thread until it's updated, too!

    ...Oh wait... That doesn't work, does it? Because I kinda have to be here for it to be updated.

    ...Pity.
  13. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Chapter Twenty

    Rowlf looked out the window and felt a grin inside of him. “Here comes the chaos.”

    “They’re home?" Robin asked, looking up at the dog.

    “That, or someone made an exact replica of the band’s bus and is now driving on our street," Rowlf said. “Let’s get this music out of Uncle Kermit’s sight, if we want it to surprise him.”

    “Okay!" Robin quickly hopped from the dog’s lap to the floor.

    Rowlf stood up and tried to lift the thin, worn sheet music from the piano, but his paws and arms were burning with pain, and his fingers were swollen thick. He only succeeded in knocking the music to the floor. “Oops.” There was no way he could pick it up now. “Uh- hey, Robin? Could you-“

    Robin scooped up the papers. “Do they go in the bench?"

    “Yup," Rowlf said, trying to assess his pain. “Do you remember how it opens?"

    “I think so!" Robin opened the bench, put the music in, closed the bench, and hopped back onto it.

    Rowlf sat beside him, and they examined the old, well-used and well-treasured music book that had been hiding behind the now-hidden sheet music.

    The door opened, and the Muppets began to pour in.

    Kermit let out a weary sort of sigh as he entered the boarding house. He heard a few stray piano notes slowly become the beginning of Michael Finnegan, smiled faintly, and went to the piano. As he had expected to see, Robin was sitting on Rowlf’s lap, slowly, carefully picking out the notes, giving his uncle a bright, welcoming smile, but focusing on the song.

    Kermit had not expected to see Rowlf’s paws so swollen.

    Robin finished the last notes of the first verse and looked up for- and received- Rowlf’s approving nod.

    “Very nice, Robin," Kermit said.

    “Thanks, Uncle Kermit!"

    Rowlf looked at the older of the two frogs. “Rough day today, Kermit?"

    Kermit shrugged it off. “As usual," he said. “Paws hurting? They look awfully swollen…”

    “Well, that’s to be expected," Rowlf said easily. “Part of getting better.”

    “But do they hurt?" Kermit pressed.

    Thinking himself unnoticed, Gonzo winced and edged closer to the piano.

    “Sure, it hurts, but it’s only been a couple days," Rowlf said. “This kinda thing takes a lot of time sometimes. It’s gonna hurt for a while.”

    From across the room, Clifford glanced at the piano. The floppy-eared dog had swollen paws and was clearly in pain. Why would he want to listen? Besides, Kermit and Robin were there now. Maybe I’ll just go pack, he thought as he stormed up the stairs.

    Kermit gave his friend a sad, concerned look. He didn’t want to say this. He did not want to say this. “Rowlf," he said softly, “How much piano have you played today?"

    Busted, Rowlf thought.

    Robin frowned up at the two adults.

    “Less than usual," Rowlf said. He usually played almost all day. He hadn’t played when Robin was at school.

    Kermit sighed and sat down next to Rowlf while Robin continued to frown up at them. “Rowlf…” He really, really did not want to say this.

    “Yeah Kermit," Rowlf sighed.

    Kermit winced. Oh, how he loathed to say this. “Rowlf," he said quietly, “You really… probably… shouldn’t be- playing- piano… with broken wrists.”

    Now he’d said it.

    Rowlf stared at him.

    His sunny-side up eyes were stinging with the venom of persistent determination that was feared by all dream-chasers and known by all whose dreams are deterred or crushed.

    That was why Kermit hadn’t wanted to say it.

    The room was stiff, and quieter than it had been. The Muppets didn’t have to hear the conversation to see, to feel, to know the look in Rowlf’s eyes.

    Gonzo swallowed hard and turned away from the piano, looking at his feet. What had he done to his friend?

    Rowlf, of course, was aware of far more than the venomous pain in his eyes. He also felt the burning pain in his paws that told him that Kermit was right, that told his heart to ache, because his flaming desire and dream, a fundamental part of the very essence of his being, was, in his ‘best’ interests, off-limits.

    Kermit squirmed uneasily. “I- …I’m not saying, you- have to stop completely," he said quietly, “But- …Rowlf, it…” He winced and sighed. “At least take longer breaks?"

    Rowlf was quiet for a long moment. “…Yeah," he whispered.

    Kermit nodded quietly. “I-“

    He really hated having had to say that.

    “…I’m sorry, Rowlf," he whispered.

    Rowlf nodded. “I know," he whispered.

    Robin looked back and forth between them, quiet, confused, and concerned.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

    Clifford drummed his fingers on the card table.

    Kermit tapped his flipper under the table.

    Pepe shuffled and reshuffled the deck of cards on the table.

    They lazily eyed the empty chair at the table.

    “He’s sat out more hands than he’s played lately," Clifford snapped. “Can’t we just deal the next one without him?"

    “You know how that irks him though, Clifford," Kermit said. “He only said to deal him out of two hands.”

    “Si, si," Pepe said as he shuffled again. “He should be back soon, hokay?"

    “Right," Clifford said, setting his cheek on his fist. “What’s with all the phone calls he’s been gettin’, anyway? Girls?"

    Pepe looked up from the deck of cards. “He wishes, hokay?"

    “Family stuff, I guess," Kermit said as he ran his finger across the edge of the table.

    Clifford glared at the shuffling cards across the table. “Listen, shrimp-“

    “King prawn," Pepe nearly growled.

    “Whatever.”

    “Gonzo?"

    “Pepe-“

    “Si?"

    Clifford glared at him. “If you’re fixing that deck…”

    “Why whould I do such a t’ing, hokay?" Pepe asked, trying to look innocent.

    “You would," Kermit mumbled. “There’s a reason we have Clifford deal.”

    Clifford leaned back in his chair and folded his arms. “At least I’m good for somethin’," he muttered. So if he did leave, the poker table would miss him. A little. Great. As soon as he found his suitcase…

    “Fine," Pepe said, annoyed. He pushed the deck across the table to Clifford. “Jou shuffle away if jou want, hokay? If jou can’t trust jour friend. I’ll go see if we can deal de rat out again!" He stood up and marched out of the room.

    Clifford picked up the cards, sighed, and began to shuffle.

    Kermit and Clifford did not say a word to each other. While the frog could clearly detect his friend’s bitter animosity, he could not begin to guess the reason for it.

    Clifford wasn’t too willing to tell him.
  14. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! WHY YOU GOTTA KILL ME SO? UGH! POOR ROWLF! GAH! CLIFFORD! GAAAAAAAAAAH! GONZO! *moans* UGH! You kill me! But that's why I love you.

    (((HUGS!)))

    More please!
  15. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Ooooh! The part with Rowlf, sad but beautiful. The part with Clifford, angry and heartbreaking. The part with Gonzo, Rizzo, and Pepe... Great and funny all at the same time.

    More please!
  16. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    Poor Rowlf, cute Robin, and Clifford....whoa. This story has a whole new meaning with this element you've thrown in and I like it. :) Keep it up, must read more!
  17. BeakerSqueedom

    BeakerSqueedom Active Member

    Awww

    ;-; *SNIFFLES*

    <3 Stay so you can update missy! <3

    :3 This story makes me all mushy inside. :confused: Strange huh?

    I love it so far as usual.
  18. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Bombards the Toga with a volley of penguin cannon blasts. Aargh missy... Ye be postin' more story or we be blastin' ye with these pengawins.
    *Finds self on the bridge of the Swinetrek... Wait a second... This isn't a pirate ship!
    Link: I told you that last time.
    Fine, just call up the minds to post more story.
    Link: You can use the intercom.
    OK... What? This isn't an intercom! It's a pay phone!
    Link: A minor design flaw that escaped our attention.
    Aargh, whatever.
    Gonzo: You called?
    No, now get out.
    Link: You're breaking character.
    I'm breaking character? What about hooknose over here. He's not even supposed to be in this scene.
    Gonzo: OK, I can take a hint.
    Link: Really? Where do you take it?
    What?
    Link: The hint, where does he take it?
    Sheesh! Close curtans! And post more story!
  19. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    <Giggles> Ed, that is probably the funniest one-post nag I've seen in quite some time. And you know what I like best about it? It's actually realistic nagging. Almost done writing the next chapter! Yay!
  20. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Aargh... Good, now post it missy... Or we be sending another round of torpedy pengawins after ye.
    Rizzo! Get up here and load another penguin in the barrel.
    Rizzo: I'm on my lunch break.
    If'n ye dunna load the cannons, I'll break you and lunch on yer innerds, with yer tail for dessert!
    Rizzo, scaredly: Yes sir! *Scurries about to get Zany into the cannon, then absent-mindedly fires the flightless bird as he holds a cue card reading "Post more please!" rocketing off to the other halves.


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