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Slackbot's text sketchbook

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Slackbot, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    The Count: The funny thing about Billie having a predatory-looking beak and bluish coloration is that some people assume that she's related to Sam rather than Gonzo. She finds that as appalling as Sam does. Sam is not a fun person and Daddy Gonzo is!

    Tenkei is another victim of my "can't-think-of-a-name syndrome." If I'm stuck for a name, I just use some Japanese. Just as "janken" means "rock-paper-scissors" (actually it's jan-ken-pon, but that was too long), tenkei means "heaven's gift" or "nature's blessing." Or "revelation" or "divine punishment" or a certain class of nouns or a specific era in Japanese history or incidental details in a picture. Japanese words wear a lot of hats.

    Fersureitsjess: Thanks, glad you liked it!
     
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  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm... Do they wear dumb hats too? :smirk:

    When I can't find a good character name (or one hasn't already been given) I usually end up going to the pun-alty box for more than two minutes sometimes.

    LMK if you may need help with any future fics. :drool:
     
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  3. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Scooter seemed very like the Scooter I know from the show in this fic. Very enjoyable, and a pleasure to see the predatory gleam in his eye.

    I can't think what to say about the other story.
     
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  4. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Fair warning: this is a fairly grim story. I'm dealing with things in my life that I'd rather not, and my mood appears to have made it into this story. Thankfully, the events in this story are not based on (I hesitate to say inspired by) anything in my life.

    This is what was in my mind when I drew this.

    *****

    Dancing Through Life
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    Dancing through life,
    Mindless and careless.
    Make sure you're where less
    Trouble is rife.
    Woes are fleeting,
    Blows are glancing,
    When you're dancing
    Through life.

    -- Dancing through Life from the musical Wicked

    *****

    Note: This takes place in The World In Which Kermit Had Never Been Born, seen in It's a very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. Without Kermit's influence, many lives were changed, and not for the better.

    *****

    It was early morning, or late night, depending on how you looked at it. The loud, thumping techno music in Club Dot had been turned off. Skeeter's ears were still ringing, and her head felt like it was wrapped in cotton.

    She was mopping the floor. She was fortunate to be doing that; lately she had been no good as a cage dancer. She could have been fired. Simple demotion was a relief.

    "Gonna be long, Skeet?"

    She looked up to see her brother Scooter. "A bit. It was kinda messy tonight. We got a date?"

    "Yeah. It's The Bluebird of Happiness."

    She nodded. She ought to be glad. She wasn't. She looked down at the floor she was mopping. A lot of drinks had been spilled.

    "C'mon, cheer up, Skeet. I know what would make you happy," he said with a teasing smile.

    "No," she said. "I want to keep my head."

    "What for?" Scooter asked, but dropped the matter and left.

    When he came back a few minutes later, he told her, "He'll wait." Then he found another mop and pitched in.

    She smiled. Scooter didn't like cleanup work, and he wasn't very good at it besides, but he always watched out for her. She didn't suggest he go on without her; she knew he'd refuse.

    **

    When they finished up, Scooter told her, "I don't like seeing you like this, Sis."

    "That makes two of us."

    "So why?"

    "I don't know," she murmured. Life was so much easier when you medicated your moods. Happiness came in small packages. Nothing mattered much, and fun things were that much better. There wasn't any point in seeing the world as it really was. Maybe. She didn't know anymore.

    She went into the back to change from her black tank top and skirt to a black dress. She and her twin had been on their own since they were practically kids. They'd taken to this lifestyle because it was fun. Party all night, finance it using the one resource that cost them nothing and couldn't be taken away from them. Because they were half-humans, full-sized people saw them as childlike. That and the twin appeal won them a lot of attention. But it was getting old, she thought as she tied her hair back into pigtails with a pair of green ribbons.

    She looked at her reflection. The gothic Lolita look was in now. It contrasted weirdly with her brother's tight shirt and shorts, but the dates liked it. She honestly didn't care.

    **

    When Skeeter came back out she was practically dragging her handbag. Scooter said, "I hate to see you like this."

    "I'll be all right."

    "Yeah. Don't worry, leave everything to me," he said brightly, and put an arm around her shoulders.

    **

    They left the club. Among the people loitering outside was a bird. The humans hardly noticed him, but he was right on Scooter and Skeeter's eye level. The twins walked over. Scooter said, "Sorry it took so long, Sammie. Thanks for waiting for us."

    Not at all," the bird replied. Seeing how down Skeeter looked, he said, "Are you all right, my dear?"

    "I'm okay," she said with the best smile she could muster.

    Sammie hailed a cab. The three got into the back, and Sammie gave his address to the driver. He sat on one side and Skeeter on the other, with Scooter in between. Scooter moved close enough to Sammie to rest his head on his shoulder. The bird put a wing around him. Scooter put his free arm around the bird's waist. He was still holding Skeeter's hand with the other.

    **

    They entered Sammie's apartment. Scooter and Skeeter knew it well; lately they had been spending a night or two a week here. Skeeter said, "Mind if I freshen up?"

    "Not at all."

    Skeeter retreated to the bathroom for a few minutes to nerve herself. Scooter said confidentially to Sammie, "She's just tired. They've been working her pretty hard."

    "I didn't see her in a cage tonight," Sammie answered.

    "Yeah, they were letting some new girls try it out. She got stuck on cleanup crew. They work her like Cinderella."

    "How sad."

    "Yeah."

    Skeeter returned. Scooter asked, "Are you all right now, Sis?"

    As he asked her, his eyes flicked right-left: no. She replied, "I'm fine," in an utterly unconvincing tone of voice.

    "You look like you need to rest tonight," Sammie told her gently.

    Scooter glanced up-down. She smiled and said, "I guess so. I'm sorry."

    "We all have our crosses to bear," the bird said sympathetically.

    Scooter said, "She's tired, but I'm not," with an eager gleam in his eye.

    "Why don't you lie down on the couch and get some sleep, my dear?"

    Her smile was a little less forced. "Thanks. I appreciate it. It really has been a bad day."

    "Tomorrow'll be better," Scooter chirped.

    She lay down on the couch. Her dress would be a mess of wrinkles tomorrow, but she didn't particularly care. Scooter went into the kitchen, got a glass of water, and set it on a coaster on the coffee table. He untied the ribbons in her hair—she'd forgotten they were there—and said, "G'night, Skeet."

    "'Night, Scoot."

    Scooter and Sammie went away. In the darkened living room Skeeter felt suddenly alone. Her ears were still buzzing from the loud music in the club.

    She ought to be happy, she thought. It was always good news when Sammie picked them up. He treated them well rather than using them and throwing them away. He gave them a safe place for the night, paid without cheating, and even fed them, and compared to some of their other dates he didn't ask for much at all. He was fond of them, even cared about them, she thought. Why? Of course Scooter liked him; he was a sugar daddy. Normally Skeeter did too. Today she didn't like anyone. Not even herself.

    She wanted an apartment. A place for just her and her brother, where they could be safe and alone, not at the mercy of whatever date they had for the night. Where they could just rest and not worry about someone else's demands. But places to live cost money, and around here there was nothing within their reach, even considering their freelance work. No home for them; just other peoples' pads, for a few hours at a time.

    She was a fool, she realized. Scooter was right. He knew how to get through life. He lived in the Happy World. He liked what he did to make a living. It was fun. Isn't that how life is supposed to be? When she was in the Happy World she felt the same way. Bad things still happened, but they didn't matter so much.

    He'd given her a glass of water. He always looked after her, she thought. He understood what she needed better than she did. She opened her purse. There, in her makeup kit, was a lipstick tube with a false bottom. She unscrewed it. Inside were several tablets. She selected an orange one and glanced at the design stamped into it. It looked like a roman numeral II. Gemini. How appropriate, she thought as she dropped in onto her tongue, then took a swallow of water.

    She lay down again and closed her eyes, knowing that when she woke up the world would be a better place.

    *****

    All characters are copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC and are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Dancing through Life is from the musical Wicked by Stephen Schwartz. The overall story is copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
     
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  5. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Very dark story but a good one nonetheless. When life pushes you back against the wall, sometimes the short-term fixes are more appealing than holding out hope for the long term. Skeeter clearly wants to keep her eyes on the future, but sometimes that's just too much to take when the present is bleak, and that's when people turn to drugs or whatever other distractions are needed.

    Hope whatever you're dealing with works out for the better.
     
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  6. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I had a bit of poster's remorse on the bus home, and expected it to be deleted by a mod for unsuitable subject matter. That still might happen, I suppose, thought I toned it way down while writing it so the point of the story wouldn't get completely lost under the shock factor.

    I hope that I can find out what I'm dealing with! The days between tests at the doctor's office and finding out the results pass by so slow.
     
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  7. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    To be fair, you don't really explicitly say any of the squelchy things, so I think you've gotten off on a technicality when it comes to the subject matter. But also I think that darker fics can be interesting when done in small and intelligent doses. Granted, I can see where some people might not like their favorite characters being put in bad situations, and that's completely fair. But life is not all sunshine and roses, as most people on this board know, and sometimes these things are compelling.

    But hopefully you have occasion for your next story to be one of your happiest!
     
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  8. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Kinda agree with charlietheowl. It's a depiction of the Dark Universe (where Kermit was never born), but that realm's been explored before in Beauregard's Visions and Visions 2 fics. Mayhaps a read-through might benefit your ideas. Then again, I knew this one-shot would be centered around your recent sketch, so I was ready for the AU treatment. What really compels the piece is the inclusion of Skeeter as a dual element counterpart to Scooter's depiction.

    Hope you're able to find out what's ailing you and you can get better.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.
     
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  9. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Someone else has written in that universe? Shoot, I thought I was being original. But it's also comforting to know that I'm not the only one. I'll check 'em out when I can line up enough brain cells to read some fic.

    Yeah, I hoped that leaving out specifics would let this one slide by. We don't really need to know exactly what's going on, and in fact I cut out a line in Skeeter's internal monologue showing that even Scooter had his limits, because it hinted too closely at what those limits were. To be nonspecific, he won't mistreat his sister. I included her both because I like her (Funny way of showing it, huh?) and because Scooter needed someone else to keep him from being a completely mercenary little twink. "Sammie" wouldn't have been enough. BTW, was it obvious who Sammie was?

    When I was writing this, trying to nail down Scooter's character, I kept flashing back to some dialogue from a courtroom scene in the movie Nuts:

    Francis MacMillan: What did you live on?​
    Claudia Draper: [pausing, glancing at Levinsky] Gifts.​
    Francis MacMillan: [with relish] Gifts. Gifts from whom?​
    Claudia Draper: Friends.​
    (snip)​
    Claudia Draper: [to the judge] Um, excuse me. Is it legal to take cash gifts?​
    Judge Stanley Murdoch: I beg your pardon?​
    Claudia Draper: I mean, if I say to you, "Stanley, here's, um, five hundred dollars just because I like you," is that legal?​
    Judge Stanley Murdoch: Yes, that's legal.​
    Claudia Draper: Thank you.​
    [to MacMillan]​
    Claudia Draper: A lot of the gifts were cash.​

    Scooter probably used that defense to fast-talk his way out of trouble any number of times.

    I don't plan to write any more in this line. It's just depressing. Originally the story was to have gone on for another scene, but I decided that the point was made by the time Skeeter went to sleep. We don't need to see her in Stepford mode.
     
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  10. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yep, Sammy was :attitude:'s DU alternate. It kind of fits better here with the deleted role of Baron von Scrooge from the Moulan Scrooge than with his off-handed appearance as another diaper-clad raver at Club Dot—all of which I've learned thanks to the stuff posted here and at Muppet Wiki from behind-the-scenes goings-on.

    Glad that this has served its purpose. Hope to read something from your wellspring when you're inspired to post it.
     
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  11. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that was Sam. I don't know if he was wearing a diaper, but he did have a pacifier and he was waving glow sticks around. (The former of which, BTW, hints strongly at MDMA use. Brrr.) Since I was twisting characters around anyway, making Skeeter the dependent "little sis," I thought it'd be interesting to make Sam a sympathetic, nonjudgmental sort.
     
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  12. mostlikemokey

    mostlikemokey Active Member

    I love these, especially the Fraggle ones. Even though I write Fraggle stories of my own, it's interesting to read some from a different continuity. More soon?
     
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  13. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

    I love every story on here! please post more!
     
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  14. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I hadn't planned to follow up on Dancing Through Life. It's a sleazy story set in a depressing universe. But I felt kinds bad about leaving Scooter and Skeeter in such an icky situation. So here is a 'happy ending', relatively speaking, for them.

    *****

    After the Dance
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?”

    -- From East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    *****

    Cement and metal. Cinderblocks. Industrial paint with just enough color to look colorless. Doors that clanged when they opened and closed. Informational posters, probably required by law. A clock on the wall that ticked loudly.

    Skeeter looked around. This place was depressing. Not as depressing to her as it was to most people, though. She could walk out again.

    She and Scooter had been caught and sent to prison. It wasn't their first time being arrested, but this time the charges had stuck. Their luck had run out. Well, not completely. They'd been convicted of misdemeanors. They could have been nailed for a felony or two. Then they'd really have been up a creek.

    It had taken her a long time to realize it, but in fact their prison time had been a blessing in an almost impenetrable disguise. It had taken her and her brother out of the world they had been living in, of go-go dancing and hustling and better living through chemistry. Skeeter had wanted to stop, but had no idea how. But Scooter had enjoyed the life, so she had followed his lead. The worst thing about prison was being separated from her brother. The two of them had been together all their lives. Losing him was like losing part of herself. That and withdrawal had made the first month an utter misery.

    But after that... it had gotten better. The Powers That Be had determined that she was salvageable. She'd gotten time off for good behavior, and help getting on her feet once she was out on parole. Afraid of being on her own, she had taken advantage of every bit of help and guidance they offered. She never wanted to dance in a cage or depend on a "date" for a place to spend the night and a few dollars. She now had a clerical job. The pay wasn't great, but it was enough.

    The door groaned open, and Scooter, accompanied by an armed guard, entered the room. He was dressed in the usual ill-fitting prison garb. It had once been a joke that someone must have a full-time job sorting out clothes so that everyone's outfit was two sizes off. Now it wasn't funny, just a dreary fact of life. Being a half-human, Scooter always got clothes that were much too large. As the guard watched, he walked over in concertina-like pants and hugged his sister. "Hi, Skeet. How's tricks?" he said in a brittle attempt at a cheerful tone of voice.

    "No tricks. Not much in the way of treats either," she replied.

    They sat side by side, arms around each other's shoulders. They always did. He hated being separated from her as much as she did. Though it had only been a few days since she had visited him last, she asked, "How've you been?"

    "Eh, all right. No trouble since last time."

    'Last time' was when, a month ago, he had been goaded into a fight by some jerks who had speculated on just how close his relationship with his sister was. When Skeeter found out she had blessed him out for getting so upset over stupid words. She said, "Good. Are you feeling all right?"

    "As much as I can," he said with a shrug. "You know what it's like in there, Skeet. I don't want to talk about it. What've you been doing?"

    "The job's all right. Kinda boring, but it's safe. I like that."

    "Yeah, I know," he said softly.

    "And when I'm off for the day I take the bus to the apartment. It's just a one-bedroom basement crackerbox, and the neighbors can be noisy, but they're on the other side of the walls. I can turn on the radio and listen to that."

    "You should get a TV."

    "I'm going to, next payday or the one after that."

    "What'd you have for lunch?"

    "Spaghetti and an apple."

    "You eat a lot of spaghetti."

    "It's cheap."

    "It sounds great. Last time I saw an apple it looked like someone had used it as a softball."

    She nodded. Prison food was supposed to be bad. As such, the cuisine here was a success. She had tried to bring him some food, but the guards wouldn't allow that. It might contain contraband. "Get yourself paroled and we can have all the spaghetti and apples you want."

    "I know, I know." He had really been trying. It was ironic that the same skills that had made life easier outside got him into trouble here. There was a black market for all sorts of contraband, and the guards could never shut it down. He could get what he wanted, and he knew what to trade...but his dilated eyes always gave him away afterward. He had been faced with a terrible choice: give up the only thing that eased life here somewhat, or face serving the maximum time, only seeing his sister a few times a week, for years more. It had been a hard decision to make, and it was still hard, but at least he was finally out of withdrawal.

    "Thought about what you wanna do when you get out?" she asked.

    "Besides eat spaghetti and apples?"

    "Yeah."

    "I don't know." He shook his head. In a low voice he said, "I don't know what I can do. Besides..."

    "Not that. Not anymore," she whispered back.

    He nodded without conviction. He could easily go back to that life. And probably end up back here, with a prior on his record... but he didn't have the foggiest notion what kind of job he could do. He and Skeeter hadn't even finished high school, much less gone to college, and what kind of crummy job could you get without a degree? Burger flipper? He'd go nuts on the first day!

    "Just be good and get out. And if they offer any help, take it. Once you're out, we'll be together again. And it'll be better," she promised.

    "I know. I'm trying."

    "You can do it," she said. "If I can, you can."

    His mouth quirked in a one-sided, wry smile. He used to be the strong one. He had guided and protected his 'little' sister. Now the roles were reversed. Well, considering where his leadership had gotten them, that had to be for the better. He said, "I trust you."

    "Yeah."

    They talked quietly as the clock ticked off their allotted time. When the last second was up the guard said, "Mr. Grosse."

    "Yeah," Scooter said. He gave his sister a quick hug, then went back. Skeeter said, "See you Sunday."

    "Yeah. Love you, sis."

    "You too, bro."

    The door closed with a heavy, metallic clank. Skeeter left the visitation room, went back through a security checkpoint and several miles of cement hallway, and emerged into the late afternoon sun. She could go home and open up a can of soup. She could go by the store and get something to fix for dinner. She could get some takeout. She could eat anything she liked—within her very tight budget, of course. That freedom didn't seem so significant until you lost it.

    She went to the bus stop and waited. Someday, hopefully before too long, she and her twin would be once again riding the bus together. however long it took, she'd wait for him. He needed her as much as she needed him. She saw that now. And when he was out, she'd protect him.

    *****

    Scooter and Skeeter are copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC and are used without permission but with much respect and affection. The overall story is copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
     
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  15. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Here's a little something that has been knocking around in my head for a few months. I don't know whether I'm going to pursue it or not.
    *****​
    Within the Music
    by Kim McFarland
    *****

    "This will be your first real test. Are you sure you want to go through with it?"

    "Yes, I'm sure."

    The Tunesmith, to his credit, did not shrug, shake his head, or in any other way show his opinion of Jago, one of his pupils. The boy was gifted, but in dire need of discipline. He spent more time dreaming than practicing, and he never could settle on one instrument. If he could just learn to focus he could become a great musician. He was young; he had time to learn. But the earlier the better.

    The two Fraggles walked from the Tunesmith's cave and down one of the passages leading out of the colony. There were dangers out here; unstable caves and hungry creatures and territorial plants and, supposedly, a ghost. The Tunesmith did not believe in ghosts, but so many Fraggles claimed to have heard a voice whispering out of nowhere that now everybody believed that these caves were haunted. Jago didn't seem worried. Either he didn't believe the rumors or, more likely, simply wasn't thinking about them.

    *

    The two Fraggles reached a small hole in the tunnel. A low moaning came from the darkness within. The Tunesmith gestured toward the hole. Jago looked at him in surprise, then peered into the hole. He turned his head, listening. Then he asked, "What whould I do?"

    "Spend the night here, in the Piping Cave. Tomorrow, tell me what you have learned."

    "What am I supposed to learn here?"

    "You tell me."

    Jago looked into the cave again. All he could hear was the low moaning of wind passing through long tunnels. It blew against his face, ruffling his flower-colored hair. He stepped in. As his eyes adjusted he could see more of his surroundings. He was in a large room with many tunnels of various sizes leading out on the opposite side. Fresh air seemed to be blowing evenly from all of them, making the room breezy and pleasant. After listening for a minute, he began to sing along with it. He used no words, only the sounds that came to him.

    The cave began to lighten in response to his song. The Tunesmith smiled. Fraggle song brightened the caves, and not only in figurative terms. Jago began wandering within the cave, his teacher forgotten. The Tunesmith turned to go back to the colony.

    *

    Jago wandered within the Piping Cave. The wind blowing in through the tunnels--there were seven of them--was steady and gentle, and, he soon realized, each tunnel's sound was different. The smallest tunnel played a a high, whishing sound. The largest one had a lower tone, the moan he had heard first. The other tunnels made sounds in between. As he walked around the cave he noticed that he heard different sounds depending on where he stood within it.

    He paced and listened. He felt as if the wind was blowing through him. As if he was an instrument rather than the player of one. It was a pleasant, even exciting sensation. After he had walked around the cave long enough to understand its sounds and their sources, he began to sing softly.
    "Music flows through the coves,
    Wind and stone singing together as one.
    Echoing as you sing,
    Let me hear your song..."

    Something was listening.

    *

    He sang, entreating the cave to share its secrets with him, until he felt he had said enough. Standing to one side, out of the main flow of air, he listened to the chord of the seven tunnels. It was pleasant, if a little monotonous. Looking around the cave, he realized that it was like the inside of a giant ocarina, with the tunnels acting as the holes...no. You blow in one side of a flute and change its single tone by covering the holes with your fingers. He put his pack down on the ground and began walking, stepping as silently as he could. He was aware of nothing but the sound of the wind. It would change if he stopped up a tunnel, he supposed. To test that he found the smallest tunnel within reach and leaned back against it. Sure enough, the chord sounded different...incomplete. He stepped away, and the chord was complete again. Taking away wasn't any good, he thought.

    Only one of the tunnels at ground level was large enough for him to enter without blocking the air flow. He walked a ways into it, then stopped and listened. Once again, the chord was changed. But this time it sounded good. By entering this tunnel he had raised its tone, which in turn changed the song of the cave.

    He stood, looking into the cave, seeing little, straining for all he could hear.

    *

    Early the next day the Tunesmith returned to the Piping Cave, hoping that his pupil had fared well. Many found the eerie sounds of the lonely cave frightening. But Jago had not run back to the colony during the night--the Tunesmith had checked his family's cave before coming here--so at least the boy had toughed it out.

    The Tunesmith looked into the cave. Jago was there, asleep on top of his sleeping bag rather than in it. From the look of it he had simply bedded down without bothering to make a campfire. He shook his head, smiling wryly, then patted Jago's shoulder. The boy's breathing caught, and he blinked and looked up. The Tunesmith said, "Arise, sleepyhead. I hope sleeping isn't all you've done in here."

    "No, not at all," Jago replied. He sat up and stretched hard, then wiggled his fingers to limber them.

    "Well then, what have you learned?"

    "Well... this cave, it's like the inside of a musical instrument."

    "Like an ocarina," the Tunesmith said, nodding.

    "No, not really. More like my reed flute, if all the reeds blew into one chamber. I've never seen an instument like this. Each tunnel makes a different sound, and it changes depending on where you are."

    "And what does that mean?"

    "It means that what you hear depends on where you are, just like anywhere else. The music you make changes as you move. Let me show you."

    Jago took out a stringed instrument like a small balalaika and stood hastily. He said to the Tunesmith, "Walk with me."

    Jago began playing the instrument, singing softly and wordlessly. The wind provided the background chord, and as he moved through the cave he adjusted the song to harmonize with it. The Tunesmith was impressed. This was the lesson the cave had to teach, but the boy had gone beyond understanding the mere principle and used it in his own music. And the tune was improvised; he would have recognized a prepared composition. When Jago finished the Tunesmith said, "Very good."

    "Thank you. And, this tunnel--if you go into it, you change the sound it makes."

    "Yes, like muting a wind instrument." the Tuneamith acknowledged.

    Jago continued, becomeing more animated, "Just as we hear different things by moving around in the world, we can change what is heard just by being in the right place. The song of the world continues, but we become a part of it rather than using it in our music."

    If the Tunesmith had ever doubted that Jago was still a dreamer, this would have laid that question to rest. Trust Jago to turn a practical lesson on music principles into a philosophical matter. Still, there was nothing to say that musicians couldn't be dreamers too. "Have you learned anything else?"

    "Not yet."

    Patting his student's shoulder approvingly, The Tunesmith said, "Well, you've passed the test. You've done very well, in fact. Let's return."

    "I'd rather stay here."

    Surprised, the Tunesmith asked, "Why? What do you want to do?"

    "I think there's more to it. At the very least, I want to listen some more."

    The Tunesmith gave him an odd look. Then he said, "If that's what you want to do. Come back when you're ready."

    "I will."

    The Tunesmith left his odd pupil behind. He had the talent to be a master musician, but with his disposition, who knew what he would finally turn out to be.

    Unseen, an entity watched the young Fraggle, and was pleased. It said in a voice so low that Jago believed he was hearing his own thoughts, "Listen."

    *****

    Fraggle Rock and Jago (under his real name) are copyright © The Jim Henson Company and are used without permission but with much respect and affection. The Tunesmith is copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com), as is the overall story. Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
     
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  16. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Yay! More Fraggle fic. I really like the descriptions of the Piping Cave. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  17. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Heh, it's probably obvious who Jago is, or will be.
     
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  18. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I haven't written many of these little fragments lately. But now that I've gotten the big fics out of my system, I can put down some of the incidental bits.

    This is a bit of naughty ush-gush that takes place before the birth of the Fraggle Five Family's first child. It might explain a few things. This is actually the bowdlerized version of the story. It's probably obvious where the cut is and what was removed. ;)

    *****

    Snack
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    "Mokey?"

    She turned around. "Yes?"

    Wembley was standing in the entrance of Mokey and Red's cave, looking self-conscious. "Boober wanted me to ask you what you wanted him to pack."

    That has been the last thing on her mind. "Oh, hmm.."

    "In the picnic basket. Though, well, it's not just a picnic, and he said he'll have to pack two baskets. You know Boober, he doesn't want anyone to go hungry, and—"

    She interrupted, "Wembley! Are you nervous?"

    He clasped his hands together and smiled sheepishly. "Yeah."

    "Oh, Wembley." She held out her arms to him.

    He came over to her, and they hugged. He breathed in her scent. For several days every year she had a special scent. It was delicious and fascinating, better even than the smell of fresh radishes. Breathing it in made him feel a little dizzy, as if the blood was rushing away from his head for another destination.

    Mokey felt lightheaded as well. She had just come into season, as she did every midsummer. Normally she drank yellowflower tea, a small cup a day, beginning when the flowers bloomed and until her season ended. The tea was a medicine of sorts, and female Fraggles who drank it did not become fertile. This year the family—all Fraggle Five—had made special plans. Mokey had not drunk the tea, and as a result the season was affecting her much more strongly than it had in the past.

    Tonight she would join with Gobo, Wembley, and Boober in the Midsummer Ritual to start a baby. It was unusual for groups to participate, but she could not choose one over the other to sire their child. Since it would be raised by them all, it was only fair that everyone have a chance. And, she thought as she hugged Wembley, she felt eager enough to tire out all three. She touched her nose to Wembley's cheek and, when he looked up, kissed him. It began as an affectionate gesture, but intensified quickly.

    Soon she felt the evidence that Wembley was as worked up as she was. She smiled down at him. Blushing, he said, "You know what it's like when Boober's planned a great feast, and he's spent days cooking and getting everything just right, and it's nearly time to serve it, everything's ready and you can smell it and your stomach's growling and your mouth's watering, but you still have to wait until the muffins are done?"

    "Yes."

    "That's how I feel right now."

    Though embarrassed by his loss of control, he hadn't pulled away—and she didn't want him to. Softly she said, "I feel the same way. So…how about a little snack?"

    "Can we do that?" he asked, surprised.

    "Why not?"

    "Well—sure!"

    She laughed softly and kissed him again. Then she let go of him and went to the stone shelf on which she made her bed. At one side it was just high enough off the floor that she could sit on the edge and lean back against a few pillows...

    **

    A little while later Wembley returned to Boober's kitchen. Boober was engrossed in the task of mixing the dough that would become the crust of a radish quiche. Wembley tapped his shoulder. Boober yelped and startled. As Wembley wiped a spray of flour off his face and shirt Boober said, "Where have you been?"

    "I went and saw Mokey, just like you asked me to," Wembley answered.

    Boober, fussing with the dough, did not notice Wembley's peculiar smile. "What did she say?"

    "Huh?"

    "You remember, I sent you to go ask her if she had any requests for what I should make for the ritual tonight!"

    "Uh...I forgot?"

    Boober turned and looked at Wembley. Then he shook his head and sighed. "Wembley, Wembley. You'd forget your own tail if it wasn't sewn on."

    *****

    Fraggle Rockand all characters are copyright © The Jim Henson Company. All copyrighted properties are used without permission but with much respect and affection. The overall story is copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
     
  19. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    First of all, it's a delight to find another of these snapshots from your particular ficverse.

    Secondly... When :dreamy: holds her hands out for :coy: to come in for a hug...
    Posted by Bot of Slacks: He came over to him, and they hugged."
    *Shakes head, another fic author who got their gender pronouns mixed-up. I've seen this in other stories at fanfiction.net as well.

    Posted by Slack of Bots: "It was delicious and fascinating, better even than then smell of fresh radishes."
    "Than then"?
    :cool: Yes! And then I said I than then!
    :sing: Uh-oh, sounds like Zoot's skipped a groove again. *Raspy laugh.

    There's a reason I liked Mokey. Leaving Wembley with a goofy smile like that. Thank you for posting.
     
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  20. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Typos? *edit edit* What typos? There are no typos such as what you pointed out!

    Heh, the goofy grin was almost inevitable. The bit you didn't see involved Wembley's little sound effects, and it's hard not to laugh, y'know?
     
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