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Slackbot's text sketchbook

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

  1. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Wery sneaky of you. *Chuckles with the sound effects mention. Still, I likes this interlude, please post when you get inspired. :flirt:
     
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  2. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Awww! Very cute, thanks for posting!
     
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  3. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

    Aw, Wembley! Heh heh...
     
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  4. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    ...And now you know how Janken got his schnoz. [​IMG]
     
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  5. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Uh... I forgot what a schnoz is? :coy:
     
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  6. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Schnoz means nose.
     
  7. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, his nose does look kind of similar to Wembley's. (laughs softly!)
     
  8. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Yup. If Boober had run his own errands that day, Janken might have looked very different.

    I'm writing another story which I hope to post in the next few days. It involves domesticity, secrecy, and jewelry.
     
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  9. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Here's another shortie. It takes place sometime after Brothers and Sisters, and continues a thread from Masks and Growing Together.

    *****

    Ring of Truth
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    It was a lazy Tuesday morning. Fridays through Sundays, the Muppets put on their shows at the theater, and on Mondays they filmed the backstage segments and any other footage that would be needed for the corresponding television episodes. Tuesdays through Thursdays were for rehearsal, costume and scenery work, and damage control. Unless Scooter was cast in a skit and thus needed for rehearsals, he took a day or two off.

    He was still lying in his pajamas on the couch that served as a bed. He usually stayed here, in Janken's apartment, on non-show nights. He had been iffy about that at first, but Janken had gently persuaded him to take time off from his work on the show, which always bled over into the boarding house. Scooter had agreed, reluctantly at first, but now he enjoyed the break. The troupe could function without him for a few days, knowing that if the travel plans for the guest star glitched he was only a phone call away. Of course, he stayed at the boarding house on show nights—and, more often than not, so did Janken. It was an arrangement that suited them both.

    It might have suited them a little better if Janken was not such an early riser, Scooter thought. The Fraggle popped out of bed at the crack of dawn. Literally; sunlight woke him up. This wasn't a problem in winter, but during summer it could be downright exasperating. At least he had quickly learned to let Scooter sleep in. Or, as he was doing today, awaken him with something pleasant, like the smell of coffee and breakfast.

    Scooter sat up and stretched. Janken, hearing the movement, looked over and smiled. He was still in his pajamas. Scooter got up and went to the bathroom, where he brushed him teeth and otherwise prepared himself for the rigors of consciousness. Then he returned to the living room, which was the only other room of the basement apartment. Janken was turning a vegetable and mushroom omelet out of an electric wok onto a plate.

    Sitting on the couch again, this time in its capacity as a couch, Scooter said, "Good timing."

    Janken handed him a cup of coffee. "You trained me well."

    Scooter sipped the drink. It had just the right amount of cream and sugar. Janken couldn't stand coffee; he was a tea drinker. Thank heavens for instant coffee. He supposed that one could say that he had trained Janken to wake him up with coffee and breakfast, or one could say that Janken had trained him to wake up without complaint at the smell of food and caffeine. Whichever it was, it worked.

    Janken divided the omelet, set out some biscuits, and served two bowls of fruit salad with yogurt and granola. To Scooter, who had been acclimated to cereal and waffles and bacon, this had originally seemed weird, but once he got used to it, it was really good. One thing you could say about Fraggles; even though they were vegetarians they ate well. Afterward Scooter washed the dishes. That was the usual division of labor, as Janken enjoyed cooking and, if it was left to Scooter, they would have been eating a lot of PBJ sandwiches.

    They hadn't discussed that; it had just happened. A lot of things just worked themselves out these days. They knew each other that well, and if there were any sticky points, they were comfortable talking about them, so tension didn't build.

    Janken said, "Do you have anything planned today?"

    "No. How about you?"

    "Just the usual." When Janken had time on his hands he did volunteer work for the TMI. That organization had helped him adjust to life on the surface after he had gotten trapped out here by a rockslide, and he had remained good friends with the staff of this city's office. So he often went in and helped them out, sometimes by working with some of the Monsters they were assisting, sometimes by doing office work or just answering the phones. It was, he felt, a way to give back to those who had helped him in his time of need, not because he felt he owed them, but because they were his friends, and friends helped each other.

    Scooter said, "I was thinking, maybe we could get rings."

    "Rings?" From the way Scooter said that, it had been on his mind for a while. Janken sat next to him.

    "Yeah. People who are couples often wear rings," Scooter explained.

    "Wedding rings," Janken said uncomfortably. The idea of pairing off with someone was fine, but Janken found the social and legal structure surrounding marriage appalling. Love was too personal a thing to be treated like a contract.

    Scooter said, "I know Fraggles don't marry. Don't worry. I just thought, well, I'd like to wear a ring, and I'd like to give you one too."

    Janken asked, "What would it mean?"

    "Just that I love you."

    Janken looked at his hand. After a long moment he looked back up at Scooter and said with a smile, "Yes, I'll wear a ring that means I love you."

    Scooter grinned and hugged Janken. "Great!"

    Janken laughed a little. Then he asked, "What kind of ring?"

    "Men's rings are usually pretty simple. I was thinking a band of some kind. Couples usually get matching rings."

    "I like simple. I don't think I could manage rocks like Miss Piggy and Dr. Teeth wear."

    "I don't know how Teeth pulls his sleeves over those things."

    Janken picked Scooter's tablet up from the coffee table and turned it on. Scooter said, "Hmm?"

    Janken said, "I don't know much about rings. I'd like to see what they look like."

    "Oh, sure."

    "Um, if it turns out that I can't wear it on my hand, could I wear it around my neck?"

    "Wouldn't that be kind of a pinch?"

    Janken nudged him with an elbow. "I mean, on a chain or something."

    "Sure, that'd be fine. I wouldn't want it to be uncomfortable."

    "Thanks." The browser was now up. Janken asked, "Is there a site I should go to?"

    "Just Google around."

    Janken did, and selected a likely looking link. A few more clicks brought them to a long page of men's rings. They came in a wide variety, from simple, unadorned bands to glittery gauds. Scooter let Janken scroll around for a while, looking at the styles.

    Janken turned to Scooter. "I don't know what I like. I don't know what it'll look and feel like on my hand."

    "We'll buy from a place in town, not online. We can try 'em on," Scooter assured him. "I like the simple ones, myself." He pointed to several bands that were either plain or had simple engraved designs.

    "Yeah," Janken nodded. Then he said, "Um, if we buy them from a store here, someone might see us."

    "Yeah, and someone's sure to notice if we start wearing matching rings during the show."

    They both knew from their time spent on several Muppet message boards that fans were notorious about noticing little details like that. Janken said, "We won't wear 'em on camera, right?"

    "I'll keep mine on."

    "Then I should take mine off?" Janken asked, puzzled.

    Scooter said quietly, "I mean, let 'em notice. And if they put two and two together, well, okay."

    "You want people to find out we're gay?" Janken had never been self-conscious about that—among Fraggles, sexual orientation was no big deal—but Scooter had wanted to keep it a secret. So, in public and on camera they were just friends. Outside of Fraggle Rock, only the other Muppets and Scooter's sister Skeeter knew the truth. Janken hadn't expected Scooter ever to drop the mask.

    Scooter explained, "Well... I just don't feel the way I used to about it. Even with everybody telling me I'm okay, there's nothing wrong with me, still, it's hard letting go of that baggage. If I'd known someone else like me who was like me—does that make sense?" Janken nodded encouragingly "If I'd known, maybe I wouldn't have felt so weird, been afraid of what I am. Now, well, I feel silly about that."

    Janken put an arm around Scooter. "You shouldn't," he said.

    "I guess it boils down to, I don't want to hide any more. I don't want to pretend. I don't want to make a big deal about it either, though, because it isn't. This way, I can let 'em figure it out for themselves without making a production out of it, 'hey, look at me, I'm gay,' ugh. If word gets out, well, let it. And maybe there's someone else out there who feels like I used to, and maybe it'll help 'em to know there someone else out there like them."

    "Yeah."

    "Boy, did that need a script editor," Scooter stage whispered. Then he said, "But this isn't about getting noticed, Jan. I love you, and I want to wear a ring that means that. That's all. Um…what do you think about this? Letting people figure it out?"

    Janken smiled and took his hand. "Scooter, I'd wear your ring even if I had to pierce my tail to do it."

    Several minutes later the conversation switched back to verbal mode. Scooter said, "Want to go to shopping today?"

    "Why wait?" Janken answered.

    *****

    Scooter is copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC, and is used without permission but with much respect and affection. Janken 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. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Awww! I really like how Scooter is ready to put himself out there without worrying too much about whatever whispers may result. It's a lot like Janken volunteering with the TMI; doing little things to help out people who are going through the same things.
     
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  11. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I don't have another long story planned for these characters, so I just wanted to show them at a later point in time. Scooter's finally gotten over it to the point that he actually wants the other shoe to drop, but he doesn't want the matter to alter his established persona. (He's no George Takei.) So, it's not going to become a plotline in a Muppet Show episode, just an easter egg, and he'll trust Fleet Scribbler to do the press releases. ;)

    I got the idea for this when I read about people's reactions to Kevin Keller, a new, openly gay character in the Archie comics. A lot of people thanked them, saying that seeing a character "like them" made a big difference. Scooter is thinking that maybe he could make a difference too, but he'd feel really pretentious coming out and saying that.
     
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  12. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    La la-la la-la,
    La la la-la la-la.
    La la la la-la la-la.....
    *****
    Mushrooms and Melodies
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    It was cold. Icicles hung from the ceiling in the Great Hall like crystal stalactites. Doozers built around them or cut them down if they got in the way or threatened their constructions. That rarely happened, though. During winter Fraggles were more active than ever because they kept warm by running around and playing and doing whatever else Fraggles did. They expended a lot of energy, which meant that the life expectancy of a finished Doozer tower was very short.

    Fraggles ran about in the Great Hall, puffing out little clouds of breath, bundled up against the cold. Normally Fraggles only wore clothing as adornment; they had no nudity taboo. There was no need for it, as their bodies were covered with fur. But in winter they wore sweaters, leggings, hats, scarves, earmuffs, tail warmers, et cetera. And, of course, socks. Stone was very cold against bare feet, even feet as tough as a Fraggle's.

    There were bells everywhere. Yesterday had been the winter solstice, the day when the rock stood still, and the Fraggles rang their bells to reawaken the Great Bell and begin another year. The mood in the colony was euphoric. Even though it was still cold, they knew that the thaw was on its way. Every so often a Fraggle would grab the nearest bell and ring it good and loud for the joyous sound it made. The Festival of the Bells was over, but the party would go on as long as there were Fraggles with enough energy to sing and frolic.

    At the moment Boober was at one of the many fire bowls placed around the great hall. The bowls were wider than a Fraggle was tall, as high as a Fraggle's chest, and full of fire and hot stones. Boober often used them for cooking. He set large clay jars in the fire and hot rocks to roast, boil, steam, and otherwise cook the food that kept the colony lively and healthy.

    He was attending to a large bowl of thickly bubbling goo, adding in spices and tasting it, when Gobo and his Uncle Matt returned, each carrying a large sack. Wembley trailed behind them with a bundle of bare, straight sticks. Gobo said, "We got the mushrooms you asked for, Boober."

    "Good!" Boober opened the sacks they brought him and took out some of the mushrooms. Radishes didn't grow that well in winter. In fact, hardly anything did, which put a severe dent in their diet. But these mushrooms grew even when water turned to ice, so the Fraggles had some fresh produce to supplement their diet of scrounged and preserved food.

    The mushrooms weren't beautiful. Their caps were spongy and mottled gray-brown. They also didn't smell like food. They were known to be edible, even nutritious, but you'd have to be really hungry to eat one. But, as Boober had recently discovered, their flavor changed when you cooked them. This was, for him, a challenge and an opportunity.

    A song broke out across the Great Hall. They glanced over. A handful of Fraggles—and one who wasn't a Fraggle—was singing a raucous round of Muck and Goo. Wembley had to laugh. One of the Fraggles singing was Cantus. He always led the Festival of the Bells, and stayed until it was safe to travel again. There was something wonderful about seeing the wise, enigmatic Minstrel singing a goofy nonsense song.

    Boober said, "I have enough mushrooms now." He nodded to the other sacks that Janken, Sage, and Mokey had brought him earlier that day. He took one of Wembley's sticks, selected a fist-sized mushroom, and after examining it critically, spitted it on the stick. He held it low over the fire, turning it slowly to roast it. As its skin darkened the mildly unpleasant odor changed, became more appealing. Then he dipped it in the goop he had been making. He lifted it out again and waited for the excess to dribble off, then blew on it for a moment and took a bite.

    He chewed thoughtfully for a moment, then offered it to Gobo. "What do you think?"

    Gobo sampled it, then said in surprise, "Hey, that's good!" He passed it to Matt.

    Boober watched anxiously as Matt took a bite, then said "Why, that's not bad at all."

    Wembley was next. He said, "Wow, I like this! Who knew that those stinky mushrooms could taste this nice?"

    Pleased, Boober said, "In that case—" he raised his voice and shouted, "Hey, everybody! Fondue party over here!"

    In a moment the fire bowl was surrounded by Fraggles. Boober passed around the sticks, and directed the Fraggles to take a mushroom each. "Stick it firmly on the end so it doesn't fall off in the dip. Now hold it low over the flames and turn it slowly until the color of the cap starts to darken."

    The crew around the bowl was a varied one. Their heights varied widely, from Boober, one of the smallest adult Fraggles in the Rock, to Cantus, who stood a head taller than anyone else. One of them wasn't even a Fraggle. Janken had brought his friend Scooter down for the Festival, and though Silly Creatures were tender compared to Fraggles, he was coping with the cold well enough. In fact, bundled up in Fraggle clothes, he could be mistaken for a skinny Fraggle until you looked at his eyes or noticed he had no tail.

    "Dip your mushroom in, rolling to cover it completely. Now pull it out and blow on it because it's hot!" Boober demonstrated, and the others followed suit. Boober listened with pleasure to the yummy-noises they made as they ate.

    Scooter commented to Janken, "This tastes like shiitake."

    Boober heard. "What's shiitake?"

    Scooter explained, "It's a kind of mushroom. They're chewy like these, and they taste kind of the same, but they're smaller and shaped differently." And Scooter hoped that Boober wouldn't have more questions about the mushrooms, as that was all Scooter knew about them.

    Other Fraggles approached the bowl, now that it was established that this experiment of Boober's had been a success. The Fraggles who had eaten stepped away from the bowl to give the newcomers room, and gave them their sticks. Soon Boober was instructing a second group in the art of mushroom fondue.

    Janken had been hanging around Cantus since the festival. He had once had a dire crush on the Minstrel. He still found him handsome and fascinating, but now that he had Scooter in his life, he was able to appreciate Cantus without getting all discombobulated. Thank goodness, Janken thought. It was much easier when hormones weren't continually tripping him up.

    Though Janken had traveled briefly with the Minstrels, he had never had the courage to join their music, except as part of a crowd. He had wanted to, but he had been irrationally afraid, in case he embarrassed himself in front of his idol. Now, he realized, that no longer worried him.

    Scooter saw Janken looking at Cantus. He knew about Janken's past crush, and suspected that Jan had never gotten over it completely. But that was all right. Scooter still got the shivers when he remembered Sylvester Stallone's boxing demonstration.

    Janken gathered his nerve, approached the Minstrel, and said, "Cantus, there's a song I learned in Outer Space I'd like to sing for you."

    Cantus looked mildly surprised. "I would like to hear this song."

    Now others were watching. Janken looked around. An audience. Oh no. No, he told himself, these were just Fraggles. He knew all of them. He wasn't going to flake out this time. As he was thinking this he felt a hand pat his shoulder. He glanced over. It was Scooter. Scooter whispered, "Knock 'em dead."

    Janken grinned and began,
    "Sing, sing a song.
    Sing out loud, sing out strong."
    Scooter knew this song. He began singing with Janken.
    "Sing of good things, not bad.
    Sing of happy, not sad.
    Sing, sing a song.
    Make it simple to last your whole life long.
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear,
    Sing, sing a song."

    Janken played the bridge on his ocarina. When he began the second part of the song, which was the same as the first, the rest of the Fraggles—Cantus included—joined in.

    "Sing, sing a song.
    Sing out loud, sing out strong.
    Sing of good things, not bad.
    Sing of happy, not sad.
    Sing, sing a song.
    Make it simple to last your whole life long.
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear,
    Just sing, sing a song."

    Janken played the outro on his ocarina. After a moment of quiet, Cantus said, "There is much wisdom in that song. Thank you for singing it to me."

    "You're welcome," Janken said, flushing slightly. "But…how is it wise? It's just a song about singing."

    "What does it mean?" Cantus asked.

    Nonplussed, Janken glanced at Scooter. Scooter shook his head slightly; he didn't know what Cantus was getting at. Janken said to Cantus, "Um, sing just for the fun of it?"

    Cantus replied, "Can you think of a better reason?"

    "Well, no."

    Cantus picked up a bell and rang it. "Any song sung in joy is worth singing. And worth listening to. So never be afraid to sing."

    Janken said, "Yeah. I guess you're right."

    "I hope I am," Cantus said with a slight smile.

    *****

    All characters except Scooter and Janken Fraggle are copyright © The Jim Henson Company. Scooter is copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC. Sing is copyright © Sesame Workshop. All copyrighted properties are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Janken and 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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  13. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Now thas what I like from your fics. It gives us a wealth of all senses. So I have a hidden potential gourmand, I should from all the food shows I watch and have watched. Mom makes the best garlic shrooms. And yeah, blow on those skewered veggies, I found out the hard way about a year ago the danger of biting into something gooish when it's too hot. Then we segway to Scooter and Janken's appearance choosing a sweet song to sing for their friends at the festival. The Carpenters did a beautiful version as well.

    Janken: "Maybe you're right."
    Cantus: "I hope I am."
    That made me smile, knowing what you posted on the minstrel's hopes at others following his philosophy in The Minstrel's Path.

    Hey Chef, we still got some brownies?
    :hungry: *looks in the fridge, ya!
    :) Oh good. *Leaves some for Kim.
     
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  14. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I'm glad that Janken is confident enough to sing for Cantus now, knowing that before he was more reluctant to sing in front of anyone. Plus, the message of "Sing" is extremely Fragglish; sing because you want to and because you enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  15. AlittleMayhem

    AlittleMayhem Well-Known Member

    Aww, that was so sweet!
     
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  16. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    This fic was written in a fit of nostalgia. I recently read The Wisdom of Big Bird, Carroll Spinney's memoirs, and it brought back fond memories of Sesame Street. Sing is one of the songs from that show that I can still remember word for word despite not having heard them once in over 35 years. Sing seemed particularly Fragglish, and it's about a subject Janken has always had trouble with. Jan's got a habit of pinballing around the media section of the local library, watching all sorts of Silly Creature stuff, so inevitably he'd run across Sesame Street and carry some of the songs home.

    The fondue party...I didn't mean for that to happen. I just wanted to set the scene: it's cold, ice on the rocks, Doozers still building because the Fraggles need them more than ever, fire bowls with Fraggles warming themselves all 'round...hey, Boober sometimes cooks in fire bowls... winter is a hungry time... start the story off on a happy note by having Boober provide for everyone else; all he has in winter in cooking, as water is frozen and he can't do laundry (It sure must get pungent in there by Spring!)... just cooking's boring; let him have a little culinary triumph... wait, what was this story about? Janken singing a song for Cantus? Oh, yeah, right...

    Of course, this takes place sometime after "Brothers and Sisters." The Fraggle Five consider Scooter and Skeeter as part of the extended family, and since Scooter hasn't had much of a family life (in my continuity) he welcomes being "adopted" by them. Plus, Fraggle Rock is a wonderfully fun, silly place, and he can relax because he doesn't have to stage manage it!

    Heh, as for Cantus... yes, Count you picked up on a theme, but I can't say a lot without getting spoilery. Let's just say that Cantus believes in himself and his cause, but he has a lot more perspective now.
     
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  17. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, there's this thread. And here's an update to this thread.

    *****

    Self Help
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    It was a pretty typical day in Fraggle Rock. People were playing and singing and swimming and otherwise enjoying themselves. One Fraggle was more "otherwise" than most. Boober's idea of fun was cooking and doing laundry. His daughter Sage, who had been playing with her little sister Poncle and thus was ready for some calm, sedate fun, went into Boober's cave to see what he was doing.

    She didn't see him there. His washtub and scrub board were damp, and the clothing on the line was dripping gently. He had just finished a load of laundry. She looked in the kitchen adjacent to his room. He wasn't there either.

    She was about to leave when he walked out of a small passage in the back. That tunnel led to a room that he used for storage and, in times of emergency, as a sickroom. He was carrying a coil of rope over one shoulder and holding a sock. He walked halfway across the room before he noticed Sage. When he did he yelped, startled.

    "Gee, Papa, I didn't think I was that scary," Sage said.

    Boober wiped his forehead under the brim of his cap. "My mind was elsewhere."

    "Why are you so nervous? Where are you going?"

    Boober said, "I'm just going for a walk."

    "With a rope and a sock?"

    "I can walk with a rope and a sock. It's not that different from walking without a rope and a sock, you know."

    "Can I come with you?"

    Boober paused. His mouth moved slightly, as if he was muttering to himself, but no sound came out. After a bit he said, "All right. But you have to keep this a secret."

    "Is it anything bad?" she asked.

    "No. Just, um, personal."

    "Then I promise I won't tell anyone."

    "All right."

    She took his free hand. She was now taller than her father, but she still liked to walk hand-in-hand with him as she had when she was little.

    *

    Boober led her out of the main colony, into the outlying area. She guessed where they were going, and was soon proven right. There was a small cave thick with stalactites, stalagmites, and more exotic rock formations. One end was a small, deep, clear pool. It was beautiful, and it often used as a rendez-vous spot. Mokey liked to paint there, or write poetry, or just sit and meditate when she wanted more peace and quiet than Fraggle Rock offered.

    Nobody was there now. Boober dropped the sock outside the entrance so people would know someone was in and didn't want to be interrupted.

    They entered and went to the pool in the back. Sage watched, curious, as Boober took the coil off his shoulder and tied one end around a sturdy column. He paused, self-conscious, then said, "Remember, you won't tell anyone about this."

    "Of course. I promise again. What are you doing, Papa?"

    When he was nervous he seemed to shrink into himself, to become smaller than he already was. He did that now, and silently mumbled. She waited. She had an idea what was happening.

    After a minute he looked up and said, "I'm afraid to swim because when I was little I nearly drowned. I want to stop being scared of water."

    "Can I help?" she asked sympathetically.

    "Just be here. I brought the rope for safety. If anything happens, throw it to me."

    "I will, Papa."

    He went to the edge of the pool. They could see down through the water, but the bottom was not visible. It faded to darkness, as if there was no bottom, than beneath the surface there was a drop that led to the very center of the earth, and he would fall like a stone and drown and his body would never be found.

    After staring into the water for a long moment, he said to Sage, "Give me the rope."

    She handed him the end. He tied it around his waist, then checked the knot to make sure it was secure, then checked it again. Sage ached for him. It was all right that he was different, that he would rather do laundry than play, that he didn't swim. But it made her sad to see him unable to do something that came naturally to every other Fraggle. It wasn't fair that it was so hard for him.

    Gingerly he eased into the water, feet first, then up to the knees, then further. When the cool water enveloped his body the panic rose. He remembered it closing over his head, burning its way into his lungs, as his heavy winter clothes bound him and pulled him down.

    Stop it! Open your eyes!

    He did. He saw his hands. They had a death grip on the rope.

    That rope is too short. You couldn't drown if you tried.

    Never underestimate the power of bad luck.

    Luck, shuck! You know how to swim. I do, and I'm you.

    ...Would you teach me?

    You only had to ask.

    Sage watched as Boober began fumbling with the rope. Then he cried out, "No! Don't untie it! But you don't need it. Yes I do, so hands off!"

    She recognized that voice. "Sidebottom!"

    He looked over. "What?"

    "Boober's trying to get over bring afraid of water. Untying the rope will only make it scarier. Leave it alone."

    "All right, all right. Thanks." The last word was spoken in Boober's voice.

    In Sidebottom's voice he said, "Just watch. Fraggles float. See? You don't even have to think about it."

    Boober watched his arms and legs move gently in the water, keeping him in place. Sure, it looked easy. He said nothing, just letting Sidebottom control him for the moment. He wanted to learn this.

    Sidebottom resisted the urge to dive underwater. How far down did that shaft go? But the rope wasn't long enough, and Boober would panic. So he just swam slowly from one end of the pool to the other, which only took a few strokes.

    *

    After a while Boober said, "That's enough." He stopped swimming and drew himself to the side of the pool by the rope, then climbed out. His body and limbs were soaked, but his hair was almost dry, and he hadn't taken off his cap. He fumbled with the knot. The rope was swollen, and didn't want to come loose.

    Sage said, "Here, let me try." She could see the knot better than he could. She carefully untied it, twisting the rope and then pushing it back to loosen it. It took a few minutes, but she got him free. "There."

    "Thanks. Um...I didn't expect Sidebottom to come out," he said uncomfortably.

    "Papa, he wants to help you. He was talking to you on the way here, wasn't he?"

    "You noticed that?"

    "Your lips were moving."

    "Oh. Yes, he was telling me that there was nothing to be afraid of, yadda yadda yadda. You know how he is." Boober shook his head.

    Gently she said, "He's the part of you that knows it's safe. If part of you can swim, maybe he can teach the rest of you?"

    "Yeah, that's the idea. Sage...I'm glad you were here."

    "Any time," she said with a smile.

    *****

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

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you, I needed something to make this crud of a day better. *Sympathizes with :sigh:
     
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  19. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Glad to have helped out. Do you not swim?
     
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  20. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yes and no... I know I can do it, but I'd much rather use something like a foam floating board or innertube. *Shrugs. *Brakes off a Doozerstick for snacking.
     
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