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Slackbot's text sketchbook

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Glad to have helped out. Do you not swim?
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  4. 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.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  5. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Awww! I like how Sidebottom is able to help Boober slowly get over his fear, and how Sage is perceptive enough to realize that Sidebottom is the "part of him that knows it's safe". Thanks for sharing.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  6. mostlikemokey

    mostlikemokey Active Member

    I notice you seem to have :sigh: confessing his fear of water to more and more Fraggles lately. Interesting.
    I really love how you do Sidebottom. Most fanfics just touch on him, but you really get into the deeper, philosophical aspect; who he is, how he came to be, what he means.
    Also, I really like Sage. She has Boober's groundedness and Mokey's sweetness. It's good that Boober has someone in his family who can empathize with him without giving long, airy speeches that go right over his head, as Mokey would probably do.
    Great Story! I don't know why, but while your longer stories are exciting, your one-shots always leave the greatest impression on me.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  7. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the kind words, guys. I wish I knew where this story came from. It just kind of popped into my mind while I was filing reports, and I wrote it during a break.

    Boober hasn't made any new confessions about his fear of water. In "Red Versus Blue" he told the rest of the Fraggle Five, plus the three children, why he doesn't swim. "Treading Water" came after that story, as did "Self Help," so both Mokey and Sage already knew. Boober just felt a need to explain more than strictly necessary to justify himself, and the author wanted to inform the reader, because she can't expect everyone to have read all of her previous stories and remember all the fiddly little details. ;)

    Glad that Sidebottom's coming across well. I may have a bit if a handle on him because I've done a fair bit of research into Dissociative Identity Disorder, which is the current scientifical name for split personality. I approach Sidebottom from that angle, as a personality fragment originally created to enable Boober to cope with things that he found unbearable. In some real-life cases the multiple was a parent, and the alters had to be kept away from their children. I thought it'd be nice to reverse that and have Sage accept Sidebottom, even to the point she can recognize him and tell him to cut it our when he's working at cross purposes to Boober. Also, many multiples have an "Inner Self-Helper" personality, one who helps keep the system stable and can help the core cope. I've promoted Sidebottom to that role, sort of. In "Trials and Tintinnabulations" he took over when Boober reached the end of his rope. In "Commonplace Miracles" he reveals to Boober the cause of his dread, and then carries the burden so Boober can cope in a very stressful situation. Here he's trying to give back the ability to swim, which Boober had sheared off when he created Sidebottom.

    It kind of surprises me that Sage has a few fans. I never planned to make her an important character. She just kind of happened when I put her in stories. Not that I'm complaining. :)
    GopherCoffee and Plaid Fraggle like this.
  8. Plaid Fraggle

    Plaid Fraggle Well-Known Member

    :'D So interesting! I love it when characters experience personal moments that will be kept secret together (an example being the episode 'Marooned'). And naturally I just adore the relationship that you continue to build between Sage and Boober :sigh:

    Go Sage go!! *cheers!!!*
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  9. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I writed a thing today.


    Big Brother
    by Kim McFarland


    It was a dark and quiet night. The caves of Fraggle Rock were filled with the comforting sound of dozens of Fraggles snoring. Most slept in small clusters for warmth and comfort.
    Four Fraggles currently occupied Red and Mokey's room. Red was fast asleep in her hammock, of course. Mokey's bed was a bit crowded tonight, but it was cozy rather than uncomfortable. Mokey was sleeping on one side and her son Janken on the other. Between them was Mokey's newborn daughter, Sage. She was twenty-seven days old now, and she sometimes slept for an hour or even two before waking up and alerting everyone nearby to her myriad needs.
    She began to whimper and squirm, but that was not what woke Janken up. It was the smell. Janken recognized the smell of a full diaper; Sage perfumed their cave many times daily. At first the odor had horrified him, but after a while he had gotten used to it.
    This was Sage's third wake-up tonight. Mokey had held her and rocked her when she got fussy, and fed her when she was hungry. Mama had to be tired, Janken thought. Since Sage had been born Mokey had been tired a lot during the day because she didn't get enough sleep at night. She took it in stride, cheerfully assuring him that it was all part of motherhood. Still, he felt sorry for her. She couldn't let any of the others take Sage for the night because she was the only one who had milk for her, so she never got a good night's sleep.
    Sage began to whine. Janken made a decision and slid out of bed, then picked Sage up. There were a pair of buckets on one side of the room. One was uncovered, and contained clean, absorbant, fluffy moss. The other was covered. He took off the lid, winced at the odor, then set Sage down the thick blanket by the buckets. He untied the sash holding her breechclout-like diaper on and dumped the soiled moss within into the smelly bucket, then shut it quickly again. He wiped her behind with a bit of clean moss, then put more of the soft fluff into the breechclout and tied it back on her. He patted it to make sure he had enough of the moss and it was in the right place to catch the next mess so it hopefully wouldn't foul her diaper. Mokey had shown him how, and he'd done it several times since.
    Sage, once again dry and comfortable, stopped wriggling and making unhappy sounds. Janken picked her up and, for the moment too tired to get back into bed, set her in his lap and cuddled her. She closed her eyes and went limp, asleep in moments. Janken looked down at her. She seemed to be frowning in concentration, as if sleeping was hard work.
    Babies were hard work. Right before Sage had been born Mokey had gotten so big it made her tired to do much. Everyone had gotten radishes for the garden for her. When Sage had been born...that had been scary. Even though Mokey had assured him that she would be all right no matter what it looked like, he had been frightened. But Boober, who had helped her have the baby and told her what to do, had stayed calm the whole time, even when she was yelling, so even though Janken knew he didn't have to stay if he didn't want to he had. Mama Mokey was always there when he needed her, so he wouldn't run away when she needed him. And he had seen his little sister born, and Mokey had been all right just as she promised she would, and everybody was so happy, and Janken was glad that he'd stayed.
    During her pregnancy Mokey had told him about being a big brother. Babies were small and helpless and needed everything. Just as Mokey, Gobo, Red, Boober, and Wembley had all raised Janken, they would be raising her and Boober's child. That didn't mean he was any less important. In fact, the baby would need him too. He would help love her, and when she grew he would teach her how to play and other things that he knew. The thought had made him feel proud and excited.

    Looking down at the sleeping baby, he thought that it would be a long time before they could play. It would be winter, and then another winter, before she even began to speak. But that was okay. It was neat, being a big brother. Even if it did involve crying and smelliness. Moments like this made up for it.

    He sat for a little while, holding the sleeping baby, until he began to nod off. Then he made himself get back up and return to the bed. Mokey was still asleep. Good. He lay Sage next to her. Mokey's eyes opened briefly and she drew Sage close, but Janken knew that didn't really count as waking up. He climbed back into bed with them, closed his eyes, and in a minute was asleep too.


    Fraggle Rock and all characters are except Sage and Janken are copyright © The Jim Henson Company. All copyrighted properties are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Sage, 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.


    Big Brother, Little Sister - A quick Sharpie doodle.
  10. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Jan's a good sport for changing the diaper all by himself in the middle of the night, and he's got a good attitude about helping out with Sage and getting used to having another person in the family. About how old was he at this point?
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  11. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    This takes place in the spring following the events of The Mamas and The Papas, so Janken's about eight years old. We think; Fraggles aren't good at counting years after the first few.

    In TMaTP, Janken was afraid that he was losing his place in the family, partly because he didn't know if Mokey would still be his mother after she had her next child. Yeah, not logical, but little kids don't operate on logic. Mokey saw the possibility of sibling rivalry, and headed that off early by playing up how important he would be as a big brother. Clearly the lesson took, if he was there when she was born and will voluntarily do dirty work so Mama can sleep.

    I wrote this mainly to show why Sage and Janken are so close. Janken has been kind of a junior parent to her, plus he is a playmate.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  12. Plaid Fraggle

    Plaid Fraggle Well-Known Member

    I swear, your Fraggle characters are just so great :excited: I love Janken, such a positive and forward-thinking fellow! And the sense of family that is illustrated in all your Fraggle stuff is really interesting, because it's just so perfect for the Fraggles in general.

    Oh and I mean, Baby Sage?! Is there anything cuter? (Nope.)

    Awesome job here :D
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  13. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Dear Nephew Gobo,

    The other day I found myself in Equestria, a very magical place, even moreso than Fraggle Rock. It is populated by the Hoofed Creatures, which come in all colors. There are pink ones and purple ones and orange ones and blue ones. In fact, they come in all the colors that Fraggles do! However, the poor things have no fingers or toes. Their legs end in hard round things. Despite this they seem to get along quite well. They run around and some even fly with the greatest abandon. However, they do not seem to swim. They don't know what they're missing. Perhaps it's better that way.

    Your Uncle Traveling Matt
  14. mostlikemokey

    mostlikemokey Active Member

    :excited: I've been waiting for somebody to make something like this. Considering that Red and Gobo fraggle are public fans and all:smirk: This was cute. Now I know I'm not the only one making strange pony crossovers and loving it. It makes me wonder how Red would get along with Rainbow Dash...

    Rainbow Dash would win Red would win It would be best out of 374... billion.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  15. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I was disappointed that Gobo didn't read Matt's postcard from Equestria during the marathon. I figured someone had to actually write it, right?

    Red and Rainbow Dash would get along like a house on fire. Screaming, panic, random destruction... but if they got over their competitiveness and teamed up, they would be a fearsome force.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  16. mostlikemokey

    mostlikemokey Active Member

    I might just draw that...
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  17. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Go for it.
    GopherCoffee and mostlikemokey like this.
  18. mostlikemokey

    mostlikemokey Active Member

    I usually have to hand draw and scan... I'm not good with the technology aspect of it.
    But I'll try! And if there's a way to post using what I have at my disposal, I will do so :)
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  19. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Huh? Am I the only ne who remembers the shooby-doowah singing sea ponies?
    *Hides faintish embarassment. :eek:
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  20. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I've only seen the first two seasons of FiM. If they were in the third season, or in the other series, then I never saw them.

    Alternate explanation: Matt is unaware of the sea ponies. He was only writing about the terrestrial (and aerial) ones.
    GopherCoffee likes this.

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