1. Welcome to the Muppet Central Forum!
    You are viewing our forum as a guest. Join our free community to post topics and start private conversations. Please contact us if you need help with registration or your account login.

  2. Save Muppet Central Radio
    Within days Muppet Central Radio could be off the air. Show your support and save the station by listening via Radionomy's website and apps. We're also on iTunes and Apple TV. Learn More

Slackbot's text sketchbook

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

  1. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Hi Kim! It's great to see your posts again. The "Wish-granting creature" situation... I have been watching "Manny's Land of Carpets."
    *Leaves hot chocolate to Kim and a doozerstick to Janken.*

    I knew I should seen the Festival of the Bells earlier this week. I should use my head more than just worry about what the Fraggles wore.

    Sixty-four degrees in our world? Ooookay!

    After rereading your fanfics, I figure that Janken to me sounds like Brain's voice of Jack the Pumpkinhead... or the voice of Janken is just from Brain Henson.

    Oh my goodness, forgive me if I am starting to wemble.

    Cannot wait for more posts from you.

    Oh my goodness, forgive me if I am wembling.
     
  2. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Yes, it was sixty-four degrees when I took Janken to the mall. Atlanta is a warm city.

    Yes, I posted some time ago that the voice I hear in my head for Janken is Brian Henson as Jack Pumpkinhead. A pity he has to settle for a woman doing an impression of Papa Boober.
     
  3. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member


    Isn't it a shame that the characters we write sometimes have to use our voices (and hands and keyboards)? Unfortunately, while the character voices in my head always sound just fine, when I'm reading them aloud, they all have Southern accents....

    Hope your characters are keeping warm--and cool! Always nice to see stuff from you, Kim!
     
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  4. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Oh, yes. And it's much worse when you're puppeting around. I brought Boober, Mokey, Skeeter, Sage, and Janken to Dragon*Con this past summer. I can do Boober's voice passably enough, and Sage and Janken are OCs and Skeeter has only been seen in toddler form, so I can get away with any voice that fits the character. But Mokey...! And, to make it worse, Kathy Mullen was there with the REAL Mokey. I didn't bring my puppet face to face with hers, as that would have been too awkward, but I did bring my Mokey to the autograph session to show to her. I didn't try to do her voice, because, again, awkward!

    (But I did have Mokey speak when I walked around the con with her. It was a very "first season" voice.)
     
    DrDientes and GopherCoffee like this.
  5. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Growing Like a Weed
    By Kim McFarland​

    *****

    It was a warm spring morning. The gentle, even glow of the Ditzies suffused the caves and passages of Fraggle Rock. It would be hours before the Gorg Sun shone down the well and into the Fraggle pond.

    Janken Fraggle, hearing the sounds of morning creatures, woke up. He was in bed with Mokey, his mother, and Sage, his little sister. Sage had only been born a few handfuls of days ago; her eyes hadn't even opened yet. But she was growing as fast as a bamboo plant!

    Mokey showed no sign of waking up. No wonder; Sage didn't let her sleep long at a time during the night. If she wasn't hungry or messy she would cry just because—well, Janken didn't know why, just that babies were like that. Janken helped out by sometimes changing her when she made smelly messes, but he couldn't feed her, or comfort her the way Mokey did.

    Janken got out of bed, then gently picked Sage up. She moved a little, then, when he held her against his body, she went limp again. He walked out of the cave.


    Boober was awake, but only just. He was still in his pajamas, contemplating what to make for breakfast and waiting for Janken to turn up. He always came by early in the morning. And sure enough, here he was with his little sister. He said "Hi, Papa Boober," in a low, don't-startle-the-baby voice.

    "Bring her here," Boober said, holding out his hands. Janken carefully transferred Sage to him. Boober cuddled his daughter and fussed quietly over her.

    Janken sat at the table and grinned. Papa Boober was a different Fraggle when he was around her. He babbled at her and played with her and generally got all goofy. Which was not unusual for Fraggles, but was definitely not what anyone expected from him!

    After a while Boober put her down on his bed. He took out a length of rope and stretched it out beside her to measure her from the top of her head to her toes. There were markings along its length showing her progress. She was growing amazingly fast. Every few days Boober made a new mark. While Janken watched, of course; he was fascinated by his little sister's development.

    Boober marked the rope and showed it to Janken. Janken took it and stared. "Wow! She's a finger's width longer now!"

    "Yep," Boober said. "Babies grow that fast at first."

    "Did I?"

    "Of course. And you cried and made messes just like she does too."

    Janken scowled. He didn't like being teased about that part.

    "So! Breakfast time. What shall I make today?"

    "Quickbread! Quickbread with berries!"

    That was always Janken's answer. Boober said, "Here, take Sage."

    Boober received his little sister again. He said, "She feels heavy."

    Boober was pulling his pajama top off over his head. "As she gets bigger she gets heavier," he said, his voice muffled by the fabric.

    Janken was about to reply when he heard something. He looked into the Great Hall. Because the Fraggles were not fully, noisily active yet he could hear the soft sound of approaching music. Excitedly Janken exclaimed to Boober, "It's the Minstrels! They're coming!"

    "I'll make a big batch of quickbread, then," Boober replied.

    While Boober busied himself in the kitchen Janken carried Sage into the Great Hall. He forced himself to sit down and wait while the music came closer. Other Fraggles, hearing the tune, began to gather.

    Soon the Minstrels, led by Cantus, walked into the Great Hall, playing their familiar processional. As they entered the plants nearby stirred. Tendrils crawled along the stones, leaves emerged, and flowerbuds burst into bloom and turned toward them, as if feeding on their magical music.

    When the tune ended Cantus lowered his Magic Pipe and said, "Hail, Fraggles, on this glorious spring day!"

    "Hail, Cantus," the Fraggles cheerfully answered.

    Cantus noticed Janken, who was sitting with a baby on his lap and practically vibrating with eagerness. "And who have we here?"

    Janken got to his feet and carried Sage, who was now sleepily awake, to the Minstrels. "This is Sage. She's my little sister. She was born just twelve days ago. Mokey's her mother and Boober's her father," he said quickly. He had been rehearsing the statement in his mind.

    Cantus bowed and said formally, "Hail, Sage."

    Janken said, "She's never heard Minstrel music before. Would you play her a song?"

    "That we will," Cantus replied.

    The Minstrels began playing a tune that Janken had never heard before. It was soft and gentle, yet full, like a deep, slow-flowing stream. Sage turned her face to the music as if fascinated by the new sound.

    When they finished Janken looked down at Sage. She was sucking contentedly on her thumb. He said to the Minstrels, "Thank you," then he went back to Boober's cave.

    Boober was in the kitchen, mixing quickbread batter while the woodburning oven heated up the griddlestone on top. "Papa Boober! The Minstrels played music for her! Would you measure her again?"

    "Measure her? What for?" Boober asked.

    Janken explained, "Things grow and flowers open when the Minstrels play their music. Maybe it made her grow too."

    Boober chuckled. "People don't grow like plants, Janken. Besides, if she grew you'd know it. She'd feel heavier."

    "Maybe she does," Janken said defensively.

    "All right, all right." He left the batter—sitting for a few minutes would give it time to bubble up—and then went over to his bed. Janken lay the baby down, and Boober took out the measuring rope. He stretched it out beside her, then said, "Sorry, but she'll have to grow the way other Fraggles do."

    "Aw, rocks," Janken said, disappointed.

    Boober rumpled Janken's hair. Janken squawked and dodged out from under his hand. He said, "I'll take her back to Mokey. She's going to want breakfast."

    "Okay," Boober replied.

    Janken picked Sage up again. He started to cross the Great Hall. The Minstrels were playing a lively song, and everyone was clapping along and singing the chorus together. Janken looked down at Sage again—she seemed relaxed and content—then sat down to listen. Okay, it wouldn't make her grow, but since their music made flowers bloom, maybe it would help her eyes open.

    *****

    Fraggle Rock, Mokey, Boober, and Cantus are copyright © The Jim Henson Company and are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Janken, 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.
     
  6. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Nice story. The whole wanting his sister to grow because of the minstrels' music like everything else that does around it echoes the belief in magic can do anything we associate with its power. Further connecting that to Sage's development lends this fic an innate charm.

    Then again, I kind of thought we might get another glimpse of AU Club Dot given that remix of the Muppet Show theme from whatever album Disney Records just published.
    Thanks for posting this, it's always good to read something from an author I admire. :)
     
  7. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Awww, what a sweet story. Love to see how excited Janken was about Sage getting to hear the Minstrels play.
     
  8. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thanks, guys. Glad you liked it.

    The Count, do you really want me to revisit The World In Which Kermit Had Never Been Born? The two short stories I wrote in that continuity were pretty icky. I don't know that anything else I wrote in that continuity would be any more pleasant.

    charlietheowl, Janken's a dedicated big brother. He wants the best for his little sister, and if that just happens to help her grow up a little faster and get past the diaper stage, so much the better. You can kinda see why Sage is so attached to him, and why she gets miffed when she thinks that Scooter has taken her place in Jan's heart.
     
  9. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    This is a scene that takes place about a week after Commonplace Miracles.

    *****

    The Sisterhood of Motherhood
    By Kim McFarland​

    *****

    It was a bright and sunny day. Mokey Fraggle poked her head out of Fraggle Rock and breathed deeply of the scents of the outside world. She could smell the radish patch and the other fruits and vegetables. A river flowed nearby; the wind must be blowing across it. There were other, subtler scents that wafted in from the surrounding land, plants and animals and moldering leaves and soil. It was so very different from the limestone-and-water smell of the caves. Most Fraggles found that difference frightening. Those who got past that fear gained the immeasurable reward of the beauty of the garden.

    The bundle of purple fluff in her arms stirred, alert to the change in scents. Mokey's son, Janken, was only twelve days old. He could not see the world, as his eyes had not opened yet, but he could hear it and smell it. This was not the first time he had been up here; they had picnicked in the garden some days ago, when Mokey had recovered enough to make the trip. However, this was Mokey's first trip alone.

    Mokey carried her child as she walked through the garden, looking around at the gifts of the earth that the Gorgs cultivated. On the other side of the garden was a tree with soft, cushiony moss between its roots. Clumps of grass and other flowers grew around it, and the sun filtered down through the leaves high above. This was her favorite place to go when she wanted to be alone and quiet, to compose or meditate or just be. It was only right that she should share this place with her son.

    She sat on the sun-warmed moss and set Janken down in front of herself. He wiggled gently against the soft, furry surface, which was similar in smell to the moss in Fraggle Rock, but had a different texture. It was thicker, deeper, coarser. He pressed his face blindly into it. Mokey smiled. That was how he greeted anything and anybody new: by learning their scents. He had once tried to sniff the water, and had been very unhappy with the result, but Mokey didn't worry. Every baby made that mistake once, and learned that water was for swimming, not breathing.

    Mokey watched Janken pat the moss and wiggle his fingers around in it, enjoying the sensations. When he began to whine, tail twitching, she picked him up again. He had had enough of newness for now. He rested against her, his cheek on her chest, listening to her familiar, comforting heartbeat. After a few moments he nuzzled into her fur for a snack.

    *

    Mokey sat, quietly enjoying the scents and sounds and the sense of space. The garden was never the same twice. That was part of its beauty. The walls of a cave were solid, safe, reliable. The surface world was ethereal, ever-changing. There was a poem in that, she thought. If she had brought her diary she would have made a note of it.

    After a while she got up again. She was hungry—until Janken was on solid food she would be eating for two—and fresh food, still warm from the sun, was especially delicious. She walked around the tree and into the garden to see what was ripe.

    The radishes were big and round and smelled delicious. She was in the mood for something lighter and juicier, however. Feeding a baby was thirsty work. She passed by pea plants and greaseberry plants. Gorgs ate greaseberries. Well, so could Fraggles, but they had to be very hungry. The tomato bushes had ripe fruit, but even a small ripe tomato was much more than she could eat.

    Then she remembered the grape vines. They bore wonderfully sweet fruit that looked like green and red bubbles and were the perfect size for a Fraggle snack. They were planted on constructions around the side of the castle, a fair hike from here.

    Mokey hummed softly to Janken as she walked along the path around the house. Flat stones were set into the ground along the way. They had been there so long they looked like they had grown there.

    She reached the place where the grapes grew. There was a framework much like a Doozer construction, but immeasurably bigger, and made out of wood. The vines crawled up the supports, so when the grapes grew they would hang down and be easy to find and pick. There were quite a few appetizing-looking clusters. None of them were near the ground, however.

    Mokey gazed hungrily up at the treats. Normally she would have climbed up to pick one. Climbing grape vines was fun! However, with a baby in her arms that was out of the question. She gave a small sigh of regret and turned to go back. There were always other things. A few peas would be a nutritious, satisfying snack. They just wouldn't be as sweet and juicy.

    She felt a tremor through the stones under her feet, and scrambled off the path before she heard the big footsteps. Seconds later one of the Gorgs swept by in a rush of heavy cloth. It was the mother of the family. A wicker basket hung from one huge forearm. She walked up to the grapevines and began singing tunelessly as she picked, selecting the ripest ones rather than picking whole bunches. Mokey watched hopefully. Maybe she would drop one or two so Mokey could have her snack after all!

    The Gorg picked several handfuls of grapes, then turned to go. She hadn't dropped a single fruit. Mokey stood well back from the path—Gorgs no longer tried to harm Fraggles, but they couldn't always be counted on to watch where they were putting their enormous feet—and waited until she went past. Then she called out, "Excuse me!"

    The Gorg stopped and looked around, puzzled. Mokey stepped onto the side of the path and said, "Hello!"

    Ma Gorg stared at the tiny creature. "A Fraggle? What are you doing here?"

    Mokey knew that she was taking a huge risk. But something told her not to flee; Gorgs were reasonable creatures. She said, "Could I have a grape? I'm very hungry and thirsty."

    Puzzled, Ma said, "Why don't you climb the vines? I know you Fraggles do that; I've seen you before. It's okay as long as you don't take too many." The Gorgs and the Fraggles had reached a kind of truce; if Fraggles didn't take too much food or invade the castle, the Gorgs had no quarrel with them.

    Mokey replied, "Thank you! But I can't climb now. I've got my baby with me, so I don't have a hand free."

    "You do?!" Ma exclaimed. She squatted down and looked at Mokey. She could see the purple thing in her arms, but for all she could tell it could be a hand muff. "Can I see?"

    Mokey was nervous now. There was no way she would hand over her baby to a Gorg, no matter how well-intentioned she was! But, she thought when she looked at her expression, there was more than curiosity there. There was actual tenderness. She said, "He's only days old, and baby Fraggles are very delicate. But if you lay your hand flat I'll step on it, and you can lift us both up."

    "All right." Ma Gorg set the basket down and put her hand on the ground. Hesitantly Mokey stepped onto it. The flesh was warm and softer than the ground; she sat down so she wouldn't lose her balance when it moved. Carefully Ma lifted her hand to bring the Fraggle to just below eye level. Now she could see the little one in Mokey's arms. It was a chubby, fuzzy, miniscule Fraggle. "Oh, how darling!" she exclaimed, holding her voice down low so as not to alarm the child.

    "Thank you," Mokey said with a smile.

    "How old is he? He can't be more than ten years old!"

    Ten years? How long did it take Gorgs to grow up? "He's just twelve days old."

    "Oh my goodness. And he's so tiny! He hardly seems real."

    "He's grown a lot in twelve days. You should have seen how little he was when he was born."

    "Yes, they grow so fast. I remember when Junior was a little baby, he grew faster than a zucchini in summer."

    Mokey laughed. Zucchini did grow fast! Janken was squirming restlessly. Mokey said, "He's curious about you." She carefully set him down in front of herself, in the palm of Ma's hand.

    Ma watched, eyes wide, as the bug-sized Fraggle wiggled, pressing his face into the fine fur on her hand. Mokey told her, "His eyes haven't opened yet. Baby Fraggles recognize people by scent and voice before they can see them."

    "Oh," Ma said quietly.

    Janken patted the strange surface. It felt like moss, but it smelled like a person. It was pleasantly warm, too. He moved around aimlessly for a minute or so, then fell asleep. Ma wanted to pat the infinitesimal creature, but realized that doing so would scare its mother. Any mother would be upset, seeing their baby being handled by somebody so much larger!

    Mokey chuckled. "I wish he would go to sleep that easily at night."

    "Oh, doesn't he sleep well?"

    "Sometimes he gets so fussy. He can't get comfortable."

    "Junior used to be like that too. Do you swaddle him?"

    "What's that?" Mokey asked, puzzled.

    "Wrap him snugly in a blanket. That's comfortable for very little babies. It reminds them of where they came from."

    "Does that really work?"

    "It worked on Junior. Goodness me, all Gorgs know about swaddling. Some nights I wish I could still swaddle him to make him go to sleep, but I don't have a big enough blanket."

    They both laughed. Mokey picked Janken up again. "I'd better be getting back to the rock. My family will be wondering where I am."

    "All right."

    Ma put her hand on the ground again, and Mokey stepped off. Ma started to stand, and Mokey said, "Ah, could I have a grape?"

    "Oh! Of course." Ma selected a big grape from her basket and held it low for Mokey.

    Mokey accepted it with her free hand. "Thank you."

    "You're welcome. Goodbye." The Gorg gave a finger-twiddling wave—from her expression, Mokey thought she was waving to Janken—and then went off.

    *

    Ma considered telling Junior about her conversation with the Fraggle. Junior would be so excited! But then, she thought, Gorg-sized excitement was not what a baby Fraggle needed.

    She realized that the Fraggles had come to seem like subjects to them. The thought made her smile. They had once been vermin, so the Gorgs had thought. But since Gorgs and Fraggles had begun to speak to each other, that had changed. The Fraggles needed food from the Gorgs' garden, and they really didn't eat much, being such tiny creatures. If the Gorgs just planted a little more and the Fraggles took only what they needed and left the prize vegetables alone, then there was plenty to go around and no need for conflict. In fact, some of them were friendly, even respectful. It was like having subjects, without the bother of having to govern them. The Gorgs were no longer alone in their little farmhouse kingdom.

    A baby Fraggle had fallen asleep in her hand. That must be the first time in the world a Fraggle had slept in a Gorg's hand. That baby would grow up unafraid of Gorgs, she thought. She was a mother, and mothers could sense these things.

    *****

    Mokey and Ma Gorg are copyright © The Jim Henson Company and are 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.
     
  10. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    What a nice story! I love how Mokey was able to bring Jan out into the garden to experience everything, even if he did it by smashing his face into everything, hahaha. Maybe Mokey bringing him outside at such a young age set the foundation for him being able to eventually go into Outer Space.
     
  11. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    That was a lovely scene. I like how Mokey decided to share her quiet place with Jan... And the entire conversation between her and Ma Gorg. There's just a touch of rightness with the two as mothers that I can't really explain but it makes the scene work.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.
     
  12. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thanks, guys! I got the idea for this from an episode in which Ma Gorg kept emphasizing that she's a mother, and mothers know certain things. I thought that it'd be nice for her to have another mother to talk to, and realized that that would be something she could share with a Fraggle. If anything could make her see Fraggles as people instead of vermin, that could.

    And, yes, this kind of thing did set the foundation for Janken's ease with the Gorgs and his willingness to explore Outer Space. His family taught him to wonder "what's around the next corner," and not to be afraid of things that aren't Fraggles.
     
  13. AlittleMayhem

    AlittleMayhem Well-Known Member

    That was so adorable! It was so lovely seeing these two share this connection! And awwww little Janken! ^^
     
  14. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Hee hee, thanks! Baby Janken is always adorable...well, as long as his diaper is clean. Otherwise, all bets are off.
     
    AlittleMayhem and charlietheowl like this.
  15. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Dear Nephew Gobo,

    Recently, while reading the large, densely-printed publications that are so popular here in Outer Space, I found a request for help. Naturally I answered it. As a result, I gained a new job: watching one of their caves at night. It takes an incredible six hours a day! But if a Silly Creature can do it, so can any brave, resourceful Fraggle such as I.

    I thought I would be alone, but there are strange costumed creatures wandering about this cave. At first I found them somewhat alarming, but after I got to know them, and they accepted me as one of them by giving me a costume of my own--rather forcefully--we became the best of friends. I'm almost sorry that after the seventh night I was released from the job for reasons I don't quite understand. However, my real job is, and always will be, to explore Outer Space.

    Love,

    Your Uncle Traveling Matt.
     
  16. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Heh... Did Matt just get involved in a robbery? Hope Officer Carruthers doesn't have to end up arresting him. Maybe Jan and Miss Catherine can help him should charges arise against the explorer of our realms. Thanks for posting. *Leaves some of the PB chocolate brownie squares made for the approaching haunting season.
     
  17. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Heh, no, this wasn't a robbery. There wasn't anyone in the "cave" that wasn't supposed to be there, and Matt did his job satisfactorily. This is a crossover with...well, I'll wait to see if anyone else gets it.
     
  18. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    PS: Nom nom nom.
     
  19. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm... The only other thing I can think of is... NYCC?
     
  20. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I don't know what NYCC is, so nope.
     

Share This Page