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  2. Sesame Street Season 47
    Sesame Street's 47th season officially began Saturday January 7 on HBO. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

So We'll Go No More A-Roving, for Fear of Furry Monsters

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by newsmanfan, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    I agree that SDMI has flaws, everything has flaws.
    :sympathy: Did you say fleas?
    No, flaws. But it's the new Scooby-Doo series and I've been a fan and I watch when Scooby's on air. The one thing that frustrates me is my CN channel's identity crisis of airing some stuff which is the new series or newer SD animated movies like from Goblin King onwards in English, but it airs the older stuff like What's New and older movies in Spanish.

    At least the Season 2 Crybaby Clown episodes have Mark Hamil back as part of the voice cast.

    BTAS, ah the silver age of my animation-watching fandom. That's when most of my cartoon crushes were being defined.
    *Has memory of Ivy in full-color from the Nintendo Power coverage of the BTAS Game Boy game. *:fanatic: faint.

    So yes, we're a couple of crazy fans. *Leaves muffin for :news:
  2. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Part Forty-Four

    The stairs proved slimy and treacherous, and the Newsman reconsidered his choice to descend in darkness. He could hear alarming scratching and skittering noises all around him, and suspected that if he suddenly switched his light on he would see hundreds of creepy-crawlies shying away...or veering closer. Monsters don’t use flashlights, he reminded himself nervously. Be a monster. Act like you belong here. Rizzo said bluffing is all about sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong and telling everyone it does. He’d asked the rat to give him some card-playing tips a few weeks back, when Gina accepted an invitation to attend a poker night at her friend Scott’s place and coaxed Newsie into coming along. There had ensued more advice about kings and aces and drawing for a straight flush than Newsie had been able to process, but he remembered one phrase, and it seemed useful now. Act like you hold the right cards, and they’ll have to play along.

    He wondered how Rhonda was faring. That charity walk simply couldn’t take place – at least, not here! She has to get that transmitter down...and warn the rest of the guys! If she doesn’t... He chided himself. Hey, have a little faith in your colleague! She’ll get it done...after all, she knows all that technical stuff – she can even EDIT! Nodding, feeling sufficiently humbled, he stiffened his foam against whatever lay below. Just focus on YOUR job here! Everything will work out fine with Rhonda...just go find Gina! Step by careful step, he continued down.

    The feel of the rock against his hand, even through the glove, became rougher, more like a cave wall than concrete, and then his feet found a flat level, making him stumble. Catching his balance, Newsie patted the air with his hands, trying to sense how large this area might be, advancing slowly. After a moment his foot found an edge; he tapped lower cautiously, and found another stair. A landing, he realized. Some kind of landing...so what’s here? His questing hand discovered something that squeaked and squirmed before he yanked away in disgust. Don’t turn the light on, don’t turn the light on... He found a piece of wall off to the right which felt smoother; further investigation gave him an idea of how big it was, about as far as his arms could stretch and bounded by a frame of some sort...and then he found the doorknob. A door! But there’s more stairs going down... He hesitated, then realized since he really had no idea where exactly to start looking for Gina, this was as good as anyplace. He tried the knob.

    The strings of small pumpkin-and-skull-shaped twinkle lights hit him like streetlamps after so much darkness. He stood in the doorway several seconds, blinking, trying to adjust. What the hey? Some kind of chemistry lab? Tables full of glass beakers, distillation flasks over simmering burners, and strange machines took up much of the space. More disturbing were the body parts scattered around: bug-wings pinned to a piece of cardboard, jars labeled “fang marrow” and “octo-arms” and “cute fluffy feathers” lined a series of shelves. “What the heck is going on in here?” he murmured aloud.

    A loud scuffle and squeak jerked his attention outside to the landing; in the light cast through the open door, numerous centipedes, worms, and unidentifiable bugs scrambled up the walls. Newsie gulped, shuddering, and then heard what was causing all the disturbance: a heavy set of feet tromping up the lower stairs. Something roared, “Doc? That you?”

    Hastily Newsie ducked back into the creepy lab and shut the door, but the footsteps continued to close in, echoes shaking the fragile test tubes in their stands. Frantically Newsie looked around; this room was too crowded with junk, he couldn’t see anyplace he might hide, and suddenly the idea of bluffing a monster with a silly raven costume seemed less than wise. He spotted another door half-hidden by party streamers. He didn’t allow himself time to wonder why the whole room looked decorated for a Halloween party, lunging at the door and pushing it open. A room full of cages startled him, and he stood confounded a moment, staring at the winged kitten and the blue hamster with ram’s horns and the slithery thing that looked like a feather boa come to life. Mewlings and growls and barks sounded all over the room. The loud tread outside stopped at the lab door, and a heavy hand knocked twice. “Yo, Doc! Saw a light – that you? Hey, didja finish that dancing spider yet? Haw, haw...always wanted ta see a tarantula do a tarantella...” The doorknob turned.

    Panicking, Newsie cast about for any haven at all, and saw one corner of the room which seemed unoccupied, holding only a large glass enclosure. He opened the front of it, barely noticing the symbols etched into the glass, and turned to face the room again, shutting himself in quickly. When the door to this room opened, Newsie held as still as he could, willing the trembling in his limbs to stop shaking the feathers, pretending to be a stuffed specimen. Something with the face of a bulldog and crablike eyestalks, all covered in stripey yellow-and-green fur, shoved its head through the doorway; Newsie expected the creature to be too big to come all the way inside, but then it squeezed its head through, and the outlandishly tiny body which trotted in under it almost made him gape and give himself away. Straightening stiffly when the monster’s gaze swung his way, Newsie held his breath. “Huh. Guess he ain’t here. Maybe he went upstairs...” The monster glared around at the caged creatures, which all fell silent. “You freaks shut up! Don’t you know it’s daylight? Time for good little monsters to get some sleep!” With another scowl around at everyone, the bulldog-headed thing slammed the door. Newsie heard its disproportionately heavy tread stomping back to the landing, and then going upstairs. “Hey Doooooc! I wanna see that tarraaaaantulaaaa!” it howled.

    Newsie exhaled. Everything else in the room seemed to do the same, and then numerous pairs of eyes were staring at him. “Uh...hi.” Newsie tried, with a halfhearted wave of a black-feathered glove, to be friendly. However, the creatures backed away, cringing into their cages as tightly as they could curl themselves. “No, no...it’s okay...see? I’m a Muppet,” Newsie tried to reassure them, pulling off his raven mask and resettling his glasses on his golden-felted nose. “See?”

    “Youuuu,” a throaty, threatening voice sounded...right behind him.

    The Newsman whirled; a blue snout wrinkled in contempt shoved up against his nose. “Aaaauuugh!” Newsie cried, stumbling away; his back slapped against the glass wall. The spectral blue dragon in a ragged velvet cloak pressed closer, still snarling. A clawed finger poked Newsie in the chest, and he choked on a shriek.

    “This is all your fault!” Uncle Deadly accused, raised both arms, and lunged. “Grrrraaaaaaaahhh!”

    Newsie yelped, turned on a toe, and smacked his face right into the glass so hard he knocked himself unconscious.

    They had to splash cold water over Snookie to wake him; the party had raged on all night, and Pew, BD and Hem had insisted he stay until the very last Smell-O shot had been downed. It felt like he’d barely staggered into his cell and lain down on the cold, hard floor before the guards were laughing at him and dragging him to his feet. “N-no,” Snookie groaned. “No, I can’t...so tired...”

    “Come on, slug! Move it!” the goblin ordered, jabbing Snookie’s soft round nose with a sharp finger. “You’re due on set in an hour! Gotta get you all presentable!”

    “Too bad ya can’t make him handsome, too,” rumbled the guard, one of the weekend-shift members with huge crawfish arms. He used a claw to hoist the weakly protesting show host along the corridor. “Shower time, lunch meat! C’mon, ya smell like strawberry Smell-O...”

    “I think Pew threw up on my shoes,” Snookie groaned. He could barely move his feet across the floor, and this dragging was really straining his shoulder. “Froggit, stop! You’re pulling my arm off!”

    “Oh yeah? Well den we’ll just hafta call the Doc and have him stitch you up, Muppet!” the guard chortled. Snookie had no say in the routine; he felt about to lose whatever might be left in his stomach. He nearly collapsed when they shoved him under a chilling showerhead, but the three-degrees-above-freezing water shocked him into a howl of outrage.

    “Aaaagh! Stop it! Stop it!” He thrashed, but strong hands shoved him back under the stream of icicles, and another yanked his undershirt and shorts off. Snookie whimpered, barely able to stand, as another monster scrubbed him haphazardly with a grungy loofa. The smell of whatever soap they’d lathered in it made him heave. “Frog, what the frog is that frogging stuff?” he moaned, hastily protecting his more sensitive area with both hands.

    “Sheesh, language!” the guard scolded. When they decided he was mostly clean, they dragged him out of the water and slapped a rough burlap towel around him. “You should be grateful! One a’ your sponsors ordered you special soap, not burning lye like the rest’a the mooks down here!”

    “If that’s special, I’d hate to see the regular menu,” Snookie gasped, teeth chattering. “Come on, guys, I can’t work like this! That stupid party went all night, I’ve had no sleep at all, I feel like foam on a shingle...”

    The goblin overseer snorted. “Well then I guess you shouldn’ta stayed out so late, should ya? Move it, Muppet! Your schedule says...” He consulted a bright pink clipboard. “You got ‘Are You Dumber Than a Box of Rocks’ up first today. Studio thirty-seven, let’s hustle.”

    Snookie tried to stay on his feet as fresh clothing was unceremoniously pulled onto him; he didn’t have the energy or the will to bother with tying his tie or tugging his shirtsleeves past the cuffs of the ugly plaid sports coat. He stumbled after the goblin, shoved frequently by the clawed guard. “No...no more...can’t do this any more...need sleep...” Snookie mumbled, but they ignored him. Vaguely he saw a door opened for him, camerafrackles stretching and yawning, and a yellowish feathery thing with a duck’s bill and enormous flippers surreptitiously checking the cheat sheet it had written on the inside of its wing before the game show started. “I can’t...” Snookie groaned, but he was dumped into a chair just off the set.

    “He’s all yours,” the guard grunted, leaving the studio. Snookie strained to open his eyes fully; when the director-monster, a giant pink thing with six-foot-long arms, dipped his head to stare into Snookie’s face, he was too exhausted to react.

    “All ready,” a stagefrackle announced; the director bobbed his mouthless head in a nod, and gestured at Snookie. The host looked slowly around at them all: monsters at the cameras, monsters at the sound board, monsters in the small audience, and a box of rocks and the duck-thing both squared off against one another at raised, lit podiums. Snookie shook his head, clinging to the arms of the canvas chair.

    “No...no,” he muttered. “Just leave me alone...I can’t do this today. I just can’t.”

    Outside the door, Carl checked the half-eaten taping schedule tacked to the wall. “Aha, here he is...” He pushed open the door, looking around, careful about interrupting a show taping, but they didn’t seem to have started yet. He hailed the leggy director: “Hey, Bob! You seen Snookums here yet?”

    The monster which seemed to be all arms and legs waved at Snookie, then back at the set; one white-gloved hand grabbed Snookie’s wrist and tried to pull him up. With a groan, Snookie struggled to his feet. He took a step, eyes barely open, then another – then fell face-first to the floor and remained there. The director poked him with a shoe, then began gesturing angrily. Carl hurried over. “Hey, language!” he snapped; the director gave him a rude gesture and loped away, flinging down his headset. Carl shook Snookie’s shoulder. “Hey, buddy, c’mon, ya gotta show to do! Up and at ‘em!”

    Snookie registered the familiar, if not exactly welcome voice. “Carl...? Whaddayouwant?” he groaned.

    “Well, I just dropped by ta give you your script for tomorrow’s ‘Monsters Tonight’; there’s this great bit I thought up, where you come out dressed as a pumpkin, and I stuff you in a piecrust, and...” Carl trailed off, blinking in surprise. He’d expected a joyful argument, a tart protest, something, anything much more energetic than the reception this news garnered: Snookie had drifted off again, his face pressed sideways to the ground, damp black hair falling over his eyes. Carl stood up fully, regarding his Muppet sidekick in some confusion. The show director took two steps and loomed over them both, long arms reaching down to grab Snookie. Carl stepped in his way.

    The director jerked up, startled, then launched into a series of gestures and head-shaking which made even Carl, the Big Jaded Cynic wince. “Can’t ya see he’s bushed?” Carl snarled. He hefted Snookie over his shoulder; the Muppet felt lighter than a sack of saffron. When the director angrily shoved his round head with its cucumber of a nose into Carl’s fat, flat one, Carl took that bobbing nose firmly in a huge furry paw and shoved it back as hard as he could. Off-balance, the director flailed and crashed in a pile of loopy pink limbs. “Use a re-run!” Carl shouted, glaring around at the rest of the crew to see if anyone else had a problem. Since he was bigger than all of them, none of them did, though they all stared at him. “Stupid slave-driving wombats!” Carl growled, and with a huff, carried the unconscious Snookie out of the studio.

    Snookie came to briefly, smelling cinnamon and allspice. He turned his head slowly, hoping to disturb the pounding as little as possible, and saw a fluted rim all around him; the stuff under his head was soft and a bit gushy, and smelled pleasantly spicy. He managed to focus his vision a little more, and saw Carl cheerfully whistling “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” as his paws massaged a giant pile of dough. “Did you...did you say something about a pie?” Snookie whispered, unable to find any strength for his voice.

    Carl perked, and turned to him with a grin. “That’s right! But it’ll take some practice...I hate pastry, it’s so darned hard to get perfectly flaky...you just lay down a while, Snookums. You can play pumpkin filling soon enough.”

    “Great,” Snookie mumbled, turned his head away from the obscenely perky monster, and within seconds had passed out again.

    Constanza paused in her grating of the fresh nutmeg to glare at Carl. “That’s really, really mean of you to bake him when he’s like that!”

    Carl growled at her, suddenly looming over her shoulder. “It’s not your place to criticize me! Now shut up and grate that nut, or I’ll practice my mince-Muppet technique on you!” When the dual-toned girl clamped her mouth shut, but continued to glare while she worked, Carl relented, going back to his dough. “Besides,” he muttered, “I’m not cooking him today.”

    Constanza stopped cold, staring. “You’re not?”

    “Are you kidding?” Carl snapped, with an angry thump of his paw against the giant pie crust Snookie was curled in; the sleeping Muppet groaned, and Carl hastily drew back, with a worried look at his pie filler. “He’s...he doesn’t taste nearly as good that way! I like ‘em better awake and screaming!” Two huge yellow eyes narrowed at the sous-chef. “Back to work!”

    Constanza did as she was bidden, but after a moment, glanced back at Blyer... and was very surprised to see Carl stroking back that dark hair almost gently, and then prodding Blyer’s mouth with a spoonful of pumpkin pudding until the Muppet accepted it. Carl watched, making sure he swallowed, then offered another spoonful. Sensing eyes on him, Carl turned, but his kitchen helper was diligently scraping the nutmeg into a bowl. Carl resumed trying to feed the malnourished Muppet, gently urging him to swallow spoonful after spoonful of pudding. “Come on, buddy,” Carl whispered. “Gotta keep your strength up. That’s it. I even used milk instead of sewer gunge...there ya go...”

    The kitchen remained quiet all morning, and although one trial pie was baked, no Muppets were harmed. Snookie slept soundly, tummy full and sore head cradled in soft dough, breathing in autumnal spices and steamy air, and dreamed of places and times long ago, when he last felt safe.

    “Are you going to lay around all day, or can we expect something possibly useful out of you?” the sonorous voice demanded; the Newsman blinked to clear his vision, but what he saw made him cry out hoarsely and scramble to escape it. The ghostly dragon frowned. “Oh come now! That wasn’t even my Carradine impression!” He preened his floating whiskers. “Although I must say I found your reaction quite flattering...er...do you need a change of pants?”

    “What? No!” Newsie snapped, managing to rise after taking a moment to figure out which way his feet were. Dazed, he stared at the phantom. “You...you’re the ghost from the Muppet Theatre!”

    “You know, as you call yourself a journalist, I would expect you to remember proper titles and actually address people by them,” the spectre sniffed. “That would be the Phantom of the Muppet Theatre, thank you! Uncle Deadly, to my friends.” He leaned closer to a trembling Newsman. “Which you most definitely are not!”

    Recalling what the ghost had said, Newsie tried to formulate a coherent protest. “Wait...I...what’s my fault? I didn’t do anything to you!” Memory returning, he scowled right back. “In fact, last I remember, I asked you for help, and was roundly ignored!”

    Deadly lifted his chin haughtily. “You idiot, how do you think I wound up imprisoned in this horrible dungeon, trapped cruelly far from all I hold dear...and you simpletons as well?” He flicked a well-clawed hand at the glass walls. “Were it not for your insistence that the monsters were up to no good, I should not have come here to investigate, and never have been so foully tricked and stuffed into a glass case like some sideshow specimen!”

    Newsie blinked at him, then turned his head to look at the glass. “Why don’t you just walk out? The door’s unlocked,” he pointed out. “Ungh...” He squirmed as his nose was shoved flat against the glass door.

    “Do you not see those cabalist symbols, you fool?” Deadly demanded. “That is black magic of the lowest, most diabolical order, which holds me fast within this cell! I cannot simply walk out! It’s against the rules.” Releasing the Newsman, he folded his arms, snout in the air.

    “Black mag—wait. Against the rules?” Newsie stopped trying to get his nose to resume its usual pointed dimensions, glaring at the ghost. “Are you telling me you’re stewing in this corner because of some stupid gentleman’s agreement?”

    Deadly waved a hand at the etched symbols. “Well, it wouldn’t be sporting, would it, if the undead could do whatever we wanted? You lot wouldn’t have a chance! It would be utter chaos and pandemonium! It would...” He paused, considering it. “You may just have a point there, goldbeak.”


    “But enough with the petty discussions of who ruined whose weekend,” Deadly said airily. “Open this cell at once, and I shall be on my way!”

    “Wait,” Newsie said, a crazy idea forming. “Did you just say you came down here to investigate the monsters?”

    “Yes, what of it?”

    “Well, what did you find out?”

    Deadly sighed. “You know, I never did like your kind.”


    “The press!” Deadly huffed. “Always pointing out my Othello was the bluest they’d ever seen! As if Orson Welles was Moorish!”

    “I’m not that kind of press,” Newsie argued. “I’m a legitimate journalist, Phantom! Now tell me, please: what did you find out? What’s the monster plan?”

    “Ho ho, good one!” The smirk died immediately, and Deadly turned serious. “They’re planning to destroy the city – to draw obliquely over it an endless night, as a hunting ground for all monsters! They’re not playing very cricket, I can tell you that.”

    “H-how will they do that?”

    “How should I know? It may just be campaign rhetoric,” Deadly grumbled. “That dictator they’ve got doesn’t exactly seem to be performing to a full house, if you catch my drift...”

    “What dictator?”

    “Oh, you know, the big shadowy fellow with the red glowing eyes,” Deadly said with a shrug. “Massive ego, proper diction, wields the entire monster population like his own personal Punch-and-Judy players...this isn’t ringing a bell for you, is it.”

    “I knew it,” Newsie gasped. “I knew there had to be someone controlling them! They’re never this organized!” Anxiety rising again, he grabbed the dragon’s raggedy arm, though he quickly released it when both of them looked down at his gloved hand going right through the spectral fur. “Er...have you seen where they keep the other prisoners? Tell me!”

    Glowing green eyes narrowed to pinpricks. “Why, are you going to break them all out? You haven’t done a spectacular job on that front yet,” he needled, looking from Newsie to the closed glass door.

    Annoyed, Newsie swung the door open. “There! Now just tell me where the prisoners are! My girlfriend’s down here, and they say they’re going to kill her!”

    “What?” Startled, Deadly reared back, studying the earnest Muppet’s face mistrustfully. “They’re not allowed to do that! Eating people, yes, certainly...but actually killing them? As in making them dead? Bereft of body? Corpsical casualties?”

    “Yes!” Newsie shouted, getting nose-to-nose with the dragon. “Yes! Killing! As in dead! As in what they’ve threatened to do to my Gina!”

    “That lovely Gypsy girl with the cute little cards?” Deadly put a claw to his lips, musing. “Oh now that simply won’t do! She did the most delightful reading for me the other day...all my cards came up Ghosts, of course...”

    Newsie started. “What? Gina did a reading for you?” When the heck was that? She never mentioned it to me!

    Deadly grinned, showing an unsettling amount of jagged fangs. “Ooh, looks like she doesn’t tell you everything, does she? How very naughty! Oh, I like her even better now...”

    “When was this?”

    “At that charming little soirée at the farm...where last I saw you in that ridiculous get-up. You were bumping into the grass.”

    “I’m nearsighted,” Newsie grumped. He thrust a pointing finger out the glass door. “Do whatever you want, but first show me where they’re keeping her! I have to get her out of here!”

    Deadly strolled out of the cell, making a great show of stretching immaterial muscles and taking a deep breath into nonexistent lungs. “Ahhhhh...that’s better! All right then, let’s go find your lady...and shut these naughty nellies down.” He swaggered across the room, then realized the Newsman wasn’t behind him, and turned, puzzled. “Well? Are you going to stand there with that positively enormous mouth agawp like some game fish, or are you going to do what you came here to do?”

    “You...uh...er...” Newsie swallowed and tried again. “You’re going to help me?”

    Deadly scowled. “Whatever makes you think that? I am going to uphold the sacred laws of monsterdom, which these foolish fiends have evidently forgot in all their playing at Third Reich!” He swirled his cape around him, lifting it before his nose in proper skulking position. “Come along, little Muppet! And do at least put your head back on, you look even more idiotic without it.”

    The Newsman shut his jaw again, grabbed his raven mask and pulled it snug over his face, hastily resettled his glasses on the beak so he could see something, and hurried after the Phantom stalking magnificently out of the lab.

    Kermit looked around at the before-show chaos, feeling calmer than he probably should. Then again, why shouldn’t I? The proofs for Piggy’s perfume ads looked great and she even liked three of the shots; Fozzie came up with some Halloween jokes that are actually less corny than usual; the Mutations are back from their cruise and seem perfectly normal...relatively, anyway, he mused, glancing again at the gangly purple monsters checking each other’s bow ties and cummerbunds, getting ready for the opening theme. He’d questioned them earlier, and all three of them said they didn’t know anything about an undercity plot, but the ladies in Majorca sure were furry... Kermit shook his head, relieved. I guess someone just gave the Newsman a bad tip. Well...it’s not as though many of his stories seem all that credible most of the time. He felt guilty for thinking thus, but shrugged it off. Probably his info came from the Muppet Newswire, and how reliable can a story be when it’s usually about feral sofas or pigs FROM space?

    Scooter stopped at his desk mid-dash. “Hey Boss, did Beau get that tree onstage yet?”

    Kermit peered out; behind the closed maindrape, he could see vague scenery-ish shapes. “Uh...I hope so. Wait. Why do we have a tree onstage again?”

    “Oh, remember, the opening number is ‘Turn, Turn, Turn,’ and we need the leaves to fall and then grow back and then fall again. Gnarled Barkley has been rehearsing with the girls all week to get the timing right!”

    “Gnarled...” Kermit decided he didn’t want to know. “Okay. Uh huh. Hey, Beauregard!” he yelled. He peered around but didn’t see the janitor anywhere. “Where’s he got to now? Beau! Beaureee—“


    Kermit jumped. “Eeesh! Don’t do that! Things have been unsettling enough around here lately as it is!” The baffled janitor just stared at him, so Kermit regained some composure and pointed onstage. “Did you get the tree set up for the opening number?”

    The furry brow furrowed. “Uhhh...what tree?”

    “The tree for the opening number! It’s big, it has a trunk and branches and leaves –“ Kermit began, feeling his earlier calm evaporating.

    A lightbulb went on; Beau’s eyes widened. “Oh that tree! Oh...uh...last time I saw it, it was chasing Beaker with a chainsaw.”

    Kermit shuddered involuntarily. “Why was a tree chasing Beaker with a chainsaw?”

    “I’m not sure...it was roaring a lot. Something about...it didn’t want any Muppet Labs Patent Pending Miracle-Fro?”

    “Eeesh,” Kermit groaned. He got on the intercom. “Scooter! Axe the tree! Just have some of the stagepigs dump some leaves from the flyrail or something!”

    A very large oak suddenly bent over the frog. “What did you say, tiny squishable creature?”

    “Eeek...uhh...figure of speech, heh heh?”

    “Thought so.” The tree creaked its roots, shuffling slowly onstage. “And I better not see that skinny guy again either.” Grumbling, it moved center stage, waiting for its cue.

    Shaking his head, Kermit slumped on his stool. “When am I going to learn it just keeps getting weirder around here?”

    Scooter shrugged gamely. “Gee, I don’t know, Chief -- when will you?” At his boss’ glare, Scooter laughed, and held up a flyer. “Take a look! Got the promo sheets back from the printer’s.” He handed the orange paper with black printing to Kermit; the frog looked it over, nodding in approval.

    “Looks good. Nice job,” he said. The flyer had grinning jack-o’lanterns bordering big block letters: MADL CHARITY WALK Featuring THE MUPPETS! LIVE on MMN MONDAY OCT 31st at 7 pm! SIMULTANEOUS WEBCAST at WWW.MUPPETSDIELIVE.COM! Kermit frowned lightly. “Kind of an ominous website address, though...”

    Scooter shrugged. “It’s the only domain name they could get on short notice, they said. But hey, it’s Halloween! It’s supposed to be good scary fun, right?”

    “True,” Kermit agreed. “Has everyone been issued their ‘Ham in a Cabin’ t-shirt?”

    “Well, most of ‘em. I’ve tried to reach the Newsman twice; he’s not answering his phone.”

    “He’s probably taking a bereavement day,” Kermit observed. “I imagine there’s a funeral he has to attend soon.”

    “Yeah,” Scooter said, sobering. “Uh, about that other thing, Chief...” Lowering his voice and glancing around, the gofer continued, “I still can’t get hold of Big Mama or Timmy or Gene or Beautiful Day...although there was a message from Carl earlier; said he was nursing a sick friend.”

    Kermit made a wry face. “Yeah, sure. In other words –“

    “He’s hungover again,” Scooter agreed, sighing. “Anyway, I’m not sure what to think about that monsters-underground thing. The Mutations are here, and they seem fine. And Sweetums and Thog were playing Bataan Checkers in the green room a minute ago, and Boppity’s here, and the bats showed up for their dance rehearsal...”

    Kermit shook his head. “I’m not sure what to think. I guess we go on as usual...just let me know if any of the monsters show up acting suspiciously, okay?”

    “Okay!” Scooter paused. “Uh...how would that be different from how they usually act?”

    Kermit scrunched his mouth up. “I don’t know – just – suspicious! Weirder than normal!” He sighed, trying to untense his shoulders. “Is there any coffee left?”

    “Uh, yeah, but I don’t think you’re gonna want any...”

    “Why not?”

    A large herring came flopping across the backstage floor, panting desperately; hot on its fins ran the Chef, waving a cleaver in one hand and carrying an old-fashioned metal kettle in the other. “Hoo! Geddendere, yuu pishy-wishy coopasheeno!” The chase swerved upstairs and through a starred door; a moment later, frog and gofer cringed at the shriek and crash which followed.

    “Gotcha,” Kermit sighed. He checked the clock. “I think I have just enough time to slip around front for a real cup. Cover for me?”

    “You bet,” Scooter agreed. His froggy boss hopped out the back door, heading for the local coffee cart. “Hey Chief, it’s cold, don’t forget to take your...” Realizing Kermit was gone, a worried Scooter hurried down the steps after him. He threw open the back door to find a frogsicle on the loading dock. Hastily dragging him back in and rubbing his shoulders briskly, Scooter muttered, “...coat. Hey Boss, why don’t you sit here under the vent and I’ll go grab you a coffee, okay? You want a little cup of Frosted Flies on the side today?”

    “Brrrrrr,” Kermit groaned, shuddering. He huddled beneath the warm air coming from the heating vent, and nodded. He couldn’t even get the word thanks out before his trusty assistant was bounding out the door, snapping up his own letter jacket as he went. That kid’s too nice to be in show biz, Kermit thought, then smiled at his own condescension. Except he’s hardly a kid anymore! Married, with a place of his own, and a college degree... He shook his head, slowly returning to room temperature. Still has the energy of a child, though. Speaking of... He smiled at the small frog climbing onto his desk and waving a paper half-mask on a stick.

    “Booooo! Boooooooo! Hey Uncle Kermit, guess who I am?”

    “A very excited frog?” Kermit guessed.

    “Awww...no, I’m the Phantom! Wooooooo!” Robin moaned, trying to undulate his flippers in a menacing way.

    “Excited about tomorrow night?” Kermit felt something uneasy poking at the back of his mind, something Robin’s mask had triggered, but his chilled brain was too out of whack yet to nail down what it was. Robin hopped up and down in place, and the nagging something vanished from Kermit’s mind.

    “Oh you bet! Uncle Kermit...Rizzo and Pepe said this place we’re gonna go is a real haunted house! Is that true?” Robin asked nervously.

    “Robin, there’s no such thing...and even if there is, all of us are going too! The Mayhem will all be there, and Miss Piggy and I will walk with you, and Bunsen and Beaker will be filming it all for us...”

    “Are you sure they know how?”

    Kermit chuckled, making a wry face. “I certainly hope so! Remember to wear your special t-shirt, okay?”

    “I will! Hey, does this mean I can have a part in the movie too?”

    Kermit hesitated. “Well, I don’t know, Robin. Your parents still aren’t sure that a horror movie is appropriate for a young frog to take part in...”

    Robin made an unhappy tadpole face, bulging out his mouth in a pout so that his eyes seemed to pop up. Kermit tried his best to hold in a chortle at that. “Awwww...but you said it won’t be scary, it’ll be funny!”

    “There will be just enough scare for the audience to sympathize with moi, the lady in distress,” Piggy assured the young frog as she came down the stairs. “At least, in distress until moi turns her considerable skill at kicking tuchis on, and then it’s pig versus zombies! Oh, and Kermie?” She sashayed sweetly up to him; Kermit pursed his lips, expecting a kiss; instead, she dusted her gloves off in his face. A shimmer of red scales fluttered onto his nose, and Kermit sputtered and spat. “Keep the danged aquatic life out of moi’s dressing room or it will be Fish Fry Sunday!”

    “Hey, that wasn’t very nice!” Lew Zealand protested, and chased after the limping fish while the Chef came slowly downstairs, looking dejected, with his cleaver embedded in his toque. Robin giggled. Kermit shook off the remaining scales and pulled Piggy in close for a smooch.

    She allowed it, and even returned the pressing of lips a moment, then broke away and headed for the green room stairs. “Ta, mon chermoi must get a honey tea for her throat! This place is so cold today...brrrr!”

    “Yeah,” Robin agreed. “It’s like the whole theatre is a cold spot, like on that spook hunter show! Gotta go put my costume on for the trick-or-treat song, Uncle Kermit. See ya!”

    Kermit frowned, looking up into the flyloft, but could barely see any of the ropes suspending the scenery and electrical battens, much less into the dark recesses of the grid. Spooks...I wonder why Uncle Deadly hasn’t insisted we feature him this weekend? Halloween is tomorrow, and I would’ve thought he’d jump at the chance to do some corny recital of Poe or Bierce or something...come to think of it, where is that non-pig ham, anyway? He would have given this more thought, but just then Scooter returned with a large paper cup of absolutely amazing-smelling caramel apple coffee paired with Frosted Flies heated in a little cup with mealworm milk, and Kermit’s stomach growled, and he set about making sure he devoured every bit of the late breakfast before the matinee began.
    Fragglemuppet and The Count like this.
  3. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Yay! (waves arms wildly over head!) Thank goodness Deadly is going to get his furry blue butt in gear and do something besides talk the problem to death. Ah...it's the same with Shakespearean actors everywhere....

    I'm beginning to thaw a little towards Carl, but I'm not near enough defrosted to think about getting too close to him. Kudos to him for helping Snookie through a low moment--he might be redeemable, as long as he stays out of the kitchen.

    I really liked your interpretation of Kermit, here. You're really getting a handle on his I'm-their-leader-which-way-did-they-go persona backstage and I'm happy to see him juggling the show, Robin, Piggy, Scooter and a nice bowl of frosted flies at the same time. Who said the frog can't multitask! But shame on Scooter for not checking out the website--shame, shame.

    I can't wait to see what happens next! And I'm really ready for everybody to come home safe!

    (Except Van Neuter.)
  4. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    For the record, I thank you for the update. Didn't comment last night cause I got in late after returning from surveying the near-destruction of Gotham City.

    *Follows :news: down the hidden downwards staircase at the hotel.
    *Enters Van Neuter's lab.
    Okay, so what have we got?

    Demon kitten, aw, cute. <3
    :batty: Wouldn't it be a bakeneko?
    Technically, yes. Although bakenekos are adult monster cats, whether winged or not. And you should check its tail.
    :batty: Why's that?
    If it's one single tail, it's still a bakeneko. If it's split into two, then it's a nekomata.
    :batty: Check.
    Blue-skinned hamster? Possibly either a zombie hamster from that botched alphabet toy ouija summoning or one of Stitch's cousins.
    Feather boa constrictor, nice, nice Muppet Show reference.

    *Grim smile as raven-disguised reporter and skulking spectral serpent king are now teamed up in releasing the potential prisoners.

    Great job with the segment featuring Snookie and Carl and Constanza. At least there's someone looking out for the hazed host.

    *<3 Robin's adorableness at trick-or-treating. Are the others from Sesame still there, or did they go back to their respective homes?
    *Glad the Mutations got back from their cruise in the Spanish isles.
    Poor Beaker, he gets into trouble wherever he goes. *Remembers Frank Caliendo's bit from this morning. *Glares at the guys in the back who didn't laugh when he did his Bunsen voice.

    Er, more please? *Disappears.
  5. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Ah, but the Mutations weren't on a cruise -- didn't you catch them playing as the house band for "Break a Leg" and "Monsters Tonight"?

    Thanks to Ru for the "Frosted Flies" joke. Ah, bug-food humor!

    Glad you guys like so far...big finale still to come...soon! :news:
  6. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Of corpse I caught the Mutations as the house band for every live MMN show. But the frog doesn't know that does he? Riiiight. It's all in how you play along with the show you're watching/fic you're reading. It's kind of like how when I'm watching Colbert, I get all indignant at what he condemns or react with a "Noooo!" when Jon ended up having an intervention last week with the actors from The Campaign.
    Heh, Colbert. That reminds me, he gets a :) for doing a People In Your Neighborhood joke.

    Muppet Domination peoples, is everywhere.
    Fragglemuppet likes this.
  7. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Piggy: Do we get to choose which muppet is going to dominate us?
    Ru: Piggy!
    Kermit: Piggy! Sheesh!
    Piggy: (airly) I do not see what all the fuss is about. Moi was only asking....
  8. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Oh, more of your being tart huh?
    :shifty: There's tarts?
    Erm, go ask Grace, she was delivering them when she moved into HV on Monday.
  9. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    I love how I get these alerts when I'm already on the page they alerting me to. Once again, I have blindly stumbled on to this chapter and was happy to see that Deadly was just chilling out in the glass case. I actually thought they had turned him into a monster monster.

    I like Carl; he's not completely bad or good really, but you have shown that he has some affection for the Snooker. I still like Rosie best though and maybe cause I knew a guy named Rosie once.

    I'm with Ru on this one - Scooter, your tech senses should have tingled at a domain like that. My God, man, you worked at Google for cripes sake! You should know better!

    Robin! Nearly forgot he was in here, so glad to see him back.

    And of course you know I always love seeing the Divine Miss P where ever she is. Though, something has been bothering me...so Camilla obviously knows that Gonzo is doing something stupid on some show; Rizzo and Pepe know. And maybe I've forgotten, but I'm under the belief that no one has bothered to, you know, tell the others like Kermit and Piggy and Fozzie and Scooter than Gonzo is doing something stupid on TV.

    My inner child detective is puzzled as to why these clues have not come together, however I can see that things are coming to ahead. Quickly Watson! To the sleuth mobile!
    The Count likes this.
  10. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Ah, the others are vaguely aware of it, as mentioned many many chapters back, but yes, I was planning another reference to all that soon. Patience, grasshoppa.

    Ed, was it obvious that the director Bob was supposed to be one of the long-limbed giant Muppet monsters? I noticed some of them don't seem to have working mouths, so I figured they have their own version of sign language. I think Carl views Snookums as his own personal Muppet torture-doll..."He's MINE, YOU can't do that, only I can!" ...but mayhap there's more to it after all. ;)

    I don't write the frognpig well; I leave that to more experienced ughgushers, e.g. Ru, although I like the interpretations I'm seeing from others around here such as WMG. But hey, they need to pop in from time to time...after all, I try to include everyone at least in cameo! Wouldn't be a proper Muppet story without them!

    More soon as I can. I need to iron out details, though the general pattern is in my head for the big showdown(s) to come...appreciate all readers! :news:
  11. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Actually, I don't recognize the nameless monsters unless there's a strong connection to their appearance in the fic. For example, the triple-header working the tally phones for Brake A Leg!? I knew it was Tom, Dick, and Harry when Gonzo launched into telling Rosie not to trust what he said, what she said, what it said? The only long-legged big Muppet monsters I know of are: The Danceros because of its four legs, the duo who sang Your Feet's Too Big, and I guess it was a Bossman? who appeared in The Boy From Ipanema with Petula Clark. Also, I was going to ask if the creature from the fat lagoon director of I Married A Monster! was related to Fern from the Hurting Something sketches from The Jim Henson Hour.

    At any rate, you're doing great when said silent characters recur to their form of sign language if they have no other means of communication available.
    Plus, you get points for the Pythonesque rant when Newsie got Uncle D to realize he could walk out of the glass cabinet and the reading the journalist's Gina did for the dragon.

    Thank you, look forward to whatever's next.
    *Goes to finetune Van Neuter's mom's costuming now that I have a clearer idea of her as Bloody Mary.
  12. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Goes 'Bump' in the night, because this deserves to be on Page 1.

    Wonders if because of the blackness of his fur, Burt would be a warg.
    :( What?
    No, not you... The wolf-thing from this fic.
    *Smiles evilly at having a female version of all three strike team members.
  13. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Ed? You have a female monster strike team? What, chained in your dungeon in front of a webcam? Yeek!

    More soon...busy week...two drawing commissions now and another story claiming my utmost attention, but I have ideas already brewing for the next installment! Patience, I ask of thee all...

  14. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Not yet, only in the plotting stages.
    :grouchy: Now get yer filthy mind outta da gutter Mike Nelson! Whoever that guy is.
    *In Vincent Van Ghoul voice: Don't make me send my strike team after you. Post more story. Please?
  15. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Part Forty-Five

    The place they dumped her in was cramped and stank of unwashed fur and other things less appetizing. Rhonda crouched in a corner, shivering. When the chuckling monster left, she finally took a shuddering breath, then wrinkled her nose. “Aw, gawd...what is this, the back room at the Post?” Suddenly she realized she wasn’t alone; numerous pairs of eyes glowed all around her, reflected in the faint light from a bare bulb high overhead. “Oh no. Ah, listen, monstery guys, I’m with the Fourth Estate, ya know? Press? I can get ya into a show, if you...oh geez...” She pressed her back into the hard corner of the box, seeing the eyes closing in, creeping from the shadows...until they were close enough for the meager light to reveal their forms. Rhonda blew out a breath, relaxing. “Oh for crying out loud! You guys sure know how to give a warm welcome!”

    The multitude of rats blinked, sniffed, or regarded her with mild curiosity. “You have an estate? Cool,” one said.

    Another snorted. “Fat lotta good that does down here!”

    She stared at them; there must have been three or four dozen rats all packed into what, on closer inspection, seemed to be a storage freezer; at least it had no lid and wasn’t working, though the air down here was cold enough to make a chiller unnecessary. She peered up at the top of the oblong box: thin chickenwire had been loosely laid over the opening. “Are you telling me none of you have tried getting out of that flimsy thing yet?”

    A big, burly rat who looked vaguely familiar shrugged. “Dat’s ten-gage wire, sweetheart. Even if we chew t’roo it, it’s two feet up, two feet down on da udder side, an’ den nine feet to da door...”

    “Dat’s eleven feet,” another rat piped up.

    “Thirteen,” Rhonda muttered, disgusted.

    The big rat shrugged, and pulled a piece of dry wheat out of the rolled-up sleeve of his plain white t-shirt, gnawing on it vaguely. “Eh, anyways, dey got big bruisers right outside da door. An’ believe me, sweetie, ya don’t wanna know what dey considdah a light snack!”

    The rest of the rats shook their heads and chorused “un-uhs!” all around. Rhonda fumed, brushing back her mussed hair and beginning a thorough search of the box using the flashlight she’d brought from Newsie’s apartment. “There has to be a way outta here!” Struck by a thought, she whirled, eyes flicking from rat to rat. “Are any of you guys from the tunnels? Got dragged off the streets, stuff like that?”

    Several nodded. “Well, sure,” one said, with an indignant sniff. “Ya think we wanted ta get stuck in dis nasty ol’ fridge widdout even no food left in it?”

    “Then get your butts in gear and help me!” she snapped. She shone the light into one corner, where the hardware which used to hold a shelf remained, though rusted. “Use those ledges! Form a chain! Big guys on the bottom! You, Bubba, you be the anchor!” she ordered, remembering the burly rat’s name finally.

    He blinked at her dumbly. “Uh...lissen, no offense, sweetheart, but...”

    “I am nobody’s sweetheart,” she barked. “Do you want to just sit here until some giant furry moron comes for a snack? I have already lost a good man out there this morning, and there’s a lot of important work to do and the sooner the better!” She glared around at the sheepish-looking rodents; none of them except Bubba would even meet her eyes. “Does anyone have a cell phone? They took mine, the creeps...probably getting slime all over it as we speak, and I don’t even wanna know what they’ve done to my Ratbook page...”

    One of the smaller rats ventured shyly, “Uh...they started taking everyone’s stuff away after they caught Alec playing ‘Crumbs With Friends.’”

    “Great,” Rhonda muttered. She put her paws on her hips, jutting her dainty snout at Bubba. “Well? Are you gonna give a rat a hand up, or are you just a big wuss?” When he just stared at her, and several others gasped audibly, she glared at them all again. “Oh come on! We are rats, people! We have persevered through plagues, grain famines, involuntary sea voyages, and the whole ‘ratcessory’ thing after Britney adopted a Scotch Longfur! We can do this! We can take them! We are strong, we are invincible –“

    “We aaare roooooodents,” another female rat suddenly burst into song. She looked abashed when the others turned to stare at her.

    “That’s right, sister,” Rhonda nodded firmly. “We are rats! Now listen up! Those freaks are planning on taking over the whole city – our city! If they do that, no rodent will ever be allowed to run free in the Lower East Side, eating electrical insulation and the best Chinese food in the world, ever again!” Seeing some of them considering that unhappily, she pressed on. “No rat will ever be able to raid the Mayor’s larder, or...or infest an entire used-mattress store...or buy the newest cute little walking shorts the garment district has to offer ever again!”

    They were silent, whiskers twitching uncertainly. The rat who’d done such a perfect Helen Reddy spoke up, “Ummm...I think that last one may just be you and me, girl.”

    “Heathens,” Rhonda snorted. “But don’t you guys see? This isn’t just about what the monsters will do to the careless idiots walking around up there—this affects us directly! What city is this again?” she demanded suddenly, accosting a jaded-seeming rat in the front row.

    Startled, he stepped back, then glared at her. “New Yawk!”

    “And who was here before buildings even covered all of Manhattan?”

    Another rat moved forward, his voice raspy but firm. “We were!”

    “And who really runs this town, I ask ya?” Rhonda yelled.

    A chorus – small, tentative, but a chorus nonetheless – answered, “We do.”

    “What was that?”

    “We do!”

    “Who does?”

    “We do!” most of them roared. Excitement swept through the stale, dingy freezer. Rhonda looked at each of them, making sure to hold eye contact as her gaze traveled around.

    “That’s froggin’ right, it’s our town!” She lifted her flashlight, doing an unintentional impression of Lady Liberty. “For the rats of New York City!”

    A loud cheer reverberated off the plastic-coated walls. “Now let’s get up there and save our city!” Rhonda yelled. Rats scrambled and climbed, hoisting one another up the moldy walls. Rhonda noticed Bubba was still standing there, his big eyes narrowed at her. “Well?” she snapped.

    He gave her a slow nod. “Ya know, dat’s a shame,” he rumbled.

    “What is?”

    “Dat ya ain’t nobody’s sweetheart,” he said, giving her a very direct look. Rhonda felt her face reddening, and wished she hadn’t discarded her coat, conscious of her not-yet-grown-back fur. Her legs showed too much from under this dress. With a lopsided grin, Bubba ambled toward the corner of the freezer, and grabbed the feet of one rat struggling to reach the first ledge, hefting him into the air so fast the rat squeaked in startlement. “Awright, come on, get up dere, who’s next?”

    Rhonda smoothed down her bangs, feeling both complimented and annoyed. Mustering up her resolve once more, she strode over to the wriggling chain of rodents and held out a paw. “Okay, guys, once we get to the top –“

    “It’s two feet down, and eleven to da door,” one of the rats chimed in.

    “Nine,” someone else muttered.

    “So everybody look sharp, and scatter if the guards see ya! They can’t stop all of us! We will prevail through sheer numbers – like we always have!” she urged them. Caught up in the squirming, upward-climbing mass, she swallowed back a twinge of fear. No, they can’t stop us all...but the ones they DO catch won’t have it easy... Hoping desperately that she wouldn’t be one of the inevitable casualties in this war, she scrambled over the top and into no-rat’s-land.

    The Newsman peered uncertainly around the corner; two Frackles and some sort of giant glob with a multitude of tiny, useless arms quivering from its bulbous sides were engaged in a heated argument just down the next corridor. He was close enough to hear them clearly, though he didn’t comprehend a word of it:

    “The Millennium Falcon could so blow Serenity out of the sky! It has guns!”

    “So? Wash can outfly any pilot in the ‘verse!”

    “Dude, Wash is dead.”

    “Don’t remind me! Ugh! I hated that scene!”

    “How do we get past them?” Newsie muttered. His ghostly companion sighed, flourished his cloak ahead of him with one elegant arm, and simply strode around the corner; before Newsie could react, the dragon grabbed Newsie’s costumed wing-arm and dragged him after.

    “Good gloomy day to you, my fellow miscreants! Er...which way to the cells? I found this foolish bird wandering a little too close to the tunnel entry, heh heh heh...” Deadly beamed at them toothily; the monsters froze, wide googly eyes and dropped jaws turned their way.

    “Er...say...ain’t you s’posed to be locked up too?” a yellow Frackle with red wattles asked.

    “I? Shackled like a common ox? I should say not!” Deadly drew himself on tiptoe haughtily. “Your overlord and I came to an agreement: I bring in the spook vote, and he gives me the Museum.”

    “Oh,” the chickenlike Frackle pondered.

    The blue one nodded. “Uh, yeah, uh...don’t you mean da underlord?”

    “Yeahhh...” the blob mused, regarding the dragon suspiciously, but Deadly immediately lunged at them, releasing Newsie in order to rake both clawed hands in the air before the cringing trio’s snouts.

    “You dare blaspheme he-who-must-be-given-all-manner-of-slimy-snacks?” Deadly roared. “How dare you uncouth, uncultured, microcephalic heathens even speak his title as though you know him personally! I do,” he finished, his voice dropping from dramatic bombast to name-dropping chattiness. “Now, I will ask you a second time, and if there’s a third my good chum His Nastiness shall hear about it: where are the cells?”

    All three monsters dumbly pointed farther down the rocky hallway.

    “Thank you.” Deadly grabbed Newsie by the nape of the costume. “Come along now, we’ll find a lovely cage for you! Mwoooaaahh ha ha ha ha ha!”

    The monsters, silent, shuffled aside to let them pass. When they’d moved out of range of curious eyes and ears and who knows what other senses, Newsie pulled free of Deadly’s cold grip a little and muttered grudgingly, “Good laugh.”

    “Thank you. One must perfect such things, you know.”

    The cells quickly came into view...and Newsie felt cold and more than a little ill. In tiny, barren cage after cage of the prison level, he saw bedraggled humans, dogs, cats, squirrels, a shorn sheep and what looked like a walrus with a fez. The corridor ended at a t-intersection; looking left and right, Newsie could barely make out more cells. They seemed endless. “Holy frog, how big is this place?” he wondered, desperate to find Gina; his heart went out to all the sad souls he passed as Deadly led him imperiously on, but what on earth could he do for them? All the barred doors appeared locked. Did one of those monsters back there have the keys? Was there a master control switch somewhere he could throw to open all the cells?

    “A sad sight, is it not?” Deadly murmured to him, choosing the right-hand turn and walking slowly along it, his gaze drifting over the listless prisoners. Nobody even looked up at them as they passed. “It reminds me of a production I once starred in of ‘Don Juan,’ in particular the Doge’s dungeon scene...no, of course you wouldn’t have seen it, you’re too young...well, let me tell you, it was a marvelous set! They’d built me the dingiest-looking cell – fake chains, of course, although I did ask for real ones, liked to do all my own stunts, you see; this was before your modern ‘action heroes’ but right in line with Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd and—“

    “We can’t just let all these people waste away down here!” Newsie hissed, trying once again to grab Deadly’s sleeve, irritated that the ghost could touch him, yet his hand went right through the spectral arm. “The monsters undoubtedly have something awful in store for every one of them!”

    Deadly turned to glare directly at him; he couldn’t keep back a shiver at that chilling green gaze, glowing eyes more like chemical sparks than windows to a soul. “And just what do you propose we do, exactly, foolish Muppet? Are you gifted with the strength to bend the bars?”

    “No,” Newsie snapped. “But –“

    “Then we continue on until we find your dark and temper-prone lady, and determine some way to free her. Perhaps I could convince them you should be put in her cell, and when they open the door...” Deadly mused.

    “Yes, good,” Newsie agreed at once. “But what about the rest of these poor people? And...and...things,” he continued awkwardly, seeing what looked like a whitish glob in a tiny glass box in one of the cells; it was feebly trying to separate and clone more of itself, but seemed too weak to manage more than a few puffs of spores. “We...we can’t just leave them!”

    “I shall have to have a very stern chat with this underlord fellow,” Deadly growled. He strode on, not noticing the Newsman hanging back a moment in utter disbelief.

    “You – a stern chat? How is that going to help? These weirdos are clearly unwilling to listen to compassion, or reason at all for that matter!”

    “The megalomaniac is breaking every rule of monsterdom! He must be brought to account!”

    “Right,” Newsie said, catching up, continuing to scan left and right for any sign of Gina. “I’m sure he’ll listen to you.”

    “I am utterly charming, and an expert dancer,” Deadly sniffed. “Of course he will. I just have to get past all this techno-scary nonsense first and speak directly to him...peer behind the curtain, so to speak.”

    “You’re not making any sense,” Newsie muttered.

    “Trust me, fussy reporter, it will all come out in the wash. Have I led you wrong so far?” Deadly demanded. A pink raggy thing and a blue raggy thing suddenly dropped on him from above. “Aaaagh!”

    Newsie staggered back a step, startled, and his jaw dropped when the two freakish things that had menaced his aunt flung their tentacles around the dragon’s head, their bobbing antennae jutted down and they delivered a bright charge of static that made even the ghost jitter and flop in place. “Bad! Bad cow!” the blue one groaned, shaken up and down in the same shock.

    “Bad bad bad! Yiiiiip yip yip yip yip!” the pink one chimed in.

    “Arrrgh! Let go of me, you twisted little mop-brains! Get – off!” Deadly managed to get his claws on one of them, flinging it into the retaining wall between two cells; the other had its tentacles wrapped around his face, blinding him temporarily. It rubbed its deely-bobbers together rapidly again and gave him another shock. “Aaagh! All right that is quite enough of that!” he roared, and with a violent shake of his head loosened it enough to grab it and hurl it away. Deadly snarled, raising both hands, about to deliver some turnabout-is-fair-play on the little creatures, when the pink one yanked its jaw over its entire head, or body (hard to tell with them), and the blue one shouted something that made him pause:

    “You hurt News! Aaaww! Bad! Bad cow! Yip yip yip bad!”

    “I hurt what?” Deadly glared from one of the things to the other; they scrambled and flopped together in the center of the corridor, then wobbled and wavered and levitated up to stare at him eye-to-eye. “What the bloody James Earl Jones are you talking about? I only play a villain! And quite well, admittedly, but really now...”

    Pink glanced at Blue. “Awww. Not bad cow? Not...hurt News?”

    “Bad cow hurt Eth-el,” Blue reminded him.

    Pink shook his head. “Uh-uh-uh-uh. This not cow. Chick-en,” he said, indicating Deadly with a couple of tentacles.

    Affronted, Deadly gave that one a poke with a claw. “I am not a chicken! I am the revered master thespian and part-time Phantom, Uncle Deadly! Now just what are you two playing at, attacking a spook on a mission?” They looked abashed, raising their jaws up to their eyeballs, antennae drooping. Satisfied that he’d made them stop and think, at least, Deadly continued his berating in full Olivier mode. “Why, I’ll have you little cleaning supplies know, I am even now engaged in stopping the unholy tyranny which has pervaded the whole undercity for nigh-on a month at least, with the help of my trusty-if-a-little-dimwitted-comic-sidekick, that Newsmuppet...” He turned to include Newsie in a grand gesture, but the raven-costumed reporter was nowhere to be seen. “Er...Newsboy?” He peered into the nearest cells; the raggy creatures looked high and low as well. “How very odd, he was just here...”

    “Mn. News...run,” observed Pink.

    “Eh-eh eh-eh,” objected Blue. “Not News.”


    “Chick-en,” Blue said firmly, and refused to hear another word about cows.

    Rosie McGurk approached the noisy cell tentatively; he ducked when a squishy rubber eyeball on a keychain sailed into the corridor through the bars, bouncing twice on the floor. “Uhhh...wabba do, Gazza?” Various garden tools, torn sequined shorts, and an “I 8 NY” snowglobe with a monster attacking the city inside it flew threw the air to land haphazardly everywhere.

    The curly-nosed daredevil poked his head through the bars. “Oh! Hey! Rosie! Great, you’re just in time!” He squeezed easily between the iron bars, but found his suitcase wouldn’t fit. He yanked on the handle a couple of times, grunting, then paused, wiping his feathery brow. “Uh, little help?”

    Rosie blinked all three eyes at him. “Wabba do?”

    Gonzo gestured at the two large steamer trunks and rolling suitcase. “Almost time to go! I figured it made sense to go ahead and get packed, y’know, so I won’t be running around later like a chick...er...like someone who doesn’t plan ahead.” He beamed at his monstrous assistant. “Boy, last night was amazing, wasn’t it?”

    “Yagga,” Rosie agreed; he stood there while Gonzo popped back into his cell and flung one of the trunks open, then began stuffing oil-coated hoops, sparklers, and various other flammable implements into it. “Uh...saygga ta pag en alla togebba?”

    “Well, sheesh! You want me to pack fireworks and class-A explosives in with my clothes? Do I look crazy?” Gonzo stared at Rosie; Rosie stared back. Today the Whatever had his green leotard on under a pair of orange plaid slacks; an official ‘Break a Leg’ ballcap covered his head.

    “Uhhhh...” Rosie mumbled.

    “Boy, one more gig tonight to claim my prize, and then it’s off to claim my feathery little minx once and for all, Rosie!” Excited, Gonzo bustled around the tiny cell, continuing to pack more belongings than Rosie recalled him arriving with.

    “Ahh, Gazza...neeba stay tamarrah,” Rosie reminded him timidly.

    “Tomorrow? Why, what’s – oh yeah. That big opening-the-door-to-heck ceremony, right.”

    “Ack!” Rosie put a startled pink paw to his wide toothy mouth. Where the hey had Gonzo heard about that? “Uh...wagga heggate shamony?”

    Back into the corridor in a flash, Gonzo grinned, knocking his friend’s shoulder gently with a fist. “Aw, come on, Rosie! I’ve heard some of the guys talking about it! I know you guys were trying to keep it a surprise for me, so I won’t let on like I know, okay? I promise, when the head of the network opens a portal to a screaming dimension of ultimate horror, I’ll look as shocked as anyone else!” Rosie stared slack-jawed at him. Gonzo looked at his trunks. “Hmm. D’ya think maybe we could borrow one of those cannon trundles? Oh, hey, that reminds me! Pew said I could have one of those cannons that got wrecked in our act; I’m pretty sure I can fix it up, but I’ll need help dragging it up all those stairs...think you could...” He turned to see the expression of shock on Rosie’s homely face, and grimaced. “Yeah, you’re right. A little too much, huh? Okay...what if we asked one of your really big friends to help? I think I saw one of those giant centipedes in my cheering section last night – maybe he’d help us out if I gave him my personal autograph?”

    “Erg,” Rosie choked. Gonzo had already shimmied back through the bars and was jumping up and down on the trunk full of items the post office would never accept, trying to cram it all inside. Rosie wrung his furry hands. If only he could get Gonzo out of here! He knew all too well that tonight’s wrap-up and awards episode of ‘Break a Leg’ would be Gonzo’s last hurrah...and last chance to be on a stage, anywhere, before the Grand Ascension tomorrow night, which the boss had specifically ordered the daredevil be present for... Swallowing down a flight of butterflies in his stomach (they never would stay put unless he remembered to wash them down with ginger ale, which he hadn’t), Rosie glanced up and down the cell block. No other monsters were in earshot. What if...what if he could persuade Gonzo to leave right now? No one would be expecting that! Everyone knew the final show was tonight, and of course Gonzo would be taking first place!

    Steeling himself for the risk, Rosie stopped Gonzo on his next trip through the cell bars. “Gazza...uhhh...tagga minnin?”

    “Uh, sure, Rosie, but you mind if I talk and pack? Got a lot to sort through here...hmm...hey, would you have any use for this pair of cod-liver-oil coated Speedos? I thought they were really cool, but they’re a little big...might fit you, though...” Gonzo looked up with a smile, then saw the trembling lip and wide eyes of his hideously-featured friend. Chagrined, he stopped, and put a hand on McGurk’s shoulder. “Oh...aw, Rosie, I’m so sorry! What an idiot I am sometimes!” He shook his head. “Wow, talk about Mr Insensitive...look...you know what? Why don’t you just come with me?”

    “Cabba wig?”

    “Well, let’s face it, there really won’t be much talent around here for you to fixate on once I’m gone,” Gonzo said, lowering his voice. “I mean, c’mon, what’re you gonna do, become a coffee gofer for Pew? Beneath your talents! I could use an experienced assistant! I’m sure Kermit won’t mind one more hideously deformed mouth to feed. You could sleep on the flyrail – though I’d have to ask you to give me and my chickie some space, if you get my drift,” he continued, grinning and winking. “So, whaddaya say? Want to continue a career in show biz with a real artiste?”

    Rosie gaped at him, poleaxed, unable to reply. Concerned, Gonzo said, “Well, gee, um...I didn’t realize you were so attached to things down here! I mean I’d love to have you along, especially if Camilla okays that tour of the corn belt I’ve always wanted to do, you know, take a little culture to the yokels, but if you’re not up to it –“

    Rosie was on the verge of regaining speech, of blurting out a warning or a thank-you or breaking down and bawling or perhaps all three at once, when a raspy voice broke in: “Hey!” Rosie nearly jumped out of his fake fur. “The scow’s leavin’! Are you guys comin’ or what?”

    Gonzo blinked at an unusual sight: two Grouches lugging tagged suitcases bulging with dirty underwear, rotten banana peels, and spoiled suntan lotion came grumbling along the corridor. At the far end, in the garbage can for this cell block, a green-furred Grouch waited impatiently. “Come on, come on, I ain’t got all day!” he growled at the two laggards. All three of them appeared vaguely familiar to Gonzo.

    “Hey, aren’t you guys the ones who vetted the acts for my show?” he asked the two Grouches as they passed.

    “Grrrrr!” snarled a grayish, elder Grouch with white hair sticking out from the sides of his head and a moldy tie. Rosie scrunched back against the wall to let the mean-looking creatures by; both of them glared at him anyway.

    “What’s it to you, turkeybeak?” the other passing Grouch snapped at Gonzo.

    “Aren’t you going to see the finale tonight?” Gonzo asked.

    “I’d rather not! Heh heh heh!”

    “And I’d rather you two stopped chatting with the local color and got a move on!” the green Grouch yelled from the end of the hall. “We gotta amscray if we wanna catch the last barge out! C’mon!”

    “Grrrrr!” the gray Grouch replied, giving his broken-wheeled suitcase a vicious tug. It burst open, spilling coffee grounds, rotten lettuce, and black, cankerous popcorn kernels all over the corridor floor.

    “Oh fer cryin’ out loud, Cranky...didn’t I tell you they’ll have snacks on the boat? Leave ‘em...they look better there anyway! Heh heh heh...”

    Gonzo, curious, trotted ahead of the traveling Grouches to the one in the trash can. “Are you three really leaving the city? But you’ll miss the big party tomorrow! There’s gonna be a doorway to heck opened and they’ll have cake and ice cream and everything!”

    The green Grouch eyed him morosely. “Tell me about it! Why d’ya think we’re headin’ outta town, short, blue and weird-looking? No Grouch wants to be here when that jazz goes down! Hopefully...” He appeared uneasy. “Ahh, it can’t possibly last too much longer! Whoever heard of monsters all cooperatin’ – outside of my neighborhood, anyways! This’ll blow over, and when it all falls apart, we’ll be back to pick up the pieces...and arrange them artfully into the biggest trash crisis this city’s ever seen! Heh, heh, right, Dan?”

    “I’d rather not!” grumped the dirty-tan-furred Grouch as he threw his suitcase down the trash can, forcing the green Grouch to duck.

    “Hey, watch where you’re tossin’ things! You coulda hit my stash of rotten eggs!” The green Grouch smiled smugly as he shifted over to allow the tan one who seemed only to want to be contrary to climb in and vanish. “Eh, can’t blame him for being all excited! After all, they say Rio is lovely this time a’year!”

    “How are you getting all the way to Rio?” Gonzo wondered. “Is it true there are wormholes in Grouchland?”

    “I’ll say!”

    “Grrrrr!” agreed the gray Grouch, clambering in over the green one; much shoving and arguing ensued before the gray one vanished down the hole. Picking up the topic again, the green one assured Gonzo, “Heck, we got roach-holes and vermin-holes too, not just worms – although the worms make the cutest ones, ‘least I think so...nah, we’re taking a chartered garbage scow down. Did you know Brazil has more trash per capita than most of the rest of the world combined? Heaven!” He shook his head, a dreamy smile on his grungy face. Brightening, he looked at Gonzo and Rosie again. “Sayyy...you guys wanna come with? We could, ah, sell ya a broken sink or a used toilet to bunk in on the trip down – only twenty bucks! Each!”

    “Mebba...errr...” Rosie began, seriously considering the offer. Everyone knew you had to have a Grouch guide to navigate the tunnels through trash to Grouchland, and these might be the last Grouches remaining in the city at this point...and, well, Rio couldn’t be too bad...he might have to shave his fur again, he’d never been comfortable with the heat –

    Gonzo ruined any such feeble musing with a firm shake of his head. “No way José! I have a trophy to claim tonight, and a chicken waiting for me at home after that! Oh, well, and there’s this party thing tomorrow, but frankly it sounds kinda formal...I’m only going if Camilla can get my tux pressed in time...”

    “Suit yourself! So long, suckers! Heh heh heh! Yeah, yeah, stop complainin’, you guys, I already blackmailed that Cooper kid inta coverin’ for you while we’re gone...hey, wait up!” Yelling down the hole, the green Grouch slammed the trashcan lid; it echoed through the corridors. Panicking, Rosie leaped forward and yanked open the lid; the refuse from last night’s studio bash spilled out. He pulled forth empty bottles and tattered streamers and somebody’s undershirt, but there seemed no evidence a tunnel had ever been there. He stared at the aluminum container in despair.

    Gonzo patted him on the back. “Uh...hey, Rosie, honestly...if it’s moldy popcorn you want, I’m pretty sure I saw some back at your cafeteria! Why don’t we go see if they have any?” His eyes became misty. “Geez. I’m really gonna miss you, buddy! Sure you won’t reconsider about coming back to the theatre with me?”

    Rosie opened his mouth, determined to say once and for all everything he’d been forced to keep secret, everything he wanted to warn the clueless Whatever about, and – Eustace swung around the corner. “Eep,” Rosie gulped.

    “What issss all thisss messss?” the doglizard demanded.

    “Oh...uh, there were these two Grouches walking past the bars, and they were going to Rio, and –“ Gonzo began, gesturing at the trash scattered along the floor.

    Eustace growled. “I have no time for ssstupid jokessss! Why are you packing? Do you not wisssh to disssplay your propsss one lassst time on the air?”

    Gonzo shrugged. Rosie did his best to be invisible, standing just behind Gonzo, although he was taller by an eyeball. “Actually, I thought I’d just do a song and dance tonight, if that’s okay. I’m kinda bushed. Hey, where do you guys keep the pay phone around here? I’d really, really like to call my girlfriend!” When Eustace only glared at him, grinding his teeth, Gonzo amended, “Uh...you know...if your boss wants me at his grand descent thing tomorrow, won’t I need her to bring my tux? The only one I have with me is the rainbow-spangled one, and I kinda had the impression you guys were going for more of a Halloween theme...I do have a neon orange cummerbund and tie I can wear...”

    Slowly, the doglizard smiled. “Your...girlfriend. Isss sssshe not...Camilla the sssshicken?”

    “Well, yeah!” Gonzo’s eyes lit up. “Hey, you’ve heard of her?” Excitedly he nudged Rosie, who sucked in a startled yelp. “I told you she was the most famous waterskiing fowl ever! Hah!”

    “Sssshe isss on our...guessst lissst already,” Eustace hissed, toothy lips curling up in a mean smile. “Sssshe hasss ssssigned up to walk the charity haunted housssse event where our underlor—er, our network head isss holding hisss...party.”

    “Oh, fantastic!” Gonzo cried. “Wow, this is so perfect! It’s kismet! Perfect serendipity! Hey, uh, so...” He took the surprised doglizard by the shoulder, and muttered in some embarrassment, “I’ve actually never been to one of these things before...what is the dress code for opening a doorway to a dimension of hellacious monster bugs?”

    Rosie made a strangled sound, but Gonzo didn’t hear, and Eustace happily ignored.

    Gina blinked groggily; no sooner did awareness seep back in but she realized, Those little creeps drugged me. I’m going to kill them all. She was given a further shock when she managed to rub her vision clear, and saw the outfit she was now wearing. “What the—“ A slew of choicely flung profanity still couldn’t adequately express her feelings upon seeing the frilly pink babydoll dress, the white tights and maryjane shoes, and the bejeweled barrettes in her hair. The image the mirror on one wall of this closet-sized space conveyed was herself dollied up like something out of a Shirley Temple film. Furious, Gina stood up from the padded floor and began examining the walls. A chain clinked; looking down, she nearly lost all composure completely. They drugged me, they took OFF my clothes and put me in this disgusting outfit, and they CHAINED MY FEET? She stood a moment, trying to calm her heart, starting to hyperventilate. No! Oh no no no no no no...

    Suddenly a slimy sort of voice sounded overhead; looking up, she could see only a ganglion of wires and hoses. “Toonaaaht, our swinging, swaying bashelorr weel have to choose again, between zee bad and ze uglai, and who knows whezair eezair uf zem are good! Coming raaht up, on ‘I Married a Monstair!’”

    What the @$@%? Gina thought, desperately tugging at the manacles on both her ankles; they seemed heavy, rusty, and possibly unable to even be unlocked again. She pulled hard, hurting her feet, not caring, beginning to panic, but she couldn’t squeeze free of the chains. She turned from one tall wall to the next, frantically seeking escape; suddenly one wall shot upward, hoisted into the high ceiling, revealing bright lights trained on her. She flung her hands over her face, holding in a cry of fear. Oh god what the **** are they doing, what are they doing to me, oh my god Newsie, Newsie where are you –

    “That’s raaht, mah fellow drooling monstairs, you see before you ze epitome of deeesgusting feminine frilliness – but at least it is still feminine, which is all zat counts, non?” A chortle followed this pronouncement. Squinting, desperate to figure out what the situation was and how she might get out of it, Gina finally discerned the figure of some sort of shambling creature in a shabby pirate’s hat parading up and down a few feet in front of the weird little open closet.

    “Hey! Beaky pruneface! Unlock me right the **** now or I will stuff that stupid hat right up your fat nostril!” she yelled, but far from being intimidated, the pirate creature sauntered closer and gave her a lecherous look.

    “Why hellooo mah pet! Do you like your frilly little dress, ma petite chou?”

    “No I do not!” Gina snarled, ripping the barrettes from her hair and flinging them at the creature’s face; they bounced off a pair of Ray-Bans, and the thing chortled again.

    “Wha-ha-hah! A feisty one, no? But what do you sink, Gustar?”

    Gina clapped a hand over her mouth to keep from screaming. The undulating blob which hove into view was like a ‘50s horror flick met Jabba the Hut and had offspring...which were then devoured by this thing. It peered at her with a multitude of watery eyes, in particular staring at her legs. She tried to pull the skimpy frills down farther, but this outfit really hid nothing. “Huuh...well...she’s kind of...plain, Pew...” the blob muttered out of the side of its mouths.

    “Ah know, mon ami, but not to fret! Because once again, we have a special visit froooom...ze Doctair Monstrufyer!”

    Applause greeted this statement. Gina backed against the mirrored wall, but suddenly all the walls around her fell away, simple flats, and more lights came up...and she clearly saw the lush, designer-decor bachelor pad set, the beaming skinny Muppet in a lab coat with a big felt heart pinned to one lapel, and the apparatus of syringes and hoses slowly lowering over her. “Oh god no,” she whispered, but there was no way to run, no way to kick, and though she ducked and tried to dodge the needles swooping down at her, they kept coming.

    “Just simmer down, you poor ugly thing,” the lab-coated Muppet crooned, to the laughter of the audience. “Good ol’ Doc Van Neuter is going to make everything allll better...or should I say, Doctor Feelbad?”

    He giggled. Gina lunged to one side and the other, but felt a jab in her left arm. Crying out, she instinctively slapped at it, but then another sharp poke hit her upper right thigh. As she sank to the floor, crying, she felt something even worse: a rippling feeling all over her skin.

    “Can you do purple this time?” the blob was asking. “But...I kinda like the red fur...it’s exotic, ya know?”

    Van Neuter grinned. “Sure, babyjelly! I can do anything you want!”

    That horrible smile was the last thing she saw before losing consciousness again.
    Ruahnna likes this.
  16. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    You evil evil wonderful writer.

    Things I liked...
    Rhonda in the rat cage/cooler.
    The whole bit where another female rat did her Helen Ready impersonation.
    Rhonda as the Statue of Liberty, unintentionally.
    Her blushing at Bubba's comments.
    The whole speech about who was here at New York first.
    :sing: Old New York.
    Was once New Amsterdam.
    Why'd they change it, I can't say...
    Anyhew, very American Tale-ish to have the rats take center stage.

    Uncle D leading Newsie past the trembling minions, through the cells, with the spectral dragon's grandstanding in movie monster form.

    *Waves hi to the Martians, laughing at their confusion over cows and chickens. All they're missing is a devil.
    Sorry, that's a reference to one of Cartoon Network's earliest shows.

    If I didn't know better, I'd think Newsie was portraying a wereraven.
    UD: Wereraven?
    :batty: Dunno, you saw him last.
    *Comes back in with popcorn.

    For some reason I think Newsie might pop up to the rescue, but that's another segment of this loaded chapter.

    Poor Rosie, unable to say anything when he wants to say so much.

    *Cheers at the cameo by :grouchy: leading the other grouches to the trashcan portal.
    :batty: Rio? That's the site of the next summer games.
    UD: And it was an okay animated movie, at least we beat it's signature song for an Oscar earlier this year.

    *Laughs at the snack spillage.

    Why is Guster still competing for new ladies on I Married a Monster!? Didn't he end with the lovely Susan, the one with the venom fangs and gorgonean hair seen in his first appearance? And Gina's going under the knife/needle so to spook. Reminds me of when Lydia was to receive a full-bodied monster makeover to the cameras of the operating theater in the Neitherworld's hospital.

    Thank you for updating as usual, it never fails to put a smile on our faces. :scary:
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  17. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Well, the gag on "I Married a Monster!" is like "Let's Make a Deal": Does the blob want Susan #23, or what the Doc's going to do to this latest victi--contestant? I meant contestant...

    What? No comment on "two feet to the floor, etc"? That bit always cracks me up, no matter what anyone says about MFS!

    Wereraven? Why are you talking like that?
    Dunno..I thought YOU wanted to.
    Ruahnna likes this.
  18. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    I am desperately looking for the "Easy" button that will make all of this GO AWAY! Are you sure nothing awful is going to happen to Van Neuter? Look again, won't you? I'm positive he's in for some serious bad karma....

    Good grief, but Deadly's adorable. I'm pretty sure I dated him back in college, and his jokes weren't any younger then. It seems like there are enough of our guys below to actually be worth something when it all goes down (or up, as the case may be) so I'm not giving up hope. I'm also hoping that they were stupid enough to take off Gina's necklace, so that a little cosmic chaos can fall once Newsie catches up to her...if he ever stops running...

    Rhonda officially needs to go out with Bubba. Brawn and bombshell make a good combo--maybe they could double date with Harve and Gladys? That would make an interesting foursome for bridge, at any rate.

    And Gonzo needs to wake up and smell his future being eaten away by something horrible. I know that his imperviousness to danger is what allows him to perform such death-defying stunts, but I need him to notice what's going on around him now that the show is over! And take Rosie WITH you! He could fit right in that empty spot in the arches.

    You are drawing all the threads tighter on your grand tapestry! I can't wait to see the finished product!

    P.S. Um, just don't get anything sticky or slimy on Piggy, okay? We both know that won't end well....
    The Count likes this.
  19. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Hey -- this is HORROR. It's not supposed to be pretty. Or easy. But it IS also Muppets, so there will be happy endings...for MOST of the characters...

    I figure the monsters caught up in the Big Uggy's grand scheme are rather like the everyday Germans. When things are scary all around, it may feel easier to go along with it than to speak up...especially when you never see the speaker-uppers again. Many of those folks weren't bad, just weak...

    Heh heh heh. Uh oh. Ru caught a plot point I tried to sneak by. I'll have to be sneakier...

    Hmm. Bubba over Chaz, huh? I'll consider it. Bubba would certainly be more forthright about his opinions, and is less full of ravado (that's self-pushiness for rats). If you can demonstrate that bridge game to me, you're on!

    Gonzo's not dumb...just...coming at the world, and especially scary things, from a completely different perspective. Cake and ice cream! C'mon, it'll be fun! Even if he does have to wear a tux. :concern:

    Thanks for the patience, guys! I'm still having to drag myself back to this, away from a more insistent character right now. Appreciate everyone sticking with it!
    Ruahnna likes this.
  20. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    So this means you win the bet between you and Ru as who posted a new chapter first.
    What'dya win?

    Bubba and Rhonda, yes, that ship I support.
    Them and Harve and Gladys for bridge... Sure, they could borrow Gina's deck.
    Only now have I come to realize that the deck me and my paternal grandma used for bridge was an almost complete minor arcana, the 10's were missing, along with the Queens. The Pages were 10, Knights 11, and Kings 12.
    Then again, I wonder if they'd play mah-jang instead, *shrugs.

    The entire segment of MFS where Rizzo's acclamating himself to labrat life is funny. That's probably why he got all the stuff from that scene as accessories packed with his action figure, the table, cheese, drink, plates marked Cheese and Poison, and boxing glove arm.

    Okay, let's move it fright along, we've got people to spook and Muppets to plunge into all kinds of heck.
    *Readies wand and megaton explosive for ascention night, if it works the same way that last ascention we witnessed did.
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