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

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

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  1. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -------------
    Hah! Ed...vampire duck...wasn't there one on Darkwing?

    That would be, I think, about the third or fourth Gordon Ramsey joke I've done in this fic. Check out "****'s Kitchen", Ed, for primo kitchen diva antics. I'm not a regular fan, but every now and then I catch one of his several shows...he's the sort of person I find fascinating. From a distance.

    "Ingenue" is a classic 1940s sort of word that best fit the visual image I had. Typically a classy lady singer/actress. Often one quite aware of her own seductive image who uses it to get more gigs.

    Ed, Ed, Ed...those weren't raptors, those were Velocimuppets. And killer throwback chickens. Go watch "Jurassic Park" again. See? Totally NOT chickens. Or turkeys, despite Grant's proclamation thereof.

    No hidden Mickeys. Although mickeys may well be slipped into a drink or three soon around here...

    Thanks for reading! :news:
    ---------------
  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Er, there was the instance where Launchpad was turned into a vampire-duck bat... But the vegetarian vampire duck I'm thinking of is older than that, *still defies anyone to identify it.

    Jurassic Park? Never watched it. Got no plans to watch it, though I know RedPiggy's another huge fan of that franchise what with her dino interests.

    Slip a Mickey into a drink?
    *Has bad mental image of Rhonda in the oversized drinking glass, waiting for a male rat to slip into the bubbling waters.
    Good night everybody.
    :shifty: You've got a dirty mind on you brotha'.
    As a little pink bunny once said... I just can't help myself.
    muppetfan24/7 and newsmanfan like this.
  3. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Vous are soooo clever.

    Okay, cheers to Beaker for being so pragmatically paranoid (not that it saved him from the tea...*sigh*...or Doc Honeydew). I'm glad that he is wary of the building, AND Van Neuter, whom I'm sure is slated for some bad, bad karma--or at least a bad, bad donkey to kick him in the what-for.

    I am somewhat less-than-impressed with Newsie's rescuing talents so far, although if I am being fair, I am remembering that it was up to my girl, Piggy, to save her bacon and Kermit's in that first movie. (And she did it without ruining her fishnets, I might add!) But I know things will get positively telekinetic once Newsie and Gina are reunited. Will sparks fly equally well for Snookie and his lady muppet? Methinks she could out-snark him if she wanted to--or needed to--and the two of them could make a THROW RUG out of Carl if necessary.

    I'm also ready for Rhonda to open up her big can of whup-there-it-is on those furry yay-hoos and show them how it's done. (Bubba can watch, give pointers and drool.)

    And please leaven the next batch with a little frog/pig power couple--or a little frog/pig power coupling.... All the tough girls are already at the party, and Piggy's going to miss all the fun!

    You are pulling all the threads together like a wonderful, moldy old tapestry. (I have it on good authority from Deady that that's a good thing!) So keep churning it out--we'll keep lapping it up!

    More, more, more!
  4. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Huh? Have the two of you been consorting conspiratorily without my knowledge?
    BTW: Does Mabel have any lemon bars left? :grr:
  5. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    What makes you think I'm a consort? Really! I'll have you know I conduct ALL my conspiracies without sleeping with the other party, thank you! Hmf!
    ----------------
    Fragglemuppet likes this.
  6. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Er, I was spooking of Aunt Ru and one of my roomies.
    :shifty: And I tought this Count guy's keeper had da dirty mind. Sheesh.
  7. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Part Forty-Eight

    At the next corner, Rhonda paused for a breath, flattening her back against the slimy wall. A ruined dress was the least of her worries at the moment. She looked at the bulky rat in a white tee next to her, catching his breath as well. “Ya hangin’ in there, kid?” Bubba asked her.

    Rhonda nodded. She peered into the near-darkness behind them; she could hear groans and gasps as the rest of the motley rodent band regrouped in the corridor. “How...how many you think we lost so far?” Rhonda whispered.

    Bubba shook his head grimly. “I ain’t thinkin’ ‘bout dat right now, just how ta get past da next brute.”

    “I hate war movies,” Rhonda muttered. She dared a peek around the corner. “Two guards, but they’re playing checkers,” she told Bubba. “If everyone can move quietly, maybe...”

    He nodded, and muttered to the skinny rat next to him, “Yo, Shakes. Two uglies in here, so keep quiet and heads down. Pass it on.” As the rat whisper chain traveled down the corridor, he turned back to Rhonda. “You said you had schematics of dis place? Any idea where we are right now?”

    She shook her head. “Our informant never made it into this part of the tunnels. We’re running blind.” So far, in their wild escape attempt, the rats had run through some kind of pantry, a monster soup kitchen populated by grungy, filthy, smelly things...and then there were the patrons...ending up racing through some kind of bunkhouse, where one careless rat had tripped over a soda can on the floor and triggered an outcry of monsters all waking up famished. Rhonda shuddered; she didn’t think she’d ever forget the carnage of the short but vicious Battle of the Bugly Barracks. “If we can find a way to the roof of that hotel upstairs, we gotta shut down their transmitter! But if not...maybe at least we can go warn the Muppets! They’re all coming to the hotel for some charity thing, and none of them have any idea--”

    “It’s a trap!” Bubba agreed, eyes widening. “You’re right. Someone’s gotta warn ‘em!”

    “Aaagh! Trap? Where?” one of the rats nearest shrieked; before his panic could spread, however, Bubba grabbed his nose and muffled his mouth in a meaty paw. He held the struggling rat effortlessly, sighing and shaking his head.

    “Awright, so, we try ta work our way up and out, yeah?”

    Rhonda nodded. “That’s the idea...if we can get past the rest of these creeps.”

    Bubba gave the frenzied rat a hard squeeze, and dropped him dazed to the floor. He dusted off his paws, took a deep breath, and nodded back. Together he and Rhonda took another look around the corner. The small room beyond, really just a space between the juncture of three different tunnels, held a rock table at which sat a goblin and a large purple-furred thing with a flat head and long arms. The pair seemed engrossed in a board game. “Which way ya think?” Bubba muttered.

    Rhonda shrugged helplessly. “Heck if I know! If ya smell anything like fresh air, head for it.”

    The burly rat chuckled. “Don’t t’ink dat’s gonna be easy down here. Awright, you punks, get ready to hustle! Remember to keep your heads down and your feet movin’ no matter what!” The gathered rodents blinked, shivered, or gulped, but they all knew there was no going back now; they’d stirred up too much in the rooms behind them. At least no alarm seemed to have traveled ahead of them. At the table, the goblin began protesting an illegal move the furry thing had made, and a loud argument followed. “Dat’s our cue,” Bubba rumbled. He offered a fist-bump for luck to Rhonda. She looked askance at him, but reluctantly touched her closed paw to his. “See ya on da udder side,” Bubba told her with a wink, and suddenly dashed into the room, keeping close to the nearest wall.

    Rhonda took a breath and ran after him. In the middle of the room he stopped, lifting his large nose for a sniff, and then waved the troops in the direction of the narrower of the two rocky tunnels. Rhonda ran to the tunnel opening, checking for any sign of monsters ahead; the way seemed clear. She beckoned as well, and the rats darted by ones and twos across the open space to the relative safety of the dark corridor. All seemed to go well until the goblin upset the game board with a snarl; marbles rained down everywhere. A skinny rat in legwarmers and a headband was in the center of the room when the furry purple thing bent down to see where the game pieces had gone and spotted him. The rat froze a moment, then bolted for the opposite tunnel. Rhonda began shoving the rats already in the smaller tunnel farther on, yelling at them, “Go! Go! Don’t look back!”

    Bubba tried to go after the stray rat, howling, “Adriiiiaaaannn!” Rhonda leaped onto his back, tugging at his arms.

    “No! No! It’s too late! We have to leave him! Run!” she urged him. Bubba struggled, not listening, until the goblin swung around and saw him...and hopped off its seat with an evil smile. Bubba realized there was no way he’d make it across the room, and with a groan of pure grief, turned and ran along with the other rats. All of them fled, squeaking, into the darkness of the tunnel, terrified at the thought of what might have happened to their unfortunate colleague...and what could easily happen to them.

    They ran pell-mell for several minutes; when some of the weaker rats began dropping, gasping, Rhonda called a halt. Exhausted, terrified rats simply plopped onto the muddy floor. Rhonda, panting, looked up at the stoic-faced Bubba. “I’m...I’m sorry about your friend,” she offered.

    “Ehh...he’s a good runner...maybe he’ll make it,” Bubba mumbled. He fell silent. The quiet sound of dripping water echoed ahead, under the soft noises of rats trying to catch their collective breath.

    “So much for my hose,” Rhonda grumbled, examining the spatters and tears in the formerly-pristine nylons. “I hate mud.”

    Bubba’s whiskers twitched. “Uh...that ain’t mud.”

    “Ewwww,” Rhonda whined. “I didn’t need to hear that! I really, really didn’t!”

    Bubba’s gaze followed the line of mud farther ahead, where a very dim light allowed him to differentiate the path along the bottom of the tunnel from the rest of it. He scratched his crew cut. “Uhhh...hey sweetcakes.”

    Irritated, Rhonda glared at him. “I’m gonna pretend you did not just say that because I am way too out of breath to hurt you right now.”

    He shrugged. “Ya do what ya gotta do. But I was just wonderin’...when did the hallway turn round?”

    “What do you mean? We didn’t turn around! Some a’ these honor students may be prone to that kind of complete navigational fail, but I—“

    “No, no, no,” the burly rat muttered, touching a startlingly gentle paw to Rhonda’s chin and lifting it up for her to see. “I mean, da tunnel turned round.”

    Her angry retort died on her tongue. “Round...hey! And the...the mud,” she said, glaring at Bubba to warn him not to correct her, “we must be close to the sewers!”

    Several rats nearby perked up. “Sewers? Didja say sewers?”

    “Woohoo! We’re home!”

    “I’m comin’, Auntie Em!”

    Bubba suddenly shoved Rhonda to the side and held her safely out of the way as a torrent of rodents scrambled past, whooping and squeaking, rushing toward the comfort of smelly pipes. “Wait!” Rhonda yelled, “No, stop! We still have to warn...everyone...” She fell silent, dismayed. One last rat on crutches loped past slowly, giving her not a glance as he headed along the pipe and out of sight. Rhonda’s shoulders sagged. “Well fer cryin’ out loud, would ya look at ‘em! Deserting the cause like...like...”

    “I hear ya,” Bubba rumbled. He sniffed at the light breeze wafting down the tunnel. “Hey, real air!”

    “I am not sniffing that.”

    “Naw, naw, not like that. Dere’s fresh air somewhere up ahead.” He gave her a long, serious look, then nodded and straightened his bulky back. “Awright. What say we go find out where dis maze ends up and get outta here?”

    Rhonda quirked her head sideways at him. “You’re not running off to join your buddies?”

    He shrugged. “Always was a sucker for a dame in distress. Come on, just a little farther, huh? You can do it.”

    Somewhat mollified, Rhonda resumed their trek, picking up her pace as she went, but Bubba matched her easily. He seemed to have long endurance as well as brute strength, and Rhonda’s opinion of the jock mellowed slightly. “So, what’s the plan once we find an exit to da street?” he asked.

    “Well,” she sighed, “I guess if we can’t get near that transmitter from here, the least we can do is warn Kermit. If we can catch him or his first-LT Scooter, they can spread the word and keep everyone away from Creep Central.”

    “Dat’s a good plan,” Bubba agreed. The two of them hurried on for several minutes in silence, guided by Bubba’s large nose; suddenly Rhonda thought she might understand her mother’s fascination with men of generous proboscis. Still don’t see the ‘handsome’ part, but letting someone ELSE do the sniffing is sure useful, she decided. “Ya doin’ okay dere, doll?” Bubba asked.

    “Doin’ just fine, Rocky,” she shot back. To her surprise, the husky rat chuckled.

    “Rocky,” he said, grinning. “You’re all right, doll. Ya got moxie.”

    Rhonda was surprised again to find herself blushing. She snapped her gaze straight ahead, and together the rodents jogged for freedom.


    -----------
    “Aunt Piggy! Aunt Piggy!”

    Miss Piggy turned from her Art Deco round vanity mirror to find a fashion disaster: one small green amphibian bouncing on his toeflippers in a bright orange tee-shirt and purple jeans. She did her best not to openly wince. “Yes, Robin dear?”

    He blanched. “Whoa. Cool mask!”

    Piggy couldn’t frown very well with the super-refining-mud-masque slathered all over her snout and cheeks. “Different kind of mask, kiddo. Is that...is that the...”

    “The official movie promo shirt! Yes! Isn’t it super neato?” Robin gushed, bouncing around in a tight circle so she could briefly glimpse the whole design. “I’ll be the only kid at school with this! I told Uncle Kermit I’ll wear it every day until the new movie comes out!”

    “Well, that’s sweet, but you might want to wait until we’ve actually filmed it,” Piggy replied. “Assuming your uncle ever gets a location we can actually shoot at before winter...”

    “I thought he and Scooter already picked out five or six places?”

    “That’s what I mean,” Piggy growled. “Um...where is your wundermus uncle, anyway?”

    “Oh, he’s downstairs with Bobo, making sure he knows the candy is for the trick-or-treaters.” Robin leaned closer and whispered, “I think maybe Bobo could eat all of it, even the pumpkin Mallomars!”

    “Well, he’d better not,” Piggy grumbled. “I didn’t arrange the best candy haul on the block just for the big dumb furball to chow down! Remind him moi arranged for a super sub to be delivered from Bruno’s Deli at six for him.” Although Piggy agreed it would be classier to have someone remaining at the townhouse tonight to greet costumed children for the traditonal candy ritual, she felt Kermit’s choice of doormen left a bit to be desired. Namely self-control. “And tell Kermit moi wishes to see him immediatement!”

    “That means right away, right?”

    “You bet it does, little frog. Hop to!”

    Within five minutes, just as Piggy was laving off the mud facial, a voice quipped from the master suite’s doorway behind her: “I still don’t see why it has to be thirty-dollar-a-pound imported French mud.”

    “How does vous think I’ve managed this perfect complexion?” Piggy retorted, eyes narrowing as her frog slipped up behind her and put his arms around her. “Don’t you dare try and cozy up to me! I see what you’re wearing, frog!”

    Puzzled, Kermit drew back, looking down at his tee-shirt. “It’s...it’s the official promo shirt, Piggy. We agreed we’re all going to wear them. It’ll present a unified look and hopefully excite some interest for—“

    “You don’t need to explain publicity to me, frog.”

    Noting the double use of the word she most often used as a perjorative, Kermit watched while his wife removed the protective bathrobe from her creamy shoulders. He nodded appreciatively. “Now that’s a cheerful look!”

    Piggy glared at him in the mirror, adjusting the straps of her sleekly satin, gold-hued brassiere. “This is cheerful? Are we looking in the same mirror?”

    Kermit tried his cheekiest grin. “Well, they’re certainly making me cheerful.”

    “Hmf,” she snorted. She fussed with skin cream a bit, then sighed, turning around to meet those smiling eyes. “Kermie...must we really all don such...such gauche attire? I mean, I thought, since this is Halloween, I could wear that simply stunning black cocktail dress, and do my hair up with that pretty spiderweb-lace scarf and some black gems, and go as Audrey?” She picked up the foot-long Bakelite holder, sporting a bit of licorice instead of a cigarette, and posed to show him her idea.

    Kermit shook his head. “Piggy, honey...that does sound really cute, but...we did agree we were all going to wear the shirts. Scooter was very thorough in getting everyone the perfect sizes! Robin and I are wearing ours, Scooter and Sara will have theirs, even Rizzo and Pepe agreed...”

    “Well no one consulted moi!” Piggy snapped. She frowned, still fiddling with the long holder in her perfectly manicured fingers. Kermit was immediately struck with an idea for a romantic comedy: ‘Pigfest at Tiffany’s’...but much as he liked that idea, now was not the time.

    “Sweetie, honey...” he began.

    The pig would have none of it. “Don’t you sweetie me,” she growled. “Vous and yarn-head made a wardrobe decision without my input!”

    Ah. Realizing the crux of the problem, Kermit gently stroked her bare shoulders. She tried to brush him off at first, but he was gently persistent. He stood in front of her and caressed her until she finally looked up at him, her blue eyes unhappy. “Piggy,” he explained softly, “this is for the film. For the studio. For us. All of us. And believe me...it may just be a silly tee shirt...but no one can fill out a shirt like you. It’s not about looking great for the cameras...it’s about looking unified, as a team. Just for tonight...would you wear the silly tee shirt?” He crouched slowly so they were eye-to eye, bringing his mouth closer to hers. “For me?”

    Piggy felt her frown slowly giving way. “You could have asked my opinion before you ordered them. And whose idea was orange?”

    “It is Halloween,” he reminded her, bringing his lips ever closer. “And anyway...” He kissed her, gently, then with more pressure, until she relented and opened her mouth to him. He tasted her sweet tongue, feeling her shoulders relax under his hands. When he finally pulled away, her eyes were closed, and she seemed to have forgotten her anger. In a whisper, Kermit finished, “You only would’ve said no.”

    Her eyes flew open, but the frog was already bounding for the door. “Oooooh! You—you slimy frog you!”

    “Better to ask forgiveness than permission,” he taunted, grinning, as she shot to her feet.

    “Oh yeah? Well better start practicing, frog, because you’re gonna be doing a whole lotta asking!”

    “I should make sure Bobo knows he’s supposed to listen for the doorbell, even if he’s camped in the family room,” Kermit said, backing away, fairly sure she wouldn’t charge out of the suite before she finished dressing. “Hey, better get that shirt on, dear! The guys will be here any minute!”

    “The guys? I thought we had a limo booked!”

    “This is a charity event,” Kermit said, sounding a little too smug for Piggy’s taste. “It would be in bad taste to show up flaunting wealth, wouldn’t it?”

    “This shirt is in bad taste! I look awful in that shade of pumpkin! And is that...is that supposed to be me on the back?”

    “We’ll be downstairs,” Kermit said, heading that direction quickly as one incensed pig stared at the cartoonish drawing on the back of the shirt.

    Piggy glared at the empty doorway. “Oh he’s gonna need some charity all right,” she growled, pulling on the shirt, unwilling to admit just how nicely it showed off her curves. She tromped to the first of her two walk-in-closets for a pair of stylish black jeans, determined to do what she could to save her stylish reputation in the face of such a gaudy color. “I wonder if Shriner’s Hospital admits grown frogs?”


    --------------
    “On your feet,” something growled.

    Gina struggled to open her eyes fully, feeling nauseous and with a splitting skull. Her mouth felt strange when she spoke, “Screw you, I’m not a Marine...” She sat up, instinctively putting a hand to her forehead, then jerked back. “Ow! What the...” Shocked, she discovered tiny claws jutting from all her fingers...and her hands were coated in reddish fuzz. Trying to wipe it off, she noticed the fuzz became thicker and longer as it went up her arms...and over her shoulders...and her legs... Dark scarlet fur covered every part of her she could see, and she realized in horror it probably covered the places under the silly frilly dress, as well. Her head jerked up to glare at the long-tusked guard waiting for her to get up. “What the **** did you do to me?” she cried, hearing her voice too rough.

    The guard grinned. Suddenly that smelly thing in the pirate hat was beside her, grabbing her arm. “Ahhh! Such a marrrrvelous shange for ze bettair, mon chere! Finalee, you are rrready to win ze hand of our swinging bachelor Gustar!” He paused, then admitted, “Well, maybe not ze hand as zuch...”

    “What the frog did you creeps do to me? Change me back!” Gina demanded, panic rising.

    “Zat’s odd,” Pew mused. “Arre you not all aqivair with ze desire, mon chere? Does zis handsome bachelor not excite every beautiful bone in zat sexy boday?”

    Gina stood, leaning threateningly over the director. “No and oh **** no! You go get that freak doctor and tell him if I’m not back to normal in five minutes I’ll...I’ll use these claws on him!”

    Pew chuckled, waggling a finger at her. “Ah hah hah! No no, mah petite chat! No flirting with anyone besides your intended...and of course moi!” Before Gina could retort, Pew grabbed her with surprisingly strong hands and dragged her, stumbling, from the cot where she’d lain to stand next to the quivering, pulsating glob of happy bachelor. Applause met her, and Gina looked up, startled, to find a studio audience of dozens of freakish creatures whistling and hooting appreciatively at her. Feeling naked, she reflexively touched her necklace...the necklace that always...she felt around frantically.

    It’s gone! Those idiots took off my necklace! She glared, frightened, at the grinning director and the leering blob. Wait. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. When Newsie finds me... But she had no guarantee her shy Muppet would even be able to get past the front door of this place, assuming it had one. It’s crawling with monsters down here. They’ll eat him alive! Oh, Newsie, sweetie...please... She wasn’t sure if she should wish for a daring rescue or not. The last thing she wanted was to put her beloved in danger. Should try to get out by myself...but... She looked again at her arms, feeling ill. Can’t let him see me like this! He’ll freak! She felt decidedly freakish herself.

    “Aaaand now, mon freres, we shall see who Gustar will be marrying tomorrow!” Pew shouted, and the audience cheered. Gustar beamed, little ripples coursing through his jelly. “Gustar has picked ze final four contestants!” More cheering.

    “Contestants?” Gina asked, and again felt sharp things around her tongue. “Ow...” D—it my teeth, they did something to my teeth? Angrily, she glanced around, looking to see how close the guards were. Maybe if she used these awful claws to rip apart the blob-thing, they’d take her threat seriously... She felt something smack the back of her leg, and whirled. “Hey, quit touching, you—“ But no one was behind her. Turning again, baffled, she saw a red furry thing swishing at the corner of her eye. She froze. A tail? Oh my god what do I look like? Positive she didn’t want to know – and certainly didn’t want Newsie to know either – she glared at Pew again. “You’re dead meat, creep,” she growled under her breath.

    He heard, and snorfled a laugh through that thick snout. “Latair, you sexy thang! So let us see who else will be competing for ze honair of being Mrs Blob!”

    Three other creatures sashayed onto the set. One was blonde, with a huge alligator mouth and outrageous curves, in a bikini top and sarong. Another could barely see past the thick curtain of long purple fur covering her head to toe...and her toes looked more like giant bird-feet. The third sported neck-flaps like some prehistoric thing; she raised them to hiss and spit at the audience, and a monster in the front row sizzled and fainted in sheer acidic delight. “Gustar, ah see you have picked Susan, Susan, Susan, and Susan! What excellent choysez, mah friend!”

    The blob nodded enthusiastically. “Oh yeah Pew, I thought hard about which girl I’d most like to swallow and completely incorporate into my bodily mass, and, well, these ladies just stood out, y’know?”

    “Zat zey do!” Pew agreed. He leered at the Susan with the bikini. “Ah see some of zem even remembaired to brush all their fangs! Personal hygiene is soooo important, non?”

    “You should try it sometime,” Gina muttered. She kept stealing anxious glances all around, but the room seemed to be teeming with monsters. How far would she get, if she grabbed Pew in a headlock and demanded the antidote? Wouldn’t they just all jump her anyway? Dismayed, she realized the better option might be to stay put until she saw a chance to get Pew or the disgusting blob alone, and show them she wasn’t squeamish about sharp objects... “Wait, my name’s not Susan!” she said loudly, suddenly realizing she was being included in that group.

    Gustar shook with laughter. “Sure it is! I just love Susans!” He wobbled a bit as he leaned toward Pew. “All the other Susans like being Susan now...what’s wrong with her?” he whispered.

    Pew shook his head. “Ah am not sure, mon frere...perhaps we will ask ze doctair to give her anozair shot later!” Raising his voice, he turned to the audience and the cameras. “Ah am happy to announce zat, as zis is ze last episode of ‘Ah Married a Monstair!’ before ze finale – and ze wedding!—tomorrow, all ze contestants who are not ze winnair today will be going home with...ze audience!”

    Wild whooping and howling filled the studio. Gina winced, trembling at the horrible sight of so many bulging eyes and furry bellies and clutching, clawing hands. “Oh I don’t think so,” she gulped, though her voice sounded faint.

    “Forget it, sister!” growled a deep voice; startled, Gina realized it was the purple-furred Cousin It Susan. A stubby thumb emerged from the fur to point inward. “That blob’s aalllll mine!”

    “You can have it,” Gina muttered, but looked back at the audience. She swallowed dryly. Go home with the blob...or fall into their paws? She couldn’t suppress a shudder.

    “Aww, Susan! Aren’t you in it to win me?” Gustar whined, glopping a slimy appendage onto her arm a moment. Gina shook him off immediately, but little droplets of jelly lingered on the fur.

    “Ahve course she is!” Pew cried, clapping Gustar on the back...and then struggling to free his hand. “Ah...ungh...we’ll be...right back with ze first trial for ze ladies...ungh...on ‘Ah Married a Monstair!’, so don’t go away!” Frustrated, he yanked repeatedly, but his hand was stuck and sliding ever deeper into Gustar’s gelatin. “Gustar, mon ami, let go!”

    Gina sucked in a breath, hating the prickly feel of her skin, the tail, the teeth, the whole appalling situation. Have to get out of this. Have to get one of these creeps alone so I have a chance, force them to fix this...oh, Aloysius, I’m so sorry! I don’t want you down here! Let me fight my way out and come find you, my love! But as she allowed the stagehand monsters to guide her to some kind of jungle-gym obstacle course along with the other monstrous girls, she suddenly understood they’d all probably gone through the same ordeal she had...and they, unlike her, all seemed eager for the task, and even eager for the dubious prize of marriage to a blob! Oh my god...what happened to them? Is it going to happen to me? Frightened, she looked back at Gustar, who waved cheerily. Nope. It’s still disgusting. Somewhat relieved she still had control of her own thoughts, she shivered and braced herself for whatever nonsense she’d be asked to do to prove her worthiness as a bride. She touched her neck again, and half-hoped her Muppet did try to rescue her...and unwittingly brought disaster and chaos with him.

    It might actually be better than this.


    --------------
    Rhonda stood panting, waiting while Bubba hoisted himself out of the storm drain. They’d climbed up a cold, dripping shaft to emerge in the runoff tunnel just below a street, and somehow even after the exhausting ascent, Bubba had enough strength to lift Rhonda up to the gutter opening. She looked in all directions uncertainly, wrapping her arms around herself. Her sweater-dress was soaked through, and though the sky overhead looked clear and lovely blue, and the snow all melted, the temperature was low enough to make the rat positive she’d need a hot soak and a hefty dose of vitamin C to ward off a cold. She sneezed once, and glumly fished a packet of tissues from a pocket, but they were drenched as well. “Lovely,” she grumbled.

    “Ain’t it though,” Bubba said, looking up at the sky. He dragged himself from the gutter, and vainly brushed off his shirt, which now appeared more brown than dirty white. He looked curiously up and down the street. “Huh. Looks like da Bowery. Hey, I got some buds over at O’Malley’s what works out with me sometimes, if ya wanna stop in, maybe get some dry duds on ya?”

    “We don’t have time,” Rhonda said. Her watch had died somewhere in the tunnels, probably when she fell into a puddle of something she didn’t even want to contemplate. The light slanting through the forest of buildings, however, seemed low to her, and tinged with red. “Cripes, it’s almost sunset! We gotta find Kermit and the guys and tell ‘em not to go to the Hotel Creepy!”

    “Awright den,” Bubba agreed. He looked once up and down the busy street. Some passersby already had costumes on: skeletons and witches and Marilyn Monroe all strolled along, heading toward the Village where the big parade would soon be starting. Suddenly Bubba grabbed Rhonda’s paw, slapping it against his chest. “Hang on!”

    “Are you crazy? What the heck are you—waaaaagh!” Rhonda shrieked, abruptly clinging with all her might to the stronger rat when he flung himself into the street. Instead of splatting onto the pavement, however, he’d timed his jump perfectly; Rhonda cautiously opened her eyes to find the scenery whizzing by at an alarming rate. She blinked, and looked ahead: cars and trucks loomed and just as quickly slipped by. She craned her neck up. A bicycle? What the freaking holy Tour de Midtown? She gave Bubba a look of astonishment. “You grabbed a bike courier?” she demanded.

    He glanced down at her, straining with both hands to hang onto the satchel swinging off the hip of the unheeding cyclist. “Just please tell me dis is da right direction,” he grunted.

    “Uptown...yeah.” Rhonda dug her claws into Bubba’s shirt, but he didn’t complain. “Uh...we want Park and Seventy-ninth.”

    “Ain’t dat da swanky place we went last time?”

    “What?” A memory of clambering up Bubba’s back to teeter uncomfortably on Rizzo’s shoulders brightened in her mind, and she realized, embarrassed, she’d all but erased that night, this past spring. “Uh...yeah...you remember their townhouse?”

    Bubba chuckled. “How could I forget? Dat pig dame kept lookin’ at me like she thought I was gonna chew on her French Rococo Revival console table!”

    “You...you know antiques?” Rhonda managed, wondering if this was even the same jock she’d dragged along that night to retrieve the wayward Newsman.

    “Eh, I got a buddy who does some carpentry an’ restoration stuff. He’s a beaver, but he’s an okay joe.”

    “A beaver.”

    “Yep.” When the messenger swerved left, they held on, but then Bubba said, “Dis is our stop, doll. Jump!”

    Terrified, Rhonda closed her eyes and leaped for the sidewalk, but realized too late she wasn’t going to make it. The concrete rushed toward her. She flung her arms in front of her, hoping the damage wouldn’t be horrible, but instead found her breath knocked out and muscular arms around her waist. When the dust settled, and she’d coughed what felt like half the city’s smog from her lungs, she looked around to find herself cushioned on the sidewalk by a large rat. Discomfited, she got to shaky feet, and Bubba stretched up behind her.

    “Whoo! Some way ta travel, huh? Dose guys go faster than da subway even,” Bubba remarked, grinning, seeming unaffected by their hard landing. He nodded ahead. “We go north again here. Just walk close to da curb; anoddah one’ll be along any minute.”

    “You...you do this a lot?”

    He quirked a puzzled eyebrow at her. “Don’t you? Wait...don’t tell me you’re onea dem fancy rats what’s gotta take a cab everywhere!” He grinned.

    “Well, they’re easier on the wardrobe,” Rhonda grumbled.

    “Guess so,” he mused, looking at her ruined dress from the rear. “Hey, ya know ya got a nice patch growin’ back over your...”

    “I see a bike,” Rhonda interrupted, unhappy at the idea of another round on Mr Rat’s Wild Ride, but anxious about the lateness of the hour. “We have to get to Kermit’s fast!”

    “I hear ya,” Bubba said, and helped her onto his back, hanging onto his shoulders. “Hold on tight!”

    Several terrifying minutes later, they rolled into the gutter a couple of blocks from the quiet, elegant row of townhouses where the Frogs kept up their east-coast residence. Rhonda flushed, humiliated, doing her best to ignore the stares of the rich kids out with their nannies trick-or-treating. Bubba strode along unworriedly at her side, staring with unashamed curiosity at the three- and four-story townhouses, each brownstone stoop done up with colorful swags of leaves or fabric ghosts or grinning pumpkins. “Huh. Wonder what kinda treats dese guys give out?”

    “Later!” Rhonda urged, trotting as fast as she could, although her chest felt about to collapse. “Look, up on the next block, see that bus? That’s them! Come on!” She took a deep breath, then did something she rarely permitted anyone in her company to do, much less herself: she dropped to all fours and ran like heck.

    Bubba paced her, jogging on two feet, and Rhonda gritted her teeth and decided, When this is over, I’m going to the gym EVERY day, not just Mondays and Wednesdays! She stood back up as they approached the lingering, noisy bus; in the back seat, she saw a red mop of hair moving animatedly and a pair of pink ears nodding back. A roll of drums and the twang of a guitar told her the Mayhem were probably occupying the vehicle as well. Kermit hopped down the stairs from the townhouse, hurrying for the bus. “Kermit!” Rhonda yelled, but her own voice sounded more like a croak than the frog’s usually did. She sucked in a deep breath, putting all her energy into one last sprint, the bus two houses away...one... “Keerrrrmiiiiit!” she shouted – right as the driver gunned the engine, the frog slammed the door as he jumped in, and the bus backfired and screeched into the street. Desperately Rhonda waved, yelling, and Bubba raised a paw as well, but the bus sped off in a cloud of gray exhaust, leaving two tired and dispirited rats choking on the curb.

    “D—it!” Rhonda cried aloud. “They’re heading right for certain doom!”

    “Dis is like da movies,” Bubba mused, slowly catching his breath. “I always wanna yell at ‘em, ‘Don’t go in da basement!’, and dey never listen...” He shook his head. “Hey, whaddabout dat other guy? The LT?”

    “Scooter,” Rhonda panted. “No good...he’s on the bus.”

    Bubba cast a sharp eye around. “Okay. Don’t sweat it, doll. I see a ride. We’ll go after ‘em.”

    “Maybe we could break inta one of these places and find a phone...” Rhonda shot him a wide-eyed look. “Oh no. No no no. No more bikes!”

    “Who said anything about a bike?” Bubba put two fingers to his mouth and whistled, high and earsplitting; Rhonda winced. Barking preceded a large cocker spaniel. Rhonda stared first at the dog, which was done up in an orange jingly collar with jeweled pumpkins and harnessed to a Red Flyer wagon carrying a lit jack-o’lantern, and then at Bubba when he hoisted himself atop the grinning vegetable.

    “Are you freaking kidding me?” she demanded. “Where did you learn to drive a dog-and-cart?”

    “I’ve done some extra work in westerns,” Bubba shrugged. At Rhonda’s slack jaw, he chuckled. “Oh, I’m sorry, did you think dat alien flick with da Whatever was my first go-round in Hollywood?” With a cocky grin, he held out a paw to her.

    Grudgingly, Rhonda took it and climbed into the wagon. “Sure you can drive this thing?”

    “Piece a’ cake. Yo, Jingles, giddyup.” Bubba flicked the reins, and the dog trotted down the street back the way they’d come. A large woman in a party dress came running from a side yard at the corner, calling out for a Mr Puffies, and Bubba clicked his teeth and snapped the reins again, urging the dog into a run. He offered a meaty bicep to Rhonda as she tried to hang on in the bouncing wagon, looking pleased with himself.

    Well well, Rhonda thought, amazed. Can’t judge a rat by his fur, they said...

    One spaniel, one juttering red toy wagon, one bouncing jack-o’lantern, two rats, and a stumbling dowager made their own little parade toward Chinatown.


    ----------------
    Bobo flipped through channel after channel, stopping on what looked like some sort of action movie, or maybe horror: people were screaming in the streets, and the cops were rounding them up in riot gear. Looks good, Bobo decided, settling his generous rear more comfortably on a squeaking loveseat in the Frog family room. His catcher’s-mitt-sized paw rummaged absently through the huge basket of treats on the table before him. “Hum hum hum...pumpkin taffy? Now that’s just weird...oh, hey! Mallomars!” Unwrapping two at a time contentedly, he returned his attention to the screen.

    Some short guy with a long parsnip of a nose was barking at the camera, “And the Police team is heading off yet another offensive try by the Street Crazies! I’ve never seen anything like this! No matter how many gibbering, insanely reeling, poorly dressed people the cops haul off, more seem to crop up! What’s your take on this phenomenon, uh...” Realizing he had no one to offer color commentary but himself, the announcer scuttled to the opposite side of the scene and took up the job. “Well, Lewis, I gotta say this comes as a complete blindsiding surprise to me as well! They say the full moon brings out the nutjobs, and Halloween is just as bad, but typically that involves public drunks, flash mobs and people just flashing, and multiple arrests for publicly impersonating Donald Trump – not this kind of random screaming!” He paused, listening to the wails of the housewives in headscarves and teenagers half-costumed, as if they’d all run out of doors in the middle of getting dressed for the evening. “Uh, what exactly is it they’re all screaming, anyway?”

    The doorbell rang. Bobo sat staring at the television, trying to figure out if he’d seen this movie before. “Looks like they shot it here in the city,” he mumbled, spotting the Chrysler building in the skyline across from the residential neighborhood where the action was going on. The doorbell rang again, and this time the bear’s ears perked at the sound of children shouting Trick or treat!

    “Oh!” he exclaimed, levering himself out of the seat. “Oh, oh yeah! Coming, coming...got yer Mallomars and Oreo brownies, Mallomars and...ooh, better save one a’ those...” At the front door, he beamed at a crowd of cats, goblins, and a couple of young wizards who all looked troubled at the sight of a huge bear thrusting a big black basket of wrapped treats at them. “Here ya go! There’s one for you, and one for you, and one for me, and –hey, nice robe there, I’m more of a Hufflepuff guy myself – one for you, and one for me! Okay! Buh-bye now! Happy Halloween!” Chuckling, he shut the door, lumbering back to the family room, but he’d only set the basket down and begun fumbling with the cellophane enclosing a brownie when the bell rang again. “Awww...okay...” He glanced at the TV, where the confused-looking sports reporter was ducking a canister of tear gas thrown by the cops into a shrieking mob of pajama-clothed people. “Man. Sure hope they replay this later...hey, I wonder if Kermit has one’a those DVL thingies? Maybe I can record it...” The bell rang insistently, and with a sigh, the bear shuffled toward the foyer. “Okay! Okay! Geez...”

    Onscreen, Lewis Kazagger continued, “This is astounding! Ordinary citizens are rioting in Queens, in Brooklyn, even in midtown Manhattan; reports are coming in from all over that the police have called to duty every officer on the rolls tonight to deal with this unprecedented uprising of the masses!”

    He shook his head, amazed, watching as the riot squad wrestled a three-hundred-pound walrus to the ground. The walrus, with her hair in curlers and an apron around her ample tummy, was moaning loudly, “They’re coming! They ate my Offie and they’re coming for me! Run! Ruuuuunnn!”

    Baffled, Kazagger turned back to the camera. “We will continue to follow this developing story through the evening, folks. Stay with us. For KRAK, this is Lewis Kazagger, filling in for...well...pretty much everyone.”

    As the channel brought up a commercial for Loopy Larry’s Lemmingburgers, Bobo thumped back into the family room to grab the forgotten treat basket.
    --------------------
    The Count likes this.
  8. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Is too much... But I loves every bit of it. And it's just the thing to make me feel better after yesterday and some scheming and plotting.

    Will try to reply in bits and pieces when possible...
    Hmm, we have an idea for what color robes to get Bobo for his bearthday or Christmas now.
    Okay, I recognize that walrus in the apron is married to the other one who was in the cells with Snookie, forgot his name though.
    Methinks you must have had help from another authoress source for the segment where the frog attempts to placate his pig.
    The Cousin It Susan reminds me of this other female hairy monster from the Groovy Ghoulies, will have to look it up later.
    The one with the neckflaps, is that any particular dino-reptilian or just something generic?
    Very much like the development of the relationship between Rhonda and Bubba... *Wonders if she'll appreciate all the fun on their first date.

    And where is Newsie? Get him to that red-furred she-devil now or else.
    Thank you for posting. *Collapses in happy fic fan fiend mode.
  9. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    ------------
    *picturing a deflated Ed* Ummm...cute. Cute collapse.

    Ru didn't so much help with the section as teach me how to do it. She's still the unchallenged master (mistress? or is that just weird?) of frog/pig stuff, but I'm finding them easier to write after studying her. Hail Ru! Queen of ushy! Sovereign of gushy! :) She DID nudge me toward Rhonda/Bubba...

    The spitting dino thing is because I've rewatched the Rifftrax of Jurassic Park about a hundred times lately. Just thought it would be funny for a monster chick.

    Fawningham Offawump.
    ----------------
  10. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, them emulation just makes me blush, but I cannot truly take credit. My chica Newsie is ushing and gushing in her own right (rite?) with the frog and the pig and the rat and the, um, other rat. Hmmm. Lady and the Rat--sounds like a Disney film, donchathink?

    I can't wait to see what Gina will manage to do with those claws of hers, and and hope that Van Neuter is around to get some of it. Pew ought to be second in line. It sounds like the NORMAL progression of the monster-making drug makes you oddly compliant after it makes you odd. And compliant. I'm guessing that Gina is too much her own, er, monster to ever comply. But at least her missing necklace and Newsie's (more or less) close proximity bode well for our felted friends.

    I enjoyed the interaction between Kermit and Piggy (duh) and, while I sympathize with Piggy over the orange tee-shirt (strawberry blonde, here) I appreciate her taking one for the cause by covering two for the cause. Here's hoping that the frog comes through on some suitably expensive groveling to make it up to her--and then follows through on taking one for the cause himself....

    I really can see Robin in purple pants and an orange tee-shirt! At least he'll be visible to trick-or-treaters whose mommies are driving them house to house. And they won't lose him in the crowd.

    Finally, I think Rhonda might find there's more to Bubba that she first thought, and that is saying something. He's definite second-date material in my book.

    Keep it coming, Sweetie! I have no idea what's going to happen next!
  11. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Once again, I get to the party late, but whoa what a ride it was to the party!

    Nothing to say other than Awesome Possums! A great way to start the day!
  12. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Late to the party? Oh, didn't know you were hitching a ride with the rats on that little red wagon of theirs.
    Have fun shtorming the castle!
    :batty: Storm is fright.
    :o Uh, should it be snowing?
    Well, it was as part of the Underlord's grand ascention... *Loads up the glider with some pumpkin bombs in case the gang might need backup.
    :batty: Do you know how to fly that thing?
    Don't need to, it flies itself.
    *:batty: suits up in the Bat combative flyer produced by Wayne Industries for dual backup.
  13. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -----------
    LOL thanks all!

    I spent a couple of hours yesterday just planning out the next chapter, which will be long and feature pretty much all but the kitchen sink.

    Muppet Sink: Hey!

    Er...okay, well, I guess we can make a small walk-on part for the monster furniture. Or appliances. Or...what the heck does a sink qualify as, anyway?

    Muppet Sink: I can gush 500 gallons in two minutes.

    Uhh....right.

    More soon!
    ---------------------
  14. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Er, I think a sink's a fixture.
    :sympathy: Course it is, one's always fixed to my bathroom.
    *Ba-dum-dump. :halo: Ahahaha!
  15. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    (Auth. note: I know I promised a big chapter, but decided not to make everyone wait more while I slowly chug along. So, here's the first treat of the evening...)

    Part Forty-Nine

    The brown-scaled Frackle plunked the takeout bag on the steamer trunk between Gonzo and Rosie. “There ya go. Eat up. And you – pep rally in the auditorium in ten minutes,” it growled, pointing a claw at Rosie before shuffling off. Gonzo opened the bag and sniffed deeply, not noticing the glum expression dulling all three eyes of his friend.

    “Huh, well, I don’t know this restaurant, but it smells pretty good,” Gonzo remarked, pulling plain white cartons out and checking farther down inside the bag. “They sent both chopsticks and plastic forks; which one do you want?” Receiving no answer, Gonzo glanced up. “Earth to Rosie! Chopsticks?”

    “Uh...nabba,” McGurk mumbled, continuing to gaze at his furry feet. He lifted his head only when Gonzo shoved an open, fragrant carton before his wide nose.

    “Come on, buddy! You’re not still feeling sad about missing that Grouch party bus, are you?” Gonzo smiled. “Granted, with those guys, I doubt it’ll be much of a party! And in just a few hours, we’ll be the guests of honor at this big doorway-to-another-dimension-of-hideous-aspect celebration! I mean how cool is that?” Rosie stared at him as Gonzo stuck his chopsticks into the carton. As he tried to withdraw a bite of sliced meat, veggies, and crunchy noodles, a noodly hand thrust up from the carton, grabbed the chopsticks, and whacked Gonzo’s curly nose. “Ow! Hey!” Taken aback, Gonzo checked the side of the carton for any sort of notation. “What kinda food is this anyway?”

    “Chabba meeba.”

    “Oh. Chow mean. Uh...okay...” Unperturbed, Gonzo set the angrily flailing noodles aside and rummaged in the sack. “I think I saw some soup in here. Maybe that’ll be more domesticated.”

    Silently, Rosie stuck a fork in the back of the viney claw of pea pods emerging from his own carton, and with a strangled, wet sort of sound, it subsided. He held up a forkful of wriggling veggies, and sighed. He just didn’t have any appetite tonight.

    Gonzo held up a paper cup, peeling back its lid cautiously. “This one seems safe. I see a won ton...hope that’s not chicken broth, though...”

    Rosie sighed again, listlessly looking around. The cell corridor was empty save for the two of them, the guards busy with escorting the other residents to the kitchen for tonight’s...Rosie froze. His eyes widened, his horns perked, and a glob of excited drool plopped from his fat tongue to the dirt floor. The corridor is EMPTY! With an anxious look in all directions to double-check, Rosie clasped a furry paw to Gonzo’s sleeve. “Gazza! Gazza!”

    “It is chicken broth? Wow, thanks for warning me! That could’ve been really awkward,” Gonzo said, hurriedly setting aside the soup, but Rosie was shaking his head, and beckoning him in close. “Uh...do I have a noodle stuck up my nose or something?” Gonzo wondered. He really wanted to look his best tonight; he’d worn his nattiest purple-and-orange plaid suit, and the stylish waistcoat printed all over with a pumpkin-and-candy-corn pattern, hoping he’d run into Camilla after the whole official ceremony thing was done.

    “Gazza! Fah seggemony –“

    “Right, it’s tonight, I know! Hey, can I tag along to your pep rally? Are there gonna be cheerleaders?”

    Impatiently, the pink-fuzzed monster shook his head. “Nagga! Gah seggemony wabba aleesha wah helza um urffa!”

    Gonzo raised one eyelid, puzzled. “Well, yeah, I kinda figured that...I mean, what else do you hold a Grand Ascension for, if not to open a black maw of horror and let loose the hounds of heck?” At Rosie’s stunned gape, Gonzo grinned and patted his friend’s shoulder. “So, tell me about the cheerleaders! Do they have pom-poms? Pom-poms are cool.”

    Trying again to get across the utter seriousness of the situation, Rosie picked up the carton of chow mean and a chopstick. He showed the thin bamboo stick to Gonzo. “Ezza youga, ahkay?” He pointed at the carton, where the food was growling and quivering. “Ezza dah heggate, ahkay?” He walked the chopstick blithely up to the carton and then plunged it in; the chow mean snarled and a froth of fried noodles crunched the stick to bits in seconds. Tossing aside the vicious entree, Rosie held up both hands placatingly. “Dunza zee?”

    Gonzo frowned briefly. “You mean, when your boss opens this dark portal thingy, I’m going to be thrown into it?”

    Rosie nodded so vigorously he spattered his own eyeballs with drool. Wiping them desperately, he expounded, “Gazza an Muppah ez saggafizes!”

    “Oh, a sacrifice!” Rosie nodded again. Relaxing, Gonzo beamed at him. “Oh...well, sure, that makes sense! If you’re gonna open a dimension full of evil and terror, you really should throw in a sacrifice, I hear. That seems to be the accepted thing. Hey, that’s cool that your boss is old-school enough to remember that! I bet he never puts his elbows on the table or talks with his mouth full either, does he?”

    Rosie’s jaw hit the ground with an audible thump. Gonzo picked up the chow mean again, jabbing at it with the remaining chopstick. “This doesn’t have tree fungus, does it? Aww...nuts...I love that stuff...” Just as Rosie was about to explode, Gonzo stopped. His head jerked up, eyes wide. “Wait just a minute! They’re gonna sacrifice me?”

    “Yagga!” Rosie yelled, jumping up and waving his arms.

    Gonzo’s fur paled to turquoise. “Oh man. Well that’s not very considerate!” He threw aside the protesting noodles, standing up. “Rosie, we gotta get out of here!”

    “Yagga!” Rosie shouted agreement, inexpressibly relieved. The two of them immediately headed at a fast trot along the prison corridor. Rosie thought fast, trying to plot the safest route to the surface. He directed Gonzo in a right turn, then a left, and then as he grabbed Gonzo’s shoulder to swing him through a tiny opening to a parallel tunnel, something wobbly and pink zoomed through from the other side. “Aggh!” Rosie quailed away from the wildly flopping, tentacled thing.

    “Aww! Mon-ster! Yip! Yiiiiip yip yip yip yip!” the pink thing exclaimed in a monotone. A blue thing nearly identical to it swooped through the hole, also yipping and flailing its ropy appendages.

    “What the hey?” Gonzo said, startled. A blue snout with whispery whiskers thrust through the opening, and suddenly a phantom in a moldy cloak stepped into the corridor, throwing both arms over his head.

    “Ah hah!” cried Uncle Deadly in his best baritone. “At last, we find some semblance of—“

    “Raggaaahhhh!” Rosie screamed, yanked Gonzo off his feet, and bolted, dragging a very surprised Whatever along with him in the strength of sheer terror.

    “But wait! Rosie!” Gonzo choked, but the overwhelmed monster paid no heed, hauling fur as fast as his flat feet would carry them both.

    In the suddenly quiet tunnel, Deadly stared at the raggy things. They’d darted behind him when the three-eyed monster roared, and now crept slowly out, bobbly eyes bouncing in every direction. “Mm. Awww. Mon-ster gone?”

    Deadly’s lip curled in contempt. With a huff, he swept his cloak around him and skulked after the vanished daredevil.


    ---------------
    Where do the cables go? Is there some kind of master control booth back here? Newsie wondered, examining the tangle of thick black electrical and coaxial cables snaking from all points around the enormous cavern; they all seemed to join up at the bottom of the sloped room, and slipped under or behind a giant projection screen. He’d ducked in here after a long, tiring chase which seemed to go in circles through the tunnels. At least this room was quiet and unoccupied by roaring hordes of furry things... Maybe this is where they screen the monster movie of the week, he thought. This didn’t seem to get him any closer to Gina, but...if there’s a master control, maybe I can shut down their whole station! He immediately wished Rhonda were here; as a reporter, his knowledge of the tech side of broadcasting was limited to making sure his mic was switched on, and sometimes he did that wrong, too. With a frown, Newsie approached the giant screen, when suddenly noise and movement came from behind him. Newsie ducked behind the screen, holding his breath in the tight space between the suspended high-tech sheet and the rough cavern wall.

    “...All of ‘em to the ballroom? That’s gonna get crowded,” a heavy, slow voice complained.

    A hissing, slithery sort of voice replied, irritated: “Of courssse not all of them! Jussst the Muppet onesss on the lissst! The resssst can wait in the kitchensss; I am sssure when hisss ineffable disssgussstingnesss assssends, he will be very...hungry.” Things chuckled; Newsie held absolutely still. “Sssee to it that the weirdo isss brought to the ballroom at the proper time, along with Van Neuter. And make sssure that reporter Muppet isss found quickly! His hideoussssness is much pleassed to hear he hasss been sssighted in the ssstudiosss, but he mussst be found before the ceremony; our underlord very much wissshesss him to ssserve asss the thirty-firsst ssacrifisse! I musst go sssspeak with Carl; our massster wissshesss him to remain on the air in between the haunted houssse coverage to provide sssome sssort of humor. Although persssonally I find the idea of the nasssty little felt-thingsss being taken into the darknessss one...by...one...terribly funny!” That hissing laugh sounded again, along with a dutiful chortle by the deeper voice. The Newsman continued to hold his breath, starting to feel faint; when he heard footsteps fade away and all was silent again, he gasped, slumping against the wall.

    Oh frog. Oh frog no. This is horrible! His knees weak, his whole body trembling, the Newsman pressed his back to the wall just to keep from sinking. What do I do? How do I stop them? What if I can’t? He gulped, fighting a surge of panic. Where’s Gina? What have they done with her? I can’t find her...what if she’s...I’m just a Muppet! What do I do? What CAN I do?

    Desperate, he clung to the wall. His fingers found a junction box. Shut down the signal. Nobody’s said anything about it being knocked out so it must still be operating...which means Rhonda... He swallowed a lump of emotion threatening to choke him. Oh, Rhonda, no...

    Trying to focus on what he might be able to do here, doing his best not to give in to the certain grief trying to well up in his chest, Newsie turned and eased his flashlight from his knapsack. He’d lost his mask in the dash from the game-show studio, but at least he still had this. Some good that does! Gina’s lost in here somewhere, Rhonda’s...not here, and those hideous things are going to do something awful to any Muppet they get their claws on! Have to stop them...have to find Gina and get out before... Shivering, he cut off all such thoughts, determined to do something to block the nefarious plans. He squinted at the junction box. It was solidly screwed to the wall, and he didn’t have anything which might serve to open it. The cables, however, didn’t end there, but continued on; sliding himself awkwardly sideways, Newsie traced the connections to the far edge of the huge screen, where the cables wrapped around a corner of jagged rocks. Cold air radiated out from the opening to another, narrower tunnel. Newsie paused, feeling suddenly hesitant to shine his light down this new path. It’s almost hidden behind the screen, he realized. If you didn’t know this was there... Could this be where they’re keeping Gina? He did his best to steel his foam, and took a step closer to the secret tunnel. A low, distant whistle sounded from within. Newsie jerked back, flattening himself against the cavern wall. Two seconds later, a large white caterpillar the height of a Doberman barreled past, undulating wildly as it ran into the tunnel like a dog called to dinnertime.

    Newsie held his breath, eyes wide, feeling an actual air current blowing back his hair as the thing freight-trained its way down the tunnel; it took what seemed like a full minute to pass him completely. What the **** was THAT? More sounds from the cavern room disturbed him. Peeking very cautiously around the bottom edge of the screen, he saw something which made him jerk back, and his breath caught in his throat. Monsters! Oh frog I’m caught! I’m dead! They’re all...coming... He heard a voice very near the front of the room, close by the screen, mutter, “Man, ya’d think we could at least bring popworms...”

    “Dude, come on! Where’s your holiday spirit?” another growling voice exclaimed. “Wave your pom-poms a lot and maybe the Underlord’ll notice ya! Then you can have all the popworms ya want!”

    As a low argument about allowing snacks into pep rallies continued, and more and more growls, chirrups, and strange sounds began to fill the echoing auditorium. Newsie realized no one had spotted him. Yet. They’re here for a...a pep rally? What the hey? He slowly eased away from the edge of the screen, concealing himself fully behind it. His trembling fingers found some of the cables bolted to the wall, and he hung on, terrified of the slightest movement giving him away. Nowhere to run now. He’d have to stay there, motionless, while these things enjoyed their entertainment, whatever horrid thing that turned out to be...

    He didn’t have to wait long. A crackle and hiss from the speakers mounted around the screen made him jump, but luckily the screen itself was securely fastened and didn’t wobble to give him away. The rumble of monsters seemed to fill the space, a mass of voices and a morass of smells informing the Newsman that hundreds of nasty beasts now crowded between him and the way out. The same slithery voice he’d heard earlier called out, “Isss everyone here?”

    A roared chorus served as reply. “Exssssellent!” the voice crooned, moving closer to the screen. “All of you, on thisss mossst magnifissent, malefissent of all nights, lissten to your lord and massster! O our wondroussssly horrible lord, we sssserve you!”

    A deep, chilling voice boomed from the speakers. “Welcome, my children! Welcome, all those who have chosen to turn their backs on the light and the sappy sweetness of their night of treats in favor of this – our night of endless screams, limitless horror, and unbounded power! Welcome!” The monsters roared, cheered, pounded the floor. Newsie shuddered. “Tonight is our night, the time when at last I shall arise reborn even more terrible and wondrous, and lead you all up into their world...where we shall tear, and claw, and eat our fill!” Someone in the front row swooned, moaning. “But my beastly brethren, you must remember, there is no great victory without sacrifice! I am aware that some among you have nurtured a...fondness for those hideously cute creatures who call themselves Muppets.” A frightened hush swept the crowd. “You must set aside any pity for them, any sympathy, any thought at all which does not lead to the inevitable execution of each and every one of them! For it is they, my foul friends, who are responsible for all the abuse you have ever encountered...they are the ones who relegated you to comic roles when you should have been eating them at every meal! They are the ones who hold the simpering public above in their nasty little felted hands! They are the ones who take our jobs, our rightful place as the ones the surface-dwellers worship with their paparazzi and their fan clubs and their websites!” Listening, Newsie wondered how the heck anyone could believe this irrational nonsense – but the monsters cheered.

    “So as you go forth to your assigned tasks this evening, keep in mind who the real enemy is – the Muppets!” The crowd growled and snarled agreement loudly. “They are all that stands in the way of us assuming ultimate power in this city! And once we have the city, the whole world shall bow to us in cowardly fear, in quivering respect, and in abject surrender! At the unholy hour of ten-thirty-one tonight, we shall as one act, and rend, and destroy – and offer up this sacrifice to the darkest powers – and then, my hideous children, ahhh, then!” The voice sounded almost delirious with pleasure. Newsie felt ill, and clung to the wall desperately. “Then I, your lord and bounteous master, shall give myself over to that power completely, and arise again as the most monstrous monster ever to crawl the blighted face of this sorrowful earth! And you, all of you, shall join me as we surge up through the gutters and the sewers and the subways like an unstoppable tide – a red tide of blood and fury and glory!”

    The crowd roared so loudly the whole cavern shook. Frightened, Newsie looked at the rough rock ceiling, wondering what lay above it: more rock? A subway tunnel? Was a chunk of Chinatown about to collapse in on this horrible cavalcade? The underlord, quieting slightly, continued: “So go forth, my wonderful worgs, my gibbering goblins, my fractured Frackles, and be about your duties with a cheerful heart and a determined mind! Think with my thoughts, act as my hands, and when the time comes at last, hesitate not to rip every bleating little Muppet heart from their squishy ribcages and let the darkness consume them all!”

    Shutting his eyes, the Newsman flattened his own resilient ribs against the back wall, gasping, hearing an entire cave full of monsters howling their approval. The thought that he’d been absolutely right about them all still didn’t increase his chances at getting out of here alive.


    -----------
    Beaker meeped, giving Bunsen a thumbs-up from across the hotel lobby. The crowd of milling Muppets quieted somewhat as Kermit looked around, making eye contact to get everyone’s attention. Honeydew beamed. “Well! Everything seems to be working properly, so it’s time to get this party started! You are transmitting live...” He checked his watch, counting down the seconds, then pointed at Beaker in the old office. “Now!” Beaker pushed a big lever down, and checked the transmitter strength. He nodded at Bunsen again.

    “Ahem...okay, listen up, everyone!” Kermit called out. The last murmurs died down, save for Janice, standing at the foot of the decrepit-seeming grand staircase.

    “...but, like, I would never leave a friend alone with Pe...” Suddenly noticing the silence, she blushed and shut up, deliberately looking away from the king prawn nearby.

    Kermit nodded. “Okay. I just want to say, welcome, everybody! I’m really glad so many of you were able to participate tonight for this important event, which will benefit so many Muppets who...ah...who...”

    “Who otherwise would not have the benefit of legal counsel in a world which so often discriminates against us!” Everyone looked at the one person in the room not wearing a ‘Ham in a Cabin’ tee-shirt, the young olive-felted rep from the law firm.

    “Right,” Kermit said. “Everyone have their headlamp turned on and their sensor attached?”

    Mumbles of agreement and assent filled the room. Pepe grumbled, “Like they could have provided headbands that actually fit all of us, okay!” While most of the Muppets had no trouble with the miner-style headlamps on their foreheads, shooting tiny rays of reddish light around as people nodded and looked at one another, the prawn and Rizzo the Rat had been forced to improvise, belting the headbands around their waists. Even then Pepe’s kept sliding down, although Rizzo’s rested just above his belly; he’d tagged along with some kid relations just before arriving here to snag some of their trick-or-treat haul. Camilla clucked softly around the band held in her beak, aiming it up at Beauregard.

    He blinked at her. “Hey, you got yours to work! How come mine’s not on?” The janitor’s lamp was on, but shining from the back of his head since he’d put it on backwards. He frowned, then brightened abruptly. “Will you be my walking buddy?”

    “Remember, your sponsors will pay more toward the charity fund if you complete the entire circuit of the hotel, so pay a visit to every room!” Bunsen informed them. He rubbed his hands excitedly. “Oh, this is going to be so much fun! Ready, Beaker?” Beaker meeped and nodded, and Bunsen waved once at everyone before trotting to the office to ensconce himself at the FX board for the night. “Let’s get it started, hah! Let’s get it started in here!” he sang, and slammed shut the hidden panel.

    Rizzo looked up and around glumly. “Does dat mean we hafta go upstairs?”

    Pepe sniffed, drawing himself up with a disdainful toss of his antennae. “Jou are such a rice cake, okay! It’s like a fun house! Are jou scared to go in those at the carnivals already?”

    Rizzo snapped at him, “Naw, the carny stands are more my style...and the food! Oooh, elephant ears and cotton candy...” His stomach rumbled. Remembering he’d just been insulted, he retorted, “I bet you don’t even go on da merry-go-round!”

    “Ahh, the Tunnel of Loooove is the best ride, amigo.”

    “Where should we start first, Uncle Kermit?” Robin asked, still bouncing up and down on tiptoe as he’d done for the past hour and a half.

    “Well, why don’t we start on the top floor, and work our way down?” Kermit suggested.

    “Why not start here, and work our way up?” Scooter countered. Sara, the tallest member of the group present, giggled and locked her elbow in his.

    “Bet we hit all the rooms before you guys do!” she teased the frog and entourage.

    “You’re on!” Robin chirped. Piggy smiled, batting her lashes.

    “As long as we’re done soon, what difference does the approach make?”

    Fozzie Bear tapped Rowlf’s arm nervously. “Hey, Rowlf? You don’t think this is a...a real haunted hotel, is it?”

    A low, spooky moan filtered through the room just then, directionless, fading before anyone could orient on it. Rowlf blinked at the ceiling. “I don’t see any speakers...”

    “Oh noooo,” Fozzie groaned. When Rowlf shrugged and headed for the archway to the formal dining hall, Fozzie ran to catch up with him. “Wait! Why are you going that way first? Is it safer?”

    The dog scratched an ear. “Well, I figure if there are any spooks, best place to sniff ‘em out first is the bar!”

    Dumbfounded, Fozzie asked, “Why’s that?”

    “’Cause then I’ll be able to smell the boos!”

    Fozzie halted, startled, then ran after the dog again. “Aaahhh! Fun-neee!”

    “Sheggen der cooken-platzen too,” the Swedish Chef agreed, heading after Rowlf.

    Sam the Eagle reluctantly joined him. “I suppose looking around on this level first is sensible, since we’re already here...though I still fail to see the point of all this...set dressing,” he scoffed, avoiding the cobwebs with distaste. “Really, don’t they ever clean in here? There’s no way Fodor’s would ever give this establishment more than one star!”

    “Man, this place gives new meaning to the phrase check-out time!” Floyd Pepper commented, tailing after Dr Teeth as the bandleader headed slowly up the staircase.

    “Come on, maybe they left some of those fluffy robes!” Teeth joked, cautiously holding the wobbly railing as he ascended.

    “Oh, wow, like I wonder if this place has a spa?” Janice asked, following them.

    “Spa! Spa!” Animal barked, pausing to gnaw the balustrade before Floyd jerked his chain upward. He bounded up the stairs. “Man-i-cure! Man-i-cure! Hah ha ha ha ha!”

    “I wonder if this place has an exit?” Floyd returned.

    Zoot just shook his head, staring down at his tee-shirt as he climbed the stairs. Somehow he’d managed to put it on back-to-front, and he was trying to figure out why the cartoon sketch of Piggy made her look nicer than usual.

    “Glad you could all chip in,” said Miles Blandish, looking bored, but the boar he spoke to perked up.

    “Oh, it’s always nice to give back something to my adoring fans,” Link Hogthrob told him earnestly. “You...you did say all the money was going to the Hogthrob Adoration Club, right?”

    “Only if it’s for a lobotomy for the one fan in it,” Dr Julius Strangepork grumbled. He sighed, trotting toward the dining room, where shrieks and moans and eerie laughter sounded. “Come on, let’s do this. Who knows? It might prove to be fun!”

    Link trembled. “But...but...it sounds kind of...scary in there...”

    “Oh, come on, Link, it’s chust a fun house! Nutting really spooky!”

    “Yes, yes, of course,” Link agreed, nodding rapidly. He pushed Miss Piggy ahead of him. “Better go check it out, First Mate Piggy. It sounds a little too, uh, immature for a manly hog like me!”

    “Oh, brother,” Piggy growled. “Listen, you foamheaded chicken –“ At a protest from across the room, she amended, “Sorry, Camilla! Listen, you lily-livered yellow suckling, I’m doing this gig with my frog, so get lost! Go check it out yourself!” She shoved Link through the dining room doorway, and immediately a recorded howl was followed by a girlish shriek and the crash of wooden chairs.

    “Upstairs or down?” Walter asked, bouncing on his toes in his saddle shoes, pleased as punch to be included in a charity event benefiting Muppets.

    “Down!” Lew Zealand exclaimed, pointing his fish up. “What’s that, Beatrice?” He put the fish to his ear. “Beatrice says, let’s start in the middle and then we’ll be able to go both ways at once!”

    “I don’t think it works like that,” Walter murmured, confused.

    Wanda shrugged, brushing back her wavy hair. “Any way we do it, look on the bright side: the scariest possible thing has already been crossed off the list and we don’t have to worry about running into it!”

    Walter quirked an eyebrow at her. “How’s that?”

    She smiled sweetly. “Wayne couldn’t attend...too busy throwing his twenty-third comeback CD release party.”

    Lew chortled. “Now that is scary! Whuh-huh-huh!”

    Kermit took his wife’s hand on one side and his nephew’s on the other. “Come on, guys! Let’s show the world Muppets aren’t scared of anything!” Leaning closer to Piggy, he murmured, “Especially not fake ghosts!”

    She snorted, delicately starting up the stairs alongside him. “Wish the dirt was fake...”

    In the command center, Bunsen giggled at the group experiencing the talking skull centerpieces in the dining room, and Fozzie and Rowlf jumping, startled, when the phantom pork roast glowered at them in the kitchen. “Oh, isn’t this fun, Beakie? Make sure you switch the feed constantly so the television and web-TV audiences both get a good look at each and every scare!”

    “Mee mee,” Beaker mumbled, eyes flicking from one small split-screen to another, trying to keep up with the various views as the Muppets began to split up and explore. Once people spread out in the upper floors, this job would get really hairy. Nagged by worries about the scares he still believed the two of them hadn’t set up, he checked the PKE meter again. The reading was slightly higher than it had been this afternoon. “Me mee mee!” he said, poking Bunsen’s arm repeatedly.

    Bunsen glanced over, mildly annoyed. “Beaker, I told you, there’s no cause for alarm unless the reading climbs significantly higher! What you’re seeing is no doubt the fear vibe factor caused by all our colleagues moving about and experiencing elevated heart-rates as our little surprises put them all on edge!” He leaned over, tapping one of the instrument panels. “Look here: everyone’s sensor reading is spiking at least a little! Why, that one there...”

    Beaker’s head shot back to the monitor at a loud wail of terror; Link was fleeing the dining room, having never made it as far as the kitchen, chased by a levitating skull. “My, that’s a remarkable spike,” Bunsen continued, not looking up. “You see? Nothing to worry about! You just make sure the live feed of all the cameras and all the participants’ body sensors goes out so everyone watching will want to get involved and pledge more money! All for a good cause, you know.” A wide smile on his round face, the good doctor cracked his knuckles, and then his nimble fingers twiddled over the racks of switches at his command. “Now...time to start pumping up the volume, so to speak...or should I say pumpkin up? Ho, ho, ho!” He pushed the button to operate the dropping, animated jack-o’lantern atop the second landing, making even the stoic Dr Teeth jump in surprise.

    Sighing, Beaker turned back to the monitors. So far, nothing bad had happened; at least all the motion sensors seemed to be working, cameras clicking on live as Muppets cautiously approached their ranges. He cut from the Mayhem, now past the silly scare, to the Chef trying to poke the illusory roast pig on the vast grill of the kitchen. The reading on the psychokinetic energy sensor climbed fractionally. Beaker bit his lip glumly. It was going to be a long night, and he already felt primed to run screaming from primetime...


    ------------
    The audience screamed, whooped, and threw things on cue as Carl strode out on the set from behind a scrim painted with a cityscape in orange flames. “And now here’s the monster you’ve all waited for, and some of you are even waiting because you like him – Carl, the Big Mean Host!” Snookie announced. Carl grinned, his green lips stretched from one yellow horn to the other. Snookie sighed, sitting still on his tall stool by the band, while Big Mama and the Mutations wound down a rocking, off-key version of “Tonight, Tonight” from ‘West Side Story.’

    “Hi!” Carl said, and the audience whooped again as the “woop it up” sign flashed over the set. “So hey, what an amazing night, huh? Let’s hear it for the Underlord!” The crowd cheered and smacked one another, each monster striving to outdo his fellows in a display of violent loyalty, aware that the camera was on them. Carl also clapped dutifully before going on. “In honor of the big night, we’ll be live all evening, interrupting the Muppet-napping going on upsta—oops, I mean, the charity walk,” he sneered, to much laughter. “We’ll be interrupting them throughout the broadcast, to remind the surface-dweebs who’s really running this holiday – the monsters!” More roars of approval.

    Snookie slumped, disheartened. All night? Great. That’s just great. He still didn’t know what “wonderful surprise” Carl had planned for him tonight, but he’d seen the pretty blue-and-pink-felted girl backstage briefly as they dragged him out and chained him to the stool, and she’d been wearing an apron and poufy white hat, so he had a fairly good idea he wasn’t going to like his role. Carl gestured at a large screen being lowered behind the set. “We’ll be able to keep an eye on the tasty little critters with this, and boy, I promise you, it’s gonna be the food documentary to end all food documentaries!” He grinned wider, lifting his horns at an angle towards one another. “But before we get to that, let’s take a look at our Monster Kitchen! Stinky?”

    The camera cut backstage, where Constanza sullenly looked up from a huge mound of dough. “My flunky Stinky here’s putting together a wonderful piecrust dough! Tell us about the spices, Stinky!” Carl said.

    The felted girl just glared at the camera a moment, then went back to kneading a pile of gooey dough almost as big as herself on a marble board on the floor. In the background, a huge pie tin was visible. The audience laughed. Carl shook his head. “Talkative little thing, ain’t she? We’ll keep checking in as she makes us all a Halloween treat – and a trick for my able-felted sidekick, the eminently lip-smacking Snookums!” The audience cheered. Carl beamed, displaying his one good tooth, slowly rocking back and forth on his huge hindpaws, hands jammed into his furry pockets. “Right now, let’s check in with the haunted house spookfest. Coming up on this very special edition of Monsters Tonight: our very distinguished, and extinguished guest, the legendary Spawn Chaney Junior!”

    The crowd whooped. Carl retreated to his desk as the station feed went back to the charity walk going on upstairs. He sipped from a mug shaped like a Frackle skull, then walked over to Snookie. “Okay, buddy, time for your costume fitting, heh heh heh...”

    “What costume?” Snookie demanded. “You’re not really going through with that pumpkin-pie shtick, are you?”

    “You bet your sweet nummy tuchis I am! Get back there!” Carl followed the stagefrackles as they dragged an unwilling yellow Muppet offstage, and began pulling a fat orange bodysuit onto him.

    “You gotta be kidding!” Snookie argued. He looked behind him; Constanza gave him a worried look, but said nothing, beginning to roll out the dough. Desperately Snookie smacked the padded glob of a pumpkin costume threatening to smother him. “Come on! You can’t bake me in that wearing this! It’s not even real pumpkin!”

    Carl grimaced. “Ahhh, Muppet foam, polystyrene, who cares? It’s not like those schlubs have any concept of gourmet cooking anyway! This is just pop-culture food, Snookums!” He pointed at the pie tin. “Be ready to make like a pumpkin and get all mushy for the camera! I gotta intro the guest.” He hurried out to the front of the sophisticated talk-show set.

    The wardrobe freaks finally tugged the last stifling chunk of orange foam into place, nearly covering Snookie entirely. He stood there in dismay, trying an experimental step, and nearly toppled over; the outfit covered him stuffily from his chin to his toes and fingertips, and they’d strapped a fake pumpkin lid with a curly stem atop his head, just adding insult to the whole gig. He turned his head as much as he was able to just barely see Constanza; she was unfolding the gushy crust into the giant tin. “Please tell me you’re not going along with this,” he muttered at her.

    She stopped, giving him an exasperated head-shake. “What am I supposed to do? He threatened to make me have a bite too if I didn’t prep the pie for him!”

    “Well, hey, thanks for not wanting to bite into me,” Snookie snapped, vainly trying to wriggle at least one arm free of the ridiculous costume.

    “Not like that,” she muttered. Surprised, Snookie looked at her again.

    “What?”

    She glanced at the stagefrackles, but they all seemed intent on the monitors which would cue them for the next shift of camera feeds. Quickly she darted over to him, and whispered, “They can’t bake you and serve you up to the whole audience – you’ll be killed!”

    “Not like he hasn’t baked me bef—wait, what?” Snookie stared at her in horror. “Serve me up? As in cutting? As in knives?”

    She held up an enormous cake server with a festively pumpkin-themed handle. “More like a pie spatula.”

    “Erg!” Snookie choked. Constanza tossed another frightened glance at the crew, then grabbed the front of Snookie’s foam pumpkin-body.

    “I won’t let him,” she hissed. “We’ll get you out of here!”

    And then she kissed him.

    Snookie’s normally sleepy-lidded eyes flew wide open. When Constanza pulled back, her own eyes fierce, he gaped at her. “Wha...? You...”

    “I,” she restated, bringing her lips closer to his with every word, “won’t. Let. Them. Hurt you.” And she pressed her soft felt to his again.

    Snookie’s eyes shut, and he kissed her back, hesitantly at first, then with all the passion that certain death tended to engender. She tasted of cloves. He pulled back uncertainly. “You don’t smoke those funny cigarettes, do you?” he asked.

    She glared at him. “Come on, Mr Charming. Get out of that stupid vegetable.”

    Together, stealing fearful looks at the stage crew intent on the laughter from the audience as Spawn Chaney performed a scene from his most famous film, ‘Peoria After Midnight,’ the two Muppets struggled to pull Snookie’s foam from the stiffer plumpness of a fake pumpkin destined for the stomachs of a rowdy crowd.
    ------------
    Ruahnna likes this.
  16. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Mmm, now that's a fic serving I can sink my fangs into.

    Ding ding ding... Give that weirdo a golden pumpkin for finally realizing the danger he's in.
    A little too late there huh Gonzo?
    :batty: It's a little too little too late.
    UD: Oh great, he's watching Ally Sheedy's Frankenstein again. And why do I have to heard those Martians?
    Come on Uncle D, they're going to help in the fight against the Underlord.

    Popworms? Frankly I prefer small chocolate-covered arachnids.
    O brave Newsman... Then again, him dangling by the cable cords like that, he'll definitely earn his name as the Nooseman. :laugh:

    Very much enjoyed how the Muppet gang split up to check out the areas of the haunted hotel.

    The Underlord's speech, it reminds me of another tierade that noone should believe but they get swept with the emotions from another long fic I've been reading this past week.

    *Cheers for Snookie+Constanza at the ending. Now let's ditch the pumpkin shell and get on with the frightful finale.
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  17. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Ahhhh. Ush gush and pumpkin pie. Hard to be unhappy with that. I enjoyed seeing where your match-ups for haunted house partners took you (and us), especially Rowlf and his bar jokes and Fozzie and his nervousness. Those two ought to cancel each other out, as far as telekinetic energy, I'm thinkin'!

    Glad to see that, so far, Newsie has eluded (or deluded) detection. Methinks that an unpleasant surprise is in store for him when he does find Gina--or perhaps that will ultimately be a pleasant surprise.

    Glad Deadly is out and in the company of Yips. Gosh--that sounds like a the name of a portentous play that Deady (and Wayne) might have appeared in at one time: The Company of Yips...dun dun duhn! But, as we've seen, Deadly has his uses, and he is--at heart--brand loyal to muppets.

    I'm sooo going to revoke Scooter's awesomeness license for letting them get into this fake-charity-fake-walk-real-haunted-house thing--the kid usually does his homework, but I guess that love is somewhat distracting.

    And I just KNOW that Rhonda and Bubba are going to show up to kick butt and take names before the night is over. How much damage to all that cable could a whole squadron of rats do if they really tried? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could up-chuck...er...something like that, anyway.

    A very nice installment that set the stage and the mood for the awesomeness and awfulness to come.

    An all Jim's muppets said...."More, more, more!" Keep, um, chucking it out!

    Ru

    (And please let something awful happen to Van Neuter soon!)
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  18. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    12 pieces.
    UD: Beg pardon?
    Aunt Ru asked how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. The answer, as our other roomie demonstrated once, is twelve pieces of wood.
    UD: Ooookay.
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  19. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Huh. Good to gnaw....
  20. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, because...
    UD: No, please don't.
    Know you gnaw, and gnawing is half the battle. Yo' Mole!
    *Uncle D :rolleyes:

    :o Hey, that's funny. Can I use it?
    Ask Ru first, you might need to run it by the frog too.
    :o What, the mole?
    What mole?
    :o The one that was here about a moment ago.
    Sheesh.
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