PuppyLuver Studios presents The Scoop of the Century A Muppet fanfiction starring the Muppets, along with Web the Swallow, Errol the Owl and Jareth the Goblin King, and yes, Jareth counts as a Muppet in my book Co-starring Dimentio, Luna Pekkala, and a whole lotta Pokémon Written by Jess, aka PuppyLuver Why not take a lovely holiday to Sweden this year? Okay, I’ll stop now. ------------------ “Okay, Errol, just pull up here.” “Web, you realize this is heavier stuff than what we usually cover? I’m kinda nervous...” “Why the heck are you nervous? This is exactly the kind of story we’ve been waiting for!” “Alright...” Web the Swallow, an up-and-coming local news field reporter, was fired up for her first real assignment. Since she was a recent addition to the news team, she had been forced to cover stories of crazy cat ladies who claimed to have had their fantabulous felines abducted by aliens. That kind of stuff is good for programs like UFO Mania Live, but not for serious news programs. Not this time, though. This time she would be covering one of a string of recurring vandalism acts. Errol the Owl, her cameraman and steady boyfriend, was driving the station’s van. He usually drove at night, while Web would drive during the day, due to their conflicting levels of night vision and day vision. Errol parked the van in a spot that was out of the way, then they both exited the cab and made their way to the back of the van to grab their equipment. Camera and microphone ready, Web and Errol made their way into the vandalized diner. The diner was usually a very neat place, but what had happened to it was a horrible sight to behold. The windows had been smashed, chairs had been overturned or relieved of their legs, tables and booths had either been sawed or (strangely) gnawed into pieces and, strangest of all, there was a pair of footprints in front of the door surrounded by scorch marks. The diner’s owner was huddled behind the counter, shaking and mumbling to himself. The two budding reporters were both somewhat scared, but news crews often get paid to jump headfirst into dangerous and even scary situations. Errol turned on the camera and they began their report. “I’m here at Sal’s Diner where, once again, vandalism has struck,” Web began. “As you can see behind me, the entire place has been trashed by what the media has dubbed ‘The Hensonville Goblin’. While police believe these crimes have been committed by juvenile delinquents or wild animals, we at Channel 5 News would like to get the opinion of someone who has witnessed the incident.” She calmly stepped over to Sal, the owner of the diner, while Errol followed her with the camera. “...where the cops? How come the cops haven’t shown up? S’okay, just remember what mom said. Go to my happy place... I’m in my happy place... I’m thin and happy...” “Excuse me, sir?” Web gently prodded Sal, though with the anxiety that he was going through, she might has well have told him she was an axe-wielding murderer. “YIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!” Sal screamed, nearly jumping out of his skin. He turned to see Web staring at him warily. “Oh hey, Web... now’s not really a good time for an order or an interview or anything like that...” “What happened here, Sal?” Web asked him. Errol put the camera on the counter, leaving it running so he could check out the damage. The bite and claw marks on the walls and everywhere else gave the impression that whatever had done this hadn’t been exactly civilized... “It was awful,” Sal explained. “These little beasts just broke in to my diner about an hour ago. I found one hiding out in the fridge... then this blond guy with screwed-up eyes and a screwed-down hairdo appeared out of nowhere...” Web shivered slightly. Errol started looking under booths when he saw something. It looked similar to an oversized marble seemingly filled with water. “Hey, Web,” he called to her. “Come check this out.” He showed the marble to her. “What is it?” she asked. “Dunno,” he replied. “Looks cool, though.” He didn’t get much more out than that, for the doors to the diner’s kitchen flew open as if by magic. Thinking quickly, they both ducked under one of the undamaged booths. Errol stuffed the marble in his cap. A group of strange looking creatures came out of the kitchen. They looked like nothing Web nor Errol had ever seen, and being that they’d lived in Hensonville their whole lives, they’d seen a lot. These creatures just did not exist in that world. They weren’t like the monsters that so frequently appeared at the theater, roamed the diner scene in search of good glass to eat or lived on Sesame Street to teach kids stuff. These things were, for lack of a better word, goblins. One of them was carrying what looked like a star with its five points each being a different color. Even though the “goblins” were strange, they were nothing compared to the man behind them. The man was tall, blond and had different colored eyes. He wore an extravagant outfit that looked like something out of the Middle Ages, and was holding a miniature crystal ball. He seemed very much like someone you didn’t want to mess with. “Have you blithering idiots found it yet?” the man scolded the goblins. “No, Lord Jareth, sir,” a fat goblin replied. “I just don’t get it. The Fire Orb led us here--“ He didn’t get to finish his sentence, for the man, presumably Jareth, lifted him by the neck and started strangling him. “You’d better find it,” Jareth said coolly. “or else you’ll be thrown into the Bog of Eternal Stench the minute we return!” The goblin fainted at this, or it may have just been lack of oxygen. At this point, Web and Errol decided to try and sneak out while he wasn’t paying attention. They started crawling along the floor... before Errol realized that his camera was across the room. Silently cursing to himself, he crawled over to get it. He grabbed it and quickly crawled back, but not before... “Hold it right there.” Web and Errol stopped in their tracks. They slowly turned their heads to see him standing right over them. “Uh... exclusive interview?” Web feebly asked. “Never mind that!” Errol exclaimed. “RUN LIKE HECK!” So they ran like heck out of that diner, not stopping for a split second until they reached the van. Then they drove like heck outta there and never looked back. “So...” Jareth muttered to himself after they had left. “The Water Orb is in this world...” He paused, then he pulled a crystal ball from thin air. A translucent image of a jester-like being appeared above it. “So, Deimeeri, are you ready to fulfill your end of the bargain?” he said to the image. “It’s actually Dimentio,” the image replied. “but I’ll let it slide since I like you so much. Yes, I’m completely ready.” “Good. A swallow and a barn owl have escaped with the Water Orb and I’m sure they’ve captured our... search method on film. I want you to stall their vehicle. Do not let them get that footage to the authorities.” “Got it!” Dimentio winked and stuck his thumb up. “By the way, about this swallow...” “Yes?” “Is it an African or European swallow?” “JUST GO!” “Alright, alright! I’m going! Ciao!” The image of Dimentio faded until it disappeared completely. Shortly after, Jareth had vanished from the diner without a trace, along with his goblin flunkies, leaving only a very traumatized Sal to continue shaking behind the counter.