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Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Fan Art' started by Ozymandias, Nov 30, 2011.
You are very correct, Jane was his mother! And she loved him so very, very much!
Holy #%$&% but that poem made me cry.
Devil's in the details...and these details are very well presented.
And the idea of Hunt's Muppets actively participating in the memorial is perfect.
Very very well done.
Holy straganoff and cow pies! Ozy! You are back! As are my tears, and sob attacks! Very nicely done, is that song/poem an original? Very nice! Having the Voiceless muppets perform at their muppeteer's memorial is a very sweet thing. *Huggs Kermit doll and blankie* I am ready for the breakage of emotional dams!
Hurrah, I guessed correctly then!
It is, actually. I was writing in my journal the other night and was thinking about 'Voiceless', so the idea of miss Piggy being reminded of what happened before popped in my head. My journal entries are all poems, so I wrote one from her POV and decided to incorporate it into the story.
Thank you. I love going nuts with details, but I don't want to segue into purple prose so I don't do it all that often.
I am glad that Richard's muppets are going to participate, and I think what I liked best was that Scooter was going to stand with Richard's family. Scooter was to Richard what Kermit was to Jim, and that special relationship should be celebrated.
*sharpens nagging stick* ye have been warned, let that be lesson enough! *Leaves muppet cookie*
[quote="bouncingbabyfig, post: 861781]*Leaves muppet cookie*[/quote]
*noms muppet cookie*
0_________O Oh my WORD, this chapter took forever to write (four hours of almost nonstop writing. *eyetwitch*), but it was so totally worth it. Another two or three chapters to resolve some stuff and this tribute will be done. I must warn you though, it is very long.
Quick question, but do you guys think this chapter might be over the top? Please let me know, as I will probably be making some revisions to this fic in the future before I crosspost it to FF.net.
In anycase, onto chapter 10!
The blanket of clouds had shifted a bit by the time Miss Piggy had pulled up, and the naked patches of sky had disappeared. She wiggled her shoulders back against the seat as she slowly curved around the church parking lot, finding a spot close to the fence that separated the church from a nearby field. It was a nice-looking building, whitewashed with a steeple engraved with a cross. A bell hung from the rafters.
She looked over at the young man beside her. Scooter, of course, had said nothing on the drive over, just nodded his thanks as he got in. Piggy had attempted to make small talk, but seeing as that was kind of ridiculous considering the circumstances, she stopped and simply concentrated on driving. He was bedecked in a black suit, which seemed to emphasise the yellow pallor of his skin and the shocking redness of his hair. On him, it looked foreign; good, but like he wasn’t the one that should’ve been wearing it. I wish he wore his track jacket, Miss Piggy thought before she had realized she was even thinking it.
She pulled the parking brake and yanked the key out of the ignition. She slumped back into her seat and sighed for a moment, then turned to Scooter, who hadn’t moved. “Are vous ready?” She asked.
Scooter looked at her, and in that moment Miss Piggy barely recognized him. His eyes were…well, they weren’t hard and steely, like his Uncle, but she saw the same determination there. Come to think of it, Skeeter had eyes like that too. Maybe it ran in the Grosse family. His mouth was set in a line, but it softened as he looked at her, and he nodded. A hint of a smile tugged at his lips, and she saw that he was still Scooter, the Scooter she knew, the one that always scrambled to get her coffee in the morning when she asked him, the one that would help her set up dates with Kermie. He was still Scooter, but he was a little something else too, something Miss Piggy couldn’t quite put her finger on.
They walked over to the entrance of the church, where there was a crowd of people gathered. For some reason, the doors to the church had not been unlocked yet. Scooter immediately went over to where the members of the Hunt family were, and Jane welcomed him with open arms. Miss Piggy smiled. She knew she wouldn’t have to worry about him, and she was glad that the Hunt family was accepting him as one of their own, even under these circumstances.
She walked over to where Kermit was standing, talking to what looked like the pastor, or one of the church deacons at least, and tapped him politely on the shoulder. Kermit turned and saw her standing there. “Oh, hey Miss Piggy, would you mind giving me a moment to finish talking to this fine gentleman?” She could forgive him for that as he looked good in that suit.
“Certainly.” She replied, cool as a cucumber, turning to look around to see who else had arrived. There must’ve been several hundred people there, milling about and making small talk with others, most of them dressed in black, but some of them wearing other colours as well. She was surprised at how many of the other Muppeteers had come; she waved to Frank Oz, who was standing and chatting with Dave and Steve, and grinned when she saw Bonnie Erickson. She’d have to catch up with her later-oh good, the Electric Mayhem just pulled up. She could see that eyesore of a bus from a mile away. It was so weird, seeing them in suits…actually no, that wasn’t the weirdest part. Janice in a dress was the weirdest. She must have pulled that dress straight from the 1970’s, I swear. Oh well, at least it’s black. Janice had her guitar strapped to her back, and she was very quickly let into the church, which she emerged from several minutes later. Bunsen pulled up and Beaker jumped out with, to Miss Piggy’s surprised, a guitar case strapped to his back as well. She had heard that he would be playing a part in the musical tribute, but she’d left rehearsal before she had a chance to hear him play. Several of the other Muppets were there as well; Statler, Waldorf, Rowlf, Fozzie, Hilda, Gonzo, Camilla, Sam and the Swedish Chef. It was too bad the Newsman couldn’t come; he’d been called away at the last minute for an emergency business trip, and had sent his regards…
“Attention everybody!” A man’s voice rang out over the crowd. Miss Piggy started when she looked around and realized that Kermit was no longer standing and talking beside her, and the man he was talking to was nowhere to be seen. Kermit was now in front of the doors, facing the crowd. The man he was talking to earlier was standing beside him.
“I would like to thank you all today for coming out to Richard Hunt’s memorial service.” The man continued. “However, before the memorial service can begin, I would like you all to look up. A dear friend of Richard’s has indicated that he would like to give a tribute of his own, and the family has given him their blessing. Once the bell has stopped ringing, you may all come inside.”
The crowd took a few collective steps back, and everyone looked to the steeple. Miss Piggy gasped. For there, standing in frame of the steeple in front of the bell, was the hulking form of Sweetums. He was still wearing his peasant garb, and in his hands were two large hammers.
He nodded to those below him, and then turned to the bell, making sure that his back was not facing the audience.
He swung methodically, lifting first one arm, then the other.
“Let the bell be his voice.” Kermit murmured, craning his neck.
“Three,” Fozzie murmured quietly. “Four…”
“I almost wished Count von Count was here.” Gonzo said. “He would love to count this!”
Bong! Bong! Bong!
The great bell continued to ring, echoing around the surrounding area. Heads peeped out curiously from houses. Dogs in yards across the neighborhood were going nuts. Pedestrians in the nearby street stopped to listen for a minute.
Bong! Bong! Bong! Bong!
Tears started to flow down his face as he hit the bell for the eighteenth time. The wind picked up for a moment, taking the dry powdered snow and throwing it against the spectators below. The bell swung back and forth with each blow, though never enough to knock Sweetums out of the steeple.
Bong! Bong! Bong!
“Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three…” Bunsen said quietly. Most of the crowd had caught onto what Sweetums was doing, and were now quietly counting along with the ringing of the bell.
The great bell fell silent. The hammers clattered against two of the steeple posts; Sweetums was too exhausted to hold them anymore. He looked out, let his eyes drift across the surrounding land, talking it all in.
Forty strokes for the forty years you lived. I love you, and I will see you again.
The spectators below applauded, the church doors open, and everyone poured on inside. Sweetums sank down and sat on the edge of the steeple, letting his long legs hang down to where they were just above the cross.
He stayed there for a few minutes, letting his grief pour out, then wiped his eyes and looked towards the sky. The sun had finally come out, and the light felt good against his skin. Though his heart ached, he summoned up the courage to smile before he descended down the ladder into the church to get changed into a suit.
The memorial went off without a hitch. Scooter was sitting with the rest of the Hunt family near the front of the church, so he had the best view of what was happening. There was a table at the front of the church, where the altar normally was. It was covered in flower arrangements donated by different people, including a big one donated by the Muppeteers. Between the flowers were several framed pictures of Richard, with one big one in the middle of the table. Fozzie fiddled with the tea light he had been given at the beginning of the memorial and thought that this was in itself a miracle (as Richard had been notoriously camera-shy), but didn’t comment on it.
Scooter only had his eyes on two pictures, one to the left of the framed center portrait, and one near the end of the table. The one to the left was a picture of Richard and him, slightly yellowed, but otherwise in good condition. Both of them were smiling. Richard’s hair was a bit messy, but other than that the picture was quite good.
The one near the end of the table was special. It was when the two of them had been working with the rest of the gang on MuppetVision 3D, and it was near the end of a long day. Scooter remembered that day well; they’d both been exhausted, so Richard had leaned up against a ladder to support himself, and Scooter, who was dressed in a lab coat for some reason that he couldn’t quite remember, had rested his chin on the top of Richard’s head. Scooter still remembered that day; remembered just how warm Richard was, remembered him talking to the photographer, remembered how he, Scooter, had sighed with contentment at the exact moment the picture was taken. Even though tears were silently sliding down his cheeks, Scooter smiled. The picture had summoned up the two of them perfectly.
The memorial continued on for quite a bit of time before Kermit was finally called up. Several of the Muppets had shuffled out beforehand, but Miss Piggy stayed where she was. Her role would come later.
“Hello everyone,” Kermit said. The mike he had been handed gave off a bit of feedback, and he winced. “Sorry about that. Anyways, many of you may know me, but for those who don’t, my name is Kermit the Frog. Richard was a good friend and companion for us at the Muppet Theatre, and we would like to honour that today with a song. The Hunt family told us that one of his favorite songs was one that was written for the movie we have upcoming, A Christmas Carol, and even though it’s past Christmas it’s a song that can be sung all year, so we’d like to perform it in honour of his memory tonight. When you listen to the lyrics,” Here his voice caught, but he cleared his throat, “It summons up Richard’s life perfectly. Ladies and gentlemen, Thankful Heart.” He quickly handed the microphone over to the pastor and leapt to the side of the stage. The lights dimmed, and for the first time the mourners noticed the candelabra on top of the church piano, which Rowlf was currently sitting at.
He stroked the keys, and a slower, softer rendition of the song began to float through the building. The muppets who would be singing were gathered around the piano, just like old times. Beaker and Janice were sitting on stools nearby, separated from the singers, ready to play.
Rowlf began to sing. The words were slower, softer.
“With a thankful heart
With an endless joy
With a growing family
Every girl and boy
Will be nephew and niece to me…”
“Nephew and niece to me”, the other muppets sang.
“Will bring love, hope, and peace to me…”
“Love, hope, and peace to me…”
“Yes, and every night will end
And every day will start…” Rowlf sang.
“With a grateful prayer and a thankful heart.” Everyone joined in. Rowlf continued to play, and as he did so Scooter stood up and walked to the front of the stage, just as planned. Kermit handed him a pocketbook of matches, and Scooter struck one, softly breathing in the fresh smell of burning carbon. He lit his candle, a long tapir, and then touched it to Statler’s candle. The two of them started to move, from Muppet to Muppet, lighting the tea lights that had been given to them.
The last note fell off the piano keys, and a single string was struck. Everyone’s attention was turned to Beaker and Janice, who, facing the memorial table, both began to play where Rowlf left off. The notes from both guitars intertwined and flowed into each other, not tripping over and crashing into one another, but dancing smoothly. Neither of them cried; they were concentrating too hard on doing their best for their Muppeteer, their friend. Statler and Scooter turned to the other mourners and started to light their tea lights as well, lighting just the ones at the ends, and letting the flame pass along from person to person.
Rowlf began to sing again.
“With an open smile and with open doors
I will bid you welcome,
What is mine is yours.
I will sail a friendly course,
I will file a friendly chart…”
“On a sea of love and a thankful heart.” The other muppets joined in.
Bunsen and Floyd stepped out from where they had been singing with the others and made their way over to the two guitarists. Standing with them, Bunsen sang first. “Life is like a journey,”
“Who knows when it ends.” Floyd crooned, a hand on Janice’s shoulder.
“Yes, and if you need to know”
“The measure of a man”
“You simply count his friends.” They both sang in tandem, motioning to the other mourners with their tea lights. Kermit looked up and saw, to his delight, that the Hunt family was smiling. The beauty of the moment was taking his breath away. The whole church had been lit up with the light of hundreds of candles.
You would love this, Richard. You really would.
“Stop and look around you,” Bunsen continued.
“The glory that you see” Floyd sang out, his eyes on the memorial table.
“Is born again each day.”
“Don’t let it slip away,” Floyd squeezed Janice’s shoulder for a moment. A ghost of a smile was on her lips.
“How precious life can be!” The muppets sang in unison. Miss Piggy quietly moved to the front, careful not to reveal to anyone that she was crying. The piano joined in with the guitars, and Fozzie sang the next line.
“With a thankful heart that is wide awake…”
“I do make this promise with every breath I take…” Kermit joined in.
“Will be used now to sing your praise!” They both sang.
“Used now to sing your praise!” Everyone, even the audience (for that is what they had become) joined in.
“And beg you to share my days,” Fozzie sang. Kermit blinked as he realized that though Statler had come back to join the other Muppets, Scooter had walked to the table and stood to the left of it instead, staring down at something. He could see that the boy was crying, yet at the same time he was calm, taking no notice of the candle wax that was running down the side of the tapir and getting steadily closer to his fingers.
“Beg you to share my days!” Everyone sang.
“With a loving guarantee,” Kermit almost missed his line there.
“That even if we part…” Miss Piggy sang, her voice ringing out as she carried the last word. The music ceased for a moment. You could hear a pin drop in the place.
“I will hold you close in a thankful heart.” Kermit sang, remembering for a moment just who he held close. Scooter quietly picked up the picture at the end of the table. He could barely see the picture at this point, but it was better that way. The room looked like it was washed in a golden glow.
“I will hold you close…” Miss Piggy softly sang. Scooter gently clasped the picture to his chest.
“In a thankful heart.” Kermit’s voice caught as he sang those last words, looking at Scooter standing there, a candle in one hand, his eyes closed.
Everyone joined in for the last line, holding their candles forward, letting the light and warmth of the moment surround them.
“In a thankful heart.”
Ozy, I hug you, I yell at you, and I cry with you. I have not been touched like this since Lisa. I truly feel your thankful heart in this. It was so beautifuly heartfelt. Richard would be proud of you.
*leaves basket of scooter cookies and flowers*
Do you have any froggin' idea how hard it is to make me cry? I HATE crying and resist it with all my will. That's TWICE now.
I wasn't sure about the song choice at first, then realized as you went with it how absolutely appropriate it actually is. Well done. And the description of the photos is perfect; even though I don't believe I've ever seen either of them, they do sum up the artist and the man very lovingly.
And Sweetums with the bell...what a lovely revival of a very, very old custom. You know your history well, it seems. Perfect.
Aww, thank you! I'm touched that you compared me to Lisa, though my writing isn't half as good as hers. Also, thanks for the cookies. And the flowers, though I can't eat those.
D: Oh no, don't cry! *hands over tissues like a madwoman* I'm glad the story touched you, but I'm not going to lie, I couldn't help but laugh at the way you wrote that sentence. XD
Thank you! Both of the photographs exist IRL; the first photograph is the main photograph on Richard Hunt's page on Muppetwiki, and the second photograph (and my all time favorite Muppet photograph EVER) can be found here.
That wasn't actually on purpose. I just thought of the idea after listening to "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield, and the image of Bunsen hitting the bells ALA Mike Oldfield in the video turned into Sweetums hitting the bell at the top of the steeple. That tradition actually exists? SWEET, you learn something new everyday!
An affectionate tribute to Richard and his creations, sweet but not maudlin.
(I would change the line that said Miss Piggy was surprised to see so many of the muppeteers here. Why would she be surprised? Why wouldn't all the muppeteers come--no matter what?)
Duly noted. I'll have that line changed for the cross-post once the fic is done. Thanks!
QUICK UPDATE ON CHAPTER 11:
I'm about halfway done writing it, and got pretty far along today, so hopefully it'll be done before Saturday (I have midterms coming up, so don't place your bets just yet).
Love this fic so far!
Thank you! I've just got another 2-3 chapters to go and the fic will be finished, so I think in the next couple of eeks I'll concentrate on finishing this.
Oh good! I missed reading it!
I knew it! I was born before Richard Hunt passed away. But the truth was I listened to Jim Henson's performance of his Sesame Street and Muppet creations. It's sad that my mom only thought about Jim Henson, not Richard Hunt.
Oh Ozymandias, post more when you can. I understand your writing is taking forever, but I like the way you are dedicating this story to Richard Hunt. I am now dedicating and paying a tribute to Jim Henson to my fan-fic. The link is - http://www.muppetcentral.com/forum/threads/remembering-jim-henson.51408/ After you read a chapter or the whole thing, please comment. Thanks!
I hope Janice is OK! I love her! And Scooter! And Beaker! AND THE EM!!!!
Write a chapter about finding their voice!
Separate names with a comma.