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A Prologue to The Muppets 2011

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by outerelf, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    Just a quick, 'what if?' fic foray into the new movie, and what might've caused it.
  2. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    Uncle Kermit was moping again. The small frog stared sadly at the bedroom door as he stood before it, a small wooden box clutched in his flippers. Ever since Jim Henson had died, Uncle Kermit had become more and more depressed.

    The members of Muppet Theater had departed in droves, leaving the depressed frog as they sought for the now missing spark. That only served to depress Kermit further- it had been literally the last straw when Miss Piggy had reluctantly left.

    Kermit retreated into his room in this now empty mansion, once filled with laughter, and hadn’t come out since. Robin sadly shook his head as he walked to the staircase. On the middle step he sat.

    The wooden box rested heavy in his hands- it was a prop from Mister Henning’s room that the magician had given to the small frog. He opened it- soft music drifted out, and Robin smiled sadly at this solemn music.

    Leave me some magic
    To get me through the day
    Wonders that cast a spell
    I can’t disobey
    If it’s all an illusion
    I’m filled with confusion
    So leave me some magic,
    Don’t take the magic away

    Robin glanced up to Kermit’s room, dark and quiet, no magic left to make it sparkle and shine.

    Leave me some magic
    As much as you can spare
    And if people laugh at me
    I guess I don’t care
    To believe sets me free more
    Isn’t that what I’m here for
    So leave me some magic
    Don’t take the magic away

    Please don’t the magic away.

    The notes drifted on the empty stairwell. Robin shut the lid, head dipping to drawn-up, huddled knees. “I miss you Uncle Kermit. I miss you so much. I wish you’d come back to me.”

    Ding-dong!

    The merry bell, slightly cracked, was a sharp contrast to the solemn quietness that held this house. Robin stood, and puzzled, trotted to the front door. Was it solicitors? More well-wishers? Maybe even a member of the Muppet Theater, come back again?

    Ding-dong!

    Robin stood on tiptoes to undo the lock, half-remembering a time when the lock had never been shut, when swarms of people regularly walked in and out of the home laughing. Now this house had shut its doors, and turned the lock.

    The large doors opened to two frogs, one male, and one female. “Mom! Dad! What are you doing here?” The small frogs feet were paralyzed to the floor- he hadn’t expected his parents to be here.

    “We came here to bring you back home dear.”

    “B-But- Uncle Kermit-“

    Mom knelt down next to Robin, sadness reflecting in her eyes. “Robin dear, Uncle Kermit has just lost someone important in his life- he doesn’t want to be bothered.”

    “I’m not bothering anybody! Besides, uncle Kermit will get lonely without me.”

    His dad started slightly at that statement- Robin, wound up in his argument, didn’t notice until he asked, “You’re the only other frog in this house other then Kermit?”

    “I- well, right now yes-“ Robin’s voice trialed off as he recognized that particular frown on his fathers face. Mom swept him into her arms.

    “You must have been lonely as well. Come my dear son, let’s get you back to the swamp, okay?”

    “But I don’t wanna! I want to stay here with Kermit!” The child struggled in his mothers arms, shaking his head furiously. “You’ve let me stay here before!”

    “We let you stay here because we knew Kermit could take care of you. But like this? Kermit can’t take care of himself, how can we expect him to take care of a child?” The soothing tone had no effect on the struggling child.

    “I can take care of myself mom!”

    Dad easily detached the thrashing child, and lifted little Robin to eye level, “Listen to me son. We’re going home to the swamp. This is no place for any frog to stay alone. We only let you stay here because you wanted too, and Kermit could take care of you. I don’t see any sign of life in this mansion.”

    “It’ll change! All uncle Kermit needs is a push!”

    “Honey, it’s already been several months.” Mom pulled Robin into her arms, sending a reproving look to her husband. “Uncle Kermit needs some time alone.”

    “If-If- when he does start up the theater again, can I come back?” The lost, forlorn voice tugged her heart in two.

    “Yes. Of course you can. Once Kermit gets his spunk back, you can come and stay with him again.” She ran a flipper over his head, as if petting the resistance out of him. “So how about you gather all of your things, and we’ll take you back to the swamp.”

    “…Okay ma. Can I just write a goodbye letter first?”

    “Yes dear, go right ahead.”

    Robin hopped off slowly, as husband and wife had a soft, heated argument in the foyer. “What do you mean you’ll let him come back? We’ve barely seen him for several years because he’s stayed here! And what kind of proper frog gets depressed over a human?”

    “Dear! Kermit has been very nice to let Robin stay here- besides, you know Robin isn’t like most of the other frogs back home. He has dreams; he hears the same call Kermit did.”

    Robin ignored both his parents to pull a piece of paper and pencil close to him. For a moment he simply sat there, staring at the paper, wondering what to write. What could he possibly say that would bring his uncle out of his depression?

    Nothing. He could write nothing. So he wouldn’t write something that would bring his uncle out of depression. Kermit would have to do it on his own.

    Dear Uncle Kermit,
    I hope this letter finds you well. Mom and Dad have come to pick me up, because you aren’t around anymore. At least, not in mind you aren’t. So I’m leaving.
    But- I promise you Uncle Kermit, you ever decide to start up the theater again, you ever decide to go back to the frog we all loved before Jim Henson died, if you ever get back that magic that made people love you, then call me and I’ll come. Everyone will come back if you ask.
    I love you and miss you Uncle Kermit.
    Your Nephew,
    Robin

    The letter had misspellings and letters backwards galore. It wasn’t grammatically correct. It wasn’t cute, and there were smudges along the sides.

    But it was a heartfelt letter, and Robin carefully placed it on top of the many letters addressed to Jim Henson, all mourning the loss of a man he had never truly known. On the table, he left behind the little magic box Henning had given him. Uncle Kermit needed magic in his life.

    Mother was waiting, along with Dad looking impatient as he held up a small backpack- all of the knickknacks from the theater were carefully stored inside, memories thick and choking.

    Mom took him by the hand, led him away. As they left, Robin cast one last look behind.

    All of the windows were dark and closed, the shutters drawn. The vibrant character it once held was gone now, replaced by formal silence and sad goodbyes.

    He waved one last forlorn goodbye, not seeing the frog that leaned against one of the windows, wordlessly staring out. He settled into the rental car, staring out of the widow as the house began to recede out of view.

    Small frog eyes closed in pain, as he leaned against the window, singing to the car.

    Did you forget
    That I was even alive
    Did you forget
    Everything we ever had
    Did you forget
    Did you forget
    About me

    A lone bear walking the streets far away looked up into the pouring sky. He wanted to go home. He was tired, starving, and ready to throw it all in. But- Kermit wasn’t the same. He looked up at the rainy sky, softly singing.

    Did you regret
    Ever standing by my side
    Did you forget
    The jokes that we shared
    Now I'm left to forget
    About us

    But somewhere we went wrong
    We were once so strong
    Our friendship is like a song
    You can't forget it

    A dog sat in a restaurant- the same restaurant that he and Kermit had met in so many years ago. When the dreams were strong, when they had been willing to work for that dream and never gave up. A paw ran across old ivories, as he played a song that he knew far too well.

    So now I guess
    This is where we have to stand
    Did you regret
    Ever singing with me?
    Never again
    Please don't forget
    Don't forget

    A pig in the crowd, attracted by the dog playing the piano stepped forward. Eyes met in tacit acknowledgement- she had come out here as a remembrance, and found, while maybe not the one she was hoping for, a friend nonetheless. She pulled herself up next to his piano to sing out the verse to the song.

    We had it all
    We were just about to fall
    Even more in love
    Than we were before
    I won't forget
    I won't forget
    About us

    But somewhere we went wrong
    We were once so strong
    Our love is like a song
    You can't forget it

    A weird, blue whatever stared out across the vastness of the desert. Beside him, a chicken clucked and cooed. He smiled sadly at her- his dreams of becoming a world-renowned artist had crashed and burned, leaving behind only pictures and memories. So, back to plumbing he would go- and Camilla would faithfully follow. His head tilted back as he sang a last farewell to the Theater.

    And at last
    All the pictures have been burned
    And all the past
    Is just a lesson that we've learned
    I won't forget
    I won't forget us

    Hundreds of Muppets, scattered across the country, each trying to fit into a new life. Some better, some worse, each saying a final goodbye in their hearts. A goodbye to a life they had absolutely adored and loved.

    But somewhere we went wrong
    Our friendship is like a song
    But you won't sing along
    You've forgotten
    About us


    MuppetLuver2000 likes this.
  3. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Active Member

    Wow! intense! Definitely a heart-wrenching moment when Robin's parents come to take him away! Good job.

    I cannot wait to see the new movie and see what happened- Jack Black said in an interview that he had to give Segel props because there were dark times in the movie- definitely intrigued to see what happened that caused everyone to go away but this is a great "what if" story!
  4. Aaron

    Aaron Active Member

    Is there more? I want for there to be more. Please write more.
  5. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    ...More? o.0 B-But, at the length it is in my mind, it'd go on past the movie! But- I suppose I can craft some more stand-alone chapters to detail each of the main muppets leaving and a few others.
  6. Aaron

    Aaron Active Member

    So it goes on past the movie i guarantee no one will complain :)
  7. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    Well, people asked, and I answered.
  8. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    Kermit’s Ma sat back on her lily pad as the car rolled by, unnoticed by many of the frogs lazing about in the swampy mud, enjoying the warm sun light. She strummed softly at the small guitar on her lap, listening to the plinking tune.

    Her eyes however were cold. It looked like her stupid son really had gone through with what he had threatened. She could remember the phone conversation like it was yesterday.

    “Hello Ma.”

    “Well, if it isn’t Kermit! What can I do for you? It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from you! How’s Robin? And the Muppet Theaters?”

    “I-It’s been disbanded mom.” Kermit voice, low and heavy spoke. “Everyone left. I don’t know why, but they left.”

    She leaned against the wall, frowning thoughtfully. He wasn’t joking about everyone having left- there weren’t any explosions in the background, entwining with the music that seemed to perpetually play in an odd dance.

    Instead it was as quiet as a tomb, and just as ominous. Her sons voice was dark and dry, missing its customary spark that set him apart from the others. “I see. Why?”

    “Jim Henson died. He- I-“ Kermit’s voice faltered.

    She smiled sympathetically. Humans had a tendency to grow old, where most Muppets simply retired from the screen and went home. “Humans do that Kermit.”

    “But- not so soon.” Her sons voice was pleading, and at the same time lost. Already she was beginning to see the reason why perhaps everyone had left. She wished she could see him, but in her mind she was already building a picture of what he looked like.

    Pale green skin, worn into an awful state; deep black bags underneath eyes; even his tongue would probably no longer be able to go far enough to catch a fly. Her heart seized in sympathy for her son, at the same time as she had a creeping suspicion about what Kermit had called her for.

    “Ma- do you think you could contact my sister and suggest to her about getting Robin?”

    There were many words that rose to her tongue- most of them were synonyms of fool. There was idiot, moron, stupid, brainless, and a variety of words that were not appropriate for the situation.

    Why would her son send away the last of his connection to the outer world? Why would he send away the last piece of his heart that was unbroken? “Are you certain? Robin loves staying with you.”

    “He loves Muppet Theater. And that’s closed now. Clifford- he still does his own channel, but most of the time it’s humans now. Muppets- Muppets seem to be getting rarer these days.”

    Kermit, in the usual display of modesty, obviously didn’t recognize his own impact on the world. Once again acidic comments rose to her lips- if frogs had lips that is. They didn’t rise to the forefront, and she was thankful. She normally wasn’t this mad, but her dim-witted son seemed determined to press her buttons.

    “ They are. But I think you’re underestimating Robin’s attachment to you.”

    “There’s nothing left here for him Ma. Frog Scouts has been disbanded, Muppet Theaters closed- there’s nothing left for him.”

    Except for one little thing. Kermit himself- Robin’s beloved Uncle. Of course, from the sounds of it, even he had left. “I’ll hint to your sister.”

    A confused noise came from the other side of the line. She sighed, feeling as if the world was on her shoulders. “If you change your mind, you can ask that he stay with you a little longer; your sister can’t really refuse you.”

    Kermit didn’t reply as the tone of a phone-call disconnected beeped in a single ear. A deep sigh echoed and rolled through her body, from the tips of her flippers to the top of her head.

    The sound of car doors popping open was drowned out in the wild welcomes and flurry of cheers for the two parents and their child. Robin shyly hid behind his parents as relatives he barely knew poured forward to say hello.

    No one looked into the young frogs eyes; if they had they would’ve been surprised by the depth of the sorrow in them. Ma Frog climbed to her feet as she shooed her children away, going straight for the grandson. “The lot of you can have him after I’d done with him! Away with you now!” With an imperious flap of her hands, frogs scattered left and right.

    At last it was just the two of them alone. Robin’s eyes remained stubbornly fixated on the lily pads beneath his feet- she didn’t attempt to beat around the cattails. “You’re depressed.”

    “Uncle Kermit left.” For one horrified moment she thought that Kermit had abandoned his nephew and vanished. But Robin’s eyes were distant as he continued, “His body is there, but his mind isn’t. It hasn’t been there since Mister Henson died. He left a long time ago Grandma.”

    The measured words held wisdom beyond his young years. For a moment, she felt sorry for her son, alone in his house. He had sent away the last of the magic that could’ve brought him back. She sat him down as Robin’s shoulders heaved. “There, there. He’ll come back one day.”

    Robin sobbed into her lap, as she patted his back. What could she do? Tell Robin that everything was going to be okay? It was a lie, of that she was certain. The sobs slowly gave way to sniffles, until at last he looked up. “Grandma, do you know the theme song to Muppet Theater?”

    “Yes. I can teach you-“

    “NO! Uncle Kermit promised that he’d teach me how to play the banjo. I’ll wait until he teaches me.” Determinedly he scrubbed at his eyes. “It’s just- Muppet Theater never got a chance to close. Uncle Kermit got news in the middle of the theater, and rushed out. We haven’t done a show since. So…”

    He trailed off, face drawn, before continuing softly, “I’d like to close it properly.”

    She didn’t have words; she simply played the music.

    It’s time to end the program​
    We’re glad to of made a friend.​

    She thought for sure that Robin would end there- instead he pushed on, surprising her with the beacon of hope.

    We hope to see you shortly,​
    We hope to see you shortly!​
    We hope to see you shortly​
    On the most sensational-​
    Inspirational-​
    Muppetational-​
    This is what we call the Muppet SHOOOOOWWW!​

    The music ended, the sun finally finished setting, and Robin softly said, “And I’m not going to sing another word until I’m on that stage, right where I belong. With Uncle Kermit, and Miss Piggy, and Fozzie, and Gonzo and all the rest of Muppet Theaters. Then I’m gonna sing.”

    ----------

    Time passed. Years came and went, without a sign of a letter or any information at all. Robin remained a slight outcast from other members of Frog Society, struggling to adjust to a swamp life.

    When it came time for festivals, he would sit on the sidelines, watching the festivities with a wistful look on his face, refusing to come jump inside. At last, his grandmother, desperate to find some way of getting him to join in on the festivities, sat down next to him with a banjo.

    Softly she plucked at it, a quiet melody, one that Kermit had enjoyed as a child. Judging from the way Robin swayed to the music, he too enjoyed this tune. “Uncle Kermit used to play that for me- when I was sick.”

    She nodded, letting the tune do the talking for her. A few of the other frogs crept closer, ears bending to the soft music. Robin, unnoticing continued softly, “He always promised to teach me the banjo, but he was always too busy. He promised to teach me how to ride a bicycle, but then he never got around to it- Beauregard showed me how instead.”

    A long moment of silence hung over them, until Robin continued, softly, tenderly, with emotions he hadn’t shown yet to his real parents. “But I can remember, how every morning he’d be up early, humming away. Sometimes he and Rowlf would play a duet, and sometimes he’d be chatting with Fozzie- but the times I liked best of all was when he was with Miss Piggy. Because then they’d sit there and they’d really be in love, you know?”

    She didn’t know. She heard a few blurbs from him about a pig, but not many. “And he’d always get really flustered around her as well. It was cute! I… I always wanted to one day call her Aunt Piggy. Instead of just Miss Piggy. I told her that when she left, but I don’t think she heard me.”

    Abruptly he stood, shoulders stiff, unpleasant memories brought to the forefront. “I’m gonna hunt down some fireflies Grandma.”

    He hopped away without looking back.

    ----

    At least several more festivals went by before she could even get him to sit down next to her; every time he saw her he hopped the other way in a childish gesture of confusion. Sometimes it was hard to remember he was a child.

    But child he was, and as she stood outside of her daughter’s lily pad, pretending not to listen in as her daughter and her grandson battle it out, it became increasingly clear.

    “But Mom! I don’t want to learn how to play the banjo! Uncle Kermit promised he’d teach me.”

    Thunk! Banjo strings twanged harshly against wood. “Uncle Kermit is not here!”

    “That doesn’t mean anything! He’ll come back one day!”

    “And who said you’ll be allowed to go back? I allowed you to go to your uncle Kermits in the first place. Don’t forget you are still my child-“

    “Some parents you turned out to be! You just shoved me off onto Uncle Kermit when you couldn’t handle me anymore!” All noise in the swamp seemed to die at the loud proclamation made in self-righteous indignation. “You weren’t there for any of my birthdays! I even asked if I should come home for my birthday because I wanted to be with you guys, and you never replied. You didn’t teach me how to ride a bike, or how to eat properly; you didn’t teach me anything! Uncle Kermit did all of that!”

    “You- how- How dare you, you ungrateful little brat-“

    “Ungrateful! I’ve been trying to adjust to life in the swamp! You haven’t been helping! You keep trying to baby me, and not let me do anything I want!” Robin sounded perilously close to tears. “I miss my old home! I want to go back, but I can’t. I’m stuck here!”

    Grandma winced at the choice of words. Robin knew what he was saying, but sheer built up misery kept him from checking his words. “You keep expecting me to be someone I’m not! And I hate it! I absolutely hate it!”

    “Go to your lily pad NOW!”

    “NO!”

    Robin hopped out of the lily pad, in a rush of green, fast enough to outpace any adult. Robin’s ma sobbed loudly in the lily pad. Grandma sighed softly in sorrow, as mosquitoes buzz finally started up again, and the crickets chirrup could be heard.

    Slowly she made her way towards where Robin was probably hiding- his path was easy enough to follow.

    She found him, curled up in a small mud shallow, watching a small trickle of clear water flow by. “You look mighty depressed sonny.”

    “Oh Grandma- I think I just ruined it with ma. What am I going to do now? There’s nowhere else I can go.”

    “Nonsense- I think both of you needed to say what you said- you both were right. I’d of preferred if you said it in a little more calm way, but no matter.” The banjo plucked softly at a tune Robin couldn’t recognize. “Would you like to talk about it?”

    “A-About what?”

    “Muppet Theaters. The Muppets there, the people you saw- how it all ended.”

    “Ended.” He rolled the world around, tasting every syllable. “I-I guess it started with the smaller time muppets. The ones that only came one in awhile. They weren’t getting paid, so they stopped coming. And once we lost those… well- Rizzo and his gang of rats moved out first among the main Muppets. Rizzo apologized, told Gonzo he didn’t want to leave…”

    “But he had too.”

    “Yeah. He had too. After Rizzo left, Bean Bunny, and the penguins left, and nobody knew how to end skits anymore, not that it mattered because nobody was doing skits anymore, and most of the chickens left… Old Statler and Waldorf across the street that used to attend Muppet Theaters would stand outside of the door every week, rain or shine. Now they only do it once a month.”

    “Aren’t those two the old hecklers?”

    “Yeah… But I think deep down they really enjoyed it. Especially since they would save up all their rotten fruit to toss at Fozzie. There was a betting pool on what they’d bring each week.”

    Robin laughed, “Sometimes the fruit wouldn’t be that rotten; like one time in the middle of summer they brought a really good, ripe watermelon! Only part of it was damaged, so we ate it for dinner.”

    He looked so wistful, but at the same time, so sad. “But this summer, everything just fell apart.”

    “After Rizzo and the smaller muppets left, who was next?”

    Robin chewed carefully on the question for a moment, face perfectly blank, not letting his true emotions escape in a fine theater manner. “I don’t think I’ll answer now. Maybe… Maybe… one day. But for now, I- I need to get back to Ma. Apologize.”

    He hopped away slowly, shoulders drooping. He didn’t look forward to this, and quite frankly, she didn’t blame him. Harsh words, and even harsher truths had been exposed, when not even a bond of trust had been formed.

    It was going to be rough on both sides.

    She wished for a moment that her son would get his head out of the clouds, and realize that there were Muppets depending on him.
  9. Aaron

    Aaron Active Member

    This is beautiful. Press on!
  10. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    Why thank you! I'm glad someone is enjoying it! I'll get the next chapter up soon as possible hopefully.
  11. Barry Lee

    Barry Lee Active Member

    This is fantastic, and touching.
  12. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    Thank, thank you, thank you all! And the third chapter is now coming right on up!
    Aaron likes this.
  13. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    A banjo strummed softly in the cool summer air; mosquitoes hummed softly, attempting to keep out of the way of hungry frogs, as fish splashed through out the water, gaily chasing each other.

    Next to the banjo playing grandma was a young frog, happily humming along to the music, his light mood a welcome contrast to the earlier moodiness.

    Grandma balanced on the cusp of a question, a question she had been slightly curious to know, but hadn’t asked yet since the first time young Robin had claimed it was too soon.

    “So Robin-“ When subtlety wouldn’t work go straight for the straightforward question- “Who was left in that house after the small time Muppets left?”

    A nearby tree grew an icicle in that stony silence. “Grandma- I-”

    “You need to talk about it sonny, or the pain will never leave you.”

    “You sound like Rowlf!” Robin complained, frowning unhappily, earlier good mood now forgotten. “Before-“ He stopped, thinking it over.

    Grandma watched in pleasant happiness as the emotions and thoughts crossed Robin’s face, in an interesting scurry of emotions. First anger, slowly replaced by belligerence, giving way to thoughtfulness; and finally, acceptance. “You’re right. And Rowlf is right. Normally Rowlf would be the one I talk about this, but… he hasn’t said a word since Jim Henson died.”

    It was interesting that the young frog kept referring to the human by his full name, but she supposed Robin had to of known the human at least slightly. “Go on. Rowlf- he left next, didn’t he?”

    “…Yeah. Dr. Teeth went with him as well. Actually, it was more like Rowlf slipped out…”

    Dr. Teeth and his band broiled in chaos and noise; muted and tired noise then their usual happy blaring, but at least that noise was still there. Not for too much longer however. That much at the very least was certain.

    Robin clung to the railings of the stairs, peering down steps to where Dr. Teeth stood; his band members encircled him, carrying their instruments- the Muppet van was parked outside. “We’ll take the van on down near the theater and leave it there Kermit.

    ”You don’t have too,” Kermit protested weakly in response, his eyes reflecting part of his desperateness. Behind him, a brown dog, carrying a single doggie bag with a few of his toys, and the bust of Beethoven under one arm snuck past.

    Up above, Robin’s sharp eyes tracked Rowlf’s steady, but wandering, path to the door, as Animal cried loudly, clinging desperately to a pillar of marble. Miss Piggy was upstairs in her own room, refusing to come down and say goodbye to the members of the band.

    Dr. Teeth looked up, eyes falling on Robin on the stairs. He smiled and waved at the muppet- Robin waved half-heartedly back, as he glanced down at the gathering crowd, saying sad goodbyes. Gonzo, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Scooter, Bunsen and Beaker, and Sweetums were the only other Muppets left in the house at this point.

    ”No Kermit; the van is yours. We’ll be signing up for another one of those gigs that Scooter and Pepe recommended to us.”

    Kermit nodded slowly, almost sadly. Robin watched as Rowlf walked straight out the door, vanishing from sight. He didn’t call out- Rowlf’s own grief had been hanging hard and heavy over him, and truthfully there was nothing none of the other Muppets could do. When the comforter needed comfort, what was a Muppet supposed to say?


    Robin hopped down the stairs, circling around to the side door. If he were lucky, he’d be able to catch up to Rowlf one last time.

    Like a blur he hopped through the lawn, cutting corners and jumping over bushes. He hopped over one last bush, sliding to a halt in front of a small wooded area- Rowlf liked to play his harmonica, or other portable instruments here, using the seclusion of the woods to howl to his hearts content.

    “Rowlf?” His quiet voice broke the silence, as members of the Electric Mayhem began to pour out of the house and onto the bus.

    The dog’s head appeared around one tree, cocking inquisitively. Underneath his eyes were heavy bags. Robin took one leap into the dogs arms, holding on tightly, breathing in deep. Rowlf smelled like earth undertones, of old musty paper, newly dried ink, but most of all, he smelled like music. “I’ll miss you uncle Rowlf. Goodbye, and goodluck.” Robin placed a quick peck on the dogs cheek, before speeding off.

    Grandma’s eyebrows went up- Robin was very stingy with those he addressed as Aunt or Uncle- Mainly because he had been practically raised with his uncle Kermit. Uncle to Robin had the same connotation parents would have to just about anyone else. “You like Rowlf don’t you?”

    “Yeah, like him. He’s a good uncle. You could sit and talk to him for hours, and he wouldn’t get bored, or need to go somewhere else. Kind of like Beauregard- I hope he’s doing alright.”

    “He probably is. I’ve heard about him from Kermit. It sounds like he’s doing just fine.”

    “You heard from Uncle Kermit?” Hope and disappointment warred for dominance.

    “I sent him a letter- and got one that he mailed awhile back. It’s been lost in the mail for quite some time. Do you want to see-“

    “NO!” Robin sniffled, disappointment winning over. “I don’t.”

    Grandma simply nodded. “So, go on about Rowlf.”

    “Rowlf? Well…”

    The frog hid behind a bush, head in his arms, shaking from disbelief. He had actually called someone from Muppet Theaters ‘Uncle’. He had done it- “Hello Rowlf, I thought you might attempt to leave quietly. I heard what Robin called you- you sure you don’t want to stay?”

    Rowlf must have nodded, for a moment later, a heavy sigh echoed in the small clearing. “I see.” Kermit was never a good liar (that’s why he had Scooter do it for him) and judging from his tone he didn’t see.

    Robin peeked through the bushes in time to see Rowlf pat Kermit on the shoulder, and pull from his doggie bag, a small harmonica. It was his only instrument he had on him, and as he walked down the street, the sad mournful tune hummed to the street, as if encouraging everyone to sing.

    Kermit softly spoke the words. “Country road, take me home/ to the place, I belong. Muppet Theaters, the muppets there- Country road, take me home.”

    The green frog with the fringed collar stared after the dog for a long moment, before softly whispering, “Goodbye.”

    Robin stopped there, and Grandma was surprised by how much time had passed. The sun was slowly beginning to set over the trees, long fingers of red streaking across the sky in a brilliant display of colors. Off in the distance Robin could hear his mother caling for him, and he stood. “Sorry Grandma, but I gotta go- I promised Ma I’d be home every day in time for dinner from now on, if she stopped pushing so much for me to get along with my siblings in other ways.”

    Grandma nodded, shooing him off with a flap of her hand- the uneasy truce the two parties had made was better then nothing, and at the very least a platform for them to build off on.

    It was better then nothing.

    --------

    The blue ghost stalked through the rafters of the theater, every nerve on edge. Nobody had told him anything. They had all simply left in a rush, abandoning a play in the middle, and not closing the performance.

    The abandoned performance lingered in the air for awhile, before being quietly closed out- he could sense that it was a single Muppet, saying goodbye.

    He snarled at the birds roosted in on the rafters- with a startled squawk, they disappeared in a flurry of feathers. If his hands were substantial enough, he’d be leaving claw marks in the floor. For although the performance may have been put to rest, the bad feelings created when the performance was brought to a halt had not been.

    And, as a spirit, bound to the place where he had died, at least mentally, the feeling of ever increasing doom and gloom; a feeling of being abandoned was beginning to settle over the theater. Even the regulars, precious few there were, had given up, sadly giving a goodbye to the theater.

    Kermit- all of this was Kermit’s fault. His fault that the theater was so dark, and so mournful. And he would make the frog pay.

    “I don’t care how and when Kermit, but I shall get my revenge. This theater shall go down- and I will not be bound here any longer.”

    His ghost moved further into the depths of the darkness, as the dragon Muppet murmured vengeful curses upon those that had dared abandon this theater. “May all of your future jobs be empty and hollow.”

    The last speck of light flickered out.
  14. Aaron

    Aaron Active Member

    Wonderful! keep writing.
  15. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    :D I'm glad to have such an eager reader. I'll do my best.
  16. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    I have to admit, I have my own reservations about continuing this fanfic. The more I hear about the movie, the more I get the feeling that what I've thought is completely wrong. If it is totally wrong, I may ask a mod to just delete it.

    But, nonetheless, on with the next chapter!
  17. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    Robin was being forced to see a therapist. The large bullfrog had a thin, scraggly beard, and unlike Rowlf who would play music when he talked and actually listened, this therapist would sit in heavy silence, looming above him in condemning silence.

    Thick lips pulled back in thoughtfulness, as Robin sat in his chair, staring the bullfrog defiantly in the eye. I’ve faced bigger Muppets then you. You don’t scare me a bit.

    “Sooo, I think our session –growrk- has ended for the day young Robin.” The bullfrog shifted its ponderous weight on the lilypad, its giant eyes staring down at the young frog. Robin nodded quietly, and was hopping away, when the bullfrog called out to him, one last time. “Oooh, and Robin? I suggest –gwooork- that you participate in the talent show your teacher is putting on.”

    Small shoulders drooped in response, a small mutter fitful in its response. “Join? But- I don’t wanna… I don’t want to sing anymore, and I don’t play any instruments. The bike is gone now… I don’t have anything left…”

    A warm hand descended on his shoulder, and his grandmas soothing voice cut through his thoughts. “Then sing my boy. Not theatrically, not anything else. Just simply sing to the world, and let them know how you feel.”

    “But- part of it is that you have to write why you chose this particular piece.” Robin’s eyes closed in pain. “I- I don’t think I can Grandma.”

    “Yes you can.” It was amazing, Robin reflected, that a single old frog could be so much more inspiring then a therapist with a degree. “I think it would help you quite a bit.”

    “Help me with what?”

    “Who left after Rowlf and the Electric Mayhem Robin?” A pang shot through the young frog. “What song would they sing?”

    Wide, sad eyes stared up at her, eyes that held a sorrow and wisdom no frog his age should have, mixed with the emotional immaturity of someone so young. Gently she tapped him on the head. “Think about it young padefrog.”

    She swept off, in time to miss the whisper, “But all the puns are gone grandma. At least for me.”

    --------

    Roars of delight filled the large meadow, as firefly’s danced among the waving grass. A log performed as a perfect stage, a perfect vantage point for anyone who wished to perform, and for anyone who wished to see.

    Grandma clapped in approval, croaking her wild joy at the contestants’ performances. Yes, they were slightly off tune, yes they made mistakes, but the entire performance had been one sea of funny jokes and laughter and silly songs that she had no doubt that even Kermit smiling in joy and approval.

    “And next up on the program, is Robin the Frog!”

    Robin hopped out to thunderous applause. Everyone knew him as the poor frog that had been depressed lately, and each member held their breath over what he would give them next.

    The young frog didn’t stutter or stumble, he simply walked up to his place, and bowed theatrically. “Ladies and Gentlemen- thank you for coming out tonight!” Without really realizing it, he fell back to old theater techniques to grab attention. A flashy wave of the hand, and a loud booming voice.

    “As you know, each of us have to state why we choose our particular sketch or song, and share it with the audience. And so far everyone has had a grand old time! There’s been music, laughter, art, and so many other shows that leave you in stitches and laughing. It reminds me of a friend back at the theater. His name is Gonzo. Gonzo the Great actually, but just Gonzo to friends. He was amazing.” As Robin spoke, in the background, completely unnoticed, the teacher scurried to rig up what Robin wanted to play.

    “Every day he’d bring laughter, ignoring pain in his pursuit for art. He’d fly high in the sky, without wings, and come down maybe not without a scratch, but be much happier for it.” Robin gulped, almost stuttering. “But then, every once in a while, when nobody was looking, when the lights were off, and watchers had gone home; when only family surrounded him, he would come out with something a little slower. A little more poignant. Most of those blessed with seeing that softer side remember it well.”

    The teacher gave thumbs up in the background, and Robin spread his arms out, starlight and firefly light bathing him in its glow. “So, I’d like to dedicate this song, to the one, the only, The Great Gonzo!”

    The soft strands of music picked up there, quiet, thoughtful, a sharp contrast to the fun and laughter filled skits of before. Robin stood on the log, staring off, over yet into the audience.

    I walked across an empty land
    I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
    I felt the boards beneath my feet
    Sat by the cannon and it made me complete
    Gonzo smiled sadly at the chicken beside him, juggling the case full of clothing and her nest awkwardly. It had been several months of grounded living, and he… was tired and yet used to it. “Gonzo?” Kermit’s tired, yet unsurprised voice spoke from the head of the stairs. Gonzo took a deep breath- now it was time to begin the hard part.

    Oh simple thing, where have you gone?
    I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
    So tell me when you're gonna let me in
    I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

    “Hey Kermit.” Gonzo nodded in his direction, as a sleepy young frog squirmed its way onto a stair. “Sorry that we’re taking off on you so soon, but, well, unless we leave shortly, we’re not gonna have enough money to start our new business.” Dark shadows flickered across Kermit’s eyes at that simple statement.

    I came across a fallen cannon
    I felt the bronzen metal looking at me
    Is this the place we used to love?
    Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?
    “New business?” The frogs tone was mild, but the curiosity at the very least real enough. “You’re leaving as well Gonzo?”

    “Aww, you know me Kermit, I have to be up and flying, I need to move- to see the world, to see the sights and the sounds. Yeah, now that I look back, I guess me becoming a Bombay movie star is impossible, but well… I gotta have some way of providing chicken feed for Camillia here. Even if it means giving up my dream. In a way, the theater being shut down was a bit of a boon- I’ve gotten over most of my flying urges now.”

    Oh simple thing, where have you gone?
    I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
    So tell me when you're gonna let me in
    I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

    And if you have a minute, why don't we go
    Talk about it somewhere only we know?
    This could be the end of everything
    So why don't we go somewhere only we know?
    Somewhere only we know

    Fozzie peeked around the stairs, wondering at the noise. His entire posture drooped as he recognized the surefire signs- somebody was moving out- and this time, it hit closer to the heart then before. Kermit descended down the stairs. “You don’t have to go.”

    “We can’t mooch off of you forever. I need something exciting- something scintillating!”

    KABOOM! The explosion echoed eerily among empty hallways as two scientists began to make their way to the doorway, carrying suitcases. “Bunsen? Beaker? You two as well?”

    “Well, we promised that we’d help Mister Gonzo in his new business venture for the time being- isn’t that right Beakie?”

    The lab assistant nodded quickly, gesturing to the suitcases they were carrying. “After that we’re thinking about going out to test our nuclear knowledge.”

    Gonzo nodded, as Kermit considered locking the two away in his basement for the good of the world. His mouth opened to mention something that would probably entice them to stay, when Robin stood up, an utterly resigned look on his face. “Goodbye Gonzo.” The young frog hugged the whatever tightly. “Bye Doctor Honeydew. Bye Beaker.” Hugs went to the two scientists as well, and the frog stepped back. “Good luck.”

    Kemit descended to the last stair, and picked up Robin, staring the three in the eyes. “Good luck.”

    Oh simple thing, where have you gone?
    I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
    So tell me when you're gonna let me in
    I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
    Gonzo smirked as he turned around. In typical Gonzo fashion, he was leaving at dawn. The fresh breeze billowed in through the door, and the Whatever laughed, arms rising into the air. “Let’s go Camillia!”

    The chicken clucked softly, glancing over her shoulder at the lone frog in the doorway. Bunsen tapped the frog on the shoulder- “Oh, and I left you behind a gift- you’ll need it now that there’s no one to take care of all of Miss Piggy’s needs!”

    The scientist laughed, and gestured to his lab assistant holding three suitcases. “Let’s go Beakie!”

    None of them looked back. The nearly asleep Robin felt wetness on his arm, as green arms held him close.

    And if you have a minute, why don't we go
    Talk about it somewhere only we know?
    This could be the end of everything
    So why don't we go somewhere only we know?
    Somewhere only we know
    The song ended, the last note lingering on the warm summer air. Robin left the log, a small stain that smelled of salt left behind.

    ----

    Two old Muppets stared up at the theater. It was beginning to crumble now, the already in disrepair theater gone to the rats literally. One said rat scurried out of the abandoned theater, tail flicking in disgust. “Honestly, ever since Rizzo left, this place isn’t worth it anymore. There’s no food left.”

    “Yeah, but it’s a good place to build nests. It’s not like anyone is going to do anything to this place now.” The two rats laughed together, vanishing into the darkness.

    Still, the two old Muppets stood there. “Hey, Statler?” Waldorf’s tone, low and soft, spoke.

    The smaller Muppet grunted, eyes fixated on the darkness ahead. “Do you remember?” Statler’s eyes closed in pain at the question. Did he remember? Of course. The songs, the rag times, the vaudeville acts. The roar of laughter as they finished, the cheers and the clapping, the roar for an encore. “We started here. A Vaudeville act- one of the very first.”

    “Well those days are over you old fool.” The grumble lacked its customary sharpness, and instead held bitterness. “We’re just a couple of old men reduced to shouting down complaints to an almost empty theater and a bunch of idiots.”

    But the theater wasn’t always empty. And it hurt to watch it slowly fall to pieces. It was far better to tear it down in one go.

    “Soo- Know any stupid villains to use?”

    “Stupid? What other kind is there?”

    “DO-HO-HO-HO!”
  18. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Active Member

    I don't think it matters whether your depiction is consistent with the movie, it's your take on it and it's very interesting and heart-wrenching. If you like writing it then keep on writing it, it seems like a good number of people including myself enjoy reading it and I don't think we care if it is accurate with the movie. You have been doing a great job so far!
  19. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    I'm glad it's been touching some peoples hearts <3 At least I can take comfort with that. :D I'll get the next part up soon! (hopefully)
  20. outerelf

    outerelf Active Member

    Grandma plucked gently at the strings, eyes unfocused, staring off into the distance. It promised to be a brilliant, bright day, yet somehow she couldn’t quite help the melancholy music that drifted out from her banjo.

    She sighed softly, one flipper covering the strings to bring the music to an abrupt stop. As the discordant note jangled on the morning air, she found herself tackled by a fast moving ball of sobbing, shaking green. “By the swamp- what’s wrong Robin?” She quickly moved the banjo to one side, and brought her arms around the small frog.

    The thin body shook and trembled from the desperate, wheezing sobs of sorrow. “Oh Robin, what happened? Come on, you can tell your Grandma anything.” She patted his back, a trick she had learned from taking care of so many tadpoles, but the motion only made Robin sob harder.

    “I thought I was done with dealing with temper tantrums.” She murmured softly to herself, as her mind worked overtime to figure out some way- any way at all- to calm down Robin.

    “Robin-“

    “I didn’t mean to say that! It just slipped out! I didn’t mean too Grandma!”

    Ice slipped into her heart, cold and dark. Once again, the delicate situation of Robin with his family had fantastically blown up- “Uncle Kermit is going to hate me forever!”

    What?

    “Uncle…Kermit? Kermit called?”

    “Uh-huh.” Robin sniffled, one flipper scrubbing at the snot and tears. “He called on your phone…”

    Despite her consternation, a slow smile spread across her face. What she wouldn’t give to have a recording of that conversation! Oh boy, the fireworks that must have gone off! The dumbfounded tone to Kermit’s voice; the boiling rage of Robin; the sheer Muppety anger that pulsed through them- the conversation promised to have been a very, very good laugh.

    “I-I-I yelled at him, and t-t-told him I ha-hated him. Bu-But I didn’t m-mean too!” The words, mixed up in between sobs, stuttered out.

    Grandma couldn’t quite help the laugh. “No, don’t worry Robin. He would never hate you- or any of his crew really. Even now, I can promise you that each of you hold a special part in his heart. If any of you ever truly needed help, he’d be there in a minute.”

    Robin was sitting up now, looking at her with an expression close to awe on his face. “You really think so Grandma?”

    “Think so? I know so. Don’t you have any faith in him? Haven’t you known him your whole life?”

    Robin looked down, murmuring, “I- I didn’t ever think that he would let Muppet theaters break up. I didn’t think he would shut himself away, and I most especially didn’t think that he’d do that…”

    He trailed off, quietly staring down at the ground. Grandma’s eyes softened as she gathered him up into her lap. “Robin, shall I tell you something? Your uncle loves bad jokes.”

    “Oh, I already knew that.” Robin’s deadpan reply threw her for a loop. “Fozzie was the king of bad jokes and the two of them were best friends. Though, Fozzie was actually a pretty good singer.” A distant smile crossed his face.

    Grandma nodded thoughtfully- “Let me guess, he was the next to go?”

    An almost imperceptible shiver ran down his back. “Yes.”

    Silence for a few moments, before she gently questioned, “Want to tell me about it?”

    Robin nodded simply, snuggling back into her arms. “We’ll skip the italics this time, and go straight for the line break.”

    ---------

    The brown bear nervously wrung the hat in his hands, looking from side to side. Across the hallway, and two doors to the right was Scooter’s doorway. The half-parrot teen was busy attempting to sort out unused scripts and ideas that had never hit the theater.

    Once upon a time he would’ve walked right on over, helping Scooter out, talking about a time when they would start the theater again.

    Now every sound echoed eerily among empty hallways, as dust slowly gathered and collected in abandoned rooms. Fozzie hardly dared to go out of his room anymore. Every time he did someone was leaving.

    Speaking of leaving-

    A few crashes rang out from Scooter’s room; followed by the teens voice grunting, “Get in! Get in!”

    It sounded suspiciously like someone was packing- and Fozzie couldn’t find it in his heart to ask him to stay. Now when he had a bit of a more pressing question to ask. Gently he knocked on the door.

    The room fell silent for a few moments, until Fozzie called, “Scooter, it’s me! Let me in, would ya?”

    The door creaked open squeakily, like it hadn’t been used for several years- and it hadn’t. Most of the time Scooters room was open for any to enter, as either way, someone would be coming on in to pick up their script, or some sort of paper they inevitably left in Scooters room.

    “Fozzie? What are you-“

    “I- I wanted to see those scripts.” Fozzie nearly whimpered, but continued on softly, “Before I leave.”

    The door had only been open a crack, but at Scooters dumbfounded expression, the door decided to move back into its most comfortable position- wide open. Inside the room, only paper could be seen. None of the nick-nacks or nostalgic items- not even a shred of clothing could be seen on the floor.

    On the large bed lay two suitcases, both filled to the bursting. “So then- you’re leaving too?” Fozzie smiled weakly, groping desperately for a joke.

    It was a testament to how much his joke brain had shriveled in the time of non-practice that he could not think of a single one. “I-Yeah. Uncle… Uncle said I should find a job somewhere else. He reminded me that I wasn’t allowed to laze about.” Scooter laughed harshly, and Fozzie kept silent.

    Many Muppets didn’t have the greatest of home lives. Fozzie didn’t ask, and nobody ever said. All that mattered was that they were together. Emphasis on were. “Well, I think I’m loosing my touch as a comedian; so I guess I need to leave, get out a little- see the world.”

    Scooter nodded, turning to the stacks. “I have all the copies of the scripts of ones we were supposed to do, the rough outlines of the ones we eventually did, and ideas for ones we were going to do. I would offer you a digital copy of all of them, but well- I haven’t gotten around to it yet.”

    “I know what you mean.” Fozzie nodded sharply, and his paw stretched out to the pile. “I’ll take the ones we haven’t done. Who knows, maybe I’ll make my own group!”

    Scooter grinned at the image, a fleeting grin that faded far too quickly. “Well, good luck.”

    “Thanks.”
    _____

    Kermit stood at the head of the stairway staring down at the two Muppets leaving. Idly he wondered if the distant sound of shattering was his heart or Miss Piggy. He hoped it was Miss Piggy- it was easier to replace mirrors then it was to replace a broken heart, and it had already been broken enough.

    “Fozzie?” His voice cracked on the last syllable, and the bear flinched, as if struck by one of Suggs mallets. “You two Fozzie.”

    The bear pulled off his hat, holding it to his chest, “Aww, Kermit, I don’t want to leave, but you know what ma always said- if you don’t exercise your funny joint then it’ll dissapear.”

    A tart, angry response nearly made its way out of Kermit, stopped at the last second by sudden, dreadful overwhelming indifference. “Fine.”

    Fozzie took a step back at that perfectly dead tone. “Go ahead and go Fozzie. I wish you luck.”

    The bear nodded quickly, backing up to his waiting suitcase, before pausing and taking a few steps forward to pull the frog into a fierce, tight hug. “I’m sorry Kermit.” I’m sorry that I can’t help more, sorry that I have to leave, sorry that I’m not a good friend-

    “It’s okay Fozzie.” Thank you. Thank you for everything.

    “But-“ I don’t want to go.

    “I know. Go ahead Fozzie. Good luck.” Goodbye.

    “I…Bye Kermit.” See ya later.

    Silence.

    Fozzie turned away, picked up his suitcases, and took a deep breath. A fresh wind blew in from the doorway, filling the air with hopes and dreams. For a brief second, he could almost imagine it; being back on the road, in his Studebaker, him and Kermit, singing out to the world.

    The moment passed as quickly as it came, leaving behind only bitter ashes of defeat. “Come on Scooter. I’ll give you a lift in my Uncles car.”

    “Oh, is he dead?”

    “No, just hibernating.”

    The door swung shut on the leaving Muppets.

    And nobody noticed the young frog standing in the kitchen doorway, with the final report card of the year, complete with all A’s.

    -------

    Robin yawned tiredly, leaning back into his Grandma’s arms. If he had eyelids, now would be the time when they would droop. As it was, he simply snuggled in to the cool warmth of an older frog.

    “Did Kermit cry?”

    “No. But… Fozzie did. Once he was outside. He sobbed for a good minute. Uncle Kermit went into his room and didn’t come out for awhile. But he wasn’t sobbing. I would hear him.”

    Grandma supported the banjo on top of Robins lap, playing around the young frog- it was easy enough. Kermit used to climb in her lap all the time, watching her play. Robin watched the jumping strings, wondering if they would start complaining.

    It had happened before.

    “The rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me~” Robin sang along softly to the song, his voice low and sleepy. Grandma smiled softly, changing the song.

    The beautiful day had changed by now, the once clear skies turned into a boiling grey soup pot. “I have a song for you Robin. Want to hear?”

    “Sure Grandma.”

    little child, be not afraid
    though rain pounds harshly against the pad,
    like an unwanted stranger, there is no danger
    I am here tonight

    little child, be not afraid
    though pain and trials have made you an unwanted stranger,
    the firflies light, your childish delight,
    and I’m here tonight-

    and someday you'll know
    that nature is so
    the same pain that draws you near me
    shall fade over time,
    and eventually you will see-
    That the beautiful thing, have not gone away,
    They were only hiding.

    little child, be not afraid
    though storm clouds mask your beloved moon
    and its candlelight beams, still keep pleasant dreams
    I am here tonight

    little child, be not afraid
    though fear makes creatures of our trees
    and their branches to hands, they're not real, understand
    and I am here tonight

    for you know, once even I was a
    little child, and I was afraid
    but a gentle someone always came
    to dry all my tears, trade sweet sleep for fears
    and to give a kiss goodnight

    well now I am grown
    and these years have shown
    that pain's a part of how life goes
    but it's dark and it's late
    so I'll hold you and wait
    'til your frightened eyes do close

    and I hope that you'll know...

    everything's fine in the morning
    the rain'll be gone in the morning
    but I'll still be here in the morning

    Robin smiled at Grandma as the last note lingered in the air, whispering softly to her, “Can you teach me that song? I want to sing it to Uncle Kermit when I go to see him again.”

    The pain that had once pierced a young heart was finally beginning to heal.

    -_-_-_-_-_-_-

    Kermit stared at the disconnected phone, stunned into silence by the sudden tirade that had lashed out against him, unable to quite believe that Robin, his darling little nephew Robin had said all of that.

    “Kermit?” The familiar voice broke him out of his thoughts, and he turned to face his friend- his friend that had come back. “Is something the matter?”

    “I- Yes. I guess once we save the theater I have a visit to make to some relatives of mine.”

    Kermit gently placed the phone back, casting it one last look. Pretty soon he was going to be far too busy to take phone calls from family. I’m sorry Robin. The only person I never said goodbye too was you. But now… I don’t want to. I want to say hello. I don’t want to say goodbye ever again- only goodnight.


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