Half of the Stairs are Missing

TogetherAgain

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I sit on the floor of my bedroom, staring out the window at the trees in my backyard and pointedly ignoring the overflow of dorm room contents that still need to be organized and put away and thrown out and donated... I stare at the trees and think four years back in time, back to the summer of 2005... once called the Golden Summer of Fanfics. I think back to sitting out on a stump with a notebook and a pen, watching an ant climb up a tree while I wrestled with the phrasing of some paragraph or another...

I have the same urge now that I did then. That urge to WRITE, to POST, to nag and be nagged, to completely IMMERSE myself in the strange community of MC… But what to write, what to write? I close my eyes and picture myself climbing the steps of the Muppet Boarding House. It's time to visit the land of my stories.

I go into the house, into the family room. Rowlf is at the piano, unable to play, his paws bound in colorful casts. Ah... Say Cheese! He looks up from his casts and gives me a dirty look for leaving the tale to gather dust for so long. Around him, Rizzo paces on the phone with his brothers and sisters who refuse to tend to his sick aunt, and Fozzie practices for a number that doesn't have music anymore, and Clifford shifts his suitcase from one hand to the other and back, and somewhere in there, Kermit and Miss Piggy are casting each other awkward glances. I sigh and wince at the complicated plot, afraid to even try to remember the last scene I tried to write of it. I shake my head and turn to the kitchen.

Here waits another story, as evidenced by the repeat appearance of characters I just saw by the piano. Here, Miss Piggy sits at the table, unhealthily thin, her hair limp, her clothes loose. She looks at me, and her empty blue eyes stare, numbly, mechanically assessing whether or not I'm a threat. Amazon? Moi? Kermit sits beside her, nervously watching, waiting to see the pig he knows and loves grow back from this shell of herself that a year in the jungle made her. The other Muppets whisper and encourage her, somehow bouncing back in an instant from the grief of thinking she was dead. I wonder at her progress and wince, afraid to find out whether or not I've figured out how to guide that tale to where it needs to go.

I leave the kitchen and slowly march up the stairs. Halfway, I find Robin sitting on the step, with amnesia. I'm surprised to see him. That story never did make it to MC… What is he doing in this house? I pat his head, wonder if he will ever regain his memory, and continue to the second floor.

I stop in Kermit's bedroom and see him standing at attention, in uniform, staring out the window. Heart of Gold. I gulp. He's preparing to go overseas again. I know what waits for him there, and I cringe. If only I didn't have this painful obsession with being somewhat accurate in my writing... WHY did I start a story about something so political? But I know why. I know so many reasons why. I wish I'd found a way to deal with my own personal issues that wasn't so... oh... international?

Kermit does not flinch as several photo albums tumble to the floor from the open closet. I rush over and look at the open pages, and I feel my heart jump into my throat. Flippersteps. Flippersteps in the Sand, Flippersteps of Dance... What were the other titles? I had six titles, all ready to go... I flip through the photo albums, catching glimpses of so many, many years. So many scenes, painstakingly planned and never written. The making of GMC... hiring Steve... 1990... the boarding house... How Kermit found out Miss Piggy rode a motorcycle... I'm not looking in order. I sigh, flipping to the blank pages where there should be pictures of The Muppet Show, season one. Lousy writer's block. And now, all those years that were supposed to happen in the "future..." have already happened. It was such an intricate story... Elaborate, and heart wrenching... I wince at the mess of dates called the '70s, and the thick dust that covers these albums...

Brushing the dust off my legs, I stand up and leave the room, walking down the hallway to Miss Piggy's room. She is standing at the foot of the bed, cradling a baby piglet in a soft yellow blanket. Change of Heart. She looks up from the baby and gives me an annoyed look. Am I EVER going to explain to the readers why she HAS this baby? Kermit fidgets nearby, glancing at Miss Piggy and looking away, again and again, wondering. I sigh and wonder what happens AFTER that explanation.

At the end of the hallway, a grandfather clock strikes the hour. Startled, I flinch, look at it… and rub my eyes. It’s only HALF of a grandfather clock. …Well, of COURSE it’s only HALF a clock… I give it a fond smirk. The Time the Muppets Beat Time. Somewhere in that clock, there’s a Light, a feud, a disco, a dozen or so INCREDIBLY powerful but unwritten scenes… and a misplaced kidney with a bite from a halo-bearing mosquito.

I shake my head, fold my arms across my chest, and slowly drag my feet back up the hallway towards the stairs. What to do? That itch to write, to post, is SO strong...

I open my eyes, and I'm back in my bedroom, staring at the trees out the window again. I look at my computer and tilt my head. I do have OTHER stories... Half-written stories, fragments of stories, never seen by Muppet Central... but then... there are REASONS those stories haven't been seen by Muppet Central. Some... well, some aren't exactly appropriate for a family forum. I smile wryly at the darkest depths of my mind, reflecting for the thousandth time that no one would guess, from LOOKING at me, that I write such— ...But then again, the shirt I'm wearing today is covered with skulls and crossbones, so maybe I don't look as innocent as I think I do. I mentally assess the fragmentary library on my computer. Too dark, too dirty, too incomplete... Gee, this is working out REAL swell.

Maybe I should just start a new story.

...Oy. Here we go again.
 

TogetherAgain

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Chapter One

“I’M OUT OF TAPIOCA PUDDING! DOES ANYONE HAVE CHOCOLATE?"

“Hey LOOK OUT!"

Scrrrrrrrape!

“SWEETUMS? Can you reach the Frisbee? It’s on the roof again…”

“Miss Piggy, do you have chocolate?"

“Not that VOUS can use.”

“…ROWLF? …WHY ARE YOU IN A TREE?"

“I’m figurin’ out who’s got the worse bark. WOOF, WOOF!"

“Hey, does anyone wanna go to the park?"

“Kermit, Kermit! I’ve got an idea for an act! Can I PLEASE be in the show this week? PLEASE?"

Kermit chuckled softly as he propped his flippers up on the porch railing he was perched on. “It’s our day off, Gonzo. Ask me tomorrow," he said. He leaned out towards the lawn and peered up towards the roof. “You guys get the Frisbee down?" he called out.

“Not yet," Sweetums said as he set up a ladder just in front of the porch.

“Don’t put that ladder away too quick, Sweetums," Clifford said, his arms casually folded across his chest. “That Frisbee’ll be right back up there in five minutes flat.”

“Oh, you think it’ll take ya that long this time?" Kermit teased.

I’m not the one who keeps throwin’ it up there," Clifford said.

“If you say so," Kermit said mildly, his eyes straying to the edge of the yard, where Fozzie and Robin were playing catch.

“Got it!" Robin said as he gave a little hop to catch the ball and throw it back.

“Let’s move to the side a little. We’re getting kinda close to the curb," Fozzie said when he caught the ball.

“Okay!"

“Hey, LEW? If we can’t get the Frisbee down, can we just use your fish instead?"

BANG!

“HARRY!"

“Oh, sheesh. Looks like we’ll have to reseed some of the lawn again," Kermit said. He glanced at the next lawn over, where a man was distractedly watering his flowers and staring, slack-jawed, at the chaos known as the Muppets. Kermit gave him a cheery wave. “Hi Paul!" he called.

Paul vaguely lifted his hand in some half-hearted, possibly frightened attempt at a wave.

Kermit chuckled and shifted, his eyes straying over the yard. “Just another Sunday," he said contently.

“GONZO! If vous take moi’s chocolate, vous will NEVER WALK AGAIN. Got it?"

Kermit cupped his hands around his mouth. “PIGGY, YOU’RE TALKING TO GONZO!" he called out. “THREATS ARE COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE!" Sometimes, she needed to be reminded of that.

“I got the Frisbee!" Sweetums announced, holding the plastic disk over his head.

“Maybe we should go to the park to play…”

“Hey, Gaffer!" Rowlf called up to a higher branch of the tree. “How’s the weather up there?"

“Oops—bad throw," Fozzie said as the ball bounced over the grass to the curb and onward.

“I’ll get it!" Robin said with a hop towards the pavement.

Fozzie looked up at the street. “Wait—NO!"

Kermit’s head swiveled towards the shout and nearly fell off the railing. “ROBIN!"

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH!

The car stopped and Kermit dropped to the grass and the car door opened and Kermit was at the curb already and then kneeling in the street. “Robin?" He could barely hear how his own voice was shaking.

The six-ounce, five-year-old frog was completely still, lying motionless on the unforgiving pavement, his fingers limply cradling the stray ball.
 

theprawncracker

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................................................................................

I... I don't know what to... hubba-hubba-WHA?

I... really... there are no words... You said it best...

...Oy. Here we go again.

:coy:
 

Beauregard

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Hubba-whaha? Well, after the very personal introduction. Which I loved, because I know that feeling so completely. Of characters half alive, half forgotten. This story was such a refreshing breeze of chaos and great one-liners which gave a complete picture of Muppetlife!

And then...suddenly...It took a "Lisa" twist, and I got quite the stab...Great, thanks...
 

The Count

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*Gives der Lisa teddy bear and big monster hug. You post more fic please? :insatiable: Me love good fic. Me also wonder why not many Sesame fics or SST fic characters. But whadahay... Thank you Toga. *Glomp.
 

Beauregard

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Now, Lisa, dear. You said to watch for the next chapter...and I *have* been watching...Where is it?
 

TogetherAgain

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Ah, to be nagged again...

<ahem> The next chapter is caught up somewhere in work, family visit time, lack of sleep, and very painful feet.

We'll have to talk to Nyssa about that.

But, I intend to work on it right now, so! <settles in>
 

TogetherAgain

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Chapter Two

“Oh gosh,” the driver said as she jumped out of her car. “Oh gosh. Is he—“

“CALL AN AMBULANCE!” Sweetums bellowed.

“Robin?” Kermit whispered, lightly touching his nephew’s cheek. He leaned down, his own cheek hovering above the little frog’s mouth as he watched the little green chest, hoping and praying for any sign of life…

The Muppets had all gathered, a small, tight circle around the two frogs in the middle of this massive, worried clump of chaos. Fozzie was shaking, wringing his hat in his hands so violently that the hat was in danger of being ripped—not that anyone cared much about the hat just then. Several of the Muppets were interrogating the panicked driver. Why hadn’t she stopped? Hadn’t she seen him? Couldn’t she have swerved? Yeah, of course she was worried about him, because if he wasn’t alright, her insurance rates would never be the same, hokay. Scooter was on his cell phone, having already called 911. “Forty-four Bronson Lane, a little boy’s been hit by a car, I think he’s unconscious…”

Kermit was oblivious to all of this, trembling as he carefully shifted his nephew’s head in hopes of opening an airway in the tiny frog’s throat…

The ball slipped free of the little dark green fingers and rolled to the curb.

“C’mon, Robin,” Kermit whispered, lightly touching his fingers to Robin’s throat. He let out a deep sigh. “Robin…” He leaned down so that his cheek once again hovered near his nephew’s mouth, watching his nephew’s chest… Trembling, he did his best to breathe for the tiny frog.

“I’m so sorry,” the driver said frantically, staring at the frogs with her arms folded across her chest, her face pale. “I’m so, so sorry…”

“The paramedics are on their way,” Scooter reported as he tucked his cell phone away.

Rowlf—down from the tree at last—pushed his way through the crowd and set a heavy paw on Kermit’s shoulder. “…Pulse?” he whispered.

Kermit nodded as he took another breath to breathe into his nephew’s lungs.

Rowlf nodded. He had meant to relieve the older frog of his breathing duties, thinking him perhaps too upset… but part of him suspected that if Kermit stopped breathing for Robin, he would stop breathing altogether, and then they would have two unconscious frogs… and one was already far too many. …What could he do, then? Check for broken bones, maybe, but the paramedics would do that… and right now, who really cared if the bones were broken? Bones could heal. Broken bones were not typically life-threatening.

Fozzie sank to the ground, shaking too much to support his weight, clenching his suddenly very limp hat to his trembling lips as tears slowly seeped through his fur. Gonzo knelt beside him and wrapped a firm arm around the bear’s shoulders, saying nothing.

Sweetums paced the yard, furiously scratching his head, frequently glancing at the crowd, hoping for any sign of improvement… He didn’t dare look at his little buddy. He couldn’t look. Suddenly he marched across the lawn and through the crowd and wrapped a huge hand around the driver’s shoulder, with every intention to interrogate her himself

One glance at the hulking beast, and the driver suddenly looked like she was about to either scream, faint, or burst into tears—whichever came first.

Sweetums grunted and let her go, turning to pace the yard again.

Most of the Muppets found themselves standing around the front lawn and the unconscious frog, needing to do something, unable to do anything, and equally unable to walk away. The sound of distant sirens might as well have been the song of angels. They turned and stared down the street, willing the ambulance to get there faster!

The Muppets were herded out of the street as an ambulance and two squad cars pulled up in front of the Muppet Boarding House. Kermit was pushed away, his efforts replaced by an oxygen mask as he stood mere feet away, watching, staring. Rowlf and Scooter each kept a hand on his back, not that he noticed them much.

One of the police officers led the driver away from the Muppets to calmly ask her a long series of questions that bore striking resemblance to the interrogations she’d just escaped. The other officers interviewed several of the Muppets. One of them sat on the curb with Fozzie, talking very quietly with the trembling bear, who was still tightly wrapped in—and seemingly oblivious to—Gonzo’s arm.

Another officer tried to talk to Kermit… but the paramedics were more successful in that endeavor, though they had a different set of questions. What was the boy’s name? Robin. Robin the Frog. Was he Robin’s father? No. Who were Robin’s parents? His brother and—and ex-sister-in-law. Where were they? Their home, the swamp, in Mississippi. Did he have legal custody? Yes—well—except when his parents were there. Well then, they would need him to fill out some paperwork, once they got to the hospital. Did Robin have any known allergies? Any health conditions? Any family history of…

“Sir—are you alright?” one of the paramedics asked, giving Kermit a concerned look.

Rowlf and Scooter stared at the paramedic as if he’d just asked if the sky was pink.

“You’d better sit down,” the paramedic said, guiding the frog to lean against the bumper of a squad car as Robin was carefully moved to a gurney and loaded into the ambulance.

“I’m going with him,” Kermit said quietly, his eyes locked on what he could see of the gurney.

The paramedic opened his mouth, looked at Kermit, closed his mouth, and opened his mouth again. “Yes, sir. Yes, you are,” he said quietly.

Kermit climbed into the ambulance without even glancing at his friends, his eyes permanently locked on his nephew.

“We’ll meet you at the hospital, Chief,” Scooter said. The leading frog did not answer him… nor did the go-fer particularly expect him to.

Reporters and photographers came and were shooed away. The police officers slowly cleared the scene, insisting that they would “get back to” Kermit to question him. The Muppets didn’t particularly notice how the driver or her car left. Kermit sat beside his unconscious nephew in the ambulance, oblivious to it all, but painfully aware of the paramedics running test after test on the five-year-old frog before finally pulling away with the siren wailing.

The Muppets stared as the ambulance vanished down the street.

“…Alright,” Rowlf finally said. “Let’s load up the bus.”

“But everyone make a pit stop first,” Scooter prompted.

“If you HAVE to!” Miss Piggy amended. “There will be bathrooms at the hospital. Kermie needs us there ASAP.”

With this agreed upon, the clump of Muppets divided in three. Most of them went inside for the bathroom, a decent portion climbed onto the bus… and a very few went no farther than a few feet before stopping and turning to Fozzie, who still sat on the curb, wrapped in Gonzo’s arm, his face buried in his hat.

“…Fozzie?” Gonzo quietly prompted. “C’mon…”

“…I—I think I’ll—stay here,” Fozzie choked out.

Gonzo looked over his shoulder at the two other Muppets who had stayed with the bear. Rowlf shook his head. “I disagree,” he said quietly. “Kermit—“

“He’ll NEVER FORGIVE me!” the bear wailed, dropping his hat to the curb and clamping his hands over his wet eyes. “I’LL never forgive me!”

Gonzo gulped. “He’ll be okay, Fozzie,” he said, trying to believe it. “Robin—Robin will—be—“

“LISTEN to me, Fozzie,” Miss Piggy said, snatching the bear’s shoulders and forcing him to look at her as she dropped to the curb next to him, dismissing Gonzo’s arm. Her steely blue eyes shot into Fozzie’s. “VOUS are Kermit’s BEST FRIEND. He NEEDS you now. YOU! And YOU are coming WITH us to the hospital. GOT IT?”

Fozzie gulped and nodded shakily, his chin quivering.

Miss Piggy looked at him for a moment, and then—much to his surprise—pulled him into a tight hug. “And Kermie will forgive you,” she whispered. “Trust me.”

Fozzie sniffled and wiped his eyes and nose with his hand before carefully sitting up, freeing himself from Miss Piggy’s embrace. “I—I guess I’ll come,” he said quietly, shakily, as he reached down to pick up his hat.

He froze, staring down at the curb, where his now shapeless hat sat beside the stray ball.

With a loud gulp, Fozzie wrapped his fingers around the ball and picked it up, holding it to his chest as he tucked his shapeless hat onto his head.
 

theprawncracker

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...DANG IT, LISA! ! ! Ugh... Muppet tears SUCK--and boy, were there a lot of them here! I loved it all. Loved Gonzo's arm, loved Rowlf, and Kermit, and Pepe, and Scooter, and SWEETUMS--AH! That poor, poor driver! AND PIGGY! ! LOVE HER! I loved the pink sky and the breathing and--and--AHHHHH! ROBIN HAS TO BE OKAY!

BUT FOZZIE! ! ! Need a teddy bear 'cause of the teddy bear! GAH! Take that ball Fozzie, and GET TO THAT HOSPITAL!

MORE PLEASE! ! ! !
 
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