(un)frozen

I'm doing a very small, very humble memorial to Charles Schulz on my page and would love whatever tributes you would like to make, especially those fics written in his memory. It's nothing grand, but ... then his works, despite being completely brilliant, were nothing grand either when dissected, but very simple and very humble.


The Morning Paper
by RogueStar

In fond memory of Charles Schulz, 1922-2000

As was customary in a singular mansion in Graymalkin Lane, the rising of the sun and the newspaper delivery-boy was greeted by flying fur and snowballs. Well, would have been, if he did not make it his policy to see, hear and speak no evil regarding his customers in the mutant school. After all, their generous tips were going to get him to college in a few years, and comic books in a few hours. So, when he saw the abominable snowman tackle a frozen yeti, he merely turned his bicycle around, told himself it was an optical illusion and pedalled as fast as he could in the other direction.

When he had gone, the door was flung open by what was probably someoneís body hurled against it, and a triumphant, decidedly blue hand reached out to claim the prize. Dr Henry McCoy, who collected degrees from various institutions as others did trading cards, had control of the morning newspaper.

"Let me read it first," Iceman begged from his supine position on the floor, favoring Hank with a look that was decidedly puppy-eyed.

"My dearest Robert, charmingly winsome as your pleading is, my answer is an unequivocal: nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!"

With that Parthian shot, Henry bounded over the bannister and sped to the kitchen with Iceman in hot pursuit, if that particular expression could be used to describe someone whose average temperature was less than 273 Calvins. Ultimately, however, exhausted by a few laps around the mansion gardens, the two friends settled down on the back steps and spread the newspaper between them. As was their custom, they skipped matters of pressing social import and the sports, and turned directly to the pages that really mattered -- the cartoons.

"Dilbert, Hi and Lois..." Beast muttered as his eyes swept down the comics.

"Dr Katz, Rhymes with Orange..." Iceman continued, doing likewise.

"The Far Side, Bliss, Cathy..."

"Garfield, Shoe, Andy Capp..."

They exchanged looks of horror as they reached the end of the cartoons and their favorite one, the whole reason for printing any paper in their opinion, was missing. Peanuts was no longer there, taking with it a town of characters everyone had loved so well. Sally, sweet and young, would give up hope that Linus would requite her love while he, still clinging to his security blanket, would never see the Great Pumpkin for whom he waited every Halloween. Lucy, cynical philosopher and psychiatrist, would no longer dispense advice for the grand price of 5c. Rerun, reluctant daredevil who risked his life on the back of his mother's bicycle every day, would never grow up to know why. Pigpen would win his endless battle with soap and water. Schroeder's piano would gather dust in his absence, its final arpeggio played. The Red Baron would laugh as Snoopy put his kennel in the hangar for the last time. Charlie Brown, perpetual fool of fortune, would never kick the football.

A tear-drop formed in Icemanís eye, which he rubbed away with his shirt-sleeve. "Good grief, the morning sun is melting me."

Beast, whose powers had very little to do with ice or water, was apparently also melting, judging by the suspiciously damp sparkle in his eyes. When he spoke, his voice caught: "The mornings will never be the same again, will they?"

"No, Hank, they wonít."

Somewhere in the distance, a small, yellow bird trilled a few notes and was silent.

FIN


Disclaimer: Cartoons mentioned are the sole and exclusive property of their creators. Iceman and Beast belong to Marvel Comics. None of this is being used to make me a profit, nor would I want it to in this case, because it would be crass. Charles Schulz passed away yesterday in his sleep at the age of 77 after a long battle with cancer. At the request of his family, and for good reason because it was so personal, Peanuts is not being continued in his absence. I will miss the blend of wry humor, the gentleness, the deep spirituality, the utter charm that his cartoons typified, and I know that I am not alone in that. Rest in peace, sir. For those who say this story is crass because it does not descend to endless angst, please don't tell me so. I know he would prefer to be remembered with smiles and laughter, rather than tears. It's the highest honor any cartoonist can be awarded. To this lists on which this is OT, I'm sorry. I thought this was universally applicable.


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