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What happens when Man's Best Friend contracts rabies?
If it were any ordinary dog, that would be horrific enough, but, when that dog is... 'different'... quick, sly, resourceful, and as intelligent as a human being, then the threat becomes so much more potent.
No one outside of the close-knit little group that referred to themselves as "Mystery Incorporated" ever found out how poor Scooby-Doo had contracted the mind-warping malady, but his psychosis hit quickly and deeply.
The lumbering Great Dane went berserk in the back area of the Mystery Machine on the way home from Mystery Inc's latest case, which would later be dubbed by local criminology enthusiasts and social media vultures as "The Wild Werewalrus of Wendigo Gulch".
The outdated blue and green, flower-patterned van rattled and swerved across the all-but-deserted road as the canine tornado twitched and roared in its rear area. Globs of slobber and foam flew everywhere, splattering against the inside of the windshield, obscuring Fred Jones's vision as he tried in vain to get the motorized behemoth under control. The demented dog began to buck and howl, a festering wound on his forepaw, bleeding like a sieve, causing him immeasurable pain. Thrashing like a maniac, he'd managed to accidently kick Shaggy Rogers in his prodigious jaw, and rake his fat, black claws across the back of Daphne Blake's cascading ginger mane. Not enough to truly damage the wispy girl, still, she was dizzied slightly by the blow.
Shaggy attempted to get hold of Scooby in order to calm him, but, the dog seemed to be out of his mind with pain and frenetic energy! As Shaggy reached for him, Scooby growled, baring his cartoonish, almost humanly blunt teeth and snapped at him. He'd never done that before!
The Mystery Machine crashed through the outer fence and into the wrought iron gatepost of the Coolsville Mining Company, on the grounds of the old silver mine just inside the outskirts of the city. The front end of the poor, put-upon van was totalled, and steam billowed from beneath its pug-nosed hood, just behind the spare tire.
Everyone made it out of the crash, shaken, but more or less unharmed save for minor cuts, bumps and scratches, but that bit of good fortune was short lived. The relief died when they'd all finally gotten a good look at Scooby-Doo in the cascading moonlight.
His eyes were bloodshot red and seem to bulge slightly from their sockets.
His breathing was heavy and labored.
He snarled and a sickening yellowish foam frothed around his normally grinning lips. He seemed to almost vibrate with a palpable derangement... and he stared at his dear friends with a look in said bloodshot eyes that just screamed "DESTROY".
Shaggy never believed that his old buddy would ever - COULD ever - hurt anyone, and the poor hairy beatnik had to be dragged away from his sick, afflicted dog, upset and screaming, even though his oldest friend had just recently tried to bite his arm clean off.
The four terrified post-teenagers frantically ejected themselves from the delapidated wreck of a van and all ran for their very lives. They didn't even bother to close the doors behind them, they simply needed to put some distance between them and the dog for their own safety. Their signature vehicle was already a lost cause. Fred, of course, thought the best idea was to split up, but a quick slap across the face from Velma FINALLY drove home the notion that splitting up in a dangerous situation was an asinine idea. The gaggle of anachronistic teenagers ran up the small hill leading across the dusty drive-yard and headed for the business offices. To their dread, access was blocked by a rather menacing and rather tall black chain-link fence, topped with gleaming, band new razor wire. They'd never be able to climb it in time to evade the slavering dog, hot on their heels. This new addition to security at the mine was probably their own fault, seeing as how, the last time they encountered the mine's current owner, one Mr. Jeremiah Wickles, they'd just waltzed right into his business, as pretty as you please.
Velma heard the scrabbling paws on dirt and gravel, approaching them in a frenzy, so, with no other options, the troupe scrambled to their immediate right, and into the darkened, hollowed out silver mine for cover.
The gang crept and sprinted back and forth through the hollowed out halls of the old mine trying to avoid the deranged Great Dane for what seemed like hours. Every turn they made, every hill they crested, they could hear the husky breathing of the foul hound just behind them. Dust and dirt aggravated Velma's allergies, and ropy spider webs caused a couple a Shaggy-style freakouts. It was as though the lanky beatnik's voice-box was set on permanent 'whimper'.
It was hard to tell whether the heavy thump-thump-thump that seemed to echo through the pitch black caverns was the loping of Scooby-Doo, hunting down his nearest and dearest, or poor Shaggy's tell-tale heart attempting to bash it's way out of his own chest. The looming threat of Scooby-Doo seemed to be everywhere that the hapless teens ran. It was in every errant sound. Every shifting in the dusty, moaning breeze that floated through the caverns. Freddy Jones tried to put up a brave front, and form one of his patented plans that would trap the damnable dog, but, as far as building materieals, there was sod-all to work with, and he was just too scared, wondering if his four-legged former pal would be the death of him. He was used to crooked bankers and escaped convicts in convincing, yet still fake, Halloween masks. This was no "ghost". This was no "witch". This was REAL! Scooby-Doo was sick. Apparently, 'simple' rabies wasn't so simple with a dog like Scooby. The beefy blonde boy had suddenly come to a horrible realization in the mine's gloom. Scooby Doo wasn't NORMAL! Freddy was very sharp in his way, but, often times, the obvious would escape him like Houdini in a wet paper bag. Shaggy would say "Like, DUH" if he'd heard what Fred was thinking. It was plain that the talking, spotted Great Dane with the opposable 'thumbs' on his fat paws was anything but average. His entire lineage was filled with talking dogs - some of whom even wore clothes! Hell, one of Scooby's cousins held the office of Sheriff in a small desert town, for God's sake! All this time, Fred Jones and his friends had sought out the supernatural. It was their business. It was the foundation of their entire lives since childhood! Up until just that moment, it had just never occurred to Fred that there had been a supernatural creature right under their noses this entire time! Good Ol' Scooby...
One bite from a dirty trash panda had infected him, and the large, lovable dog had seemingly become, almost immediately, not unlike some sort of demon!
Now, as Fred trotted through the dust and dirt of the old mine, his formerly white sweater dingy and soiled, he wondered if this was going to be the end of them all. Moreso, he wondered if he would be the first to go. He needn't have worried about that particular grisly detail... Poor Daphne Blake got it first.
"Danger-prone Daphne" tripped over an obscured bit of track and fell into a rusty mine cart. On her way into the bucket, she'd reached out for leverage. Luckily, she'd grabbed the throw-switch that activated what was left of the lighting system that the miners had installed far too many years ago. As the rusty wheeled cart began rolling, the ancient florescent lights buzzed to half-hearted life. Only about a fifth of them actually still worked at all, let alone properly. Most of them issued a pathetic, dim, purplish glow that fluctuated and looked as though there were tiny people within, made of grey shadow, passing each other on a busy, crowded sidewalk. They issued a maddening buzz, equivalent to the sound of a nest of angry wasps, trying to cry out through a wall of syrup.
The cart darted down an incline with a surprising speed that defied its age and wear, and after a few twists and turns into the shadows of the mine, crashed into a dead end wall, throwing the perky redhead from the bucket. She'd ricocheted off the far wall and crashed to the craggy floor below in a bleeding heap. She'd fractured her left forearm, and apparently broken her ankle. The poor little rich girl wept. Sharp pain flooded her nervous system, and she was in too much pain to even cry out properly! In a state of shock, Daphne was now the weak, injured lamb in the herd, and the predator was closing in, fast!
The rest of the gang gave chase down the steep hill into the barely receding darkness, intent on mounting a rescue. They whisper-screamed her name, trying to ascertain whether she was still conscious, when, from deeper into the inky tunnel, there came a bloodcurdling wail, and the gang arrived at the dark bottom of the incline just in time to see Daphne have her slender throat gnawed from its moorings and devoured by the perpetually hungry monster that had once been everyone's favorite dog detective. Daphne's thin ribs audibly cracked as Scooby held her down with all his considerable might. Geysers of blood erupted from her ruined jugular, as the devil dog dug in like it was to be his O so precious last meal. Daphne thrashed and raked her nails across the dog's face, trying to protect her fading life until, with a headbutt worthy of helmeted football players who'd just scored the winning touchdown, Scooby put the ginger girl's lights out, permanently. The horrid sounds of gnashing and slurping sickened all who witnessed, and poor little Velma's stomach did flips and returned the last thing she'd ingested at the gang's favorite malt shop, a plate of poutine, to the earth from which the potatoes came.
Scooby Doo licked most of the crimson evidence from his vile chops and let out that snickery laugh of his that now echoed through the mine and sounded almost demonic as it reverberated from the dirty, spider-infested walls. Daphne Blake had given up the ghost, as well as a good portion of her guts in a most unpleasant manner. She'd been unable to speak, sans her windpipe, but, were she able, she'd have died cursing the name of her older sister, Daisy. Daphne would have been content to spend a night at home, relaxing after a long, tiresome week at school, and would have definitely flaked on Fred and Velma's asinine quest to go ghost-chasing on the outskirts of the city. The Werewalrus of Wendigo Gulch was a local legend that had gained new life on some jerk's paranormal investigation blog, and the two "senior detectives" of Mystery Inc couldn't wait to go out and try to debunk it. Daphne was going to flake out, just this once, and spend the evening home alone, pampering herself with savory delicacies, NetFlix and the 'special assistant' that she kept in her dresser drawer. The family's butler, Jenkins, had prepared her favorite vegetarian sushi before leaving for his own vacation and her parents were off... yachting or something, somewhere. She rarely paid attention to their Affluent American blather. All was well, until Daisy and her med school friends decided to throw a party. The music was loud enough to shake the house and the blah-blah-blah and the disgusting stink of cannabis drove her from her restful night. She told her sister to take it elsewhere, but, as per usual, ANY of Daphne's older sisters always got what they wanted, and she, the baby of the family, got the shaft. It didn't take another twenty minutes of no peace before she called Freddy to come an pick her up, and, it was off to Wendigo Gulch for what would be her last night on Earth. Now, she lay in a widening pool of her own blood and issuing contents of her collapsed stomach escaped the yawning gash where her esophagus once was. The light from her violet eyes went dim and the sweet girl died, staring into a weakly pulsing tract light on the floor of a barren silver mine.
The mad dog swabbed the rest of the ichor from his face with his grotesquely large paws, never taking his keen, leering eyes off the still-living teens, then started slowly up the steep incline in order to visit horrors upon the rest of his former friends. This time, it was Fred who had to be dragged away, crying for his now-dead, mutilated girlfriend, as the hellish hound drew ever closer.
"Frred?!! Relma?! Rum out wherrrever you arrrre", Scooby tauntingly called out into the barren, whistling caverns. He perked up his pointy ears and listened for the sounds of quick, fearful breathing or morbid sobbing... anything that would lead him to his next meal, but he heard nothing. His wild-eyed madness and annoyance would have been visible to anyone suicidal enough to be near him in the anemic light of the hellish caves, via a series terrible facial tics and viscous drool that looked almost like pancake batter.
"Shaaaaaggy? Rrere arrre you? rI'm hungrrrry!!"
Still no giveaway noises, but his sense of smell perked up at very familiar scents. Terror, the flop sweat of natural flight instinct on teenage brows and... Scooby Snacks. The dog turned his somehow, seemingly larger than usual head back toward the ravaged, pulpy corpse that was once Daphne Blake. Somewhere deep in the back of his deteriorating mind, he felt an all-too-temporary pang of guilt over what he'd done. He had hazy memories of the redhead giving him baths, and buying him all manner of squeaky toys, tennis balls and food, glorious food, throughout the years. All those memories were suddenly wiped away in a surge of shooting pain in the base of his skull, a twitch, and a spasming cough that sent a projectile of phlegm and foam from his damp maw. Daphne was gone. Now it was time for new meat.
The gnawing hunger in his abysmal belly was relentless, though he'd just eaten. Was it his broken mind simply telling him to eat and keep eating until he could eat no more? Or, was he truly some sort of sentient canine bottomless pit? Scooby didn't know or care. He simply needed to FEED.
Shaggy, Velma and Fred had been running the dimly lit mine for what seemed like miles. The fuzzy, malfunctioning tract lights were of very little help. Hearing no pursuit, at least, not over the constant grim hum of the lights, the terrified trio decided to stop and rest. It was under a shroud of inky blackness that they'd entered this maze of a mine, and now, anemic light or no, they were lost. Shaggy, in his thunder-pulsed horror, practically hallucinated that a Minotaur in the center of this labyrinth would pop out of the shadows at any moment to gobble them down. That would have been a comfort, compared to the apocalyptic reality of his best friend having murdered Daphne, and coming for him and the rest, next.
"Daphne!", Fred sobbed, "Oh Daphne! My God! What the HELL?!! Why her??"
"Calm yourself, Fred. This is no time to go to pieces." Velma said, matter-of-factly.
"Goddammit, Velma", Fred shot back, "This is exactly the freakin' time to go to pieces! Daphne's dead! DEAD!! We're next! I'm too good looking to die! This is all Shaggy's fault!"
Despite the jock's visible and obvious loss of grip, Fred's accusation hit Shaggy like a kick to the groin, but, it did snap the skinny teen out of his reverie.
"ME?!!", Shaggy sputtered, standing up to his full height of six-foot-two to confront Fred, "Like, how the hell is this MY fault, man?!! Scooby's off his rocker, I had nothin' to do with that!"
"It's all that food you feed him!", Fred shouted, his voice echoing through the darkness, "Dogs aren't supposed to eat chocolate! Much less, tuna sandwiches, ice cream, cherry pie or frickin' triple bacon cheeseburgers, you throwback beatnik idiot!! Something's broken in that mutt, and he killed my Daphne! If you'd have gotten off your lazy, scrawny ass and taken him to the vet or something, we wouldn't be in this mess and Daphne would still be alive!"
"Don't you yell at him!", Velma barked at Fred and punctuated it with the second slap across his hysterical, square jawed face that he would receive this night from her dainty, freckled hands. The sound was not unlike a gunshot.
"It is NOT Shaggy's fault!! If you hadn't sent Scooby out as bait for the so-called 'Werewalrus of Wendigo Gulch' earlier this evening, he wouldn't have been bitten by that raccoon! It's YOUR fault, you egomaniacal prettyboy douchebag!! And don't pretend you cared so much about Daphne! You only wanted to be seen with her so all those dicks on the Mystery Inc Internet Forums would stop accusing you of being a homosexual! Sure, we know you're NOT, because God KNOWS you kept trying to get beneath MY pleated skirt often enough when Daphne's back was turned, but you won't let yourself be seen in PUBLIC with the "Nerd Girl", Oh goodness, NO..."
Fred, red-faced and angry as he'd ever been reached into his left pants pocket and pulled out a handful of loose Scooby Snacks, thrusting them up into Shaggy's face.
"Hey, Shaggy", he said, side-mouthed, with a snarky smirk and eyes gleaming with tears and a not inconsiderable amount of fear-induced mania, but never breaking contact with Velma's own goggled orbs, "I'll give you FOUR whole Scooby Snacks if you FINALLY find a way to shut this nerdy, know-it-all, four eyed little loudmouthed midget up for GOOD"!!!
Freddy Jones's left hand and the Scooby Snacks it held were gone. In their place was a geyser of bright red blood and splintered bone, as Scooby devoured his favorite snack and part of Fred with it. No one had heard the carnivorous cur creep up over the bickering and the deafening nuthouse humming and buzzing of the outdated light fixtures. Fred didn't even really register his injury, it took place so quickly. He had been staring at the sudden appearance of the large brown demon with the foaming mouth with fear clouding his synapses when his brain finally registered the stinging sensation in his left forearm and the horrified screams of the beatnik and the nerd-ette he was insulting just seconds ago. He examined the weird, now shooting pain in his left arm. There he stood, staring at the sanguine stump in shock, actually wondering what happened to, not his missing appendage, but the Scooby Snacks he was just holding and using to snark at Velma with.
But, his next breath was a shriek so uncharacteristically shrill and high-pitched, that one might indeed call his sexuality into question. The screaming was soul-crushing as Scooby took another bite, this time, gobbling down the rest of Fred's forearm. The insane hellhound was eating the beefy blond boy alive, one tremendous, gluttonous bite at a time.
By the time Scooby'd gotten to his shoulder and collarbone, poor Freddy had already died from the shock and pain, his blood a torrential river issuing from his ruined torso and coating Scooby Doo's busy muzzle and neck. The monstrous mutt had, in one toothy chomp, separated Jones's blonde head from his thick neck by the time the other two registered the need for retreat. It seemed that no matter how far they sprinted, they could still hear the wet echo of Dear, Departed Fred's bones and sinews splintering and cracking, and the muted, visceral gnashing of Scooby chewing his way through Freddy's decimated torso as the gut wrenching sounds ricocheted from wall to wall. Velma shivered as she ran, realizing that not only was her best girlfriend gone, but, that her real partner in mystery solving was also gone. That, and her last words to him were harsh.
Velma loved all her friends, but, Freddy was the only other member of Mystery Inc that had any real criminology skills. She was the brains of the outfit, he was a brave, blandly handsome leader and, though he had a weird penchant for building these Rube Goldbergian traps, ultimately, he really did know what he was doing.
Shaggy and Scooby, in the early days of Mystery Inc, were at least competent sleuths, but, somewhere along the line, the two of them delved deeper and deeper into the belief that the supernatural was real, and utterly terrifying. Obviously something had happened to them that perhaps they'd never shared with the rest of the gang. Their overarching nervousness seemed to devolve into full-blown PTSD, and in the end, they'd just become live bait for the traps and plans of Fred Jones, and had developed a somewhat annoying pathological habit of diffusing tense situations with dumb comedy.
To their credit, they'd become staunch urban survivalists who escaped chase by way of quick change and fast-talking con games. They often had even the "ghosts" believing their B.S. at least long enough for them to escape in the confusion. Velma had witnessed the tall boy and his wacky dog pull off skits and bits and quick-changes that would make Vegas headliners green with envy. If there ever would come a day when solving pseudo-supernatural mysteries ever dried up, Norville Rogers and his dog had bright futures as street magicians and grifters.
Daphne Blake was Velma's best friend, and, while her heart was in the right place, the group didn't call her "Danger-prone Daphne" for nothing. She was by no means the vapid rich airhead that everyone surmised, still, she was just a little clumsy, and did seem to have bad luck. She was no "damsel in distress", but, the truth was that most of the criminals in costume that they dealt with always kidnapped poor Daphne simply because she was pretty, and, well... easy to catch.
Daphne was never really IN the mystery solving game. She just wanted to prove herself. To society at large. To her parents. To her four older sisters who treated her like their personal footstools, and, most of all, to herself. She wanted to be just like everyone else, and didn't want to be hated for being "the rich girl One-Percenter". She insisted to her folks that they send her to public school. She made friends pretty easily, but really gravitated to the odd assortment of "mystery kids". The prettyboy. The nerd girl. The beatnik. The talking dog.
She had developed a crush on Freddy pretty quickly, and initially only stuck around in order to get close to him. HE loved mysteries, so, in order to 'hang', SHE loved mysteries, too... supposedly. Having a bunch of older sisters, Daphne considered Shaggy the affectionate brother she'd never had and the two formed a pretty close bond. She was shocked and confused the first time she heard Scooby talk, but got over that pretty quickly. Besides Shaggy, she probably loved that silly mutt the most. More than anything, Daphne was a staunch best friend to Velma. There was an ongoing misapprehension that Velma was some sort of shy, shrinking violet of a girl who was so deep into science that she was socially maladjusted. This was not true in the least. A bit of a wallflower, MAYBE, because she wasn't some statuesque glamazon, but, Velma was as normal and functional as anyone. Daphne was the first to see that, and treat her accordingly. Most of the catty girls at school assumed that Daphne was hanging out with the "weird kids" in order to make herself look better/cooler by comparison, like some sort of Queen Bee among the "rejects" and charity cases, and that Velma was her sycophant, but, in truth, it was Velma who had often given Daphne dating advice, albeit very clinical and based on biology, sociology and logic, but it worked.
Daphne had dated a couple of boys in middle school and high school, but, only really had eyes for Fred. While it was true that a lot of the boys Velma dated only asked her out because they couldn't make time with Daphne, Velma was no lonely spinster by any means.
It was due to the closeness they shared that Velma hated herself, thinking back to all the times she had fooled around with Fred when Daphne wasn't looking. It started as just a fling once when she and Daphne had had one of the very few arguments of their friendship. For some reason, Daphne and Fred were on the outs at that same time. Commiseration between the short girl and the blonde jock turned to passion and one thing led to another. It went on for some time. They kept it from Daphne, and Velma even overtly flirted with Shaggy somewhat, to throw Daphne and any other onlookers off the truth. The only one who knew was Scooby, who could smell Fred and Velma's scents on each other from time to time, but, two full boxes of Scooby Snacks extracted a promise to keep his dog mouth shut.
Now, Daphne and Freddy were as dead as personal CD players, and Scooby was out of his damned mind and trying to kill her, too. Velma Dinkley had a very bad feeling that she would die tired and feeling guilty at having betrayed her best friend.
Velma and Shaggy ran and ran. They'd figured that they'd gotten at least 85 yards or so away when there came an unholy wet belch from the bowels of the cavern they'd just left, followed by a short but potent coughing fit.
Their terror had been so great, that they hadn't even been paying attention to their travels into the mine. They somehow chugged into an area with absolutely no lights. They were now even more lost, if that was possible. Feeling along the jagged walls in the spots where the faded florescent lanterns had broken or completely lost power, Velma and Shaggy had reached a dead end. They decided to rest, hoping that said dead end wouldn't become a literal one. In the distance, they heard Scooby loping across the dirty pebbles in the mineshaft floor, searching for his next meal. Searching for THEM. They each froze in place and held their breaths, waiting for the hungry monster to pass them by.
"Man, oh MAN! Why is this happening? WHY is this HAPPENING?!!", Shaggy blubbered in a harsh, quiet whisper, his voice rising a few octaves. Velma had always thought he'd sounded somewhat like that radio personality, Casey Kasem, but, now, in the throes of abject terror, he, for some reason, sounded more like... Matthew Lillard.
"The better question is, how are we to survive this ordeal?", Velma quietly interjected. "I hate to quote Fred, particularly after slapping him for his foolhardy idea, but perhaps splitting up may actually be a viable alternative at this juncture."
"Are you kiddin', Velma? You want ME to go creepin' around this underground Fear Factory (*gulp*) ALONE?"
"Shaggy, if we split, we'll double our chances of reaching the surface and contacting help. Even Scooby can't be in two places at once. You're the quickest, and, not to be narcissistic, but I'm the smartest. One of us is bound to reach the Mystery Machine. There is a magnesium signal flare in the glove compartment that I appropriated from an abandoned truck while we were battling the Werewalrus. Whoever reaches it can use it to call for help and surely get back in time to save the other. Makes sense, yes?"
"Well", said Shaggy, stroking the scruffy goatee at the bottom of his rounded jaw, "I guess... but like, first, we gotta navigate outta HERE. It's so dark, all I can see are your.... four... eyes?"
"Shaggy!!", Velma whispered irately, "SHAME on you, making a joke about my glasses at a time like this!"
"I'm not joking, Velma... oh no. Like, Oh God, no!"
Neither of them had heard their deadly dog creep up on them from the shadows. Now, his presence was unable to be ignored. The heavy, breathing of the mad mongrel blasted out the foulest, hottest dog breath anyone with working nostrils could endure without retching.
He smelled of wet, matted blood spread like margerine over a dirty, sweaty dog coat, and the cherry on top of the putrid olfactory sundae was undoubtedly, that syrupy yellow drool that hadn't stopped issuing from the corner of the Great Dane's jowls since the Mystery Machine crashed. His reddened eyes almost seemed to glow in the filthy gloom. Worse yet, Shaggy could see his teeth. They, impossibly, seemed to glow in the darkness, an evil tyrant smile against a black canvas. That snickering laugh that used to be so endearing, was now a clarion call to Hell itself.
Velma Dinkley turned her head so fast, she almost lost her glasses.
"oh, jinkies" was all she said before seeing the all-but-glowing bloodshot red eyes of Scooby Doo narrow and lunge at her.
Shaggy caromed off the walls of the mine and tripped three times, skinning his knobby knees and getting jagged little pebbles ground into the palms of his hands while trying to escape.
The horror!, Oh sweet Joseph Barbera, the HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE sounds that came from that pitch dark cave behind him. Velma squealed like a bespectacled piglet being fed into a wood chipper as Scooby tore out her stomach and noshed on her sticky, flailing intestines with his big, foaming, oddly blocky and squarish teeth. The black claws at the ends of his fat, heavy, clover-shaped paws raked across the poor bookworm's face, breasts and legs. He didn't just rip into her, he practically danced on her prone, squirming form as her blood and organs scattered from her ruined body, and her screams came echoing from her wet, dying throat.
Her last conscious thoughts before her life essence escaped her ruined corporeal form were "I'm sorry, Daph", and, "If there is a non-corporeal existence, despite all my studies, I do NOT want to see it." Velma's wobbly eyes went blank as life left her. She would never have to worry about losing her glasses again.
Scooby ate more of Velma's body than he had eaten of either oh his previous prey. To be fair, she was much smaller than any of the others. There was very little meat on her. Ironic, considering that her cherubic face and penchant for those bulky orange sweaters made most of the lamebrains at Coolsville High mistakenly think she was a "fat girl". Scooby had polished off the poor girl's diminutive corpse in no more than 6 bites, it seemed. His rotting mind told him to 'clean his plate', so to speak, or there'd be no dessert. "Best Pal" was on the menu, and Scooby had planned to finish ALL of it. He was determined to chew every last long, lanky bone in Shaggy's lifeless body until it was bleach-clean, then... he would go home. He would go to Downtown Coolsville and devour everyone he could get his paws on. Then over to Crystal Cove. Then, off to Yucca Flats.
Scooby Doo would eat everyone in the whole damned world, if that's what it would take to make the pain stop. To make the throbbing int he base of his skull stop. To make the evil, sneering VOICES in his head stop. But first, he had one more hunt to perform.
The insane canine horror, his belly distended and sloshing, full of it's macabre cargo, loped after the bereft beanpole beatnik, tracking his movements by the cascades of reeking fear sweat in Shaggy's armpits and down his back. There was probably a solid liter of it soaked into that brown bush atop his head. Stumbling around in the soupy blackness of the mine, he wouldn't be too hard to catch up with.
Scooby's movements had become even more twitchy and unsettling, as he snaked his way through the mineshaft tunnels. His head and face had become somewhat bloated, and now, the yellowish slime that once issued from the corners of his floppy lips oozed it's way in disgusting snail-trails out of his nostrils, and the gummy, mealy corners of his bulbous eyes. A slow trickle of blood wormed its way out of his left ear and down his long neck to smear and pool atop the dingy blue dog collar that now seemed a bit snug around his neck. The fevers gripped him, and Scooby Doo daydreamed about wedging his utterly annoying, dwarven nephew, Scrappy, between two slices of pumpernickle, pickles and pepperjack cheese and making a meal of him to finally shut him up. That was the first thing he would do when he arrived in Yucca Flats. But first, he had to kill Shaggy Rogers. Scooby Doo cackled like a witch on nitrous oxide as his afflicted brain ever so slowly began to swelter inside his thick cavernous skull.
Shaggy ran and ran until his legs burned like molten lead and his kneecaps felt as though they'd fly off like the wheels of racecars into the grandstand.
He was a track star from way back, and had spent the better part of his whole life running from ghouls and ghosties, and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night. Now, he was running from his very best friend, who meant not only to kill him, but make a meal of him. There was a sick poetry in that, but Shaggy had no time to appreciate it. There was a light ahead. A real light. A NATURAL light! He and his friends had been lost in that silver mine for the entire godforsaken night! The sun was coming up. A bright sunny early fall sun that, ordinarily would bring anyone else hope, but in a rare moment of insight, Shaggy knew that the very sun's light would probably make the signal flare he was aiming for futile. He ran faster.
The dog was somehow hot on his heels, despite the smorgasbord of flesh, blood and bone he'd consumed tonight. A few things Shaggy shared with his once beloved dog were an almost supernatural metabolism, an all but bottomless appetite, and an adrenal gland that wouldn't quit. It was now a flat-out footrace to either salvation or damnation, and worse yet, Scooby had not only the advantage of FOUR feet to Shaggy's two, but the accursed dog had had himself a mouthful of Scooby Snacks (and Freddy Fingers) earlier.
Shaggy's sweat fell like flood waters, drenching his birdlike chest and armpits, his hair swirled in the wind he was kicking up, but he could not, WOULD NOT quit. His feet were aching, and possibly even bleeding as he felt a warm, horrid squishing between his toes with every footfall. He was almost there. Almost OUT! He could see the dawn sun peeking over the horizon just outside the mouth of the cave which he approached with a speed almost cartoonishly superhuman.
"SCOOOBY DOOOBY DOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" came the horrendous howl from just over his shoulder. Jackrabbit fear and acidic bile welled up in his throat! Norville "Shaggy" Rogers ran faster than he'd ever had in his life that early morning, rocketing from the mine like the Hounds of Hell were nipping at his heels, which wasn't far from the literal truth!
Sixteen steps into sunlight, Scooby Doo chomped down on his old pal's left calf, which sent the both of them tumbling, turning and rolling down the somewhat steep incline of the driveway in the dust and rocks on the outskirts of the mine. Scooby hit his enlarged head on the stainless steel bumper, just behind the painted hubcap of the Mystery Machine's driver's side back wheel. Shaggy came to rest on the runner by the passenger's front wheel. Getting his bearings, he disregarded the scorch of his dusty, lacerated flesh and remembered what Velma told him before she was disemboweled. He quickly scrambled upward and into the left-open passenger door. Blood trickled down his face like punch sloshing over the rim of a hairy punchbowl. He reached the glove box, wrenched it open, grabbed the rusty flare gun, and threw himself backward out of the van, onto his back in the dust and aimed the gun at the sky.
Scooby stalked around the back of the ugly old van with a limp, snarled and barked out gobs of yellow slime in hearty coughs. Spotting his old friend, his already-full gut rumbled and growled. The loathesome dog ran and leapt at Shaggy in a macabre parody of every relieved reunion they'd ever had after a night of ghost-hunting, his dripping, drooling maw now wide open and ready to clamp down in the scrawny jugular of his only remaining friend. At the last possible moment, Shaggy spotted the malicious mutt. Pivoting and pulling his bruised knees to his scrawny chest, he caught Scooby with the flats of his feet in the crest of his short flight of doom, and used his spindly but powerful legs and the demon dog's own momentum to launch him forward like a shot, far past the Mystery Machine's door, face-first into a fence post. There was a heavy, dull 'THUNK'. The dog was dazed, but somehow still on his feet, his twisted face as flat as a pancake in the aftermath of his crash. He shook his swollen head, popping his grim features back into place and spraying disgusting phlegm like a nasty lawn sprinkler, then, glared back at Shaggy, his darting, swirling eyes a haze of hate, insanity and a hunger apocalyptic. Scooby-Doo, the lovable mystery solving clown of a hound was completely gone, now. All that was left was madness and murderous appetite.
Shaggy was exhausted. He could barely will his arms to once again raise the red plastic gun to the heavens.
Scooby slowly began to lope back toward the beaten beatnik with a dazed weave in his steps. Blood and thick mucus gushed from every opening in his battered head that would allow the flow. His oversized paws thumped heavily on the dusty terra firma as he increased speed. Shaggy knew he wouldn't be able to defend himself this time. Still on his back, he saw his former pet charging at him, upside-down to his visual perspective, which made the creature even more unnerving, like some manner of reddish-brown, spotted giant spider, practically vomiting frothy yellow venom from between its enormous fangs. With his last iota of strength and will, Shaggy rolled over, onto his woefully empty stomach, got to his scraped and shaky knees, leveled the flare gun at the crazed canine and squeezed the trigger.
There was a surprisingly subdued "PAF", as the smoking projectile left the barrel and wound it's way in a low flight pattern to the open, shrieking gob of the gruesome galloping Great Dane. The phosphorous explosion happened inside Scooby's esophagus, and, for a split second, it was almost as if the light of Heaven and the flames of Hell co-existed simultaneously inside a lunatic talking dog.
The howls of pain and pseudo-human screaming of the dying dog bore into Shaggy's poor traumatized brain like termites into rotting floorboards. It seemed to just go on forever. Poor Scooby was not going to die easy. During his happier, more vibrant days of play, and even retreating from malicious mask-wearing miscreants, Scooby always seemed to almost be made out of rubber. He'd survive falls, intact, that would shatter human bones like glass. He could squeeze himself through the smallest of crawlspaces and, if Scooby Snacks were involved in the equation, he could pull off acrobatic stunts that would make even the most experienced Hollywood wire-walkers and martial artists tear out their hair in jealousy! Many were the times Daphne or Velma would comment that Scooby was practically indestructible. What bitter irony.
Now, on fire, and burning from the inside out, it seemed that such a notion, for all it's horror, may have been true. Shaggy jammed his dirty, bleeding palms into the sides of his bushy, sweating head, trying desperately to mash his ears into his skull and drown out the mind-melting cacophony. Still, it was almost as though he could hear his best friend's howling lament in the pit of his very soul. Scooby squealed and burned and thrashed and screamed for almost a full minute before he finally stopped moving once and for all.
The charred, twitching and reeking husk of Scooby Doo's incinerated corpse finally came to rest, laying just beside the ruined grille of the crashed Mystery Machine. The legal owner of the mine was one Jeremiah Wickles. Coincidentally, Old Man Wickles had actually been the first costumed criminal the gang had brought down once they'd reached high school.
"The Black Knight Ghost".
He'd been up in his office the previous night when the Mystery Machine crashed into the gates of his property. Seeing the van from his upstairs office window, he just figured the little twerps were here to harrass him, yet again, with the "we're watching you, Wickles" routine, as they sometimes did when other mysteries were few and far between. He'd seen them run onto his property and prepared for them to inevitably burst into his dingy office, wearing those out-of-date retro rags they liked to parade around in. At first, all and sundry figured them to be some sort of hipster throwbacks, but, it was going on 5 years, and their fashion choices had only just barely changed to catch up with the times. In the back of his bald pate, Wickles honestly believed that there was something deeply, disturbingly wrong with those kids.
On the other hand, it seemed to him that, nowadays, ALL modern young peoples' fashion choices landed somewhere between "retro-hipster garbage fire" and "thrift store dumpster diving hobo", anyway. Maybe ALL kids were like that, "meddling" or otherwise.
After an hour and forty-five minutes or so, when the oddly dressed kids hadn't barged into his office and accused him of anything, he actually began to get worried, and called the police. The cops arrived, led, rather ironically, by Shaggy's own father, Officer Samuel Chastain Rogers. The boys in blue of Coolsville, California, had been searching the other side of the property, hoping/believing that no one would be dumb enough to go down into an abandoned, pitch-dark silver mine in the middle of the night, and were on their way back to their squad cars when they heard the noises of Scooby's attack on Shaggy. Running toward the din, they'd arrived just in time to see the deranged dog immolate.
Poor exhausted Shaggy spent the next three hours explaining the night's soul-warping events to the Coolsville Police Department and another hour after that, back at the Rogers residence, retelling it to his parents and his younger sister, Maggie.
He felt worse and worse with the vivid remembrance of each gory detail. He had began to shiver, and was working on one hell of a headache, Still, he managed to eventually get it all explained.
All cried out, he slunk to the kitchen, claiming he was going to fix himself one of his patented Super Shaggy Sandwiches to calm his nerves. He was, at least mentally, not really hungry, yet, physically, hungrier than he'd ever been, as, he hadn't eaten anything since last night's dinner. All that running for his life in abject terror had worked up quite an appetite.
After a few minutes of awkward hemming and hawing, Maggie and her husband, Wilfred, elected themselves the ones to go into the well-stocked kitchen check on her poor, traumatized sibling.
Norville Rogers stood at the counter next to the stove, his shoulders trembling, softly sobbing to himself.
"Hey... hey, like, you okay, big brother?" Maggie asked, crossing the kitchen and braving the stench of terror-sweat, dried blood and dog drool on his filthy, jade green T-shirt to give her brother a hug.
"Don't sweat it, Mags", Shaggy said, turning to face his wee sister, clutching his mother's best and sharpest meat cleaver in his bony grasp, his tear-streaked dirty face animated by the shakes and a nervy twitch in his left eye and the corners of his sneering mouth, "I'm just groovy!"
The poor girl had just enough time to see the cleaver at the apex of it's arc before it was imbedded deep into her forehead with a wet and sickening THWUNKK!
Wilfred screamed like a little girl, noting that Shaggy's eyes were wild, enlarge and bloodshot with deep, darkened bags beneath them, and somewhat bulging from their inflamed sockets. A thick yellowish froth oozed from the corners of his deranged, grinning mouth to collect in a goopy mass among his wiry chin hairs.
The brain-scrambled beatnik's nebbish brother-in-law never did get to see the deep and festering crescent moon shaped wound on Shaggy's left calf where dear, departed Scooby had sunk his blocky teeth into, and INFECTED him hours earlier. And, like, he never WOULD.
Story © 2009 by Johann-Octavius Xailenrath Gans
revisions = 2011, 2013, 2018
Characters created by Hanna-Barbera Animation