AUTHOR'S NOTE: Welcome to the 20th chapter of this fanfiction of mine. First of all, I admit that I'm a little leery about how this chapter turned out. It kinda feels like I jury-rigged this together, despite having thought a lot about how to go about this one… I do hope it's enjoyable.
Secondly, as I reflect upon the fact that it's taken me close to 5 years to get to 20 chapters of this fic (Damn, I'm slow…), I would just like to say thanks to everyone that's stuck by me or even gave my story a cursory glance at one point in time. It's much appreciated, as is the feedback. I understand that what I've written isn't for everyone, as I know some people don't exactly like harem fics… But at least I try to have the story/characters make sense and be entertaining instead of just going for mindless smut. Sometimes it's a swing and a miss, sometimes it's a home run. But in any case, thank you for reading and reviewing over the years.
Disclaimer: Think of a franchise. Any franchise. Got one in mind? Good. Guess what? I don't own it.
Chapter 20: Hassle-vania: Mixtape Of The Night Part 4
The four-armed witch known as Revolta couldn't help but conjure up a bag of rotting popcorn to munch on as she took sadistic amusement from the scene that was playing out before her. The five so-called 'heroines' scrambling about to avoid the wrath of their loved one that was Revolta's new pawn. Based on how they focused solely on defense and avoidance, the witch figured that it was only a matter of time before she was crowned the 'conquering hero' of this 'script', the rewards of such an outcome hers for the taking. As for what she had planned for these interloping 'villains' upon their defeat, Revolta already had a couple of ideas for a 'sequel' or two, mainly changing the genre to straight-up gory horror, if one gets her drift…
Sibella knew what had happened to her beloved. Revolta clearly implied it. Hell, she could sense it if she focused on him. But that didn't change the abysmal feeling she had, knowing that her love was trying to harm her and her friends. Of course, it didn't change how she felt about the real Shaggy. But she wouldn't be surprised if she ended up having at least one nightmare about Shaggy betraying her or something. The enhanced agility, strength, and fighting know-how didn't help matters either as the purple vampire had been the first to feel the power… She lay on the ground, collecting her thoughts and recalling how Shaggy had quickly got in her face, grabbed her by the shirt collar, lifted her up with one arm, socked her in the face a couple of times, and then tossed her across the room. The dead look in his eyes… If it was the last thing Sibella would do, she would make Revolta pay somehow.
Winnie fared somewhat better against the brainwashed boyfriend, even though she was getting exhausted from the overall journey. But, like the others, she didn't want to hurt him. She used her werewolf instincts to block, dodge, and otherwise avoid Shaggy's newfound brawling skills. But eventually, something got through her defense. A foot to a leg brought her down to a kneeling position, which gave him a quick opportunity to deliver a roundhouse kick across her skull, sending her skidding a few feet on her side.
"Hiya, hot stuff!" Phanty exclaimed as she suddenly clung onto him from behind, her well-used nunchucks promptly held across his throat in a makeshift chokehold. She refused to whack her favorite boy-toy. But putting him to sleep the hard way seemed like an acceptable strategy to her. "That's right. It's nap time, you naughty boy you! Rock a bye Shaggy, on the tower top. Haha!" the ghost cooed as Shaggy struggled to get out from the hold. Shaggy even tried letting himself fall backward to the ground, but of course, Phanty's intangibility just let her phase through the ground, her nunchucks helping her keep the grip on him.
However, just as it looked like he was going to pass out, he put forth one more burst of strength, allowing himself to slowly get back onto his feet. He reached up and, despite Phanty currently being intangible, managed to grab her by the hair and yank her up and over him, releasing the hold. Wresting the martial-arts weapon from her grasp, he gave her a taste of her own medicine by letting her go and battering her repeatedly with quick and graceful swings of the nunchucks, as if he somehow learned how to actually use them. His flurry ended by jabbing both sticks straight into her upper chest, sending her crashing to the ground.
"Ooohhh… Mama says no dessert for you… Bad boy…. Bad…" Phanty managed to say in a total stupor, her eyes comically getting the cartoon 'swirls' for emphasis of her defeated condition.
"Oh, how dumb do you think I am? Did you not expect me to prepare for a ghost? Ha!" Revolta snarked as she snacked away on her foul munchies.
Shaggy's peripheral vision saw something coming right for the side of his head. Turning and putting a hand up, he effortlessly caught the fist that would've surely knocked him down otherwise. It took him a second to realize that what he had clutched in his hand was just that. A fist and a bit of forearm, not connected to a body… It was that delay that Elsa was hoping for as she swung her other arm at him from behind. Hitting the back of his neck, she had enough force to send him tumbling forward down to the ground. However, he rolled through and managed to quickly get back to his feet, in a crouched position.
"I realize that you probably can't hear me through the mind control, but still… I hope you know I don't wish to do this. Alas, our odds are somewhat better if I actually try subduing you. I'll apologize once you're back to normal." Elsa said as she picked up her loose forearm that Shaggy had dropped and reattached it to herself. She had just secured the forearm just in time to block an incoming kick from her jinxed lover. Shaggy kept the offensive going as the golem managed to block, push aside, and catch most of his attacks.
For Elsa, it was mostly due to her observation skills and her knowledge of how Shaggy's body tends to work and move that helped her maintain a decent defense. The increased speed and strength made things a challenge, however. Especially since her body is still already sore and worn out from the journey overall. Eventually, the next time Elsa caught one of his kicks with her hands, she maintained her hold on the foot and yanked, sending him falling down onto his back.
Still holding onto his foot, Elsa quickly weighed her options of what she could do against the prisoner. A stomp to the gut? Maybe a certain somewhere lower? But her momentary contemplation proved to be detrimental as Shaggy yanked his leg inward, the sudden pull sending her tumbling forward. Both his feet caught her before she could fall, but then he pushed his legs back outward, his enhanced strength sending her flying back a few feet. As the golem skidded on the ground, Shaggy then curled himself up legs first and then kipped up, standing as though nothing happened.
He started to approach the only ghoul left standing… Poor Tanis didn't know what to do, other than back away. The last thing she ever wanted to do was attack a loved one. Of course, being timid and scared didn't exactly mean she didn't understand the reality of what would happen if this mind-controlled Shaggy got his hands on her. She hurried away from him.
But fortunately, Tanis wouldn't have to run very much. Just before Shaggy could start to run after the short mummy, a hand grabbed his shoulder from behind and forcibly spun him around. He found himself looking right into a pair of green eyes. Eyes that were intent on staring deep into his own…
"Oh, Shaggy, do be a dear and relax for me, won't you?" Sibella said in a calm, seductive tone. The idea of using her bloodline's inherent power of influence upon someone that's already under another's control wasn't a situation that happened in her family's history often. For all she knew, two opposing magical influences might have some problematic side effects. But at this point, she had to try before the ghouls had to resort to more drastic measures…
The twisted foodie started to become lethargic, his love's suggestion appearing to take effect. But then, as if realizing what was going on, he shook his head and slapped himself awake before swinging a fist at Sibella. The vampire swiftly dodged the strike, having figured that this wouldn't be easy. She grabbed him by the head and forced him to look into her eyes again. "This isn't you, Shaggy dear… Remember who you really are. Wake up, Shaggy!" she ordered, her intense gaze not breaking from his eyes as she then backed away.
Shaggy felt his mind become at odds with itself, memories of his abnormal life clashing with the evil need to obey Revolta. His hands clutched his skull as if a migraine was coming on as he snarled in confused discomfort.
"Oh, ho… So, the Dracula bloodline truly is strong with this one. I've heard a great deal about what your clan can do. It's almost a shame that I had to write in that the legend ends with you. Heh…" Revolta commented, reluctantly impressed by the display of Sibella's power. She then commanded "Shaggy! Attack!" as she pointed her two right hands at him. They glowed for a brief moment with dark energy…
Almost as if breaking free from a steel collar around his neck, Shaggy's struggle suddenly stopped. He ran toward Sibella and started fighting her again. The vampire princess cursed her rotten luck. Of course Revolta's magic control couldn't be easy to expel from him… Thankfully for her, Winnie then rejoined the fight by barreling into him with a tackle. Shaggy landed on the ground with a splat. Confused as to why the landing felt somewhat squishy and wet, Shaggy only had a moment to ponder what it could've been before he got his answer… Ectoplasm. Glowing, ooze-like ectoplasm began spreading all over him, appearing to bind him like he was in a giant wad of wet, chewed bubble gum.
"Hiya, Not-Shags. I decided to call ya Not-Shags until we get the real you back because we all know the thing controllin' ya ain't you. I mean, your body's you, but… Ah, you get what I mean! Well, maybe ya don't because you're just a force of evil possessing the man I love… By the way, how dare you. Possessing that body is MY job, jerkwad!" Phantasma scolded, her head forming from the glob of ectoplasm so that it was right in Shaggy's face.
"Ya know what, Not-Shags? Why don't I prove that!" the ghost bellowed before the rest of her body formed out of Shaggy's makeshift restraint. She flew right into Shaggy's head. After a few moments of nothing, Shaggy's head began to suddenly rock back and forth, as if he was getting punched. Or rather, as if something inside his head was punching outward… This went on for at least a couple of minutes before his head stopped twitching. Phantasma phased out of his body, but she looked even more roughed up.
"Ho-kay… Yeah… You can fight… I'll grant ya that, ya hellbound sack of magic crap. If this situation weren't so dire and personal, I'd say I kinda respect your hustle. But you're still holding my boo hostage and you're still a jerkwad, so I ain't saying it. ALRIGHT, ROUND 2, SUCKA!" Phanty suddenly exclaimed before rushing back into Shaggy's body to resume the spiritual battle. Again, Shaggy's head began to twitch every so often.
Revolta chuckled. "A valiant effort, I'm sure. One that would entertain the viewers of my masterpiece once this final act is in the can. However, I'm sure you realize…" she paused as Phantasma was ejected from Shaggy's body, sent flying back until she managed to get control of herself and stop her momentum. "…that victory isn't in my script for you." With that, Revolta made a few gestures with her four hands before sticking one outward toward Shaggy. The sticky shell of ectoplasm seemed to vaporize into nothingness within a span of three seconds, freeing her new minion that quickly got to his feet.
The battle went onward and the Grimwood Ghouls' disadvantages grew more obvious. Tanis kept opting to stay out of the fight any way she could, not wanting to risk hurting Shaggy or getting herself re-killed. Winnie and Elsa kept trying to wrestle him down, preferring to try to render him unable to fight in the least harmful ways possible. Phantasma, being a ghost, chose to taunt her brainwashed boyfriend so that he'd try to attack her instead of her friends. For the most part, it usually worked, but Shaggy would power out of the duo's attempts to immobilize him or put a sleeper hold on him. Meanwhile, Sibella tried to go after the source of their problem: Revolta herself. Unfortunately, the Witch of the Web was fully prepared as Sibella ended up crashing into an invisible forcefield that surrounded Revolta.
"Trying to skip a few pages ahead of my script, are we? That's not going to cut it. Back to your place on set!" Revolta scolded, aiming a palm toward the purple vampire and firing a magical blast of dark energy that hit her opponent in the gut and launching her back toward the mind-addled foodie. Shaggy saw the purple body coming toward him and, without missing a beat, quickly caught her, wrapped his arms around her torso, and lifted her upward, letting himself fall backward to complete the German suplex maneuver. The poor vampire landed on the back of her head and neck, tumbling to her side in a daze.
Shaggy quickly got himself to his feet again in time to intercept another attempt from Winnie to grab on to him. Grabbing onto her outstretched hands, the pair struggled to get the better of the other, appearing to be evenly matched. Winnie wasn't sure if it was because Revolta had enhanced his strength, Winnie herself was worn from the journey here, or a combination of both.
"Dammit, Shaggy, I know you're in there! I appreciate this foreplay, but I'd much prefer to do it when we're not urgently trying to save the world!" Winnie said, stubbornly believing that he could overcome the mind control. But there was no reaction, not even a flinch from her comment about foreplay. Winnie's spirits diminished slightly, put off by the concept of Shaggy not getting flustered at her romantic innuendo. But that just gave her more incentive to try and save him.
Before Winnie could push harder, Elsa clung onto Shaggy's back and wrapped an arm around his neck, attempting once again to put him to sleep with minimal damage. "A part of me does wish I could conduct a few experiments to see if I could somehow recreate the benefits of this particular magic. Minus the mind control, of course. How stubborn you've become, my Shaggy." Elsa said, oddly contemplative despite the seriousness of the situation.
"Is now really the time for the Magic vs. Science debate, Elsa?" Winnie grumbled, ready for if Shaggy somehow broke his way out of Elsa's chokehold. Taking a glance around, the werewolf noticed Tanis coming over to check on the downed Sibella. Revolta still stood where she was, behind the safety of her forcefield, continuing to eat from her bag of munchies like the smug villain she was. Phantasma was… floating toward Revolta?
"Hey! I got a question about your script, lady." Phantasma stated, glaring.
"Oh really? Pfft, this should be good…" Revolta muttered in a sarcastic way. "Alright, what's your problem?" Not that she was going to actually tend to any of her enemies' concerns anyway…
"Umm… What's my motivation?" Phanty asked, looking completely innocent.
Revolta snapped. "Of all the cliché questions to ask…!" She was cut off by Phantasma breaking out into a hyperactive giggle fit.
"KIDDING! Just playin' ya. But seriously now, what's your goal again? I mean other than the revenge thing. That I get. Who among us can forget what we did to ya anyway? But what's your goal after this? Not sure if you've mentioned it before… Hmm… Ruling this area? The world? Robbing all the banks? Got somebody ya needed a brainwashed task force to eliminate? Just wanna feel big? C'mon, ya can tell us. What's been overcookin' in that head of yours anyway?" Phantasma asked, curious.
"My goal? Hmph… I suppose it wouldn't hurt to brag. I'm about to win anyway. Ahem… But yes, I did originally want you petulant ghouls to become my personal soldiers. Each of you have unique skills that could destroy many that attempt to cross me. But other than being just bodyguards, I would begin the slow process of conquering this entire planet." Revolta gloated, not noticing the goofy ghost subtly begin to float backward away from her. She also didn't notice that what sounded like really muffled music could barely be heard through the walls. "Surely, I realize that taking over a planet isn't going to be fast, so I'd start locally. Demolishing a town here and there, nabbing more skilled beings to turn into more henchmen, building my army… It was a grand scheme." The muffled music began to slowly grow louder, despite still being muffled by the walls. "First, it would be this state. Then the next one. Then the surrounding states. Even you can see where I'm going with this."
At this point, Shaggy had managed to break out of Elsa's chokehold again and hurl her into Winnie before beginning to stalk after Tanis, who had dragged her vampire friend a little ways away from the struggle. The others, Winnie in particular, began to notice the sound of the muffled music, although the obnoxious witch kept gloating about her world domination scheme…
"…and so with the world leaders under my thumb, I would finally be able to declare myself the master and ruler of the world! Ha! Time, patience, and effort! Things that some people just don't take into account." It was at this moment that the muffled music was quite noticeable to everyone. Was it the Ghouls or did the music sound distinctly like something one might hear at a stereotypical Mexican restaurant? "But after I settle into my dominion, I shall…. Uhh… Yeah, I plan to… And I…. OH FOR LUCIFER'S SAKE, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT MUSIC?!" Revolta bellowed, ready to cast a spell at whatever annoyance was outside.
It was then that something huge crashed through the tower wall, barging into Revolta's chambers. The loudness of the music playing was a dead giveaway that it was the source. The shattered rubble and clouds of scattered dust of the wall quickly gave way to reveal a long and cumbersome vehicle that had clearly seen better days. It threw on the brakes and skidded its way to a stop, but not before smacking right into the brainwashed Shaggy, sending him flying back until he hit the opposite wall, managing to knock him out. (1)
"Is that… our bus?!" Winnie exclaimed.
"Yeah… Somehow, that crash made it look… better." Elsa replied as she and Winnie got up from their collision. After a moment, voices were heard over the music.
"Man, how'd that portal end up taking us right up to a wall?!"
"Don't blame me, Luna. This is my first try at this kind of magic…"
"And what's the deal with this crazy music?! Did you break the radio?"
"No, this is literally the only station that this bus gets…"
"I kinda like it, actually. Sorta adds to this whole 'Look out, bad guys! It's the Hex Army!' vibe in a funny sort of way."
"You would, Dusk…"
"Anybody know what the hell we hit after that wall? Could've sworn we might've hit someone…"
"Jinkies, I don't mean to sound rude, but perhaps we should get out and see what's going on instead of just wondering about it."
"Reah, I ragree, Relma."
"Alright, alright." With that, the bus let out a backfire that sounded a lot like a shotgun blast as the engine was cut, silencing the bus and the loud radio. The bus door creaked open, somewhat bent from the crash through the tower wall. The door stopped halfway open, soon followed by loud rattling as the door shook back and forth, the driver trying to force the process to complete. Failing to fully open, the door went still for a few seconds as a couple of footsteps were heard. A pair of hands then grabbed the door by the end and yanked, eventually slamming the door fully open, revealing the person at the door to be Thorn.
"S'up…" the Hex Girls frontwoman said to the scattered Ghouls, looking somewhat exhausted. If she were quite honest, conjuring a portal across a great distance for the first time was quite a draining experience.
"C'mon, Thorn, let us out too. We got someone to help rescue!" Dusk said from inside. Shrugging, Thorn stepped aside.
"WHO DARES RUIN MY TOWER AND INTERRUPT MY THIRD ACT?! This was not in my script!" Revolta bellowed, her shock at the sudden intrusion having worn off.
"Yeah? Well, ya know what they say about dramatic third acts. It's the last-minute save trope! Yaaaay! Cue the positive yet dramatic music! We already got the surprised villain and appropriate dialogue." Phantasma cheered, conjuring up a director's chair for her to sit on. "And action!"
The Hex Girls had gotten off the bus. Following them was Fred and Daphne, the redhead being more cautious of what danger could befall them here. Lastly was Velma and a very concerned Scooby-Doo, who scrambled off the bus the second the doorway was clear enough for him. "Raggy! Rhere's Raggy!? RAGGY!" yelped the poor Great Dane as he finally saw his master, slumped against the wall.
Revolta chuckled, suddenly inspired by this turn of events. "Oh, that's right. I knew there was a pawn missing from this act… The mangy mutt. I remember you. Well, this definitely adds a certain bit of… I believe the term is 'Schadenfreude'… Yes, I'll certainly be enjoying seeing what happens to you now, dog… ARISE, MY PUPPET! ARISE AND KILL!"
Shaggy's body twitched for a moment before he suddenly pushed himself back on his feet in a manner that was definitely not natural. It seemed like he rose to his feet like he was a human-shaped balloon being quickly inflated. He let out a guttural growl, sneering before swinging a foot at Scooby, who barely ducked the horizontal kick in time. Whining in distress and worry, Scooby backed away from the corrupted foodie.
"What the…? The hell did you do to Shaggy?!" Thorn demanded at the four-armed ugly witch that seemed to be the one in charge here. The others shared her sentiments.
"Oh, nothing really. I was just giving your friend back to his dear students. Heh… But not without a little attitude adjustment, of course. And what luck! You lot get to be killed by your friend too!" Revolta guffawed as Shaggy changed targets and ran toward the gathered humans. Before he could land a punch on Dusk, he was intercepted by Luna, who managed to grab his incoming fist.
"No way I'm allowing that, Shaggy…" Luna said, surprised that she managed to halt the attack. He was definitely stronger than she thought he was… Shaggy's response was merely to yank his arm back, causing Luna to stumble forward. This was enough of an opening to throw his arm forward again, elbow-first. The dark redhead got clocked by the elbow strike, sending her falling to the ground, clutching at her face.
Before he could plot his next attack, Dusk had leapt upon him, scratching and clawing at whatever she could get her nails across. She wasn't much of a fighter, but she felt she had to try. Fred also put himself into the fray by trying to grab his arms to restrain him.
"Shaggy, this isn't you! Fight this! You can do it!" Fred said, hoping that he could somehow get through to his addled friend.
"We tried that, Blondie! Whatever the bitch has done went deep. Grrrr, I swear I'm going to turn you into a scratching post, Revolta!" Winnie growled, frustrated.
"Not if I do it to you first, pathetic lapdog!" Revolta snarled, one of her hands pitching a ball of dark energy toward the werewolf. Winnie deftly dodged the attack. She picked up a sizable piece of rubble from the bus crash and chucked it at Revolta. The chunk of stone crashed against the forcefield and shattered. The forcefield, however, showed no signs of weakening at all.
"Sticks and stones may break your bones, but nothing shall ever hurt me!" Revolta cackled, powering up orbs of dark energy in all four of her hands this time. She tossed them all, the orbs heading in four certain directions. One aimed at Winnie, who dodged that one. One aimed at Elsa who had been keeping an eye on both the witch and Shaggy, looking for an opportunity to try to subdue her lover. The golem was lucky enough to notice the attack at the last second, having to dive to the side to avoid it. However, her weakened body took its toll as an arm fell off upon hitting the ground. The third energy ball went straight for the lounging Phantasma, who didn't expect anyone to actually attack her while playing the role of 'the director'. The ghost actually felt pain as she was knocked off her director's chair and hit the ground. The fourth orb flew right toward Tanis, who was still checking on the dazed Sibella.
The mummy, caught between the urge to dodge aside and the fact that she couldn't quickly move Sibella out of the way in time, frantically flailed her arms as if the incoming orb was something that could be diverted away with a slight breeze. But as luck would have it, a pair of arms wrapped around the timid ghoul and Tanis found herself lifted above the ground as the orb passed harmlessly beneath her just in the nick of time.
"This is getting ridiculous…" muttered Sibella as she landed from her upward leap, letting the surprised mummy go. A surge of adrenaline and a part of her own power had taken charge when she had realized what was about to happen.
"Wow… Thanks, Sibella! Are you okay?" Tanis asked, looking over her friend's body in concern as Sibella clutched at her head. The headache from her recent battering was painful, but one that could be tolerated as long as she didn't take too many more blows to the head.
"I will be. But we must do something quickly. Or else, there'll… huh? How…? What're the others doing here? And is that our bus?!" Sibella exclaimed, her train of thought cut off by the sight of the wrecked vehicle and the struggling newcomers.
"They came to help, Sibella. I think I heard something about Thorn using portal magic… In any case, I'm kinda glad they're here. But…" Tanis trailed off, her obvious concern about their current problem being quite evident.
"I know. The longer this goes on, the higher the chance somebody'll get hurt. Grr… I've had quite enough of this batty crusade of Revolta's." Sibella growled as she looked upon the madness before her. There was Revolta, still smugly watching from behind her invisible barrier. Close to the witch, almost going unnoticed by everyone, was her cauldron that was bubbling and boiling with some foul concoction. Shaggy was still struggling against his friends and lovers, Thorn now taking a turn to subdue him by choking him from behind via the neck of her guitar.
And then the bat got an idea…
Running toward the struggling foodie, she got in close just as Shaggy managed to push Dusk off of him. She placed a hand over his face as if she were grabbing him by it, focusing on the dark energy that embedded itself in his brain. Raising her other hand, she whispered a few words of a strange, old language. Magical energy burst forth from her palm, stopping and spreading out a few feet from her until a portal was formed.
"What foolishness are you trying to do, young Dracula? Run? Ha!" scoffed Revolta, casually flinging another orb of dark magic toward her foes. So absorbed was she in overseeing the downfall of her enemies that she failed to notice a second portal open up just a couple of feet directly behind her…
Winnie saw what was going on and soon realized what her best friend had in mind. The grin on her face was truly that of a hunter anticipating the killing blow… She made a run for the portal. "Well, ya know what they say, douchenozzle. If the stars of a production can't have their complaints heard during production, there's always…" Winnie trailed off as she leaped through the portal.
Two seconds passed before Revolta was suddenly hit from behind with the full weight of a young werewolf woman, feet first. "…breaking the Fourth Wall!" Winnie exclaimed as Revolta smacked head first against the invisible barrier she had put up. Sibella then walked out of the portal. Surprisingly, Scooby-Doo leapt out of it as well, growling at Revolta. The Great Dane had enough of seeing his best friend in such a state. Scooby Snack or no Scooby Snack, his master's vampire mate had provided an opportunity for him to do something other than merely observe.
"Scooby?" Sibella exclaimed, not knowing that the loyal dog had followed her in. She noticed his change in demeanor as he kept glaring at the dazed witch, growling. "You are upset too, no? You poor dear… Well, at least we three have earned ourselves a word with our 'esteemed director' about her so-called 'screenplay'… So, how do you feel about her work?" she said, her question clearly meant to mock Revolta. Scooby responded by doing something even he thought he'd never do: pounce on an evildoer and bite.
The dazed witch suddenly felt more pain as the stubborn talking dog bit her ass. As if she were a giant chew toy, Scooby held on and even tried to shake her, growling all the while. The canine part of Winnie was impressed. "Oooh! That looks like fun. Lemme have some of that." she said in a sinister tone before getting on all fours and clawing at Revolta. The witch might as well have been a scratching post to the werewolf. Of course, Winnie was careful not to bite her. The last thing the heroes needed was a spellcasting evil werewolf on the rampage…
"Ow, ow, ow! Owwww! Lemme go, you-OW-you pathetic worms! OWWWWW!" Revolta screeched, her arms frantically trying to conjure up any sort of offensive magic to counterattack with. However, Sibella was quicker. Having moved so that she was standing over the fallen witch, Sibella grabbed two of her flailing arms, pulling them backward with a good grip on her wrists.
"I don't think so. This 'movie' isn't doing very well with the higher-ups, Revolta. You know what that means, don't you?" Sibella asked, her tone sarcastically friendly.
Revolta shook her head, snarling in pain. "OWW! I'll get out of this! You'll be dead by dawn, I-OWWWWW! I swear it!" Before Revolta could fire something off with one of her remaining free hands, Winnie slashed at it with a clawed hand, drawing blood and leaving it in too much pain to gesture correctly. Only one hand remained, but with her head hovering face-down just above the ground as it was, Revolta couldn't see where she was aiming at to effectively do anything with it.
Sibella made a few 'tsk' noises with her mouth. "Oh, no. I'm afraid your budget for this production has been cut off. For good." Sibella placed a foot on the back of Revolta's head. "Consider yourself officially cancelled!" With that, she pressed down on the foot while letting go of the caught wrists, smashing Revolta's head between the ground and her foot, effectively curb stomping the Witch of the Web into unconsciousness.
"That was satisfying." Winnie remarked, letting herself sit down and relax after feeling certain that the witch wouldn't be moving anytime soon. Scooby, however, was still gnawing on Revolta's ass.
"Indeed. I would definitely call that the best step I've ever taken." the vampire princess said, looking proud with her foot still on Revolta's head as if she was posing for a 'conquering heroine' photo op. Winnie rolled her eyes.
It was moments after Sibella's stomp that Shaggy had finally stopped resisting and slumped over, also unconscious. Thorn quickly realized this and stopped trying to choke him out, opting to ease him down to the ground. "Man, for someone like him, he can definitely be a troublesome minion. What's going on anyway?" the Hex frontwoman asked, her attention having been focused on not letting her man harm anyone.
"Looks like we won. Guess we shouldn't get on the bad side of any Dracula." Fred answered, noticing the purple vampire standing tall over the fallen witch.
"And us with no camera." Dusk joked, noticing how the vampire was posing.
"I'm just glad this is over…" Velma said as she helped Luna back up to her feet. The dark redhead's face was still sore from the hard blows, but Velma was certain she'll be fine. A bruise or two on her face, but nothing she couldn't recover from.
"Damn! Did that bitch's mind control enhance strength or can our boy hit hard? Haven't been pounded that hard since that one incident in the wrong bar." Luna grumbled, shaking the metaphorical cobwebs out of her head.
"Aaaand CUT! That's a wrap, ghouls and boos! Thank you, thank you! You've been a lovely cast to work with. I'm certain this adventure will rank high at the box office! Alright, now where's the catering?!" Phantasma exclaimed, standing on her director's chair and giving a few bows toward her friends.
"I think I've had enough movie-making puns to last a good while." Daphne said as Sibella and Winnie managed to get Scooby to release his hold on Revolta. The lovable dog rushed over to his fallen master upon being told that he was out cold.
Sibella and Winnie started walking over to the rest of the group to check on their fallen lover. "I'd say we did pretty good. Journeyed through a haunted landscape, battle hordes of mindless hellspawn, narrowly avoided deadly obstacles, climbed a tower of doom, whupped our nemesis' ass, saved our man… I'll be checking all those off my bucket list tonight." Winnie chuckled, putting her hands behind her head in a relaxed manner as she lackadaisically walked with her friend.
"We have proven ourselves as brave and capable adventurers for sure, willing to risk unlife and limb to protect those that are important to us. Our ancestors would be pleased with our endeavor. Well… Most of them, anyway…" Sibella said, remembering her twisted father.
"Oh yeah! Just wait til Pops hears about this! He might even be jealous he didn't get to take part in the fighting. Haha!" the werewolf snickered, her own feeling of satisfaction growing. It was similar to the feeling of having successfully caught a particularly tricky and evasive prey.
As the pair approached the group, Thorn was the first to look in their direction and notice them… but then her expression changed from a welcoming one to one of frightened surprise as she quickly reached within a pocket, withdrew something, and hurled it toward them. As she did, she let out a cry of "Duck!".
Confused but alert, the vampire and werewolf ducked down, the item sailing above them and soon colliding against something with the sound of shattering glass. It was then followed by hoarse screaming. Turning around, the pair saw a pained and blinded Revolta stumbling backward, some sort of liquid streaming down her face and chest. Her bumbling led to her colliding with her cauldron, causing her to lose her balance completely and fall in, screaming in pain as she went in. Thick smoke began to billow from the big black pot as the muffled screaming and gurgling continued until she fell silent.
"I… must not have hit her hard enough. I didn't even hear her get up." Sibella said, a little shocked that she could've been ambushed if it weren't for Thorn happening to look their way when she did.
"In your defense, I didn't hear the bitch either… But that aside, what the hell did Thorn toss anyway?" Winnie asked aloud to everyone.
"Oh, that? Just some of my homemade herbal meds for my throat. It's become a habit to carry some with me, especially during these recent tours. Heh… Never thought I'd use a dose as a grenade." the Wiccan bandleader explained, smirking.
"You ever thought about baseball? Because that was one hell of a good throw for a reflex action! Nice aim!" Phantasma complimented, her clothes morphing into an umpire's outfit, complete with a logo for the Grimwood School.
Thorn chuckled. "No, Phanty. But thank you." It was then that they heard groaning from nearby. Shaggy was waking up.
"Raggy!" exclaimed Scooby as the others tensed in case he was still under Revolta's control somehow. The foodie's eyes opened, a hand raising to his head as he seemed to have a headache immediately hit. "Ugghh… Like, why do I feel like I got ran over by a big rig full of pizzas?" he groaned as he tried to sit up. He was immediately pounced on by a relieved Scooby, who began licking his face.
"Like, alright, Scoob. Heheh… It's great to, like, see you too. But I think ya should get offa me for now. I don't know what happened, but like, I'm pretty tender right now." Shaggy said, happy to see a familiar face. That brought something to mind. "Speaking of which, like… what in the world happened?"
His question launched Scooby into doing a bit of charades as he tried to explain in his own way what had just happened. Most of the others couldn't help snickering a little at the sight of Scooby on two legs doing a stiff zombie walk while saying "Ri'm a rainwashed rinion!" before imitating one of the others by acting scared and saying "Raggy, don't! Rit's us!" and then imitating another of the group by pretending to struggle and wrestle against an invisible opponent.
"And rat's rhat rappened." Scooby finished, sitting back down like a normal dog.
"Like, jeez, Scoob. Revolta wasn't kidding around, like, was she? I'm just glad I'm back to normal and didn't hurt anyone." Shaggy said, choosing not to think about what could've happened if he was stuck under mind control forever.
"Speak for yourself, Shaggy…" Luna grumbled, her face still sore from Shaggy's counterattack. "I'm probably going to have one hell of a shiner on me for a while."
"Zoinks! Like, I did that…?" Shaggy asked, seeing Luna's face for the first time since awakening. It was already looking like a bruise was going to be there. "I'm so sorry about that, Luna! I'll, like, make this up to you."
"Relax, babe. That wasn't you. Buuut… if you really would like to make up for this, I do have a couple of ideas." Luna remarked teasingly.
"Luna, is now really the time?" Thorn asked playfully, knowing full well that Luna wanted to bust Shaggy's chops a little.
"Oh, it's never a bad time to secure us our own personal cabana boy for our next band tour. Oh, don't fret, Shaggy. We wouldn't push you too hard on the concert chores. Getting us drinks here, a massage there… You'll be fine. We got staff for the real hard work." Luna explained, giving her boyfriend a wink.
"Uhh… Like, maybe?" Shaggy replied, uncertain.
"Shaggy, you fool. She's practically asking you to be the band's personal groupie! Think about what a massage could quickly turn into, if ya know what I mean." Winnie whispered as she leaned over to help him up to his feet, despite the fact that everyone could hear what she said.
"I do concur with our dear Winnie about that. I suppose this is your way of requesting your own 'alone time' with our beloved, Luna?" Sibella chimed in, grinning.
Luna coughed, momentarily flustered. But she quickly regained her composure. "Well… Yeah…"
"Oh, there's no need to worry, Luna. In fact, while we're on the subject of making up for injuries… Alas, dear Shaggy, you have harmed me as well. You tossed me up and over, giving me this sore bump on my head as I hit the ground." Sibella explained, bending her head downward to try and show Shaggy her wound. Despite her thick hair, it didn't stop the slightest hint of her wound from being noticeable. Shaggy felt guilty again.
"Like, I'm sorry, Sibella. Are you gonna be okay?" Shaggy asked.
"Of course, my love. It's painful to touch, but nothing a good rest can't help. Besides, this journey to rescue you did put most of us through the wringer. Well, mainly us Ghouls… We had thought it prudent to make the journey ourselves as we do have the capabilities to handle any supernatural threat Revolta was certain to throw at us. However, our human friends seem to not only be willing to help anyway, but very resourceful on finding a quicker way to get here when we finally cornered Revolta." Sibella explained, proud of the team effort.
"I suppose that explains why, like, the Grimwood bus is somehow here?" Shaggy asked, having noticed it.
"Yes. I do admire their tenacity." Sibella replied.
"Thank you, Sibella. Nice of ya to say." Dusk said with a thumbs-up. Sibella gave her a nod.
"Now as for what you could do to make up for what you unwillingly did, I won't ask for much either." Sibella playfully said, approaching her beau. But before she could get real close to him, Phantasma interjected.
"Ooh! Collecting love favors, are we? How about me for Revolta's mind control spell thingy kickin' me around when I tried to take your mind back? Your head trauma gave me physical trauma. Hmm… Well, ectoplasmic trauma, I guess. Is that a thing? There aren't that many ghost doctors around… Ya know, because we're dead. But we could find one with a medical obsession! But that's another story. Wanna do something romantic with me too, Shags? Please?" Phantasma rambled, clinging onto her still-tender boyfriend and nuzzling against him.
Elsa chuckled. "Might wanna take a number, Phanty. We all risked our lives here. Although…" she trailed off, a thought suddenly coming to her. "An experiment idea! How much could our Shaggy take if we all take turns having him express his affection for us in one go?"
"Now we're talking!" Winnie seconded, rubbing her hands together in anticipation. Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Tanis balked a little at Elsa's idea. The mummy especially, since she had just remembered the unfortunate timing of this unexpected rescue mission. She approached her boyfriend, who was looking rather flustered by the banter. Most likely because he needs a rest.
"Umm… Shaggy…?" Tanis timidly called out. Sibella and Phanty heard their friend's voice and looked over at her. The tattered mummy fidgeted as she tried to find the words she wanted to say. The two ghouls noticed the amount of fidgeting and decided to encourage her. Phanty by letting go of Shaggy and Sibella by standing by and placing a hand on her shoulder, a silent way of letting her know that the vampire will support her.
"Like, what is it, Tanis?" Shaggy asked, curious as to why Tanis seemed to be so nervous. He hoped that he hadn't struck her too in his mind-addled rampage.
"Well… uhh… I wanted to ask… um… since you're gonna be doing things with the others… uh… can I…. Can we… I mean, if you want to, we could… uh… CanIPleaseSleepWithYouBeforeYouDoAnything?" Tanis said, her nerves driving her to ask her question way too fast. Her lightly exposed face was glowing red as she awaited his answer.
"Like, what? I'm sorry but I didn't understand that…" Shaggy said, scratching the back of his head in uncertainty. Fortunately for Tanis, Dusk realized what her short co-conspirator in love was trying to do.
"I think the little lady's asking for her turn with you in bed, since you've seemed to have had fun with the rest of her friends. Truth be told, both her and I have been trying to figure out a good way to ask ya. Kinda tricky, with all this about cranky dads and our band tour and now this Revolta situation. But I suppose now's a good time as any, since it sounds like you'll soon be paying off a few favors." Dusk said, snickering about the last part as she joined in on the others' playful banter.
"Oh, that's right! Shaggy got kidnapped just after we saw Tanis' dad. Well, now that we solved that case, I suppose it's only fair that Tanis gets to join in on the joys of mating." Winnie said, before encouraging Tanis by mock-whispering a 'You got this, ghoul!' to her.
Shaggy was relieved that it wasn't Tanis admitting to a Shaggy-induced injury. But one thing was bugging him. "Are you sure you're ready for that, Tanis? We don't want you to feel like you're being pushed into it or like you need to in order to be included or something."
Tanis looked into Shaggy's eyes, gathering all the confidence she could muster. "Yes I am, my pharaoh to be. I'm ready for this. But… I have a request."
"Like, sure. Wha'cha want?" Shaggy said, content with his one doubt put to rest.
"I would like Dusk to join us. Since we agreed to work together on seducing you, I think it's fair that we get to… umm… play together too… if neither of you mind…" Tanis said, before resorting to fidgeting again. The blush on her face returned.
Dusk was taken aback by the mummy's statement. "Really, Tanis? I mean… we really hadn't gotten a chance to try anything to get him to agree. Who'd have thought that all we had to do was straight-up ask him just after saving him from some demented villain, right? But… hmm… I've never had a threesome before. Didn't expect my first one to involve another chick. But ya know what? I said I got your back and I mean it, so whenever you two are actually ready to do this and you're sure you don't mind a third person being in the room, count me in."
Phanty's jaw dropped. "Tanis… stole the girl I wanted to play with? TANIS? Why that's just…!" Phantasma paused. She even stopped moving. "…Heh… Now that I think about it, I can totally appreciate how unexpected this outcome is. Besides, it'll be good for Tanny to have someone to help support her in this. Also, kinky."
"Don't you get any ideas, you voyeur." Sibella chided, snickering.
Phanty pouted. "Oh, I know, Sibella… This is Tanis' moment. Even I know better than to ruin it."
"Alright, alright! Enough with the teasing and romantic planning, guys. I think it's about time to figure out how to head home. This wolf's had enough of this dump, so let's—" Winnie's statement was cut off by the sound of Revolta's cauldron suddenly beginning to loudly boil and hiss, a sickly-green bubbly foam having grown from the pot.
"Umm…. Soup's on?" Thorn nervously asked as the group all backed away from the now-quivering cauldron.
"Even as a stew, that bitch's dangerous. Come on! We beat you!" a frustrated Winnie barked, claws out.
The cauldron's rumbling grew in intensity until it finally decided to blow its load. The contents of the pot shot straight upward like a geyser, hitting the ceiling and spreading outward. It was fortunate that the heroes had backed away when they did. Due to the force and the sheer heat of the liquid as well as the nature of the concoction, the impromptu geyser ended up leaving a hole in the ceiling by the time it stopped.
The rumbling died down with the last of the expelled liquid, leaving behind funky-smelling steam. After a few moments, something rose up from inside the cauldron. Something with four arms… The steam began to clear as the figure managed to fully stand, apparently having wobbly legs at the moment.
"Uggh… Where am I…?" a voice was heard. But it wasn't Revolta's. It sounded… a lot nicer. The figure waved her four arms about to clear the steam away. What Mystery Inc, the Grimwood Ghouls, and the Hex Girls saw was something completely different. It was definitely Revolta, if the green hair and four arms were anything to go by. But she was… pretty. Gone were the completely red eyes, abnormal mouth with large teeth, and mole/wart covered skin. The 'reds' of her eyes were now normal whites. Her mouth was a fairly human one, although her teeth were abnormally sharpened. Her skin was now a fair tan, not a flaw in sight. She still had a somewhat upturned nose.
"Man… When I get through with them, I'll… wait… What the…? My voice! This isn't my voice! Although… it's definitely an improvement. Whoa! My skin's actually smooth. Weird… What the hell happened? Because if I'm honest, I expected something a lot worse when I fell in here." Revolta asked, looking down at herself as she stood inside the now empty pot.
"Trust me, we did too." Winnie spat, glaring at the villainess.
Elsa coughed lightly before going into an explanation. "By my immediate calculations, it looks like your concoction reacted unusually to the contents of Thorn's herbal medicine that soaked you when you fell in. Either we accidentally discovered a beauty potion, a 'fountain of youth' of sorts, or at least something that made you appear more human. If I had a way to collect some of the leftover residue splattered here and there, I could analyze this later. Unfortunately, I have no way to tell if this metamorphosis is permanent or not."
"Huh… I see. How randomly unscripted…" Revolta commented as she climbed out of the cauldron, her ratty old dress clinging to her figure in its soaked nature. She went to a nearby table to look for something, which caused everyone to brace for any sudden attacks. She found what she wanted: something with a reflective surface. A steel bowl she usually used for mixing ingredients. Tilting the bowl in just the right way, she could make out what her face currently looked like, even if the image was a little warped from the curvature of the bowl.
"Hmm… Not bad! I could get used to this. Such a stroke of good fortune." the witch crowed to herself as she admired her new appearance. Everyone else rolled their eyes.
"Alright, so what happens now?" Thorn asked, genuinely unsure of what else could happen in this increasingly bizarre encounter.
"Yeah, is this fight still on or what?" Fred cautiously added, keeping an eye on Shaggy as well as Revolta, in case the mind control spell somehow reactivated.
"Hmm? Oh, that… Well, let's see…. I don't know about that. Perhaps we can reschedule for sometime next—YEAH, IT'S STILL ON!" Revolta suddenly shouted in an attempt to psych her enemies out, rapidly turning toward them and throwing her four arms forward, palms open. However, instead of the orbs of dark magic she expected to be sent flying toward the gathered group, nothing happened…
The heroes had flinched and stumbled back, but even they were a little perplexed by the fact that nothing happened. "Wha…?" Revolta gasped before pulling her arms back and then trying again. Again, no magic, not even a few sparks or embers or anything. She tried again and again, straining her head in her effort to conjure up her power. But it was all in vain.
"Well, what do ya know? That dip in the cauldron traded her power for beauty. I see this as an absolute win!" Phantasma proclaimed, her arms spread outward.
"No! NO! I have no magic?! This can't be happening! I… I'm completely powerless!" Revolta shrieked in rage, her upper hands yanking at her hair while her lower fists just shook in anger.
"As you should be for what you've done." Sibella said, walking over toward her. The witch grew furious at the vampire's nerve to talk back and charged at her, her right arms prepared to punch. But Sibella simply sidestepped Revolta's rookie attempt at throwing fists. The vampire used the brief moment of Revolta being defenseless to grab her by the upper arms and hold them behind Revolta, muttering a few words of magic to conjure up some shackles, appearing right on the witch's held arms and restraining them. "I may not be a cop, but attempted assault of royalty and the kidnapping of a royal consort are considerably high offenses. As said royalty, I hereby place you under arrest." Sibella coldly explained as she wrestled the second pair of struggling arms back.
"Ho ho! This would go over well on Undead P.D.! Wish we had cameras rolling." Phantasma chuckled.
"Monsters have their own version of a justice system?" Velma asked, highly curious. The other humans were also curious, but Velma had beaten them to the punch.
Winnie took the chance to answer. "Depends on where ya go or what group of a single monster race ya talk to. The more civilized sorts and the monster communities have a system similar to how humans tend to do it. Cops, court, jail, that sorta thing. Naturally, 'Princess' 'Bella's family had the monarchy thing going with the vamps and those that served them, so there's that too. But then ya got those species that tend to do vigilante justice or that hoity-toity honor thing… 'You have brought shame to your family! Go away and never return!'… or even just survival of the fittest. Heh… Almost sorta like how some countries in the world are different than others when it comes to that."
"Revolta is so going to get an unlife sentence for this." Elsa remarked, taking a little amusement at watching Revolta squirm and struggle in her new confines and Sibella's grip.
"You can't do this to me! This is not in the script! I demand to see my agent! I'm supposed to win! I'M SUPPOSED TO WIN, DAMMIT!" Revolta bellowed, as she tried to at least get out of Sibella's grasp.
"Agent? Don't you mean lawyer? Oh, right… This new 'TV' gimmick of yours. I must say, I find your new quirk quite unusual. Well, more unusual than you typically were, anyway…" Sibella said, easily keeping a hold on the squirmy older woman.
"Gimmick…? You think this is a gimmick!? Shows how little you know! This! All this! Everything around us! It's all fiction, I tell ya! We're all just a product of somebody's imagination, broadcasted on television for children's amusement! I saw it… After you brats foiled my original plan, something happened in that explosion as I fell down to my ruined lair. I found myself trapped… somewhere. The best I can describe it is that it's a space between dimensions. But all I could see was the events of my plan, playing out the way they did, over and over and over and over again. It never stopped. It was like being imprisoned in a movie theater where they just played the same film until the end of time. After a while, it hit me… My life, your lives, Shaggy coming in and just so happened to become some sort of key to victory… It's a story! Just a story. We're all stories! None of this is real! But if that's the case… I figured I could just write my own story, write my way to victory! Head Writer, Executive Producer, Ruler of this made-up WORLD! BUT NO! Convenient plot twist with the backup and the portal magic and the… UGH! WHO WROTE THAT IN!?" Revolta screamed, still trying to break free from Sibella's grip despite her arms being shackled together.
"Lady, you're losing it. All that sounds more convoluted than the things Phanty says when she's on an extreme sugar rush." Winnie scoffed, resisting the urge to just punch her out and be done with it. At this, Phantasma nervously snickered.
"Ehehe… Yeah, I admit that I've kinda had my thoughts on that theory that this world isn't what it seems, but if that's how deep someone can get into that conspiracy, I don't think I'd wanna be associated with that…" Phanty said, pointing at Revolta while ironically twirling a finger beside her head in the classic 'psycho' gesture.
"You know your mind's gone when Phanty thinks you're a loon." Daphne remarked with a smirk. Fred nodded in agreement. Revolta, aggravated at the jeering, practically tried throwing herself out of Sibella's grasp, the vampire having to struggle a little to keep the witch from at least having the freedom to walk around.
"I swear, when I get out of this, you're all going to pay! Mock me all you want, but you'll all know the truth sooner or later! And I will see my proper ending become canon! Nobody will dare write me off ever again! Everyone shall—" Revolta's stark-raving madness was suddenly cut off by a blow to the back of the head, rendering her unconscious. As the wicked witch slumped over and collapsed to the floor, Sibella was seen clutching her fist in her other hand.
"Now I know how it feels to have to put up with a stubborn writer who can't handle having his precious screenplay revised by the movie-making higher-ups. How unpleasant…" Sibella remarked, clenching and unclenching her right hand to try and dull the brief soreness that came from punching Revolta's surprisingly hard head.
"Umm… So what do we do with her now?" Tanis asked. The mummy's question had brought up a good point. Even powerless, they couldn't just leave her there. Who knows what she might manage to get up to? On the other hand, without her magic, she would be just a four-armed woman stuck in the middle of a treacherous swamp… Getting herself out of there, shackled hands and all, would be quite the task that would take up some time and possibly result in death. Still, Sibella wasn't going to risk giving her a chance to cause trouble later…
"It is quite simple, dear Tanis. I am taking her home with me." Sibella stated, like it was a matter of fact.
"Wait, back to Coolsville?! Are you mad too?!" Winnie asked, surprised.
Sibella smirked. "While it is nice to refer to Mystery Inc's apartment complex as our new home, of course I don't mean there." As she spoke, she focused her mind on what remained of her power. Turning around, she stuck out her arms, palms outward. Uttering a few mystical words, energy shot out of them before hitting nothing but air a few feet away, but spreading out as if it actually made contact with something. The now-familiar portal magic spread out until it was complete, big enough for a person to easily walk through and wide enough for three people to walk side by side.
"Alright! A way outta this dump! Thought ya'd never get to that, Sibella." Phanty giggled.
"Oh, we are. But we're going to stop somewhere first to drop off our load of garbage…" Sibella said as she bent over and picked up the KO'd witch, struggling a little due mostly to exhaustion. Winnie walked over to help her carry the villainess.
"Lemme help ya with that, 'Bella." Winnie offered, grabbing at Revolta.
"I got it, Winnie dear. Thank you."
"But ya gotta be whipped after all this."
"We all are, you know. Hmm… Alright, we'll both carry her. I'll carry the arms, you grab the feet." Sibella delegated. And so, after a few moments of moving the witch around so that the pair grabbed the designated parts to carry her by, the vampire and the werewolf led the way into the portal, with everyone else following.
"Rood riddance ro rhis rump…" muttered Scooby as he walked through the swirling vortex before him.
When everybody came out the other side of the portal, the first thing they felt was a cold breeze as they took a moment to recover from a brief disorientation that the portal had caused. But when they had recovered, the sight before them was… astonishing, to say the least.
A giant castle loomed before them, illuminated by moonlight. To most of the group, it seemed to radiate an eerie feeling, as if it somehow did not like visitors all that well… There was more to it than just the ancient, Gothic architecture. It almost seemed like someone or, more likely, something was watching the newcomers. However, to Sibella, she felt no such menacing vibes.
Why would she? After all, this was her home. The infamous castle of Dracula, known by some as Castlevania….
"Like, zoinks! Where are we, Sibella?" Shaggy asked, feeling somewhat nervous.
"Relax, dearest Shaggy. No harm shall befall you here. For this is my home. I wouldn't be surprised if you don't recall this place. For one, because of my father's magics, this castle has the ability to change its architecture at its own will or his will. Secondly, if I recall, whenever he held his foolish road races, he tended to have a lair close to the raceway for convenience. We certainly had the wealth to build numerous homes and bases, should the need or want ever come up. But that aside… Welcome to my castle. I… hope it doesn't scare you too much…" Sibella was glad she was busy carrying her half of Revolta or Shaggy would've seen her slight blush. She had wanted to give her lover a tour of where she was born and raised, but understood that the dark and foreboding nature of the place would possibly rattle his nerves. Especially if her father's minions are still wandering the halls within…
"Like, wow… It's… certainly a big home you have here… Uh, thanks for the welcome. So, like, why are we here?" Shaggy asked, trying to calm his nerves. Now that he knew it was only Sibella's house, he shouldn't have to worry. But still, what a spooky-looking castle!
"As ruler of all vampires, my father and those before him were prepared for various situations. Including the possibility of criminals. Thus, the dungeon deep within the castle. Revolta shall be spending quite some time in a cell for what she's done to you and to us. After all, her crimes have now put her squarely in my jurisdiction." the vampire explained as the group slowly approached the end of the path, the raised drawbridge having yet to lower. As if sensing the presence of its mistress, said drawbridge began to lower, groaning and clanking as it went.
"Part of me's kinda surprised you're willing to hold her in a cell instead of just offing her, to be honest. This is twice this bitch tried ruining our afterlives…" Winnie grumbled as she followed her best friend, a good grip on Revolta's legs.
"Indeed. But would I be any better than my father if I sunk to Revolta's level? Besides, it's not like she'll be having much fun. Perhaps she'll end up begging to resume her endless viewing of her first failure just to break the monotony of boredom and the occasional torture. I must clarify that the creatures that dwell in the dungeon would be the ones administering any of that on Revolta. They pretty much do as they wish down there, as long as it's not against us. Again, dearest Shaggy, there's no need to worry about our safety." Sibella elaborated, adding the last line of comfort in knowing that her lover's nerves might be acting up again.
"Like… creatures? Dangerous ones…?" Shaggy asked.
Sibella nodded. "Yes, love. Being someone of great power, my father was capable of unnaturally establishing dominance over a variety of beings, usually undead or beasts that rely more on instinct than intelligence. Some stick to their designated 'homes', such as the dungeon or the kitchens, while others end up roaming freely, but never outright leaving. Mainly, they were brought in as a form of security, just in case any vampire hunter dared try anything. I grant that some of you might think that living among such beings sounds like I had a macabre childhood. However, aside from a horribly amusing incident involving a rowdy hellhound running off with me as a toddler as if I was a treasured chew toy, I had no qualms with such an environment."
As she finished her explanation (not noticing that most of the humans wore slightly appalled expressions), the drawbridge finally settled into place with a loud thud. Much to Sibella's surprise, a certain cloaked figure stood… or rather, floated… at the other end of the drawbridge, scythe in hand but positioned vertically like it was a walking stick. Accompanying the figure on either side were what appeared to be two humans. However, Sibella could spot fellow vampires a mile away. The regal yet old-school Gothic attires certainly added to the effect, if only for appearance's sake.
"Uh, were you expecting company, Sibella?" Daphne asked, leery about the scythe-carrying figure.
"No, but the cloaked one also lives here. He is my father's right-hand monster. Some call him the Grim Reaper, but others just call him Death. He may be gruff toward the living, but he shouldn't give any of you trouble when I say you're all welcome here." the vampire princess said, as casually as if the figure was just a friendly neighbor.
"Wait… The Grim Reaper's actually a thing? That's the real deal?" Fred asked, growing incredibly nervous as he looked toward the floating icon of the end of life. He wasn't alone, as the other humans also grew uncomfortably skittish when they gazed upon Death itself. To her credit, Thorn was the first one to eventually wrestle down the pressing urge to just run.
The ghouls, on the other hand, were unaffected by Death's eerie presence. Phantasma actually waved cheerfully at the imposing specter, much to the other ghouls' eye-rolling amusement. Taking a look back at her companions, Sibella noticed the humans' obvious discomfort and fear.
"Ah… Of course… I do apologize, but even the bravest humans tend to have that reaction upon seeing the Reaper, even when he isn't doing anything. I'm told it has to do with his aura, having to do with being in charge of the very concept of death itself. He can't help but radiate fear. Hmm… I suppose you can stay here for now while I go see what he wants. Although, it would be nice to make sure he doesn't mistake any of you for intruders whenever you come visit. He does have a photographic memory when it comes to names and faces…" Sibella said, pondering on what to do.
"N-no, Sibella. We'll come in. We're just meeting the guy. It's not like he's gonna swing that thing… Right…?" Velma said, sounding more like she's convincing herself rather than Sibella.
"We can do this… Yeah… He's not gonna kill us. Besides, what band could say that they literally met Death itself and survived? No band but us after today… I can roll with that." Thorn mused aloud, now only a little nervous.
"Of course Thorn can roll with that… Let's just edit out the part where we almost wet ourselves when we do go meet, okay?" Dusk lamented, looking anywhere but straight across the drawbridge. Scooby whimpered in agreement, having hid behind the pigtailed blonde.
"You all don't have to come across yet if you don't think you can bear his presence…" Sibella said, feeling sorry for her human (and canine) friends.
After a minute or two of decision, the Ghouls, Shaggy, Scooby (who was fed some Scooby Snacks, of course), Thorn, and Velma crossed the drawbridge. The others held back, preferring to wait until the reaper leaves.
"Ahh… Welcome home, Mistress Sibella. Hm… I see more change has occurred than I thought. Humans? Here on their own will?" Death greeted, his voice raspy like a loud whisper in the wind.
"They are my friends. None of them shall be prey, if that is what you are trying to get at. I am to assume that you've heard of my father's recent misfortune?" Sibella curtly asked.
"Ah, yes, the mighty Lord Dracula, taken to task by his own daughter and her friends… We have heard much about that. The two that accompany me here are actually those that have managed to find him just recently. How callous you must have been to leave him in the middle of a forest infested with rabid hellspawn. Heh… You are indeed a Dracula, Mistress… He was lucky to have been found at all. Too bad he lost quite a bit of himself, though… Hellspawn are notorious eaters." Death leered with a wheezing chuckle.
"Leave him in a…? No, that wasn't what I had done…" Sibella said, a little appalled. Was this the doing of that odd man with the chainsaw hand? "But nevertheless, it sounds like his knack for surviving anything that isn't his direct weaknesses was truly tested. He should never have tried harming my chosen consort…" she muttered.
"A consort, you say? Ah, of course... Classic parental overreaction. I've taken a few souls as a result of angry parents… ahem… 'dealing with' their unworthy potential kids-in-law. Hah… Hmm… So where is this lucky lad, Mistress? Must be quite the bat to win you over and help turn away your father." Death asked. It was quite strange for the newcomers present to hear the Grim Reaper talk like a family friend.
"Umm… He's actually… right here." Sibella said with a slight bout of timidity as she hooked her arm around Shaggy's and gently pulled him to her. Shaggy gulped as the skull within Death's hood gazed upon him.
"You chose a human? Ugh…" Death exclaimed, looking like he might launch himself into some sort of rant. But then, he forced himself to calm down. "…Well, I can see why the Master reacted the way he did. I mean, a mere human? Are you at least going to turn him before marrying him?"
Shaggy grew more nervous as Death fidgeted and flustered in his annoyance. He wasn't surprised that someone under Dracula's command wouldn't be impressed. However, Sibella could tell Shaggy was cracking, so she lowered her hand to his and intertwined their fingers. Somehow, that managed to calm him down a bit.
The vampire princess spoke. "I know it is not what many expect. But Shaggy Rogers is my choice. As for turning him, that is his choice to make. As I promised him before, I shall not hunt blood that is not willingly given. He is my consort and, as such, shall have the benefits of such a title. I welcome him and his friends and allies into my home. None of our minions shall harm any of them."
Death sighed. "As you wish, Mistress. It is rather fortunate for your group that, because of your father's current condition, it is estimated that he shall not reemerge from his coffin for around… hmm… 3 years, give or take. Let's just say that my associates here have jokingly taken to calling him the abysmal moniker of… Torso Boy…"
"You heard that?!" one of the two vampires said, instantly nervous.
"I am Death. I am the second-in-command of this castle. I hear everything." the Grim Reaper answered, glaring at the surprised vampire. Sibella didn't have to think too hard on why such a goofy yet macabre nickname was bestowed upon her father.
"Speaking of your rank, I actually came to turn in somebody who dared assault Shaggy and myself. Winnie, if you would…" Sibella gestured. Winnie approached, having been delegated to haul Revolta. She had the witch up across her shoulders like she was carrying a log. The werewolf carelessly dropped Revolta with a sarcastic "Oops" to boot.
"This fiend, Revolta the Witch of the Web, had the nerve to kidnap my dear Shaggy, brainwash him, and tried to kill us all when we tracked her down. As my father is indisposed of, I would like to request that she be thrown in the dungeon. Currently, due to a recent accident, she has become powerless. However, I would recommend you keep an extra eye on her, just in case her magic comes back." Sibella explained, not even sparing a glare at the crumpled mess on the ground.
"Why do some people even bother trying? The Dracula Family is not one for fools to trifle with. Heh… Am I correct in assuming that you took her down?" Death asked, a little pleased that he has a new prisoner to toy with.
"Actually, we all had a hand in it. Even the rest of my friends across the drawbridge. Revolta did not make it easy for us… In fact, after making sure she's in a cell, we all seriously need a rest… And maybe some medical care." the purple vampire replied, appearing to slump a bit as if the exhaustion from everything finally caught up with her.
With that, the matter was settled. Death picked up the fallen witch and proceeded to go off toward the dungeon. The other vampires remained however as the rest of the humans crossed the drawbridge. When everyone was gathered, Sibella led them into the dark but luxurious lair. A few hallways and a couple of startling encounters with living skeleton guards, they came across the infirmary. It happened to look more like a mad scientist's laboratory instead of a medical facility, but it did have quite a selection of medical supplies. Naturally, most of it was meant for monster-kind, although some things like bandages were universal.
Elsa immediately got to work on patching up all the holes she had from the haunted foosball table. Shaggy chose to aid Tanis in grabbing some rolls of strong bandages and rewrapping the areas of herself that got exposed from the journey. Velma opted to give Sibella a careful examination after Sibella had grumbled something about the headache she was getting, a lingering result from when Shaggy had dropped her on her head. Luna ended up on the bed next to Sibella's, with Thorn checking over the hell of a bruise that was already forming on Luna's face. The dark redhead was less than thrilled, but she would deal. Better this than dead.
Phantasma just collapsed on one of the medical beds and, within moments, snoring could be heard as she subconsciously began floating in her sleep like an aimless balloon. Winnie, Fred, and Daphne just crashed on some chairs, happy to be able to sit down and rest. Scooby watched his master work on Tanis' bandages as he felt oddly content with this outcome, despite being inside an imposing, scary castle.
After everyone was patched up the best they could be, Sibella gave the group a choice between sleeping through the night on the beds in the infirmary or have her show them around to some guest rooms. The majority chose the guest rooms, since the antiquated and barely comfortable hospital beds proved that some things indeed never change. After Shaggy had managed to gently pull down the sleeping ghost and arranged Phanty so that she was piggybacking on him, Sibella led the way.
Along the way, they had come across a small variety of Dracula's domesticated minions wandering the halls. Skeletons, zombies, bats, oversized wolves, living suits of armor, even a couple of ghosts. As Sibella promised, none of them dared to make an aggressive move toward the group of ghouls and humans. That didn't stop some of the humans from being a little scared of some of the creatures, though. The hallways and rooms of the castle that Sibella led them through were impressive displays of Gothic architecture, much to the interest of the Hex Girls and Velma. As much as the Hexes loved portraying the vampire gimmick, Thorn had to admit that she'd have a hard time getting used to living in a giant castle. Where would she place her stuff without things getting misplaced or herself getting lost? Sibella chuckled warmly at her friend's remarks.
Eventually, they made it to a particular hallway with a series of doors. Sibella turned to face the group. "Ah, here we are. In here, we have some guest rooms, each properly furnished. I apologize if any of the beds are overly dusty. It's been quite a while since my father last harbored guests of a significant number… These particular guest rooms are close to my personal bedchambers, so if you need anything, I'm just down the hall there. The large door at the end of the hall. Or you could give a shout for any of our minions. More likely, the humanoid types might be more helpful to you. Again, no need to fear them. They only get aggressive toward anybody that isn't formally welcomed in. Otherwise, they just see you as fellow residents. Hmm… I think I covered all the bases. So go ahead and pick any room. I figure sharing rooms won't be a problem with you, but I'll let you figure that out. Now… Dearest Shaggy, I have a little something on my mind. Perhaps you could give me your two cents on it?"
"Like, sure, Sibella. What's up?" Shaggy asked.
"Well, let's not forget that you have a little 'date' with Dusk and Tanis. As much as I'd love to show you my bedroom, I figure it might be better for you three to share a guest room so you could at least bond more. You don't have to feel pressured to actually do the deed of course, considering what we just been through, but perhaps spending the night together might help Tanis get used to the idea of getting more intimate. What do you think?" Sibella explained. Tanis immediately perked up at the idea of sharing a bed with her lover.
"Really, Sibella? You don't mind?" Tanis asked.
"Not at all. As much as I'm thinking that we could portal our way back to Coolsville tomorrow, I know it won't be the last time we stop here. He'll see my bedchambers one of these days. Who knows? Maybe we'll end up spending more than one night if I still feel too exhausted to conjure a portal that goes that far. I admit, the portal here pretty much sapped the rest of my energy… Either way, I figure it wouldn't be a problem if you three shared a room. So, have a good time, okay, Tanis?" Sibella asked, giving her height-challenged friend a hug. Tanis happily returned the gesture.
"Thank you, Sibella!"
Shaggy smiled at the touching moment before him. "Like, I'm okay with that arrangement. How about you, Dusk?"
"Damn right, I'm down with that." Dusk grinned, pecking him on the cheek. "This'll be a fun night."
And so, everyone started picking rooms… except for Phantasma, who was still sleeping. In fact, Shaggy couldn't seem to get her off of his back. She appeared to be clinging to him in her sleep. When Winnie and Elsa tried to yank her off of him, Phanty slipped out of their grasp, her body returning to Shaggy's in force. Enough force for her to actually sink into Shaggy's body.
"ZOINKS! That's cold! Like, huh…?" Shaggy exclaimed, before realizing that he no longer felt the presence of the ghost's limbs or body clinging to him.
"Oh boy…! Phanty's possessing you in her sleep!" Winnie said. True to her theory, Shaggy now heard snoring from inside his own head, as if a thought was broadcasted for him to hear.
"You're her reeping rag, Raggy." Scooby said, snickering.
"C'mon, Scoob. A sleeping bag? Like, this isn't funny. What if she wakes up and ends up controlling my body without realizing she's doing it?" Shaggy asked, a little concerned about whatever embarrassing situation this might result in.
"Huh… Has that ever happened?" Winnie asked.
"Not to my knowledge, but it does make for an interesting experiment. I say keep her in there, see what happens." Elsa answered.
"But… but what about Tanis and Dusk?" Shaggy asked.
"Aw, I don't mind, Shaggy… It's just Phanty. And she's asleep, so…" Tanis answered, having resigned herself to accept the idea that Phantasma will always find some way to insert some shenanigans into this relationship.
"She's fine with me, babe. I'm used to her... uh… attention by now anyway." Dusk added, grinning. Besides, possibly getting intimate with a possessed lover does sound like something quite fitting for the Hex Girls motif.
"I'm just hoping I can, like, tune out her snoring…" Shaggy said, chuckling a little.
With that, everyone bid each other a good evening and turned in for the night in their chosen rooms. As it turned out, after some time of bonding and conversation, Tanis finally knew the joy of lovemaking. Despite how weird most couples might think having a third person in the room to observe is, having both Dusk and Shaggy give Tanis moral support helped the mummy immensely when it came to gaining the confidence to shed her bandages. The reason she preferred to have a bandage ponytail became evident as she revealed that she did indeed have hair, but it was short, dry, and looked like she was lucky it didn't all fall off throughout her time as a mummy. Shaggy expected a few quirks when it came to some of his lovers, so her eternal case of 'dead-head' hair didn't faze him, much to Tanis' relief. Dusk thoroughly enjoyed the ensuing show, especially when Tanis seemed to really get into it once she got used to Shaggy's presence inside her. (Shaggy could swear he heard the dozing Phantasma sleep-talk in his head about wondering how everything about Tanis' body is so well-preserved so she can do certain things like this…) With the number of times Tanis called Shaggy her "Pharaoh" while riding him, Dusk would never think of the term the same way again. At least, not without picturing Shaggy and Tanis in some erotic Egyptian scenery and outfits as if they were filming a porn video…
Meanwhile, in Sibella's huge bedroom, the vampire lay in her fancy bed, contemplating the events of this absurdly long day. Mainly, she felt an overwhelming sense of relief, now that everything was done with and settled. Her Shaggy was safe and sound, Revolta was confined to a cell to await further punishment, and nobody got critically hurt in the process. The fact that her father was still alive, but would not be leaving his coffin for a couple of years was a bonus. In the end, he was still her father, but the longer he wasn't able to pose a threat to her or Shaggy, the better. Besides, with word of his defeat having gotten out, she had an opportunity to consider using her rank to perhaps implement some changes to Transylvania during his absence. But that was a thought for another day.
For now, sleep was beckoning to the vampire. Sibella couldn't remember the last time she was so tired. The exhausted princess had indeed earned a good rest. She hoped the next day wouldn't bring another life-endangering crisis to their doorstep.
Under the haunting light of the moon, Castlevania stood. Now that an active Dracula once again occupied it, the castle seemed to feel spookier than it had been for a while. However, this time, it also seemed to feel… oddly welcoming. Imposing and dangerous to anybody that dare intrude, but not completely merciless.
What a lovely night to have a homecoming…
AUTHOR'S NOTE: And with that, another chapter is finished. Was it good? Bad? Just okay? Please feel free to leave a review. And thanks as always for reading. 20 chapters! Woooo!
Fun fact: The final line in this chapter is supposed to be a parody of a line from Castlevania 2: "What a horrible night to have a curse!". …Okay, that's officially enough Castlevania stuff. It's bad enough I wanted to give Sibella (and, by extension, Dracula) a more impressive castle to be their home….
1) Those that remember "Red Vs Blue" should remember the wacky music I'm talking about here. Ol' Sarge would be proud of the Hex Girls and Mystery Inc for pulling something out of the Red Army playbook. Cue that Warthog music!
And now, as always, it's time to dive right in and get to some Reader Review Replies! If we Naruto Run, we can dodge all the trolling comments!
The Keeper Of Worlds – Well, hopefully Meme Shaggy was entertaining enough.
Mr.G77 – Glad you liked the last chapter. I do hope this conclusion is just as satisfying. Oh, by the way, about what ya said at the end of your last review, I did finally get a job, but… well… now the job itself's the thing stressing me out lately. I am so damn tired of retail… but it's pretty much the only thing available in my area, along with fast food and jobs that I'm definitely unqualified for. Ah well… Such is life, right?
JRC1700 – Ya finally get your answer about what Thorn had planned. Lol. Hope ya liked it!
And of course, thank you to everyone else who left a review. Not sure what to say this time, as I think I pretty much answered everyone's comments with the three responses I typed out here….
Anyways, one storyline comes to an end, but… what's the next storyline? If anybody's got any ideas to pitch about where I could take the story next, feel free to tell me. I'm all ears, people.