A/N: Hey, y'all! It's ya boi here with another fanfiction. I've noticed a theme in the ones I've written for this site (that they're kind of weird and make you think a bit and throw you in for a loop) and this one's no different! I actually managed to make it mostly angst free but wow, the idea came into mind from both Inception and The Good Place (great movie and show) but those are only concepts, you know? It works if you listen to the ending theme from FNAF: Pizzaria Simulator when things start getting weird,if you're able to listen to it. Enjoy!
I don't own Scooby Doo or any of its characters.
They had been trapped in this abandoned mine for what felt like forever. All five were hungry and thirsty, but the release of death hadn't come for any of them. It had been days.
"None of this makes sense," Velma rasped. "Why aren't we dead yet? The human body can go three days without water and we've been in here for at least a week."
"I don't know," Fred responded. He lazily stroked Scooby's head.
"But, like, there has to be a reason we haven't died."
"Basic science," Velma said. "Can't really dispute that."
"Yeah," Daphne said.
There used to be a fire in one of the corners of the cave but it had long burned down, despite the abundance of coal. They had all decided to let it burn down. It hadn't felt as welcome after a while, despite the constant cold of the cave.
Velma resigned to sitting by herself again. She soon lost herself in thought again. It helped to ease the pain of her aching throat and the dull throb in her stomach. She pulled her sleeves over her arms.
She closed her eyes for a moment, but it was only tiredness, not death. She thought back to the old times they'd had together, and at some point her mind turned to the oddities they'd experienced.
One particular incident came to mind when they'd woken inside of a smoky warehouse, but were free to leave. They must have been investigating and had fallen asleep, but later that day, after they were back, news of a fire in the same warehouse came on TV. They had been unscathed, maybe it was their intuition that had brought the smoky smell to them, to warn them to leave.
In that moment, something sparked inside of her. A realization. She couldn't remember any oddities before then. Come to think of it, she couldn't even remember any mysteries before then. She inhaled.
"Answer me a question, someone," Velma said in a daze.
"All right. I'll try," Daphne responded.
"How did we get here?"
"With the Mystery Machine? And then the rocks fell over the exit to the cave and we were trapped."
"No, not this place, how we got together, what made us start solving mysteries."
"Well, we..." Daphne thought back to it. She looked to Fred and the realization dawned on him, too. Shaggy inhaled sharply.
"We never started. We just solve mystery after mystery after mystery. With no end."
"No aging. No breaks. And we always somehow win. Remember, we all just woke up one day in the warehouse, smelling a little smoky but otherwise fine?"
"Yeah," Fred nodded. "I remember now. That's when we all got into the van one day and drove around finding and solving mysteries."
"Exactly. And the news that the warehouse had caught on fire but there were no survivors? We just dismissed it by saying it must have caught on fire after we left, but why are we so afraid of fire now?"
No one answered. They weren't sure if they were following along.
"My theory is that the warehouse did, indeed catch on fire. And we were trapped in it. We were all kidnapped beforehand and locked in there when it did catch with no escape. Which is why we're afraid."
"But if we had no escape, we should have died." The realization slowly made its way onto their faces and Velma nodded grimly.
"We did die. We all did. And we met here. This is our world, a world we created. It's our afterlife."
Fred could feel his heart thud in his chest.
"We were all so angry when we came. We're vengeful spirits, wishing we could have our revenge on the people who did this to us. We have an insatiable lust for justice, causing us to be trapped here.
"We must have constructed this world, filled it with everyone we ever knew and it did the rest. That's why we're monster magnets, why we can all achieve inhuman feats. Shaggy and Scooby and their monster appetites, Scooby talking, our inexplicable ability to find monsters and never die, never age, always land on our feet."
"That means everyone we know... They aren't really the people we know. They're just projections of the people we knew," Daphne said.
"Exactly. We're all alone here. It's just the five of us. And somehow, when we came here, we chose to forget about what happened, to weave an elaborate story for how we got here.
"But when we got locked in here with no way out, left to die, and we didn't, we started to remember. We had to, otherwise we'd go insane. If that'd happened, our ideal afterlife, one where we bring about justice, wouldn't be so ideal. We'd be trapped in another Hell."
"So what do we do now?"
"My guess is that we can leave whenever we want. And when we do, we forget again. And everything resumes."
"It sounds... Not bad."
"Exactly. I'd be content to spend eternity with all of you, and I'm assuming you feel the same way as me. We are really bound to each other, bound to have our ups and downs, to have times where we love or hate each other, but we're going to be friends forever.
"Because when we came here, not only was our desire for justice strong, so was the bond we created when we were all sent here. We're stuck together, and this is our afterlife. It's not paradise, but, still, it's perfect."
"So how do we get out of the mineshaft?" Shaggy asked.
"We just leave," Daphne responded. She closed her eyes and started to levitate. Velma's eyes widened.
"We're going to forget this happened, forget what we remembered, make another story. And we're going to keep existing here forever, to keep solving mysteries. We're Mystery, Incorporated. And we won't stop pursuing justice. Ever."
Daphne reached for Velma's hand. She took it and started floating.
"Are you guys ready?" she asked as she extended her hand. Fred took her hand, then Shaggy took Fred's, and then Scooby took Shaggy's.
They gently floated upward, out of the rocks and into the sunlight. As they went further, the memories of what had happened just then faded until they were subtle, then almost non-existent.
They hit the grass and went unconscious, the sun warming their faces and waking them up, their minds already coming up with an explanation for how they got there.
Was this sufficiently weird and/or surprising? I hope it was.