Author's note: I apologize in advance if this story is not good. The whole time I was writing it, I kept smelling bad cheese and I am still not sure if this was the story or a hunk of gouda behind the baseboards. Thanks for reading!

And So It Begins

A howl of rage split the silence followed closely by the sound of running. Scooby Doo and his friends had managed to take the time

scepter from Time Slime – the latest trouble maker of the thirteen ghosts unleashed by Scooby three years ago. Warlock Vincent Van

Ghoul was observing the gang's progress through the crystal ball held by Flim Flam when he saw them abruptly hit a dead end. Damn he

thought – this was a problem he had hoped to avoid. There was a possibility that the time scepter could interfere with his transportation of

Scooby and his friends. Despite the potential ramifications of such interference, Van Ghoul did not hesitate; he muttered a quick spell and

held his breath. Shortly, forms began to materialize as his magic summoned them from the caverns of Time Slime. Van Ghoul's eyes

quickly swept the room, but he did not find Scooby. His face knit with worry as he concentrated and found Scooby spiraling back in time

through his past – silently he suggested that the dog turn the time scepter's dial toward the future, knowing that this would bring the dog

back in range of his spells. He waited until Scooby was within a few days of the current time and whispered the spell that would bring him

home. Instantly, the magic took hold and pulled Scooby loose, setting him gently in the room with his friends. The mystic began to breathe

a sigh of relief but his eyes quickly narrowed as he took in the all consuming fear of the dog cowering with his back to the wall

whimpering "No more!" For a moment, Van Ghoul was completely baffled, but soon, a look of recognition entered his eyes and he

cursed softly under his breath. For the span of a few heartbeats, Van Ghoul stared at the abject hound with something close to

compassion in his gaze, and it was then that he realized that the other people in the room were looking to him for answers. Nodding his

acknowledgement of their unasked questions, Van Ghoul commenced his explanation; "As I transported you all from the stronghold of

Time Slime here, the magic of the time scepter interfered with my spell and threw Scooby back in time." He grimaced, "When he turned

the dial so as to move forward through time, he was forced to relive all of his past experiences with monsters." He looked at Scooby's

friends somewhat sadly, "I fear that this will prove to be too much for him to handle". It seemed that Van Ghoul was correct – all of the

soothing words of his friends did not diminish Scooby's fear; abruptly, startling everyone, he dropped the scepter on the floor and bolted,

howling "I quit!" as he ran. Those that remained stared, aghast at all of the implications of that statement. No one could think of anything

to say and so they left without saying a word, each of them wondering how they could possibly replace Scooby. Van Ghoul stood quietly

for a moment longer, his face troubled. He glanced down at the time scepter and then out the way Scooby had run. Already, he had an

idea, but he would give Scooby a few days to come around on his own first.

A few days later, Van Ghoul's crystal ball showed him that the gang (on Flim Flam's suggestion of course) was interviewing candidates

for Scooby's position. Shaggy and Daphne said little, their faces subdued, and Flim-Flam's cocky exuberance seemed somehow

strained. Van Ghoul shook his head and focused the crystal on Scooby; he found the dog whimpering and hiding under his bed. He put

his hand on the crystal, making it darken and then walked decisively from the room, snatching the scepter from where it rested on the

table as he went. He arrived outside of Scooby's house, not wishing his sudden appearance to frighten Scooby further and then he

convinced Mrs. Doo to let him see her son. "Scooby," she called softly, "there's someone here to see you". "I don't want to see

anyone!" Scooby answered, his voice somewhat muffled. Van Ghoul glanced briefly at Mrs. Doo and told her that he believed he could

help Scooby. Mrs. Doo nodded once and left him alone with Scooby (his hiding place revealed by the subtle shaking of the bed skirts).

Van Ghoul stood still for a moment, his face self-deprecatory. 'I should have prevented this' he told himself angrily and then moved to

sit down in a chair next to the bed. "Scooby," he said with as much gentleness as his rough voice could manage, "I need to show you

something". "No!" came the muffled cry, "I won't come out". Hating himself for doing it, Van Ghoul eased onto the floor, reached out

until his hand touched Scooby's paw, and turned the dial of the scepter to a time ten years into the future.