Paul Dundon’s Weblog

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A little cheese and a little whine

My Best Pal (Scooby Doo Fan Fiction)

It’s the eyes that first give them away.

My name is Minowski, and thanks to my inability to keep my mouth shut when it’s good for me, I’m sheriff of Io-31 Spaceport. They founded Io-31 when mercury mining was still going strong. It didn’t last, and within a year the place had become the last outpost of law and order in the solar system, with every reject from the Jupiter colonies winding their way there to try and get a way back to earth. Some made it, some didn’t, but every last one of them would kill you as soon as look at you.

So one night I’m having a quiet drink in Sizlack’s bar. I’ve spent the day listening to people telling me they’re seeing ghosts near one of the abandoned mines. Turns out there’s some sort of gas being produced by chemicals in the rotting machinery that’s making people see things. All I want to do right now is get half a bottle of sythecol inside me and hit the sack.

But then I spot them – four kids, two guys and two girls, sitting in a booth in the corner. Now kids, we don’t see many kids at Io-31. So I figure, these are either runaways, or they’re on the game, or both. They don’t look like sex workers, though; they’re dressed just like ordinary kids. So they’re runaways, or they’re grifters, or…

Then I see the eyes. A little too settled, a little too knowing. Too old. These aren’t kids at all. And that doesn’t leave many possibilities, and I don’t like any of them.

The pretty girl stands up and walks to the bar. She’s well groomed, slender, and poised, just the opposite of her frumpy friend. She touches the arm of a man standing there drinking, and whispers something in his ear. He can’t believe his luck and motions to Sizlack to bring her a drink. She opens her purse as if to pay but he stops her; it’s a nice touch on her part, I think, whatever the grift is. Because this has to be a grift.

The three at the table are watching her as we drink. They don’t say anything; they’re just biding their time. Then the bigger guy gets up. He’s got a footballer’s build, looks like he can bench 220. Suddenly, his face is all thunder, and he stalks up to the couple at the bar, who by now are all over each other, and taps the guy on the shoulder. The guy turns around, first curious, then concerned, then defensive as the blond kid starts to get wound up.

So this is how it’s going to go. The blond kid is going to take a swing at the guy. The guy is going to go down. The girl is going to get his wallet. Sizlack is going to throw the kids out so by the time the guy comes to, they’re miles away.

I walk across the bar to where the action is about to go down. Blondy is just pulling back his arm to throw a punch. I step between him and the mark and grab his fist.

He’s ice cold, like there isn’t a drop of blood in his body.

I’ve found it’s best to stay calm and friendly in the face of trouble. “My name is Minowski, and I’m the sheriff here. I just thought I’d say hello and – ”

I already know what I’m dealing with. I don’t need to be proven right by him throwing me across the room like I was a rag doll. Still, it’s always nice to be proven right.

I land on a chair near the booth where the frumpy girl sits waiting with the lanky boy who looks like he’s going to need to start shaving real soon, but not yet. It crosses my mind, as the chair shatters beneath me, that it must really piss him off to be caught in the middle of puberty like that.

Across the bar, Blondy weighs up his options. “C’mon, gang,” he shouts, heading towards the door and pulling the pretty girl with him. The two in the booth stand up and the girl follows quickly. The lanky guy hesitates to let her pass. I grab a broken chair leg and jump at him, pinning him back against the wall of the booth, the sharp end of the wooden leg poised over his unbeating heart. He looks down, terrified.

“Like I was telling your buddy,” I say, “I’m the sheriff here, and I think you and I should have a little talk.”

He thinks about it. I think the truth is, he really wants someone to talk to. People don’t know how lonely it is living on the wrong side of the law. And my guess is that this guy is pretty much the runt of the litter where his gang are concerned. He relaxes and nods. I motion to Sizlack and a moment later there are drinks on our table.

“You got some ID, kid?” I ask. He fumbles in his pockets. “Forget it,” I say. “It’s gonna be fake anyway, isn’t it?”

He says nothing for a while. “How did you know?” He casts his eyes to the chair leg then back to me.

“That you and your friends are vampires? Partly because your friend threw me across the room with one hand. Partly because he don’t have a blood supply. And partly because you might look like you’re sixteen but your eyes… your eyes have seen way, way too much.”

He gives a hollow laugh.

“Most people don’t believe in vampires.”

“I know different. I know you don’t see them in the bright lights of the big cities. But my family had – dealings with them back in the old country. And in the shadows of a place like this, it’s no surprise to find – ”

“We’re not killers, right? Like, I can hardly even stomach blood.”

“I believe you. So humour me. How old are you?”

“Next month I’ll be exactly one hundred.”

“So, born 1953. A good year.” I raise my glass in a toast and he laughs again. “What’s your name?”

“Norville. Norville Rogers.”

“Well, Mr Rogers, what are you doing in my spaceport?”

My mark of respect wrong-foots him, and he drops his guard a little.

“We’re looking for something. Someone.” He takes down most of his drink in a single gulp.

“Tell me about it. Maybe I can help you find them.”

“It’s a long story,” he says, and drains his glass.

I motion to Sizlack again. “I’m in no hurry. And if it gets you troublemakers out of my sight quickly, I’m willing to help.”

“Okay, like, it’s 1969. My pal Freddy Jones gets given a big old van by his dad when he gets through drivers’ ed. We think, hey, let’s drive up to coast to Frisco and see the sights. So, like, Freddy’s got a thing for this chick Daphne Blake, and she’s got this friend Velma Dinkley who we’re sure is a dyke but is kind of funny, you know? And my best pal, Robbie Scoble, he’s been to Frisco before and knows some people there. So we all get in the van and head north.

“And it’s great. We have like the best time in the world. And then we meet these guys in a bar who invite us to a frat party in Sunnyvale. They give me some weed and it’s primo stuff, man. So I really want to go to this party. Robert, he’s got a bad feeling about it, he’s heard that Sunnyvale is a pretty nasty place. And he’s my best pal, so I really want to listen to him, you know? But I really want some more of that weed. In the end, he gives in, and we go.

“And the place is like, full of freaking vampires. We didn’t stand a chance, man. They turned us all. Freddy. Velma. Daphne. Even my best pal, Robbie. Man, I cried. I’d known that dude since kindergarten and I had to watch while they drank every last drop of his blood.

“It takes us a couple of days to get our act together. We knew it would be tough to go home. Hell, we knew it would be tough to do anything. We couldn’t even, like, go out in the daytime. Then one morning, Velma comes back to the van. She’s been gone all night and she’s, like, really excited. She’s met a witch who can help us. And I’m like, Velma, you don’t believe in witches and she’s like, I don’t believe in vampires either so fuck you.

“So we go see this witch, right? It turns out she’s a priestess of some trickster god, and this trickster god has an enemy he wants killed. And if we find this enemy, and kill him, this god will make us human again. So we’re like, how do we find him? And the witch tells us that this guy is into the whole frighteners scene and we have to look around for people being scared, spooked out, and generally terrified by things that go bump in the night. So we’re like, how do we do that when we can’t even go out in the day?

“So she casts this spell, which like – like, she fixes it so we can go out in the daylight and we don’t need to drink so much blood and we can get by on ordinary food, so long as we eat a lot of it. Like, then we start on the world’s longest road trip, looking for this trickster god’s enemy. We chase down every spooky mystery we can find, and almost every time it’s some nut job in a mask hiding a pile of loot.

“We built up quite a following, you know? After a while we could tell the cops anything and they’d believe us. No-one seemed to worry that we never got any older or we had a dog who could freaking read. This one time, we brought down the mayor of Winterhaven. He was running a crazy property scam with one of his buddies dressing up in a wetsuit and sabotaging the local power plant. So, like, we figure out what’s going on and we’re thinking no-one is ever going to buy this. But we go to the police with this crazy plot, right, and they’re like, no problem, it’s you guys, and they just, like, arrest the mayor on the spot. The mayor, dude.

“That’s when Velma realised we could get away with anything. She really is the brains of the gang. I mean, Freddy has his plans, and people, well, people think I’m funny, but it’s Velma who makes things happen. Anyway, Velma goes quiet for a few days, and then says we’re going to Sleepy Hollow. Next thing we know, we’re chasing after a headless horseman who turns out to be a businessman stealing a diamond necklace because he’s going bankrupt. We catch him, and he starts saying we’ve double-crossed him.

“Double crossed? Well, yeah, because then Velma tells us that she planned the whole thing and put him up to it, told him we’d lend some cred to the whole headless horseman thing. In the meantime, she’s made a stack doing some kind of crazy deal with his company’s stock. So now he’s totally ruined and Velma sells the company’s assets. And we’re like, rich, man. Which is good, because hamburgers were getting real expensive back then.

“Velma looks after us pretty good, but sometimes money gets tight and we have to hustle a little – like you saw.”

“So you’re here because of what’s going on in the abandoned mine?”

He nods.

“I can save you some time there. There’s no nut-job but there is a lot of dangerous gas which is making people see things. I don’t think your god’s enemy is here.”

I see the look of dejection on his face. They’ve been searching for almost a century and I’ve just handed them another dead end. Then I see a flash of blond at the door to the bar. “Still,” I say, “your friends are.”

He waves and motions them to join us. As the three kids walk over, I see they have a dog with them, a Great Dane, who bounds forward joyfully towards us, running to Norville’s seat and putting his front paws up on Norville’s legs, nuzzling into his neck before settling back down.

“You never told me,” I say, “what happened to Robert.”

He pauses. “The spell – the witch said that if one of us would give up the last of their humanity, it could be shared with the others to make them almost human again.” He takes hold of the dogs head and looks affectionately into its eyes. “Only Robert Scoble was brave enough to make that sacrifice.” He turns to face me. “We call him Scooby, now. And, like, he’s my best pal.”

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Filed under: Film + TV, Humour

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My Bookshelf

The Golden Bough
The Value of Nothing
The Fire
A Wolf at the Table
Devil Bones

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