Scooby-Doo and the Wolfman of Grimwood
As the sun began to set over the crags in the deep reaches of the Rocky Mountains, far removed from any sizable human population, an island sat in the middle of a crystal clear mountain lake. The treacherous path to reach it was all but inaccessible to anything as "civilized" as mortals had become, as ignorant of their instincts as they had fallen.
This island, instead, was occupied by a large log cabin, reminiscent in style of the romantic image of the caravans of the Romani people; those known more commonly as gypsies. A merry campfire danced in a circle of stones before the cabin, illuminating the image of a well-built man that appeared to be in his early thirties sitting on a log and reading a large leatherbound book by the firelight. Dense trees surrounded the scene, blocking any outside view.
A steady thudding noise echoed through the trees, the sound of logs being split with a maul. Some may have thought it racket, but it soothed the older gentleman. After some time, the rhythmic sound ended, followed soon by the rustling of bushes that parted to reveal a girl in her mid-teens, hauling a net full of split firewood.
In the time she had been splitting wood, the fire had burned low, almost to ashes. Neither father nor daughter was concerned; that had been the intent. Tonight was the last of their nights, the final night of the full moon. And neither of them would want a fire on this most glorious of nights.
In the dying light of the fire and the heralding glow of the rising moon, the older gentleman hummed in intrigue at what his book described. The girl looked up, surprised. Usually her papa was quiet as a mouse when he read the old codexes and bestiaries of the Romanai.
"Papa?" she asked.
"Winnie," he said, somewhat distractedly, "come read this." He moved over to allow his daughter to sit by him and pointed at the passage he had just read. As she read over it, Winnie's eyes grew wider, stunned by what the book said.
"Is this true, Papa?" she asked.
Her father, the man once known as Lawrence Talbot, chuckled to himself. "In all my years of reading these old gypsy books, I have never once found a passage that was completely wrong."
Before either Talbot could consider this line of thought further, the silvery light of the full moon spilled from above the treeline, falling upon the two. As one, father and daughter gasped as primal energy arose in their bodies, in their very souls. They felt the familiar transformation, fur growing, nails lengthening into claws, canines sharpening. They could transform whenever they wished, but only the full moon brought the Change so strongly.
Twin howls split the night as the Talbots rushed through the mountains. Man was safe from them, even if they didn't know it. Only whelps were dangerous during the Change, as Lawrence had once been. But he had known control for decades, and Winnie had never had to learn it. They were the alphas, the apex predators.
And all the night was their hunting ground.
Hundreds of miles away, sheets of rain pelted the bayous of Louisiana, dark clouds writhing as they spat bolts of lightning and roared with thunder. The storm drenched the forested swamps, its ire focused particularly on a house that sat on the crest of a hill, its architecture a balance between a large plantation house and a small mansion.
This place, known almost solely to the monster community that lived in the shadows of society, was Miss Grimwood's School for Ghouls.
While the thunderstorm may have bothered some, the school's sole two occupants were, rather fittingly put, right as rain. In her chambers, the eponymous Miss Grimwood was dressed in a salmon nightgown, smiling to herself as the thunder rolled over her school, its call soothing her nerves even as it somehow complimented the steady creaking of her rocking chair and the near inhumanly rapid click and clack of her knitting needles.
Ever since she was a girl, some century or so ago, the woodland witch had very much enjoyed knitting. Some in the monster community might find it odd, too reminiscent of mortals, but it always relaxed her, reminding her of her roots growing up near the city of New Orleans and learning magic from her grandmother.
Within the span of an hour, her decades of experience allowing her to knit far more quickly than most, Miss Grimwood held up a large banner to welcome her returning students within the next week. This old house tended to grow lonesome during the summer, when her girls returned home to their families.
A deep snore drew Miss Grimwood from her thoughts and to her faithful pet dragon, Matches. No longer the size of a cat, he had grown to rival that of a horse. And while his infamous temper had cooled somewhat, his pride had only grown, as dragons tended to do. And his fire had only grown hotter.
Folding her banner and placing it aside, she began to design her next project, another banner, this one for encouragement for her girls in their annual volleyball match against their neighboring rival school, Colonel Calloway's Military Academy. Though it hadn't happened in recent years, the old headmistress chose to have faith that her girls could pull off a win this year.
Naturally, her thoughts wandered to the person responsible for their last victory five years earlier. Their beloved former coach, Shaggy Rogers, and his dogs. She wondered idly if the young man was well, neither her nor her girls bearing any ill will for his sudden departure at the end of that eventful term. His contract had stipulated a single year, and those incoming students had turned out be a rather tough handful. It was a shame none of them had been able to remain at Grimwood's.
As she finished her design with a flourish of her pencil and prepared for the beginning stages of the actual knitting, the woodland witch grew rigid as her instincts screamed at her, her carefully honed sense of the arcane picking something up. Something familiar. Even Matches could feel it, the dragon raising his head from where he had been snoozing in his large, fireproof bed.
Rising from her seat, Miss Grimwood ran a hand over a number of cabinets that matched the bookshelves lining her room's walls, the shelves lined with everything from magical texts and catalogues of magical herbs to histories and bestiaries of monsterdom. The cabinets, varying in size from tiny to massive and all shielded by simple binding and concealing charms, were used to store the various magical implements that she had gathered over the years.
Opening one of the smaller doors, she revealed a large crystal ball resting on a velvet cushion. The sphere now glowed with a greenish light, a light that coalesced into the stern-faced image of an old friend, the renowned warlock Vincent van Ghoul.
"Vincent, dear," Miss Grimwood greeted with her usual cheer. "How are you?"
"Miss Grimwood," Vincent replied evenly, not bothering to say more.
"I'm assuming this is not a social call," Miss Grimwood noted, a touch sardonically.
"Your perceptiveness was always astounding," Van Ghoul replied sarcastically. "I have felt a premonition, one that could lead to utmost disaster that is somehow tied to your school. And one bound to a … mutual associate of ours."
Miss Grimwood's eyebrows rose in surprise at that last bit. Of the few associates they shared, none came to mind. "And who would that be, Vincent?" she asked. While she would have enjoyed keeping their banter going, Vincent's premonitions were never wrong. Unlike herself, whose true strength was not in raw magical power but in preparation and knowledge of potions and charms, Vincent was a world-class powerhouse. And if he predicted something so bad, she felt it wise to cut to the chase.
"A young man who once helped me bind a collection of demons that his dog had released." In another time, those ghosts would have escaped his castle and ravaged the world until they could be found and sealed back in their prison. But in this time, Vincent's protective charms had kept them contained, and the young man, his friend Ms. Blake, and their dogs had taken it upon themselves to, however reluctantly, search his home and capture them before they found a way out.
"Though he and his dog were the cause of it, he acted admirably and captured these spectres with his companions. And now, this rising threat is tied to him as strongly as to your school." His tone became more menacing, "And its students."
Miss Grimwood, even ever the optimist, grew pale at Vincent's warning. And his repeated description of a young man and his dogs had drawn a very specific person to mind. "What would you suggest I do?" she asked quietly.
"During my vision, I felt that the boy will, this very night, come into his true power, a power that has lain dormant in his bloodline for generations. I feel he will come to you for help on this matter. You must find a way to keep him close and teach him to master this power. Only with his aide can you and your students overcome the challenges to come." With that, and a faint glint of sympathy in his eyes, Vincent faded from the crystal.
As Miss Grimwood closed the cabinet door, her mind was whirling with possibilities. A latent power? The challenges to come? Miss Grimwood was familiar with the power to sense and interpret the possibilities of the future, even if she herself had little talent in the art. She knew that such a thing was by its very nature inexact, the course of future events always changing like a feather cast into the winds.
Deciding to think on it in the comfort of her bed, she sank into the mattress and wrapped herself in her homemade quilts. No sooner had she prepared to sink into slumber did the telephone on her bedside table ring. That in itself was rather odd; very few even knew this existed. Few monsters chose to keep up with the times, and even fewer would have the means or motivation to use this telephone in particular. Really, it had largely been a challenge for her dear resident flesh golem.
Taking the earpiece from the reciever, Miss Grimwood composed herself before answering. "Miss Grimwood's School for Ghouls," she said, both sleepily and cheerfully.
"Hey, Miss Grimwood," a very familiar voice said, somewhat sheepishly. Miss Grimwood bolted up in her bed in surprise. 'Well, well. Point for Vincent,' she thought wryly.
A world away from the Americas, a foreboding stone fortress sat in the peaks of the Carpathian Mountains, the subject of numerous local legends and superstitions over the centuries. Some said it was haunted, others claimed it to be the home of monsters. And still others, thinking themselves beyond such superstitions, believed it was merely an abandoned keep, protected by the Romanian government for historical reasons. Yet those who chose to look into it saw that it was legally owned by an ancient family of Transylvania, from which it presumably earned its name.
In actuality, the castle was the home to the infamous vampire lord Count Dracula, one of the most respected members of the world's monster community. In another life, he would at the moment be in the throes of the undead equivalent of a mid-life crisis, manifesting in monster drag races and air-headed mistresses.
But in that life, his undead skin was colored in sickly green, rather than lavender. And in that life, he had never had his darling daughter Sibella.
Within the lit keep of the castle, Dracula sat in a large armchair before a roaring fire, quietly perusing a selection from his castle's library. Sibella sat in the chair across from him, calmly sewing the final gift for her friends for when they returned to Grimwood's within the week.
Dracula hummed as he read over the introductory passage to the book's chapter on celestial events. This book, the Grimness Book of Records, was quite rare, only a half-dozen volumes written centuries ago by a powerful seer, who recorded his visions of the past and the future to establish patterns and prophecies. In addition, it held insight on numerous kinds of monsters that was nonexistent in any other form.
As Dracula continued to read, his eyebrow rose in interest. According to the book, a lunar event every five-hundred years placed the full moon in the perfect position to create new werewolves. The author, whose name had been lost to time, speculated that this was a possible origin of werewolves as a whole.
Moving on, Dracula found that, as it turned out, the book also contained a detailed portrait of the one predicted to be blessed with such an honor. The Count moved to turn the next page, but paused as a feeling of deja vu settled over him and he examined the portrait more closely. He … knew this man. Why did he know this man?
"Sibella," Dracula called, drawing his daughter's attention from her project. "Come, please. I would ask your opinion on something." When she had come to look over his shoulder, Dracula pointed at the portrait. "Does this man not look familiar?"
Sibella's eyes widened in shock and she quickly skimmed the passage on this "Mother Moon" phenomenon. "Oh, dear," she whispered.
"What, my child? Who is he?"
Sibella glanced at her father with annoyance. How could he forget the coach that had been essential in her friends' triumph over their rival school? Then again, Dracula was an old vampire; he had been alive when this event had happened the last time. Truly, aside from Kharis, Tanis's father, he was the oldest of his generation of monsters.
"Let's just say, Daddy," she said, "that I have a feeling that this year will be most … eventful."
Outside a two-story house somewhere in the Southern United States, the Great Dane Scooby-Doo hummed tunelessly to himself as he did one of the things he loved most: taking an evening walk with his best friend, Shaggy. Of course, a walking snack with his best buddy would be even better, but he was more than content with this.
After a few minutes of humming, listening to the crickets chirps and smelling the cool evening air, the duo came upon a small park situated in their neighborhood, a pair of unused lots that had been left by the neighborhood as a place for their pets. A copse of spaced-out trees filled the lot, allowing light in while providing privacy for anything the neighborhood dogs might need.
Speaking of, Scooby looked up to Shaggy, who smiled and unclipped his leash. With a smile, Scooby bounded into the depths of the trees, moonlight giving the park a soothing glow. He ran until he found the stump of an oak tree, charred by the lightning that had cut it down. This was Scooby's stump, and the rest of the dogs knew it. He liked it; it reminded him of a cooked turkey leg.
Scooby lifted his leg and sighed as he marked his territory. He shook himself after he finished and sniffed the air to find his friend, who had probably taken a brief walk along the trails to pass the time. Catching Shaggy's location, Scooby turned … and froze as he felt something. He couldn't have explained what it was … but it was something big.
His stupor was shattered by the sudden sound of breaking wood. And an unearthly howl that tore through the trees.
Scooby ducked down as instinctual fear rose up, his hands over his head as he trembled and waited. To his credit, it only took him a few seconds to realize that whatever had made that noise wasn't just here with him. It was here with Shaggy, too!
His fear for himself replaced by fear for his friend, Scooby bolted through the brush and trees in search of his Shaggy. He kept his footfalls as quiet as possible, but a dog his size could only do so much to be stealthy. As he ran, a wisp of wind brought a familiar scent to his attention, Shaggy's scent. And mixed with it, the smell of a massive canine!
After what had to have been a handful of seconds that only felt like hours, Scooby burst into a clearing in the park, his hackles raised and his body primed to defend his friend. He growled menacingly as he searched the moonlit clearing. Scooby's ears shot up at the sight of deep gouges in the surrounding trees that resembled claw marks. There were no bears around here, he was sure of it. So what had done this?
It was then that Scooby again noticed the unusual smell in the air. Closer to the source, he picked up things he had missed. It was definitely canine, and somehow it smelled like Shaggy. The scent was soaked in fear and irrational anger, the kind that has no source. All of this clicked in his head in less than a second, freeing his mind to pay attention to a sound in the air. Shaggy's pained moan coming from a stand of bushes.
Scooby quietly approached and gasped at the sight of Shaggy's prone form sticking out of the leaves. Scooby gently took the hem of his jeans in his teeth and dragged him from the shadows of the bushes … and jerked away when he saw the fur covering his friend's body! Scooby carefully nudged the prone form over with his nose, revealing … his friend. His friend with fur and claws and fangs.
Shaggy Rogers, somehow, was a werewolf!
The werewolf groaned and clutched its head, the sound exactly like what Shaggy would make. "Scoob?" he slurred, clearly disoriented. "Wha-? What happened?"
Scooby's teeth began to chatter as he frantically considered his situation. Some part of him, some instinct derived from the loyalty of all dogs, knew that Shaggy wasn't dangerous. And even if he was, he was Scooby's friend! But how to approach this?
In his experience, honesty was always best way to go. It would be a shock, but probably best to just get it over with, like a bandaid. Or a bath. "Y-y-y-y-y-" Come on, Scooby! Get it together! "Wait right here!" Scooby said and bolted back to the street. A sound of breaking plastic and a few moments later, Scooby returned with a side mirror from a car. "Look!"
Shaggy stood stock still as he processed the image in the mirror. "Oh, no," he whispered. "Oh no! I- I'm a werewolf!"
This idea has been brewing in the back of my head for years, slowly forming cohesion and powered by my nostolgic enjoyment of Scooby-Doo. A few months ago, I started a search of this very site for good fics based on "Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School", with a particular hope to find one with shaggy as a werewolf ala "Reluctant Werewolf". Then a few weeks ago, it finally hit me that I can actually write one myself. This is the result of that line of thought.
A special thanks to Ninjamuffin13, whose brilliant work "Scooby-Doo and the House of Monsters" helped me realize I can write this work, and even more special thanks to WildwindVampire, who has read over the chapters I have so far, given great support, critique, and encouragement.
*The lines "in another time" reference the canon works of "The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo" (short-lived show from the eighties) and "Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf." I'll be taking elements from the latter to incorporate into the world of this fic.
*For future reference, the girls' ages in GS and this fic are as follows: Tanis (9/14), Winnie (11/16), Phanty (12/17), Sibella (12/17), Elsa (13/18).
*The backstories of the girls' fathers will be heavily based on the classic Universal horror films unless otherwise stated. IE, Winnie's father is Larry Talbot from "The Wolfman" (1941). **Also, Elsa and her father are "Frankensteins" in this rather than GS's "Frankenteen".
Hope you all like this beginning and what is to come! Thanks for reading, LEAVE A REVIEW, and may your muses never waver!