Well, I tried to get it out by Christmas, but I'm a bit late. Still, enjoy. Soundtrack for this was supposed to be Christmas Carols but it didn't work right. So, Part 4 goes with "Carol of the Bells" or a really fast paced Jingle Bells if you can find one. Part 7 goes with "Chamber of Secrets" from the soundtrack to the Harry Potter movie of the same name. The later part of Part 8 and 20 go with "Chasing the Falcon" from the Tintin soundtrack. Part 12 goes with "The Werewolf Scene" from the Harry Potter 3 soundtrack. Quite frankly just those three soundtracks in general for most of the other parts of this. So, as I said, enjoy and thanks for reading.
Part 1: The Fright Before Christmas
Will turned the key in the padlock. With a heavy click it opened. He pulled the massive cargo doors open. Motioning to his team, they began unloading the truck. The contents were marked from all over the world. They would be part of the Coolsonian Museum's Celebration's of Winter exhibit.
"Hey, get a load of this thing" Joe said motioning to one of the open boxes. "Nearly gave me a heart attack."
The statue inside was nearly seven feet tall. It had black shaggy fur and long goat legs that ended in black cloven hooves. Two massive black goat horns protruded from its forehead. Beneath them was a snarling demonic face with sharp teeth and a slavering tongue. In its clawed hand was a long wooden rod, and on its back rested a wicker basket adorned with bells. To top it all off large metal chains hung from shackles on its wrists.
"You sure we got the right exhibit?" Will asked.
"Yeah, the plaque says that this thing is a Krampus."
Wary of turning their backs to the thing, they resumed setting up the exhibit. After an hour of work they reluctantly returned to the Krampus display. Will lifted the crate onto the dolly and they wheeled it into the museum. The museum was a strange place at night. With only minimal light in certain exhibits it looked downright creepy. Moonlight shown through the windows in the dark rooms and cast eerie shadows on the displays. Finally the two men unloaded finished their part of the exhibit and headed back for the… thing. Joe went to the crate to unload the statue… and found it empty.
Joe felt a heavy blow to his gut. A large birch rod slammed into his side. Looking up he saw the missing statue, only it was alive. Its open mouth dripped saliva as it raised the rod again.
"Someone's been naughty." The creature snarled.
Part 2: Winter Break
Shaggy tapped his pencil nervously on his desk as Mister Eisenhardt collected the winter finals. Shaggy had tried his best, but sometimes he just felt like it would never work. His fear was only compounded by the fact that Eisenhardt, who apparently had a mind like a super computer, was grading the exams as he collected them. He glanced over at Velma and saw her face light up as Eisenhardt wrote down her score. He knew what she had gotten; the whole class did even before the test started. But the fact that her face lit up like that when she got the score always made Shaggy feel good because he knew that she worried (however unneeded) just as much as himself.
Eisenhardt passed over his desk, mechanically picking up the paper and scanning it with his bright, almost yellow eyes. All the while his face remained cold, just as it had almost all semester. Then he wrote a score on the paper and handed it back. As he walked away, Shaggy thought he caught just the ghost of a smile. Looking down, his own face broke into a broad grin; 88%, he had passed.
The bell rang and Shaggy flew to the door. The semester was over; let three weeks of vacation begin. Velma caught up to him outside.
"Hundred percent" She squeaked excitedly.
Shaggy just nodded smiling when he felt a hand grab his shoulder. He turned to see Red Herring standing behind him.
"Hey Red" Shaggy said nervously. He knew that Fred and Red were on better terms since September, but he had avoided him for months, mostly out of habit.
"Merry Christmas man" He said handing Shaggy a square of chocolate.
"Uh… thanks" He said taking it.
"Here's something for your dog, no chocolate. Here's one for you, merry Christmas." He handed one to Velma. "Oh, wait, you're Jewish right?" Velma nodded. "… Is Hanukah over?" Red asked uncertainly.
"No" Velma answered equally so.
"Okay then, Happy Hanukah." Red said cheerfully handing over the candy and walking away.
"That was… weird."
"His grandma made him do it." Fred said coming up behind them. "Still, I think he's gotten better." Fred finished grinning. "Daphne and I are taking the van to the dealership to get Daphne's new bike, you guys want to come?"
"I have to go to the museum." Velma said carefully placing her test into her backpack.
"Like, I'll give you a ride, gotta pick up Maggie and Scooby first. Fred, I'll see you at the mall in three hours."
Shaggy slung his backpack into the back of his battered, non convertible, convertible. He had been saving his money for a new used car, maybe a jeep, but so far, he was stuck with this. Velma slid into the seat next to him. Once they were buckled up, Shaggy heard a familiar noise. It was the theme to Doctor Who, which Velma had made him watch in the past few weeks. It was a good show, but it reminded him a little too much of his life. Velma, recognizing her ring tone, pulled out her phone and answered.
"Hi mom… Dad has to work late… Shaggy was giving me a ride… no I'll ask him." She covered the mouthpiece with her palm and turned to Shaggy. "Can we get Madelyn when we pick up Maggie, there's no one to pick her up?"
Ten minutes later they had picked up Scooby from the groomers. In another five they were at the local elementary school. The three of them got out and walked in. They gave their names to the woman at the desk and Maggie and Madelyn were called out. Shaggy kneeled down as Maggie ran up to give him and Scooby a big hug. Madelyn began telling Velma about the history lesson they had been given in class about Christmas. 'Dinkleys', Shaggy thought.
"Winter break!" Maggie and Shaggy cheered in unison giving each other high fives.
Part 3: Winters of the World
Shaggy pulled into the museum lot. It was an old building, made of large tan stone. Long banners hung between marble columns. They each displayed a different winter tradition from around the world. Beneath each picture were golden, cursive words reading Winters of the World.
They entered, making their way to where the new exhibit was being set up. It would open in just two days. With no one guarding the exhibit they entered. Behind the scenes was a chaos of unpacking and setting up. Graduate students from the university were running about the large exhibition hall. In the middle stood a skinny woman in her late thirties. Her dark brown hair was straight and only extended down to her neck. On her face she wore a set of small rectangular glasses.
"Professor Dinkley, where do you want these?" One of the grad- students called holding up a box of pine branches.
"Over by the tree!" Velma's mom answered back.
They walked up to Velma's mom, who turned and greeted them with surprise, apparently being so absorbed in her work that she had only just noticed their presence.
"Hi Kids, you want the tour?"
She led them around the various parts of the exhibit, giving them commentary as they passed. Coming around into Europe, they passed in front of a large statue of some kind of goat monster.
"Zoinks" Shaggy yelped. "What the heck is that?"
"That…" Velma's mom said indicating the figure. "…is the Krampus. It's a mountain demon from the Alpine regions. The name comes from an old German word for claw. He's said to take naughty children at Christmas time for punishment."
"Yeesh" Shaggy said starring up the large furry statue. "Leave it to Germany."
"I know right" Dr. Dinkley agreed.
"Mom!?" Velma moaned indignantly.
"What, my side of the family is from Russia, you're father is German."
"It is pretty creepy" Madelyn said.
"Eh, I've seen creepier" A Scottish accented voice said from behind them.
They turned around to see a familiar looking man with spiky brown hair and a slim face, with a beard of stubble. He wore a grey suit and a long brown overcoat. He trotted up, bouncing on each step, admiring the exhibit with a huge smile.
"Doctor Fletcher" Mrs. Dinkley greeted.
"Professor Dinkley" he replied, his voice filled with cheer. "I love what you've done with the place."
"Kids this is John Fletcher."
"Oh yes, I met Shaggy, Scooby, and Velma during the business at Loch Ness. I hope you haven't had any more trouble like that."
"Oh, no, we have a whole new brand of trouble" Shaggy moaned.
"So, where are Fred and Daphne?"
"Well, Daphne just picked up her knew bike and Fred…" Shaggy's jaw dropped with a sudden realization. He glanced at Scooby. "We were supposed to meet Fred at the mall ten minutes ago."
Part 4: Brawl at the Mall
Every year, the Coolsville Police Department put on a fundraiser in the atrium of the Galleria. It was a beloved part of the community. It featured a toy drive, a raffle, and an appearance by Santa. This year Fred had volunteered to play Santa, with Shaggy and Scooby acting as his elves. At least, that was the plan. Shaggy and Scooby hoped it still worked out that way as they frantically changed into their costumes and ran into the back door of the shopping center. Inside Fred was waiting in full Santa costume, impatiently tapping his foot.
"Sorry, like, lost track of time" Shaggy panted, hands on his knees.
"Reah, rime" Scooby agreed.
"It's alright" Fred said. "I'm just glad you guys are here. Sgt. Messick and Kasem have been stalling and their jokes are really not that good."
The three of them stepped out to a thunderous applause from the children. Shaggy's dad announced that the raffle would begin while the children met Santa.
"Perk up" Shaggy said, noticing Fred's somewhat sullen face. "You're Santa."
"I'm tired" Fred complained.
"Santa doesn't get tired, he's jolly."
"Rerh… funny" Scooby said. "Rot really rolly. Rand rou rave to raff."
"He's right, you gotta do the laugh."
"Ha, ha, ha" Fred laughed.
"It's not ha, ha, ha, it's ho, ho, ho"
"That's not a laugh."
"Rust roo it"
"Ho… ho… ho" Fred said slowly.
"Like, more Santa, less George Takei."
Scooby pawed at Shaggy's arm, urging him to stop the argument. Shaggy turned to see a little girl coming up from the line. He darted his eyes at Fred who awkwardly shot back into character with a Ho, Ho, Ho.
"Hello little…" Fred realized he recognized the girl, and saw an opportunity for some real holiday fun. "Tina, isn't it."
"You know me" The little girl said, eyes wide.
"Of course I do, I'm Santa."
Shaggy and Scooby both smirked. Tina was a friend of Maggie's. Last Christmas they had solved a case at the elementary school. Shaggy pulled his elf hat low over his eyes hoping she wouldn't recognize him.
Scooby's ears perked up. Something was rustling back stage. He craned his neck back and saw a large furry claw gently opening the curtain. Scooby grabbed Shaggy's arm and jerked him around. Both their eyes widened in terror as a large, demonic, beast stepped out from the curtain. It swung a large birch rod like a club over its head.
"Ladies and gentlemen…" The thing snarled. "You've all made the naughty list."
Shaggy's father stepped in front of the creature, his hand resting near his sidearm.
"Who are you?"
"I'm the Krampus! Now everyone, clear… OUT!"
It swung the large rod, catching Mr. Rogers in the gut. He flew across the room, landing in a pile of fake snow. Messick and Kasem stepped forward, weapons drawn. The creature smiled as it charged at them. They didn't get off a single shot before it stomped them to the ground. Fred glanced at Shaggy and Scooby.
"Get the kids out"
Shaggy and Scooby jumped off stage as the creature swung the rod towards them. Grabbing Tina off the stage they ran into the crowd of children and parents.
"You heard Santa, like everyone out."
The children cleared out quickest, not so much out of fear, but because Santa told them to. Fred stepped up in front of the creature.
"Kick his butt Santa!" One of the kids yelled.
"That's the plan kid." Fred muttered.
The creature swung its club. Fred back- stepped off the stage, landing in a wide pile presents. Scrambling to his feat, he pulled a large plastic candy cane off of the stage and held it defensively in front of him.
"What'cha got Grinch?"
The club snapped Fred's candy cane in two. His jaw dropped, and then curved into a terrified smile. He held his arms out, trying to think of something to say.
"Bye" He darted back into the mall. The creature followed, plowing through anything in its way.
Shaggy and Scooby herded the children and parents up the stairs toward the second floor exit. Just as they were passing the balcony overlooking the ground level, Fred and the creature came darting into the area below them.
"Hey… goat… thing!" Shaggy yelled down.
The creature looked toward them growling.
"Ri rish rou radn't done rat."
"Yeah, like, me too" Shaggy whimpered. "Everyone stay back"
He and Scooby ran down the escalator. He fished around in his pocket and whipped out his phone.
"Daphne!" He yelled still running. "How close are you to the mall?"
"About three minutes" She answered back.
"We've got two, you gotta get over here, we got a… the usual."
Shaggy hung up and stuffed the phone back into his pocket. The Krampus charged at him. He and Scooby each dived to the side, letting the creature slide between them. Fred pulled a skateboard off of a sports display and shot toward the monster. He felt the air shoved out of his lungs as the Krampus snatched him off the skateboard and slammed him onto the floor.
"Son of a…" Fred blinked through his watering eyes up at the kids watching him from the balcony. "Nutcracker!"
Daphne skidded her Motorcycle into a parking space, bringing her foot down on the kickstand. She bolted into the doors of the mall without bothering to pull her motorcycle helmet off. Following the sounds of destruction and the trail of wreckage she shot to the rescue.
She stopped herself at the balcony, looking down into the first floor where Fred, Shaggy, and Scooby where fighting... something. 'That's what Shaggy meant by the usual' she thought. Another person wasn't going to cut it for this one, she needed an edge. She spun around, settling on a sporting goods store. Tearing off her helmet, she ran into the store and pulled a bow and some arrows off the shelf.
"Excuse me… you gotta pay for that" The clerk said behind the counter.
"Are you serious, there's a monster out there!"
"Yeah sure" the bored clerk replied.
Daphne pulled her credit card out of her pocket and slammed it onto the desk.
"I need some ID, you gotta be over eighteen."
Daphne was about ready to curse the guy out when a blond woman behind her put an ID and a credit card on the desk. Daphne spun around at the woman.
Daphne had more she wanted to say, but Rachael indicated that they should probably get back to the fight. She was right. They went back out to the balcony. Daphne notched an arrow and took aim.
"Hey… thingy… let them go!"
She let the arrow fly. It stuck itself right into the birch rod above the creature's head. The watching crowd cheered. One little boy yelled down to Shaggy.
"Who is that?!"
"Mrs. Claus kid" Shaggy smirked.
The children awed.
"Stand down!" Daphne yelled, notching another arrow.
The beast whipped its chains at the floor with a crash. A flash blinded the hall. For a moment, everyone blinked furiously trying to regain their vision. When the spots stopped dancing in their eyes, the Krampus was gone.
Part 5: Folklore 101
The gang regrouped at Daphne's house. The waited outside long enough for Velma to arrive from the museum and then took shelter inside, and what an inside it was. After moving out of Blake Hall in Scotland, George and Josephine had constructed a mansion specifically tailored to their lifestyle. There was a training room with a boxing ring in the basement, stables and an archery range in the backyard, and a home theater that Shaggy and Scooby always got sidetracked with.
Inside Daphne's room there were the typical items. She had a makeup mirror, a large closet, a four poster bed, a punching bag. Shaggy also noticed a large archery target hung on the wardrobe with several bull's-eyes, not all of them arrows.
"Is this new?" Velma asked running her hand over the hilt of the kukri knife impaled in the center.
"Yeah, it got too cold to practice outside." Daphne shrugged tossing the new bow onto her bed.
"Like, is this silverware?" Shaggy asked plucking a steak knife in the board.
"Yeah, we have some extra sets of silver… so I just thought.. why not…"
She yanked the Kukri out of the bull's eye and put it onto its mount on the wall. The rest of the gang took seats in the room.
"So, you guys saw a Krampus? I miss all the fun."
"Like Velms, you got a real weird sense of fun." Shaggy said icing his arm.
"So, what did you get on the Krampus from your mom?" Fred asked, attempting to yank one of the arrows out of the wall and realizing just how deep they had been dug in.
"Well, she and Doctor Fletcher…"
"Fletcher's here?" Fred asked.
"Yeah, like, he showed up at the museum."
"Rachael was at the mall too, but I lost her after the Krampus disappeared."
"Anyway…" Velma said, retaking the floor. "The legend actually predates Christianity in Germanic regions. Young men would go into the forest and come back as a Krampus for some kind of coming of age ceremony."
"Great, so do we look for guys that have disappeared into the forest?"
"Not a bad idea, Velma, you go back to the museum and see what you can dig up, Daphne and I'll go see Dell, Shaggy and Scooby, you two go back to the mall, snoop around."
"Hey, don't worry buddy, there's no safer place than where the monster's already been."
Part 6: Professor Hyde- White
Velma spent an hour pouring over the manuscripts and documents that had come with the exhibit. She had pestered countless interns and worn out two pairs of plastic gloves handling some of the older documents. Finally, she slumped back in her chair, exhausted from the research.
"You there, stop lazing about and get back to work, the exhibit opens two days." A British voice called out.
Velma stood up and turned to see a brunette mustachioed man in a brown tweed suit striding up to her carrying a box. He thrust it into her hands and slammed a folder of papers on top of it.
"Take the box to the basement, the papers to professor Wickles and give this…" He pulled a small envelope out of his coat. "To the movers, tell them Professor Hyde- White hopes that this covers what happened to the first two men."
Before Velma could protest the man had walked away. She stared dumbstruck at the box in her arms, filled with artifacts from the previous exhibit.
"Sorry about the Professor" Someone said from in front of the box.
Once they had pulled it away, Velma saw him to be one of the interns, about her height with short reddish brown hair, thick glasses, and a growing beard.
"Are you new here?"
"I'm Professor Dinkley's daughter."
"Oh, of course, Velma" He said nodding with recognition. "I'm Patrick Wisely, Professor Hyde White's assistant."
"Nice to meet you. Um, the Professor mentioned something about the first two moving men, do you know anything about that?"
Patrick shook his head with dismay.
"Two of the movers had some equipment collapse on them in the loading bay. They're at Darrow Memorial now, but it was a nasty accident."
Velma stood in contemplation.
"I was wondering, do you have any more documents on the Krampus?"
"You're researching what happened at the mall aren't you?" He said with a grin. "We had an old exhibit about coming of age ceremonies; you can look in those files."
Part 7: Cold Case
Daphne and Fred stood outside of Dell's home waiting for the door to be answered. Fred examined the outside of the house. Christmas lights were strung up along the porch and a large nativity scene was set up on the lawn. Finally they heard movement behind the door. Dells mother, a friendly looking Cuban- American woman, let them inside.
They made their way to Dell's room. Inside was a literal web of conspiracy. Pieces of yarn connected pictures on a large cork board to a whiteboard on the other side of the room. Some even stretched to the ceiling. In the middle at his Desk was Dell.
"Mulder" Fred greeted.
"Lois, Clark" Dell said back without looking up.
"Did you get my text?" Fred asked.
"Yep, follow the red and green intertwined strings."
Fred located the strings on the cork board, pinned to a printout of a Krampus greeting card. He ran his finger across it until he found a copy of some parchment in the middle of the room. Dell swiveled around in his chair to see Fred's Progress.
"December, 22 1776, a Hessian ship bound from Germany lands in Coolsville to provide support to British troops during the revolution. On the manifest that you see there, it lists what sources claimed was a German super- weapon bound for New York."
"Der Schlächter" Daphne read off the manifest. "The Butcher."
"Not crew" Dell said with an excited grin. "Cargo."
Fred ran his finger to another piece of photocopied parchment.
"British casualty report for a powder blast that destroyed the ship. All cargo was accounted for except…"
"Der Schlächter?" Fred guessed.
Dell nodded. The string ran again to a newspaper dated December 26, 1784. There was a portrait of a young boy, and a drawing of a large horned creature.
"Christmas day, 1784, a young boy disappears from his home. A local highwayman implicated in the kidnapping reports seeing a large horned creature in the woods."
Fred kept running his fingers down the web past more and more kidnapping reports, each of them occurring around Christmas. Finally, he stopped at what looked like a town hall memo.
"December 1st, 1867, a hunting party is formed to raid Embrujada Woods, which connects Coolsville, Crystal Cove, and Gatorsburg. Of course, today we know it better as…"
"The forest of the claws." Fred finished. "I remember reading about that. The hunting party found deep five fingered claw marks on almost every tree."
"Only one member of the hunting party came back alive. He reported that the others had been slaughtered by a demon which the leader had managed to kill with his dying breath. After that the disappearances stop until…"
Fred stopped at the last newspaper article on the string, breathing heavily with anticipation.
"December 24, 9 years ago, 13 year old Winsor Knight disappears after going into the forest as a dare from some friends"
"I remember that" Fred exclaimed."
"They called it Black Christmas" Dell nodded.
"Isn't Mrs. Knight a docent at the museum?" Daphne said.
"I'll call Velma" Fred said whipping out his phone and getting ready to leave. "Dell, you are the man."
"One more thing guys" Dell said. "All of the kids were mentioned as being troublemakers or different in some way. The Krampus takes the bad kids."
Part 8: Holiday Rush
Shaggy and Scooby ducked back through the employee entrance of the mall. Police had already searched the area and as far as they knew had found nothing. Shoppers were returning to the stores in force; ah Christmas. Scooby sniffed at the ground, perking up his ears.
"Got something bud?" Shaggy asked.
"Rurr and… rech"
Shaggy took a whiff of the floor where Scooby had stopped; fur and… yech. It smelled like, animal droppings, some kind of horse… or goat maybe.
The two of them followed the trail through the mall. Some angry shoppers yelled at them when they pushed through the crowds. Eventually they came to a clearing in the mass of shoppers. They were right in front of an auto- parts store. A window was smashed and yellow crime scene tape spread across the entrance. An employee was inside sweeping up debris.
"Hey, like, uh, did that monster do this?"
"Naw" The man said leaning on his broom. "We got broken into this morning."
"What'd they steal?"
"Just whatever was in the register, maybe some merchandise, but we won't know until we get everything cleaned up."
Shaggy and Scooby searched for anymore traces of Krampus scent, but found nothing. By the time it started getting dark, they decided to leave. Shaggy turned the keys in the ignition of his car and pulled out onto the street. The roads were pretty empty; either people were all in shopping or all in with their families. Shaggy pulled pushed down on the breaks at the first red light, and sped right through it.
"Like what the…?" Shaggy mumbled as he slammed his foot down on the pedal. "That's not good."
Shaggy reached for the emergency break. His hand clasped at empty air. The lever had been torn from its socket. He jerked the wheel to the left as a car came up in front of him. The driver screamed abuse at him as he passed.
"Raggy!" Scooby said noticing a road sign. "Rintersection."
Shaggy saw it too, ahead of them was one of the busiest intersections in town. He forced the car off the main street, taking a side road that would hopefully take his away from busy areas. He was getting towards the woods now. Next to him were the first signs of the tree line. Then he heard bells.
The sleigh came up next to him like a demon out of a Tim Burton movie. It was completely black and made sparks as the rails screeched against snowless ground. Pulling it was a phantom reindeer with a glowing skeletal face. And inside the sleigh was the Krampus itself, whipping the creature forward. Shaggy's eyes widened in terror, so much so that he forgot to watch the road. Scooby bit the wheel and steered them to the left just as they were about to careen into the trees.
Up ahead, a sign marked that they were fast approaching Innes Ravine, an impossibly steep 100 foot drop that marked the official start of the forest. Shaggy fished out a bag of oranges that he had picked up for a snack earlier and handed them to Scooby.
Scooby shot him an incredulous look.
"Like, do you have a better idea!?"
Scooby shrugged. Taking the top of the sack in his jaws he swung the bag back toward the creature like a hammer throw. It hit and the demon sleigh fell back into the darkness. Shaggy grabbed Scooby by the collar and pulled them both out the open door just before the car plunged into the ravine.
Shaggy and Scooby scrambled away from the steep edge. The stood, panting as the adrenaline faded.
"I really wish I had saved an orange."
Lights flashed behind them as a police car pulled up. The officer got out, shining his flashlight into Shaggy's eyes.
"Hi Officer Welker" Shaggy panted. "You would not believe what just happened."
Part 9: Sabotage
Shaggy looked over the crumpled remains of his car. It may have been a piece of junk but it served him well. This morning it had been fished out of the canyon and taken to the mechanic shop. Minga stepped out of the mechanics office and up to the gang, looking worried.
"Someone cut your brake lines and tore out the emergency brake. Whoever did it probably didn't want you talking about whatever you found."
"Then why be in the costume?" Velma asked. "Maybe he was just trying to scare him." She suggested hopefully.
"Maybe" Fred agreed. "Anyway, I think Shaggy and Velma should go talk with Mrs. Knight. Daphne and I'll go over to where Shaggy and Scooby saw the creature, see what we can find there."
"I'll go with you, you should have two cars on the job just in case." Minga offered.
"I'll call Shannon, you can ride with her." Daphne said.
Part 10: Mrs. Knight
Shaggy, Scooby and Velma waited outside the museum for Mrs. Knight to leave for the day. As they were waiting Professor Hyde- White and Patrick came up the steps.
"Hey Velma" Patrick waved. "Who are your friends?"
"This is Shaggy and Scooby" She said. "Hey Patrick, do you know Mrs. Knight?"
"Oh yeah." His face sank. "The woman who lost her son, just from seeing her in the museum. I only just came here to work on the exhibit so I wasn't around when it happened. I'm from Winter Hollow in New England, but Professor Hyde- White knew the kid. A couple of years ago the museum put on an exhibit about coming of age ceremonies around the world. The Professor was working on it and he said that Mrs. Knight would bring her kid in sometimes. He left just after the kid disappeared."
"You sure know a lot for someone who's not from here" Velma said quizzically.
"Well, blame it on Professor Wickles; that man loves to talk." Patrick trotted away after his boss just as Mrs. Knight came out.
"Mrs. Knight" Velma said trotting over to her. "I don't know if you remember me I'm…"
"Velma, of course" She smiled warmly from behind a curtain of graying brown hair.
"This is kind of awkward, but could I ask you some questions about your son?"
The woman's face sank for a moment in exactly the same manner that Patrick's had, but then she stiffened up and smiled.
"Of course, why don't we get something to eat though?"
They sat together in a booth at the local diner. Mrs. Knight was on one side with Shaggy and Velma on the other. Scooby slept by their feet under the table.
"All I can tell you is what I told the police" She said sipping a coffee. "Winsor went into the forest on some dare from his friends. He never came back. I think he got too many ideas from that exhibit, the one Professor Hyde- White was working on. Oh he loved the museum, he wanted to be a scientist, a paleontologist, a criminologist; you name it." She recounted wistfully."
"This may sound insensitive, but did Winsor ever get into any kind of trouble?"
"Oh, occasionally, he had some problems, some fights. I still think that he would have turned out alright." She checked her watch. "I'm sorry, I must be going."
"Thank you for your time Mrs. Knight, oh, one more thing… do you have a picture of Winsor?"
She pulled a small framed picture out of her purse. Inside was a boy of about thirteen with unkempt brown hair and thick square glasses. He didn't look especially happy to be photographed.
"That was the last picture I took of him before he disappeared. It was about a year before."
Once the woman had left, Velma pulled out her phone.
"What are you doing?" Shaggy asked, checking the kitchen from his seat to see if his pot roast was ready.
"I'm checking for Winsor's MySpace page."
"Like, does MySpace even still exist?"
"If you know where to look." Velma said. "There" She slipped the phone into Shaggy's hands. "What do you see?"
"A very sad fad."
"I see pictures of the kid and his friends."
"Exactly, pictures from his life right up until the day he disappeared."
"His mom's last picture of him was from a year before he vanished. His friends' last pictures of him are from later."
"The kid liked his friends more than he like his mom, it's sad but not new… hey, this guy here Otis West, I recognize that name, he works at the Christmas tree farm.'
"Oddly I've never been there." Velma deadpanned.
"Yeah well good thing you're friends with me." He smirked digging into his pot roast once it came.
"I wish I had ordered that" Velma said looking from the roast to her small salad.
"C'mon, have some"
"Uhg… I'm supposed to save room for dinner tonight. My mom's cooking for all our relatives."
"Eh, suit yourself." Shaggy said taking a large spoonful of mashed potato.
"Okay just one bite" Velma said breaking down.
Part 11: Jingle Bells
Fred pulled the van up to the edge of the forest where Shaggy had seen the creature. In light of what had happened to Shaggy and Scooby, Fred's parents had insisted that they bring a mature and responsible adult with them. In lieu of any mature adults with free time they had brought the Fletchers. Minga and Shannon were right behind him in the Fletchers blue box- like car. He hopped out with Daphne and they started looking around. Daphne ran her hand over one of the trees. Large gash marks had been torn into it.
"What is this?"
"Looks like claw marks." Fred said putting his face close to the tree.
"Not any animal I'm familiar with." Fletcher said.
"Didn't they say that the sleigh was making sparks on the ground?" Rachael asked, knelling on the side of the road.
"Well, there aren't any marks here."
"Hoof-prints though" Fred said looking into the dirt. "And tracks in the mud."
Fletcher went with Fred and Daphne along the tracks while Rachael stayed with Shannon and Minga. They went deep into the forest, so deep that Fred and Daphne had completely lost their sense of direction. Fletcher seemed to know where they were going though.
"Does anybody hear… bells?" Daphne asked.
Everyone cocked their heads to the side. A faint jingling sounded through the forest. They stood still for a moment, becoming conscious of a breeze blowing through the trees.
"It's coming on the wind" Daphne whispered.
Fletcher nodded. They followed the sound. The sleigh marks didn't go in that direction. The trees were too thick to get anything but a person through. They pushed though the last of the trees into a large clearing. Trees had been chopped down surrounding the area. Dead stumps outlined the massive circle. In the center was a small, log cabin.
The group trod carefully toward it. Stepping up onto the porch Fred placed his hand on the wooden walls; they looked old, very old. Fletcher carefully took the doorknob and turned it; it was unlocked. They stepped inside. It was almost completely bare except for a metal, wood burning stove, and a large wardrobe. Fred tried opening it.
Daphne pulled a bobby- pin out of her hair and stuck it in the lock. After a few tries, the tumbler clicked and the door opened. Fred and Daphne pulled the doors apart to reveal…
"Nothing" They said in unison.
"Oh, not nothing" Fletcher said excitedly leering out the window.
Outside was a dark black sleigh with bells jingling in the wind. Everyone trotted outside to examine it. There were wheels attached to the rails.
"That must be why there were no marks on the road." Daphne said.
"Phosphorous paint" Fred announced, looking into the sleigh to find a bag of metal cans.
"Sparklers on the wheels" Fletcher said. "To give the appearance of metal sparking against the roadway."
"The tracks must have gone through a different path, one that the sleigh could have fit through." Fred said.
The sun was beginning to set. Fred snapped some quick pictures, closed and locked the wardrobe, and shut the door. They set off back home.
Part 12: The Tree Yard
It was dark by the time Shaggy, Scooby, and Velma made it to the Christmas tree lot. The sign said that they would be closing in an hour. The smell of pine hung in the air and Christmas carols drifted on the breeze. Dozens of pine trees were set up in neat rows. A petting zoo had been erected in the back and a live reindeer grazed in it.
"There; I think that's him" Velma said pointing to the clerk.
They walked up to the man at the desk. Closing a sale with another couple, he turned to Shaggy and Velma.
"What can I do for you?"
"Are you Otis West?" Velma asked.
"I am, can I help you and your boyfriend pick out a tree."
"Oh, like, uh…" Shaggy attempted flustered.
"We're not…" Velma tried to finish, turning red as she spoke.
"Oh, sorry" The man said putting his hands up apologetically. "Most people that buy last minute are young couples.
Scooby snickered on the ground.
"We were actually hoping you could tell us something about Winsor Knight."
"Oh" The man's face sunk. "Yeah, I guess it's that time of year again, especially with that attack." The man sighed. "I was with Winsor the night he went into the forest. He got all caught up in that German manhood ceremony. I should have stopped him."
"That's about what we've heard so far, thank you for your time." Velma said, turning to leave. Shaggy stayed for a moment, staring at the petting zoo.
"Hey, like, weren't there two reindeer last week?"
"No, now I'd appreciate it if you left." The man said becoming angry.
"Like I think we'll just browse a little, if that's alright."
"No buying, no browsing."
"Fine" Shaggy said taking a wreath off of one of the racks.
"Thirty bucks" the man sneered.
Shaggy paid up. He took Velma's hand and led her into the rows of trees.
"What was that?" Velma asked.
"There were two reindeer there, right Scoob?" Shaggy said.
"Reah" Scooby nodded.
"Maybe it's sick"
"Then he would have told me, something's up."
A light drizzle had started and Shaggy kicked up some of the newly forming mud onto his jeans and slung the wreath over his shoulder. He walked up to the man guarding the supply area and mumbled something about needing more wreaths, and then he walked right through.
Once he was inside; Shaggy walked over to the animal truck where they would have kept the reindeer. He heard two men talking, coming closer. Quickly, he turned to one of the trees, pretending to be working.
"I still say we should call the cops." One of the men said.
"We can't call the cops, they'd find out we had the rotten things smuggled in. So what we lost one. Would you rather get arrested, or just pay the fine to the guy who we rented from."
Once the men passed; Shaggy pulled out his phone and dialed his dad's number. For Fred, threatening Daphne got him mad, For Daphne, insulting her, for Velma, ignorance, and for Scooby it was threatening kids. Shaggy actually shared that last one, but the other thing that got him angrier than anything was when people mistreated animals.
"Hey, dad, I'm at the Christmas tree lot, those reindeer, they were smuggled in."
Shaggy's other line beeped and he hung up, confidant that his dad would be there soon to set things right.
"Shaggy" he heard Velma whisper tensely on the other line. "The Krampus is here. Scooby and I are hiding in the trees by the reindeer, hurry."
Shaggy bolted back into the tree lot. The rain was pounding now. He saw Velma and Scooby crouching in the reindeer paddock, covered in mud. He also saw the creature running toward them with its birch rod held over its head. Shaggy yelled at the creature, hoping to draw its attention.
"I really wish that hadn't worked." Shaggy shrieked as the creature turned on him. He ducked behind a tree as the creature swung the rod at him.
Velma and Scooby jumped out of the reindeer paddock and ran into the trees. Shaggy tried not to breathe as he heard the Krampus' hooves sloshing in the mud.
"Where are you?" It sang.
"What on earth…" West yelled as he came up on Shaggy hiding in the demolished yard.
The Krampus smiled and charged at the man. It lifted him off his feet and tossed him into the trees. Shaggy darted from his hiding place. Across the yard he saw Velma and Scooby doing the same. They locked eyes and Velma motioned to the reindeer paddock where the reindeer was furiously trying to break free.
Shaggy hoped he understood what she meant. He ran to the enclosure, jumping over and dancing around fallen trees. He ran into the gate and tried to open it.
"Oh, like, where's Daphne when you need her?" Shaggy moaned.
He looked around. A set of branch cutters was lying on a workbench across the yard. Velma and Scooby were closer to it than he was.
"Hey Velma!" Shaggy yelled cupping his hands over his mouth. "Toss me the branch cutters!"
Across the yard Velma exchanged a glance with Scooby.
"Get those to Shaggy!" Velma yelled.
She grabbed a branch off the ground and threw it at the Krampus. It turned to her and she took off toward the exit.
Scooby grabbed the branch cutters in his jaws and ran toward Shaggy. The Krampus swung its club back and Scooby dove and slid through the mud underneath it. He reared up his hind legs and kicked off against a fallen tree, launching himself into the air. As he flew his jaw loosened and the branch cutters fell in front of him. Scooby desperately snapped his jaws, trying to catch the flying tool. Forcing his forelegs to the side, he streamlined his body and sped up, catching his target.
Scooby landed hard, kicking up mud right in front of Shaggy. Shaggy, now drenched, took the branch cutters from Scooby, giving him an appreciative pat on the head. He snapped the lock and the reindeer charged out.
Velma sloshed through the mud. No wonder Shaggy and Scooby hated this. She grabbed a string of lights and tied it around a nearby post. She pulled it taut as the Krampus charged at her. Unfortunately, the beast saw her. It skidded to a stop in the mud and snarled at her. Velma backed away in terror as the Krampus raised its club.
Then it was suddenly pushed to the ground. The reindeer, now free, charged at it, forcing it into the dirt. Behind it, Shaggy and Scooby came running up, covered in mud. Shaggy grabbed Velma's hand and pulled her past the front desk and out of the lot. Daring to look back, they saw the monster push itself up and run, in the opposite direction, toward the woods.
Sirens filled the air as a police car pulled up, an animal control car right behind it. Messick and Kasem got out of the squad car and walked up to Shaggy.
"The usual" Shaggy sighed.
Part 13: Home for the Holidays
Daphne let herself fall onto her bed. She stared at the target hung on her wall. Getting up, she pulled the Kukri knife off its mount and hurled it at the target. It just barely hit, impaling itself on the outermost ring. Daphne grumbled in frustration as she yanked the knife out and tossed it again. It hit the target hard, but still only fell in the middle ring.
"Something on your mind sis?" She heard a familiar British accent ask from the doorway.
"Liz!" Daphne exclaimed turning to hug her older sister.
Elizabeth 'Liz' Blake, was, as she insisted, the first born twin, before her 'younger sister' Collette. She was about a foot taller than Daphne and had her mother's dark brown hair pulled back into a loose pony tail. She, like Daphne, had been born in Scotland, and gone to university at Oxford, hence the accent.
"Is that mom's silver?" She asked examining the target.
"No, just the extra's from the attic."
"You mean one of the…"
"Yeah, the antiques." Daphne admitted, tossing her knife again. It hit just outside the bull's eye.
"It's the case, isn't it? I've been reading about it on your boyfriend's blog. What's the trouble?"
"A history of disappearances, a mysterious cabin, a sleigh with wheels and phosphorus paint, three attacks…"
"And a partridge in a pair tree" Liz sang jokingly. "How do they connect? That's the question yes?"
"Criminals who attempt a gimmick, sometimes they get carried away. Sometimes, they can end up believing in what they're pretending, especially if it's from a young age. They'll start taking unnecessary risks for the sake of theatricality. But, with the level of detail that this beast has been presenting, it's someone knowledgeable."
Daphne considered the advice. She tossed the knife and it struck right in the center.
"Felling better? Come on, Collette and Mom are trying to decipher Gran's old fruitcake recipe. There's nothing funnier than two French Literature majors trying to figure out a Scottish woman's two hundred year old family secret."
Daphne smiled and went with her sister down to the kitchen.
Part 14: A Family Affair
Family dinners at the Dinkley household were divided into two groups; the people who studied the humanities and social sciences, and the ones who studied the natural and formal sciences. Despite what side of the family they were from, they tended to divide along the table like that. Velma and Madelyn switched sides every year. This year Velma, armed with an agenda, sat with the humanities.
"Aunt Meg?" She asked. "You're a folklorist, what do you know about the Krampus?"
"Well, after being taken in as part of Christmas tradition, its job was to act as… well as the bad cop to Santa Claus' good cop."
"Of course when you say taken in…" Velma's uncle Harold chimed in. "You mean it literally. The Krampus was a prisoner of Saint Nicholas, hence the chains on his arms."
"So he was like an enslaved demon?" Velma asked.
"Exactly." Meg concluded.
"So, what would happen if he escaped?"
"Well, it never happened in the folklore."
"Still, if demons are like people, we'd be dealing with something very angry and very vengeful." Uncle Elmo said. "Of course, I'm just speaking hypothetically."
"Of course" Velma nodded.
Part 15: Inside Information
Fred finished wiping the last dish and put in the cabinet. Next to him, his father shut off the sink and wiped his hands on towel hanging above him.
"Hey dad, back when you were mayor, what did you find out about that kid who disappeared 9 years ago?"
"Well…" Skip said leaning on the counter. "I remember that we sent police posses into the woods, dozens of them. One of them came back with a backpack. It was the boy's backpack, undamaged, and full, like it had just been left in the woods."
"Did it help?"
"No, the thing was, his friends said he didn't take a bag into the forest."
"Did you ever find a cabin?"
"No…" Skip shook his head. "Whatever it was that you found, it must have been new. Either way, the police are searching it so it should all be over soon."
"Hey dad…" Fred said as his father walked away. "You were a good mayor, I'm sorry I got you fired."
"You didn't get me fired Freddy" Skip smiled. "And I stand by my actions that day. Besides, now I can spend more time with you and your mom, now come on, I need help setting up the lights on the house."
Part 16: Deductive Inspiration
Shaggy flipped through a comic book lying on his bed. Scooby was resting at his feet. As Shaggy finished the comic he heard his dad yell from downstairs.
"Shaggy, a package came for you!"
Shaggy took the stairs down and retrieved the package from his dad. Before returning to his room he snagged a package of cookies from the cabinet.
"What's the package?" His dad asked as he was leaving.
"Oh, just some presents I ordered for friends."
He went back up to his room and opened the box. Inside was a hardcover comic that he planned on giving to Velma. Even though she wasn't by nature a comic reader, he felt sure that she couldn't pass up a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories in comic form. Shaggy looked at the back cover where there was an illustration of a demonic black dog with a fiery face.
It was the Hound of the Baskervilles, a story that Velma insisted Shaggy at least watch the film of when they went to Scotland. It hadn't been a real demon though, there was some gimmick.
"Hey Scoob, how did that dog glow in the Holmes story?"
That's right; it had been phosphorous paint… Phosphorous paint!
"Dad!" he called down. "Do you know what got stolen from the auto parts store in the mall?"
"Yeah…" His dad said, pausing to check the files on his computer. "Some kinda metal bars that they use to stabilize wheels, a box of little gears, some power tools, some little wheels, and… four cans of phosphorous paint."
Shaggy and Scooby's eyes widened. They turned to each other.
"Ra smell in ra mall."
"The Krampus broke into the auto- parts store…"
"Rook ra paint and ra tools."
"Modified the sleigh…"
"Roll the reindeer."
"Painted its face so it looked like a ghost in the dark, but, like, why?"
"Like, the museum. That's where it started. Velma said that the guys who unloaded the exhibit had stuff collapse on them, but what if…"
"Like this is heavy, we need to let someone know."
"Velma" They said in unison.
Part 17: Mysterious Injuries
Velma turned in her bed as a small rattling sound echoed by her ear. Slowly she swatted at her alarm clock, but the sound didn't stop. She rested her hand on the bed side table and began feeling around for her glasses. Putting them on, she followed the sound to her window where Shaggy and Scooby were tapping on the glass. Behind them, she could see the Mystery Machine parked by the curb.
"Shaggy, what is it?" She said, pulling the window open.
"Like, c'mon, we figured it out. We know who we need to talk to about the Krampus, actually three people."
Once in the van, Velma was turning over the new information in her mind.
"Shaggy, Scooby, that's brilliant." She exclaimed.
"So Daphne and I'll go see the two movers who your friend at the museum said got hurt when the exhibit opened, you three go talk to Professor Hyde- White, see what he knows." Fred finished with an air of suspicion.
After dropping the others off, Fred and Daphne went on to Darrow Memorial. The two men were on the fourth floor, the receptionist told them to just go on in. Entering the room, they saw the two men, bandaged and bruised lying in beds. Hovering over one of them was a doctor with thick white hair and a short beard.
"Can I help you?" The man asked warmly.
"We were hoping to talk to these two… Will and Joe" Daphne said, looking at their charts on the beds. "About what happened to them at the museum."
"Well, when they wake up, I'm sure that would be fine, in the mean time, is there anything I can help you with. I'm Doctor Sinterklaas, Christopher Sinterklaas."
"Um, what were their injuries?"
"Heavy blows to the chest, lacerations on the legs and back, and mysterious bruises. The closest I could equate is being struck by very heavy chains. Professor Hyde- White from the museum assured me that it was just some collapsing museum stock."
"Would that explain the injuries?" Daphne asked.
"It could, but it's a stretch."
"Thanks Doc, I think we have all we need." Fred said, shaking the man's hand and turning to leave. "Wait, one more thing, and I don't know why you'd know this… did either of them know a boy named Winsor Knight?"
"Uggh" One of the men groaned. "Told him not to go, told Winsor not to go."
Fred and Daphne exchanged a knowing look.
"Thank you Doctor" Daphne said. "We have somewhere we need to be."
Part 18: Prime Suspect
Velma scanned the directory, looking for Hyde- White's temporary office. Finally, she found it. The Professor had been housed in the basement for the duration of his stay at the exhibit. That explained why he had told Velma to deliver those boxes two days ago.
They found the employee entrance, unlocked in the haste to finish the exhibit before the opening party that night, and climbed down into the museum's lower levels. Old museum pieces were stacked up against each other. The stacks only got larger and older the deeper they descended. Passing an old sign, Shaggy stopped.
"That's the exhibit, the coming of age thing." He said pointing to the pile of boxes.
Velma pushed past the debris and into the old boxes.
"Like, Velms, I don't think you should be doing that."
"Its fine, I just want to see if I can find any old plaques about the Krampus." She sifted through the boxes. "I bet it's here." One misstep, she tripped and the boxes came tumbling down.
A demonic face fell from the tower of junk, landing right in front of Scooby. He yelped, recoiling in fright. Shaggy grabbed Velma's arm and helped her out of the junk pile.
"Like what the heck is that?"
"It's a Krampus mask." A British accent said behind them. "Boys who returned from the forest would were them to signify closeness with nature."
They turned to see Professor Hyde- White. Only this time he looked disheveled. His face was red and his hair was trussed. The glasses perched on his nose were crooked and smudged.
"What the devil are you doing here!?"
"Like man, you had to use that word" Shaggy moaned.
"Professor" Velma said, trying to stay level as she waded out of the debris. "We are here to ask you about Winsor Knight."
For a moment, the Professor looked like he might begin yelling again. Then his face sank and his body relaxed.
"Come to my office"
They followed him into a small room inside the basement. It had been crammed with a bookshelf and a spare desk. Papers were strewn about like the place had been ransacked. One got the feeling that even though this was just a make- shift office, it had seen better days. The Professor sat down in an old armchair and pulled a bottle of whiskey from one of the drawers. He poured a glass for himself and downed its contents before turning to Shaggy, Scooby, and Velma.
"I knew someone would come once this whole business with the Krampus started. Someone would trace it back to me. After all, I was the prime suspect nine years ago. And maybe it was my fault after all. I filled the boy's head with ideas."
"You were like his mentor?' Velma guessed.
"I just tried to be there for him. His mother and I were old friends from university. It was only after he disappeared that I found out… the police did a blood test."
"What" Velma asked, but Shaggy's eyes were wide with comprehension.
"Winsor was your son."
The professor nodded.
"I never told Charlene…" The man downed another glass of alcohol. "After I was cleared I went back to England. This is my punishment, he's come back as a demon to haunt me!"
"Like I think it's time we went" Shaggy said leading Velma and Scooby to the door.
Professor Hyde- White slumped back in his seat, holding the bottle in his hands.
"That guy was sweating alcohol" Shaggy said once they had made their way back to the stairs.
Patrick came down in front of them, jingling his keys in one hand and carrying a stack of papers in the other.
"Who's sweating alcohol?"
"Your boss" Shaggy said. "Like, we came down to ask him about the…"
Everyone turned toward the direction of the scream. They ran to the professor's office. Kicking the door open the found him, slumped down on the desk. The back of his jacket had been slashed open. Three long gashes had been torn across his back and he was bleeding out. Behind him, the same three gashes had been torn into the back of the chair.
"Look at this" Patrick said picking something up off the floor. It was a single silver bell.
Part 19: Baiting the Trap
The paramedics pulled away, sirens blaring. The professor would be taken to Darrow Memorial, whether he survived was another story. The police had questioned Shaggy and Velma, even Scooby on account of the claw marks, but security cameras had revealed that they were well outside of the office when it happened. Unfortunately, the cameras did not extend inside the office itself. Fred and Daphne had arrived shortly after the paramedics with news about the movers' connection to Winsor Knight. Now everyone sat in the newly completed exhibit, pondering what to do.
"We have to cancel the opening; this is getting out of hand." Dr. Dinkley sighed.
"We can't, the museum has invested too much in this. We would lose thousands, not to mention offending all the museums and collectors who donated pieces." Professor Wickles, the museum Curator, said.
"Something wasn't right" Velma said, hanging her head in concentration.
"Yeah, like, how did something get in without us seeing it?"
"Whatever this thing is, it's following a pattern. Everyone it attacks has a connection to Winsor Knight." Fred said.
"Then…" Mrs. Knight spoke up. "I'll be next, it's the only way."
"We could open the exhibit, lure it in…" Fred offered.
"Freddy Jones" Daphne chastised.
"Not without protection, it likes to sneak in through the back, so we'll be ready by the loading bay."
"And, like, the basement."
Part 20: Crashing the Party
Shaggy adjusted his tie. He hated wearing suits. It wasn't the way Fred did. Fred saw suits as some kind of costume, a way to make him like others; that was probably why he always wore the old tweed suit that Daphne's dad had given him, it was unique. For Shaggy; he just hated how uncomfortable they were. Velma stood next to him in a dress that Daphne had probably helped her pick out. One thing Shaggy and Velma shared was a hatred of formal clothing. At Shaggy's feet, Scooby stood sentinel, watching the stairway door.
In the main room, patrons of the museum danced and ate and generally enjoyed themselves. In the center of the hall was a ten foot tall, high quality Christmas tree. It had been probably one of the most expensive parts of the exhibit that had not been donated. Shaggy was glad that he had been positioned where he could see it.
Daphne and Fred were waiting by the back entrance with the Fletchers and a handful of police officers. Another handful was undercover in the party. Through the large archway Shaggy could see them. Being a policeman's son, he could pick out every officer in the crowd.
Messick and Kasem stood by the Snack table. Welker and Christopherson stood by the entrance. Jaffe and North Watched people come in and out of the outside pavilion. Every one of them was on guard. None of them was watching the right place.
The Krampus leaped from the second floor balcony into the exhibit. Partygoers scattered frantically. The officers drew their weapons and radioed the others in the loading bay. Shaggy watched as the beast tore through the floor. Before Shaggy could even shake the shock away Velma had charged in with the net they had been keeping. With no other choice, Shaggy and Scooby went after her.
Catching up, Shaggy grabbed his end of the net and helped her toss it. The creature was immobilized, but only for a moment. It shook the net off and charged at them. Shaggy and Scooby took off, away from the escaping partygoers. The creature followed.
Fred and Daphne charged into the main hall with their net. The Fletchers and the police were right behind them.
"Okay, new plan" Fred grunted when he saw the torn remains of the first net. They needed something big to immobilize it, something heavy, something… Fred turned to the tree and cracked a grin. "Shaggy the tree!" He yelled, stamping his fist on his palm, hoping Shaggy got the message.
Shaggy turned to Scooby, mouth agape.
"Like, he can't be serious."
Shaggy and Scooby ran to the tree and tried to push it over, no good. Panting, Shaggy saw the Krampus heading for them. Now there was an idea, not a good one, but desperate times…
"Hey Krampus! I had goat for dinner the other night!"
Scooby gave Shaggy a disappointed look, as though upset that that had been the best he could come up with.
"Like you do better"
The Krampus charged straight at them… and the tree. As it hit, Shaggy and Scooby dove out of the way. The tree toppled, pinning the beast to the floor.
Part 21: Closing the Case
Velma walked up to the creature and grabbed onto the horns.
"If we've been right, then this should be…"
She yanked the mask off to reveal a familiar, red bearded, bespectacled face.
"Patrick" Mrs. Dinkley gasped.
Patrick gnashed his teeth like an animal. He growled and practically foamed at the mouth.
"So that's how he got into the museum, and the mall, and all those other places without being seen." Fred said.
"But, like, Patrick was with us when Professor Hyde- White was attacked."
"Well" Velma said. "I knew that something was wrong with that attack. The claw marks on the chair were behind him, but they didn't go through the chair." Velma motioned and Doctor Fletcher pulled out the chair. She pressed on the back and three blades sprung from the gashes.
"It was booby trapped" Daphne said.
"And the remote…" Velma pulled out a set of car keys with an electronic opener. "…Was this, I tracked the radio frequency to the valet booth. These are Patrick's keys. He set them off when we saw him at the stairs."
"Like, that must have been why he stole the gears from the auto part store, and the rest was to modify the sleigh. But, like why did he use it to come after me?"
"Because he got too into the role" Daphne said.
"That's right" Velma agreed. "He started to believe in his angry demon act, something in his past probably made him relate to it."
"But I thought you said that he was going after people who knew Winsor Knight" Detective Rogers said, scratching his chin. "So what does Mister Wisely have to do with the boy?"
"That's the biggest thing." Velma said, breathing heavily as she took a piece of sketch paper out of her bag and began unfolding it. "I showed Jimmy a picture of Winsor Knight, and asked him to draw what he would look like today." She straightened out the paper and showed it to the crowd.
"Oh my god" Mrs. Knight gasped.
"Hello mother" Patrick sneered.
"Why?" She sobbed. "Why Winsor? What happened to you?"
"Nothing; that was what first seemed suspicious about his disappearance. His bag that they found in the forest, the one he didn't have with him when he disappeared." Fred said. "He was living out there."
"Why?" Detective Rogers asked.
"Because I found it" Patrick growled. "I found the chest, the equipment of the previous Krampus. I found the journal, I read about how he had been brought by the Hessian mercenaries during the revolution, an assassin. Once he grew old, he found a child that could serve as his replacement, and then that child grew old and in turn found his successor, a noble line of assassins. Until that hunting party killed him, there was no one until I found my place. I trained, I worked out of Winter Hollow, and when the time came, I returned to free myself from the last remains of my old life, like the Krampus freeing itself from the Shackles of Sinterklaas!"
"Sinterklaas?" Fred asked.
"Rough German pronunciation of Saint Nicholas, it's where we derive Santa Claus from." Fletcher clarified.
"I Am The Krampus!" Patrick shouted. He began to spasm and growl.
"What's happening to him?" Mrs. Knight cried.
"I think he's drugged" Fletcher said. "We need to get an ambulance"
"I'll have guards waiting at the hospital." Detective Rogers said, pulling out his radio.
Part 22: Christmas at the Blakes
Two night s later the Blakes hosted a Christmas party at their house, just for friends and family. The gang sat around the fireplace in the main room.
"That poor woman" Daphne said, shaking her head.
"Like my dad says that she'll get to visit him. They're still sorting through his life in Winter Hollow and the fake identity he created. They think that something else must have happened to him in the forest. They'll figure it out."
"Professor Hyde- White is recovering" Velma said. "So at least no one died."
"What a start to the break huh?" Fred said.
"Yeah, like a Christmas straight from the mind of Tim Burton."
"Well, I don't know about you, but I had a lovely Hanukah" Velma smirked.
"Yeah, just wait until Tim Burton gets a hold of it, then we'll see"
Everyone laughed. Shaggy got up to get another slice of the delicious fruitcake that Daphne's mother and sister had made. As he passed by Velma everyone's faces went slack and then twisted into amused grins.
"What?" Shaggy asked. "Do I have something on my shirt?"
"Shaggy" Daphne giggled. "You and Velma are under the mistletoe."
Shaggy and Velma looked up at the small branch as though it had just slapped them. Shaggy broke into a nervous giggle.
"You know we don't have to…"
Velma quickly kissed him on the lips.
"I… have somewhere… I should go" Velma said flustered and red. She walked out of the room, trying not to make eye contact with any of them.
"Why does that keep happening to me" Shaggy asked under his breath.
"I don't remember putting mistletoe up" Shannon said inquisitively.
In the next room Maggie, Madelyn and Scooby watched the scene from a safe distance. Maggie and Madelyn gave each other a silent high five.
Part 23: Gift
Shaggy, Scooby, and Maggie rode home with Fred in the van. Despite the fact that it was nominally Daphne's van, Fred usually kept it at his house. Shaggy slumped down on against the window, wondering just what had happened at that party.
When Fred pulled up at his house, he saw his parents leaning on something in the driveway. He got out and walked up to them. His mouth fell open. It was a brand new, red, jeep.
"Like no way" He said.
"We were going to give it to you at Christmas, but since you're other one went over a cliff, we thought a couple of days early wouldn't hurt."
Shaggy's face broke into a grin and he hugged his parents before jumping into his new car.
Part 24: Miscount
As Fred slumped into his bed after the party, he saw his phone blink. Checking it, he noticed a missed call and voicemail from Dell from the day before. He hadn't had the chance to talk to Dell at the party. Curious, he played the message.
"Hey Fred" Dell's voice came through flustered. "I did some more checking; Christmas wasn't the only time that there were annual disappearances. I found an even greater concentration in the days leading up to March 15."
Part 25: Epilogue
A hooded figure crouched on the roof of Darrow Memorial Hospital. The hood flowed from a dark blue robe that looked to be made of some combination of leather and heavy fabric. The look was deceiving as it was light weight enough to allow the wearer to move freely and quickly. A silver V- stripe ran along the front of the robe, down the back where the robe ended, just above the waistline. Another silver stripe traced the beaklike outline of the hood which obscured the wearer's eyes in shadow but allowed his grinning mouth to be seen. On the gloved hand rested a silver ring with an engraving of a V over an H. Another figure in an identical robe leaped onto the roof.
"Sam" She greeted pulling her sleeve up to reveal her VH tattoo.
"Rachael" Sam Rogers greeted, holding up his ring for her to see.
They nodded at each other and jumped off the side of the building, climbing down and coming in through a window. In the room they entered laid Patrick Wisely; or Winsor Knight as he had been revealed. Over him stood a Doctor with white hair and a beard, longer than the last time he had been in the hospital.
"Sinterklaas?" Sam asked uncertainly.
"Yes Samuel" The man said warmly. "I'm sorry I can't stay any longer, but this is a busy time of year. I've used every magical remedy I know, I still believe that this young man is not above saving. I must thank for the new reindeer, he'll be a valuable addition to my team. Now I must go, give Vincent my regards."
The man disappeared in a shower of snow which landed in a pile on the ground. Based on Sam's experience with the Fair Folk, not even that would be left as evidence. He walked up to Patrick and shook him awake, laying a hand over his mouth.
"I am with the League of Van Helsing. I know that you were affiliated with our…" Sam wondered how to proceed. "Enemy, I need to know what he wanted in exchange for your training in becoming the Krampus."
Patrick nodded, eyes calm. Sam removed his hand and let the man speak.
"I was to steal an item from the museum… a piece of something called the key of guardians. I was given the serum by his man, Griffin, to make me strong enough to truly become the Krampus. I've been taking it for nine years."
"It seriously warped your mind" Rachael chimed in.
"Is there anything else?"
"I was given instructions, can't remember them without my serum, but…" Patrick began breathing heavily. "Beware the Ides of March" He gasped.
Sam hit the call button, confident a nurse would reach him in time. Then he and Rachael dove out the window and were gone with the wind.
(Not) The End (But Close)
So, I hope you all enjoyed that. Perhaps I even fooled some of you. I would like to point out that my idea for this story predates the Krampus episode of Mysteries Inc. so that's why they're not similar (at least I don't think they are, haven't seen it yet). For the record, that was Winsor from legend of the Phantasaur and that was Patrick from Monsters Unleashed. The series is so close to what I hope will be an epic conclusion. Thanks for reading.