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Cuddly Clan
A Christmas Tale


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Maybe we ought to set up a night watch or something," suggested Lara.
"Like, me 'n' Scoob are totally with you, but how about we GET OUT OF HERE???" He started running but didn't realize that Jessie was holding him back.
"I agree with you," replied Jessie, keeping a tight grip on Shaggy's collar. "Let's pretend to go to bed and then you or I can take first watch. Just in case."
"Agreed."
Everyone went to bed, and before Lara or Jessie could decide who'd take first watch, they both had fallen asleep. The food at the hotel had been drugged so all the guests would stay asleep.

The next morning, Jessie found herself sleeping in a weird position on the floor. And the floor smelt funny as well as having a dirty carpet. And the sunshine was in her face. And Lara was violently shaking her awake.
"Wake up! Come on, it's already 8:00AM!"
Jessie felt really irritated. Her tongue felt too big for her mouth, her hair was messy and filled with dirt from the carpet, and her favorite pajamas were now gray with dust.
"Wah's the matter? Who areyou?" She pushed Lara away, and Lara shook her even harder.
"Okay, okay, I'm up -- uh, what am I doing on the floor?" She widened her eyes in amazement, like a cat. "And this carpet is MOLDY! Ugh!"
"There's something weird going on," said Lara, showered, fully-dressed, neat and clean. "Why did we all fall asleep? We were yawning and the last thing I remember is you saying you were so tired."
"I refuse to think until I've showered and eaten breakfast. This carpet is absolutely and unbelievably disgusting --" "That's it! Jessie, you're a genius! The manager drugged us!" Lara jumped up to go warn Shaggy and Scooby before they ate anything.

Half an hour later, everyone was assembled outside in a miniature park, where Lara was sure no one could hear them. Scooby was secretly eating a raspberry éclair which Shaggy was trying to steal without Lara noticing, and Johnny was trying to apply hair mousse in the snow which was filling his hair. Lara started acting a little weird since she had also been given a dose of some hormones that affected her personality. "Alright, troops, here's our situation. The manager is in league with the Italian Mafia, and they drugged us and they know it. Now we know that they drugged us, which is the same as saying we know that they know that they drugged us. However we don't want them to know that we know that they know that we were drugged. So, as far as we know, they don't know that we know that they --"
"Excuse me, Major-General Croft?" said Jessie, grumpy. "Point one, how do we know it's the Italian Mafia and not the gay mafia? Point two, we are standing in the middle of a FREAKIN' BLIZZARD, point three, you have denied us breakfast and since I'm a teenager and not Major-General Croft, I will DIE OF HUNGER, point four, Johnny Bravo has made his hair into some sort of Axe Effect advertisement." Scooby and Shaggy were having a war over the raspberry éclair as they stood in front of Lara with big smiles across their faces.
"I will answer your unintelligent questions in chronological order, Lieutenant Bannon. Point One, it is the Italian Mafia because the manager looks Italian and anyway I just put some of the gang members in jail and it's natural that they should be plotting against me. Point two, this is not a blizzard, it is merely some light snow--"
"WE'RE STANDING IN THREE FEET OF SOLID ICE!!!" Jessie's wet hair had frozen under her hat.
"-- LIGHT SNOW, I said. Point three --" SPLAT. A huge warm, sticky mass of raspberry filling hit Lara in the face. Scooby and Shaggy gave goofy grins and ate what was left of the raspberry éclair. "On second thoughts, maybe we should go to that restaurant and ingest some digestible matter --"
"SPEAK ENGLISH, LADY!"
"-- and closely interrogate the inhabitants of --"
"I think she's suffering from an authoritarian personality disorder. Will some one help me move Johnny?"
Johnny's can of mousse had gone haywire and he was frozen in the middle of the blizzard, looking like a monstrous snowman. A poster with AXE written on it was stuck to his hair. Jessie grabbed his shoulders and Shaggy picked up his legs, and they all followed Lara into the restaurant where she ordered hot chocolate for everyone.

As Jessie tried to pour hot chocolate down Johnny's throat, Lara tried to begin friendly conversation with the waiter. However, her efforts were ruined because suddenly carols from the Christmas tree started blaring away. "ROCKING AROUND --"
"What's that?" asked Lara
"-- CHRISTMAS TREE, HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY --"
"I SAID, WHAT WAS THAT?!?!"
An old lady who was drinking her third gin-and-tonic (in the morning!) turned to Lara and said, "HONEY, WE DON'T SPEAK LOUDER THAN THE CAROLS IN CORYDON!!!"
"-- IN THE NEW OLD-FASHIONED WAY --"
Lara left the place in disgust, throwing down some money to pay for the others' breakfast. She decided to go back to the hotel to do a little investigating. When she got to the counter, there was no one.
"Hello? Anyone there?" After taking a swift glance around, she entered the office.... ...........
....And found the real manager tied up on the floor with Mystique glaring at him.

In exactly that moment Mystique disappeared in a heap of smoke taking the hotel manager with her. Lara started looking around the room for clues when she heard footsteps behind her. She took out her trusty weapon and aimed it at the door ready to shoot anyone that came through. The unlucky person or should we say animal was Scooby, fortunately for him Lara's gun was loaded with sleeping tablets. As soon as everyone saw Lara shoot Scooby, they all jumped on her and tied her up till she came back to her senses. While they were all watching her the door slammed behind them, Shaggy looked through the keyhole and saw Mystique smiling an evil grin and suddenly the whole room shook and they heard a really loud laughter: MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Jessie told Johnny and Shaggy to put their heads together and find a way to open the door. They both got the same idea and started charging towards the door like bulls, Shaggy stopped at a few centimeters from the door while Johnny went through the door banging his head on an armor right across the door triggering a secret passage to the cellar.

Lara had regained her senses, Jessie untied her and they both looked eagerly towards the dark passage that lead down into the cellar of the hotel. They decided that Shaggy and Johnny would have brought Scooby up to their room and relaxed while they explored the passage. The duo did as they were told and started dragging Scooby out of the room. After having accomplished their mission, Shaggy asked Johnny to go with him to kitchen and help search for food, obviously Johnny’s reply was: Are we gonna find pretty mammas??? . Now we all know what Shaggy intends for pretty mammas are lasagnas, pasta, pizza, or shall we just say food in general??? His reply was : I don't know but I sure hope so!!! .

Lara and Jessie had already gone pretty deep into the darkness, after walking for ten minutes straight, Jessie found a light switch. Lara studied her surroundings and noticed that they were in a corridor about eight hundred meters long, they started following the path and after a while they heard a faint sound which sounded like a Christmas carol that went like this: I remember last Christmas Eve, something happened that I couldn't believe I went for a walk as the snow came down and when it stopped I was in a different town Then a sign said have no fear, you're not lost you're here The more they walked the louder the music became louder, at the end of the corridor they saw a door. Jessie looked through the keyhole and saw a very familiar place.

In the meantime, Shaggy and Johnny wandering around the hotel looking for the kitchen. They opened door after door and as soon as they were about to give up Shaggy smelt something, he didn't understand what it was but he knew it was food, every single part of his body felt it. Shaggy grabbed Johnny's hand and started following his nose with a speed faster than a jet plane. Johnny noticed that Shaggy was running into a wall and started screaming : Hey STOP!!! You cant find PRETTY MAMAS running into he was cut off and they were both in the biggest kitchen they had ever seen. It could fit three average houses in it and it had infinite fridges, each with a different sign raging from salty food to sweet. Shaggy started filling his arms and asked Johnny to do the same but after a couple of minutes he noticed Johnny was gone.

Shaggy wasn't very worried, he ran back up to the room and woke his best pal up with a chilly dog. Scooby jumped out of the bed and started gobbling down half of the food Shaggy had brought, and when Shaggy wasn&'t looking, he would gobble down some of his as well. Shaggy was very puzzled and for once he was thinking instead of eating: hmm where has Johnny gotten himself to???

Johnny was still wandering around the kitchen looking for a way out when he bumped into this gorgeous blonde. She had a nice figure and was really kind and gentle regarding Johnny. Johnny: Hey there pretty mama, are you lost as well???
Blonde: Yes I am, but I think I just found the exit!!!
Johnny: ha he hia well could I help you out???
Blonde: Sure, why not???
Johnny: So where is the um exit???
Blonde: Its right behind you silly, by the way I'm Betty. Betty Cooper
Johnny: The names Johnny, Johnny Bravo!!! Most handsome guy all around chased by millions of women everywhere!!! I'm strong and daring and I like protecting pretty mamas like you!!!
As they were going through the door, a mouse popped out of nowhere and Johnny started panicking jumping on Betty.
Betty: So, you're strong and daring are you not??? I better bring you back to your room before you faint after seeing a butterfly. So they headed for the squeaky, fifty year old elevator and made their ay up to Johnny's floor, Betty was really shocked since she had a room on that floor as well. She thought to herself that maybe that was the only floor they were using since they don't have many tourists in Corydon. Meanwhile in the darkness Jessie tried to push the door open, but it would not budge. "Let me pry it open with my crowbar," said Lara.
Bam! The century old metal door collapsed in a heap. "Whoa, guess I didn't know my own strength. Come on and be careful," said Lara.
The two slowly tip toed along the passage which seems to be even darker and longer than the previous one. Lara was leading, holding a dim flare in her right hand and gripping Jessie's hand with her left hand. The place smelled dank and worse of all it smelled rotten. The whole place felt stuffy and almost airless. In the pitch-black area Lara tripped on something, "Ow! What in the world?! I didn't even see that."
"Are you okay Lara?" asked Jessie.
"Yeah I guess so, hey do me a favor will you? Hold this flare while I take a good look at the object".
Slowly, Lara lifted the object which seem to weight several kilos and she unwrapped the dirty gray cloth enclosed with spider web that covered the mysterious object. Slowly, piece by piece she unwrapped the cloth which is similar to a mummy's cloth. When the last layer was lifted, Lara and Jessie nearly died of fright to see a small body. " Oh my lord! It's a decayed body of a child!" screamed Jessie.
At that instant there was a "click" sound and the whole area was lit with black neon light. Lara and Jessie was even more shocked to see that there were in the middle of a catacomb filled with bodies wrapped up like mummies stacked on various shelves. Some were even scattered on the floor where Lara had tripped on. With no moment of hesitation, both of the girls ran back through the tunnel and finally reached the hotel lobby.
"Hey where were you two?" questioned Shaggy the moment he saw the two pale girls.
"Oh goodness, hoo, wait let us catch our breath, okay here's goes. Jess and I were going into the cellar for investigation when all of a sudden we entered this creepy area which we didn't where it was until somebody turned on the light. And guess where we were? In some kind of vault filled with bodies and...."
Lara wasn't able to continue because she was trying to calm her nerves.
"Geez Lara for a tomb raider you sure get scared easily. I mean I would be freaked too, but you are a tomb raider. Isn't it your job to dig up all those creepy thingees?" questioned Shaggy.
"You're right Shag, but what scared me wasn't all those bodies. It was specifically the child's body I was unwrapping. You should have seen it, it had an evil smile upon it's lips even though he or she might have decayed for centuries," explained Lara.
"Wait a sec, you said somebody turned on the light switch when you were down there?"
"Yeah, and the scary thing is we don't know who,"
" Whoa that is one nasty place alright, hey by the way where in the world is Johnny and Scooby?" asked Jessie
"Oh, Scoob is in the room waiting for me to grab some mustard from the kitchen. And as for Johnny, I'm not sure. The last time I saw him was in the hallway upstairs with a girl," answered Shaggy.
Lara's eyes blazed with fire. "What you mean to say is that idiot was flirting with someone while we were trapped with corpses?! That moron deliberately promised to help me ever since I saved his butt a hundred times in Greensfield!"
Without further question Lara angrily marched upstairs while Jessie followed her silently and Shaggy went to the kitchen to get the mustard. " Lara calm dow-"
Before Jessie could finish her statement, Lara told her to "sshh". Lara pointed to their room that was opened by some one. Both of them approached the room cautiously. There was nothing. However, the window was opened. As Jessie was about to close the window, the telephone on their head table rang. Lara went to pick it up.
"Hello? What? ...Who are you?" Lara put the phone down. "It was some weird guy telling me to open the television. "
"Do you think we should? It might be some kind of trap,"
"I don't know Jess but, it's the only way to get to the bottom of this whole thing."
Lara picked the remote and click the "on" button. Jessie was holding one of Lara's pistol just in case anything goes wrong. The screen was at first blank, then a blurred picture of a little girl appeared on screen. She was wearing a black hood and dress and kept on repeating," play with me, play with me". Behind the girl stood a group of zombie-like people jumping and laughing .
"Okay this is dumb, let's shut the T.V now. Anymore and I'll have nightmares," said Jessie.
Lara clicked the remote, but the T.V just froze with the girl just repeating the same words and the people behind her just laughing. Hastily, Jessie tried to pull out the plug. But to their surprise, the picture still displayed on screen.
"That's it hand me the pistol Jessie," demanded Lara.
"What?! Are you nuts?! You'll have to pay for it you know," said Jessie.
"I will do that. And beside the whole hotel might be dead so payment is not a problem,"
"Boom!" Lara shot the center of the T.V screen and it shattered into pieces. The picture was gone.

The gun shot attracted the attention of Shaggy, Scooby, Johnny, and Betty. They all came in asking what happened. Lara was already out of breath so Jessie did the explanation for her:
"Okay I don't know what the heck is going on in this hotel, but I don't like it. First, the hotel manager was kidnapped. Then Lara and I ran into bunch of corpse in the cellar below the hotel. And while we were in the cellar someone opened the light. Then as we came up to our floor after a run and found out that our room was opened including our window. Next, the telephone rang with a creepy unknown person on the other end telling us to open the T.V. And when we did there was a picture of a girl who kept repeating "play with me" over and over. Behind her stood a group of zombie-looking crowd. We tried to shut the television by pressing the remote and pulling out the plug, but nothing worked. So the final way according to Lara was to shoot the T.V which works. Now our question is, where were you Johnny? Lara was having a fit over your disappearance."
"Uh...Oh I met pretty blondie here so we went up to our room -"
"You dirty scum! What were you thinking Bravo?!" shouted Lara
"No wait, you're getting it all wrong. Let me explain. I'm Betty Cooper from Riverdale High, and I came here to do some research in order to get extra credit. Somehow I can't find anyone at the lobby so I wandered around until I accidentally bumped into Johnny who offered to help me find my room which happened to be on the same floor as his. Then Johnny was helping me carry my suitcase up the stair when all of the sudden we heard a gun shot on the same floor."
"Okay we all had a tough day with weird things happening so let us just chill. By the way Betty, I'm Jessie. I'm on vacation right now. Lara here is also on vacation along with Shaggy and Scooby," said Jessie.
"Nice to meet you all. Skipping the subject, are you telling me that this hotel is haunted?" questioned Betty.
"We don't know yet, but something is going on. Every single person had disappeared except us," said Lara.
Scooby, Shaggy and Johnny were hugging each other in fright. Betty suddenly bursted out, "Hey did you guys notice that the only people who are still alive are the ones staying on this floor?"
"Play with me, play with me..." came a soft voice from behind the bathroom door. Everyone just froze.

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