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Cuddly Clan
Christmas Tale


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Then Betty, who was closest to the door, flung it open. Lara and Jessie leaned in from behind her. Steam was floating out of the bathroom; they could barely see who was there. They stepped in, Lara clutching one gun and Jessie the other. Shaggy was having a nervous breakdown in Scooby's arms (so what else is new) and whimpered,
"What is it, what is it?" when suddenly, all three girls shrieked like banshees and ran to the other end of the room.
"Holy Mother of God in Heaven!" yelled Lara, hitting her head again and again on the wall. Betty was hiding under the bed.
"Eyes forgive me eyes forgive me eyes forgive me" Jessie chanted with her hands covering, you guessed it, her eyes. Not unnaturally, Johnny, Shaggy and Scooby made a rush for the door. It wouldn't open.
"The window, the window!" yelled Shaggy, banging against it.
"Hey, I think this is proofbullet glass," began Johnny. "Bulletproof, moron," came Betty's voice from under the bed.
Shaggy and Scooby immediately dived underneath to join her. "Wh-what did you see in there this time?" asked Shaggy, shivering.
"Rerewolf?" asked Scooby.
"No," replied Lara who had finally stopped banging her head against the wall.
Johnny's face was stuck to the bulletproof glass.
"Rampire?"
"No," answered Jessie, eyes still firmly covered. She had stopped chanting.
"Well, what is it, you're freaking us out here!" Lara pointed to the bathroom door. Standing there, wearing a pink bathrobe that was clearly put on in a hurry, was a fat, let me reiterate, FAT man putting on a pair of steamed up glasses. He glared Jessie (Betty was still under the bed), shaking a finger at her.
"DIDN'T YOUR PARENTS TEACH YOU ANY MANNERS?" he roared, his flabby cheeks and stomach jiggling.
"YOU DO NOT PEEK AT SANTA CLAUS IN THE SHOWER!" Then he smirked flirtatiously at Lara. "You, pumpkin, on the other hand,"
"Believe me, you were one of the scariest sights I've ever seen." snapped Lara. She began loading a shotgun. Jessie and Betty made retching noises.
"Wait a sec, let me get this straight," said Johnny.
"You're supposed to be Santa Claus? Where's your beard?" "Well, no, not the real Santa," he answered. "The manager hired me to play Santa for the Christmas party tonight, that's all."
"Like, what about that creepy voice?" asked Shaggy. "And are we still trapped in this room?"
"First you don't let me take a shower, then you insult my singing," said fake Santa grumpily.
"Do you know anything about the other creepy stuff that's been happening around here? The corpses and stuff?"asked Betty, emerging from under the bed. She avoided looking at him directly.
BANG! Lara had shot at the door. She then ran and kicked at it, but it wouldn't budge.

"I think it's steel,” said Jessie. "Ohnoweregonnastarvetodeath!" whimpered Shaggy.
"Raggy?" said Scooby, pointing to an envelope on the desk. It was addressed to JOHNNY BRAVO, BLOND IDIOT, OUTSIDERSO HOTEL, CORYDON.
"Scoob, that doesn't have food in it!" said Shaggy hysterically.
Jessie ripped it open. "It says we have to stay in this suite until we figure out who's behind this. Why's it addressed to Johnny?"
"Come again?" questioned Lara.
Jessie handed the envelope to Lara," Yeah, see here, Johnny, Outsiderso, all the details.”
"NOOOOOOO!!!!" shrieked Johnny at the top of his lungs, “I’m too young to die! Why does it have to be me?!"
“ Knock it off,” said Betty, quite panicked.
“Look, I don’t know what this nonsense is all about but I need to get ready for the show tonight. Now if you lovely ladies would excuse me I need to be on my way,” said Claus.
“Uh, Mr. Claus, didn’t you forget that the door and the windows has been sealed?” asked Shaggy.
“Shag’s right. And don’t forget about that letter. We won’t be able to get out until we solve the mystery. Oh by the way, how did you get into our room in the first place Mr. Claus? Of all the suites in this motel, why did you pick Lara’s and mine to take a shower?” questioned Jessie.
“Yeah, how come?” Lara narrowed her eyes at the now
alarmed-looking Claus. Claus looked scared. He did not know what to answer. He began muttering words that don’t even make sense. Before you know it, he became the main suspect.
Lara looked at him suspiciously. She began to unload the ropes from her bag. Upon seeing this, Santa suddenly dashed toward the closed door, banging his fists on it, trying to escape. The entire gang jumped on him and pinned the belly man to the ground.

“Tie him up. Shaggy, Scooby, and Johnny, you three keep a close watch on him. Don’t let him out of your sight until we find a way out. The rest of us try to look for an escape route. Search for any pipe, vent, or crack in the wall.”
After appointing the task to everyone, Lara went to investigate the bathroom which was now clear from the bath steam. She detected an air vent above the bathtub. However, it was too small for anyone to fit through. Betty was tapping on walls with the hope to find some sort of a crack that can be knocked over. The guys were sitting on the floor and keeping a close eye on Claus who is now looking very angry. Jessie looked in the closet and finally under the bed.
“Hey, I think I saw something glinting from under here.” Together with Betty, they pushed the bed out of the way and placed it against door. To their surprise, a giant ancient style door was engraved into the floor with black shiny handles. To make things even weirder the telephone line was slipped in between the two closed latches.
“Hmmm, things are starting to make more sense now,” said Lara.
The girls each grabbed a tool from Lara’s knapsack and began prying the door. It took them nearly half an hour to be able to loosen the latch. However, the entire door was too heavy for three people to lift.
“Hey Johnny, Shaggy,” can you two come give us a hand? Scooby, you can stay guard Claus,” replied Lara.
Johnny and Shaggy left Scooby with Claus and went to help the girls.
“Oh man, this is like, too heavy,” grunted Shaggy as he and the gang tried to lift up the door.
“Ahhh, my biceps are cramping,” yelped Johnny.
“Oh great, just what we need, a muscle man with no strength,” growled Jessie as she sweated away.
“This is not working, we need at least one more person,” said Betty as her fingers are slowing slipping from the door. Everyone turned and looked at Scooby who was standing near Claus.
“Do you think we should?” questioned Betty.
“We have no choice. The guy’s tied up anyway. He can’t go anywhere. Scooby can you please come and help us,” said Lara.
So together the six friends heaved and lifted the door together. With sweat triggering, panting, and grunting; the door is opened.
“Well done gang, now I’ll go grab my flashlight and we can climb down in it,” said Lara happily. Everyone tried to look down the door, but it was pitch black. An unpleasant odor started rising from beneath the endless tunnel. It does not really matter now. At least they are getting out.
“Damn!” cursed Lara from out of the blues. Everyone turned around. The beer-bellied man was gone! “Whoa, what the? How did he?” At that moment, everyone scattered across the suite to find Claus. The steel door and the windows still remained shut.
“Impossible!” shouted Jessie.
“You know what, let’s us get out of this room now. We can worry about Santa boy later. Everyone get a hold of any kind of object that can be used as a weapon. We don’t know what we’re going to find down there. We’re going to follow the telephone line. It may lead us to some explanation. Geez, too bad I have only flashlight. I suggest we form a human chain. I’ll climb down first then the rest of you follow. Once we’re down there everyone hold each other’s hand. Do not break the link or we can be separated and lost, understood?”
“Aye, Captain Croft,” replied Jessie mockingly. Ditching Jessie’s last remark, Lara dropped down inside the tunnel. She click on her neon green flashlight. Everyone else began to follow. Behind Lara was Jessie, followed by Johnny who insisted that he be between two girls. After Johnny was Betty, then Scooby and Shaggy. Lara followed the telephone line leading into the darkness. The rotten stench from before began to ooze out again. “Red haired beauty, was that you who did that?” teased Johnny.
“Shut up!” retort Jessie from the front of the line.
“I hate being the last person in this line,” shivered Shaggy. “I don’t want any monster to snatch me from behind.”
“Don’t worry Shaggy, just scream if something happens.” said Betty.
“Oh I will scream even if nothing happens,” replied Shaggy.
All of the sudden Lara just stopped. Everyone’s face was smashed right into the front person’s back. "Hey, why'd you stopped?" questioned Jessie.
"That's the end of the telephone line. Someone cut it. Oh wait, look! Up there. I see some lights. Must be a door. Here Jess I'll boost you up. See if you can get it to open," said Lara.
Jessie pushed a small portion of the ceiling. It opened. Everyone climbed out, and before you know it they were back in the lobby. " Do you supposed whoever made that creepy phone call is someone from the front desk?" asked Betty.
"That's a possibility. It sure is strange that this motel have all kinds of secret passages. There was one where we saw the hotel manager got dragged in by some crazed blue-skinned woman. Then there's the one in our room under our bed. Hmm, and you know the strange thing they have in common?" asked Lara.
" They both lead to the lobby," said Jessie.
"Exactly."
"Yeah, so?" questioned Shaggy quite confused at the whole ordeal.
"That doesn't explain anything about the spooky television that wouldn't turn off, or the disappearance of the motel's guests and not to mention the Claus character," added Betty.
"I wonder if the three people we saw at this motel who are not the guests are related," said Lara curiously. "Which three people? What do you mean by 'related' to each other?" asked Jessie.
"The three people I'm talking about are the hotel manager, the Claus, and the mysterious blue-skinned woman (Mystique). I know it's impossible, but do you guys think they're all the same person?"
"Not possible," replied Jessie. "Don't forget that the mysterious woman was dragging the hotel manager down the cellar. You can't be two people at the same time and at the same place."
"It might be possible. And if it is, I'm scared!" chattered Shaggy.
As everyone was trying to figure things out, the blizzard started to pour again. Shaggy and Scooby went together to find food even though Betty warned them of the danger of separating from the group. Their stomachs were growling. Being hungry herself she decided to join the guys in the kitchen. Jessie was quickly pacing the lobby floor back forth consumed deep in thoughts. Lara sat on a couch and Johnny on the counter.
"Hey, I almost forgot! The letter, we never figured out why it was addressed to Johnny!" shouted Lara.
At that instant, Jessie and Lara both looked at Johnny. However, the cowardly expression of the guy was already turned into an evil smile.

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