Snow Devil Fright is no
With apologies to Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbara and anyone else who might hate this story. (although I believe any true Scooby Doo fan will love it!) All borrowed characters have been safely returned intact and healthy. This is a Scrappy free story. It's a long one, so, feel free to print it out and save it for later reading!
"You sure your ok driving Daphne? You've been at the wheel for three hours!" Freddy says. Daphne looks back at him. He is seated in the back seat next to Shaggy and Scooby. "Still don't trust a woman driver eh?", she says. Velma, who is in the front chuckles. Freddy continues to try and defend his comments. "It's not that, it's just the road looks pretty icy." Daphne shrugs her shoulders. "Well Freddy, this road looks like it still has stuff on it from the last snowstorm. Are you sure this hotel is even open in the winter?" Freddy sits back in his seat. "It's a great place to take a winter vacation! I was here six years ago, and boy was it fun! They have all sorts of snow sports, and the setting is very picturesque. A big old hotel on a hill, but not too big, maybe one hundred and fifty rooms. Has a big banquet hall and a lobby with a huge fireplace!" Daphne flips on the headlights as they go through a tunnel. She flips the heat on high and says, "Well, It sure is cold around here, that fireplace sounds nice, but I think we have a big snowstorm headed our way." As they come out of the tunnel, Velma flips on the radio hoping to get a forecast. "Nothing but static! We're in a valley, surrounded by hills that block our reception. Guess we'll find out the old fashion way.... Hey, these roads really do look bad! Uh-oh, it is starting to snow!" As the van rounds a bend in the road, the hotel comes into view in the distance. "Yipes!", Shaggy yells, "That place looks like something I saw in a Stephen King movie once!" Velma laughs, "As long as Jack Nicholson doesn't answer the door, I think we're safe!"
With Shaggy now driving, the van pulls up the driveway as concern grows. There are no indications of any life. No cars are in the parking lot. And the snowstorm has turned into a blizzard! Shaggy pulls the Mystery Machine up to what should be the front reception area before speaking up. "Freddy! This place is deserted! I don't know what it used to be like, but I think we wasted about twelve hours of driving coming up here! So much for our restful vacation!" Freddy looks shocked. "I don't understand! This was always such a popular place. They can't have gone out of business!" Daphne pulls out her cell-phone on the hunch they may be able to call and at least get a message, but it is out of range. "Well Velma, I sure wish we had your satellite phone rig right about now." Velma, who has been staring at the door, looks over. "Parts are on back-order. Sorry folks." Velma gets out of the van and trudges toward the door. The wet snow is falling faster then ever. She makes her way up to the front door and tries to look at a sign inside. Fred, Shaggy, and Daphne watch as she first rubs the window with her mitten, then leans down to look in, shakes her head, the tries rubbing the window some more. Finally, she returns to the van and jumps in. "Burrr! It is getting very cold, real fast", she says. "Well Freddy, you blew it! They close this place in December now, and don't reopen until March!" Freddy plops back into his seat, looking quite bummed. "I am really sorry. I don't know what to say. Well, lets head back, there was a town about thirty miles back where we can get some rest before driving back." Daphne shakes her head, "Well Freddy, as a consolation prize, you get to drive back!"
As Freddy heads down the driveway, he is amazed at how fast the snow is falling. "I can't believe it! I bet there's four inches of snow on the ground, and it's only been snowing for about forty five minutes!" As Freddy steers onto the road, he slows down to a crawl. Velma looks nervously out of the window. "Where is the road?" She says. "This is an odd valley. On the west side, where the hotel is, there was hardly any snow accumulation in the hills above the hotel, yet on the east side, where we came out of the tunnel, there was tons of snow on the hill. This place is a real good example of what is know as a cross-wind valley!" Scooby, who has been quiet for most of the trip, speaks up. "Ro Rotther!" Shaggy shake his head as well. "Oh brother is right! Here we are, about to die in a blizzard, and Velma is giving us a lesson in meteorological forces!" Velma shakes her head, "No Shaggy, that would be geological nature, but I'm still amazed at the expansion factor of your vocabulary!" Shaggy looks over to Scooby and smiles, "Yea, whatever!"
As the van heads toward the tunnel, the ground begins to shake. "An Earthquake!", Shaggy yells. "More like an avalanche!", Freddy yells back, "Hold on gang!" A wall of white hits the windshield, pushing the van backwards and off to the side, The gang is thrown about as the van come to a stop. The light through the windows grows darker and darker as the snow piles on top of them. Finally, there is quiet....
Freddy yells back, "Is everyone ok?" There is a moment of silence as everyone checks out their own condition. Finally, Velma speaks. "I think so. Freddy, you'd better turn the engine off tho, looks like we're trapped!" Freddy picks up a metal tent rod that is laying on the floor. It is about three feet long. He opens his window a crack and pushes the rod through the snow. "Nothing", he says, "Solid snow!" He hands the rod to Daphne who does the same on her side of the van. She looks back with a disappointed look, and hands the rod to Shaggy, who is in the back. Shaggy opens the roof vent a bit and pushes the rod straight up. After pushing up for about a foot and a half, the rod breaks free! "Here's out exit!" he says. Freddy climbs to the back and helps him open the roof vent. the snow is packed tight, and even with the vent open, does not move. Freddy pushes upward on the snow, which suddenly gives way. Shaggy moves a case over for Freddy to stand on as he pushes his way up through the vent. As he makes his way to the surface, he is shocked by what he sees. After looking around, he slips back down into the safety of the van. "Wow! The tunnel is gone! Buried under all the snow, and so are we. But, we are lucky. It could have pushed us off of the road and down the side of the mountain. The snow tapers off to the rear of the van and I can see the roadside reflectors about fifty feet behind us. Velma, you and Daphne gather up all our supplies. Shaggy, we'll take Scooby and try to dig the rear doors free." Freddy, Shaggy, and Scooby work their way through the roof vent. Daphne hands them shovels while Velma starts sorting through their supply cases.
It is late afternoon by the time the snow subsides. The three of them have dug out the rear doors of the van and climb back into it. Velma has packed up four duffel bags, and Daphne serves up the remainder of the hot coco. All five warm themselves around a small gas heater in the back. Freddy lays out the plan of action. "We are about a mile and a half from the hotel. We know it has heat because there is smoke coming out of that chimney towards the back. I think we should make the hike and try to get in. There must be a caretaker if the furnace is running. Shaggy and I got the skis off of the roof. We'll take a few more minutes to get warm, lock the van up, and head out."
Four exhausted humans and one dog-tired dog work their way up the driveway to the hotel. "Look Fred", Velma says, "There's fresh footprints in the snow over at this end of the building!" The gang trudges over to a small side door. Freddy tries the knob. It is open. As the five enter the warm, moist room, Freddy yells for attention. "Hello? Hello? Anybody here?" Scooby's eyes are real wide. "Rits a Ritchen!" Shaggy turns around. "What luck! Scooby's right! It's a kitchen!" The gang can smell spaghetti sauce cooking. There is a large pot of pasta boiling on the stove. An older man come into the room looking shocked. "Who are you?" Freddy starts to explain the long ordeal to the man, as Shaggy and Scooby begin checking out what is cooking on the stove. Velma is stumbling about because the moist air has frosted over her glasses. She takes them off to wipe them but bangs her arm into the counter. The glasses fly across the floor and out of sight. "Oh no! I'm too tired for this", she complains. Down on her hands and knees, she starts the search, but stops in her tracks and chuckles. "Almost forgot I have a spare pair", she says to herself. Reaching in her pocket, she removes a small case that has her wire-rim glasses in it. She pops them on her face and spies a reflection coming from under a cart. She kneels down next to the cart and lifts the tablecloth that is covering it. "Hello there", she says as she uncovers where her glasses were hiding. They are laying next to a large spool of wire that is sitting under the cart. With the wire-rims glasses back in the case, she puts her favorite pair back on her nose. She is about to drop the tablecloth back down but stops and looks at the wire. There is a tag on the top of the roll. She removes it and reads it to herself. "5000 feet, fiberoptic cable.... What on earth. Why would there be a huge roll of fiberoptic cable sitting in the kitchen of a one hundred year old hotel?"
Freddy, Shaggy, and Daphne are talking up a storm as Velma rejoins the group. "Find your glasses?", Freddy asks. "No, I'm tired, and these are just very dark circles around my eyes!", Velma snaps back. "Very funny Velma, come on, we're all a little tired", Freddy points out. Velma looks a little apologetic and says, "I'm sorry." Freddy introduces the older man. "This is Mr Steve Myers, he is the caretaker here. Says we're welcome to stay till we can get dug out of the snow." The older man turns toward Velma. "That's right. I don't get too many visitors during the winter here. Especially this year." Velma looks puzzled. "Why is that Mr Myers?" He looks over to her and says, "You can call me Steve... Not many people around because of those Snow Devils that are living up in the hills!" Shaggy takes an audible gulp, "Sn.. Sn.. Snow Devils?"
The gang is warming up around the big fireplace eating pasta. Freddy turns to Steve. "I guess if I can borrow your phone, I can call for help and see if they plan to dig the road out." Steve shakes his head. "Lost the phones a few hours ago. Sounds like they went out the same time that avalanche occurred. Last time that happened they were out for a month." Daphne turns towards Steve as well. "What about a radio?" Steve continues to shake his head. "Ice storm took out the antenna last week." Shaggy looks over at Velma, then over to Steve. "What about one of those snow thingies?" Steve laughs, "You mean a Snow Tractor? Yea, that I have. We can drive it over tomorrow and dig out your van. Can't clear the tunnel. Can't drive over the mountain." Freddy smiled. "Digging out the van would be just fine! I think we are all a little tired. Would you mind if we grabbed some rooms, caught a little Tv, and spent the night?" Steve looked back over to Fred. "Staying the night is no problem, I enjoy the company, but as for Tv..." Velma cuts him off, "I know! Tv went out last week." Steve nods his head.
Velma climbs in the warm comfortable bed as Daphne takes off her makeup. Just as she if falling off to sleep, Daphne screams, "Did you see that!" Velma jumps up in the bed. "Huh? What? I can't see anything!" She grabs her glasses off of the end-table and joins Daphne, who is over by the window. "Up on the hill... Those lights, some kind of luminescent creatures moving around in the hills..." Velma follows Daphne's directions and watches for a few seconds. "Yea... I see them! Looks like they're moving around, like ghosts on skis!" Freddy, Shaggy, and Scooby come through the door, having heard Daphne's scream. "What's up?" Freddy asks. He joins them at the window and watches the figures moving up in the hills. "ZOINKS!", shouts Shaggy. "Row Revils!", adds Scooby. Freddy tries for a better view. "I don't know what they are, but something is going on up in those hills! Velma, what do you say to the idea that you and Daphne do a little skiing tomorrow morning while Shaggy, Scooby and I go with Steve to dig out the Mystery Machine?" Velma chuckles, "My thoughts exactly! I think there's more going on around here then meets the eye!"
Daphne and Velma stand at the top of the longest trail, bundled up in thick clothing. "What a hike! I thought this place would have a chair lift or something", Daphne says as she puts on her ski goggles. Velma adjusted her own goggles over her glasses and pulled her hat down tightly on her head. "Well Daphne, we really aren't here for the fun anyway. I was hoping we would find some clues to what was happening up here last night, but this layer of snow has covered everything over. It's a great morning for skiing anyway, clear skies, no wind. Lets have some fun!" Daphne nods to Velma and then pushes off. About three seconds later Velma pushes off as well. The two travel down the curving steep trail, cutting to the left, and then to the right. As the round a bend in the trail, Daphne loses her balance and falls into a tumble. She comes to a halt against something unexpected. Someone has strung a taught steal cable across the path! She looks up as Velma rounds the bend toward it. "VELMA! WATCH OUT!!" She screams, in an attempt to warn her, but it is too late! Velma's skis catch under the wire and she goes hurtling forward, crashing face first into the snow. Daphne watches in horror as Velma flies off of the path and into a crop of trees. "VELMA!" She screams again. All she hears is silence. Daphne stands up and walks in the direction of where Velma disappeared. She works her way through the small crop of trees, following the marks in the snow, until she comes to a cliff. Her heart is pounding in her throat as she makes her way over to the edge of the cliff, following the groove in the snow made by Velma, then looks over. It is a shear drop of almost one hundred feet! "VELMA???", she screams. Tears are rolling down her cheeks.