This is the follow-up to "Walk a Mile in My Doos", which I wrote a ways back. As per normal, all characters, save for incidentals I created for this story, are copyright Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.. Chapter 1: Setting: October-November 1987. It all started rather innocently one Halloween. After returning home following the adventure of "The Reluctant Werewolf", Scooby & Scrappy-Doo and their owner/partner, Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, had time to plan a Halloween party. Shaggy even rented the local community center for the night, working in cooperation with the local Boys & Girls Club. However, there were two problems. First, Scooby & Scrappy were called away to help Scooby's brother, Yabba, and his owner, Deputy Dusty, in Yucca Flats. Second, a planned Mystery, Inc. reunion was scotched when Velma Dinkley had moved to New York and opened a bookstore, while Fred Jones was in Salem, Massachusetts, working his first case as a solo investigator. His erstwhile girlfriend, Daphne Blake, remained in Coolsville, and was looking to get into the television business. Realizing that Shaggy needed a date for the party, Daphne was willing to oblige........... "Daphne's upstairs in her room.", her father said when Shaggy arrived at the Blake mansion. "I believe she's trying out different costumes for your party, Mr. Rogers." "Fair enough.", Shaggy replied. "I'll wait outside in the van." The van, of course, was the fabled Mystery Machine, which had been left in Shaggy's care. As he headed back to the van, he was startled to see Scooby, or at least a doppleganger, bounding into the van, as Shaggy used a remote control key to unlock the doors. "What in the world......?" Shaggy wondered. Abruptly, "Scooby" disappeared, as it was really Daphne, who opted to go to the party as the canine detective, using the mystic mask of Scooby's face she'd worn not too long before. The leggy socialite fastened her seatbelt in the passenger's seat, with the mask in her lap. "I thought you'd promised you wouldn't wear that mask again.", Shaggy said. "I did.", Daphne replied as the van pulled away. "However, after you said Scooby couldn't go due to a case out of town, I felt, since both of us needed a date, why not be a couple for a night? Besides, there's a little unfinished business." "Maybe this was the reason Fred was in such a hurry to leave.", Shaggy thought to himself. "What if someone told him Daphne was cheating on him with me? We only slept together one night." For whatever reason, all thoughts of that one night stand a year ago faded by the time the Mystery Machine pulled into the parking lot of the community center. Daphne became Daphne-Doo again by donning the mask, while Shaggy masqueraded as his hero and former mentor, Vincent Van Ghoul, right down to shaving off his goatee and dying his hair to look the part. It took a while for Daphne to learn to walk like Scooby, on her hind legs. But, by the end of the night, she had Shaggy lead her out of the center and head for home, well before midnight. "What's the rush, Daph?", Shaggy asked. "It's only 10:30." "I know, Shaggy.", Daphne replied, "But we've got a problem. A big one." "And that is?" "I'm stuck. I can't take the mask off! I can't face my parents looking like this." Shaggy pulled the van to a nearby alley. Try as he might, however, he couldn't budge the mask, either. "It's worse than that.", Daphne sobbed. "My whole body's changing on the inside. I'm turning into a real dog." She fell into Shaggy's arms as he patted her back. Abruptly, the brim of the mask appeared. "Hold on tight, Daph. Let me see if I can get it off now.", Shaggy said. He reached under the brim and lifted it as best as possible. Finally, his canine date disappeared, and Daphne returned. Impulsively, she kissed Shaggy full on the lips. Leaving the mask on her lap until she reached home, Daphne entrusted it to Shaggy to find out just what caused the magic mask to malfunction, shall we say. "Just have it ready tomorrow.", she said. "I'll be by after dark." "Ok, I hope to have this all figured out." ============================================================== Ah, but this is tougher than you think, as we'll see in chapter 2.