“Man, is she hot!”
‘I’m evil,’ Velma laughed to herself as she waved at the latest pack of hooting young men…hooting at her.
She laughed, realizing that she had, in a way, become her own version of Daphne, or at least how she remembered her. Her black tailored suit fit perfectly, the skirt that she wore was just above the knee and, simultaneously, showing a hint of leg with the short slit in the side. Her two-and-a-half inch heels clicked along the sidewalk, generating attention as she walked. The lime-green silk blouse that she wore was her favorite, but she was glad that the suit was lined.
‘I’ve gotten spoiled after living in Texas: it’s cold up here,’ she chuckled, realizing that 47 degrees F was now cold to her.
Dr. Velma Dinkley Dace-Davis smiled as she walked, from her rental car, across the college campus of Northern Minnesota University. She never tired of these seminars that she was asked to conduct, especially when Jonathan would show up and surprise her from the audience.
But what she really liked about going to these College seminars, but would never admit to Ethan, was the reaction she got from the young men and boys on campus: the looks and whistles they gave her as she walked by. But, to be honest with herself, most of the “boys” were old enough to be in her graduation classes back home, and they acted so… immature, most of the time. But still, after all of those years before Ethan when she was treated as the ambiguously-asexual geek, it felt wonderful to be treated like she was attractive, beautiful, and yes, desirable. Most women, she thought, really wanted to be treated that way, but few would admit to.
‘Like the guys had always treated Daphne’, she thought with a wistful smile.
Like Jonathan treated her every day.
‘Someday, maybe, I’ll get to see her again,’ she thought as she walked.
It was wonderful, she realized, to have a husband (HUSBAND! She grinned) who was so much like Ethan and yet also so different at the same time: both were musical, and both loved her. Yet, they were from different universes, different planes…
Ethan…she could think of him now without breaking into huge sobs. That was all Jonathan’s fault, she grinned to herself.
She stopped and looked around, and then she looked down at the directions and map she’d been given.
“May I help you, ma’am?” a soft female voice spoke to her, and she looked up and smiled.
The voice was from a student, probably a senior judging by one of the books she had in her hand and the air of confidence she had. She was pretty, a little taller than Velma, but what got Velma’s attention were her glasses: they framed lovely deep brown eyes, and they were framed by long dark hair that cascaded down her shoulders and the front of her baggy oversized sweatshirt. The oversized sweatshirt, unfortunately for her, did not completely hide what she was trying to conceal: her front.
‘She’s definitely not build like Daphne,’ Velma grinned inside, ‘but Fred and Shaggy both would be drooling more than Scooby did at that all-you-can-eat buffet in Coolsville!’
“Yes, please: I’m looking for the campus auditorium,” Velma replied, holding out the map. “Can you show me where I am on the map?”
“No big,” the young woman replied, then grinned. “Sorry: channeling my writing inspiration there for a moment. I do have the ability,” she added, then laughed. “I’m sorry: now, I’m channeling my mother,” she explained, and Velma chuckled. “You’re here,” she pointed at a spot on the map, “and the auditorium is there,” she pointed at another spot on the map to the right of where Velma was standing, behind another building.
“Thank you,” Velma replied, taking the map and placing it back in her portfolio.
“You’re welcome: enjoy your stay here on campus,” the young woman replied and walked away.
Velma watched her walk away, and then she turned and headed for the auditorium, even though something was bothering her. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but it was gnawing at her brain.
Halfway there, she stopped suddenly and laughed out loud as it finally hit her what was gnawing at her. That young woman, with a bit different dress and hair styling, could have been a younger version of herself: the same walk, the same look beneath her eyes, the same biting wit. ‘I hope that that look in her eyes isn’t the same thing I had; I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, not even Scrappy-Doo,’ she thought, remembering her loneliness.
“What are the odds of finding someone like me, here?” she asked as she walked into the front door and was greeted by the University Chancellor.
Lynn walked away after helping the woman find her way on campus, and she almost got to her dorm before she stopped dead in her tracks.
“Oh, my goodness: that was Velma!” she shouted to no one.
She had grown up watching Scooby-Doo reruns, ‘The New Adventures’, and she had seen the first movie and was anxiously awaiting the second one’s appearance on the screen. She loved the fact that a young woman who was not the most beautiful blond in the business was solving the mysteries and doing it in such style. She wasn’t sure about the orange, but on Velma it looked good.
She had read the article that had come on the campus website about her coming for a seminar, and she had managed to sign up and be the last student to get on the list. The story of how she had come ‘across’ was almost unbelievable, but Lynn, being a woman of science, believed what she could see, touch, and feel. Velma was too real, too precise and consistent in her tales of what had happened to her, to be faking.
She headed for her dorm to drop off her books and get her iPod and extra memory chips to record the seminar. Walking, she thought to herself how alike they were, in a way: her story and Velma’s tale …at least the growing up part. She was pushed aside by her teachers, not because she was smart, but because she saw things differently and questioned them. It didn’t help that she had started to ‘grow’ in the fifth grade, much to the dismay of all of her girl friends and the delight of all the boys.
No one wanted to be around her, except for one reason only. She had had that realization one day after some boys made a really lewd comment about her to her face when she was walking home. She looked in the mirror, looked down at herself, and burst into tears. She had cried for 10 minutes, wanting to cut them off so she could look like everyone else. That was the day that she became the true introvert she had grown into in high school and college: no dates, or only very few with non-threatening boys.
She had finally opened up when she started to write fanfiction, the middle of her junior year in college. Out there on the Internet, she had found a community of writers that welcomed her and treated her like a queen. ‘It was a different royalty,’ she laughed as she opened her dorm room door and walked in, ‘but that was the first time I had had people that truly loved me for me, not for someone that others wanted me to be.’ It was such a good feeling that she had almost lost herself in the emotions that churned inside of her before a couple of the people on the forums talked to her and helped her see what was happening, even though they never realized that they had helped her, or how.
“‘Best friends she’d never met,'” one of the writers had coined on the forum, and she had embraced the term. Here, there were people that she could bare her soul to, share her hearts’ desires with, laugh and cry with, all with no pain or suffering like she’d been through in real life. She had even gotten up the nerve to put one of her pictures out on the forum, and several of the younger men had gone totally gaga over her. One older male writer had reined them in, under threat of unleashing plot bunnies on them that they would not survive. They had all backed off.
He had told her, in a private message (PM), that he had been positive that she was a lovely young woman, even before he saw the picture. After seeing it, he changed his description: he told here that she was DDG. When she asked, he explained: DDG was drop-dead gorgeous. “If I weren’t already happily married, and if I were 20 years younger, I’d be courting you with full intentions of having you in my life forever. Brains, beauty, and an acerbic wit make the perfect woman for me,” he had written. She told him that he had made her blush, but she didn’t tell him that she had a smile frozen on her face for the next 10 days, or that she had printed off his comments and carried them in her purse so that she could remember that she was not someone’s plaything or toy… or, even worse, she shuddered inside as she remembered the words that a few of the boys in junior high school had yelled at her as she ran away from them one day.
She grabbed the small, powerful microphone that a friend had given her for her birthday and attached it to her iPod, checked the two spare battery packs and spare memory cards, all while she was thinking about her chance meeting with Velma. ‘I wonder if I’ll get a chance to ask her a question at the conference,’ she thought as she, on a total whim, changed out of her sweatshirt to a NMU IZod button-down shirt that she had bought, almost on a dare. She pulled her light jacket out of the closet and slipped it on, grabbed her backpack, and headed out of her dorm room. Closing the door, she headed out and started walking the short distance to the auditorium.
She arrived there early as the students were running a sound check on the dais and on the microphones set up at the discussion table. Jason was one of the techies checking out the sound, and he waved at her when he saw her come in and sit down as she grabbed a seat on the front row and waved back. He was a good friend, and he had made it obvious, when they first met, that he thought that she was pretty but not his type. He, his boyfriend, and Lynn would often go out for pizza, having a wonderful time at the expense of the same people that ostracized them. They were all wrecking the curves in their respective classes, and they reveled at the fact that they were smart and good at what they did.
“Have you met Velma?” she asked Jason when he came down from the stage and plopped into the seat next to her.
“Oh my goodness, yes,” he gushed. “She’s everything I hoped she would be: she’s just like she was on the original shows and even better than Linda in the movie.”
“I was walking back to my dorm, and I helped her find her way over here,” Lynn smirked.
“Way,” she replied. “I didn’t even realize that it was her until I walked away and I got slapped in the side of the head by a clue bunny,” she laughed.
“Ouch,” he laughed. “Them suckers gotta hurt.”
“They do,” she smiled. Jason was so easy to talk to.
The room had started to fill just as Jason came down off the stage. During their short talk his boyfriend had found him on the front row and, by the time they had finished, the background noise from the almost full auditorium was almost deafening with the chatter and clicking of cameras.
“You recording?” Jason asked, and Lynn nodded, showing the tiny directional microphone clipped to her shirt.
“Kewl,” he said as the Chancellor walked out onto the stage and stepped up to the dais.
“Good afternoon, students, faculty, and guests,” he began. “We have a special treat today, so I’m not going to take up anymore of your time,” and he laughed at the applause his statement brought. “So, with no further ado, I have just one question that I want to ask:
“‘Scooby Doo, Where Are You?'”he shouted, and the crowd laughed.
A female voice replied sweetly, “He’s not here, but will I do?” and the room burst into applause and laughter when Dr. Velma Dinkley Dace-Davis walked into the stage wearing her signature orange sweater, brown-orange short skirt, and knee-high orange socks.
“Jinkies, what a crowd,” she started, once she reached the dais, and the room erupted again. She burst into a warm smile, and that brought even more applause and cheers.
“WE LOVE YOU, VELMA!” came from different corners of the room, and Velma blushed.
“She’s real, and she here,” Lynn whispered as she sat back in her seat. Velma Dinkley existed, and she made it through all she had. ‘This should be an interesting seminar,’ Lynn smiled.