Haunts From the Past
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!
Velma had been finishing up on some recreational research work when she heard the beeps from a very familiar horn. Two beeps. That meant a trip might be involved. She shut down her computer, flipped on a few lights, and picked up her suitcase. As she stepped out the door of her one bedroom apartment, she turned and locked it behind her. One thing she had learned about this mystery work was that it often involved taking off on a long trip with no notice. Ever since the gang got back together she had developed the habit of keeping a small suitcase packed and ready to go. As she walked towards the van she could see Freddy sitting alone in the front seat. Fred leaned over and opened the door for her. "What's up?" Velma asked. Freddy looked concerned. "Daphne might be missing. It's probably nothing but I just have this bad feeling for some reason." Velma jumped into the seat. "When did this happen?" Freddy put the van in gear and headed out to the road. "Mr Blake called me. He had a sore throat and Daphne offered to go down to the drug store and pick up some cough syrup. It should have been a fifteen minute trip. That was three hours ago!" Velma could feel the same "bad feeling" creeping over her. "Did he call the drug store?" Freddy turned down a side street that lead to where Shaggy and Scooby were living. "Yes, Mark, the clerk, remembered seeing her come in, get the syrup, and leave. I already drove by the drug store, but her red car was not there. Freddy made a right turn into the parking lot at Pizza Palace. "Shall I go wake the dead?" Velma asked. "Sure", Freddy answered, "I think it's your turn anyway."
Velma got out of the van and entered the front door. Sally was working behind the counter. "Sally, Are Shaggy and Scoob around? Sally chuckled. "Yea, I think they're still both asleep in the upstairs apartment!" Velma headed behind the counter, through a door, and up the staircase. There were two small apartments above the pizza place. One belonged to Sally, and the other was the one Shaggy was renting. "Somehow, I guess a horn beep is not enough to wake these two, especially at the early hour of eleven a.m." Velma gave the door a solid knocking. She could hear some rustling followed by the sound of something falling and breaking. She winced at the sound. "Are you two awake yet?" she yelled. Finally, a groggy voice answered. "We are now..."
As Velma entered the apartment, she was greeted by the smell of stale pizza. "Yuck!" she said, as she walked over to a table and closed the box of dry pizza slices and threw it in the trash, "Shaggy, you guys need a wife, or a mother, I'm not sure which!" Shaggy was still flopped in the bed, Scooby was half asleep on a pile of cloths next to the bed. There was a broken lamp on the floor. He saw her staring at it. "I thought the alarm clock was going off and I knocked it over by mistake." Velma looked around for the phone. "We tried calling you but there was no answer...." Velma stopped herself when she saw a wire that lead over to a pile of blankets. She followed it and picked up the blankets. At the bottom of the pile was the phone. Shaggy smiled.
The Mystery Machine pulled into Mac's Drug Store. Freddy headed in to talk to the clerk while Velma, Scooby, and Shaggy inspected the parking lot for clues. After a few minutes, Scooby started to raise a fuss, Shaggy went over to him. "What'd you find, old buddy?" Scooby was looking at a small scrap of paper on the ground. "Ra Rue!" Shaggy reached down and picked it up. "Just looks like scrap paper, not a clue.." Scooby shook his head. "Rells Rike Raphne!" By this time Velma had come over to see what was going on. "Smells like Daphne?" She asked. Scooby nodded his head. Velma inspected the paper. "Jinkies! Can't make out any real sentences, but the handwriting looks like Freddy's!" As if on cue, Freddy came out of the store and walked over to the three of them. Velma handed him the scrap of paper. "Looks like my writing a bit, but I never wrote this note! This worries me, especially considering what Mark just told me. He said Daphne was here about three hours ago. He noticed that when she left, she pulled some kind of paper from under the windshield wiper, got in the car, and left! This must have torn off!" Velma had a look of dismay on her face. "I don't like what I'm thinking. I think Mr Blake's concerns are very well founded."
"I'd best call the police!" Mr Blake said as he left the study. Freddy shook his head. "She's not sixteen anymore, they're going to tell him that because she's considered to be an adult, they have to wait forty-eight hours." Velma nodded in agreement. "I know. They will also try to tell him that maybe she ran away with a boyfriend of something." Shaggy looked shocked. "But we know she's in trouble! Someone might have kidnaped her to try to get the Blake fortune!" Freddy looks over to Shaggy. "No... As rich as they are, they keep a low profile. You really have to know them before you know they're rich." Velma clutches her head, "Oh no! I just thought of something! What if it's someone from our past? There are dozens of people serving time because of us, and a few that have served their time and are out! What if one of them was mad enough to try to get back at us?" The room fell quiet as all contemplated this last horrifying thought. In a rather somber mood, Mr Blake reentered the room. "The police were of little official help. They said they would keep an eye out, but could do nothing formal yet." Freddy looked up. "We figured that. Mr Blake, is there anyone you can think of that may hold a grudge against you or one of the companies you own?" He shook his head no. Freddy paused for a second, then spoke. "We think it may be someone from our past. Maybe some criminal that served some time because we caught them." Mr Blake did not look encouraged. "Well, I'm going to make some phone calls as well as keep after the police, but frankly, you kids are my best hope. You've all done some amazing work over the years, lets hope you can get to the bottom of this one." As Mr Blake left the room, Shaggy spoke up. "Velma, can't you just log into something on the computer and find out where everyone that we ever caught is?" Velma looked a little startled. "No Shaggy, that only works in the movies. In real life you need all sorts of passwords and authorization numbers to get to those kind of files, and even if I could, I would be breaking the law! But...." Velma paused for a second before continuing. "I do have a friend in the FBI that I could Email the list to and he could check it out. He owes me a big favor. This is going to be a long list, and Daphne was always the one who kept the journal of our adventures." Freddy was rubbing his chin. "Velma, I just remembered something. About a week ago I thought someone may have broken in my house, but I did not find anything missing so I dismissed it as my imagination. Now I think I know what may have been stolen." With that, the gang got up and headed for the van.
On the way to Freddy's house, Velma was busy typing names and notes on her laptop. She paused for a second. "So your sure it's gone?" Freddy glanced over. "Yea, I used to keep it in the top draw of my dresser with some of my other collage memorabilia. I would have never suspected someone would have broken in my house to steal a old notebook, but they were after a sample of my handwriting!"
Freddy opened the door of his modest two bedroom house, and the three entered. Velma glanced around the livingroom. It was sparsely furnished and neat as a pin. The bookshelf next to the fireplace had a few sports trophies on it. "Freddy, I think you need a wife or a girlfriend." Velma said. Shaggy laughed. "She said the same thing to me this morning!" Scooby chuckled. Velma turned around and laughed a bit herself. "Yea, but for exact opposite reasons!" Freddy glanced back to Velma and smiled. "Maybe you're the one who needs someone in your life. You should take you own advice." Velma laughed out loud. "Yea right! Lets look at my recent choices: A con-man that tried to rob me blind, some Elvis want-to-be that stepped on my glasses, and a want-to-be warlock that almost killed us all! I think you can see why my confidence level in that department is a little low right now!" Freddy chuckled. "Yea, I see your point." As they walked into the bedroom Shaggy spoke up. "Maybe Daphne just took off on a shopping spree, she does like to shop!" Freddy shook his head. "I wish that were true, but something is gnawing at me about that piece of a note we found." Velma was standing over at the dresser. "Freddy, how do you usually open this thing?" Freddy walked over and placed his fingers under the lip of the draw and pulled it out. "Hummm...", Velma said, "most people would use the knobs." She pulled out her dusting kit and powdered the knob. Shaggy looked surprised, "Hey look! Fingers without prints!" Velma shook her head. "Well that clinches it! Freddy, unless you walk around wearing rubber gloves, someone was in this draw besides you! Not only that, but if this happened a week ago, this break-in was part of a well thought out plan! Scooby, see if you can sniff out anything that brings back a memory." Freddy shook his head. "I knew it! Why didn't I report this!" Shaggy spoke up, "Because you knew if you called the police and told them someone broke in and stole your collage notebook, they would have laughed at you?" Velma nodded her head. "That's right Fred. You can't be hard on yourself about that. None of us would have know what it meant. Right now, I think I'll call Mr Blake and bring him up to speed. Doesn't look like Scooby is finding much either." Freddy drooped his head down. "That's because I just had the rugs cleaned."
Freddy starts the van as Velma sits in the front seat typing on her laptop. Shaggy, who had climbed in the back with Scooby, peeked forward. "So, where to now?", he asked. Freddy glanced back. "Well, I figure for Daphne to have believed the note was real, it would have to have directed her to some place that was not that far away. It would also have to have been out of public view, but, a place she was familiar with. There's about a half dozen that come to mind, I figured we'd give them all a once-over. Velma, how's the list coming?" Velma stops for a second to answer Fred. "I have about eighty names so far." "Ro Roy.." Scooby sighs. "Oh Boy is right Scoob, that's a lot of names! How did you remember all that stuff Velma? I mean, all I can remember is about five or six!" Velma chuckles, "Well, I guess the area of my brain that was suppose to be for "boyfriend selection", got used for memory instead!"
Daphne slowly wakes up. She is in a dark basement, tied to a support beam. Her head is pounding. "Why did I fall for that note!", she thinks to herself. "Freddy would have never just left a note on my car. He would have come into the store and got me. Anyway, why would he have wanted me to drive to the old park outside of town? I should have known better!" She winced in pain. "Whoever it was sure clobbered me pretty hard!" A thin shaft of light was shining through a crack in one of the boarded up windows. Slowly, her eyes became accustom to the low light and she started to look around. It was a dreadful place. The floor had pools of water on it. Scattered about the floor were the contents of her purse. Her eyes focused on what looked like a glasses case and she remembered how Velma had given her the old soft case for her new mini cell phone as a joke. Whoever had grabbed her must not have looked inside, figuring that it was a pair of glasses! It was so close, yet it might as well have been miles away. She could see her ankles were tied as well. There was no way to break free. She could hear footsteps approaching. Her heart began to pound!
After thoroughly searching the amusement park, the gang gathers at the Mystery Machine. Freddy speaks first. "One down, five to go. Unless we were wrong about this." The cell-phone in the van rings, Velma picks it up. Shaggy looks over to Fred. "I think I'm getting discouraged. I really am worried about Daphne." Freddy looks over to Shaggy and Scooby. "I know, I am too. But our only hope is to treat this like any other case, if we start getting emotional, we'll be of no use." Velma finishes up the phone call and turns toward the others. "That was Mr Blake. After a lot of arm twisting, the police did go over to your apartment and checked it out. They confirmed that the smudges on the dresser probably were made by someone wearing rubber gloves, and although they're still not completely on board, they agreed that things are starting to look suspicious." The gang piled into the Mystery Machine and headed off to the next location.
The basement door opened. Daphne heard the snap of a switch and two bright lights came on shining in her face. She closed her eyes and turned her head. A voice came from behind the lights. "Little detective Daphne... I've waited a long time for this moment. I hope you've had a lot of fun chasing ghosts because you are about to become one!" Daphne shuttered. She could not recognize the voice, but there was something familiar about it. "And your only the start! Each one of you will get the chance to chase ghosts in a one-on-one fashion, if you know what I mean! Shaggy, Freddy, Velma, and even Scooby will all get to make the trip to the great beyond! I've had five long years in jail to plan this out! Every detail has been thought of." Daphne felt sick. The others were in danger too, how could she warn them? The voice continued. " Do you know what it's like to rot in a cell day after day, year after year? I only think it's fitting that you experience a little of what I went through before you check out!" The voice laughed in a sickening manor as it headed back up the stairs. The lights went back out and the door slammed. Daphne was alone once more.
To Be Continued!
Onward to Part Two!