Grief at the Graveyard
a Velma Adventure by John Likeglass
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!
Part One: "You have reached Mysteries Inc, experts in solving puzzling predicaments. Please leave your message after the beep." I felt quite pleased with the message as I played it for the others. "Well it's official" Freddy said. "We're a real company!" He was right! We made some money on our last caper, a lot more than we expected. After a brief meeting, we decided to turn it over to Daphne's dad. After all, he had been funding our adventures since we were all teens! He in turn set up "Mysteries Inc." We had been using the name for years, but now it was real! Each of us had a 10% stake in it. Daphne's dad had the rest - as if he needed it! I mean the guy is loaded. But he got involved for Daphne's sake. Of course what the caller heard did not reveal the fact that our "office" was a cell-phone with voice mail, or that it was in our van, "The Mystery Machine." But customers didn't need to know that.
"Freddy, check the caller ID, see who's called in so far" Daphne said. "Humm... Velma, Shaggy, Daphne, Me, Shaggy... Hey wait a second, that second Shaggy number is different!" Shaggy looked surprised. "I only called in once to hear it! Let me see the number. Rodgers.. 542... That's not me! That's my grandfather's number!" Shaggy took the phone and started dialing the number. Papa-Shagsworth, as I call him answered the phone and the two started talking. It was obvious from the conversation that it wasn't a social call and we were all dying to hear about it when he hung up. "We.. We have a case.." he stuttered. "You don't sound too enthused Shaggy, what's up?" He paused for a second. "My grand-dad's neighbor is the caretaker at a graveyard. Seams he has a problem with the tenants staying put. Th.. the ones buried there...."
"Jinkies! This is perfect! Right up our alley!" I said. Freddy and Daphne agreed! Scooby groaned and pushed his way over to Shaggy. "If it's the one I think it is, we can make it there in about two hours, right after lunch." Freddy said "Call him back and tell him we'll take the case!" Shaggy groaned "I was afraid of that. On the bright side, he's a great cook!" Our latest adventure had begun. We were off to "Silent Meadows", a peaceful little graveyard, up in the hills...........................
We find the Mystery Machine bouncing along an old country road. "Ouch Freddy! I think your finding every pothole in this road!", Daphne griped. "Sorry Daphne, it's just a bad road. How are you guys holding up back there?" Shaggy and Scooby are finishing off the lunch basket. "Well, the hot dogs were great, and this pumpkin pie is pretty good too, so I'd say we're doing fine!" Velma spins around with a look of discontent. "Guys, that was our lunch! Now we don't have anything to eat! Boy, I think after all these years, we need to rethink the seating arrangement. Put those two up front, away from the food, Daphne and I could sit in the back." Now Daphne has the discontented look. "Speak for yourself Velma, The front seats are softer. They are just growing boys. A little hungry at times." Velma Laughs, "Well, they just ate that hidden piece of homemade pecan pie you were hiding Daph!" "GUYS!" Daphne shouts. "Recan Rie, Rum!" says Scooby.
Freddy drives across the covered bridge leading up to the Shagsworth estate. "Shaggy, why does it say Shagsworth, when you name is Rodgers?" "Well Freddy, we always called him that, so to humor us, he made up the signs! Ohhh... I smell something good! Papa's cooking!" A familiar figure is standing on the porch to greet them. "I haven't see you kids in a dog's age!" Papa shouts out. "Wrog? Rut wrog? Rime rill rear!" "Oh, it's just an expression Scooby, I didn't mean anything by it! Come on in! I was just fixing up a early afternoon snack-meal." Velma ponders, "That would imply that there is a mid afternoon snack-meal, followed by a late afternoon snack-meal, followed by dinner... I think it's genetic!"
Around the dinner... er.. snack table, the subject of Silent Meadows finally comes up. "Doug Plotley has been a friend of mine for the last twenty-five years. He was telling me about his problems over at the graveyard. Seams he dropped by after dark one night to pick up some tools, and practically hade the life scared out of him! There were all sorts of ghosts and other goings on out in the meadow. He went to the owner the next morning, Marvin Humist. Marvin didn't seam too concerned but agreed it should be investigated. Dough came to me. He remembered me talking about you guys and he thought it would be a good way to investigate the problem, while keeping it low key." Velma has a somewhat scornful look on her face as she speaks up. "There is no such thing as ghosts! You know that! Somebody is trying to scare people off! I have never known of dead people, digging themselves up, and running around in a cemetery!" "Well Velma, that's exactly what these dead people are doing! There are skeletons running around. Doug has been finding graves with the soil disturbed. Old graves that have been there for years! Everyone knows that the graveyard has a policy on not burring the dead with any valuables, so it isn't grave robbers!" Freddy pauses eating. "Well, someone must be after something! Velma's right! After all these years, not once have we found a real ghost! Er... Maybe a zombie or two.. But no ghosts!" Daphne sits staring at Shaggy and Scooby who are eating like vacuum cleaners! "Look at the two of them eat! Usually this kind of talk makes them lose, however briefly, their appetite. Shaggy? ... Shaggy? ... Hamburger! Pizza! Milkshake!" Shaggy pauses on the corn cob. "Huh? What? Oh! Sorry Daphne, Scoob and I found out that the best thing to do when Freddy's talking about that kind of stuff, is to ignore and eat! Right Scoob?" "Rignore rand reat! Hee heh hee hee!"
The Mystery Machine pulls up to the gates of Silent Meadows just as the bell in the tower hits midnight! "Ok gang", Freddy says, "We just want to have a look around tonight so we can get an idea of what's going on." Shaggy and Scooby are shivering in the back of the van. "Why can't we check it out in the daylight? Why does it have to be midnight??" "Because silly", Velma responds, "the strange things are happening at night!" Freddy, Daphne, and Velma get out of the van and stare at the front gate. A cold and eery wind blows past them, sounding almost like the grim reaper approaching. "M-maybe Shaggy had the right idea..." Daphne says in a shaky voice. Velma peeks into the van at Shaggy and Scoob. "And the two lone victims were found huddled in the company van..." With that, the door flies open as the two of them jump out! "I hate to do it, but it always works!" exclaims Velma. "Ok, Ok, we're here", says Shaggy, "But none of that splitting up stuff!" Freddy thinks it over. "It's going to take a long time to cover it as one group, but ok, we'll stay together."
The group heads up the main path from the gates towards the bell tower which is at the center of the graveyard. The sound of metal hitting rock, like a shovel, can be heard in the distance. About halfway up the path, Freddy sees a flicker of light in the tower. "What on earth..." A loud howl blasts through the graveyard, deep enough to shake them all to the bones! A large and ghastly sphere begins to ascend from behind the tower , illuminating the entire area in a greenish light. In absolute panic, all five run off in different directions!
As Shaggy comes to, he can see a rectangle of light above him. He is in a newly dug grave! "Scooby Doo, Where are you?" he shouts. "Right rear!" comes the response, as a head peeks into the hole. Shaggy tries leaping up but he can't quite get a grip on the ground at the top of the hole. "Great! Midnight, and I'm stuck in a grave, at a graveyard! I knew I should have stayed in the Mystery Machine! Scooby, see if you can find the others. I need a rope or something!"
Daphne finds herself hiding behind a tombstone. The apparition is gone now, and she slowly rises to her feet. Suddenly, a hand comes from behind and covers her mouth and nose with a rag. It has a sour - sweet smell .... ether! She feels herself fade to unconsciousness.
Velma is hiding behind a large stone mausoleum. As she works her way around the corner, she finds something running down the back of the mausoleum. "A power cord! Ghosts wouldn't need electricity!" Laying a short distance away, hidden in the weeds is a latter. She leans it up against the side and climbs up to see where the cord goes. "Yes! I knew it! Wait till I tell the oth..." From behind, someone has grabbed the latter and pulled it away. Velma finds herself flying backwards through the air... Thud! Blackness....
Freddy has run up to the bell tower and is hiding in the doorway. As the light fades he comes out of his hiding place. "Shaggy... Scooby... Daphne... Velma..." he calls out in a loud whisper. None are around. As he circles the tower, he sees two dark figures off in the distance, lowering something into the ground. Suddenly he is blinded by a bright blue light, the color makes him stomach sick, for some reason. He runs around to the front of the tower and heads down the path. Still a little blind, he trips over something and slides to the ground. It's Scooby! "Rollow Ree!" Freddy stands up, but keeps a hand on Scooby as Scooby leads him through the graveyard over to an open grave. "I'm not ready for the grave!" quips Freddy. "Get me out of here" shouts a voice from in the grave. Freddy flinches for a second before he realizes it's Shaggy's voice. "Here" he says, lowering a hand down in the hole.
Daphne opens her eyes. Blackness! The floor and walls around her are solid marble. "I must be inside a mausoleum! HELP! HELP!" She hears nothing but her own voice. Then... a groan. "Awww... Boy my head hurts!" She stops dead in her tracks for a second. "Velma? Is that you?" Slowly Velma comes into consciousness. "I think I know what a hangover feels like now... Where are we? I can't see a thing." "I think we're in a mausoleum. There's no light, and I have no idea how to get out of here" Daphne explains. Velma ponders the situation. "I guess there's no point in telling you that I lost my... Oh, forget it. Let me see, no pun intended, there should be a gated door, we should be able to feel for it. Here it is!" "Wow Velma, your good in the dark! I don't even know which way is up!" Velma works her way down to the floor and sits on a ledge. "Doesn't matter, the door is latched from the other side. We're stuck in here. At least as long as the air holds out..." Daphne gasps "As Shaggy would say, did you really have to tell me that last part? What should we do?" A second or two of quiet passes before Velma answers her. "Sleep.... We need it anyway, and it uses less air."
Back at the Mystery Machine, Freddy tries to make sense of everything. "We were all suppose to meet up back here if anything happened. It's been almost forty-five minutes and the girls haven't shown up. Shaggy, give me the cell phone, I think this time I'd better call the police!" Shaggy reaches in his back pocket and pulls out the remains of the phone. "I think I landed on it when I fell in the hole. Sorry.." "Wrell wrone woke?" Freddy thinks for a second. "Well, I guess it's up to us to go in there and find them!" "I..i.. in there??" Shaggy says, pointing at the gate. "Come on Shaggy! It's for the girls! They might be in real trouble." Slowly Freddy, Shaggy, and Scooby walk towards the gate. Flashlights in hand. They work their way up the main path to the bell tower. Nothing! Freddy walks to the left of the tower, Shaggy and Scooby to the right. All looks peaceful at Silent Meadows, yet they know that all is not well. "Well Shaggy, lets check out the tower!" The big wooden doors at the base are locked, but Freddy has the master key that Doug gave him. The lock unlocks with a bang that reverberates through the empty tower. Shaggy and Scooby are shaking with such vigor, that they sound like a baby's rattle. "Come on guys! For the girls!" In the center of the room is a large wooden staircase. Freddy heads up the steps while Shaggy and Scooby cower at the bottom. "We'll just wait down here in case someone tries to follow you." Shaggy says. "Good idea Shaggy! I know the ghosts will outnumber you and I think it's might brave of you to try to fend them off!" In a flash, Freddy is almost knocked off his feet by the two of them racing up the stairs. About two thirds the way up, they take a break. There is a small window in the side of the tower and Shaggy peaks out of it. "Wow, I didn't realize this place was this big!" The meadow is illuminated by the full moon, and from their viewpoint, he can see thousands of headstones, as well as over one-hundred mausoleums. "Rits wrissing rat ree!" Shaggy turns to try to see what Scooby's talking about. "What's hissing at you?" he asks. "Rover rear! Rover rear!" Shaggy walks over to where Scooby is and can hear the hissing as well. On the floor is a tank with a strange valve attached to it. He bends over to smell what's coming out but it has no odor. He smells some more. Then in a high squeaky voice, Shaggy says "I don't know what it is!" Scooby rolls on his back laughing! Freddy, who was a few steps behind starts laughing as well! "What's wrong with you guys.... What's wrong with my voice?" Freddy leans down and looks at the tank. "Helium! It's a tank of helium! Now I wonder what that's doing here!"
"Velma... Are you asleep?" "Not now", she answers in a groggy voice. "How long has it been? What do you think they'll do to us when they come back?" Velma pauses for a second. "They probably won't come back. No need. They'll just leave us in here until we suffocate. We can only hope the guys aren't trapped in one of these as well, and hope they are looking for us. As for the time, I have a watch but I can't read it. I think it's been about four or five hours." A second or two pass, then Daphne continues. "Why would these ghosts want to kill us? Aren't there enough dead people here already?" "Oh Daphne, there's no such thing as ghosts! Someone is using this graveyard for something other then burring dead people. The effects are used to scare people off! I stumbled onto some of the equipment and then they got me! I just can't figure what they could be doing. I need a few more clues." All is quiet for a few seconds, then Daphne adds, "How about using that brain of yours to figure out how to get us out of here!" More seconds pass, then Velma speaks. "All I have is a pair of toenail clippers in my pocket. Not much to work with.... Hummm... Your not going to like this, but I've got an idea!"