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 Two: It's 6:30 a.m. and dawn arrives at Silent Meadows. Shaggy, Freddy, and Scooby have been walking around the graveyard for over five hours. Freddy stops for a second. "Ok, lets see what we've found so far. One, someone kidnaped the girls. Two, there's a helium tank in the bell tower. Three, there's tire tracks all over the place. Four, someone's been dragging stuff around. And Five, a lot of the graves look like someone was digging at them recently." Shaggy adds, "And Six, I am starved! Dead tired too! How about you Scoob?" "Rungrey.. Real rungrey!" Freddy sits on one of the headstones. "Yea, I'm tired too. But we can't stop now. Our best chance for finding the girls is to continue looking...." The morning sun streams down the main path. Freddy sees something shining in the sunlight about one hundred feet to the left of the bell tower. "What's that? Come on guys, lets go investigate." They trudge down the main path towards the reflection. Freddy reaches down and picks something up. "Velma's glasses! And look! There's footprints in the soft soil! They lead over towards that group of mausoleums." The three follow the tracks over but they end at the main path, which is concrete. "Which one if any? There's dozens of them just in this location!" The three split up and start looking at the mausoleums. "Rover rear! Rover rear!" "Boy, Scooby is excited about something!" Shaggy says. Freddy and Shaggy run over and find Scooby at the door staring at it. Hanging out of the keyhole is a long, hand braided string of... hair!" Freddy pulls the key from his pocket and unlocks the mausoleum door! "Anyone in there???" There is no answer. Then, just when he is ready to close the door, they hear a groan. A squinty-eyed Velma staggers to the door! "Boy", she says, "You're the best sight I ever didn't see!" All start laughing with the joy of the moment! Velma puts her glasses on as Daphne starts scratching the back of her head. "I'm glad you guys found us when you did, I think Velma would have cut all my hair off!" Scooby and Shaggy start giggling "Hair today, gone tomorrow! Hee hee!
Back at the "Shaggsworth Estate", lunch is served, ending in an ice cream delight. Five bleary-eyed members of Mystery Inc sit at the lunch table and discuss the case after getting a few hours sleep. "Well", Velma says,"we know it's not ghosts! What I found on top of the mausoleum was a high power spotlight with a black-light filter. It was gone when we checked back in the morning." Shaggy looks confused. "Black light? Isn't that a contradiction? Oh, wait... You mean like they use at parties with paints!" "Exactly!", Velma exclaims, "only very powerful. That's the light that Freddy saw that made him sick. They probably used the helium weather balloons coated with paint, and lit them up with those spotlights! That's why you found that tank in the tower. "What about the shrieks and howls?", Daphne asks, "they were real loud!" Freddy breaks from eating his lunch. "I bet if we look close enough, we'd find a big sound system too! But why? What would anybody be doing in a graveyard?" Shaggy jumps back in the conversation. "I don't know, and I don't want to find out! Last night was frightening enough! I say we quit this case and go home!" "Rea! Row rome rand reat!" "Scooby!", Daphne says, "How can you think about eating, while your eating! Don't you two ever get full?" Velma chuckles, "Hasn't happened yet! .... Say, Mr Rogers, do you have a phone line I could plug my laptop computer into? I want to do a little research on this area. The answer to the present question may lie in the past." "Sure Velma! But, just call me Pa!"
While Velma is busy surfing the net, Papa treats the four remaining members to a second delight. As Scooby and Shaggy chow down on a triple chocolate covered banana flavored Sunday with a full can of whip-cream on top, Freddy suggests the next course of action. "We have to go back. This whole thing has something to do with digging up graves. Shaggy fell in one last night. There was no coffin in it, yet when we checked back, the tombstone indicated it was four years old!" Daphne looks at Freddy with a displeased look. "Lets go back now, while the sun is high in the sky! I don't like being kidnaped." "Actually Daphne, I agree. We do need to go back while it is daylight, although we won't catch anybody doing anything during the day." Daphne and Freddy join Velma at the computer, while Shaggy and Scooby start on the post-dessert dessert. "Have they hit the ten-thousand calorie mark yet?" Velma asks. "Long ago" Daphne answers. Freddy looks over Velma's shoulder. "Find anything that might help?" Velma is paging through a newspaper site. "There is a couple of stories that might.... Oh... I can't say... It's too vague. I need some more information. We have to go back and set up some sort of trap. Lets go back tonight. If anything starts looking familiar, I'll let you know." "Actually", Freddy says, "we were going to head back now for a daylight look."
Once again we find the Mystery Machine parked outside of Silent Meadows, this time with the sun high in the sky. "I don't understand it", Shaggy says, "This is the grave I fell in last night, but it looks like any other grave that's been here for years! I couldn't have imagined the hole, could I?" Velma is down on her knees looking at the grass. She lifts the corner of a square cutout. "Sod. This grass was cut into squares and laid back in place after the grave was filled back in!" Doug Plotley, who was standing with them looks mad. "I'm going to go ask Marvin if we can dig this one up! Nobody should be messing with my work! You can't just plop dirt onto a grave and cover it. It'll all sink in after a while!" Doug storms off to find Marvin. Velma ponders for a few seconds. "Here's a clue! There's tracks here. It looks like a truck may have been backed up, then driven off. Humm..."
A few minutes later, Doug returns madder than ever! "Marvin says NO! He feels we can't dig people's graves up, would cause too much grief for the relatives! He said even the county or police can't dig a grave up without a court order!" "That's it!" Velma exclaims. "It all fits together! We just need to come back tonight and catch them in the act!" "Row roy..", Scooby sighs. "N..n..n..not at night again??" Shaggy says, "Why can't we just call the police and tell them what you think, Velma?" "The police can't do a thing just because I have a hunch. But we can. I have a plan! It's time for us to use some of those new toys in the Mystery Machine! And Shaggy, your grandpa's good at woodworking right?"
As dusk falls we find the gang staked out in the graveyard. In a mausoleum south of the tower, Daphne waits behind the fake door that Papa Shaggsworth built, manning a camcorder equipped with a night-scope. To the north of the tower, Velma is also manning a camcorder behind a similar fake door. Hiding in a wooden rain barrel near the equipment shed, Shaggy and Scooby take turns peering through a hole drilled in the side of the barrel. All have headsets connected to walkie-talkies and are in contact with Freddy, who is high in the bell tower. He is equipped with a replacement cell phone and one of the high power spotlights they found. Also, due to a lucky break they had when they were setting up, he has microphone that is connected to the hidden sound system.
"Freddy", Shaggy says, "something is happening! It looks like... f.. f.. four skeletons... Yipes!" "Shaggy", Freddy answers, "It's just people dressed up that way.. Right?" "O.. o.. ok, if you say so... there going into the shed." Now Daphne's voice comes on. "I can see them. Four guys dressed up in those outfits. They're going in. Now they're opening the door. I'm filming." Shaggy's voice comes back on. A little less frightened, but not much. "The one guy is driving a little electric backhoe. It's real quiet. Another has a little truck with a crane. Must be electric, it's not making any noise. The other two are in a golf cart. It looks like they're all headed up toward the bell tower." Daphne's voice comes back on. "They're passing me now. Yea, it's four guys in outfits. The one in the cart seams to be giving the others orders. They're headed around the tower, can you see them Velma?" "Yea I see them! Great! I was worried I wouldn't have any fun here!" Shaggy's voice comes back on. "She call's that fun?" Freddy comes on. "Shaggy, they're north of the tower, why don't you two join me in the tower. I think they're done with the shed. But be quiet! Use the south door, it's unlocked." Velma cuts it. "They've laid out a tarp and the two in the golf cart are removing the grass. The guy with the backhoe is starting to dig." "I see it", Freddy says, "I have a great view!"
Fifteen minutes pass, the diggers have found the coffin and are attaching chains to it and to the crane. Shaggy and Scooby have made it back to the tower, Shaggy enters the door, but as Scooby comes through, the door slams shut on his tail! "AAHHRROOOOOOoooo!" he yelps! Shaggy quickly opens the door releasing his tail. "Shussshhh!" Shaggy whispers, "I'm sorry old buddy!" The four diggers freeze in their tracks. Velma is close enough to hear them. "I think this place really is haunted" the one says. "Shut up and keep working!" says another one. Slowly they lift the coffin onto the truck. One of them leaps up next to it and starts brushing off the lid, then removes the locking pins and opens it up. The low battery light starts flashing in Velma's camcorder. "Oh no! Not now! I only have five minutes of battery left!" Holding her breath, and with her fingers crossed, she keeps taping. One of the workers grabs a small sack out of the golf cart. "That's it!", Velma says, "Freddy, make the call!" Freddy picks up the cell phone and dials. All four of the workers are now huddled around the coffin. "Still taping.." She says. "He's opening the sack.. BINGO! Freddy, hit the light!" Freddy flips on the spotlight. At the same time, Scooby does his best impression of a loud mean dog barking! As Freddy yells in the microphone "Give up! Your surrounded!" The four workers jump off the truck, but blinded by the light, fall into the open hole! At that very second, the police car, which had been waiting outside the gate, barrels up the main path with it's lights and siren on!
Officer Jones gets out just as Velma comes out of the mausoleum. His fellow Officer has already cuffed all four of the crooks. "Ok little lady, outside of disturbing the peace, what are these guys up to?" Velma walks over to the open casket. By now, Freddy, Shaggy, Daphne, and Scooby have joined the scene. She reaches in and picks up a handful of jewelry from inside. "I couldn't figure out what crooks would steal from dead people. Then I read about all those jewelry stores that had been robbed in neighboring towns. They weren't taking something out, they were putting something in! The grave is one place the police wouldn't look for the goods. That way, they could wait a year or two, until the heat was off, then dig them up and sell them!" Officer Jones looks amazed! "Incredible! Your right, we would be real reluctant to disturb a grave-site. They would have gotten away with it! And all the spooky rumors kept people away from this place at night. Well, lets find out who these guys really are..." As the second officer pulled the hoods off of the first three crooks, Officer Jones shook his head in disgust. "The Bradley Gang! They have a long wrap sheet for jewel theft." As the officer pulled the forth hood off, everyone gasped!
"Marvin Humist!" They all yelled in surprise. "And I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for these medaling k.. er.. young adults!" By now Doug had joined the group. He shook his head in disgust. "I'm sorry gang. It looks like the guy who was going to pay you will be going to jail!" "Oh well", Freddy says, "Win some, lose some!" Officer Jones looks surprised. "Hey, you guys.. and gals, did a great job here! I don't know if you know it, but the insurance companies are offering quite a good finders fee. I think it'll probably be a lot higher then your pay would have been! And, if I do say so myself, you people deserve it!"
Back at the Shaggsworth Estate, the gang grabs one last breakfast before hitting the road. As Shaggy adds a full can of chocolate syrup to his breakfast cereal, Daphne looks sad. "Cheer up", Freddy says, "That reward looks like it's going to be over ten thousand dollars! That should make you dad happy!" "Oh, it isn't that Freddy. It's last night.... He called us young adults! I guess we're not kids anymore." As Velma watches Shaggy down the gooey mess of syrup and cereal she says, "I don't think you have anything to worry about! Some of us will never grow up!" All burst out laughing except Shaggy. "Hey, don't knock it till you try it! It tastes good!"
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