"Mike! Mike! My drumsticks just floated past me and into the fridge!"
Mike Nesmith walked down the spiral staircase of the Monkees pad and over to Micky Dolenz, who stood near the bottom of the staircase with a frightened look on his face.
"And I suppose the fridge opened itself so the drumsticks could float in, right?"
"Exactly! Did you see it too?"
"Come on, Mick! Drumsticks just don't move by themselves."
Micky jumped into Mike's arms as the fridge opened and Micky's drumsticks floated out and landed neatly on the kitchen table.
"There's no such thing as ghosts. I'm sure it's just a special effect." Mike dropped Micky, who landed hard on the floor, and walked over to the table to examine the drumsticks. "See Micky," he pointed out a wire on the drumstick, "just wires."
"Then who rigged the wires? Huh, huh?"
"I don't know! Not me."
"Not me either, and Davy's in England."
Micky jumped at the sound of a new voice -- belonging to Peter Tork, who looked down at them from the second floor balcony.
"Just how long have you been standing there Peter?" Micky put his hands on his hips.
"Long enough too watch you freak out over a measley special effect."
"Well, I didn't expect to see my sticks floating around like they had minds of their own."
Peter rolled his eyes at that and walked into the bedroom. Mike gave Micky a reproving glance and headed into the den.
Following a dimly lit road, a large, colorful van wound its way along beach shore roads.
"Hey guys, I think we'd better ask for directions somewhere. I can't see any street signs to tell what road we're on."
"Not lost, Shaggy, just unsure of what road this is."
"To me, that's the same thing, Freddy."
"Hey, look, there's a house up there, Freddy."
"You're right, Daphne, and it looks like there's somebody home -- there are lights on and a car in the driveway."
The teenagers in the "Mystery Machine" pulled up next to a red convertible parked next to a large beachhouse. They got out and rang the doorbell.
"I sure hope someone's home."
"And I hope they have food -- I'm hungry."
"Oh, Shaggy and Scooby -- you two are always hungry."
The door was opened by a young teenager in a Nehru jacket, bellbottoms, and sporting a fuzzy hairstyle.
"Hi. Can I help you?"
"Yes, we're trying to reach the Beachside Inn, but I can't see any road signs and I'm not sure what road we're on."
"Oh, this is Beachwood. The Inn is three blocks further that way and one block inland."
"Hey -- you're Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, aren't you?"
"I sure am! And you are?"
"I'm Freddy, this is Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby Doo. We're the Scooby Doo Detective Agency."
"Oh, yeah, I've heard of your exploits! Come on in!"
Freddy followed Micky into the pad, with the others following.
"Wow, this is a groovy pad you guys got here!"
"Thanks, Shaggy. We call it home. Hey, I'd like to make a deal. It's kinda dark out, and a storm is supposed to be on its way, and you don't want to be traveling in that, so I'd like to offer all of you a place to spend the night, until the storm blows over. In return, you can slove a mystery for me."
"Sounds great, Mr. Dolenz. What kind of mystery?"
"Please, call me Micky. I think we have a ghost."
"I'm outta here!"
Shaggy & Scooby started to head towards the door but Fred put out a hand to stop them.
"Hey, guys, Micky needs our help. Do you want to desert him? I'll take your silence for no. Go on, Micky."
"Well, it all started a couple days ago. My drumsticks started floating around. The first time it happened, Mike pointed out that there were wires attached to my sticks. But since then, lots of poltergeist type stuff has happened. Stuff floating around, weird noises, and I even saw a ghostly figure late last night."
"Well, sir, you've got yourself the best ghosthunters around. We'll start setting up traps before we go to bed."
"Oh, thanks, Freddy. Anyone for dinner?"
"FOOD!" Shaggy jumped in front of Fred.
"Lemme see . . . uh, it looks like all we have is Peter's cream of rootbeer soup. Sorry."
Shaggy grabbed the bowl from Micky's hands. "I'll take it!" He took one sip of the soup and spit it out, "Ugh, this is terrible!"
Micky grinned, "I know. That's why I save it for when I need to become a werewolf!"
Shaggy jumped into Scooby's paws, "Werewolf?"
Mike walked into the kitchen just then, "Micky, don't do your werewolf impression again. You know Babbit starts to think we have a dog every time you do it."
Shaggy and Scooby relaxed. Mike looked over the visitors with a critical eye, "Micky, who are these people?"
"Oh, right, Mike, this is the Scooby Doo Detective Agency. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby Doo." He pointed to each one in turn. "I offered them a place to stay until the storm blows over."
"And in return they can find your ghost?"
"Yeah, you must be psychic Mike!"
Mike rolled his eyes, "Well, there's no ghost here, but you are welcome to stay. The storm is already brewing. And I'm going out to put up the top on the MonkeeMobile and move it into the garage so it's not damaged." Mike walked out the front door.
The fierce storm winds were blowing loudly outside as the young ghosthunters worked hard inside.
"I'm glad they let us stay. I'd hate to be traveling in that storm. There -- the last trap is set," Fred remarked as he set up a tripline to set off their trap. As he finished speaking, Micky, clad in striped pajamas, slid down the banister of the spiral staircase.
"Hey, how are those traps doing?"
"Just great. If that ghost comes here tonight, we'll catch him!"
"What's all the noise down here, Micky?" Peter walked sleepily down the staircase, wearing orange one-piece pajamas with built-in feet and matching sleep cap.
"Oh, hey Pete. This is the Scooby Doo Detective Agency. They're going to capture our ghost while they stay here to ride out the storm."
"Your non-existant ghost you mean," Peter groaned as he opened the fridge and took out a bottle of milk, "I sure hope those ghost traps of yours can capture humans too, cause we don't have a ghost, we have a special-effects prankster."
"Well, hopefully we'll find that out tonight."
A couple hours later, everyone in the pad was awakened by the sound of a ghost trap's alarm bells. Micky ran down the stairs, followed by Mike & Peter.
"We got one!" shouted Fred.
From within the large canvas bag that had trapped the ghost, a muffled, "Let me out of 'ere!" could be heard.
"Now we'll see who your ghost really is." Fred pulled the string that held the bag shut and a figure tumbled out. Mike walked over to the lamp and turned it on.
Mike folded his arms and gave Micky a cold, hard look. "Davy is not the ghost -- he's been in England all week long."
"Would somebody tell me what's goin on?" Davy shouted, holding suitcases in both hands.
"Oh, sorry Davy. The past couple of days, stuff's been goin on, and Micky thinks it's cause we have a ghost," Peter complained.
"Yes, we have a ghost, and it just so happened that the Scooby Doo Detective Agency was passing by and so in return for a place to stay until the storm blows over, they've agreed to try and capture the ghost."
"Micky, there is no such thing as ghosts! I'm going to bed. At least, if there aren't any ghost traps up there!" Davy directed his glare at Micky.
"Nope. None upstairs."
Davy carried both his suitcases up the stairs and, after giving Micky reproving glares, Peter and Mike followed.
"I'm sorry Micky."
"Don't apologise. It's my fault. I should have warned you that Davy was out of town and might be coming back. But, now we're all here, so anyone else your ghost trap catches should be the real ghost."
"I hope so. Well, let's reset the trap and get back to sleep."
"Good night!" Micky walked back up stairs, and the ghosthunters returned to their sleeping bags.
The next morning, the Monkees came down to breakfast to find five very defeated-looking ghosthunters. The ghost traps had been disassembled and placed in a corner. The storm raged even stronger outside the windows.
"Boy, am I glad we moved my drums back inside after practicing on the back porch yesterday. They'd be dust by now if we'd left them out there," Micky commented, looking out the back porch door.
"No more sign of Micky's 'ghost' last night, huh?" Mike sneered.
"Not yet. But with the way that storm is going, it looks like we'll have plenty of time to catch it."
"If there is a ghost. I personally don't believe in them," Davy mumbled with a mouth full of Kelloggs Rice Krispies.
"Me neither, and don't talk with your mouth full, Davy."
"I believe in spirits, but not ghosts. A wanderlust spirit would have no interest in tossing Micky's drumsticks around or appearing in the living room late at night to scare the wits out of him."
The three other Monkees replied in one voice, "PETER!!!" Peter made a sad, pouty face and turned to his Kelloggs Cornflakes.
"Ghost or no, something is going on, and I want to find out what. So laugh all you want, until I get proof that you're right, I'm gonna believe that there is a ghost here." Micky got up and brought his Kelloggs Cornflakes over to the kitchen counter to eat.
Just then, the garage door opened and a white, floating figure moved through it and hovered near the staircase.
"This is a warning! Pay your rent now or suffer the horrendous consequences!" cried the figure.
Micky, who had been lapping up the milk in his cereal bowl when the figure appeared, dropped the bowl on the floor, where it shattered. Mike folded his arms and exchanged a wary glance with Davy.
The figure then slowly turned and went back the way it came. Micky slowly recovered and cried, "Mike! See! I told you I saw a ghost!"
"But was it a ghost? It could have been just a trick."
"Mike's right. Finish your breakfast Micky, and sweep up the floor," Davy added.
"After breakfast, we'll start hunting for clues!" Fred stated.
While the storm raged even harder outside, inside the super sluthes searched the entire pad . . . and came up empty-handed. They sat down with the four Monkees in front of the TV and sipped hot chocolate while watching the news.
"The storm, though not nearly strong enough to be classified as a tropical depression, is still very strong and dangerous. Do not venture out, unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Our current estimates show that the storm should weaken enough for safe travel within about three to four days," the weatherman reported.
"It looks like you'll be staying with us for a while. We may have to risk venturing out to the grocery store to get more food, though. The cupboard is nearly bare," Mike explained.
"The cupboard's always nearly bare! What's so unusual about that?" Micky shouted.
"We have guests, that's why Micky. More people, more food needed." Davy rolled his eyes in obvious annoyance.
"Whoever goes can use the Mystery Machine -- it can withstand higher winds than your MonkeeMobile," Fred remarked.
"Good idea. How bout you and me go -- no sense risking more people than we need to," Mike replied.
Mike and Fred put on rain coats, galoshes, ponchos, hats, and scarves and ventured out into the storm, managing to make it to the Mystery Machine safely. They then slowly drove off.
"Hey, why don't we play some music to cheer us up!" Micky cried.
"Sounds good," Peter replied.
"Fine with me," Davy added, picking up his tambourine and maracas.
Peter grabbed a six-string guitar, and Micky sat down at the drums, and they began to play "Saturday's Child."
As soon as the last note faded away, a voice came from the direction of the front door, "Stop that infernal racket and pay the rent, or pay the consequences!"
The ghosthunters and Monkees turned to see the ghost, at the front door, give a menacing glare and eerie scream, then it floated out through the front door.
"That thing just walked through a closed door! How can you say it's not real now, huh?" Micky cried, dropping his drumsticks on the floor and dropping down behind his drums.
"Absolutely right, fuzzy wuzzy!" the ghost's voice moaned from right behind Micky before floating through the back porch windows. Micky screamed and, quite literally, flew up the staircase to dive into his bed, shaking. Shaggy & Scooby were close on his heels, cowering in Mike and Davy's beds, respectively.
"There has to be some kind of rational explanation for this. Things just can't walk through walls. It's not possible," Davy said in a shaky voice.
"Spirits can, but that was no spirit," Peter spoke in a soft, calm, eerie voice.
"Peter, quit talking about spirits! You're starting to scare me!" Davy cried.
"Whatever that was, it wasn't natural. The laws of physics strictly prohibit what it just did," Velma explained.
"Then what was it?" Daphne squealed.
"I don't know. For now, though, I think we should go coax those three scaredy cats out of their hiding spots," Velma replied.
With that, Peter and Davy exchanged a look, then marched upstairs to the bedroom, where each grabbed one of Micky's legs and dragged him out of his bed, and down the stairs, leaving him on the floor near the kitchen table. Velma pulled out a box of Scooby Snacks and used the smell to coax Scooby and Shaggy downstairs.
"The ghost is gone Micky. You can get up now," Davy moaned.
"Is he doing an ostridge impression now?" cried a gruff voice, causing Micky to scream and dive under the table, joined by Scooby and Shaggy.
"Relax guys, it's only Mr. Babbit, our landlord. Get out from under that table," Peter said.
"Only Mr. Babbit? I'm glad you hold me in such high regard."
"It's not that, Mr. Babbit, it's just that Micky thought you were a ghost," Davy replied.
"Well, I'm not. I'm a landlord who wants his rent money, and who wants it yesterday!"
"Well, sir, Mike's got the rent money and he's not here right now. He went to get food," Micky said as he got up from beneath the table.
"Well, when he gets back I want the money immediately, hear me?" Babbit yelled.
"Yes sir!" all three Monkees shouted.
With a "Hmmph!" Babbit walked out through the side door, instead of the front door, where he had come in.
"Nice man," Daphne spoke sarcastically.
"Yeah, we love his little visits. What do we do now?"
"Look for clues again, but this time, look where we saw the ghost appear."
Several minutes later, Micky cried, "I think I found something!" Everyone else ran to the porch windows where he held up a piece of celluloid with an image of the ghost on it.
"This looks like camera film -- like they use when shooting TV shows!" Micky cried.
"You're right -- it looks like one frame of film, and it's of the ghost!" Peter added.
"Hmmmm . . . I think I'm starting to see what's going on, but we need more clues."
Everyone searched for more clues until Peter called out, "Davy! Come here!" Davy ran to where Peter knelt by the wooden totem pole near the front door.
"What is it Peter?"
Peter pointed to a circular shaped piece of glass surrounded by a black metal frame, "Was this here before?"
Davy looked closely, "No. I think it's a clue!" Micky ran over to them, followed by everyone else.
"It looks like a camera lens!" Velma exclaimed.
Micky slid the totem pole away from the wall and turned it so the back could be seen. He opened a well-concealed trap door -- and there was a movie camera inside, with more film of the ghost loaded.
"That's how it could walk through walls -- the ghost is really a projected image!"
"That settles this -- now we just have to catch the real person behind this ghostly mystery!" Velma cried.
"Yeah, but how do we do that?" Shaggy asked.
"First off, Micky, who else besides you knows of this secret compartment?" Velma asked.
"As far as I know, no one. But Babbit or a previous renter might have known about it. The totem pole was here when we moved in, and I found the compartment by accident."
"Then it's settled. We have to lure the ghost into one of our traps. Here's my plan . . ."
As the storm began to slowly die down, the three Monkees and four ghosthunters lay in wait for the ghost. They had laid a net across the floor between the front door, garage door, and spiral staircase -- where they usually saw the ghost. Davy was hiding on the second floor balcony, ready to pull up the net with the help of Peter, who knelt on the top step of the staircase. Micky was the bait. Scooby, Shaggy, and Daphne hid in various spots, ready to train flashlights on the ghost and temporarily blind it. Velma stood ready to pull Micky off the net. All was set.
Micky, on a signal from Velma, began crying out, "Peter! Davy! My drumsticks are at it again! The ghost is here and it's playing with my drumsticks!"
Velma pulled the wires they had rigged to make the drumsticks fly across the room, play a short rhythm on the snare drum, and fall on the floor by the drum set. Then Micky, playing his part perfectly, ran in erratic circles around the area where the trap was. Suddenly, they heard the ghost's voice.
"That is what you get for not paying your rent, Micky Dolenz!"
Micky did a double take, screamed, and ran to dive on the couch. While he cowered on the couch, pillow held over his head, the ghost floated foreward toward him, right onto the ghost trap. Velma cried, "Now!" and Davy & Peter grabbed the ropes and pulled, trapping the ghost in the net.
"We bagged our ghost! Uh, Micky, you can come out now," Shaggy cried.
"Now let's see who he really is," Daphne said.
They loosened the tension on the ropes and pulled the ghost's mask off.
"MR BABBIT!!!!" all exclaimed.
"Yes. He was the one who rigged the projector in a secret compartment only Micky knew of, and set up all the ghostly tricks. He was trying to scare you into paying your rent."
"And I'da gotten away with it too, if you hadn't grown some brains, fuzzy wuzzy, and hired some more!"
"Like I said Mr. Babbit, as soon as Mike gets back, we'll pay the rent."
Just then, as Davy and Peter lowered Babbit to the ground, Mike and Fred walked in, soaked and carrying several grocery bags each.
"Nesmith, I want my rent!" Babbit shook a finger at Mike.
"Can't you at least wait till get inside and empty my hands?" Mike drawled.
Babbit "Hmmph"ed and folded his arms. Mike and Fred put the groceries down on the table, and then shed all their outer clothing. Then Mike pulled a wad of money out of his pocket, counted it, and handed the wad to Babbit.
"You've got your rent, now leave!" Peter cried.
"And don't ever play ghost again! You scared Micky half to death and he's even more impossible to live with when he's scared than when he's acting normal!" Davy added.
With one last grunt, Babbit left.
The next morning the storm was dying down and the ghosthunters said goodbye.
"Thanks for having us!" Fred called.
"No prob! Thanks for finding my ghost!" Micky replied as the Mystery Machine drove off.
"Told ya there was no ghost, Micky," Davy said as the four Monkees walked back into the pad.
"There was a ghost -- it just happened to be our landlord!" Micky countered. Davy, Peter and Mike laughed at him as they walked in the pad and started to rehearse.
Last updated 18 JUN 98
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