Ghost in the Closet-A Junior Detective Mystery

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 Timmy is a brave, confident, and adventurous little boy; not much frightens him. He and his best friend, Brian, were always looking for a new mystery to solve. Both fans of the Hardy boys’ books thought of themselves as junior detectives. Their “office” was in Timmy’s treehouse with a sign that read, The Sherlock Sleuths. Just like Scooby-Doo helped Shaggy solve crimes, Timmy’s dog, Max, was their sidekick. The boys talked about how they wished they could find a new mystery to solve. Then one night, Timmy got his wish.

 What’s up boy, do you hear something in there?” His dog, Max, was standing in front of the closet door, growling. “It’s probably just a mouse; let’s go back to bed.”

The next night Timmy heard something too, but he wasn’t scared. In fact, he could have sworn it sounded kind of like a giggle and thought, “do mice giggle?” He decided to clear out his closet and get to the bottom of this mystery, but still nothing. Timmy made a “friendly” mousetrap out of a propped-up empty cracker box with peanut butter and cheese on a paper plate.

He checked every day, but no luck.  Then one morning, he heard the shoebox fall: there stood a mouse. Peanut butter smeared all over his face, clutching a piece of cheese in his tiny hands.

“How come you didn’t get trapped? You sure are a lucky little fellow.” The mouse grinned, twitched his nose, and scampered away.

 Timmy decided to have a stakeout.

“Hey, Mom, where’s my Ninja Turtle sleeping bag?” She was in the kitchen baking cookies with his sister, Gracie.

“On your closet shelf, dear; remember you put it there after your boy scout camp out last summer?”

He asked if she would get it down for him.

“I’m busy right now, get the step stool, and you’ll be able to reach it yourself.”

Timmy discovered his mom was right; he was able to reach it. As he tossed the bag out into the room, he saw something shimmery and white out of the corner of his eye. Looking again, nothing was there. “That’s weird.” Shrugging his shoulders, he thought, “maybe I’m light-headed because it’s past lunchtime; I better eat those cookies.”

 Everything was ready for the closet night watch; the sleeping bag was laid out, along with a flashlight, his Starwars lightsaber, and snacks.

His dad opened the door. “Son, are you in here? Dinner’s ready.”

Timmy’s head popped up from the other side of the bed. “Hi, Dad, down here.” Timmy explained what his plan was. His parents knew about the noises and chalked it up to a boy’s imagination. His dad just smiled.

 Eating quickly, he jumped up from the table.

“What’s the hurry?” his mom asked. “I made cherry pie, your favourite.”

“No time; gotta get ready for my camp-out. Can I be excused, please?”

“Alright, but take a piece of pie with you.”

Gracie whined, “Hey, not fair; I wanna camp too!”

Rushing to the kitchen for his pie, he yelled, “well, you’re not camping with me!”

She started to cry; she was only four, after all.

“Why don’t we set up your barbie tent in the den? You can have a sleepover with your dolls.”

Gracie clapped her hands and yelled, “Yay!”

 Timmy tried to stay awake but dozed off around midnight. He dreamed that his favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Donatella, was fighting a group of wild monkeys in the jungle. His weapon was a lightsaber, and Donatello’s a Samurai sword.

Suddenly, he jolted awake. “Shoot, I didn’t mean to fall asleep!”

Putting his ear against the door, he heard what sounded like a giggle! Grabbing the lightsaber, he flung the door open and shone his flashlight inside.

 At first, he just saw his boxes of baseball cards, Lego sets, and comic books. Then a shape started to form. Another boy might have been afraid, but Timmy was more curious than scared. He had earned a badge for bravery in Boy Scouts, after all. Two eyes, a nose, and a mouth appeared. It had long eyelashes and pink cheeks.

Timmy thought, “I believe there is a ghost living in my room. Hello, can I ask why you’re in my closet?”

The ghost sighed. “On Halloween night, I got lost from my mommy and couldn’t find her and sat down on a curb to wait. Just then, a group of kids ran by; I made a quick decision to jump into your Halloween bucket.”

“But why didn’t I see you, and how did you fit in such a little bucket?”

“Oh, that’s easy; ghosts can become invisible, and any size or shape we want.”

“But what made you decide to do that?”

“Well, my plan was to look for my mommy along the way but got so sleepy I fell asleep. When I woke up, it was in your closet!”

 Timmy told her about hearing the giggling.

“Well, my name is Giggles, after all. My parents said I was born giggling!”

He asked if she was scared waking up in a strange place.

“Oh yes, but soon I could tell you were a nice family and felt safe. But when your mom comes in to hang your clothes up, it makes me miss my family, and I’m sad.” Then she added. “Your mommy sure is nice, Timmy; she smells like vanilla and chocolate chip cookies.”

 “How come she never saw you?”

“Only children see and hear ghosts; once you’re grown, that goes away.”

“Did you ever try to leave?”

“Many times, but can never get past the door. Maybe you have to invite me like you have to invite a vampire inside.”

Timmy snorted, “Come on, you know vampires aren’t real.”

She smiled. “Yeah, I bet you never thought ghosts were either!”

He laughed, “You do have a point there; well, it is very nice to finally meet you. I promise to find a way to get you home.”

Giggles slowly faded away; “Okay, Timmy, I’m very sleepy now; see you in the morning.”

Timmy woke early the next morning. Opening the closet door, he said, “Giggles, you in here?”

“Of course I am, Timmy. Where else would I be?” she giggled.

As he was about to speak, the bedroom door flew open, and Gracie came barging in. Giggles quickly disappeared.

“Who ya talkin’ to, Timmy?” she asked in a sing-song voice that irritated him.

“Nobody. Jeez, you’re nosy. What’d I tell you about knocking first?”

Staring into the closet, she pointed, “What’s that up there?”  

Exasperated, he said.  “A lot of stuff, Gracie; what are you looking at?”

She pointed again, “Up there, Candyland, I wanna play it.”

Sighing, Timmy said,  “That old game, you can have it; I don’t play it anymore.”

Reaching for the game, he startled and almost fell backwards. Giggles had appeared so that only her eyes and mouth showed; she was quietly giggling.

Glaring, he whispered, “Shhhh, be quiet!” She faded away.

“What was that noise?” his sister asked.

He handed her the game. “It’s probably the mouse I’ve been trying to catch; see the trap there?” Satisfied, she ran out of the room.

“Giggles, you have to be careful; Gracie could have seen you!” He glanced down the hallway to make sure she was gone. “So, when it gets dark tonight, I’ll “officially” invite you into my room. If it works, you should be able to leave.”

She was so happy and excited; the closet filled with a radiant pink glow, which strangely smelled like bubble gum. “Oh, Timmy, I just know it’s going to work!”

Timmy decided to tell Brian about his “closet mystery,” he’d felt a little guilty not including him; they were partners of the Sherlock Sleuths, after all.

“Come over after school; I have something to show you.”

The day lasted forever; Timmy was so nervous he could barely pay attention in class. When the bell rang, he and Brian ran out of the door. He saw his mom was parked out front; he’d forgotten about his dentist appointment.

“Brian, I’ll call you later.”

By the time they arrived home, it was after six; it would soon be dark. He started up the stairs.

“Not so fast, Bud,” his dad said, “it’s  time for dinner.”

After wolfing down several slices of pizza, he yelled, “Brian’s coming over; we have a homework assignment, gotta go!”

Opening the closet, he saw that Giggles was sitting on the shelf,  pink tears rolling down her face.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked. “Oh, Timmy,  I thought you forgot me!”

“No way, when I make a promise, it’s for real. Now, all we have to do is wait.”

Brian arrived and flopped down on the bed.

“So, what’s this big mystery?”

“You have to promise to keep an open mind, and don’t freak out!” Timmy said.

“Okay, okay, jeez, what’s the big deal, anyway?”

Timmy opened the closet. “Giggles, come meet my friend.”

He motioned Brian over. “Remember, do not freak out. Look inside.”

Rolling his eyes, he turned toward the closet; floating right in front of him was a ghost. Reeling backwards, he fell on his butt and shouted, “Whoa!!! What’s that??”

“Shhhhh,  I told you not to freak. Brian, meet Giggles.”

Shyly she said, “Hello, don’t be afraid; I’m a friendly ghost. Timmy and I are best friends!”

Timmy explained what had been going on. Brian seemed to take it all in stride and said, “Wow, this is so cool; you have a ghost in your closet!”

They tried to keep busy by playing Nintendo, but it was hard to concentrate. There was a knock on the door.

“Boys, we’re going to play Monopoly, and your mom’s making root beer floats. Do you want to join us?”

“Too much homework, sorry, gonna have to pass.”

He laid down on his bed, and Brian plopped onto the bean bag chair. Not meaning to, they fell asleep.

“Dang, I must have dozed off; hey Brian, wake up! Giggles, are you ready?”

She floated toward him, a frown on her face.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“We’ve gotten to be such good friends; I’m going to miss you!”

Quiet a moment, he said, “If it’s okay with your parents,  you can come and visit any time you want. Okay, here goes;  fingers crossed this works.”

She giggled, “Oh, silly boy, ghosts don’t have fingers!”

 In a serious voice, Timmy said, “Giggles, I invite you into my room.”

She whooshed past him, a bubblegum-scented mist trailing behind her.

“Oh, it feels wonderful to finally be free.”

The boys smiled as she flew around the room, swooping and giggling.

Timmy opened the window and said, “Okay, Giggles, it’s time to go find your parents.” He noticed something white floating up by his treehouse.

“Guys, come look at this.”

Giggles cried out, “Mommy! Timmy, that’s my mom over there; she came for me!” and flew outside.

Coming closer, her mom said, “Thank you so much for taking care of our little girl. We looked everywhere for her. Then one day her unique scent led me here, I’ve been waiting since.”

As Giggles and her mom whooshed away into the night, she called out “Bye guys, see you next Halloween!” Timmy promised Brian he would never leave him out of a case again. They high-fived and yelled, Sherlock Sleuths forever!

Giggles and Timmy had made a promise to meet every Halloween. And for a while they did. As Timmy grew older, his memories of Giggles started to fade, until he could no longer see or remember her. When Timmy had kids of his own, every time he smelled the scent of pink bubblegum, the strangest feeling would come over him. And he would smile.

The End

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- Total nr. of readings: 1,682 Copyright © The author [2020] All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.

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