2 Harry Hogan: Ghost in the Wood Shed

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“I know what I saw! There was a light in that old wood shed out on Thompson’s farm.”

“Come on, Andy. You know as well as I do that Thompson’s farm has been abandoned for years.”

“Dash it all, Hogan. You think I don’t know that?" Andy Hatcher ran one beefy hand through his grey hair, leaving it sticking up in an untidy mop. “But I’m telling you, I saw a light there last night... and the night before. You know, they always said that farm was haunted.”

“For Pete’s sake, Andy. There’s no such thing as ghosts.”

“Well, something – or someone – has been out there. I know I saw that light,” Andy said stubbornly.

Police detective Harry Hogan rubbed the back of his neck. Why did all the nut cases come out of the woodwork when it got close to Halloween? “Kids could be using it for underage drinking or drugs, I suppose. I’ll take a run out there and check it out, just in case.”

“Thanks.” Andy turned towards the door of the police station and stopped. “Will you let me know if you find anything?”

“I said I’ll check it out, Andy.”

Hatcher was no sooner out the door when Harry’s partner Bruce Parkins came in. “What’s on Andy’s mind today?”

“Thompson’s old sheep farm,” Hogan said and related what Hatcher had told him.

“I heard the stories about that place being haunted when I was growing up. They said it was old Thompson’s grandfather... or perhaps it was his great-grandfather... I’m not sure which. Anyway, the story was that he stuck around to make sure nobody ever found the gold he had hidden. He was said to have been a tight-fisted old codger who kept an iron control over his money.”

Harry groaned. “Not you too. What is it with this town and ghost stories?”

“Hey, I didn’t say I believed it.” Bruce raised his hands defensively. “Do you really think some kids could be using it?”

Hogan shrugged his broad shoulders. “Possible. You never know. Could also be a homeless person taking advantage of what shelter is available.”

“I’m sure vagrants have used it from time to time,” Bruce said. “No real harm in that I suppose.”

“Not unless someone accidentally starts a fire out there that happens to get out of control.” Harry stood up and shrugged into his jacket. “I’ll go take a look around, just to ease my mind. A fire out there is the last thing we need. You coming?”

Bruce nodded as he zipped up his jacket. “Plenty of old, dry wood out there. The whole place would go up like a tinderbox. Add a little puff of wind in the right direction and it could be a real disaster.”

“That’s what I thought.” Harry tossed him the keys as they headed towards the patrol car. “You’re driving.”

Bruce slid behind the wheel. “Knee acting up again?” Harry grimaced as he took the passenger seat. “You know, knee replacements are common these days.”

“It’s just arthritis, Parkins. People have lived with it since the beginning of time. I’ll handle it as long as I can. Besides, how else would I know when there’s rain on the way? Now drive.”

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Now retired, after 39 years as a Librarian, Fay Herridge is a voracious reader, avid family historian, and a love of writing. She also enjoys walking, gardening, knitting, crocheting and photography; and is active in church and community events. Her poems and stories have been published in newspapers and magazines. “Satisfaction comes when others enjoy my work while inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere.”
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