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"And remind me again of why we are coming to this area?" seventeen year old Joe Hardy sighed as he leaned his head back against the seat of the rental car. "It would have been nice to have stayed in Columbus with dad."

"You just wanted to stay up there so you could make an appearance with those teenage pageant contestants that are staying at dadís hotel for the weekend," Frank quickly pointed out. It was not a secret that there were two things that Joe Hardy could not resist- mysteries and girls. Joe, along with his year older brother often helped their father, Fenton Hardy on many cases as well as tackling a few of their own. Their father, a famous private investigator, operated his business out of the Hardy home in the small northeastern town of Bayport. There he made his home with his two sons, his wife Laura and his older sister Gertrude Hardy.

ĎThat is not true Frank," Joe snorted. But then a slight grin did flash across his face. "Well, it would have been nice to have met some people from this part of the United States. There were girls there from all over Ohio you know."

"I doubt that one Ohio girl is different from any other girl in the state let alone the U.S.A.," Frank replied.

"I would not day that. I was listening to them talk the other day and some of them have a definite accent compared to the others," Joe pointed out. "I kind of liked that accent myself."

Frank rolled his eyes and ran his hand through his dark hair. "You just liked that brunette that kept asking us where the convention hall was, that is all."

"That is not true. I donít understand why you always make me out to be this big womanizer," Joe fired back defensively. His blue eyes were blazing from under his blond strands of hair. Then his expression turned to a smile. "Youíre just jealous."

"Jealous! ME! Jealous of YOU!" Frank almost drove off the road chuckling at his younger brotherís remark. "I donít think so little brother. Besides, what would Iola think!"

Joe grinned at the mention of his long time girlfriend, Iola Morton. He could still see her pixie face and long black hair lying in ringlets from her ponytail. "Iola knows I look, but she also knows she is the only one for me. You are just jealous because if you would even get caught GLANCING in those girlsí direction, Callie Shaw would call you on it."

"No she wouldnít," Frank commented. He had to smile at the thought of his brown haired girlfriend, Callie. Those emerald greens melted his heart every time. However, it was true. Callie could be a little on the jealous side at times. But Frank would never admit that to Joe.

"Yeah right Frank!" Joe spouted with a chuckle. While Joe liked Callie, the two had a special kind of relationship. Frank would call it a rivalry, but more than likely it was a combination of being rivals and having the same stubborn manner about them. Callie and Joe were both fighters and never liked to admit when they were wrong.

"So I wonder what the university is going to be like?" Frank said, trying to change the subject. Joe sensed his brotherís change in conversation. He was going to say something, but chose to put Callie behind them. This was supposed to be a nice three day weekend.

"Donít know. Ohio University is well-known in the area for many things. Unfortunately, being one of the top five partying schools is one of them," Joe said, looking out at the fields that were giving way to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain range. The fall colors were bright with reds, yellows, oranges and even some magenta. The colors blended perfectly on the hills with the aqua blue sky as the backdrop.

"Where did you here that one?" Frank asked. "I have heard that it is a great school, especially for the area. It allows the people down here to stay closer to home and get their degrees at the same time, especially in the specialized professions like medicine and criminology."

"I saw it some college ranking website from some magazine when I ran a search on it. I wanted to know more about where I was going to be spending the next two nights," Joe replied. "I just canít believe that they have a paranormal psychology class."

"Why not? It is an interesting science. Professor Zane has been working on his studies ever since he wrote his thesis on it years ago. He just recently got the university to allow him to teach it as an elective while he researches more about the paranormal. I think it is amazing that he has time with teaching his physics and chemistry classes," Frank commented. "Our turn off should be up here soon because I just saw the first sign for Athens."

"Dad said he took up ghost stuff after his wife died. That is why he has time. For which, I can understand. He must be pretty lonely. I would say that dad would probably throw himself into his work if something ever happened to mom," Joe said softly.

"I just know that he is supposed to be one of the best, but a lot of people dismiss him because of his studies in the paranormal. They think he is some kind of freak or something," Frank replied. "I just hope that his latest research goes well enough he gets his grant. He really deserves it, even if it is a study of ghosts."

Joe Hardy looked over at his dark haired brother with a grin. He could not believe that his brother, the cynical one, would treat the "study of ghosts" with such respect. Usually Joe was teased if he even brought up the subject of ghosts and aliens and things like that. Joe could remember when their parents moved the brothersí into their own bedrooms. At first, Joe loved the idea of having his own room. It was nice to be able to have a fight with his brother and be able to slam the door behind him instead of having to put up a quilt barricade. But then, there were the nights when the blacker than black figures would come out of their lair and scare him so bad he would hide under the covers! It was those nights he would quietly roll out of bed, creep across the floor dodging the unwanted entities and run across the hall to the safety of his big brotherís room. Frank would always make fun of him, but Joe knew what he saw. Even to this day, Joe felt a little safer when he was near Frank.

"You got quiet all of a sudden," A voice pierced his thoughts. Joe snapped out of his daydream. Not wanting to bring up his thoughts to avoid the teasing, Joe looked for the first thing that came into his sight.

"I was just wondering what Old Manís Cave was," Joe muttered, noting the brown state park sign.

"Where did you see that?"

"On that sign we just passed."

"Oh, didnít see it. Oh wait a minuteÖ" Frank stopped himself. "I remember seeing that on the map so I looked it up on the internet. It is one of the state parks here in the Hocking Hills State Park. There are a lot of them like Cantwell Cliffs, Rockhouse, Ash Cave, and Cedar Falls. A lot of them have to do with the Indians who inhabited this area a long time ago. I was hoping we might have time to go out and check them out with the leaves just turning."

Joe nodded his head. It sounded like a great idea to him if they finished up their work with Professor Zane. "I just know that I canít wait to see what Professor Zane has us do for him," Joe Hardy said as he brushed back his blond hair out of his face.

"Ready to go and chase some ghosts or something little brother," Frank said in a teasing tone. He looked over and noticed his brotherís displeasure with his comment. So he had to do the brotherly thing.

"Joe wants to be a GHOSTBUSTER!"


"Who are you gonna call?" Frank started to sing.


"He busts the girls too," Frank belted out another small verse from the song "Ghostbusters".


"GHOSTBUSTERS!" Frank yelled out the famous line. It was then that he noticed one of the reasons Joe was hiding his face in shame. He was so caught up in teasing his brother that he did not notice that he was stopped at a red lightÖ with all the windows downÖ in the college student saturated Athens. Several students stared at Frank. One even mentioned that the "nuthouse" needed another patient. Then there was this older man who just kept staring at him.

This has to be the longest light! Frank thought to himself. He could feel his face literally burn red.

Frank still felt like he was being stared at, so he glanced over his shoulder. The same older gentleman was still staring at him from the street corner. The older Hardy gave him a slight smile and looked back at the street light.

Still red! ARH! Donít the lights ever turn around here!

He glanced over out of the corner of his eye. It was then that he noticed that the older man, armed with an overstuffed briefcase and a white doctorís jacket, was making his way toward the car.

Why is that man looking like that? Why is he coming this way? The crosswalk is in front of me, not on the side of me. Donít the have jaywalking laws around this place! Well, probably not since the town really isnít that big for a college town. Bayport was four times the size of Athens and it didnít have a college!

Frank looked back over nervously.

"What is your problem Frank?" he heard Joe say. But he didnít say anything. He was too busy watching the man, who was less than ten feet from the car.

Frank looked in front of him. He saw nothing but herds of students still crossing in the crosswalk in front of him and the same red light glaring back at him, keeping him right in his spot.

"Are you Frank Hardy?" a voice from outside the car asked.

"Yes," Frank managed to say.

The old man held out his hand and smiled. "Hello! It is nice to meet you. I am Professor Zane."


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hardy boys fan fiction


The Hardy Boys belong to Simon and Schuster and the Stratemeyer Foundation. The Hardy Boys Fan Fiction author(s) of the Hardy Detective Agency have just borrowed them for an adventure or two. The author(s) promise to give the boys back when they are done with them. The authors do claim copyright to any original characters in their stories. Please do not borrow original characters without express permission of the author(s) in question.