Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 31, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 60 Nights Left! "Ho'okahi Po"



The old soldier’s mind was like an enclosed fishpond surrounded by a protective wall of silence and long hard stares into nothing. The intoxicating numbness of Makers Mark carried him quickly to his blind slumber, but when the magic wore off, the sluice gates of his protected wall lifted and the memories of war would flood forward.

The sound of the crashing waves amplified into the long hollow depths of his dreamless sleep. It was there that he heard the din of the thunderous ocean, but in the old soldier’s mind, it may as well have been the war cries of his comrades fighting side by side in a sea of bodies so close together that it became too difficult to distinguish the enemy from your own brother. Somewhere above the clamor, he heard the faint call of his name; it was enough to rouse him from his sleep. War had taken a physical toll on his body; where he could once rise without effort, he was now forced to roll himself on to his stomach and use his hands and knees to stand. Getting to his feet was much more painful; a pinch of a nerve here and the cracking of cartilage there and he was finally able to shuffle his way out of his home.

The waves just outside the cove drew itself back and hit the reef like titanic hands beating on a pahu drum. It released a deep cavernous sound that shook the soldier to his core. In the distance he could hear the call of his name again, it was faint but clear,

“Poki’i...”

The hackles raised on the back of his neck and a chill went through his body. It had been many countless years since he’d felt that battle instinct. It told him that something was not right.
As he left the comfort of his home and ventured out toward the beach, the night swallowed the old soldier into its embrace. The sand fell away under his feet and caused him to stumble intermittently; the safe oasis of his domicile was now a distance away. He could just make out a group of dark figures gathered closely together at the edge of the water, they appeared to be speaking to one another but the sound of their conversations was mute. He heard his name again,

“Poki’i...”

A lone figure approached as the old warrior did his best to adjust his eyes to the darkness.

“Sergeant Major Poki’i,” the voice whispered.

“Yea,” the old warrior replied. “That’s me; who are you?”

“Kolomona,”

“Kolomona?” The old Sergeant was surprised.

“Yes,” Kolomona confirmed. “You forget already?”

“ I neva see you since Korea,” Sergeant Poki’i couldn’t figure it out. “Why you stay hea?”

“Divison commander wen send me, we all mustered, we gotta go,” Kolomona said.

“In front my house?” Poki’i still couldn’t figure it out. “I cannot just go in my bodo bodo clothes!”

“We no mo’ time Poki’i, we gotta hele,” Kolomona was insistent. “Just fall in line, you’ll see.”

Poki’i and Kolomona walked together and headed toward the westernmost tip of the old soldier’s property. They were joined by the dark figures that he first saw on the beach; they walked two abreast on each side. Soon another regiment joined in behind them, that line was one hundred feet deep. One more line formed in front of them, except that line was an endless formation of Hawaiian warriors dressed in feathered cloaks and helmets. Those of the lesser ranks who only wore malo and carried torches were the ones that marched on the outer parameters.

“Kolomona,” Poki’i said to his friend. “I remember now, you wen make (mah-keh) in my arms at Chongchon river,”

“Was da next best ‘ting to dying at home,” Kolomona replied. “Wherever a Hawaiian travels; there too is Hawai'i. I neva wen forget dat,"


Poki’i halted dead in his tracks and looked his old friend in the eyes,

“I stay make (mah-keh) yeah?” He asked but already knew the answer.

“Yeah,” Kolomona confirmed. “Das why I wen ask division if I can come get you so I can repay da fayvah,”

“I goin’ heaven now?” Poki’i’s tears fell from his eyes.

“Betta,” Kolomona smiled. “You goin’ Kanehunamotu,”



Three days later the lifeless worn out body of Adam Poki’i was found seated in his rattan chair in his Hau’ula living room. He was not pale nor stiff, nor was there any foul odor from his body. The ravages of a war long gone no longer troubled his expression or hindered his gait. He was at peace.


Aug 30, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 61 Nights Left! "According To Kimo"


He didn’t look a thing like I had imagined. A man such as he who pulls you into his world so deeply that you actually forget you’re holding his book in your hands should be as dark and brooding as the content of his work. He makes a concerted effort to be as normal as everyone else, but something about Kimo Akamu won’t allow him to be like the rest of us. He stands out, he radiates, he exudes presence. His combination of a plain black shirt with khaki shorts and black Nikes serves as a poor method of camouflage; I know it’s him.

I can tell.

Honestly, I expected him to be taller and broad shouldered and a bit more lean. However, he’s only five feet ten inches tall. He’s muscular and compact, his hands are big and his legs are like tree trunks with calves that are shaped like diamonds. There’s a composure about him, a calmness that is contrary to all the horror and manic terror that he writes about. He’s standing in the aisle of a pet store in Kahala and as he moves to one side in order to make way for an old Japanese woman who is hobbling by, he smiles at her and excuses himself. The man who writes about reptilian female Hawaiian goddesses that literally sucks the life out of her male victims before consuming them whole is humble and courteous! This only fuels my ire and confirms what I’ve thought about him all along.

He’s a fraud and a liar.

I approach him without delay and I confront him.

“You’re Kimo Akamu,” I tell him, I don’t ask him. Why should I? He knows who and what he is.

“Yes,” He’s smiles again which only makes things worse.

“All those horror stories you write, are they real?” I am pointed now so he knows I’m serious.

“No,” he says calmly. “They’re fiction,”

His voice bothers me because it’s not anything like the voice in my head that narrates the pages of his ghost stories. I am bothered because his voice is soothing and comforting; it disarms me for a second and I find that I must will myself back to reality.

“Of course it’s fiction,” I tell him. “Because your stories are fake like you are,”

He’s not rattled in the least, instead he is even more courteous than before!

“Thank you,” he replies. “If you’ll excuse me I have to go and pay for my dog leash,”

He walks past me and heads to the cashiers counter where he pays for his item. He then looks back at me and waves with another sickening smile! I can’t let that go! I follow him out of the store to where his land rover is parked. I’ve had enough! I insert myself between him and his car door and I tell him everything,

“How is it that what you write is fiction and yet with your fictional lies, you’re able to suck people into a world that doesn’t even exist!!??” I am grilling him like an interrogator at a police station. “Is that even fair to your readers?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name?” He asks with such a gentle and charitable manner that I find myself giving him my name as if I’ve known him all of my life.

“I’m Ted Mitchell,”

“Ted, what is it really about my stories that bothers you so much?” He asks. I don’t sugar coat it, I tell him.

“You’re books make people like myself invest our time and emotions in your stories only to find out that it’s all lies! These people aren’t real! They never walked the face of the earth and yet you tricked us into believing they were!” I was raising my voice over the din of traffic that whizzed by because we were near a freeway off ramp.

“It’s fiction Ted, it’s all fiction. That’s what a good story is meant to do, it’s meant take you away from your everyday life to a place that is real enough that you can identify with it. Same thing with the people in the stories. You can sympathize with the heroes and hate the villains, but after the story is over you can go back to your own world safe and sound,” He tells me.

“No,” I say. “It can’t end at the ending, I want to know what happens after? How do they go on with their life after such a fantastic event? How do they live?”

“I don’t know,” he replies. “It ends at the end and that’s it, the rest is left to your imagination.”

“That isn’t fair,” I tell him. “You can’t do that to people!

I’m beyond angry and I swing a wild punch at his face; he catches my fist in his hand and slowly begins to crush my knuckles together. The pain is so horrible that I can’t bring myself to scream. In a flash, Kimo Akamu pulls me to him and holds my head with his other hand and whispers into my ear.



Right Now


According to Kimo’s mouth to ear narrative, I am to stand at the free way over pass looking down at the Phillip’s Gas Station. I am to ponder in regards to the cooling wind that caresses my face as opposed to the hot blast of air that emanates from passing traffic. I am to consider the freedom of release from the flesh and think only about my spirit and how it will ascend to the heavens once I let go of my earthly ties. I am to inhale what once was my existence and exhale what will be my rapture. I am to spread my arms out and close my eyes and let go of all earthly toils. All of these things I have done; all that is left is to plummet head first to pavement below, just as Kimo's narrative decrees.

Aug 29, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 62 Nights Left! "Emma"




The year was 2001 and I was asked to do ghost stories for a project graduation for St. Andrews Priory I was scheduled to meet the trolley at midnight in front of the school. I arrived twenty minutes early and found a nice grassy area where I could sit. The night was without a moon and so the atmosphere was darker than usual; this is why I was amazed when I found an ornate concrete bench to rest and clear my mind. While going through the sequence of ghost stories in my head, I noticed a woman walking down the driveway dressed in a gown of some kind. I really couldn’t make out the details.

She was coming toward me and as she got closer, I couldn’t help but notice her smile. I smiled back and greeted her with an aloha and stood up so that she could take a seat beside me. Taking her place, she inhaled the night air and looked at me and said,

“Mahalo nui,”

“Mahalo I ke aha?” I asked curiously. “Mahalo for...?”

Just then the loud sounds of screaming and shouting and the ringing of bells filled the air. It was the trolley pulling into the driveway of the school, the graduating class had arrived. I turned my flashlight on to let them see where I was standing. The young graduates excitedly gathered around me, but before I said anything, I noticed that the girls were looking at something directly behind me; they began to chant the words to a hula,

“He wahine holo lio ‘oe la,

Ma luna ko Kina’u lio la...”

I looked behind me and flashed my light to see what or who it was that they were looking at. Standing there was the woman who was seated beside me a second previous except her face was frozen in time. My heart dropped when I realized that it was actually a bust of Queen Emma. I’d forgotten that it was she and her husband Alexander Liholiho who were and still are the physical and spiritual founders of Saint Andrews Priory.

I was elated, honored, humbled and scared out of my mind.

Aug 28, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 63 Nights Left! "When Boy Met Harry"



When Harry Vierra woke up with a bad headache, he thought that a cold beer would make him feel better so he headed downstairs to the kitchen. He was startled when he saw three Hawaiian men dressed in coats and ties sitting on his couch.

“What the hell are you doing in my house?” Harry demanded

The younger of the three Hawaiian men stood up while the older two remained seated.

“You’re Harry correct? We don’t mean to startle you first thing in the morning but your wife Samantha asked us to come to your home and speak with you,” the man explained.

“Speak with me? About what?” Harry’s aggression was beginning to escalate.

“I’m so sorry, forgive my rudeness. These two gentlemen are my uncles, Ivan and Tiny. My name is Boy, it’s nice to meet you,” he smiled.

“Wait, hold on,” Harry answered. “Let me go get my wife,”

“No need for that,” Boy told Harry. “She’s not here, she’s at her mothers house with the kids,”

“What? What is she doing there?” Harry was confused.

“Well, Harry.…can I be candid with you?” Boy asked.

“Huh? What?” Harry asked.

“Can I speak honestly with you?” Boy restructured his question.

“I guess so,” Harry frowned.

“Sarah came to us and told us that you’re emotionally, mentally and physically abusive. She’s afraid for her self and the children; do you understand?” Boy was making every attempt to reason with Harry.

“Oh she told you all that huh? So what, you guys came to kick my ass or something?” Harry was now challenging Boy directly.

“No, no it’s nothing like that. In fact that’s the last thing we want,” Boy reassured him.

“Then what?” Harry raised his voice now.

“We think it’s a good for the sake of Samantha and the children that you leave,” Boy was emphatic now.

“Oh, you mean like take a break and come back later?”

“No, without coming back. It’s better if you stay gone, forever,” Boy was adamant.

Harry balled up his fist and went straight for Boy but he was cut off by Ivan who grabbed him by the throat. Tiny then shot up from his chair and simultaneously punched Harry in the sternum while
at the same time Boy held a wooden bowl made of kauila in his hands. It was filled with water from the deep ocean; in it was a mixture of red ‘alae salt and turmeric. Ivan held his grip and dragged Harry over to where Boy was standing. He held the wooden bowl of water under Harry’s chin just as Ivan released his grip from Harry’s throat. Harry exhaled into the bowl of liquid but his breath left no ripple in the water; the water remained perfectly undisturbed.


Without hesitation, Tiny slapped the water in the bowl causing it to splash everywhere. At the same time, Harry dissipated into nothing.

…..

After years of suffering Harry’s abuse, Samantha knew that if she stayed any longer that Harry would eventually kill her. She gathered her children and left. His last desperate act was to threaten suicide by hanging himself from a rafter in their bedroom. Harry’s screaming and waving of his fists caused him to lose his balance on the flimsy stool on which he stood and he hung from the rafters making good on his threat. Real or not.

A few months later, Samantha tried to move back into the house but she soon realized that it was haunted by Harry’s ghost. She was desperate to have Harry’s apparition exorcised because she could not afford to move anywhere else. A friend of Samantha’s mother found out about the situation and decided to introduced Samantha to Boy. Although Boys specialty is rendering curses on the wicked, he was still able to help an abused mother in need.

Harry himself never really intended to take his own life. He was simply using the threat of doing it so that his wife would give in and come back. He died so unexpectedly that as far as his conscious mind was concerned, he was still alive. It’s the only reason why was able to communicate so openly as if nothing had changed.

Nothing of Harry remains in the house today, but once every week Boy brings a fresh bowl of water from the moana which is filled with red ‘alae salt and turmeric. He leaves it on a small table just inside Harry and Samantha’s old bedroom that has since become a storage space.

You never know.


Aug 27, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 64 Nights Left! "Uncle David"





Without giving away too much, I can tell you that every regular lodge of Freemasons is based on King Solomon’s temple. It has to do with the way the building is constructed, the way in which primary seats in the lodge are situated and so on. Like the cubits, pillars, stairs and the time of day in which men worked; so too do the Freemasons work in their lodges. Like King Solomon’s temple, rough stones and finely hued stones are a part of the foundation of our building, just as working tools are also a part of our work as Freemasons. It is safe to say that there is such rich allegory in regards to King Solomon that the foundation of masonic teachings in certain aspects are more Jewish than anything else. 

You’ll just have to take my word for it. 

There is a masonic lodge, in a jurisdiction that I can’t name, in a location that I can’t tell you about, where one certain Freemason has an ancestral tie directly back to King Solomon himself; or so he says. 

His name, believe it or not, is David. He’s a very humble man and very well liked among his brothers and very dedicated to his craft. One night after lodge was finished, David stayed upstairs to clean up and put all of the ceremonial items away. When he was done, he made his way downstairs to clean up as well. As he was about to close up for the night, it suddenly occurred to him that he’d forgotten his tuxedo coat upstairs in the lodge room. He quickly bound up the stairs and opened the door and clicked on the lights. As he walked over to the chair where he’d left his tuxedo coat, the coat itself lifted from the chair and handed itself to that masonic brother.

“You forgot something,” a disembodied voice said.

Poor David put his feet to the pavement and took off running a mile down the road not realizing that he’d left his tuxedo coat and his car at the masonic temple parking lot.
---

On another night at lodge, the same young David, is alone and recording himself singing a song upstairs in the lodge room. This is a song that he is going to present at a masonic function in less than a week. Rather than turn on the A/C, he decides to leave it off and open the door main doors to the lodge room. After several minutes, he stops and plays back the recording in order listen to himself. 

Within the first minute of the recording is a pause in the song; that’s where he hears something unusual and decides to rewind the recording and play it back. After listening to the playback, he drops the digital recorder and runs out of the lodge room. On it is a woman’s voice saying, “Why is it so hot in here?”
---
Finally, there is the story of the very late night that brother David is called to the lodge. When he gets there he finds the police cars in the lodge parking lot and they’re all standing around a homeless man who is in hysterics. This homeless man tells the police that he won’t talk to anyone but David; he even asked for him by name but David has never seen this man in his life. 

Upon his arrival and introduction to the transient, the man relates this story:

He broke in to the lodge from the back stairs up top, it was cold and he needed a place to stay for the night. He made himself comfortable and finally dozed off to sleep when all of a sudden all the lights went on in the lodge room and he found himself surrounded by a group of men in tuxedos and funny looking aprons. They were walking around him in a circle and the circle kept getting smaller and smaller.

“Back to the clay,” they kept repeating again and again. He was overcome with the feeling that they were going to kill him. He suddenly screamed and attempted to run out of the same door he came through but it was being blocked by the men in tuxedos. This time, they seemed to be looking down at something. As he got closer, he saw that they were mournfully standing over an open grave. Following their gaze, he saw that there was a body in it. It was his own. 

He screamed again and this time he managed to make it out of the main door to the lodge room and opened the nearest window he could find. He stood there, leaning out the window screaming for help. The neighbors across the street heard his cries and called the police. Unfortunately, they had to break the glass to the front door in order to get into the building. It took a few minutes to convince the man to follow them downstairs but as they walked him through the main lobby, he began screaming again. 

“There they are!” The poor man screamed, “That’s them, those are the guys that surrounded me and tried to kill me!”

On the four walls of the lobby were the pictures of the men in the tuxedos and funny aprons that he just saw upstairs.

“Those pictures on the walls,” David told the homeless man and the police, “Are the pictures of all of the old Freemasons who were the past leaders of their lodges.”


Wide eyed, the homeless man said, “One them had a message for you.”

“One of them?” David queried.

“Yes, yes. A tall man, he was dressed different from the other guys. He was wearing a robe, and he had a crown, a beautiful crown. He had a beard and his eyes... his eyes were kind.”

“You said he had a message,” David reminded him.

“‘Yes, he said to tell David to keep watch over his temple," 


“Who was it ?” David was incredulous now.

“He said he knew him, his name was Solomon.

Aug 26, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 65 Nights Left! "Rachel Blue"

There was a beautiful Hawaiian girl sitting at our kitchen table with long black hair and a head band on her head that was made from from five braided leather, she also wore a dark blue vest with tassels. The white shirt she wore beneath the vest was snug enough that I could see that she wore no bra. Around her neck was a silver chain with a peace sign that sat perfectly on her chest. My head began to spin when I realized that she was also wearing bell bottomed pants! Could it have been that the hippie gods had heard my thoughts and had actually manifested this stunning creature to appear in my kitchen? As if the moment wasn’t already perfect, our new next door neighbors who were not shy about blasting the music on their stereo played, “Oye Como Va”

Her name was Rachel and my mother introduced her as our new foster sister. I didn’t make a single move toward her, I was rooted to my spot and waved a simple hello. She smiled at me more out of formality than sincerity. Her body moved to the driving rhythm of the song while she ate a bag of chips and sipped on a bottle Tab soda, little did I realize that she would be a person who was much like the lyrics of Santana’s cover tune,

 “Bueno pa' gozar, - it’s good for having fun”


Over the next few months Rachel adjusted to our family life in our small three bedroom home.  A woman would come to our house once a month to talk to my hanai mother and also to check up on Rachel’s progress, I liked her(the woman) because she always brought candy and cheeseburgers and french fries for everyone. For me especially, she brought orange soda.

Less than a year into her stay, I began to notice that when Blue came home from work, Rachel would sit on the couch with Blue and hug and kiss him. The second that Paul’s car pulled up into the driveway, Rachel would jump up from the couch and greet Paul at the door with a long hug and kiss. Blue would grab his portable radio and go out into the front yard and sit on the bench and listen to his favorite station. Of course, this would happen right under my mother’s nose whenever she was out shopping in town. This event would repeat itself for a while until one day, Blue had had enough.

He confronted Paul and told him everything; it didn’t go well. The brothers came to blows and had to be pulled apart by my hanai mother who inserted herself between the two as she hit them with a yard stick. When my hanai father found out, he kicked Rachel out of the house that same night, but not after cuffing his two sons in the head. The next evening, Rachel returned to our house with her own father in tow. They sat at the table with my hanai parents, and my hanai brothers.

Blue had fallen completely in love with Rachel and wanted to marry her, Paul felt the same way. The two brothers sat there with scratches on their faces from the fight the day before, each hoping that Rachel would choose one of them over the other. My hanai father stated that Rachel had caused too much trouble and that if Blue or Paul married her, neither of them would be welcomed in the house. Rachel’s father asked what her choice was and which one of my hanai brothers did she really love?
Her reply was that she loved neither one of them and that it was all for fun. She couldn’t understand why they didn’t get that?
As calmly as possible, my hanai father asked Rachel to leave, which she did without hesitation. My two hanai brothers parted company that same night and have never spoken from that day until the time of their passing a few years ago. It goes without saying that my dreams of a hippie peace life style were summarily dashed.

Stupid boyhood dreams.

That alone was the straw that broke the camel’s back and precipitated our move from Ma’ili to Waimalu.







We moved to Ponohana Loop in Waimalu and for the year that we lived there, it felt like we didn’t belong in that house, nor that neighborhood. I found out quickly on my first day at Waimalu Elememtary School that aside from the Samoan kids at that institution, mines was the only genuine Hawaiian face there. That was a problem. Being adopted by the Moniz family, I thought I was Portuguese. I couldn’t understand what the problem was but the vibes were undeniable. I was lost in a sea of faces that were either Asian or Caucasian, had I been a mixture of both, perhaps I would not have been summarily harassed and asked to leave my classroom as much. I’m not sure if the word trauma was correct, but there were not as many faces like mine in the hallways of this school.

Otherwise, life went on.

Janya, her daughter Deannie, Brother Paul and his son Shorty all lived with us at our Waimalu house. Both were recently separated from whatever relationship it was that didn’t work out. There was a lot music and laughs at home, and a new thing called, “Pizza.” The song that played in the house was, “I Gotcha” by Joe Tex. Whenever it came on, Jayna and Paul would break into a strange kind of dance that just made us fall to the floor laughing. It wouldn’t be long before the rest of us kids would join in. My hanai mother would just sit there and laugh. The funny thing was that I always knew when Janya was in a melancholy mood because she began playing every record which reflected her life at that moment. Sometimes it was Wayne Newton’s, “Daddy don’t you walk so fast.” Other times it was Jermaine Jackson’s. “Daddy’s Home.”

Brother Paul was the same way, his song of gluttonous punishment was Mac Davis’, “Baby, baby don’t get hooked on me.”





For me, I was just a 10 year old boy who was obsessed with mastering the art of roller skating and at the same time I was trying to find a place where I could learn this new thing called, “Karate.” Luckily, my friend Robby Ralston’s brother Randy, had just come home from the war and happened to have earned a black belt in Karate at his former duty station in Japan before he was sent to Vietnam. As luck would have it, he gave us lectures rather than teaching us anything.

“You boys are too young to learn this shit unless you are seriously intent on killing someone with your bear hands?”

We were wide eyed and agreed that that was EXACTLY what we wanted to do! He then called Robby and I a couple of snot nosed turds and told us to fuck off.



The big deal for myself, Shorty and Deannie was being able to roller skate down the street just past the red brick mail box that belonged to one of our neighbors. For some reason it symbolized a rite of passage, it was a sign that we had reached maturity and that we were skilled enough to roller skate down the rest of the steep hill that lay beyond the red mailbox.

“When I turn eleven that’s when I can skate pass the red brick mailbox,” I said.

“Then I’m next, right?” Shorty asked me.

“No,” Deannie said, “I’m the girl, I should go first!”

“When I go,” I said in my best dramatic voice, “ you guys can both hold my hand and we can all go together.”

Shorty and Deannie hugged me as if I had won the both of them a huge Teddy Bear at the state fair.

My roller skates were the adjustable iron plated ones, the kind that would acclimate it’s length in accordance with the size of your shoes. I had worn these roller skates for a year and I was now used to the feel of them beneath my feet. I had gotten so good that I could jump off of make shift ramps and I knew how to come to a skidding stop on a dime. I did a lot better than the other neighbor hood kids who had the real clay wheeled roller skates. When the day of reckoning was fast approaching, I had already prepared myself mentally for my descent down the steep hill that I could only look at but never skate. It wasn’t going to be hard at all, and it wasn’t. At least I thought it wasn’t, I found that I was going too fast. With all the skills that I thought I had acquired, the one thing I hadn’t learned how to do was stop myself while going down a steep hill. So, rather than just ride it out until the hill flattened and became even, I decided to skate on to a little patch of grass on the sidewalk in order to stop myself. The grass didn’t stop me at all; in fact my speed increased until I crashed into a mailbox. That’s all I remembered until I woke up in my bedroom. Shorty told me that I hit the mailbox with my face and that I knocked out. He and Deannie ran up the street to get my mom and as you can imagine my mom freaked out when she saw me all bloodied and cut up with my face swollen. Shorty made it a point to thank me; according to what he said, I mumbled to my mom,

“Don’t give Shorty and Deannie lickens, it’s not their fault,”

….

We knew that the Waimalu house was haunted but we weren’t sure by what. We all saw shadows moving across the living room, we experienced cold spots and we heard voices. The lights would go off in the evening and flicker back on. Or the lights would come on slowly during the day and stay that way for hours. The funny thing is that it wouldn’t show in the electric bill every month. I myself would see faces appear in my room and in the bathroom mirror but they were indiscernible

One day brother Blue showed up at our door step out of desperation; things were not good at home and so he needed a place to crash for a couple of weeks. It was good to see him and have him around but the only awkward thing is that he and Paul still wouldn’t talk to one another. The tension was very thick but I think the brothers refrained from any confrontation out of respect of our parents. The issue involving Rachael never went away, even though she only saw her flirting with them as fun. Logically, they should have been mad at her but I think it all had to do with pride.

For the few weeks that Blue was with us, the hauntings increased exponentially during all hours of the day and night. Two incidents in particular stick out in my mind, one was the night that my hanai parents were just getting to bed when my hanai father saw the window screen ripping open by itself. Then a disembodied hand came through the scree; my hanai father went to the closet and pulled out his hunting rifle and fired a shot at the window. He and my hanai mother were surprised to see that the screen was completely intact without a tear in it. The second incident was the night that I was sleeping in my bedroom when I heard a creaking noise down the hallway. It was brother Blue in his shorts; he headed to the kitchen and went to one of the drawers and pulled out a knife. He slowly headed towards brother Paul's room which was just off to the side of the kitchen; he left the door wide open and I could see him raise the knife above his head and as he plunged it towards brother Paul's heart, my hanai father appeared just in time to take the knife away. Brother Blues hand hits brother Paul's chest with a dull  thud. Even from my room I could see that Blue's eyes were closed. He was sleep walking or so I  thought until I saw Blue faint into my father's arms. At the same time, Rachael's apparition removed itself from Blue's body and glared wildly at my hanai Father and it slowly faded away.

My parents were traditional Portuguese Catholics and so they had a priest from their church in Kalihi
come to the house. After explaining the situation to the priest, his conclusion was that the energy in the house had nothing to do with Rachael's ghost possessing Blue. It was the hatred between the two brothers that allowed Rachael's living apparition to take a hold of Blue's body and cause him to try and kill his brother. Rachael was not dead by any means; but somehow she had sent herself as a form of some kind of Hawaiian curse in order to hurt our family. A blessing was done on the house and on my two hanai brothers.

Did they ever resolve their issue with one another?

No.

However, to avoid anymore supernatural events from happening; they just figured that it was better to not ever be in one another's company.





































Aug 25, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 66 Nights Left! "Picture Alba"

A group of teenagers, with nothing better to do one late evening, ventured into a little-known cemetery in Makua with the intention of summoning a ghost.  They imagined they could do this by using their most innocent friend who was not yet accustomed to partying and breaking the rules.  He was really pure and untouched and the perfect candidate for their plan.

Wai‘anae was warm & still and the night was dark & quiet when they all jumped into a Nissan truck headed to the hidden graveyard.  Using their flashlights to help them find their way through the maze of headstones, they noticed that all markers seemed to be engraved with Japanese characters that looked like they were crudely scrawled into the stone by someone’s finger.  The teens grew nervous and an eerie feeling fell across the group that made everyone’s skin crawl and gave them the overwhelming sensation that whoever it was that wrote out the crude Kanji was going to appear at any second.

The center of the old cemetery was marked by a single monolithic stone that stood out among all the others because it was the only one of its kind.  The group gathered before the stone and then turned their backs to it and placed their innocent friend in front of them.  Kehau, the leader of the onclave handed him a digital camera while the rest of the group placed their hands on his shoulders and back.

“Now,” said Kehau, “As we place our hands on Alba’s shoulders, we are to focus on the image of a ghost in a white kimono since we’re in a Japanese cemetery.  Everybody concentrate.”

The entire group cast their heads down and began to focus on the image that Kehau decribed.

“You too, Alba,” Kehau whispered.

“Oh, yeah, sorry,” Alba answered.

“If we are really focused, Alba will feel our energy and he’ll know when to take the picture.  Focus everybody, focus.” Kehau commanded.

Suddenly, a tremendous surge of energy went through the group and funneled right into Alba.  As the boy lurched forward and pressed the button, it continually flashed and took pictures non-stop.  The flash was so bright that it illuminated what seemed to be a woman standing at the opposite end of the cemetery, she was dressed in white with long black hair.  She was holding something in her arms, something that caused blood to slowly stain her white dress, except that it wasn’t a dress. It was a white robe of some kind that was tied at the waist.  The woman approached the group of young teenagers and, as she drew closer, they realized that she was holding a baby.  It wasn’t moving.  They also realized that they could see right through her.

“Someone,” the ghostly form said, “Someone please feed my baby?  Please?”

Alba was in a trance-like stupor now as he held up the camera in front of him with the flash going off, again and again.

“She won’t stop crying and I have no food to give her,” the ghost continued, “Please feed her.  Her crying, her crying is driving me crazy.”

They heard it, the mad incessant crying of the infant child. The sound was in their heads, it made them dizzy.

“Won’t someone help me?” The ghost pleaded. “I don’t know what I might do, I don’t know what I might do.”

The ghostly woman in white suddenly shrieked at the top of her lungs, “STOP CRYING!”

The whole group screamed in return, now racked with maddening fear.

The ghost was gone.  The group made a mad scramble for the Nissan truck and as they did, they stumbled over the headstones, causing scrapes and bruises all over their knees and shins.  Alba still stood there in a catatonic state, still talking pictures.  Kehau yanked him by the shirt and practically dragged him to the truck where she shoved him into the passenger’s seat and slammed the door.  Kehau started the vehicle up and stomped on the gas pedal.  The Nissan seemed to float back and forth on the dirt path before its tires finally gripped the pavement and screeched out into the night.  It didn’t get far.

Just before Kehau rounded the corner at Kaneana cave, the ghost of the woman and her blood-soaked baby appeared in the middle of the road.  She was holding up her infant child now as if she were offering up a sacrifice.

“Feed my baby please, feed my baby,” she pleaded.

Kehau swerved too hard to the left, veering off the road and hitting the guardrail.  The impact caused the truck to spin completely around throwing the passengers in the bed of the truck to the hard ground while the momentum still carried the truck forward.  The occupants of the cab lurched forward as the grill of the Nissan met a telephone pole.  The teenagers piled out, screaming in horror.

Dizzy and in pain with adrenaline running through her veins, Kehau first looked for the ghost of the mother and her bloody infant but saw only darkness.  Seeing her friends beginning to gather around her, she thought they were all safe.  Then she realized that Alba was missing.  Her gaze focused on the burning wreckage and she saw him still in the passenger’s seat, screaming.

...

It was over a year before Kehau could even bring herself to pass the cave again.  The one time she did, a friend was bringing her to Yokohama’s one afternoon.  It was meant as a kind of therapy where Kehau could just unwind after months of depression and sadness.  Just a quiet barbecue on the beach with some close friends.  They ended up leaving when it was dark.  Kehau had felt better than she had since the crash that killed her innocent friend.  She thought she could finally find some peace.

As they rounded bend after Makua, Kehau saw a flash, then another, just after Kaneana cave, beyond the hill.  Still another and many more flashes in a quick succession.  Approaching the top of the rise, the driver swerved and then slowed down to a crawl.

At the crest of that low hill, Kehau’s eyes adjusted to the darkness once again to see the outline of a person just barely beyond the beam of the car’s headlights.  As they approached, her eyes were able to make out who was standing before them but her brain couldn’t wrap itself around what she was seeing.  There before them, in the middle of the road, was Alba, walking towards them with a camera in-hand, still taking pictures.

Aug 24, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 67 Nights Left! "Blood Candles"







Esther Grace Thompson sat quietly looking out of the second-floor window of her Manoa home. She helplessly watched different groups of curious people enter and exit her house throughout the day. They were complete strangers leaving with priceless items that she had either bought or acquired, some had been gifted to her. It seemed as if her entire life were being emptied out from her womb, piece by piece. A memory left with each item, be it a China Hutch or an oil painting, a favorite box of sterling silverware or even something as simple as a collection of movie ticket stubs from the old Palace theater. Everything was a physical sentiment, a memento, a broken heart, a moment of delirious happiness, and a finality of one part of a life that was like a wheel turning day which transitioned into another.

Esther counted to herself as each item left in the hands of those that she never knew and would most certainly never see again.

“A thousand and fifty-two,” She whispered.

Her eyes began to sting while the tears stained her cheeks; it was as if she were watching her own child being taken from her knowing that she would never lay eyes upon it thereafter.

“Why remember it that way?” She scolded herself, “couldn’t you have thought of a puppy or some other sort of pet Esther?”

“It did happen,” She reminded herself.

She was all of sixteen years old when her infant child was only but a few days newly born. The infant’s father Garrett Thompson appeared at the front office of the home for wayward girls in Honolulu on Beretania Street. He was a bank executive at Hawaiiana Bank, and a descendant of a well to do missionary family; he met Esther one night at a business party at his home on round top drive.

….

Esther’s teacher from the Hawaiian School for girls had brought Esther and five other girls to the Thompson estate to help prepare and serve food and drinks for an evening gathering of local bankers and their wives, Garrett was the host. He’d noticed Esther right off and took an immediate liking to her before the evening was over Garrett had Esther in the servant’s bungalow where he deflowered her quickly before anyone had noticed that she had disappeared. However, her teacher Mrs. Saffrey noticed. Esther was severely reprimanded and told to return to her duties and to mind the task she was given, otherwise, she would not be able to go home for the weekend. Before she knew it, she was pregnant and was soon expelled from the school. Her parents were at the mercy of Mrs. Saffrey who strongly suggested that Esther is sent to a home for wayward girls so as not to besmirch the reputation of her family.

“It did happen,” Esther repeated to herself, “it did happen.”

….

Today


The hour was four in the afternoon when she noticed a woman carrying an old soda box crate to her car. Her heart leaped into her throat when she realized what was in the crate. She fought to raise herself from her chair and even when doing so, she could only walk slowly to her window. Her body shook with anxiety and worry, she had to warn this poor woman but it was too late. By the time Esther reached the window, the woman was already gone.

“No,” Esther whispered, “God help her…”

…………………………………………..

Today




“I need your help!” Came the woman’s voice over the phone.

“I’m sorry?”  The phone call was very abrupt and the voice on the other side of the phone was frantic to the point of being hysterical.

“My house is haunted and my children are being attacked, I called around but no one will help me! So, I found your website; you know how to do this kind stuff right?” The woman said.

“What kind of stuff?” I asked.

“Blessing my house, getting rid of it, or them or whatever it is!” She screamed.

“Okay, I’m assuming you’re at home, do you want to give me your address?” I asked.

She fired off the numbers so quickly that I had to ask her to slow down in order to be certain that I could get the information correct. It was an address in Manoa. The home was of the old Tudor style architecture and its location was appropriate for the demographic. There were other homes like it in Manoa, most were of the old southern plantation style but there were always a few gems like this one.

The place was a mixture of everything; there were old antiques and crystals, and chairs and pillows and an imitation Persian rug and skull candles of a different variety which were placed wherever they could be fitted. The mere presence of these items proved to be very disconcerting on the psyche, the woman began to point out the area in the house where she claimed that the haunting occurred; her son’s bedroom. She claimed that he was assaulted on a nightly basis while he slept, some unseen force pulled him out of his bed and began to slap and scratch him. She then showed me pictures she’d taken as proof of the wounds her son suffered. At that same time her son walked in the door and after the proper introductions were exchanged, I asked the young man if I could speak to him privately, to which we retired to the backyard. I asked his permission to address him candidly. Luckily he was agreeable and the conversation was designed to discover if he had any issues that affected him to the point where he became withdrawn or aloof? Did he feel as if his mother was too overbearing or repressive to the point where he could not be himself while in her presence? All questions were answered in the negative. He was a normal healthy young man and not the focus or the agent of a poltergeist, why then was he being attacked?

At that moment he and I stood below the picture windows just outside the living room and that’s when I glanced up and saw it. They sat four in a row and lined the entire bottom of the windowsill; blood candles. I immediately ran into the house and pushed past the woman so suddenly that she let out a scream. I tore through the main living room and headed straight to the picture windows.

Dammed, they’ve already been used.

“Where’d you get these?” I asked.

“What?” The woman replied.

Pointing down I said, “These blood candles, where’d you get them?”

She blinked for a second and said, “From an estate sale up here in Manoa; I think the address was 3125 Kahalewai,”

“Estate sale?” I asked, “like when people liquidate their things and have to sell them for money?”

“Something like that,” She replied.

I looked at her living room again with a renewed realization, everything that cluttered her space was bought from estate sales.

“I’m going to cleanse your home,” I told her, ‘but first and foremost, you’ve got to get rid of these blood candles now!”

She hesitated and I couldn’t waste any time trying to convince her of the severity of having those blood candles in her home and what it really meant.

“If you want your son to continue being assaulted then, by all means, keep these candles and I’ll call it a day. It’s up to you,” I said.

…………………………………………………………


Esther’s anger consumed her so completely that she’d wanted Garrett to meet his end in a most horrible manner. He’d come and taken her child, their child and she had no say in the matter. His family had far too much influence in business and in politics and Esther was nothing more than a lowly Hawaiian girl with no morals as far as the Thompsons were concerned. Unfortunately, every elder in her family were all practitioners of Christianity and none would assist her in finding someone who could perform pule ‘ana’ana. As fate would have it, her mother hired a girl from the old home for wayward girls to work as a maid. When the girl learned of Esther’s dilemma she was only more than willing to share her acquainted skill in the dark arts and she offered to teach Esther the use of the blood candles and their purpose in summoning evil, Esther was all too willing. Garrett Thompson would be the sacrifice. The blood candles were lit and the ceremony and prayers that were meant to take Garrett’s life proceeded without interruption. In three days time, the papers had printed a bit of unfortunate news; there was a death in the Thompson home but it was not Garrett. It was an infant child found dead in its crib. It had died mysteriously and without apparent cause. Afterward, Esther was inconsolable and the girl who helped her with the blood candle ceremony was released a short time later because she was caught stealing. When Esther finally came out of her slump she hid the blood candles but for some strange reason, she'd never gotten rid of them. In later years she would never marry but instead as a means of thumbing her nose to the Thompsons, she took their last name. Esther was smart and did well enough for herself that she made money through investments and land holdings until she finally owned her own house in Manoa where she lived out the rest of her life. The blood candles were finally hidden in her basement where it was long forgotten.

…………………………………………………


Today

I saw Esther Thompson the second I got out of my car. Her face seemed to contrast the drab atmosphere of the Manoa home. Its facade appeared to have seen more glorious days in it’s past but now Esther was all that was left of whatever those events might have been. I made certain that she could see me when I opened the trunk of my car and removed the plain looking box. I pulled the cover back and carried it to the middle of the lawn and held it up for her to see.  For a minute a sense of moral relief washed over her face as she placed her hand on her window and smiled. I returned her smile and watched as a ray of sunlight slowly reflected its light on the glass, lifting itself ever so gently from the bottom to top. As it did so, Esther Grace Thompson faded away as the light became brighter and brighter.


 The house was empty now save for a few scraps old papers here and there. The junk cleaners were very thorough and left nothing important behind. I found my way down to the old basement where I placed the box of blood candles in the corner right where they belonged. Esther’s house would be torn down in the next few months and hopefully, any trace of the blood candles would be destroyed along with it.

Somewhere out there in the firmament, Esther Grace Thompson and her infant child are reunited and are finally at peace.

Aug 23, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 68 Nights Left! "Joey Tango"

Behind a very large toy store in Aiea is a bus stop that is unremarkable. It is a way station for people who await the last city bus of the night to transport them to their intended destination. Joey Tango's shift ended just after midnight, he was the maintenance guy at the local mall who worked three jobs in order to help support his family. There was only one car and Joey's wife used it for work and for dropping off and picking up the kids from school, He sprinted as fast as he could across the mall parking lot in order to catch the last bus heading through Salt Lake, where he lived. His watch read 12:13 am, the bus would pass at exactly 12:15 am, he couldn't afford to miss it and he didn't. The city bus was parked right in front of the bus shack with the doors wide open and the interior lights on.

Bus #357

 The people who should have been on the bus were all crowded around the little shack standing silently as they waited to board. The driver stood on the bench collecting transfers from each person who approached him. He was tall and thin, wearing dark glasses and black leather racing gloves, his forehead was high with thinning hair at the top of his scalp.

Seeing Joey Tango standing at the back of the group the driver asked, "You got a transfer?"

 "No I have a bus pass," Joey said.

 "Tonight we're only taking transfers, no passes." The driver said.

 "But this is the last bus right? I gotta get home man!" Joey said.

"No passes," the driver confirmed.

 "Is there another bus coming after this one?" Joey Tango was desperate.

The driver ignored Joey Tango as he began to load the people on to the vehicle It  was standing room only. Joey Tango stood there dumbfounded as the driver started up the bus and brought it to life.

 "Hey???" The driver yelled out.

Joey Tango walked up to the bottom steps of the bus and replied, "Yes?"

 "Joey Tango, this ride is not for you. If it were, you'd have a transfer in your hand and not a pass." The driver said. "It's not your time, don't be so eager. Appreciate what you got,"

 In the next instant the driver lifted his dark glasses to reveal a pair of dark empty eye sockets.

 "Step away from the bus," the driver bellowed.

 He closed the doors and put the bus in gear. Joey screamed and fell over his own two feet; he watched as the bus sped toward the rise just near forty niners cafe.' Suddenly a huge Mac truck came speeding out nowhere and plowed into bus #357 head on. Both vehicles burst into a blinding ball of fire; the after shock alone knocked Joey off of his feet. Less than a minute later, the number 62 bus to Salt Lake rolled up to the bus stop. Joey Tango was confused but as he looked at his watch, it was still 12:15am.

 "Whoa," the driver exclaimed as he exited the bus, "what happened?"

"You taking passes AND transfers tonight?" Joey Tango was almost hyperventilating.

 "And money," the bus driver replied. "What the hell happened? Where'd that bus come from?"

 "Honestly, I'm not sure.." Joey replied.

"Did you see what number bus that was?" The driver asked.

"357," Joey answered.

"There's no #357 and there's no other midnight bus except for mine," the driver was confused.

No less than a second later, the entire tableau of flames, twisted steel and glass were gone. It was like it never happened. Joey called his wife at home and asked her if she would come get him. The following day, Joey Tango bought himself a car.

Aug 22, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 69 Nights Left! "The Day We Met"

When my father died I was only six months old and he, myself and my mother were at Kapi’olani Park enjoying and afternoon picnic. The lauhala mat which was made by my grandmother and passed down to my father was spread out on the grassy field where my mother placed me for a short second so that she could put the food packages down. Realizing that she’d forgotten the utensils, she asked my father if he wouldn’t mind going back to the car to get them.

“It was a good day,” my mom would always begin the story this way whenever she would recount the events that transpired.  “It was a long overdue family picnic because your father and I hardly had the same day off,”

She remembers sitting me on her lap and feeding me pieces of minced grapes and pitted cherries. A few minutes passed and my father wasn’t back yet; our picnic spot was under a large canopy of trees but we weren’t that far enough that my couldn’t see where our car was parked. Yet, she couldn’t see him.

“Where is he?” She asked herself.

Nearly twenty minutes went by before she finally slung her purse over her shoulders and carried me at the same time as we headed back to our car. At first, she couldn’t find my father anywhere until she almost tripped over his feet. His upper body lay beneath the drivers side of our car. She could only see his hips and legs. Other park goers who were nearby heard my mother’s screams and came to see what was the matter. A few people helped calm my mother down while one other person called 911; when the ambulance arrived they told my mother that there was nothing physically wrong with my father . He hadn’t been assaulted or run over; it appeared as if he’d literally dropped dead.

Later findings would reveal that my father died as the result of a brain aneurysm.

“When I think about it now,” my mother would say, “it might have been worse if he had died in front of me. It was better that he went the way he did.”

This is how my mother recalls the details of that day; however, if you ask her anything about my father before that, you’ll get a verbal paint brush description of a Hubert Vos or an Alex Ross. Her words were never more life like than when she remembered my father with a rendering of shadow and light, form and texture, color and shade. Her memories were her canvas, her words were acrylic or water color, pen or pencil. Sometimes there were only words on her palate, no paint brush. There were nights when her friends were over at our house for a few drinks and I would be in my room watching television and the high shrill laughter from the party would capture my attention and I would sneak into the living room in order to see what the big deal was. It was my mother surrounded by all of her friends from work, she had them hypnotized as she described the first time that she and my father had met. She had them in stitches and everyone laughed until they were in tears, but once the humor died down, she began to recall the first time that they were intimate.

“It was tender and slow, like he’d come upon something undiscovered and he wanted to appreciate his new find,” she trailed off at that moment and couldn’t finish. They were all crying together now, everyone. They all seemed to know him too; obviously long before I was born. They weren’t just being nice, the comfort they offered my mother came from a pain and sorrow which they all shared.

So, when my father comes to me in my dreams he is as vivid as the way my mother describes him. Colorful, strong and gentle at the same time. He wears a broad smile with a countenance that was lively and vibrant, but as dreams go, the entire encounter lasts for only a few seconds.

Tonight, I fell asleep at the very moment that my head rested on my pillow. In a flash my father stood in front of me in my dream but it was more than just a moment in time and it was different. This time he spoke to me.

“Something bothers you ?”

I was stunned, it was HIS voice! He was not a made up recipe that was comprised of the residue from my mother’s stories.

“Yes,” I answered.

“Tell me,” he asked.

“Mom always remembers the day you died so clearly, but she never talks about the day you met. The real day, not the one she makes up,”

“Ask her,” my father’s voice was soothing, “be honest when you do ask her and she’ll tell you everything,”



The following day after school I took the bus to my mother’s office and asked if I could wait for her until she was done. It was good timing because my Mom didn’t have too many things to do that day and so she got off earlier than usual. We hardly had moments like this where it was just she and I together. We had an early dinner together at Happy Days restaurant where I very calmly asked her,

“Mom, how did you and Dad meet?”

“Honey, I’ve told you that so many times already,” she replied.

“Only after you had some wine,” I said, “then you get all poetic and mushy. Can you just tell me now? Without the wine?”

….

My father was Ben Kanae and my mother’s name is Ruby Shen. They both met at the old Moose’s Bar on University while they were in their sophomore year of college at U.H. My father had a penchant for meeting the wrong types of women and my mother often ran into men who wanted to be in a relationship without any real commitment. Ben and Ruby were two people who lost themselves in their passions, and so it was with love. Like a single mother supporting three children, Ben and Ruby could not invest in anything that was a part time commitment. Sitting at the bar with the intent of self-immolating by drowning their sorrows in green bottles of Mickey’s, both Ben and Ruby were suddenly struck with the internal biological urge to relieve themselves. Ben swiveled his stool to the left and Ruby swiveled her stool to the right; whereupon the two literally ran face first into one another.

That was their first kiss.

“What the hells” “Watch where you’re goings” and “Fuck yous” were exchanged between the two before they both fought through the massive crowd of people and finally found their way to the facilities. Ruby quickly shut the door behind her and began to do her business but did not notice that the door was still unlocked. Ben already had his belt unbuckled and his jeans button opened when he tore the bathroom door back and was prepared to urinate; he couldn’t hold it any longer. By the time he’d realized that Ruby was sitting there it was too late, a bit of micturition trickled out and caught her on the sleeve of her blouse. Without a second thought, Ruby punched Ben in his particulars and sent him sprawling backwards where he fell to his knees and simultaneously writhed around in pain and wet himself. Ruby pulled herself together and rushed out of the bathroom.

A few days later while Ben occupied an empty table in the student lounge at U.H., he noticed Ruby siting alone by herself rummaging through her wallet. He could see her meticulously counting out whatever change she had left so that she could buy a soda but by her body language, it was obvious that she was short a few cents. Taking in a deep breath, Ben gathered his books and his nerves and walked over to her.

“Hi, I’m probably the last person you want to see but I’d like to apologize, if you’ll let me,” Ben said.

“I don’t even know who you are,” Ruby said as she shook her head.

“Sure you do,” he half whispered. “The other night at Moose’s, you know the bathroom?”

“Oh my god!’ Ruby said as she pointed at Ben, “ You’re the bouncer that threw me out!” Her hand covered her eyes as she continued, “I’m so sorry, I hope you’re not still mad that I spit on you?”

“What?” Ben was confused.

“I don’t know how I pissed all over myself but I was so stinkin’ drunk that night, I don’t even remember how I got home! Oh my god, I’m really the one that should be so sorry!” Ruby was practically begging for forgiveness. Was she really serious? Was she really that sauced that night that she couldn’t recall what happened? Ben decided to just go with it.

“Why don’t you let me buy you lunch and we can call it even? How’s that?” Ben asked.

“Well okay,” Ruby replied. “But just to be upfront with you, none of this is going to go any further than lunch okay?”

“That’s fine,” Ben replied.

“Otherwise, I’ll punch you in the nuts again,” with that she winked at Ben and walked off toward the cafeteria.

..............................

My mother remembers that my father only ate a plate of two cheeseburgers with a side of french fries. The soda that came with it filled a cup that looked like an over sized plastic coffee mug which happened to be on special for that day only.

“It’s unusual the things you remember,” my Mom would say. “I had the mixed plate and a Ginger-Ale, I was trying to be cool but I hated that drink.”

Ben inquired as to why she was present at Moose’s bar that evening and my mother told him that she’d grown tired of being every man’s emotional whipping post.

“I was a maternal psychiatric prostitute, I was there to listen, sympathize, spread my legs and cook breakfast in the morning. I couldn’t talk about my own problems or concerns because for some reason, guys like that don’t want to hear it. It’s all about how damaged and hurt they are; it gets old after a while. So, I was at Moose’s to drown my sorrows in liquor, get drunk and maybe meet some guy who would take me home and let me make breakfast for him in the morning, blah, blah, blah,” Ruby shared. “What about you?’

“Me?” Ben replied. “Ah, I just keep running into women who seem normal in the beginning but actually end up being very abnormal, that’s all. What about you?”

“What about me?” Ruby asked incredulously. “What do you mean? I’m not abnormal!”

“No,” Ben smiled, “I mean what are you doing here in school? What’s your major?”

“Oh,” Ruby replied feeling deflated. “I’m here for law school, I got a scholarship and everything so if I mess it up my very traditional Chinese parents are going to kick my ass.”

“By the way, I’m Ben,” my father said as he introduced himself.

“I’m Sheryl,” my mother replied as she reached across the table and shook his hand.

“Well Sheryl, either you’ve stolen Ruby Shen’s books and steno pad because that’s her name written all over it, or you’re name isn’t really Sheryl?” My dad smiled.

“You pissed all over me the other night, how do I know that you’re not some weirdo who goes around pretending to be drunk so you can urinate all over women while they’re sitting on a public toilet? A girl’s got to be careful these days you know?” Ruby eyed Ben carefully.

“But yeeeet you let me buy you lunch, so you can’t be as offended as you’re pretending to be, am I right?” Ben asked.

“Can I ask you something?” Ruby queried.

“Sure,” Ben replied.

“Are Hawaiian men normally uncircumcised?” Ruby asked.

“Shut up,” Ben quipped sharply.

....…

Later that afternoon when all of his classes were over, Ben was leaving the university and driving into Manoa when he saw Ruby standing at a bus stop. It was starting to rain heavily so he pulled over and called out to her,

“Ruby? Hey come on get in, I’ll give you a ride!”

She didn’t move but instead called out from where she was standing,

“See? This is where I accept a ride from you and then you take me somewhere and kill me and I’m never seen or heard from again!” She shouted.

Everyone else who was standing at the bus stop looked at Ruby like she was crazy but at the same time they were trying to mind their own business. Ben turned his car off and put the four way blinkers on and got out of the vehicle; he’d had enough abuse for one day.

“Ruby Shen, I’m tired of playing this charade with you! You get in this car and come home to me and our children right now! Now, I know you think that your Law School professor loves you and is going to make you his wife, but all you are to him is a maternal psychiatric prostitute! You’ll listen to his problems, sympathize, spread your legs and in the morning you’ll make him breakfast; it’s a vicious cycle. Come home to us please Ruby, we all miss you. Our children need their mother and I need my wife, please? Get in the car honey and let’s go home?” Ben begged with just enough affectation that it was completely believable to everyone else waiting at the bus stop. Opening up the passenger's side door, Ben gave Ruby his best puppy dog eyes.

She walked right past him and mumbled, “Asshole,” before she got into his car.

…..

My mom sat there crying with her chopsticks in her hands. I felt horrible now, I didn't mean to make her sad.

"I'm sorry Mom," I was crying too.

"It's okay, it's what I needed. Oh my god I can't believe how embarrassing that was," she laughed.

"I know Mom and I'm sorry, I know we're in a public place," I apologized.

"No, honey it's not that," she reassured me. "I'm talking about having to tell my SON about all the details of how your father and I met! It's kind of embarrassing,"

"At least I know now mom, now I have a memory of him too," Dad was right. All I had to do was be honest with her and she told me everything.

...

Later that night my mother woke up to go to the bathroom and she nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw someone laying there next to her. It was my father.

'It's okay Ruby, it's me. I'm not here to hurt you," he told her.

"Ben......am I dreaming or something?" She was half scared and half happy.

"No Ruby, it's me, I'm here for just this short time," he said.

"How? How are you even here?" I know my Mom; in her mind she was trying to put all of this together so it made sense to her.

"It's partly Pono, and it's partly you," Mom's reaction to my Dad's short answers was typical. He always made her fish. He never put the catch on her line, it was too easy. He always wanted her to appreciate the journey.

"Even as a ghost, you still do that," she shook her head.

"Pono had to ask that question during dinner tonight because you had to remember the night we met. Not wanting to recall that time is what has been keeping me from coming to you so that I can finally tell you that I love you," my Dad smiled. "The last thought on my mind before I died was about how much I loved you and Pono. The both of you filled my world and made me so happy Ruby; you still do even now."

The flood gates opened wide at that moment and years of pain, grief and mourning freed my mother of everything she held in. She fell into my father's arms and as he held her and rocked her back and forth, he slowly disappeared particle by particle. By that time my mother had fallen asleep. The next day was like the first day for her, she was renewed and re-focused. Later that evening Mom decided that we should eat out again and so we were back at Happy Day's where she had her favorite; cold ginger chicken.

"I had a dream about your Dad last night," she said.

"I know, he told me," I replied as I ate my duck and plum sauce.

My mom paused for a second and looked at me ever so briefly and then gave me a smile that lit up her entire being. I couldn't keep myself from smiling either.



Aug 21, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down Toward Halloween! 70 Nights Left! "Percival"






 I am sitting in front of my laptop and I can hear the high musical strains of a Les Paul guitar as it screams out the arpeggio-like chords for, “Sweet Child ‘O Mine,” The neighbor from across the street has the volume up high on his car stereo system and is completely oblivious to everything and everyone else around him. Oblivious thoughts and a disregard for everything and everyone within a radius of a mile causes me to reflect on the personality of my mother’s late boyfriend, Percival Ching. Upon meeting him for the first time, Percival will immediately insist that you address him as such. However, should you err and regard him by the name, “Percy” his pleasant demeanor will quickly escalate from affable to asshole.



It was 1999 and I remember sitting in my room eating green olives and saltine crackers. My homework was done and I’d just turned the TV on and caught the tail end of “Genie In A Bottle” on MTV. That music video transitioned seamlessly to “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” and almost without fail the arguing began in the kitchen. With all that my mother shouldered as a partner at her law firm, with all the clients and deadlines that occupied most of her time, she was never late in coming home to prepare dinner. I could hear Percy’s loud obnoxious voice accusing my mother of not really working late but that she was actually spending more time than was necessary with Goss Jeffries, the head of the firm. In my mind, I kept repeating to myself,

“Please Mom, please don’t plead your case, please don’t plead your case!”


In the brief time that my mother and Percy were together, I was able at my young age to notice a pattern where the fights were concerned. The stirrings began the moment that I’d return home from a day at school.  Percy was always on the phone and his conversations were filled with laughter and cooing as if he were speaking with someone who meant more to him than just a friend. However, Percy’s phone conversations with my mother were very different; they were short, abrupt and demeaning. He treated her as if she were a burden on his mind and conscious and only displayed any measure of affection toward her when he was in need of something or trying to press his will upon her.

The sound of my mother’s car pulling up into our garage would bring the heated water of Percy’s anger to a slow boil; there were no greetings or sincere queries as to the events of her day. There was only sarcasm and belittling remarks and eventually the accusations of infidelity. Tonight, Percy shoves her and pulls her hair while she cuts the cucumbers in preparation for the salad. I can hear her ask him not hit her this time because she has to return to the firm in order to finish reading through a very lengthy deposition; he hits her anyway. That is when the third part of the pattern took place; it’s the sound of someone drawing in a short quick breath from behind me as if they were suddenly startled by something unexpected. My natural inclination leads me to look in the direction of the sound and there she is yet again.

The ghost of the murdered woman laying on my bed.

She is breathing but it’s as if she is fighting for air, her hands are reaching up into the nothingness. She is scratching, clawing and punching in some sort of mimed last ditch effort to live." Sweet Child ‘O Mine" reaches it’s screeching guitar solo as the apparition desperately kicks her feet out again and again. The struggle appears to be pointless but she tries. There is a bold determination in her eyes that says she is going to come out of this in one piece and that she will be able to return home that same day and change the pattern of her life and live into the extremities of old age, but her form stiffens without warning and slowly relaxes with a sad resignation. The light slowly dims from her eyes and her gaze resumes its empty stare. Blood seeps out from just below the waistband of her white skirt and slowly turns red. The ghost of the murdered woman struggles to live and dies, my mother struggles to maintain her dignity and is beaten for it. She does not even dare to come into my room to check on me because she knows that Percy will follow her and beat me as well, so she keeps it in and takes it all on herself.

The sounds of my mother being beaten by her boyfriend did not paralyze me with as much fear as did the ghost of the woman who lay next to me in my bed. Only minutes after I fell asleep would her lifeless form materialize in the same manner; prone, flat and positioned in a macabre tableau. Her eyes were open but they lacked the focus or purpose of a living person; the rest of her was a tangled mess of hair and blood from the waist down. Why her manifestation chose to make itself known to me was not a question that a ten year old boy asks himself when confronted with something that literally paralyzes him with fear. What I can tell you, however, is that within the first few months of our moving in with my mother’s boyfriend, Percy Ching, the woman’s ghost appeared with such frequency that I began to sleep at the foot of my bedroom door.


I don’t want my mother to be like the ghost that lays bloody and murdered on my bed but I don’t know what to do or who to tell.

....

 My mother used to be a part of the stoner/surfer crowd in high school which consisted of all the well to do local Chinese kids who came from old money. She was a 4.0 student as were the crowd of kids that she hung out with; they just happened to love surfing and getting stoned. A lot of the old surfing spots were crowded with too many wannabees and more troublemakers than usual. Hardly anyone was a soul surfer anymore and so she ended up at a place called, “Point Panic”

It took a while for her to get a feel for the place but within a month she was surfing point panic like she’d always been there. One late afternoon after work my mother decided to catch a couple of swells before she headed home. She hadn’t noticed that she and someone else had caught the same wave at the same time; fortunately, she caught sight of the incoming surfer at the very last second and managed to fall flat on her board. She didn’t realize how close she’d come to being decapitated; whoever that person was, he just pulled his board in and paddled out to catch another wave.

No apology whatsoever.

My mother was pissed. She paddled over to him and started to call him every name in the book, all the guy did was give her a goofy smile while simultaneously feigning complete ignorance.

“Sorry, are you okay?” He asked.

“I’m fine,” my mother huffed. “Just watch out next time!”

A short time later my mother was loading her surfboard into her SUV when the guy she’d chastised earlier walked over to her and apologized again.

“I left my wallet at home, otherwise I’d take you somewhere to eat as my way of being sorry. I do have some shoyu poke with inamona and some two-day old poi if you want? Get soda in my cooler too if you like?” He offered.

“It’s okay,” my mother was trying to shoe this guy away. “You don’t have to do that,”

“I’m not tryna get fresh or anything, I just didn’t realize how stupid I was and I do feel bad. I got some fried chicken too, I made it myself. Oh and I’m Percival Ching, that’s my name on the side of my car there,” he pointed.

“Oh,” my mother looked over his shoulder and saw the simple magnetic sign on the side of his VW Van.

“I’ll make your plate for you, I have rice too. You want some rice?” He offered.

“Uh, sure okay. If you show me where everything is I can make my own plate,” she insisted.

“No, no, no, you’re my guest. Please, let me do this,” he said.

Before my mother knew it, she had a nice plate of food in her hands and a cold drink to go with it.

“Sorry,” Percival began, “I only have Pepsi. I hope that’s alright?”

“Oh no, that’s fine,” my mother waved him off. Her initial thought was to finish her food and leave but the more Percival talked to her the more he was able to put her at ease. My mother found herself sharing more about her life to this complete stranger than she had done with her close personal friends.

“The poi is from Kahalu’u; a friend of mine makes his own. The poke, inamona and chicken is mine,” Percival said. Gesturing behind him to his VW Van, Percival continued, “All those boards I shaped myself, a piece of my soul is in each of those boards so when I teach surfing to clients, they don’t realize that they’re taking a part of me with them. Just like what you did just now; you don’t know me and I don’t know my clients except for that small amount of time I spend teaching them. You shared a part of yourself with me; a guy who nearly killed you with his surfboard. Do you know what that would have done to my karma if I had accidentally killed you with my surfboard? That would have made my soul worthless and black,” Percival offered. “I’m really sorry for what happened, I really am,”

By the time their humble evening meal was over my mother found herself in Percy’s arms in the middle of the empty Kaka’ako parking lot. Nearly a month had passed before she was finally ready to bring Percy home and introduce him to me. His outward appearance didn’t match his occupation; for a surf instructor he was too well dressed and too well manicured. He drove one of those large oversized Chevy Suburbans that was too clean and too detailed. He made it a point to buckle me in himself because as he said, “Once you learn how to buckle yourself in without touching the buckle, then you can do it,”

My mother said nothing.

At dinner, he kept telling me how to sit and how to eat and which fork to use and where my drink should be placed on the table. Whenever he and I made eye contact, I could see that I was looking at the real Percy Ching. He hated me, and I hated him right back. His acts of kindness were just a show in the beginning; I knew that I hadn’t really seen the real Percival Ching just yet. I only wished my mother had known.

….…..

So here I am in Percy Ching’s home and of course my mother finds out way after the fact that Percy has given that same speech about his soul in his surfboard to every woman he’s ever taught a surfing lesson to, while at the same time sharing a meal with them that was made by his humble hands. The only thing Percy had any skill in making was a peanut butter sandwich. Needless to say he’s had many girlfriends on the side, sometimes right under my mother’s nose. What hurts is that I knew that my mother was perfectly aware of Percy’s infidelity but she always turned a blind eye to it. She was stronger than that, I’ve seen be stronger than that. In court she was fierce and unrepentant but the second she walked in the door of Percy’s home, she became a meek little mouse.
….…
It was one of those nights when I had my headphones on and I was listening to Jimmy Hendrix shred through, “Foxy Lady”

“ I wanna take you home, yeah
I won't do you no harm
You've got to be all mine, all mine
ooh Foxy Lady
Foxy, Foxy “

Because I had my earphones on, I didn’t hear Percy open the door to tell me that dinner was ready. I was too busy being horrified by the site of the ghost of the murdered woman on my bed, without evening thinking I asked, “Who did this to you?”

The apparition point toward me but just off to my left; that’s when I noticed Percy in my peripheral vision; I jumped when I saw him there. He was horrified at first but a second later he pulled me by my hair and spun me around. The next thing I knew I was sprawled out on the kitchen floor. Even before he could hit me, I Immediately jumped to my feet and grabbed a kitchen knife and swung it out in front of me. I cut Percy right through his shirt just below his sternum. I’d had enough.

“C’mon you mother fucker!” I screamed at him, “c’mon so I can fuckin’ kill you!”

I had no idea that my mother had been in the kitchen the whole time; only after she screamed at us to stop did she start asking about what was going on.

“Tell her, tell her what you saw,” I hissed through my teeth at Percy. I carefully circled over to where my mother was standing and positioned myself in front of her.

“Fuck you,” Percy said as he grabbed his car keys and jacket and stormed out of the house. The second I heard his car drive off I immediately told my mother to pack only what she needed and that we had to leave the house.

“When he gets back he’s gonna kill us,” I told her. “I’ll tell you later but we have to leave right now!”

I guess she saw the look on my face because she did exactly as I said and the next thing I knew, we were on the road. I told her to take another route out of our neighborhood in case Percy was waiting somewhere to follow us. Luckily, he was nowhere to be found. In fact, he completely dropped out of sight. He wasn’t even at the house when we returned later that week to gather all of our things so that we could move out completely. The police and her friends at work convinced her to file a restraining order but strangely enough, Percy never showed up to bother either one of us. He never called or anything. His surfing school number was filled to capacity with voice messages and no one had seen his car anywhere.

Two months later, my mom and I decided to go surfing at In-Betweens. Thanks to a recent storm the waves were amazing and she and I were out there for most of the day. A miracle occurred in the later part of the afternoon when a long barrel came out of nowhere and my mom and I happened to catch it at the same time. She was right behind me and we were screaming and yelling with excitement; I had my fist raised in the air and I just couldn’t stop laughing, I was so happy. When I looked back at her I saw Percy come into the barrel right above her; luckily my mother noticed the look of terror on my face and turned around just in time to see Percy coming toward her with a diving knife. He missed her by inches just as she jumped off of her board but now he was coming after me. I was still new at surfing so I wasn’t completely sure as to what I should do to get away from Percy. He dropped below and came back up toward me swinging and stabbing at me the whole time. The blade pierced my shoulder on the his first pass and it got me just below my floating rib on the second. My adrenalin was pumping now, I knew I couldn’t jump off the board and swim away. He’d find me and finish me off for sure. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion and all I could feel was the urgency to get to shore but I wasn’t that good. Everything my mom had taught me so far went right out of my brain, I couldn’t think. Percy dropped low one more time and as he came up he was headed straight toward me with the knife pointing right at my heart. I was done, I was going to die. All of a sudden a massive dark shadow appeared beneath the wave right between us and shot up out of the water as if the power of the swell was nothing but air.

It was a shark.

It grabbed Percy in its jaws and bit him in two pieces. It happened so suddenly that the look on Percy’s face told me that he didn’t even realize that he’d just been killed. The shark disappeared with his improvised meal beneath the waves and we saw neither the creature or the shark again.
…...
I told my mom about the ghost of the murdered woman who appeared on my bed and about my fear of saying anything. I had no idea who the ghost was and why she was there until she pointed at Percy. Percy himself had been following us the whole time, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
My mom was connected to friends who worked in law enforcement and was able to investigate Percy’s house. Not to our surprise, a young woman’s body was found buried beneath the floorboards of my room. She was the previous victim before he zeroed in on my mother. This poor young woman figured Percy out and when that happened he killed her by cutting her open just beneath her belly button. She bled out as she was fighting for her life but her struggle to live as Percy choked her, only caused her to bleed out faster.


….…………

Mom was not only able to find out the name of the young woman that Percy killed, but she was also able to find out where she was buried. Her name was Belinda Wong and her final resting place was at the Chinese cemetery in Manoa. With the help of the caretaker, Mom and I paid a visit to Belinda’s grave a few days later and offered prayers and incense for her repose. Belinda’s ghost opened the door for us so that we could escape the clutches of Percy Ching. She gave my mother the freedom she deserved but it didn’t explain why a shark suddenly appeared out of nowhere and saved my life?

A month after my mom and I were living in our own place, she told me something very interesting. She said that long before I was born, my father told her that since she’d married into his family that his ancestors were hers, and that his ‘aumakua, his protective spiritual guardians were hers too and that no harm would come to her or their children should they ever have kids. It turns out that my father’s ‘aumakua was a shark, but not just any shark but Kamohoali’i. The king of sharks.
“I saw what happened,” she told me. “I saw that shark and that’s when I remembered what your father told me. I think that shark was your ‘aumakua,”

Aug 20, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 71 Nights Left! "Rosa"


The head nurse at the hospital on Punchbowl Street was visibly annoyed when she realized that the new nurse on the overnight shift appeared to be half listening to her instructions. There was a desk that separated the two in the main hallway and the young girl was visibly distracted by something.

“Are you even listening to me?” The head nurse raised her voice; glancing at the young nurse she saw that her name tag said, "Rosa"

“My toe, it’s too tight on my toe,” the girl’s voice was flat and tepid.

“What?” The head nurse shrieked.

‘My toe,” the girl repeated herself. “It’s too tight on my toe,” she was pointing toward her feet now.

The head nurse came around the desk to see what the problem was. The young nurse was barefoot, and on her big right toe was a toe tag with a name on it, “Rosa Telfio” the same name that was on her uniform. The head nurse was dumbfounded for a second and was about to scold the young Filipino girl for being out of uniform. Looking at the toe tag again, the head nurse saw that everything else was blank except for the cause of death. It was listed as a suicide. The place of the suicide was in the very spot where they stood. A second later, the young nurse vanished into thin air, a second after that, the quiet hallways of the hospital were filled with the horrible screams of a head nurse who had been on the job for much too long.

Aug 19, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 72 Nights Left! "Ka'analike"

It was an intimate group that evening and we were fortunate to have been allowed to visit the grounds of a very special location. One person in our group was an enthusiastic visitor from Finland; she was lively, fun and very respectful. The wind that presented itself to us after I offered a chant in honor of a well known makani that frequents the area. It seemed to be a playful sort of breeze and it lent to the jovial atmosphere among the group of people who were in attendance. Several pictures were taken without incident except for one; it was a photograph taken by the friend of the woman from Finland. In the pic, the visitor from far away stood under a tree facing left. An ectoplasmic anomaly appeared to be pointing at her back pack. When she saw the picture a second later, she asked if the Hawaiian royalty liked to drink?

“I’m sure they did partake,” I replied.

The woman then revealed that in her back pack were a few bottles of German beer that she’d hoped to drink later, perhaps after our ghost tour had concluded.

“Do you think they want my beer?” She asked.

According to the picture it appeared as if that’s exactly what they wanted. An appropriate offering was made and afterwards we departed the area to visit another location. All I will say is that when Ali'i kupuna make it apparent that they want something, you don’t ask questions. You give it to them.


Aug 18, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 73 Nights Left! "The time before we met"



I was in the wrong frame of mind when I was pulled over by a police officer in Manoa in the parking lot of the
shopping center. Fifteen minutes before that I had pulled over just outside the cemetery so that I could answer a text message; I didn’t notice that this same officer had driven past me three times. When the text was over, I started my car up and made a turn with the intention of heading to Grace’s Inn on Beretania Street. Their Kalua pork lunch plate was the best because they smoked the meat. I just happened to glance in my rear view mirror as I passed the old pre-school and saw the same police officer parked in the front driveway.  His personal car with the flat rectangular blue lights on the roof practically leaped out of the drive way and on to the street; my instinct told me that I was going to be pulled over for something. There were four cars between the Toyota 4 Runner and myself but by the time I had pulled into the parking lot at the Manoa shopping center, the SUV was right on top me, flashing blue lights and all. Just to be safe I kept my hands on the steering wheel and did as the officer said, license, insurance and registration. He took my information with him and returned to his car and was back in less than a minute,

“We usually don’t see Hawaiians in nice cars parked on the street here in Manoa. It just seemed a little suspicious,” he said.

“I pulled over and parked to answer a text rather than text and drive, that’s all it was.” I answered.

“You’re sitting in a nice car, but you’re dressed in shorts, a t-shirt and slippers. You can understand why someone would find that a but suspect? Right? ” he reasoned. “Especially in this part of Manoa.”

His name is embroidered on the flap of his right breast pocket, “Kitagawa.” There’s a million ways this conversation could have gone, I could have recounted Japanese and Okinawan immigration to Hawai’i and Pearl Harbor and all those other things. Like I said earlier, I was in the wrong frame of mind. But this was not a cashier at the market or a bank teller that was giving me bad customer service, this was an officer of the law. I’m sure that his suspicion of me was merited by his previous experience with other Hawaiian men who looked like me who owned expensive vehicles such as a Porsche or a Mercedes or one of those tricked out Cadillac mini-buses as I like to call them. Yes, of course, people like that driving nice cars in an affluent Manoa neighborhood would definitely come across as suspect.
Yes, considering the socioeconomic status of native Hawaiians it might be a surprise to see any one of us driving anything more expensive than a suburban; that is unless you are an entertainer or a bishop estate trustee.



Besides, If I didn’t come to some kind of compromise with him I was probably not going to get my license, insurance and proof of registration back; at least that’s what I thought. Better to be smart and live to fight another day.

“You’re right,” I nodded. “I see your point,”

He handed me my papers back and wished me a good day and with that he was off. I must have screamed every swear word I could think of and then some as I drove out of Manoa and got on to the freeway. Every injustice that had ever happened to my people boiled over inside of me and I was furious, furious that even in our own home we are still treated with criminal contempt. It’s a hard pill to swallow, it’s even harder not to stay angry. But how could we not be? I couldn’t even enjoy the lunch that I was so looking forward to at Grace’s Inn because of how the acidic hate churned my insides around to the point that perhaps only some kind of retaliation would quell the storm. A short time later my plate of food and my drink sat right in front of me but I wasn’t even paying to attention to it. Who could I talk to? Who would understand? Who would even care?

“I understand,” it was a voice that came two tables from my left. It was a Hawaiian man dressed in a very nice coat and tie. He had a plate of shoyu chicken and salad in front of him and a large drink cup that was filled to the brim.

“Excuse me?” I replied.

“I can hear your thoughts, I understand what you’re feeling is what I meant to say,” he replied.

“Thanks,” I answered as I grabbed my food and got up to leave. “ I’ll take my thoughts elsewhere,”

“No, no, no brah! Serious brah, serious kine!” He said as he waved me over. “You’re mad because of  that police officer who pulled you over. No freak out brah, come sit down. If you no talk about ‘um and get ‘um off your chest going eat you up brah and you going home and get mad at your wahine and das no good brah, come sit down. Come.”

I sat across from him and purposely gave him a look of disdain or at the very least a look that told him he was wasting my time. He could probably tell that I was vexed by my body language but hearing my thoughts? I doubt it. He more than likely had driven past and watched me get pulled over in Manoa. It was just a coincidence that I happened into Grace’s Inn where circumstance dictated that he was seated there as well. He was a well dressed and highly skilled con man at best; or an insurance salesman.

“Do you know why I wear a coat and tie all the time?” He asked.

“Because of your job?” I shrugged my shoulders.

“No, it’s because of the same reason that cop gave you a ticket. The way you’re dressed and the type of car you drive don’t match. The two together don’t fit the Manoa demographic, that’s why.” He said.

“You dress in a coat and tie because of me?” I was being sarcastic in the hopes that it would piss him off. I was pissed off so why shouldn’t everyone else be?

“Look at me, I’m a dark skinned Hawaiian man just like you. When I dress this way, people treat me differently; at the bank, at the store, at the mall, even at the airport.” He said. “Of course, I can’t dress like this at my Aunty’s house. She’d make me go home and change my clothes.”

I still gave him the same look.

“How upset are you about this cop?” He asked.

“Very upset, well, about the situation more than at the cop himself. It’s not his fault, I know they’re trained to probably profile people a certain way,” I replied.

“C’mon, you’re pissed. You’re furious. That cop humiliated you and you want something to happen to him, something real bad,” he said.

“No I don’t, I don’t. It’s not his fault,” I answered.

“Is that how you feel, or are you trying to convince yourself that that’s how you feel?” He was pushing now.

“No, that’s how I feel. I really do feel that way.” He looked at me as if he were searching for something in the back of my thoughts.

“Feel what? Angry?” He pressed.

“No, I feel that it’s not his fault,” I stated.

Just then, he extended his hand to me and said, “I’m Boy by the way, Boy Napualawa.”

I took his hand and shook it as we were both reminded that we had skipped any formal greetings.

“I’m Lopaka,” I replied.

“There are things that we as Hawaiians cannot change; it’s the same with people. All we can do is change ourselves and the way that we move about in the world,” he smiled. “I understand your anger, I’ve been there. As mad as you were; somewhere within that toiling flame of rage you realized that what that police officer said to you was not his fault. It’s just the way he was either built at the academy or in his upbringing. Realizing that, in spite of how unfair the situation was; that’s wisdom. That’s compassion, that’s aloha.” Boy said.

“This is not the kind of thing I want for my children one day,” I said quietly.

“If they are anything like you brother, you won’t have to worry,” he assured me.

“What do you do?” I asked him. “What’s your job?”

All he did was reach in his pocket and pull out a stark white business card with a phone number on it.

“Anytime you need to talk, just call that number,” he said.

I was about to reach in my pocket to retrieve my wallet but Boy raised his hand and said,

“I don’t need a business card Lopaka, I know who you are,” he smiled.

“You do?” I was surprised.

“Doing the right thing is what drives you brother, it’s what keeps you in the light,” he said.

“His name was officer Kitagawa; I thought to myself that I couldn’t attack him on the grounds of race because the Japanese suffered injustices too, especially after Pearl Harbor. I felt that I had no right in that capacity; I just had to accept what he said and move on.” I said. “That would just be compounding one problem with another problem.”

All Boy did was return a knowing grin as he raised his eye brows at the same time.


….…………

It didn’t occur to me until the drive home that I had just met someone whose name had been a whispered myth for many years. They say that he worked outside the law and was unstoppable if anyone ever crossed him. They said he made things happen, bad things. Things that even caused union bosses along with the crime bosses to fear him; or at the very least stay out of his way. As for the law? They knew Boy all too well; he was their ‘go to’ when certain cases came up cold. Word had it that Boy Napualawa was unmerciful when it came to stupidity, disrespect and plain human ignorance. That is not to say that Boy’s disdain for such a thing was limited to the color of someone’s skin or their nationality. Stupid was a frailty of human nature, regardless. However, Boy was also known for his great compassion and insight.

I wouldn’t find out until years later that officer Kitagawa pulled Boy over an hour before he would give me a ticket. He stopped Boy at a four way intersection toward the back of Manoa just before the elementary school; Boy was in his Mercedes CK100 when officer Kitagawa drove up along side him and directed Boy to pull over on Lowrey Street.


“This is a new one!” Officer Kitagawa said as Boy rolled his window down. “A Hawaiian man in a suit and tie driving a Mercedes! You work for Kamehameha Schools?”

“No,” Boy was courteous.

“You must be a politician then?” Officer Kitagawa asked.

“No, I’m not,” Boy smiled.

“Oh, you must be a banker then? First Hawaiian?” The officer grew visibly agitated.

“No, I’m afraid not,” Boy said.

“Well, you must do something that requires you to wear a suit like that and drive a car like this? I mean you even talk like a haole!” Officer Kitagawa’s face was now visibly red and his hands were clenched as they rested on the car door.

“Officer, I apologize If I’ve offended you in some way. I can take my tie and coat off if it will make you feel better?” Boy’s hands were up as an indication that he offered no resistance and that he had no intention to invite any kind of harm.

In a flash, officer Kitagawa pulled the car door open and simultaneously unlocked Boys seat belt with one hand and attempted to yank Boy out of the vehicle with the other, but Boy didn’t budge. He sat there calmly with his hands still up. However, try as he might, officer Kitagawa couldn’t get Boy to move. He made several attempts to move the occupant from his car until utter frustration compelled him to step back and draw his weapon.

“Get outta the fuckin’ car right now!” He screamed.

With his hands still raised in front of him, Boy effortlessly stepped out of his car and took a step to his left.

“Officer, you haven’t told me why I was pulled over nor did you ask me for my drivers license and proof of registration and insurance,” wearing a stoic expression Boy spoke with a calm and even tone.

“Turn around and face your vehicle now!” Officer Kitagawa screamed.

Boy carefully looked at the officer until they locked eyes; he had to make it a point to hold the officers gaze before he said anything further. Once that was achieved, Boy spoke to the Kitagawa that was locked deep inside.



“Your father’s family never accepted you and your siblings because they didn’t consider that you were full Japanese even though you pulled more of your father’s side. They treated your mother like she was a third class citizen because she was Hawaiian; they insulted her right in front of your father but he did nothing to protect all of you. Nothing. Overtime, you began to hate her too and you blamed her for all of your pain and you wished that you had a Japanese mother instead of a Hawaiian one,” Boy began.

“What?” Officer Kitagawa shot back. “Shut up! Right now, shut up!”

“You ended up hating your siblings too because of that, but the one you really hated was yourself. You couldn’t change who you were, or who you’ve become,” Boy continued. “So you’ve spent your life trying to appease your Japanese father because you want his love and approval so badly but he won’t give it to you. It’s not because he hates you, it’s because you look most like your mother and it reminds him too much of how his cowardice sent her to an early grave.”

“No,” Officer Kitagawa was sobbing now, “no, no stop. Just stop,”

“You have to know Blaine, that none of what happened to you and your siblings in your life is your fault. Being the oldest Japanese son is a tremendous burden, it is. It can be terribly unfair. None of that is your fault,” Boy shared.

“Who the fuck are you?” Officer Blaine Kitagawa holstered his gun and did his best to fight back his tears but to no avail.

“Just someone who understands,” Boy confirmed. “You’ll never be rid of your pain until you make amends with your mother,”

“She’s dead,” he sobbed.

“Her body is dead, but her love is not. Besides, doesn’t your mother have family?” Boy asked.

Blaine inhaled before more tears came, “Yeah,”

“You can start there,” Boy nodded.

Blaine gestured at Boy indicating that he could go back to his car but another question suddenly came to him, “What about my father?”

Standing next to his opened car door, Boy replied, “The only approval you need is from yourself, your father was never given the tools to deal with his guilt. He just doesn’t know how; that isn’t your fault either.”



“Who are you?” Blaine asked.

Boy asked if he could reach into his pocket and remove his business card from his wallet,

“Yeah, yeah of course,” Blaine replied.

It was the same blank card with a phone number on it and Boy had offered Blaine the same words that he would later offer to me,

“Call me anytime you need to talk,”

When officer Blaine Kitagawa pulled me over an hour later, I hadn’t the slightest inkling as to how much his demeanor had changed since his encounter with Boy Napualawa. I kick myself now to even think how sarcastic I was when I encountered Boy at Grace’s Inn. However, considering Boys’ calm exterior when facing more extreme circumstances, my behavior in his presence was a mere spec of dust on the nail of his pinky finger.

Lesson learned.