Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Nov 12, 2018

Uncle Thomas

1


It was because of my uncle Thomas that my parents were able to buy the family station wagon at a good price. He owned a local car dealership and he gave my dad a good deal, it goes without saying that uncle Thomas didn't make a huge commission on the sale but after all, he was my dad's younger brother. It was just something you did back then. Uncle Thomas was always well dressed but in a Peter Fonda kind of way; he was cool that's for sure. One evening my dad decided to take everyone out for a Chinese dinner in town and he invited uncle Thomas to come along. I got to ride in his 1971 Mustang Mach 1 which was one of the big thrills of my childhood. We listened to Santana on his brand new 8-track cassette player while we drove to our destination. Once the album completed itself, he lowered the volume and asked, "So, what are you going to be when you get bigger?"

“I don’t know, maybe a fireman or drive a stock car,” I replied

“Dad takes you to the stock car races all the time yeah?” Uncle Thomas confirmed more than asked.

“Yes,” I nodded. “It’s fun.”

“What kind of girl you gonna marry?” He proceeded to go down the list. “Hawaiian? Popolo? Japanese? Podagee? What kind?”

“I like Aunty Ruby, I might marry her,” I said thoughtfully.

“You probably could,” he said seriously. “She’s just your calabash Aunty, not your real aunty. By the time you’re my age, she’ll be too old to marry.”

Not blinking an eye, I replied, “She said she’d wait for me, so she’ll only start getting old once I’m your age.”

Uncle Thomas laughed so hard he started coughing. I thought I’d said something wrong. When he finally recovered he looked at me and giggled, “My man, you’re a funny little brother.”

….………

2


Like I mentioned previously uncle Thomas was my father’s younger brother, they were as close as two brothers could be but I could always sense an underlying tension between the two. I was never sure what it was until my older brother Val started hanging out with Uncle Thomas a lot more. He was starting to get in trouble for a bunch of things aside from the regular juvenile behavior. Val would be forced into the military later on because it was the only thing that would save his life. It also prevented Uncle Thomas from killing him. I digressed a little from my point; Val was getting into more trouble than he was worth, at least that’s what my father said. Besides, when Val got into trouble he wouldn’t come home because he was more afraid of the beating he would get at the hands of my father than being arrested. Mind you, this was the late 60’s early 70’s so you’d pay with your ass for the stupidity you enacted.

Val was stupid a lot.

Dad called Uncle Thomas one day and asked him if he would hire Val at his job and take him under his wing a bit? Uncle Thomas agreed and after that, my brother came home at a decent hour and woke up early and came down to the breakfast to eat with us. He pleasantly discussed his job with our father and kissed and thanked our mother for breakfast before he left for work. A month later, Val came home with a girl named Vanessa. He had her sit in the living room and introduced her to my mom and dad, I could only sit by and watch. I was not allowed to talk. She was beautiful but in a sweet way and my parents loved her because when it came time for dinner, she asked my mother if she needed help. Mom really liked that and they got to talk and know one another. In the meantime, Val and dad talked about his job. The funny thing about that discussion is that although Val talked to Dad about what he did at work, I still didn’t know exactly what it was that Val did. After all that, my father then asked Val, “How in the hell did you get that girl Val? She’s beeeautiful!”

“Uncle Thomas introduced us,” Val nodded toward the kitchen. “Don’t tell mom, but she’s twenty-two.”

Dad’s face fell to the floor and he slapped Val on the shoulder and whispered harshly to my older brother, “You are a dog!”

It’s the first time in a long time that I saw my older brother and my father laughing and talking together like that. It was nice to see and it made me laugh and smile too. That’s when they looked at me and shook their fists, “You better keep your mouth shut!”

The evening was successful for Val and after the good-byes and thank yous, Val left to drive Vanessa home. Mom and Dad were pleased and it seemed that Val had turned around his wayward habits thanks to Uncle Thomas. After dad helped mom cleaned up in the kitchen, he got a beer from the fridge and picked up the phone.

“Eh, Tommy.....thanks for helping with Val. He’s doing good, we’re proud of him,” Dad got kind of emotional right then and I could just hear Uncle Thomas on the other end of the phone, “It’s okay brah, no worry.”

….………

3


It was a day when mom and dad were out shopping. It was Val’s day off and he was upstairs in his bedroom with Vanessa. I was downstairs in my room playing with my brand new hot wheels. Just then Uncle Thomas pulled up in the driveway in his 72 Camaro, it was a deep purple color and he let it rumble a bit before he finally cut the engine and walked into the house. I peaked out of my room and saw him head upstairs, “Hi Uncle Thomas!” I waved.

He looked at me without missing a step, “Is your brother home?”

“Yes uncle, he’s upstairs,” I pointed. Uncle Thomas winked at me and pretty soon I heard a scream. It was Vanessa, she came running down the stairs with only her skirt on. In her arms, she carried her sandals and her top. She was hysterical and crying, she had the keys to Val’s car in her hands and she jumped in it and drove off down our graveled driveway. A few seconds after that, Val came walking down the stairs with Uncle Thomas behind him. He had a gun pointed to the back of my brother’s head.

“Stay in your room Junior, don’t come out,” Val said calmly.

“Val and I are playing Cowboy and Indian, he’s my prisoner today. I’ll bring him back later,” Uncle Thomas winked and he and Val walked out the door. Just as they were headed to uncle Thomas’s car, my mom and dad drove up. My dad was mad and he and Uncle Thomas got into a fight, Val and mom stayed out of it. Uncle Thomas was mad at Val because he stole a kilo of what Uncle Thomas called ‘his stash.’ It was worth a lot of money, I heard my dad ask Uncle Thomas how much it was worth? Whatever amount it was that Uncle Thomas said it was; my dad drove to the bank and withdrew that exact sum and gave it to Uncle Thomas. After that, dad told him that they were no longer brothers. Uncle Thomas left and we never saw him again until the day of my dad’s funeral many years later. However, at that moment Val got smug and said, “That’ll show him, right Dad?”

Wrong, my dad told Val that even though he paid Uncle Thomas off for what Val stole, he was still a target. If Uncle Thomas didn’t get him now, he’d get some time sooner or later. That’s when my dad beat the holy hell out of Val. The next day he took Val down to the army recruiters office and made him sign up for the military. My brother had no choice. Dad told him that it would be years before he’d ever be able to come back home. Dad was right and Val was another one that we would never see again until dad passed away. Even then, Val could only express his sympathies via Skype. If you haven’t already figured it out, my Uncle Thomas was a gangster whose car dealership was a front. Val was one of his runners who eventually became one of Uncle Thomas’ best earners. However, greed got the best of Val and he figured that no one would miss just one Kilo.

He was wrong.

Vanessa came to stay with us until Val completed boot camp, dad got her a secretarial position at the warehouse where he worked at. Dad had to be at work at 5:30 in the morning but Vanessa didn’t start until 8:00 am. Luckily she had Val’s car to drive around with; that was also another matter that dad had to settle with uncle Thomas. No harm was to come to Vanessa, otherwise, dad promised there’d be trouble for him. Vanessa’s family lived in Maui, she was working a full-time job and living on her own until things blew up between my brother and my uncle. That’s when mom insisted that she live with us for a while.

….………

4


My dad was eighty-three years old when he passed away this year. He had no health issues of any kind, he just passed in his sleep one night with my mother fast asleep beside him. The next day, he never woke up. He died of natural causes whatever that’s supposed to be but at least he didn’t suffer. The services were simple, it was held at his favorite beach house at Naue on the island of Kauai. Dad didn’t want anything religious, he just wanted the people he loved to gather as one while the sunset in the west. Once that was done, he wanted his ashes scattered in the ocean. It was a stunning orange and purple sunset and I had to opportunity to tell my own children and grandchildren about the kind of man my father was. While I looked back at the beach house I saw an elderly man hobbling toward us in a bright blue buttoned-down shirt with blue slacks and shined up shoes. He had a full head of white hair that was combed back and weighed down with mousse. It was uncle Thomas. I walked over to him and gave him a great big hug, he hugged me right back. He was four years younger than my dad so that would make him out to be seventy-nine.

“You’re still alive? That means you must be out of the life?” I beamed at my childhood hero and I was amazed at how much he looked like my father.

“I’m barely alive and almost out of life,” he chuckled. “Look at you,” he patted my cheek with his old withered palm. “You’re a grown man with a wife and a big family. I’m proud of you Junior, you did well for yourself.”

“Yeah,” I nodded. “I can’t argue with you on that one.”

Right about then my kids and grandkids walked up and I introduced them to uncle Thomas. I made sure that they didn’t overwhelm him too much. After, I had him come to sit with me on a couple of chairs where we could talk and catch up. I asked him if he wanted some water to drink or some juice but he asked for a beer. “Are you supposed to be drinking beer at your age uncle Thomas?”

He waved me off and shook his head, “I lived this long because I’m a sipper, not a drinker. Drinkers don’t last for the long haul. Sippers take it slow, that way they have time to appreciate the finer things in life.”

I came back with two beers and handed him an already opened bottle, “Your mother called me all the time, kept me up to date with what was going on with your father.”

“Is that how you found out about today?” I asked very curiously.

“And other things,” he nodded to one side. “There were so many times I wanted to come and say how sorry I was but your father is stubborn so I kept my distance all these years.”

“Dad knew you were keeping tabs,” I told him. “He didn’t say anything about it, but he knew.”

“So much could have been solved if he’d have just let me apologize,” uncle Thomas shook his head. He leaned across the arm of his chair and asked, “I haven’t seen your brother, is he here?”

“You know he’s not here uncle Thomas,” I looked him in the eye so he understood that I knew. He took a sip of his beer and after placing it on the arm of the chair, he reached his arm over to me, “Help me up Junior, I have to get going.”

I walked him out to the road where a black limo was parked. Two men were standing in front of it while one sat in the driver's seat with the window rolled down. “Dad was right, he said you’d never let it go and it's been what? Forty-six years?”

Uncle Thomas turned around and gazed at the beach house and then looked up at me, “This could have been my life, being an uncle to you and Val and your father’s brother and your mom’s brother-in-law. I could have been here today with a family of my own just like yours but I was too greedy and by the time I wanted out, it was too late. I wasn’t mad at your brother so much because of the drugs he stole from me, I was madder because of Vanessa.”

“Vanessa? Why? Was she your girlfriend or something? I remember Val saying to my parents that you were the one who introduced them?” If she wasn’t his girlfriend then what was the big deal?

“She was one of my office girls at the dealership and the introduction was casual because I was showing Val around the place and I went around introducing him to everyone,” uncle Thomas began. He made it a point to speak slowly and purposefully. “I never thought that they’d get together.”

“I don’t understand?” I told uncle Thomas. “What was the big deal?”

“Vanessa was my illegitimate daughter that I’d had together with a woman years ago; I was really young. When Vanessa’s mother found out that she was working at Thomas Kamalo’s Car Dealership, she called me one day and told me who Vanessa was. By the time I had to guts to go talk to her I was hit with a double whammy, Val stole a kilo of my drugs and he was dating his first cousin.” The old man’s face began to turn red as tears and snot dripped down his nose. He quickly removed a handkerchief and cleaned himself up. “The damage was already done; anyway, I never told your parents,” he gave me one last hug and hobbled his way across the road into his waiting limo but not before he turned back and looked at me, “Tell your mother I was here…..I didn’t want to bother her and bring up all this stuff, you see ?” He nodded to himself and got into the vehicle. The two other men got in with him and the vehicle drove off.

Uncle Thomas wasn't as lucky as my father was; I mean in the way that his life ended. My father went the way he wanted to go but uncle Thomas was run over and killed by a man who was paying attention to his text message while driving at the same time. He never saw my uncle in the crosswalk. There's one saying that says you can't help who your family is, there's another saying that says you never really know who it is you're related to. I always say that it's important to keep your family close but to never go into business with them if you want to remain family.










Nov 7, 2018

Mr. Durin

“Off the record, I think this is all a bunch of bullshit and that these employees worked one another up into a lather, so that management had no choice but to employ the likes of someone such as yourself,” Mr. Durin’s black beady eyes regarded me with obvious contempt from across his tightly manicured desk.

Nov 6, 2018

A Chance Without Knowing

In the convenience store, the soft drinks, the juice, and water were stored right next to the beer, hard liquor and wine. When the tall dark man entered the store, the husband, wife, and sister in law yelled at the college students and the older drunk men that the liquor cabinet was closed after eleven in the evening; which it was.

Nov 5, 2018

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #8 - Mrs. Pulama

Keep Your Thoughts To Yourself

Standing in line to place my order at the fast food joint my mind is filled with all the negative things which are attributed to standing in line at a fast food joint.

Nov 4, 2018

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #9 - Alex Tangonan's Ba...

After Ours

Financially times are so hard on the islands that even though you're a brilliant person with a B.A. in business, applying that degree to an actual job is like finding a meticulously carved toothpick in a jar full of toothpicks.

Nov 3, 2018

The Stranger: Flux

"I went down to the crossroads,
fell down on my knees..."


A 1972 Sattelite Sebring seems like an unusual car to have but my strange like for it is because Plymouth and Dodge were coming out of their car coke bottle shaped 68 and 69 models craze with their Chargers, Roadrunners, and Superbees.

Nov 2, 2018

The Stranger: One More Time

"I woke last night to the sound of thunder, 
how far off I sat and wondered..."


Boy Napualawa's office was unlike any business office you've ever seen. The exterior didn't look like anything spectacular. In fact, if someone was lost and asking for directions to a specific location, this building would have been the one which you'd describe as being next to the place that the lost tourist was in search of.

Nov 1, 2018

The Stranger: After One More

We have an understanding. As long as she's at the bar and I come knocking, she'll open up. Once I'm in she'll put up the closed sign and shut off the neon lights.

Oct 31, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 - One more

THE STRANGER

You know me, we've talked before. Well, I talked, you listened. You know what it is that I do. I don't have a boss that I report to. I work for myself and my services are such that I can set the terms of my contract in whichever way I choose.

Oct 30, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #1

FORGET TO REMEMBER

Some things you're never taught or prepared to learn because a moment happens where it's suddenly thrust upon you and you have no choice.

Oct 29, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #2

HO'OKO

All these years later the name of the location escapes me, but as a child, I heard a story regarding a missionary who had come to the Wai'anae coast to relieve the native Hawaiians in that locale of their savage ways.

Oct 28, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #3

'A'AHU

Hula is a beautiful and exquisite art and for those who are meant for it, the rewards of what it has to offer are priceless. Hula is also a jealous art and much like other art communities, it is rife with gossip and high drama.

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #11 - Supernatural Sex

Oct 27, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #4

GIRL

I met her coming out of a bar in Wahiawa near Kemo'o farms, well, really I almost ran her over but I stopped at the last second and there we were literally facing face to face.

Oct 26, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #5

HERMANS

The accident was horrible and I was dumbstruck myself as it unfolded in front of me. An errant driver in his Cadillac SUV with no care for his safety or anyone else's came at an alarming rate of speed from behind me.

Oct 25, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #6

DON'T BOTHER

The elder Filipino lady crossed the street from Sacred Hearts to the McDonald's with a great degree of strange difficulty. She would arrive halfway towards her destination and freeze on the spot until the traffic light turned green and frustrated drivers would beep their horns at her.

Oct 24, 2018

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #13 - Bacon and Eggs

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #7

NEGOTIATION 

When things got dark and I had no job and neither my family or friends found me bearable, I decided it was only natural to kill myself. The Kaimuki Jade building seemed to be the best place to end my life.

Oct 23, 2018

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #14 - Eyes of the Dead

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #8

CONTRITION 2

Lunch was uncomfortable because the air conditioning in the Vietnamese restaurant we ducked into was broken. We opted for take-out back at Keith’s office which was an old Matson container that he converted to his personal space. Pretty smart.

Oct 21, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #10

CLUNEY

My brother's name was Clarence, but because of a speech impediment I had when I was younger I could only call him 'Cluney.' I guess the name stuck and my brother didn't mind. We were as close as brothers could be and our favorite thing was Harry Houdini.

Oct 20, 2018

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #18 - Toe Tag

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #11

NEED A PASS

It's a big thing to go somewhere and do something with your father or one of your older brothers no matter what the reason is. The best part about going to the event is the drive to and from, that's where you get to talk and have cool conversations.

Oct 19, 2018

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #19 - Rock Talk

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #12

FRANCESCA

The sweet mystery of first love while you're on the precipice of your teenage years and adulthood leaves a lasting impression on your memory no matter how long the passage of time may be.

Oct 17, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #14

VISION

He saw his own death and he didn't do anything to try and change his destiny. Rather, he determined to help those people in his vision who he saw die around him. Perhaps he'd be able to save them. In the vision, he was on a flight. There was an offshore storm that happened to make landfall just as the plane was about to touch down. The downdraft slammed the plane into the ground and snapped it in two. In the vision, he and several other people were ejected from the plane while still strapped into their seats. They were thrown several hundred feet away from the plane and died on impact when they hit the ground. He'd had this dream several times before but it's visitation increased during the week of his flight out.

The afternoon had come when he stood at the airport gate awaiting his flight. He'd been presented with many opportunities along the way to delay the flight, he could have unholstered a gun from one of the airport's security or he could have rested the steel french fry basket from one of the burger king kiosks. He realized it wouldn't work, he'd either be killed or taken away to jail. So, he bided his time.
The flight arrived and everyone boarded without incident; when the flight reached it's elevation and leveled out, he unbuckled himself and went for the emergency exit. It was his one and only hope. Pretend  to open the emergency exit, they'll have to turn the plane around and go back. However, there were much too many good samaritans on the plane. After he fought off the flight attendants. the passengers came after him and beat him to a pulp. When he awoke, it was to the voice of the captain who said that the flight would be landing shortly. He directed all attendants to take their seats. He mentioned a bit of a storm they were flying through but that everything should be fine. Everything was until the plane was struck by a tremendous downdraft that slammed the craft to the ground with such brutal force that it snapped in two. The front half went in one direction and the back half went off in another. He and the people around him were catapulted from where their seats were fastened with such savage speed that they had no time to think. A hundred yards later, some were slammed to the pavement on the runway. Others landed with such force that they were thrown off of their chairs while still strapped in. Body parts and torsos would be found several more hundred feet from the impact. As for him, he was found on a thick grassy area uninjured. He really didn't appear to be dead so much as he seemed to be asleep, almost as if he were dreaming.




Oct 16, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #15

PU'E ONE

DRESSING ROOM

She held the inkwell close to her eyes so that her tears would fall directly into it. Her heart was broken sufficiently enough that the salty water came without effort and formed its own minute pool which floated just above the thick black substance.

Oct 15, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #16

I, ME, MINE

Sitting in front of the mirror I undo my hair and let it fall at my shoulders. I shake my head a bit to let the full body of it spread out more. Both my hands rub the sides of my face and then my temples.

Oct 14, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #17

TANOMOSHI: TIME TO COLLECT

Dying was not as bad as Yuta had heard. Sure being shot through the abdomen was incredibly painful but in the end, dying brings on a gradual kind of fatigue that just makes you want to fall asleep.

Oct 13, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #18

TANOMOSHI: DIVIDENDS

With his newly acquired position as the supervisor of his division, Yuta now had the financial means to buy a new house for his family. It was a two-story home built in 1921 and it sat just above the last block of the Kaimuki tract.

Oct 12, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #19

TANOMOSHI: YUTA'S CREDIT

FIVE YEARS LATER


Yuta took the thousand dollars given to him by the old Hawaiian man and invested it into moving off the plantation and moving into a very small one bedroom house on the Makiki tract. While there he was able to procure a decent job working as a clerk for the local phone company.

Oct 11, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #20

TANOMOSHI

Yuta tired of the drudgery of plantation life. Although a hard worker, he did not possess the thrift that was needed to improve his personal circumstances.

Oct 10, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #21

GO FUND HER GO KILL HER

Her body was found in an open field just shy of a mile from the Kunia golf course. The white silk robe she wore with embossed designs of crows and strange symbols lay spread open beneath her.

Oct 9, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #22

DOUBT FILLS THE GLASS

I remember the day I lost my faith. It wasn't an accumulation of several events or of one traumatic incident. It came during a lackluster mundane moment of clarity.

Oct 7, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #24

KNOWING


I recall my childhood days when we lived in Kalihi Valley. To be more specific we lived on Machado Street which as I understand has always been haunted.

Oct 6, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #25

PIKAKE

Waikiki is a moving cluster of people jostling for position and direction in a once-exalted location now mired down with high-end boutiques and five-star hotels. Nothing of its sacred history is visible anywhere unless you accidentally wander into the lobby a few hotels whose selling point has to do with the history of Waikiki.

Oct 5, 2018

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #27 - Ghost on the Tour

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #26

GOSSAMER

The afternoon sun left a shimmering spectrum of light on her wedding gown that it made her appear otherworldly. It was not a material he immediately recognized but never the less, his soon to be bride wore it beautifully.

Oct 4, 2018

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #28 - Secret Service

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #27

HO'OLAUNA


"You know this is all your fault right?" You know that?" Justina was beautiful but she had this thing where she could change the rise of her eyebrow or the intensity in her eyes to let you know she was mad.

Oct 3, 2018

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #29 - "Dang Kids!"

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #28

WARMTH OF FLESH


Her hand is warm, the blood pulses evenly, and there is a rosy glow to her flesh which tells me that there is still hope in her. There are schedules she'd meant to keep and goals which she determined to accomplish.

Oct 2, 2018

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #30 - "Non-Believer"

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #29

POLENA I KA UA

JANUARY 29, 1891.


A wind stirs from nothing at the point of Mokapu and filters along the ahupua'a past pu'u o kaha'i. The warm air from the marsh rises up to meet the phantom wind and carries it mauka until it takes a slight pause between Konahuanui and Lanihuli as if contemplating its next direction.

Hawaiian Ghost Stories Halloween Video Countdown #31 - "Bait"

Oct 1, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #30

MELE


Save for the beautifully hand sewn quilt, the room on the second floor stood empty. It was where the queen had been imprisoned for the better part of eight months.

Sep 30, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #31

BIND

Damp strips from the bark of the Mai'a or banana plant was used to wili or bind the delicate ferns and flowers into place.

Sep 29, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #32

CLOSE TO THE SKIN


I am hateful of occasions like these because they bring out the worst in people.

Sep 28, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #33

HEY, LITTLE SISTER WHO'S THE ONLY ONE?


Alan and Piker opened their eyes and found themselves on the floor of Alan’s workroom.

Sep 27, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #34

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?



"No, wait we're wrong," Piker was obviously frustrated at himself.

Sep 26, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #35

HEY, LITTLE SISTER 

In a sea of sailor moon uniforms, one could pick her out of the hundreds of schoolgirls who crowded the food court at Ala Moana shopping center.

Sep 25, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #36

THE LAST BREATH

The grass was so well manicured that most of the participants who sat in a large circle naturally assumed that it was astro-turf.

Sep 24, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #37

THE MAN

I remember the man who rented out a room from us. He did not flinch when my mother informed him of the monthly dues in rent.

Sep 23, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #38

COMFORTABLY NUMB


Pettiness is something I have no stomach for. With that said and firmly understood, a letter written in pink glittered ink filled a page with a kind of dribble that only teenagers use with which to communicate their underdeveloped feelings.

Sep 22, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #39

HULI HULI

It took Clark's death to realize that she and her husband and everyone else were the ones at fault.

Sep 21, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #40

WHO ELSE TO SEE?


Someone was in my room. You know that because you wake up from a dead sleep, well at least I woke up from a dead sleep. It was the shuffling feet that did it.

Sep 20, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #41

LONG DAY 'TIL NIGHT


We both dared ourselves then we dared each other. That's what brothers do after all, especially when neither one wants to employ any common sense and chicken out.

Sep 19, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #42

PE'E


Laying low and out of sight was not a choice Kory Hanlan had. It was either that or be found out and be arrested or be found out by the locals which may have been even worse.

Sep 18, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #43

TABBY WINS


It was the unnerving silence which felt like an unwelcome stranger in her hotel room that woke her. Whether blatant or residual she'd become accustomed to the constant presence of noise in one form or another on 'O'ahu.

Sep 17, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #44

TABBY NEEDS A WIN


Spring was an ironic time for a break from school considering that spring was a season when life grows anew after the passing of what would be called fall and winter in the mainland.

Sep 16, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #45

HOW TO LOVE HIM FINI


TABBY


" I asked him why he never hit on me or tried anything," Tabby looked out of the office window while her father sat there and did his best to listen.

Sep 15, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #46

HOW TO LOVE HIM II


The windshield on the 1966 Chrysler Imperial crown was like a mirror reflecting the branches of the gold shower trees above it.

Sep 14, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #47

HOW TO LOVE HIM PART I


The morning gifted Boy with a soothing breeze which carried a few dry leafs from a nearby tree which hovered over the florist's shop.

Sep 13, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #48

WASH


Our (inclusive) culture has long since we have known, had names for an endless amount of differing rains. That’s what also makes our culture unique; we hardly have one Hawaiian word that is a blanket definition for all words.

Sep 12, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #49

WILLY MACK


His full name was William Howard Macky but he used to go by Willy Mack. Now, I’ve already mentioned the words “was” and “used” so if you’ve caught on to that then you’ve figured out how things are going to fare for Mr. Macky.

Sep 11, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #50

WILD NIGHT


I took a left turn on Alakea when I noticed the late model Cadillac parked in front of the Mandalay restaurant with its four ways on.

Sep 10, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #51

BEAUTIFUL ZION


I was very much involved in getting into my car and heading back to my hotel room in Manchester. Not England, but New Hampshire.

Sep 9, 2018

Sep 8, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #53

#106


My life was always like swimming in the shallow end of a pool, where I was too afraid to venture any deeper because I’d gotten used to the life that I was told I was supposed to have.

Sep 7, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #54

OUR HOUSE


Irwin Ramento leaves this house every day, it’s what is required of him as part of this care home. The residents are to be out of the house for most of the day except for lunch and dinner.

Sep 6, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #55

MANGO LURE


I wondered who he was and what the circumstances were that brought to this present moment? He was older than me or maybe it was being homeless that aged him?

Sep 5, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #56

HOPENA


"Are you the one who attached poems to pictures that people sent you of Facebook?"   The person in the message asked.

Sep 4, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #57

KEPT IN THE DARK


Five persons on the ghost tour tonight, three local people. Local Japanese guy and his middle eastern looking girlfriend or wife. Their friend is a hapa haole guy whose features are intrinsically Japanese but he's got freckles on his cheeks and a full head of red curly hair. The other couple is European but I can't really place the origin of the accent.

Sep 3, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #58

UNDERSTAND


I don't understand the attraction to rap music and it's sampled beats and it's constant need to emphasize its point with the 'F' word in every other sentence.

Sep 2, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #59

INAZUMA II


The ride from the main station was a long drive and Corey was blindfolded the second he got into the back seat of a 1966 Chrysler Imperial Crown.

Sep 1, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #60

INAZUMA


It was Netflix night at the Higashi home. Alan and Yulianna sat on the couch while Alan's childhood friend Piker Teruya sat on the large rattan chair.

Aug 31, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #61

TAPESTRY II


My mother handed me her phone and headed straight out the front door, “how did this guy even get my phone number?”

Aug 30, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #62

ICK


Have you ever wondered about the distance between yourself and someone you’re related to? What I mean is that you could be sitting across the table from your own brother but

Aug 29, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #63

KAHUNA FOR LUNCH


I remember as a child that it was not an unusual thing to leave your doors open at night and more often than not passersby were always invited in by my parents to be given a warm meal and water to drink.

Aug 28, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #64

TAPESTRY 


My mother by the looks of her appears to be a very bright and intelligent woman in her forties but is, in fact, eighty-six years of age. After dad died mom didn't want to stay in the house anymore

Aug 27, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #65

WAHI


I was just back from the mainland for vacation and my brother Wahi and I got turned around while hiking the Aiea loop trail, it was unusual for us since we hiked that trail all the time as kids.

Aug 26, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #66

AUGUST 4 1981 TUESDAY


I turned 19 today and I am not sure what to think or feel. I mean I'm 19 and my whole life has been about school, now school is out so what do I do? Do I go to college and do more school or do I party all night? 

Aug 25, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #67

KANI: THE MURDER OF TAMA CHUN 5



Principal Tamashiro appeared on the far side of the field where Mr. Kiyabu and Ms. Nakashima were holding their only coed class on the tug of war.

Aug 24, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #68

KANI: THE MURDER OF TAMA CHUN 4


Milton Tamashiro was a reluctant principal of Waipahu Intermediate school, the DOE begged for him to come out of retirement and take the job.

Aug 23, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #69

KANI: THE MURDER OF TAMA CHUN 3



A year ago George Luke began to receive correspondence from his uncle who lived in the Zhongnan residential district in Foshan, China.

Aug 22, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #70

KANI: THE MURDER OF TAMA CHUN 2

10 am 2nd period English


"My last name is Chun just like Tama and several times I told his parents that we probably related but they don't want to listen to me," Ms. Pat Chun was the English teacher at the school who was long past retirement.

Aug 21, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #71

KANI: THE MURDER OF TAMA CHUN

Before. 2:00 pm. School bell rings.


George Luke is a science teacher at Waipahu intermediate who was enthusiastic about changing young minds once he graduated college with his teaching certificate and his degree in science.

Aug 20, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #72

KANI


Tama was a normal boy of thirteen years old who loved the things that boys his age loved to do. For Tama, his primary enjoyment came from playing the 'ukulele.

Aug 19, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #73

WOMAN AT THE DOOR



Saturday, August 1, 1981


Our little cul de sac of a neighborhood was a fire with the sounds of something new and astounding that premiered on national television. Little did we know

Aug 18, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #74

HYOKO


She called me from a pay phone a block away from her apartment. She told her roommate that she needed to go to the 7-11 for feminine napkins. "He didn't say a word, he just nodded his head," there was a nervous fear under her voice.

Aug 17, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #75

THINK OF LAURA


Laura didn't love herself because of her weight but we loved her because she was so funny and insightful.

Aug 16, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #76

THROUGH AND THROUGH III CONCLUSION



Chelsea was still a bit dazed from the horrible nightmare she had the night before. She slept intermittently throughout the night and finally gave up sleeping altogether.

Aug 15, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #77

THROUGH AND THROUGH PART II


Clement Mattina’s murder was an outright message to anyone that had business with the Giordano family. There were no second chances once you slipped up

Aug 14, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #78

THROUGH AND THROUGH PART 1


March 2017



Clement Mattina was a delivery boy for a national pizza chain for years and after seeing first hand how his former manager ran the store, he figured one day that he could open his own business and do pizza better, and he did.

Aug 13, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #79

A TRUE STORY


1979


They were dressed in black dance leotards forming circles and numbers with their bodies. Every time I thought I had a proper count of them there would be more.

Aug 12, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #80

THIS LIFE

(A conversation this morning with someone who wanted the gift of sight and all things spiritual)

ME: Most mornings if not all of them are filled with one normal occurrence and that is the sensation of someone playing with what's left of my hair.

Aug 11, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #81

WAIWAI


She floats across the smooth tiled floor, a large bare space for her effortless steps to carry her back and forth and side to side.

Aug 10, 2018

Aug 9, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #83

NO, LISTEN



We found our mini-bully in the middle of our front yard laying flat on her tummy with all four legs splayed out.

Aug 8, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #84

REMEMBER BETH 


“I remember when you were a baby and I always brought you to Sandy beach in the late afternoons so you could collect all kinds of different rocks and shells.

Aug 7, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #85

ITHEACHAIN


It was one of those days when you have a schedule of things you need to follow but no matter what you do to keep to that schedule, you are interrupted at every turn.

Aug 6, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #86

KEVIN AT THE CLUB


My ears were still ringing and I was pretty sure that I smelled like twenty different kinds of cigarette smoke brands and one kind of Tennessee whiskey after spending a few hours in that dive off of Fort street mall.

Aug 5, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #87

MAYBE THIS TIME


“You don’t even have to love me,” she pleaded. “I can just be here for you whenever you need someone to be with you or to just hang out?

Aug 4, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #88

RUBBER SOLE


Every morning this tall husky looking woman with a horrid sense of fashion and an even more horrid taste in jewelry paces back and forth in front of our store with a wild look in her eyes.

Aug 3, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #89

THE VILLAGE NEEDS THE MONSTER


When I think about it now, I should have gone elsewhere to clear my mind and get my thoughts together. Like my own neighborhood in town, that would have been easier.

Aug 2, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #90

 GOODBYE GIRL


“Why do I have to die?” Shana asked her mother. It was a hard question but Lorelle didn’t want her daughter’s last memory of life to be a horrible one.

Aug 1, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #91



SCRATCH AND THE COUPE DE VILLE



The 1970 Cadillac Coupe de Ville was the facelift car that gave Caddilac the best sales that the company would ever see from a single model.

Jul 31, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #92

HO'OPA'I


Day 1

I was going to kill him with a Barrett M107 .50 caliber, I mean why not?

Jul 30, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #93

“...When you kiss me heaven sighs,
 and though I close my eyes,
I see La Vien Rose…”

Jul 29, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018! #94

HE AIN'T DEAD HE'S MY BROTHER


My bonehead brother Derrick called me from Kapiolani Park to pick him up.  He said he’d be hanging out at the bandstand.

Jul 28, 2018

Jul 27, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #96

REMAINS OF ME


Never have the eyes of men been witness to more beautiful a site than that of the sunset beyond the leeward mountains which border the plains of Kaupe’a.

Jul 26, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #97

SITTING, HEALING


Every afternoon I sit on the sand just near the first lifeguard stand at Ala Moana beach park. I sit and stare out into the water always hoping that one day my son will magically come running up the beach completely exhausted and ask me if we could go get a shave ice from Waiola?

Jul 25, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #98

MANAMANA


I was a bit early to my appointment at Queen's hospital for my yearly checkup.

Jul 24, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down to Halloween 2018! #99

SWEET LORETTA


John Cummings was murdered in the most brutal fashion and his body was expected to sink into the dark mire beneath the waters of river street.

Jul 23, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018! #100

REMEMBER TO FORGET


My parents are Alfred and Carmen Launui and they’re very well known and respected in the paranormal community in Hawai’i and this is my short story about them.

May 31, 2018

Manny's Revenge

When I first came under the employ of the Hawaiian language immersion schools I worked at a location in Wai'anae and then transferred to a new school on the grounds of Koaloha church. Although the program itself was unique in that the curriculum was developed to be taught in the Hawaiian language it was really like any other school except that its lofty goals were particular toward its educational attributes and hope for the perpetuation of our culture.

May 29, 2018

In Plain Sight

Introductions were made all around and handshakes were exchanged but there were no pleasantries. The owner of the home who was a well-known recluse gestured toward the larger waiting room, everyone followed as he led the way.

May 13, 2018

The Far Swimming Son

Blue's happiness filled him with a knowledge of the wonderment and love that Honey would find once she returned home. The goodbyes and hugs and kisses and promises of not forgetting to write and to call every chance they had were expected at the Airport.

Apr 3, 2018

URBAN LEGENDS OF 'O'AHU

An interesting thing happens when factual accounts become Urban Legends. Such as the case of 'Janette Lum.' In 1951 at 15 years of age Janette and her friend, Anna Kalilikane were classmates at No Ka 'Oi school in Aiea. Every day after school Janette and Anna studied in the library at the intermediate school next to theirs.

Mar 30, 2018

Before The Son Met The Ocean

Blue and Honey spent most of the morning sharing intimacies and holding one another in such an embrace that it seemed neither would let go for some extent of time. Dave Loggins sang longingly from the old radio in the living room, "Please come to L.A. to live forever..."

Mar 18, 2018

The Son Giving Life

Leiana dragged Ola's lifeless broken body along the salt-encrusted red mud just outside the gates of the refinery which was across the street from the cafe'. It was a dried up canal when it wasn't filled with water coming in from Kawaihae bay.

Mar 13, 2018

The Life Giving Son

At 53 years old Leiana worked a full-time job during the day at the Seafood Bar in Kawaihae and a part-time job on the weekends as a ticket agent at the airport in Kona. Her only real hobby was feather lei making which she learned from a group of lei makers and lauhala weavers at Hulihe’e palace.

Mar 12, 2018

No Place to Ever Arrive ('elua)


Rachel’s home was a simple one and like herself, it was located off a beaten path that wasn’t easily found because of the propensity of Kiawe trees that kept it well hidden. But once you found it, once you stood within the confines of her domicile you realized that it was a home that was far away from the present day.

Mar 11, 2018

No Place to Ever Arrive

The woman pinched the delicately dyed goose feather between her forefinger and thumb and applied it to the backing and layered it on another feather of the same color. Winding the thread around the base of the feather, she secured it in place with a half hitch knot and repeated the process again and again with saint-like patience. She noticed the young man watching her from his table and could sense his interest.

Mar 3, 2018

Ke Ao vs Vortex

Vortex: A mass of whirling fluid or air, especially a whirlpool or whirlwind.

Portal: A doorway, a gate, or other entrance, especially a large and elaborate one.

Leyline: Any of various imaginary lines along which certain ancient, man-made structures are thought by some to have been aligned.

Electromagnetic Field: A field of force that consists of both electric and magnetic components, resulting from the motion of an electric charge and containing a definite amount of electromagnetic energy.

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

After much research, it was interesting to discover that not one of the words listed above has a partnered equivalent in the Hawaiian language. 

Feb 10, 2018

Hawaiian Storytelling

I wanted to broach the subject of "Hawaiian Storytelling" by sharing something that happened this past October on Hawai'i island. We've been lucky to go to the Kilauea Theater these past three years at the volcanoes national park during the Halloween season to share ghost stories. Recently someone left a comment on Facebook which said that I didn't tell any real Hawaiian stories.

Jan 3, 2018

Kai a Kahinali’i ( Deluge)

It was a three-day deluge that soaked most of west ‘O’ahu which consequently increased the number of phone calls exponentially. The larger concentration of the calls was centered in the Kapolei demographic and the issues were all the same, everyone felt that the increase of cold weather and rain precipitated paranormal activity in their homes, businesses, and schools.