Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

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?
We could be the same age for all I knew, but he looked like one of those old miners wearing a scraggly beard and copper wire like hair. His shirt was a red colored polo type and his pants were the kind that EMT workers wore on the job. He had on a pair of watercress boots and balanced up against his waist was an old bicycle which had seen better days. He removed a plastic bag from his pocket and shook it out twice before he began to pick mangoes from my tree. I wasn’t upset in the least, in fact, I made it a point to walk to my front yard and talk with him. When he saw me coming he put his hands up and emptied the mangoes from his bag, “I’m sorry, I’m leaving,”

“It’s alright,” I reassured him, “you can keep the mangoes.”

I helped him pick the fruits up from off the ground and placed them back in his plastic bag. I also removed sixty dollars from my wallet and gave it to him, “Please take this, it’s not much but maybe you could get something more decent to eat than mangoes?”

“Thank that’s nice of you,” he didn’t look me in the eye but looked down and then mounted his bike and rode off.

Three nights later I awoke to flashlight beams on the wall of my bedroom, I looked out the window and there he was, the same man from before. Of all things he was wearing a miners hat with a light on it, he was high in the branches of my mango tree picking a few here and there. He was so focused on what he was doing that he didn’t hear or see me come outside. He was startled when he looked in my direction where the beam of his headlamp cast itself on me standing there in my shorts and slippers.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“It’s fine,” I was bleary-eyed and tired but I knew how to remedy this situation. “Listen, why don’t you come inside and I’ll make some food for you? After your done you can be on your way…..I’m not even going to ask you about what happened to the money I gave you okay? Just come inside and come eat.”

….………

The rice was still good from dinner earlier on so I fried up some corned beef and eggs and gave him a bottle of beer to sip on while he waited. He didn’t reveal too many details about himself except to say that his life fell apart once he lost his wife and son in a tragic car accident five years ago. Before that he owned a convenience store and life was wasn’t without its worries but it was good. A minute later he sat at the table enjoying the first hot meal he’s probably had in a while, but he suddenly became distracted by mist like human figures which he saw passing through the kitchen and the living room. I was standing at the sink scrubbing the burnt egg yokes off of the cast iron frying pan when I suddenly heard him exclaim, “Holy shit…..you’ve got ghosts in your house!”

“Oh shit yeah I know,” I hadn’t expected the activity to start like this, especially with a guest in the house. “Sorry about that.”

“They look kinda like I do,” he exclaimed. He slowly pushed his chair away from the kitchen table and stood up to leave. I was quick about it and wasted no time, thank god for my years of playing tennis at Waipahu intermediate and high school. I still had my backhand swing which was always my ace in the hole and it never failed to win me a match. I employed it on my homeless friend with the cast iron frying pan and split his skull open killing him instantly. They make great fodder for my mangoes and I have to be honest when I tell you that I probably have the best-tasting mangoes anywhere in Kaimuki. The only thing I haven’t figured out is how to stop the ghosts of the homeless from haunting my home.


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