Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

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.
He positioned his body sideways with his right shoulder facing me. It aligned with his nose which was perfectly poised to look down at me. “I know you sell yourself off as some kind of Kahuna who has all these powers but really you’re just benefiting from people’s ignorant superstitions. At least all these Filipino housekeepers seem to think so. I don’t buy it. I think you’re a con man and that after you do a made up mumbo jumbo blessing you’ll collect a hefty paycheck from management and you’ll be on your way.” He leaned in closer with his teeth closely clenched together. “Our hotel deserves better than you but we’re required to be culturally appropriate.” Shaking his head he concluded, “You disgust me.”

“Where is the room in question?” I asked. “Also, may I have some bottled water?”

With an irritable huff, he stood up from his chair and walked out of his office but not before reaching into the mini-fridge behind his desk in order to retrieve a bottle of water for me. I assumed I had to follow him and so I did. The path from his office leads out to a short corridor which leads through the kitchen. Mr. Durin marched vigorously and I took my time; as long as I kept him within eyesight I could figure out where he was headed. At some point, I assumed he was standing at the elevator and must have become more aggravated once he realized that I was not behind him. His head popped out from the door at the other end of the kitchen and he gave me a sharp wave. I raised my hand to acknowledge but continued to walk at my own pace. Once I was next to him, he snapped his body to and looked down at me with an imagined superiority.

“Don’t waste my time! I’m a busy man!” He shouted.

“I understand that the room you’re going to show me is haunted, but is it going to disappear too?” I deadpanned. Mr. Durin didn’t find any humor in my statement but I made it a point to stare him straight in the eye without once breaking my gaze. He slowly curled his lip to one side and shook his head at me in very much the same way that a schoolyard twit would do when he didn’t know the rules of the yard or the character of its players. “The room?”

We were in the elevator in a few seconds and I made it a point to stand at the back of the cart, all the while watching the good Mr. Durin as he adjusted the lapels of his suit and straightened his tie. He suddenly turned to me and asked, “Where’s your ti leaf and your bowl of water? Where’s your Hawaiian salt? Didn’t you come prepared?”

“No one told me anything about the room. How could I be expected to prepare?” I replied with no lilt or tweak of emotion. Exasperated, Mr. Durin turned to me just as the elevator doors opened. I walked past him and walked down the hallway to where the room was located. He  caught up to me and stopped in the hallway, “Thirty-eight murders, twelve suicides, and countless unattended deaths since we’ve opened in 1997.”

“That still doesn’t make the room haunted, it just makes it creepy.” I retorted.

Under his breath, Mr. Durin replied, “There have also been claims that some of the housekeeping staff have become momentarily possessed while turning the sheets in that room. This is why they clean in teams of two with a management staff to accompany them. Is that what you were waiting to hear?”

No reply from me, I continued to stare at him until he gave in. “All right dammit! People have also gone insane while staying in that room……so I’ve heard.”

I gestured toward the room hoping Mr. Durin would get the clue, he did but only after a slight hesitation. In a second we were standing in front of room 20408. One number less and it would have equaled out to 13. No such luck tonight. Durin inserted the card key into the slot and when the green light came on, he opened the door and let me in. I stood in the foyer and he walked a little ways past me. Removing a pocket bible from my coat and a wooden beaded rosary I held it out for him to take.
“Would you mind holding on to this for a second?”

He took it with a look of surprise and in the same instant, he sneered at me again. “No wooden bowl with salt water and ti leaf after all? Is the savage suddenly civilized and penitent?”

“One second if you don’t mind?” I held up my hand to him and walked out the door and closed it behind me. I opened it again and poked my head in, “would you mind handing me the card key?”

Without an ounce of the untidy nastiness which permeated his entire being for most of the afternoon, he handed over the key. I took it and shut the door behind me. In the hallway, I inserted the card key in the slot and opened the bottle of water I had with me and poured it carefully into the slot and on the card key. Sparks and a small tuft of smoke came out. Green, red, and yellow lights flashed in succession. The lock to the door began to click wildly and the door handle turned and I could hear Durin from the other side of the door. “It’s locked from the inside! What are you doing out there? Open the door! Do you even know how to put the card key in the slot? What are you doing out there? What are you doing?”

I took a step back and folded my arms, “I didn’t want to be thought of as a con-man Mr.Durin, and since you obviously have no respect for me or my cultural practices I figured who better to bless this room than you? You have a pocket bible and a rosary, good luck."

While on the way to the elevator I called for security and hotel maintenance to come up to 20408 and fix the problem with the door. It seemed that Mr. Durin locked himself inside and was frantically trying to get out with no luck. Both departments hung up immediately. We would pass each other in the lobby once I exited the cart and made my way across the hotel lobby. It would take an hour before maintenance could open the door to 20408. All the while they could hear Mr. Durin’s crazed screams coupled with the strange unearthly voices of children, adults, and something else. Something that didn’t sound human. Just as the maintenance crew was about to remove the last bolt from the lock, the handle turned once and the door opened inward. Mr. Durin lay just inside the door where it was obvious that he had soiled himself. His entire body reeked of putrid saliva and he was stiff as a board, his eyes fixed wide open. He was alive but immobile.



I sat in my office and poured myself a glass of Orion beer. I hardly drank in my office but today was an exception. Aunty Rita sat across from me and handed me her cold empty glass, I filled up and handed it back to her. We clinked glasses and took a quick sip of the specialized beer which was our favorite. Uncle Ivan walked in just then and I poured him a glass as well. The three of us clinked and toasted before we sat back and relax.

“Boy, you went to that hotel in Waikiki today right?” Uncle Tiny asked.

“Yes, uncle Tiny I did,” I confirmed and raised my glass in his direction.

“How did it go Hanson?” Aunty Rita asked already knowing the answer.

“That Mr. Durin is just as you said he was,” I answered.

“Just the same as when I worked there another lifetime ago,” Aunty Rita shook her head. “He refused to have a Hawaiian ceremony done when the hotel opened and then when it’s in spiritual turmoil he still wouldn’t allow a Hawaiian blessing.”

“Where is he now?” Uncle Tiny asked as he finished his glass and put it forward for another refill.

“Dealing with continuate contagious blastments as Shakespeare would say,” I sat back in my chair and held up my glass to Tiny and Rita before we all indulged in another taste of our most excellent beer.

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