Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 29, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #96

EMMET


I hadn't noticed the length of the line to the cashiers counter at the grocery store. I was still in a daze, still suffering the after-effects of a case I worked not less than three hours previously. I was still reeling, and so the numbing sensation from the package of frozen sausage in my hands didn't bother me in the least. I only moved whenever I half noticed the person in front of me took a step forward, to be honest, I think I was in shock, really.



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

There aren't too many people in Kaimuki who have a swimming pool in their yard, but Elora and John Sanchez did. Hers was literally a last-minute case, and I only took it because she hysterically screamed at me over the phone. With the help of her husband, who I could hear in the background, she managed to calm down enough to tell me that the ghost of her three-year-old son began to manifest in the house, and it completely freaked her out. Unfortunately, Elora was the only one who could see the child. Naturally, her husband assumed that her trauma was caused by a combination of guilt and grief and not an actual ghost. Initially, those were my same thoughts as well. Sin can be an intoxicating drug itself, and if mixed with the right amount of self-immolation, it can cause strange things to happen. Their 10th avenue house was one of the older ones in the track. They had just purchased it 4 years ago, and she was in the last month of her pregnancy. A year later, after moving in, Elora gave birth, and life was beautiful, if not very busy. She and her husband John adored their little boy Emmet, he was the light of their life.

As Elora would tell it as we gathered in the living room of their home, Emmet at three years old was a handful. If you weren't watching him closely, he would just run off somewhere at full speed, and it was hard to catch up to him. John would say that three nights ago, Elora needed help preparing dinner, and so she asked her husband to assist her in cutting the carrots. One second, Emmet was on the floor playing with his music book. The next second, Emmet was gone. Fearing the worst, they said they ran to the swimming pool, but thankfully he was not in it. After, they combed every corner of their home and could not find him. They asked neighbors or passersby if they had seen Emmet, but no one did. Elora and John still held out for hope, and so they had not filed a missing person report yet. Sleep was not a relief, and neither was getting drunk. The grief and guilt would not go away; that is except in the instance when Elora walked into her kitchen and saw Emmet standing next to the stove.

That's when she lost her mind and called me.

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

A feeling of dread came over me once I heard their story. Without saying a word, I walked into the kitchen and stood in front of the stove. The couple followed right behind me and asked no questions. I put my hand on both sides of the furnace and jostled it to left and then back to the right and out tumbled the tiny form of Emmet Sanchez. It was my thought that he was playing hide and seek, and once his parents left the kitchen to find him, he circled around and squeezed himself in between the stove and the refrigerator and got stuck. He must have been so tightly wedged in that he could not utter an audible enough to alert his parents and so he must have suffocated.

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

Even now, as my turn in line is up, I'm paying for my Portuguese sausage, I can hear Elora's high pitched scream and the deep mourning voice of her husband, John.

"Maika'i card?" The clerk asks enthusiastically.

"I wish," I replied, "I wish I had a card that could make everything Maika'i."


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