Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 4, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 87 Nights Left! "Mother, son, mother,"

With an impending storm on the way, David Laukani found that it was the perfect opportunity to visit his mother’s grave at the hillside cemetery in ‘Alewa Heights. The place would be bereft of any human presence, and it would finally afford him the audience that he never had when his mother was still alive. Looking at the unassuming headstone which marked the date of his mother’s birth and passing on the bottom, David noticed that portions of the thin concrete slab appeared as if it were broken into several large shards and put back together again. Bits and pieces of the headstone were missing as the whole of it seemed to hap hazardously hang by thin steel rods. He removed a folded up piece of paper from his coat pocket and began to read aloud. He glanced briefly at his mother’s name that spanned the top of the headstone in a half-circle, it was engraved in an almost Spencerian penmanship style. It was typical of David’s mother, caring only about her own glory while everything around her fell to pieces.

Dear Mom,

I hate you.….”

David couldn’t finish reading the letter; instead, he crumpled it up and threw it at the headstone. It harmlessly bounced off of the slab and came to rest on the red dirt.

“A lot of people who come to this grave are always upset,” a female voice came from behind him. She was a very stunning hapa-haole (half cast) girl with big green eyes and a beautiful smile. She was dressed in black but didn’t seem to be bothered by the light wind and rain at all. At her side, she held a guitar in one hand while the bottom half of the instrument rested on the yellowing grass.

“I’m sorry?” David said.

“You’re not the first, there have been a lot more people who’ve come here and have done more than just toss a piece of paper at this headstone,” the woman said.

David was mildly irritated at the interruption and made no effort to answer the young woman. Sensing this, the young woman chose to ignore the rude gesture and placed the guitar in her arms and paused for a second before she began to play, “Do you mind?”

“No,” David replied.

The young girl strummed in a downward stroke and started,

“If this world were a flower garden and your smiling face a flower therein,
Sunflower with the golden hair, I would know you, anywhere...
I could visit you in moonlight, wouldn’t make no difference, in the darkness you’d shine bright
Sunflower with the eyes of blue, I’d do everything, just for you...”

David couldn’t be sure if it were tears of anger or sadness that now fell from his eyes, but he was stunned at the coincidence.

“That was my mother’s favorite song,” he said, “Did you know her?”

“No,” the young woman said softly, “I’m sorry, I had no idea.…” she trailed off.

“It’s okay,” David assured her as he turned to leave, “Thank you.”

“You’re mad at your mother?”

“That is putting it mildly.”

“What did she do?”

“She was there when you didn’t want her around, then she was never around when you needed her there,” David answered.

“I was rude again,” the young woman said as she shook her head with embarrassment and extended her hand to David, “I’m Lady, Lady Green.”

“Lady Green? For real? That’s your name?” David asked. “Is that your hippie tag? Like Jewel or Apple or something?”

“It’s really my name, it really is,” Lady confirmed.

“I’m David.”

There was a pause of silence between the two as David took in the beautiful view of Honolulu harbor with Sand Island sitting in the distance. The dark clouds were looming closely from the east, which made the sky a bit more overcast than usual.

“What was she like?’ Lady asked.

“She was beautiful, and she enjoyed breaking hearts; she certainly broke my heart many times. She was fine when she was drunk; normal people who are dealing with personal demons let them surface after a few shots, but my mom was worse when she was sober,” David said as quiet tears fell from his eyes, “ I can’t even begin to tell you...”

“And I couldn’t begin to imagine,” Lady whispered.

“Yeah, no one can,” David replied.

“I’m not gonna give you some affirmation about how you’re here now, and that’s all that matters. What you’ve been through is probably going to take time, and time is the only way that some of these things heal if you let it,” Lady shared.

“Why do you care? You’re a complete stranger, why should you care?” David asked.

“I have never seen anything good happen at this gravesite, all I ever see are people who are angry at your mother. The language is foul, and as you can see, people have tried to destroy the headstone all together. I feel bad for her, and so I keep her company by singing for her. Wasn’t there at least one good thing about her that you can remember? Just one thing?” Lady asked.

“Her steamed rice with sugar and cream mixed with slices of ripe mango,” David replied.

“Hmmmm...that must have been delicious?” Lady asked.

“It was, it really was. In those rare moments, when Mom was sober and quiet, she would make it for me. It’s those few times when she actually placed a gentle hand on my cheek rather than slap it. By that time, I’d learn to take both without reacting; it’s the reactions that would provoke her to do it more. So, I became stoic and unfeeling. It’s the only thing that saved me from more beatings,” David said.

“During those nice, quiet times, did she ever tell you she loved you?” Lady was being gentle now and not pressing David.

“She did, but she’d couple that statement with a slap or punch. It ended up not meaning anything to me,” In his mind, David was there reliving every explosive word and feeling the pain of every wound-up punch or backhand.

“We got off course for a second, go back to the steamed rice,” Lady smiled. “Did you ever learn how to make it yourself?”

“Oh yeah, but I rarely make it anymore,” David laughed.

“I bet if I invited you over to my place and I gave you the ingredients; you’d remember for sure,” Lady moved closer to him and wrapped her arms around his. Her smile was infectious, and he found himself not being able to refuse.

"Better yet," David began. "I own a diner in Honolulu called Mel's, maybe I can make the steamed rice dessert there if it's alright?"

 After leaving the Kamali'i Cemetery, the two ventured to the Foodland store in Liliha and gathered the needed items to make the steamed rice dessert. A short time later, Lady sat at the food counter, waiting for the rice to be thoroughly cooked, David excused himself after mentioning that he needed to use the bathroom. Less than a minute later, she heard the bathroom door down the hallway open and then nothing. The sudden quiet was made lady nervous, and so she called out from behind the counter and asked, “This is going to sound stupid, but would you mind telling me your mother’s name again? The letters on her headstone are so fancy that I couldn't really read it. I thought it said 'Nancy' or something.”

No reply. A minute or two passed, and David hadn’t returned from the bathroom. She peeked down the hallway from the counter and saw that the bathroom door was open. Lady assumed that David was in the kitchen, but when she peeked in, he wasn't there either.

Returning to take her seat at the counter, she was stunned to see David in a wig and a dress filling an empty saimin bowl with scoops of the freshly steamed rice. Afterward, he sprinkled sugar all over it and then poured in the cream from the can and added cubes of freshly cut mango.

Handing the bowl to Lady, David said in a very soft feminine voice, “It’s Nanette dear, Nanette Laukani.”

David punched Lady right between her eyes and knocked her out cold.


Jeanette Wilson, or Lady Green as she called herself, suddenly disappeared, and not a trace of her was ever found, but David couldn't concern himself with that. Mel's was packed to the rafters with a last-minute rush of people during lunch hour. The line was out the door and stretched around the block. With only one waitress on the floor and the other two calling in sick, David was overwhelmed with orders. He kicked himself for not hiring an extra hand of cooks to run the grill at a time like this. By one 'o clock, the waitress let him know that the frozen burger patties were down to one box.

"Dammit," David hissed.

He undid his apron and threw it down on the sink counter. Marching to the walk-in freezer, he found a stack of boxes for frozen chicken, for beef, and several more for vegetables, but no extra frozen hamburger patties.

"Improvise, as they always say," David grunted.

Stepping to the very back of the walk-in, David reached up and pulled the steel cabled line toward him and hoisted Lady's naked frozen body off of a meat hook and set it on the pallettes. Removing a cleaver from a smaller hook on the wall, he raised the shiny piece of cutlery above his head and began hacking away.


  1. I thought Lady green (Green Lady) was gonna be the "predictable plot twist" in this story, but I didnt see that one coming. So was David actually the mom or did she possess him and kill her? oooohh great story either way!