Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 31, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 60 Nights Left! "Ho'okahi Po"

The old soldier’s mind was like an enclosed fishpond surrounded by a protective wall of silence and long hard stares into nothing. The intoxicating numbness of Makers Mark carried him quickly to his blind slumber, but when the magic wore off, the sluice gates of his wall lifted, and the memories of war would flood forward.

The sound of the crashing waves amplified into the deep hollow depths of his dreamless sleep. It was there that he heard the din of the thunderous ocean. Still, in the old soldier’s mind, it may as well have been the war cries of his comrades fighting side by side in a sea of bodies so close together that it became too difficult to distinguish the enemy from your own brother. Somewhere above the clamor, he heard the faint call of his name; it was enough to rouse him from his sleep. War had taken a physical toll on his body; where he could once rise without effort, he was now forced to roll himself on to his stomach and use his hands and knees to stand. Getting to his feet was much more painful, a pinch of a nerve here and the cracking of cartilage there, and he was finally able to shuffle his way out of his home.

The waves just outside the cove drew itself back and hit the reef like large hands beating on a pahu drum. It released a deep cavernous sound that shook the soldier to his core. In the distance he could hear the call of his name again, it was faint,


The hackles raised on the back of his neck, and a chill went through his body. It had been many countless years since he’d felt that battle instinct. It told him that something was not right.
As he left the comfort of his home and ventured out toward the beach, the night swallowed the old soldier into its embrace. The sand fell away under his feet and caused him to stumble intermittently; the safe oasis of his domicile was now a distance away. He could just make out a group of dark figures gathered together at the edge of the water, they appeared to be speaking to one another, but the sound of their conversations was mute. He heard his name again,


A lone figure approached as the old warrior did his best to adjust his eyes to the darkness.

“Sergeant Major Poki’i,” the voice whispered.

“Yea,” the old warrior replied. “That’s me; who are you?”


“Kolomona?” The old Sergeant was surprised.

“Yes,” Kolomona confirmed. “You forget already?”

“ I neva see you since Korea,” Sergeant Poki’i couldn’t figure it out. “Why you stay, hea?”

“Divison commander wen send me, we all mustered, we gotta go,” Kolomona said.

“In front of my house?” Poki’i still couldn’t figure it out. “I cannot just go in my bodo bodo clothes!”

“We no mo’ time Poki’i, we gotta hele,” Kolomona was insistent. “Just fall in line, you’ll see.”

Poki’i and Kolomona walked together and headed toward the westernmost tip of the old soldier’s property. They were joined by the dark figures that he first saw on the beach; they walked two abreast on each side. Soon another regiment joined in behind them; that line was one hundred feet deep. One more line formed in front of them, except that line was an endless formation of Hawaiian warriors dressed in feathered cloaks and helmets. Those of the lesser ranks who only wore malo and carried torches were the ones that marched on the outer parameters.

“Kolomona,” Poki’i said to his friend. “I remember now, you wen make (mah-keh) in my arms at Chongchon river,”

“Was da next best ‘ting to dying at home,” Kolomona replied. “Wherever a Hawaiian travels; there too is Hawai'i. I neva wen forget dat,"

Poki’i halted dead in his tracks and looked his old friend in the eyes,

“I stay make (mah-keh) yeah?” He asked but already knew the answer.

“Yeah,” Kolomona confirmed. “Das why I wen ask division if I can come get you so I can repay da fayvah,”

“I goin’ heaven now?” Poki’i’s tears fell from his eyes.

“Betta,” Kolomona smiled. “You goin’ Kanehunamotu,”

Three days later, the lifeless worn-out body of Adam Poki’i was found seated in his rattan chair in his Hau’ula living room. He was not pale nor stiff, nor was there any foul odor from his body. The ravages of a war long gone no longer troubled his expression or hindered his gait. He was at peace.


  1. We need to add another reaction box. :) something like the word perfect

  2. Here's the link to the short film based on this story produced by Lopaka & directed by Mitchel Merrick: