Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 12, 2016

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween! 48 Nights Left! "Tabby: Samson's Place"

Samson Mock Chew was a man who worked hard all of his life; normally he had only a second to talk with anyone and then it was back to work. This morning he sits in the musty storage room of his restaurant appearing as if he has a million and one thing on his plate. He perspires right through his clothing and it’s obvious he hasn’t had the chance to bathe.

“So what is the problem again Mr. Chew?” I asked.

“Everybody calls me Sammy, Sammy is okay. No worry about formality, I’m just regular guy,” he insisted.

“Okay, Sammy; so tell me what’s been happening?” I reformed the question to put him at ease.

“One month ago the ghost of one small Hawaiian girl come outside my restaurant exactly one thirteen in the afternoon every Tuesday! No miss! I think she used to go to Catholic school the way she dress!” Sammy wiped the sweat from his brow and shook his head. Strange coincidence or maybe not but this happens to be Tuesday and it’s one ‘o clock.

“What is she...what is the ghost doing outside your restaurant when it appears?” I eyed the wall clock that hung just above the door of the storage room now.

“That’s why so funny! She yells very old Chinese language, like a proclamation from Lao Tzu!”

Shaking his head again Sammy wiped his palms on his pants, it was obvious that he was very troubled by this experience.

“Lao Tzu huh?” I asked. “By proclamation, you mean like an official edict or royal command?”

“Yah! Like how in the movie!” He replied.

I had to pause for a moment and give some serious thought to what he just told me. I guess I must have been thinking for a bit too long because Sammy asked me if everything was okay?

“I’m sorry; so you’re saying that this is a ghost doing this outside of your restaurant?”

“Yes!” Sammy bellowed. “Crazy ghost! Chase away lunchtime customer!”

At that precise moment I glanced up at the clock again and it was exactly one fifteen in the afternoon. Suddenly, I could hear a big commotion in the restaurant, the waitresses were screaming and I could hear the cooks swearing up a storm. I ran outside and I could see that they, along with the lunch crowd were excitedly pointing toward the window at the front of the restaurant.

There she was just like Sammy said, right on time at exactly one fifteen in the afternoon. Just then my wife radioed in on my wireless earpiece.

“Is that the ghost of the girl that Sammy was talking about?” She asked. “In front of the restaurant?”

“That’s the one,” I replied.

“It’s broad daylight; how do you want to handle it?” My wife was always concerned that we never attract too much attention to these kinds of things, especially in public. The privacy and anonymity of our clients is always important.

“Let me head outside,” I said.

“10-4,” she replied.

I made my way through the hysterical crowd and pushed the front door open. Sammy’s little wraith that adversely affected his business was making quite the big scene. Except it wasn’t a wraith nor a ghost or spirit. It was Tabby Kahana performing an antiquated Chinese exorcism; talisman and all.

“Tabby?” I scolded her.

“Uncle Lopaka!” She said excitedly. “Are you trying to get rid of the ghost in this restaurant too?”

“No, I’m trying to help it pass peacefully,” I replied.

“What’s going on?” My wife clicked in.

“It’s Tabby,” I sighed.

“Oh geeze,” my wife sighed. “Send her home,”

“Is that Aunty Tanya?” Tabby squealed. “Hi Aunty!”

No wonder why Sammy said that the ghost of the small girl was dressed like she went to a Catholic school. Tabby was wearing her usual hello kitty shirt and plaid skirt with matching socks and shoes. Let’s not forget the Badtz Maru backpack.

“Go home Tabby, I got this one,” I demanded.

“Sorry Uncle, I’ve been on this job for the past month,” she smiled.

“Tabby, you’re doing an old Taoist/Confucian exorcism. This is not one of those old southern Chinese restaurants, it’s Hong Kong style,” I told her. “In the whole month you’ve been here has your ritual worked?”

“Well, not yet. The ghosts of a couple of cats left, but that’s it,” she said as she shrugged her shoulders.

“The owner died of a heart attack in the back storage room a month ago at one fifteen in the afternoon on a Tuesday. It happened so suddenly that he doesn’t know he’s dead; as far as he’s concerned YOU’RE the ghost, not him. Do you get it now?” I asked. “Besides, it’s a peak business hour.”

“I overreacted maybe?” She asked.

“Yes, and that’s a ghost in there, not a demon,” I smiled.

“I’m never wrong about these things Uncle, I was very certain,” she was very serious for an eleven-year-old girl, but she was the best at what she did. She reached up and gave me a hug and turned to leave.

“Come over for dinner some time okay?” I said.

“Okay, love you uncle,” she said as she waved good-bye.

“You have to stop inviting people over for dinner,” my wife radioed in.

“Why?” I asked.

“Cause I’m the one that always ends up cooking!” She scolded me.


Samson Mock Chew was still seated in the storage room with a look of worry and exhaustion on his face.

“It’s all taken care of Sammy, the ghost is gone. It won’t come back anymore,” I told him.

“Oh good, good. Now I don’t have to worry about my customer,” he said. “Thank you so much for your help! When you go outside, go see my wife, tell her no charge you for lunch!”

“Sure thing Sammy, thank you. You can finally rest now, you have nothing to worry about. You’re wife and sons are doing a great job out there. Go rest Samson Mock Chew.” I smiled.

Even though they are no longer of the flesh, ghosts are still human beings but on a different level. The emotions and worries, the grief and sorrow, the love and happiness; they’re all the same. It’s normally those things that keep them here with us, the living. The one thing that never gets old is the moment that they know it’s time to go; the tingle in the air, the smell of the atmosphere and the occasional lingering aroma of sweet-scented flowers, candies, perfumes, and freshly baked bread never gets old. As Samson Mock Chew’s apparition now becomes particles of energy and light, the smell of Chinese jasmine fills the musty storage room,
for a brief second. I am filled with a humble appreciation for life and all the people who make it wonderful.

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