Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Nov 5, 2016

"Sonate" An Epilogue

The movement came in three measures like the flute, viola and harp are three parts in a sonata. However, the complete movement seemed to execute itself in one motion. Lunging forward with both feet momentarily leaving the ground just as a fencing master would do, when bursting forth to introduce his foil to the heart of his enemy, even before he (the enemy) could think to defend the blow.  A downward elbow strike to break the collarbone while holding a swordfish bill in her hand and dipping her head below a wide tight-fisted right cross. The collarbone shatters as she simultaneously steps to the left and rises with a backhand strike which generously plunges the swordfish bill below the skull of the murderer of her father and brother. Weapon and flesh are briefly tethered together before the limp form of Mele Hualala’i crumble to a floor that is constantly soaked with blood and marrow.

The brooding deep moan of a cello almost sounds as if it is wallowing in the mire of despair, but from its lowest note, a violin caresses its sadness and lifts it higher until only the soothing sound of a harp can carry that last note into a state of bliss. Her body shivers and her breathing is even, and for a moment she fears that she has gone mad. In the act of murderous, brutal revenge, she has found bliss. She has found clarity as her body is filled with adrenaline and shivers like the rising scream of a violin crescendo.

Tabby thought that she heard the gentle, soft, music of a piano as it began its first few notes before the flood of its full concerto would come bursting forth, but it was only the rain. Her bliss was inconstant as the moon, for the revenge, she sought only served to give her momentary happiness. It did not bring back her father and brother. Even with the shirt, she wore as a sacred vestment to their memory, she found no fulfillment. She was empty, empty and alone, truly alone. The door to the room opened with an emotional weight of finality, like a lone bassoon playing in a dark space. Boy entered with Ivan, Tiny and Rita following closely behind him. He gently removed the bloodied swordfish bill from Tabby’s hand and placed it in his coat pocket. She looked up at him with tears balancing at the precipice of her eyes,

“I can’t feel anything in my heart, I’m alone. I don’t have anyone,”

“You have us,” Aunty Rita stepped forward and took Tabby in her arms.

Ivan and Tiny both held the girl by her hands and rubbed her back sympathetically.

“You have all of us,” their voices were warm and welcoming.

“I’m responsible for all of this,” Boy said. “I’ll help you, and I promise you that everything will be okay. I promise,”


The seven-count beat of a pahu drum is done for three measures for free before the hula practitioners enter for the holo pahu. The beat continues until all of the dancers are in line, then everyone calls out,

 “E ue!”

Then, eight more beats on the pahu drum sound, until the hula practitioners are brought into position to begin the hula pahu. The kahea is called, ‘Ae, aua ‘ia!”

“Aua ‘ia e tama e tona motu”

The ancient chant resounded in Boy’s mind as he drove the large SUV back to Rita’s home in Mo’ili’ili. Everyone sat silently in the vehicle; Tabby had already fallen into a deep sleep while Rita watched over the girl with maternal concern.

“What are your plans for her Hanson?” Rita asked.

“A normal life,” Boy replied.

“We’re not going to begin her training and bring her into the office?” Tiny asked.

“No,” Boy whispered. “We’re not,”

“But she shows all the signs,” Ivan began, but Boy suddenly erupted into a brief moment of furious anger. Something hardly seen by anyone, but remembered by all, once it happened.

“I SAID NO!” Boy pounded the dashboard so hard that it cracked in two pieces.

“Hanson Napualawa!” Rita hissed. “This girl has been through enough! You watch yourself, young man!”

Boy regained his composure as best he could and spoke more evenly,

“We are not bringing her into the office, and no one, not any one of you is going to take her aside and secretly teach her anything! Are we understood?”

Silence permeated the large vehicle before Boy pulled over and made certain that he locked eyes with his aunt and uncles.

“I’m serious, the three of you better not crumble,” Boys eyes always took on a lighter color when he was mad, and his elders knew better than to test him. However, they always found ways to temper his fury and work around him.


The movement came in three measures, a step forward, arms open, and then a hug. Tabby lost herself in the embrace of her father and brother while the sound of harps played in the distance. They chased her across the vast field of Kapiolani park as she ran about aimlessly. The destination was of no consequence to her, she was simply happy that the three of them were reunited and life was beautiful once more. In the dream, Tabby stopped suddenly. Her father and Daniel were no longer chasing after her, rather, they were beginning to disappear down a short grassy hill. Daniel waved at her to follow and she did. Eventually, she ascended the hill and at the bottom, she came upon their plaques at Hawaiian Memorial Cemetery. Heavy raindrops fell and it began to hurt her skin. She tried to endure the pain as best she could but she had to leave, she ran to the top of the grassy hill and looked back to see Daniel and her father standing behind their plaques, waving good-bye.

Boy stood at her bedroom door, watching her as she slept. Although her eyes were closed he could see them moving back and forth, she was dreaming. He had a sense of what her dream might be and it broke his heart to think of it.

“I’ll make things right Tabby, I promise,” he whispered.

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