Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Apr 29, 2017

"Kaua 'Elua"

Sidereal time is a particular time of day when paranormal activity is most active. It usually falls within the noon hour. The seasoned parapsychologist regards the hour with equal regularity as the results are most fruitful within that time frame. So too did Peter Topley who had come across the subject of sidereal time while listening to a CD by Roland Cazimero which referenced sidereal time in relation to the legend of Pele and her journey to what was thought to be the fabled homeland in the north. Hawai’i.

It was the recommended period of the day by which Pele was told to make her departure from Kahiki at the urgent behest of either her mother Haumea or by her eldest and most sacred elder brother Kamohoali’i, the king of sharks. In either regard, that little bit of information sparked a moment of curiosity within Peter which lead him to look up the definition of sidereal time on Google. That was just the spark he needed to be lit under him which literally caused him to jump out of his chair and run down to the garage and get into his truck and make a beeline toward the Wai’anae coast. If the information was correct, then by the time Peter arrived at Keawa’ula, sidereal time would be in full effect, for Peter there was not even the slightest presence of doubt that this was not a well-orchestrated scientific hoax or an urban legend. Peter’s gut feeling told him that this was absolutely the real deal and that there was not a second to be wasted.

The Lunalilo on-ramp was clear as Peter merged into the westbound traffic without much trouble. Life itself was not as easy to navigate during the last year following his divorce and having to move into a smaller apartment on Davenport street right off of Pi’ikoi . With only his own income to go by, Peter also had to take a second job just to keep up with the rent and the rest of the utility bills. Otherwise, eating out was now a luxury that only came twice a month, as was his Lexus. Peter couldn’t afford the insurance any longer and so he traded his car in for a Nissan Frontier. It didn’t have the punch that the Lexus had but it got him safely from point-A to point-B.

Mauna Kapu above Makakilo lingered in the distance just above Palehua as the frontier passed the water park. The natural meridian which extended itself from the heights at Makakilo down to the very point at Kalaeloa seemed to align itself with the vehicle as if giving its approval while the truck now ventured toward Honokaihale. Coming over the rise at Kahe point, the sheer beauty of the crystal blue ocean was breathtaking and stood in contrast to the dry arid rocky plains just before Nanakuli. The old train tracks still remained as a kind of beacon from the past when the old Dillingham box cars moved all the way to Kaena point and back. The bend of the road which found its way into Maili was closer to the Ocean and with his window down, Peter could inhale the aroma of the fresh sea spray as its rough waters crashed on the jagged coast just beneath the highway. The journey went on like this for the next few miles until Peter finally saw the coastline at Keawa’ula just as he passed the ancient cave of Nanaue. Within less than 10 minutes he just made the dip before the first bathroom near the old train stop where it used to reverse and head back east. The conductor’s last name was, “Yokohama” and somehow the area known by Keawa’ula would become his namesake. Peter drove the frontier as far as it could go until the path out to Kaena point finally became inaccessible. Locking up the vehicle and leaving a written note on the windshield, he hurried as fast as he could because he knew that It would take nearly another forty-five minutes to an hour before he could finally reach his destination. He could not miss the opportunity to see sidereal time and to witness the events that would unfold as a result; the unforgiving heat of the sun notwithstanding. The trek itself nearly came to a standstill when Peter saw that a part of the trail had fallen away either because of erosion or the high pounding surf, fortunately someone had been mindful enough to lay a large plank across a portion of the trail in order to lend better access on the way out to the nature preserve. Peter bypassed the preserve and the point entirely and began to make his way toward the Mokuleia end of the westernmost region of ‘O’ahu. With only a minute to spare, he had finally made it to his intended mark. Leleina ka‘uhane, the leaping stone of the dead.

It was twelve noon and according to the calendar that Peter found and researched online earlier that morning, sidereal time was now about to begin.

Peter stood near the legendary leaping stone and waited. According to the stories he had heard growing up; this is where the spirits of those who have died within the month would appear in a long procession. Their end goal was to climb up to the leaping stone where an enormous window appeared out of nowhere. It would receive them one by one into the arms of waiting ancestors on the other side. From here, the details of the story varied in that the procession only appeared at midnight or only during a full moon but the details of sidereal time made more sense to Peter than anything else, so he waited patiently.

Relief came as the winds swept a group of low-lying gray clouds across the face of the sun which sat directly overhead. Peter noticed that one particular cloud fell lower than the rest and now seemed to be hovering less than ten feet above the leaping stone. The sight did not capture Peter’s attention right away until the wind suddenly became intense within a matter of seconds. It was nearly impossible to see even in the daylight but in the distance, rounding the point at Kaena there appeared to be a group of people heading toward him. They did not seem to be hikers because they were dressed in everyday clothing, however as they got closer it was now obvious that there were more of them, an almost unending line of them. Peter’s heart jumped into his throat, this was it. It was now sidereal time.

The spirits of the people who approached leleina ka ‘uhane leaped one by one into the dark gray cloud as it opened up to reveal a blinding light only to dissipate until it became the floating cloud again. The process went on for a few more minutes until for some unknown reason, Peter glanced at his watch. It was now 12:17 pm. It wasn’t until then that he finally noticed that all of the spirits of those who were once a part of the living were all Hawaiian. There was no doubt now, he was in the right place. No sooner did this realization come to him, then did he see her. She only stood a few feet away from the leaping stone behind an elder Hawaiian couple. Her eyes were cast to the ground as if she were thinking about something serious but Peter was careful not to run to her and create a big commotion. He was not certain of what protocols were needed in this instance but he was very certain that love would be understood by the seen and unseen. It was Cory, his late ex-wife. A month ago Peter got into a very bad argument over the phone with her and in the heat of the moment, he told her that he wished she were dead. An hour later as she left her office and was driving home to her mother’s house, she was killed in an accident near the Ka’onohi overpass when a Tesoro truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and ran her off the freeway. The guilt was unbearable but there he stood staring at the ghost of his deceased ex-wife

“Cory,” he called out.

She continued to gaze at her feet as if an important thought had taken her attention away from anything else that might have been going on around her. Peter was surprised to see that her appearance did not reflect the circumstances of her accident; she rather looked more like the Cory which he had met eleven years ago. The strain of her job literally weighed on her shoulders and caused her to slouch without her knowing it, but that was gone now. She was upright and elegant and brimming with the youthful confidence she had before she began to work for the local newspaper. There was no trace of the crow’s feet wrinkles at the corner of her eyes nor was there a clue of the dark slanted line between her eyebrows which developed as a result of she and Peter never being able to smile while in one another’s company during the last years of their marriage. Now here she was almost brand new, reborn. There was a new purity about her, a kind of inherent light.

Peter reached out and gently placed his hand on her forearm.

“Cory?” he said again.

She looked up at Peter from beneath her bangs which were expertly cut to fall just below her eyebrows. It was meant to bring out the almost light brown/yellowish color in her pupils. The haircut was something that Cory wanted to do for herself once the divorce was final, it was a sign of shedding the old life and gaining a lease on a new one. Staring back at Peter now, her eyes searched for some kind of familiar recognition. The man she looked at was part Hawaiian with a mix of Portuguese who seemed to have too much on his mind even though his demeanor was of someone affable and well adjusted. There was an underlying pain which gave him many sleepless nights. His eyes smiled first and then the rest followed.

“How do you do that?” Cory asked.

“Do what?” Peter replied.

“How do you make your eyes dance?” she whispered.

Cory slowly took Peter’s hands in hers and took a step closer.

“Those are the first words you said to me when we first met,” Peter said.

The two fell into one another’s embrace equally and no more was said. Cory’s body was cool and comforting; Peter’s body was warm and filled with the life that she was once a part of. It would be something that she would completely forget once she made the leap from the massive stone into the realm of Po.

Peter had meant to apologize for what he had said out of anger and for being the cause of the failure of their marriage. He had become so caught up in his work that he had become blind to what was truly important, too blind to see that his wife needed her husband. At that moment, when Peter began to let his guilt and sorrow consume him, Cory looked deeply into his eyes and gently kissed him. Her smile told him that there was no longer any need for regret. Those concerns were unimportant and forgiveness was merely a wisp of a fading memory. There was no need for confession or absolution, there was only Aloha. It was all that mattered.

The procession moved a few steps forward while Cory and Peter held on to one another, avoiding the sight of the leaping stone knowing what was about to come. The deafening sound which came from the void each time it opened whenever a spirit leaped into its endless chasm caught Peter’s attention. He was distracted for a moment when he thought he might have caught a glimpse of what was on the other side of the great spiritual window. There was a vast open field of pili grass which seemed to lead to a lush green mountainside with waterfalls in the distance.

"When your time comes, that's what you'll see when you leap through. I'll be waiting for you," she told him. Looking at the foot of the leaping stone she whispered, "we're here."

The statement brought Peter back to his senses and he found himself asking her again, “What was that?”

“We’re here,” Cory repeated herself, “it’s my turn.”

“Your turn?” Peter was confused now.

Nodding now, Cory continued, “My turn to go.”

“That’s right, it is,” Peter realized her time had come.

“Play track five ok?” Cory asked.

“What?” Peter asked.

“You heard me,” she replied. With that, Cory turned and ran to the very tip of the leaping stone and jumped into the void where it quickly closed behind her. The searing heat of the day returned and, even before Peter could think his next thought or utter one more word, everything had faded into nothing right before his eyes. The hour had passed.

“Shit,” Peter said helplessly.

The walk back to his truck seemed to be a lot shorter than the journey in and it was three forty in the late afternoon by the time he removed the note from his windshield and headed back toward town. Kaua’i had already begun to catch the setting sun beyond her fading orange horizon when Peter pressed play on the CD player in his truck. He had left the Roland Cazimero disc in the player and the track was set on, “I am, I am,” a declaration of Pele’s journey to the new land. There was a brief click as the CD player reset itself to track number five all on its own. It began with the soft murmuring of a guitar with the sigh of a synthesizer coming in beneath the chords. It struck Peter as strange because he had no memory of this song on the disc.

“Pretty face, what’s your name?

“And is that smile for me?

“Am I fortunate enough to have your love?”

Peter pressed the eject button on the player and nothing came out.

“No Disc,” the digital display on the CD player said. It was empty but the song continued to play.
“What the hell is this?” Peter screamed to himself. Suddenly he heard Cory’s voice in his head.

“Play track five ok?”

“How can I do that?” Peter said out loud, “the player is empty!”

Peter pulled the truck over into the empty dirt parking lot just across from Kaneana cave as he now wept uncontrollably. The song on track five was called “Pretty Face/Jealousy” it was his pet name for Cory, she loved the song simply because of that fact and she always held his hand and lay her head on his shoulders whenever the song played on the radio, just as it was playing now. Peter had completely forgotten that he had left his cell phone on the passenger’s seat until it began to buzz intermittently. Picking it up and looking at it, he saw that the display on the screen showed that a rare occurrence had taken place at that exact moment, four ten in the afternoon. It was the second hour of sidereal time accompanied by a longitude and latitude reading which marked its location in the very spot where Peter was now parked.

“Ok,” Peter said, “ok I get it. I get it, I get it.”

The following day Peter applied for a G.E. License and decided to run a lunch truck on the weekends at Keawa’ula Beach. He got his brothers to help him and Cory’s Pretty Face Cheese Burgers were the hit item on the menu. He soon moved out of his Davenport Street apartment and was able to afford a nice one bedroom house in Makaha where, once a month during a certain hour of the day, he could be found clearing a path toward Kaena Point as if he were expecting a large group of guests.

Apr 27, 2017

"... Pieces of April..."

My father always proudly told the story of how our grand ancestor, Yuen, was among a handful of Chinese immigrants who lived with Kamehameha the great. The men were single bachelor's from Canton and there was not a woman among them from their home country. As a result, they intermarried with Hawaiian women. Although some of the Hawaiian women were of a lesser bloodline relation to Kamehameha himself, that did not matter to my father. As far as he was concerned we were royalty, therefore as much as the Yuen clan was indeed part Hawaiian, our Chinese side was the emphasis whereas our Ali'i bloodline became my father's way of lording it over his other Chinese friends who were a part of the Acacia Club.

The Beginning

February  1977, I was a spoiled bachelor living in an old-style Chinese mansion in Nu’uanu with nine bedrooms and just myself. I was out late one night with a bunch of my friends at Smith’s Union Bar in Chinatown. The place was packed wall to wall and even if you were dancing you could only do the two-step in place. During the nights' debauchery and dancing, I'd become soaked in sweat and so I went outside to get a breath of fresh air. That’s when I saw April. She was stunning, no makeup, no lipstick but just.….glowing with beauty. However, when she talked, that’s when I knew she was all of sixteen years old and not of age at all to be in a nightclub but she somehow managed to get in with a fake ID. I introduced myself and we made small talk. Afterward, she turned around and abruptly disappeared back inside and lost herself on the crowded dance floor. I could only watch from the bar as her body moved effortlessly to the music. She seemed to be dancing by herself and completely ignored anyone who would try to dance with her or buy her a drink. When the place finally closed at 4 in the morning, she made it a point to specifically find me to ask for a ride.

“Where you live?” I asked.

“Nowhere now,” April replied.

She told me that her parents were a traditional Chinese family who had arranged a marriage between herself and the son of longtime shoe dealer who owned several stores throughout the islands. “Chun Kim Chow? Are you kidding?”

April said that she wanted nothing to do with it and so her parents kicked her out. Without a second thought, and because I wasn’t thinking with my brain, I offered her a room in my house and assured her that it was cool and that the offer was sincere.

 And so it was.

I took her out to eat at one of the Saimin houses and then we headed back to my place. I offered April the biggest room in the house but she opted for the smaller room just off from the stairway that led to the second floor.

“What about school?” I asked. “And clothes or money?”

“I can ask one of my uncles for some cash, it shouldn’t be a problem,” April said in a casual manner. “I’m really tired,” she said. “Can we talk about it in the morning and then figure everything out?”

I figured why not? I headed upstairs to my bedroom. The following morning I find April in the kitchen, she’s already prepared breakfast for the both of us. She’s dressed in one of my office shirts and a pair of my jeans. She tells me that she goes to Roosevelt high school which is where I drop her off. I ask if I should pick her up in at the same spot, but she tells me not to worry, she can find her way back to my place. It doesn’t occur to me right at that moment that she has neither a folder or school books.……and the most important thing of all is that I forgot to ask her about her last name. I was a part-time property manager for my father, which was basically my other job when I wasn't spying on a cheating husband on behalf of a suspicious wife who hired me to do just that. I had a full day ahead of me. It's a funny situation because my dad and I don’t talk, it’s my mom who’s the peacemaker really and she doesn't seem to mind that the old man and I communicate through her.

 I was coming back from checking up on a property on River street that day, I was in my car at the corner of Hotel and Bethel when a bunch of Hari-Krishnas came dancing and singing through the crosswalk. I knew one of them, she used to be a classmate of mine from high school, Lyn Worthington. I put my sun visor down in the hopes that she wouldn’t see me but it was too late.

“Gerry?” She said in her best earth mother voice. “From high school?”

“Uh hey Lyn, how have you been? You look different...” I tell her with a half smile that is completely insincere.

“Gerry, death is around you. It’s all over you!” Her face went from that shallow cheek fasting look to that of wide-eyed genuine concern.

“Is that what they teach up at that Krishna place in Nu’uanu? Fortune telling?” I wiggled my fingers and she got upset.

“This has nothing to do with Lord Krishna! I’ve always been psychic throughout high school and I’m telling you that death surrounds you! You have to be careful!” She insisted.

The next thing I know, there’s the sound of cars beeping their horns behind me and people yelling.

“See ya’ around Lyn,” I tell her as I drive off.

Whenever I roll up to the roundabout driveway in my home, I always enter through the kitchen. It’s always been a habit of mine since I was a kid, and old habits are hard to break. The first sign that April was already home from school was that the kitchen was spotless. All the dishes were put away and things just seemed to be a lot cleaner. The door to April’s room was open but she wasn’t in it, in fact, it looked as if she’d never slept in it at all. I was on my way up to my room when I stopped dead in my tracks, I see my bedroom door open and I see April standing at the foot of my bed completely naked. Her back is facing me, so she hasn’t a clue that I’m there, but even before I can think or feel anything, April reaches behind her neck with two hands and.…….she removes her skin from her body like it’s a piece of clothing. Standing there is a hideous demon-like creature, in my bedroom with its fricking skin ON MY BED.

I back down the stairs slowly and as best I can, I make my way out of the kitchen and head to my car. Luckily, my old Plymouth has quiet mufflers so I’m pretty sure she or IT, didn’t hear me at all. I can’t tell you why but for some reason I found myself thinking of the only possible person who could help me; and to think earlier that same day I did my best to avoid her, Lyn Worthington. The temple was easy enough to find and without much effort, so was Lyn. She was sitting out in the front counseling someone when she saw me, she quickly got into my car and told me to drive down to Nu’uanu and to pull into ‘O’ahu Cemetery.

“You can’t enter the holy grounds of our temple with death at your side!” She was no longer her earth mother self, but the old Lyn who hung out in front of the girls' bathroom in high school. “The moment you stepped out of this car, you would have defiled the grounds of our sacred temple! I shouldn’t even be here with you!”

“Then why’d you get in my car?” I shouted back.

“Because I saw it on you the second your car pulled into our driveway! I had to get you out of there!” She paused for a moment and took a closer look at my face. “You saw it didn’t you?”

“Yeah, it was in my bedroom, but what the hell is it?” I asked.

“You brought it home with you,” She was right.

“I met her or IT at the Union Bar last night, her name is April,” I asked her.

“Your Chinese, I’m Haole but I know more about your own culture than you do, doesn’t that make you feel stupid?” She wasn't condescending when she said that, she was genuinely sad and she was right. My beef with my father made me pull away from what was rightfully my heritage, but I did it to hurt him. The less Chinese I became, the more it whittled away a piece of his heart.

“Lyn, what is it?” I asked again.

“Hui de pifu,” Lyn's Chinese was perfect. “It’s a demon that wears it’s human form like painted on skin, human skin,”

“Painted Skin?” I asked.

“Hui de pifu.…painted skin,” She confirmed.

“What the hell do I do?” I asked.

She sighs and says, “When all these different races immigrated to Hawai’i, what do you think they brought with them, aside from their foods and religious beliefs?”

“I dunno!” I shrieked.

“Their ghosts, spirits and demons,” Lyn said.

“What do I do Lyn?!” I was exasperated.

“That I don’t know,” she said. “I’d tell you to go see a Taoist priest but Taoism in Hawai’i has been westernized so much, I don’t think they know what to do,” she got out of my car at that point and told me, "I'll walk back to the temple, don't worry about dropping me off. Just be careful Gerry okay? It would be such a shame if you died so young."


 I drive down to the empress theater on Nu’uanu and Beretania and I call my mother from a payphone. The cleaning lady answers and tells me that my parents went to my place. I hang up and immediately head up the road to my home where I’m met by several police officers who have converged on my property. My dad’s imperial crown sedan is parked in the roundabout and I’m met by a police officer when I get out of my car. They ask me who I am and I tell them and they grab me and cuff me. I’m taken down to the police station and questioned but no one will tell me anything about what the hell is going on and why they wouldn’t let me talk to my parents? They ask me about when I last saw my folks and I tell them that I saw my mother a couple of days ago, when we had lunch at Wo Fats

 At that point, our family attorney Simon Ching drives up and tells me not to say another word. In turn, he tells the officers that I haven’t been arrested for anything and that he’s taking me home.

They let me go.

He tells me I can’t go back to my place because I’m a suspect in the murder of my parents, he says the neighbors and passersby heard horrific screaming and at one point they saw my father being dragged back into my house but by whom and what, they don’t know. They were found with their hearts torn out.

A chill comes over me but I can’t say anything to Simon, he wouldn’t understand. I know he sees the look on my face and he asks me if I know anything but I lie and tell him that I don’t. Anything I say in regards to what took place in the last twenty-four hours will make me look like a nut job and that, in turn, will make me the number one suspect.

It wasn’t old news that my father and I didn’t get along but the officers asked me if I hated my father bad enough to want to kill him? With nowhere else to go, I head to the only place I can think of, my parent's house. Their domicile is one of those traditional Chinese houses with the red painted walkway and that leads up to the stairway that is painted in the same color. The house sits on the slopes of Punchbowl or "Puowaina" as our Hawaiian neighbors called it, and rightly so. The name closely translates to, "Hill of Sacrifice." As a child, I recall hearing strange chanting noises coming from inside the crater late at night, Mr. Kamaka from next door would tell us, kids, that it was the ghosts of the ancient Ali'i and kahuna, performing the old sacrificial ceremonies.

 My parents performed a different kind of sacrifice so that their only son could have a good life, this house and everything in it said so. Every shelf, every decoration, every picture, and ornament screamed sacrifice. I felt smaller with each step I took into the old place where I grew up, eventually, I found my way to my father's study. The small room was filled with the scent of his Aqua Velva cologne and on his desk was a jar of See Mui that he made himself, I sat in his leather-bound chair and immediately felt all the exhaustion of the day's events suddenly take its toll on me. Simultaneously, I gazed at each bookshelf that took up space on each wall from floor to ceiling. Every book in my father's collection had to do with culture, spirituality and the otherworldly, not just in the realm of Chinese thought but from around the world. This was the only time I ever really took notice of it, strange that a businessman like him would have a library like this? I took a deep breath and happened to look up at the space above the door to my father's study. Mounted to the wall was my old Wudang wooden sword, thank goodness I paid attention and actually learned something from my father who taught me the Wudang technique. Before I knew it, I dozed off and had the most unusual dream. My father was standing in front of his desk wearing his favorite dark blue polo shirt, there was a huge hole in the left side of it, where his heart should have been. His face was deathly pale and his expression was stoic, he didn't say a word. All he did was point to the Wudang sword above the door. Memories of him making that sword for me from Koa kept flashing through my mind.

"Koa is heavy, but that's good. You get used to the weight and it will make you stronger, you make your grip firm but don't choke it. You develop strong wrist but your sword arm is supple, when you strike, you strike like a whip, not a stick." He would say this over and over to me, again and again.

Looking at him now in the dream, I suddenly realized why we grew apart over the years until we couldn't stand one another. It was me, as I got older, things got harder, school, work, life. My father was old school and in his world men were never supposed to whine or be weak, men took the lead and never gave up when life got hard. Men worked to feed their families no matter what, men never forgot to show filial piety to their parents and ancestors, men took care of their wife and their children and did everything they could to give them a good life. That's all he ever tried to teach me, he just wanted me to stand up and be a man when life got to be too difficult, but I used my Mom against him because she always took my side. I wedged her between him and me so I could get the car I wanted, so I could go to the club and buy the expensive clothes and date the wrong girls. I did it so I didn't have to try and every time he opposed me, I hated him even more.

In the dream, there was an urgency in his eyes, a life or death stare. Tears were brimming as he pointed to the Wudang sword. It all hit me right at that moment, I knew what I had to do.



 I entered the perimeter of my property from the back wall and saw that all the lights in my home were on and all the doors and windows were open. So much for using the stealth of darkness as my shield in the late night. Standing at the foot of my stairs to the front door, I could hear "Rhiannon" on my record player from somewhere within the house, she was expecting me.
She was in the very place that I least expected her to be, one would think that a demon would hide and then capture you when you weren't looking, but she didn't need to hide. It was a bold and arrogant statement, what with her or IT living for so long among humans, once she was found out, the cards were already bare on the table. The only move left was to go all in or lose everything.
I could hear the water running and the sound of dishes being washed, I'm not sure how you feel about that, but considering everything that happened earlier, it's quite unsettling.

There she was, standing at the sink, not so much putting dishes away in the rack, but piling them one on top of the other. It wasn't who I was expecting either, it wasn't April, it was my mother.

"I don't know why you have to be so sneaky, I know you're coming, you know I'm here, just enter the room, right?" My mother or IT said.

"Son-of-a-bitch," I gasped.

"I couldn't help myself, I had to try on your mother's skin. It's okay, usually, I don't wear old people but your mother is different! I like her," she was smiling through my mother's smile and I wasn't mortified as I was a second ago. I was pissed. "You came empty handed Gerry?" She observed. "How did you expect to defend yourself and go out fighting like a man? Oh but you're not a man, not really. Your mother's skin tells me that she had to fight all of your battles between you and your father, that's why you're so useless as a grown man. When I was wearing April's skin I was surprised that you didn't try anything, you were very much the gentleman instead. Or maybe you were just so henpecked that you couldn't get it up for anyone else but your mother?"

The element of surprise was one thing that my father taught me when I learned Wudang from him. He said it was like poker, never have a tell, never flinch, never telegraph your intentions by your body or your thoughts. Kill with the first blow, kill with brutality and without mercy.

"Regret later," my father would say. "Live now."

While the Painted skin demon babbled on about incestual Freudian slips and revelled in hearing its own voice, I unleashed the wooden Wudang sword from the scabbard that was tied to my back and struck with a wide arching blow. My entire body was relaxed and my breathing was even. the blow only intensified at the last second before the sword parted the Painted demon's head from its body. The movement was so sudden that as the head left the body, it kept prattling on about the perverse yearnings of Elvis for his dearly departed mother Grace. As the demonic black smoke left its body, I gathered it all in my father's empty See Mui jar. I ate the entire contents on the way over, I'm sure it was going to suffer for it later on. The physical form of the demon dissolved into nothing, and I must have sat at my kitchen table for hours, almost numb to the experience. I stared at the sword for hours before I finally broke down and cried, my father was the sword, everything he taught me or tried to teach me later was contained within this wooden blade. I hated myself and it would be a while before I would get over it.


The fingerprints that were found in the house and on or about the body of my parents belonged to a sixteen-year-old local girl named April Chock. She was a student at Roosevelt High school who disappeared one day while walking from her second-period class to her fourth-period class. Somewhere on the campus, she'd vanished and no one had ever seen her again. Yet, how does one account for fingerprints that belong to a missing person? Did April just show up one day to brutally murder a local Chinese couple only to disappear again?

She did resurface, but just for a brief while. However, at that time she wasn't April Chock, she was a painted skin demon.

Apr 25, 2017

" Lily "

The Hawaiian ocean was like an endless ribbon of dark cellophane, reflecting a cluster of constellations in the night sky. Simultaneously, its ebb and flow upon the sandy shores of Makaha beach were like the hands of a skilled masseuse whose fingers pressed up and down the back of a client that needed continuous circulation. Lily Iwamoto lay naked on a large lauhala mat while Naue continued to employ his traditional method of Hawaiian massage to her shoulders and arms. Gently inserting his left hand under her back, he rolled her over on her tummy, where he began to apply pressure to all of her knotted-up muscles that were the result of emotional duress. The heady aroma of the sea spray and its hypnotic thundering sound on the beach below seemed to lull Lily into a half-slumber; it was in this half-cognitive state that she could feel how powerful the hands of this Hawaiian man really were. Yet, he was gentle and caring whenever he touched her. Were it not for his shock of long white hair, which he kept in a high bun or his white beard, no one would guess his age, for his features did not reveal the lines or crevices of a man in his dotage. Applying his thumbs to the hard knot on her shoulder, Naue urged Lily to calmly inhale and exhale when the pain became too much to bear. With each rise and fall of her breath, the stubborn muscle gave way, and the pain would subside, and as the pain left, tears would take its place.

"Is this helping you?" Naue asked.

Sobbing now, Lily replied, "Yes, I don't know why I'm crying. I feel free suddenly like a burden is lifted or something."

"That's the process, as the muscles are caressed and separated, often it yields emotional results," Naue confirmed.

"I see," Lily replied while wiping away her tears, "can I share something with you?"

"Only if you want to," Naue smiled.

"I appreciate your respect for me; in this short time that I've known you, you've had many opportunities to take advantage of the situation, and you never have. At first, I thought that there was something wrong with me, and then I thought you were gay," Lily shared.

"Imagine that," Naue smiled.

"But I was wrong; there's almost like a reverence with you, like you hold everything and everyone in such high regard," Lily's voice was like a gentle whisper now.

"Is this what you wanted to share with me?" Naue asked.

"No," Lily giggled, "I want to make love with you, but I'm afraid of what might happen afterward,"

"Afraid?" Naue asked.

"Maybe I'm overthinking; this is so stupid," Lily scoffed, "I feel like an idiot now!"

"You're afraid of giving this one last part of yourself to me because you feel that it's all you have left of you, the true you," Naue said.

"Yes," Lily's tears fell freely as she sat up and folded her entire body into Naue's embrace. "I can't be hurt again; I can't. I'll never survive if it happens,"

"Then don't LET it happen, don't LET yourself be hurt," Naue whispered.

"I won't," Lily promised, "I won't."

Naue carried Lily in his arms effortlessly and walked her into the calm of Makaha's late evening tide, just far enough so that the water would be waist-deep for Lily. They kissed for what seemed like hours until Naue hoisted her onto his hips; she let out a gasp of ecstasy as the Hawaiian masseuse slowly moved inside her. Within seconds, she felt her muscles beginning to tighten while the pulsating wave of her first orgasm came rushing forward until it was replaced by a second and a third.
Naue raised her in his arms again and walked further into the ocean; he released her from his grasp and let her float gently in front of him. Lily's form was serene and at peace; it was a kind of quietude that few experience in a lifetime. A quietude that could only be found in a place like Makaha, the repository of our ancient mana.

Lily let out a slight moan when she felt Naue take her legs and place them on his shoulders; he began to gently kiss her from the inside of her calves, then her knees, and finally her thighs. Lily grabbed Naue by the back of his head to hurry his efforts; the wait was too much, she positioned him in the right spot where her womanhood needed it most. Her screams were deafening, but no one was there to hear it.


The following day, Lily's mutilated half torso was found three miles down the shoreline on a beach fronting Kaneana Cave in Makua. A fisherman and his son arrived at the private cove and found the remains on the reef. Later, the authorities would determine that the bite marks below her navel were indicative of a gigantic shark who effortlessly tore away her lower extremities. The beach is "Nanaue," named after the shark god who roams the area. In old legends, it is said that Nanaue often takes the form of a tall, dark, muscular Hawaiian man with long white hair and a white beard.

"Ka Wailele"

Brandon Davis took the opportunity to remove his shirt and shoes before wading out into the middle of the pond at Manoa falls, where he could enjoy the crisp coolness of the fresh rainwater that fell gently over the falls. He knew that the serene silence would only be momentary before groups of hikers would begin to appear at the pond and fill the valley with their chatter and shrieks of laughter and screams of delight. Even before Brandon could finish his thought, a young Caucasian boy stood at the opposite end of the pond with a beautiful Hawaiian girl who was very successful at getting the boy to follow her to the very spot where they now stood.

Brandon noticed that the Caucasian boy only managed to mutter something about not knowing how to swim before the beautiful Hawaiian girl pushed him into the water. Immediately after the boy surfaced, he was already struggling to stay afloat. The girl giggled gleefully before she jumped into the water and took the boy down with her. Minutes passed, and the two never came up for air. Instinct made Brandon swim to the spot where he could best surmise that both of them went under. Suddenly the girl surfaced at the opposite end of the pond soaking wet and fully clothed in her tank top, jeans, shorts, and bare feet.

The young Caucasian boy was nowhere in sight.

It was only then that the young Hawaiian girl turned around and noticed Brandon. He saw the look on the girls face as if she were contemplating walking over to where Brandon sat, helpless to do anything. Instead, the girl smiled sweetly at Brandon while her eyes rolled over black at the same time. With that, she turned around and walked off into the Manoa forest. The serene quiet that Brandon came for in the early morning hour was now broken by the piercing screams of someone who had seen more than his mind could comprehend.

The hiking trail was closed that day.

The police escorted Brandon Davis to his car at the lower parking lot. The authorities came to dredge the pond later to find the young Caucasian boys' body. It would surface three days later. As for the young local girl?

Be careful who you meet along the Manoa hiking trail. Especially if they invite you for a swim at the falls.

Apr 24, 2017

"Wahi Kolo" (Crawl Space)

Professor Colin Baher lived in the back of Manoa Valley off of Woodlawn Drive. He owned an old two-story Southern plantation-style home, which he converted into an upstairs four-bedroom home while turning the bottom floor into a large studio with an equal-sized large bathroom, shower, and a small space for an oven and sink. The rest of it was just space and lots of it. Although the professor really didn't need the money being that he came from a well-off family in Santa Barbara, he rented the studio out to students who needed an affordable place to stay while attending the University. There were a few male students here and there, but the broader demographic of his transitory tenants were female; some came in groups of three or four and were more than willing to split the cost of the rent among themselves. The majority of them never stayed longer than a semester.

Colin Baher was a professor of American History at the University who received many accolades for his books on American History, and it's future effect on Native Cultures, including Hawai'i. He had also made many anonymous donations to local schools that needed such things as books or air conditioners. One school located in a rural area of 'O'ahu that consisted of only one classroom with twenty children was in dire need of a television and a VCR player. A month later, twenty Mac computer laptops showed up in the principal's office, the donor remained a mystery.

For as much as Professor Baher's anonymous altruistic lifestyle may have been the stuff that books and movies are made of, he was possessed of a vice that was unshakable and unrelenting. It was his voyeuristic attraction to young female college students. Professor Baher rationalized his behavior as something safe and not harmful to his subjects at all since they were not in the least aware of his presence. It began during the renovation of his two-story home when he accidentally came upon an elaborate crawl space system between the upper and lower floors. It explained why the ceiling on the bottom floor seemed to be a bit smaller than usual. As he began to explore the crawl space, he saw how the flooring was reinforced to not cause the sound of creaking. He also noticed peepholes in specific locations where one could gaze down into the bathroom, the small kitchen, and the larger living room. It must have been put in by the previous owner, but for what purpose, he was not sure. It was after the renovations were done that the Professor's unknown activities began. 

Nothing harmful.

Many of his downstairs tenants went on about their daily activities while others walked around the downstairs space entirely nude. Some brought home boyfriends and girlfriends and made love where ever and whenever the moment struck them. Others were the professor's own students who would knock on his door to ask a question about their homework or upcoming assignments as he was just coming out of the secret crawl space. They were clueless to the fact that he had only seen them in the shower giving themselves an enema; he could hardly look them in the eye.


In late August of that year, a knock came on Colin's front door while he was in his kitchen trying to perfect the ultimate plantation iced tea. Quickly washing his hands in the sink and drying them off with his own shirt, Colin hurried to the front door. Standing just outside was a tall, statuesque Hawaiian girl with dark skin. Her eyes were hazel colored, and every facial feature was perfect and without flaw. There wasn't the need for makeup as her beauty was natural and vibrant. Her hair was pulled back in a high ponytail, and her clothing was a simple tank top paired with green khaki shorts. Colin caught himself staring and excused his lingering gaze, the Hawaiian girl appeared to be all business, there was not a hint of humor in her demeanor. Glancing down, he also saw that she had no footwear on. She inquired about the rental of the downstairs studio, and after the Professor explained the particulars to the girl, she filled out the rental application and paid for the entire year in advance in cash. Her name was Leina, and she had mentioned to Colin that she didn't own much and that moving in wouldn't require any help. Before Colin could utter another word, the girl was already walking down the stairs and out to the main road.


For the duration of her stay, Leina was quiet whenever she was actually home; otherwise, Colin wouldn't see his tenant for days on end. The girl was hardly sociable whenever the Professor did see her, and she never acknowledged his friendly salutations. This made spying on Leina through the crawl space scarcely worth the effort, however one night, there came a knock, and Colin looked up to see Leina standing outside his door. She was dressed in nothing but a pareo, her long black hair fell about her shoulders this time, and it made her appear even more stunning. She had locked herself out of the studio accidentally after rushing off suddenly to meet someone. Without a word, Colin headed down the stairs and inserted his key into her front door to let her in, he glanced up the stairs to see her taking the last few steps toward where he stood. A slight wind blew back the material of her pareo, and he could see that she was entirely naked beneath the colored fabric. A wave of lust washed over him so quickly that he immediately became dizzy, and his mouth began to water. Without even a grateful thanks, Leina walked into the studio and closed the door behind her. Colin bounded back up the stairs and into his upper floor domicile, ripping the old Russian style carpet away from the middle of his living room floor and pulled back the trap door, and practically jumped into the crawl space. He immediately went to the first peephole above the bathroom and shower ceiling and found it was empty. He next headed to the small kitchen peephole, which was also abandoned. Next was the peephole over the living room, where she was lying completely naked on the bare living room floor with her eyes closed and breathing heavily. Without hesitation, Leina began to pleasure herself, and it proved to be something that Colin was not prepared for. She took her time before she brought herself to ecstasy, but once she did, the pleasure seemed to cause Leina's body to undulate and contract time and time again. When Leina was finally done, Leina used the front of her forearm to wipe away the sweat that gathered on her forehead. It was then that her eyes opened, they were colored green and took on the likeness of a lizard; she was staring directly at the Professor. Her eyes blinked for a second, and then she pointed at him from where she lay. Colin Baher did not even have a second to react before he heard his name called out from in front of him in the crawl space. Looking up now, he saw Leina slowly undulating and slithering toward him with her hands reaching out to him, her eyes were rolled over black as was her forked tongue. Colin screamed for his life while he frantically tried to back out of the space, but to no avail, Leina already had both of her hands holding Colin's head, and as her scaled black lips covered his, it drowned out the Professor's horrific blood-curdling shrieks. The next moment there was nothing but silence.

Professor Colin Baher was reported missing for three years. It seemed that he had disappeared without a trace, that is, until three years later when a developer bought the property and decided to break down the two-story house and re-build it entirely. One day, a few workers found the slime-covered body of the Professor between the floorboards of the upper and lower levels. It was perfectly preserved and had not suffered from any kind of decomposition. The only damage to the body was his lips, which were swollen over black as if something returned periodically to literally suck the life out of it until there was nothing left.

Apr 22, 2017

Mas Que Nada

Don’t misunderstand; I’m not Catholic. Even though I am sitting in a Catholic church on Fort Street Mall, I am not a church member. I just need a moment to think before I make a move; the man in question who is today's lucky winner is homeless. Heʻs in an alley, not less than a hundred feet away from where I am now, but he’s not really homeless, he’s just playing the role. What he’s really doing is hiding, trying not to be found. If he has no known address, no job, or bills that can pinpoint him to a particular location, he is untraceable. Or so he thought. You see, everyone has one necessary essential thing that they cannot do without; that is, unless they were trained to do so. This guy? It’s his cell phone. It kept him in contact with the person who provided him with cash so that he could survive until he ran out of money, and then another drop off would be made and so on and so forth. The great thing about money is that you tend to make stupid mistakes in most circumstances when you have more of it. John Gaspar’s moment of stupidity was a moment of weakness that caught my attention as I was exiting the downtown Safeway. John intended to buy himself a loaf of bread, some cheese with luncheon meat, and a few drinks so that he could go sit at some nearby park and have a quiet meal to himself. However, before he could enter the store, he was stopped by a group of Girl Scouts who were selling cookies to earn more merit badges. John gave the young girl $50 for the whole box of cookies; as he exchanged the money for the box of cookies, he gave the little girl a hug that lasted a bit too long. The little girl panicked and began to pull away; the den mothers stepped in and forcefully separated John from the little girl scout. One mother screamed for security while another went into the store and got the manager.

At the same time, I exited the store with a drink and sushi in my hand, I noticed the commotion. John made a run for it before anyone could detain him, and that’s when he and I locked eyes. He looked like a little boy that had been caught red-handed and was desperate for a way out; luckily, he didn’t know who I was or who sent me. He took off and made a left on south kukui street and took a right on Fort street, where he ended up hiding on Chapel Lane between the Mojo Barbershop and the Hawaiian Lei Company. I didn’t really chase him so much as I followed at a careful distance. He wasn’t going anywhere; his moral dilemma would keep him right where I would find him. Right now, Our Lady Of Peace church is where I’m taking a moment to deal with my own moral dilemma.

Avellino Gaspar was an architect who arrived in Honolulu on July 10, 1850, the same day that the legislature passed the Alien Land Ownership act. He married a Hawaiian woman who was Ali’i (Royalty). Her name was Hattie Kahanuloa, who had vast amounts of land handed down from generation to generation within her family. Aside from that, very little is known about the Gaspar ‘ohana. Their existence in Honolulu spans one hundred and sixty-six years. All the Gaspar children attended the best private school in Honolulu. For many generations, the family made substantial donations to various local charities but were never themselves present to receive any kind of recognition for their contributions. For the few instances that the Gaspar family were seen in public, they kept to themselves and did not converse at any great length with anyone. Among the rest of the elite Kama’aina families, the Gaspar clan was an anomaly.

The case of John Gaspar began with a phone call from his mother, Fleurette; she requested that the meeting takes place at the gatehouse on the Gaspar estate grounds. It was a seventeen-acre property located in the back of Nu'uanu valley just past the old Morgan house off of Pali Drive. She instructed me to arrive at precisely twelve noon and cautioned me not to be late; noon, it was.
Two large Hawaiian men dressed in white dinner coats and bow ties with tuxedo slacks and corframs on their feet were pushing the large cast-iron gate open so that I could bring my car through. In my opinion, they were overdressed bodyguards because they looked like they could tear an entire pig free with their bare hands. Although I did feel sorry for them having to wear such formal clothing under our tropical sun, I couldn’t help but think that there was more to their jobs than just pushing a gate open. The larger of the two walked up to my window and asked,

“ ‘Olelo Hawai’i ‘oe?” (Do you speak Hawaiian?)

“Li’ili’i,” ( A little ) I replied.

Pointing toward the gatehouse, he said, “Hele pololei ma laila, ke pau ka halawai, ha’alele pololei. Mai mili’apa. Maopopo?” ( Go straight there, when the meeting is done, leave immediately. Don’t be slow. Understand?)

Nodding, I replied, “Maopopo,”

As my car approached the gatehouse, a lone figure emerged from the front door and stood there with a manila envelope in her hands. It was the matriarch, Fleurette Gaspar. Her eyes were hidden behind a pair of dark glasses. Her red hair almost gave her away as being entirely Caucasian, except that her features became obviously more Hawaiian once she removed her glasses. Her eyes were a lite yellowish-brown, a stark contrast to the dark overcoat she wore along with her dark flats, which looked more like something suitable for a mannequin. Her hands had seen much work and many struggles; it almost seemed strange that she would color her fingernails in burgundy.

I was cautious about exiting my car and made sure that all of my movements were open and not threatening in any way. I offered my salutations from where I stood; it felt like the right thing to do.

One of the men who opened the gate came up from behind me and carefully received the manila envelope from Mrs. Gaspar and put it in my hands. He stood off to my side and awaited orders from his employer.

“In that envelope is a picture of my eldest son John and your compensation,” she said.

Her voice was like that of my Tutuwahine’s generation. Although they spoke Hawaiian fluently, their English had a kind of flair that gave them a regal countenance.

“I apologize, but I don’t understand,” I replied.

“You’ve watched the news, haven’t you?” She asked.

“Yes, I have,” I was still not sure about what she wanted.

“Then you know about my son,” she said quietly.

It dawned on me a little late, and I could see that Mrs. Gaspar was irritated. Not less than two days ago, John Gaspar was arrested for child molestation but somehow managed to escape while he was en route to the police station.

“Now I do, yes. I’ve seen the news,” I confirmed.

“Your services came highly recommended from a close friend of our family; I want this to be discreet and kept very quiet,” she was forthright.

“You understand what my services are, right?” I asked.

“Isn’t it obvious? The mere fact that you are standing here with my son's picture and a large amount of money in a manila envelope should tell you everything.” She was not so much condescending as she was incredulous. She did not like being questioned about anything.

“Alright,” I replied. “Who is the target? Is it one of the arresting officers?”

“No, it’s my son,”


John Gaspar had a problem from the time he was a child, so his mother said. As he got older, he made his problem, the issue of children who were the same age as he was. Over the decades, the Gaspar ‘ohana had managed to keep their family affairs very private, and considering what had just surfaced on the news, Mrs. Gaspar intended to maintain that reputation even at the cost of her son’s life.

“There’s a phone number in the envelope; you’ll call that number once it’s done,” she instructed. She opened the door behind her and disappeared into the confines of the gatehouse.

The bodyguard placed his hand on the back of my shoulder and pushed me toward my car. Poor man, his sweaty palms left a stain on the back of my shirt.

Finding John Gaspar would have taken me longer were it not for my urge to have sushi and a drink. The nearest place was the local Safeway; it was completely dumb luck that I would come upon John Gaspar doing that which brought a blight on his family name; I can understand someone being shunned from their family, but to be killed for it?


It’s a short walk to Chaplain Lane, and John Gaspar was easy to find. He was the blithering idiot sitting with his back up against a wall and his face buried in his hands. He was one of those ugly criers who had no sense of personal dignity; it was the kind of thing that made everyone within hearing range feel very uncomfortable. It was also a sure-fire way to draw attention to himself, like the police, for instance. From meeting his mother, I could see that this middle-aged man could not be reasoned with by any average person other than Fleurette herself; this was more than just being henpecked. I had to get him to shut up so he’d be my rapt audience of one; I removed my 9mm from its holster and pressed the barrel between his eyes, and clicked the hammer back with my thumb.

“Shut up and don’t say a word; I talk, you listen. Got it?” I instructed.

He blubbered and whined even more, which left me with no choice but to give him a quick rap to the head with the butt end of my gun. It woke him up quick.

“The next time, it’s gonna be one right between your eyes; if you understand me, just nod your head,” He could see that I was serious, so he nodded his head. For the next three hours, John Gaspar and I had an intense conversation.


The following morning at precisely eight-ten, I called Fleurette Gaspar from the number she’d left in the manila envelope from the day before.

“Is it done?” She asked.

“Yes,” I replied.

“I need to see it; I need proof. Were you discreet?” She asked again.

“Very,” I answered.

“Where are you?” She asked.

“Behind the Mc Kesson building on Sand Island road,” I confirmed.

“Bring him here,” she hung up.

In less than thirty minutes, my car idled through the gates at the Gaspar Estate. This time the two Hawaiian brothers climbed into my back seat and directed me to the roundabout driveway fronting the mansion. As I pulled up, I could see that Mrs. Gaspar was already waiting.

“Well? Where is he?” She demanded.

I got out of my car, and the two brothers followed me out as I walked to the trunk. I flipped the key in and opened the trunk where John’s mother, along with her two goons, saw the body bag.

“Open it,” she said quietly.

I zipped the body bag open wide so that Fleurette could see the entire contents of what lay inside. She was not pleased, not in the slightest.

“What is this?” She shrieked. “It’s filled with Ti Leaf bundles! Is this some sort of stupid trick?”

“You never specified how you wanted him delivered, so I thought I’d be creative,” I smiled. “If you open up any one of those bundles, you’ll find teeth in one, hair in another, fingernails, and a class ring if I’m not mistaken,”

Old lady Gaspar eyed me carefully as a wry grin came over her face, “Young man, my family has been in these islands for a long time, and I can guarantee you that we were of a higher class of Ali’i than yours ever were. You come from a long line of death dealers, whereas I come from a line of high-ranking Pi’o chiefs,” she drew her head back slightly so that I could see that she was purposely looking down her nose at me. “I know what a bunch of cursed pū’olo look like!”

Her two bodyguards inched closer towards me as I put my hands up and pleaded my case.

“Not a bunch,” I replied. “Just one,”

I quickly grabbed the most enormous bundle in the body bag and tossed it to one of the brothers. Even before he could catch it, I was already running toward the front gate with everything I had. From out of nowhere, a flaming blue akualele shot down from the sky above and obliterated the matriarch and her two henchmen into dust. The shockwave propelled me toward the front gate with such force that I had no time to curl my body up into a fetal position to protect myself. I hit it full spread eagle. I was banged up pretty good, but after I came to, I reached in my pocket and saw that my cell phone was still in one piece. I managed to limp toward the Pali Highway, where I called for a cab.

An hour before I showed up at the Gaspar estate, I called the police and reported my car stolen; that way, when the authorities found it in a burning heap fronting the Gaspar mansion, I wouldn’t be in any kind of trouble. Besides, my fingerprints wouldn’t be the only ones that could be found in my car, considering that the two goons sat in it as well. Oh, money? It burned up with the vehicle. Mrs. Gaspar was right; with her family being here in the islands since antiquity, there was no way that I could trick her with a bunch of cursed pu’olo, and so the only bundle that was really cursed was the one that had my shirt in it. The one with the sweaty hand stain from the brother. I know you’re saying that since I was wearing the dress shirt that I should have been hurt too, you are correct; I should have. However, I learned an old trick from a Lua master back in the day. The skill involved adapting a more extended, deeper breathing pattern to not perspire even under the most stressful circumstances. It actually works.

The real question you’re asking yourself is, why did I turn the tables on Mrs. Gaspar and not fulfill my contract? Like I said, John Gaspar and I had an intense conversation. It had to do with what Mrs. Gaspar noted the day before; her Ali’i lineage derives from a Pi’o line. It’s a sacred line where a brother and sister marry to keep their lineage pure. The child they have as a result of that union is considered a God. A Pi’o Ali’i. Fleurette Kahanuloa Gaspar, like her family before her, maintained that practice within her own household. Especially with John and his twin sister and his other siblings, and occasionally Mrs. Gaspar herself.

The fact that she was willing to have her son killed to protect her family’s secret gave me pause in a Catholic church of all places; that moment moved me to ask myself a question. Why wouldn’t she have me killed too?


I believed that a revelation was supposed to have taken place once John Gaspar told me everything about his life; I felt that his confession would absolve him somehow. In his mind, it only made him see himself as a twisted monster who was beyond redemption. He got up on his feet and thanked me. A second later, he ran in front of an oncoming city bus and ended his life. There’s no such thing as the lesser of two evils because whatever is leftover is still evil.