Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

May 2, 2017

" It's Blue "

The scenario was simple, I parked in front of the Salt Lake house and could hear the yelling and screaming the second I got out of the car. It got louder as I approached the door and rang the bell. Sherry pulled the door back and her eyes were wide with panic, “She’s bleeding from her nose please help her!”

The kitchen was to the immediate left of the door. Isaac had his wife by her hair and was slapping her around. He took one look at me and growled,

“What? Who the fuck are you supposed to be?”

The Kel-Tec P11 is one of the lightest and smallest 9mm made. It’s got great locking dynamics and superior ergometry, with convenient accuracy, it’s a good comparison to the larger guns. Personally, I like to use it in close quarter situations like the one I’m in now for instance. This is where I calmly walk up to Isaac and un-holster the 9mm and put a black talon round through his knee cap. Sometimes, the round just shatters the knee cap, but I guess tonight is my lucky night because it blew out the side of his knee as well. Who knew? Isaac fell to the kitchen floor and there was blood everywhere and screaming, lots of screaming. I got Sherry to calm down long enough to remind her that I needed my money. Panicked and in fear, she ran to her bedroom and came out with an envelope thick with cash. Written on the back of the envelope were the mathematical breakdowns of the twenties, fifties, and hundreds. It was all there.

“I got connections!” Isaac screamed at me as I put the envelope in my pocket and made my way out the front door. “All I have to do is make one call and you’re fucking dead!”

I put another round through his shoulder, that one raised the decibel level on his screams, it was high and shrill. Not like a woman’s scream but more like when your ears start ringing until it becomes one constant sound.

“Any more threats?” I asked him as I pulled the trigger back.

No response, just whimpering.

I was headed down the stairs to my car when Sherry came running up behind me.

“I thought you were just gonna rough him up, not shoot him!” Was that a look of disappointment on her face? Really?

“You told me to take care of him, you didn’t say how. You should have been more specific.” I was calm as I could be but you know, people never quite understand the details when they ask for something like this.

“For shit sake, he’s up there bleeding out in my kitchen! What am I supposed to do now?” She didn’t scream, she couldn’t. She was too exhausted by all the drama that just transpired.

“You can call for an ambulance,” I began. “I’m sure they’ll get here in time to save him.”

“Yeah,” she agreed. “Maybe I should do that.”

She started to walk back to her house but I had to remind her of one small fact.

“Your son-in-law DID see you pay me off after I blew his knee to shit. He may be a giant dick weed but I think he’s figured everything out.  Whatcha gonna do Sherry? You got quite a conundrum here. You can’t tell the authorities about what happened and you can’t tell them about me either because well, I know where to find you if you do. Either way, you better figure something out right quick.”

I was in my car and out of there in no time flat. This was one of those last-minute cases that come up on the fly. It’s interesting to see the lengths that people will go to once they’ve crossed that line, I’m sure Sherry believed that she was doing the right thing but you can’t hire the devil to ruin someone’s life with just a handshake. Right now, I had a bigger case that needed my attention. A corporation needed their accountant found and taken out. They were doing everything they could to keep the news from going public. The executive officer and owner of a said corporation is a man by the name of Edmond Poli, a former head of a local crime group, his little enclave went legit fifteen years ago. Their accountant is a long time family friend of the Poli’s, Jerry Hovan.

“A couple of thousand here and there, no pilikia. But braddah took off with ten million, that I cannot overlook but I can’t do things the way I used to. So, I need you to do your thing and keep it discreet.” He told me over the phone.

“I can do that,” I replied. “I don’t mean to overstep my bounds and please tell me if I am, but Jerry Hovan doesn’t sound like a Hawaiian name?”

“Just one of those things, some braddahs was picking on this haole kid and I felt sorry for him. A smart kid just walked into the wrong bar, which happened to be the MY bar.” Edmond chuckled.

“ I get it, not just about money but trust was stolen too,” I offered.

“Malama this thing for me,” Mr. Poli wasn’t asking, it was a statement.

One bit of information that he did share with me is that Jerry Hovan was a big fan of all the old classic movies, especially the Marx Brothers comedies. That was easy enough, I pulled over on the side of the road and brought up Craigslist on my phone and wrote up a quick add and posted it.

“I’m getting rid of my collection of Mark Brothers DVDs and the original harp played by Harpo himself. No cost, just change of life situation.” That's what the add said.

I left my phone number available for a text or a call. In the meantime, I drove to the nearest Wendy’s and sat down with a burger, fries and a drink. It wasn’t the usual military dinner crowd that packed the place but more locals from around the area. Good, Jerry will feel safe when I tell him to meet me here. With a large crowd like this, he won’t ever think that someone would be bold enough to make an attempt on his life. Right then, my phone rang.

“Hello?” I asked while I took a sip of my drink.

“Is this the guy with the Marx Brothers collection?” The voice asked. He was nasally and the pronunciation of his vowels was bit deep.

“Are you from the east coast?” I asked. There was a moment of silence but then he answered. “Yeah, East Coast. So, the stuff you have, is it the entire collection?”

“Yes,” I assured him. “All seventeen films.”

“There were only sixteen films,” was he really scolding me?

“Seventeen if you count the one in 1921 that was never released. Everybody assumes that film is lost,” I told him. “It was called, ‘Humor Risk’

“That’s right, not too many people know that. Okay, take down this address and meet me...” He began to say, but I cut him off.

“You can meet me at the Wendy’s by the Airport, I’ve already sat down to eat.”

“Alright, gimme 15 minutes,” he said and then hung up.

He was here in less than 10 minutes and he called me the second he pulled into the parking lot.

“I’m the only local guy in here who’s dressed like a car salesman, you can’t miss me,” I said.

He walked in through the side door near the bathroom and looked around for a second. I put my hand up and waved him over and he took a seat in front of me. He was dressed in an old army jacket with a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. It didn’t take him long to figure out that there wasn’t any Marx Brothers anything. Even before he could make the attempt to run, I placed my gun on the table between the burger bag and my large drink just so he could see it. I had already attached a silencer to it and had my finger on the trigger, I looked him in the eye to get his attention.

“Look at me,” I said calmly. “Look at me... you move and I’ll put one right through your heart and nobody will hear it.”

He was desperate now and I could see by his body language that he was still thinking about his options. I held the 9mm close to my waist and fired one under the table directly at his stomach, these black talon rounds do a lot of damage when it comes to flesh. His face went wide with the shock of pain, he was about to let loose with a blood-curdling scream, so I put another round right through his heart like I said I would. Fuckin’ asshole, all he had to do was listen and follow instructions. What is it with these people?

I put my gun in the in the burger bag and grabbed Jerry by his jacket and propped him up real nice and acted like we were having a conversation. His cell phone went off in the middle of our pretend to talk and I reached into his jacket pocket and took it out. It was a snap chat from some woman named, Lisa. She sent him a pic of what looked like a thermometer reading at first, but it was a pregnancy test strip.

It was blue.


Looking through Jerry’s phone now as I was parked at the end of Lagoon Drive, I realized just how much of an idiot he was. Considering the way he was dressed, maybe he couldn’t afford a laptop? Maybe that explained why all of the information regarding the missing ten million dollars was on his phone? Yeah, one of the skills I picked up along the way, hacking phones. I copied everything and sent the link to my personal e-mail. All the while, his girlfriend and or wife Lisa kept texting, “Are you, happy Daddy?”

When she didn’t get an immediate reply she then texted, “Jerry? Did you get the snap chat?”

I finally replied, “I’m at the Wendy’s on Lagoon Drive, I’m waiting.”

I took the sim card out of the phone and backed over it once or twice for good measure. Afterward, I headed to Edmond Poli’s office.


“Everything’s on the this SIM card,” I said to Mr. Poli as I handed it to him. “I had to ditch the phone just in case.”

“No problem,” he replied as he removed an envelope from his desk drawer and slid it across the table to me. “You should come work for me.”

“As what?” I asked as I took the envelope and slid it into my coat pocket.

“A personal bodyguard,” he answered.

“I’m very humbled by your offer Mr. Poli but it’s better if I keep the mystery that is my reputation, no disrespect,” I replied.

“None taken,” the old man smiled. “Thank you for your services.”

“You’re very welcome,” I stopped suddenly as I turned to leave because a thought entered my mind. “You know, when I was sitting down, talking with Jerry, a woman named Lisa sent him a snap chat photo of her pregnancy test on his phone.”

“Really?” Mr. Poli seemed to be genuinely interested. “What color was it ?”

“It’s blue,” I confirmed.

Before Edmond Poli could blink I drew my Kel-Tec P11 and fired a black talon round right through his brain. I retrieved the sim card and destroyed it, after all, the information regarding the ten million dollars was going to Jerry's family where it belonged. Edmond Poli was running a legit operation concerning portfolio management, but that was just a front. His office is located directly across the street from the boat harbor where he oversaw the traffic that came in out of that place. Human traffic that is. Jerry Hovan had enough paper evidence on Edmond that would send him up for life, his only problem was that he got too jumpy in the middle of a fast food restaurant, or maybe as I get older I've become less patient. In any event, Jerry looked like someone who had a story and for some reason, I was genuinely interested in hearing it. Ten million may not make up for his death, but it will sure give his son a good start.


In my line of work, there are ghosts that haunt me all the time. I've fulfilled contracts on a lot of people and in those instances I'm the last conscious memory they have before I make the lights go out. So yeah, they linger, mostly around me. Jerry didn't stay long once I helped him understand that everything was going to work out. Edmond Poli's ghost was too attached to material things that he used in order to fill a deep dark void in his former life. Now in the afterlife, he's wondering what it all meant? Sometimes, I wonder about the same thing myself.