Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 8, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down 'Til Halloween 2017 ! #85

Death In a Velvet Blue Blazer

A lot of times the river gets damned and nary an idea is forth coming, that’s usually the sign that I should go stretch my writers' muscles and take a stroll. I ended up at the outdoor coffee shop where I don’t go very often, but here I was with a cranberry tea drink in front of me and my cell phone at my side. Other people who sat at nearby tables were either alone or in the company of their dog or other companions. A homeless woman who sat in the corner would become openly belligerent to anyone who walked by, but everyone ignored her. Tom Minder sat two tables away from the homeless woman enjoying his favorite
mocha style coffee while his poi dog lay at his feet, lapping up all of the bagel crumbs which were left by the previous occupant of the table. Emma Wong sat at the table across from where Tom sat and mindlessly thumbed through an old outdated Sears wedding catalog. Alzheimer’s had her stuck in a particular period of her life which was her happiest and exciting, it was picking out her wedding dress. Her intended, Benson Correa left her at the altar after realizing that his mother was right and that giving her half Portuguese, half Chinese grandchildren would ruin her status at the Catholic church. So, he never showed for the day of his wedding.
Near the door to the coffee shop, a group of young girls who were all made up and dressed half naked shared a loud conversation with one another while looking around to make certain that everyone paid attention to them. Being a writer, I couldn’t help but notice these things because each person seemed to be a living cut out that was pasted on to a very strange post card.

That’s when I saw him, he was dressed very casually in a pair of jeans, loafers, a polo shirt, with a velvet blue blazer. The crowd of people came and went as they would either purchase their coffee and leave or purchase their coffee and stay, but no one seemed to notice this guy who seemed to stand out. He was a mixture of a Polynesian and Asian ethnicity with brown eyes and a map of lines on his face that conveniently fit his almost perpetual smile. He sat with the homeless woman first, and as was her usual reaction, she yelled and screamed at him but calmed down almost immediately. Her eyes were no longer disconnected but very focused, she nodded at him, sat back and let out a deep sigh and said nothing else. The well-dressed man then moved over to Tom Minder’s table and extended his hand to greet Tom and Tom took his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze and nodded in agreement with whatever it was that the man shared with him. The man removed a few pieces of bread from inside his coat pocket and knelt down to feed it to Tom’s dog. The K9 received the snacks willingly and then lay on his side very quietly. The group of boisterous girls quickly changed their demeanor once the man stood at their table and asked if he could join them? They all moved to one side and gathered around him after one of the girls offered him her chair. Their expressions changed as if they were learning something very, very important. The girls thanked him once he left their table and approached mine.

“Here we go,” I thought to myself, this wanna be telemarketing scam artist is not pulling one over on me. “No is the answer to whatever it is he’s selling.”

But it wasn’t a sell and it wasn’t a scam, his voice is very pleasant and all he said was, “You might want to vacate this table as quickly as you can.” I guess he could see that I was confused and he pointed to the intersection. A city bus was taking the left turn past the coffee shop much too wide and it was going much too fast.


Mark Huddy had been driving for the city bus since the time he graduated high school and the city bus was all he knew. He was up there as far as seniority but he never took a supervisory position because he loved driving and being among the people. As of late, he’d developed an unusual malady that had a paralyzing effect on him. He began to fall victim to a bout of over powering sneezes that would render him useless and cause his body to curl up into a fetal position. Those bouts would always happen at the most inopportune times, like now as he took the left turn from Kapahulu on to Mo’oheianu drive. The sneezes grabbed him and caused him to let go of the steering wheel as he thrashed about in his chair, the bus took a wider turn than normal and with the next powerful sneeze, Mark’s legs stiffened and buried the gas pedal to the floor. The forty foot vehicle plowed into the open area where coffee drinkers and ne’er do wells gathered and took them all under its wheel and scraped their bodies along the concrete walk way, all while being pinned under it’s carriage.

The girls went first, their beautifying makeup now being replaced with exposed flesh and bone. Next was Tom whose dog was crushed under the weight of one of the dual tires while he himself had the leg of his own chair spin in the air before impaling itself into his right eye. The most merciful death of all was Emma Wong's, caught in a revolving reality that no longer existed, she never bathed, never kept herself clean and never went to her house right up the street. She just sat at the old coffee shop hoping that one day Benson would happen by.
The front of the city bus hit her with such force that it sent her head through the wrought iron table where it became impaled by one of the legs which held it up. When the bus came to rest, it hit the far corner wall of the outdoor area where the homeless woman sat. All that was left of her was a large splatter of blood on the wall.


I only had a second to react and was barely able to leap out of the way when the city bus ran through all the wrought iron tables, chairs, and people. The well-dressed man came out to the side walk and helped me up.

“Not your time yet I’m afraid,” the man smiled. “Although, you do have a tendency to be where death is it at...don't you?”

“I don’t know what you mean?” I really didn’t have a clue as to what he was saying because my mind hadn’t yet understood what just happened.

He smiled and waved and before he took off into the parking lot and disappeared behind the noodle shop, he stopped and remarked, “The last time you and I met I was Loyd Dobler, today I’m the guy in the velvet blue blazer because that’s how these people accepted their fate. Who knows? Next time I might go old school and wear the robe and hood and carry the scythe?"

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