Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 6, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017 #87


"...Sundown, you better take care, if I find you've been creepin' round my back stairs..."


THE DAY CAME LIKE ANY OTHER day as the sun rose in the east and set its light through the windows of Alan Higashi’s home.  It was the sunlight that invaded his living room and roused him from his sleep.  His vision gradually came in to focus, and he was surprised to see his ex-girlfriend Kenzie fast asleep on the carpeted floor at the foot of his couch.

“Oh yeah,” he said to himself with sarcasm, “How could I forget?”

 Kenzie and Alan had been broken up for a while, at least in Alan’s mind they had. However, she would still have one of her incidents where she would randomly show up unannounced at Alan’s apartment and beg him to take her back.  It usually ended with Kenzie threatening to
commit suicide once she realized that Alan wasn’t going to budge.  Last night was a bit different, Kenzie was just too tired to argue and needed somewhere to crash.  Alan stepped over her sleeping form and headed to the bathroom to get ready for work. The angel on his shoulder told him that work was another trek through midtown traffic just to get to a job that wasn’t going to give anyone of its employees a raise. After five years of busting their asses, they were all told that they could put up with it or leave. So, why was Alan still there after five years?

'Nothing else better out there,' he growled to himself in the mirror. 

 Stepping into the shower, he turned the water up to full blast and set it on cold.  It’s the only thing that could clear the cobwebs out of his head and help make him cognizant for the rest of the day.  

His choice of clothing always consisted of a buttoned-down, long-sleeved shirt, usually in green or olive drab accentuated by a pair of khaki slacks and a pair of Salomon shoes. With that came his shoulder bag, which carried his laptop and five packets of jasmine tea, which he saved for lunch.  

Lunch itself came from the Mediterranean Cafe, a block away from his office.  He always ordered whatever it was that the cashier recommended whenever he went there because he had a crush on her.  He couldn’t pronounce her name but, nevertheless, he was haunted by her sharp, gray-colored eyes and her raspy voice.  Her hair fell about her shoulders in natural curls, and Alan could only imagine that in another life, she must have been Scheherazade and that he was the king who found himself seduced by her nightly tales of romance and wonder.

That and the fact that Alan’s immediate boss was a dog lover and allowed Alan to bring his dog to work with him were the only things that made the day worthwhile.  Teddy, Alan’s golden retriever, was the office mascot.  Whenever Teddy needed to go outside to do his business, he would always walk toward the main door and sit there; it was Teddy’s regular signal for potty time.  If Alan was too busy trying to get a report done, there was always someone else in the office who loved taking Teddy outside for his walk since it also gave them a bit of a break as well.  

Traffic was a bear for forty minutes into town, and that was only from Makiki Heights.  Alan parked in his usual space just behind the old MacDonald’s off of Queen and Bishop Streets.  The elevator ride to his third-floor office was also the same ride with the same people going to their individual floors to fill in a day of work.  The same Ultra Man toys decorated Alan’s desk as well as a slightly fading picture of himself and Kelly Hu that was taken at a mandatory fundraiser put on by his boss at Lau Yee Chai.  The scotch tape that held the image to the edge of Alan’s computer screen was beginning to come loose.

“Why, Kelly?” Alan asked, “Why now?  Why couldn’t you have just hung on instead of making me tape you back together again?”

Taking a small pair of scissors from his desk drawer, he cut off the old scotch tape from the top of the humble photograph and replaced it with a push pin and stuck the little portrait onto his mini bulletin board.

“You see Kelly?” Alan said in a deadpan voice, “I didn’t want to push the issue, but you left me no choice.  What could I do, babe?  My hands are tied.”

Peeking out from the miniature wall of his small cubicle, Alan’s workmate Piker, piped up, “I’m starting to worry about you and Kelly.  It sounds like it’s starting to get physical.  Maybe I should tell your middle eastern girlfriend about your abusive habits?”

Alan’s reply came in a wadded up ball of Post-Its with tape wrapped around it with the sticky side out.  It landed in Piker’s orange, curly afro, and dangled there like a Christmas ornament.

“Haha, Higashi, Piker will have his revenge!” Alan's workmate and best friend gave him the vengeful squinty look, which always meant that he was going to wait until Alan was relaxed and calm before unleashed his revenge.

Alan Higashi and Piker Teruya, along with Teddy, were always the first to take their lunch hour together.  Piker was the only hapa kid Alan knew of that looked more like his Japanese father than his Irish mother, except that he had orange hair and freckles on his cheeks.  Even among his own people, Piker looked so unique that no one knew what to make of him.  Rather than make fun of Piker, they treated him more like a celebrity.  This unique treatment that he received never went to his head but, whatever benefits he may have derived from his status, Piker always made sure that his best friend, Alan Higashi, shared in the glory as well.  On days like this, however, it was Alan’s chance for glory as they neared his favorite place to eat. 

For Piker, the novelty of the daily jaunt to the Mediterranean Café had worn out for him very early on.  It was painful for him to watch Alan make a complete fool of himself to impress a girl who really didn’t want to have anything to do with him.  So, Piker and Teddy would head to the Subway shop or to the Pork Adobo place on Fort Street Mall instead.  Teddy loved Pork Adobo, but, as a result, Alan was the one who had to suffer the consequences at home later on.  Piker would always get an earful over the phone. After a few minutes of yelling and exchange of colorful descriptions of each other’s mothers, Piker would then say, “Oh, hey, my dad says we’re having Wafu Steak, rice, natto, and chicken furikake, he said come over and eat.”

Before Alan could even politely refuse the invite, Piker’s father would get on the phone to put in his two cents, “Alan?” 

Piker’s father was a great businessman at a local car dealership, but he came off more like a samurai general leading his warriors into battle.

“Hi, Mr. Teruya,” Alan replied.

“Eh, we get pahleeeenty food you!  Come here now and eat before all gone.”

There was no refusing Mr. Dean Teruya; he never took “no” for an answer.

Alan and Piker were only halfway to the little shopping complex when Teddy began to put up a big fuss and refused to go any further.  Quite unusual for Teddy as he was always the first one into the little shopping complex.  The owners of each individual store always gave Teddy a warm greeting or a wave.  Today, however, Teddy suddenly refused to take another step forward.  There was no whimpering or crying but, instead, a low growl as if there were something in the building that he was afraid of.  Teddy’s ears were flat, and his tail was tucked between his legs.  He didn’t even bother to bark, but slowly backed up to the sidewalk.  He suddenly defecated and urinated at the same time.

Alan didn’t know what to make of it, “He’s afraid of something, what’s wrong, Teddy?  What’s got you so spooked?”

Teddy just looked at the opening to the complex and continued to growl and bare his teeth.

“What’s wrong with him, Al?  I’ve never seen him like this?” Piker asked.

“I don’t know,” Alan replied, “He’s acting weird,  listen, I’ll stay with him.  Why don’t you go get your food, and when you get back, I’ll go get my food, and you can watch him.”

“Are you sure?” Piker smiled, “You don’t want to miss your quality time with you know who?”

“Yeah, no worries,” Alan waved him off, “Go, go...”

However, the second Piker began to leave, Teddy leaped forward and grabbed Piker’s pant leg with his teeth and dragged him back.  Teddy instantly let go and barked at Piker three times and then went right back to staring at the building and growling.

“Alright,” Piker said, “Your dog has officially gone, Cujo!”

“Teddy, what’s wrong with you?” Alan was yelling at the dog now, “That’s Piker!  You know, Piker!  Can you stay with him?  I’ll be right back.”

In an instant, Teddy stood on his hind legs and placed his paws on Alan’s chest and gave him a low, threatening growl.  All the while baring his teeth and nearly salivating on his owner’s shirt, Teddy refused to let Alan and Piker leave the sidewalk and go into the building, Alan was furious. 

“Teddy goddammit, you frickin’ dog!” The retriever held his ground and backed the two men up to the edge of the sidewalk.

Yulianna and her family thought that they had seen the last of their home country near the Carpathian Mountains and its evil lineage.  Her family saw the need to move after seeing their kind being sensationalized in the movies. It wasn’t safe anymore. In the early days, it was easy to hide behind the myth and allegory of who the uneducated public thought they were, but Hollywood made it impossible for them to exist in privacy.  Their covert exodus to Serbia in 1995 was supposed to have been their liberation from their past, and it was hoped that they could have the healthy life that they collectively longed for.  

In 1995, what proved to be their undoing was the ethnic cleansing campaign that was carried out by the Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica, where more than seven thousand Bosnian Muslims, mainly men and boys were killed.  Their kind observed practiced secrecy and strict adherence to discipline that was almost at a level of fanaticism.  The carnage and the sum of fresh corpses proved to be too much for the weaker of their kind.  They came in droves and fed so voraciously without regard to the consequences that they became easy targets for those who hunted them.

The older of their kind waited and bided their time by partaking wisely and not gorging themselves needlessly. Typically, the elders only took what was needed, and they would leave as quickly as they came, but in this instance, it was too late.  The younger and more foolish of Yulianna’s family exposed the rest and gave away the location of their lair.  The hunters simply let them feed, and when the foolish ones were done, they followed them home.  The second their nest was found, more hunters came and wiped them out.  Only a lucky few escaped, and those few would prove to be a burden on their human families. 


Honolulu is a bustling city, and a melting pot of many ethnicities seemed to be the logical choice for Yulianna and her family. It would be easy for them to blend in. Her grandfather’s eldest brother Alexandru or Papa Dru, as he came to be known, moved to the islands in the late 1950s to make a new life for himself.  He had wanted to see the world that existed beyond Romania and managed to stow away on a steamship headed for America.  

His stay in the bowels of the ship was cramped and uncomfortable, and the bread and sausage that Alexandru brought with him for the journey didn’t last very long. His arrival in New York went unnoticed, and, with some old family gold that he was able to sell, he was able to rent a small apartment.  He quickly found that the smell of death was too overwhelming, too much of a reminder of home, and decided that his stay in New York would not be for very long.

Learning that there were opportunities on the West Coast, Alexandru boarded a train headed for San Francisco but found that the underlying stench of San Francisco was similar to that of New York.  However, it was here that he discovered tales of an island paradise that was young and fresh.  He sold what was left of his gold and purchased a first-class ticket on the SS Lurline bound for Honolulu.
When he stepped off of the gangplank at the pier of Aloha Tower, Alexandru felt as if he had come home.  This is where he would stay for the rest of his life, never feeling the need to leave.  He found odd jobs here and there but, after tooling around for a few months, he found a job working for E.K. Fernandez and happened to meet a man by the name of Al Karasick, who was putting together a local professional wrestling promotion in Honolulu.  Alexandru was only seventeen at the time, and someone like Al Karasick, who was larger than life to a boy at such a young age, would prove to be a good influence on him.  Karasick had also taught the boy how to speak English, and his student proved to be a quick study.  Alexandru plied his trade in the wrestling business as a journeyman wrestler who paid his dues by doing jobs for other wrestlers who were top stars or up and comers.  Often times Alexandru worked under a mask and was known as the Masked Killer, which was a heel or bad guy.

One night, while working a stiff match with a young Nick Bockwinkle, Alexandru suddenly felt a chill crawl up his spine, and it stopped him dead in his tracks.  It was something he hadn’t felt since he was a child growing up in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania.  It seemed impossible that one of his kind that his family was charged to care for could have found his way here to Honolulu from the other side of the world.  Yet, there he was sitting in the third row dressed in a pinstriped suit and tie with a pair of spats, he was out of place among the mixed crowd of Hawaiians and other locals dressed in aloha shirts or Bermuda shorts.  It was Decebal. 

His name meant “stronger than ten,” which he probably was.  He hadn’t aged a day since Alexandru last saw him when he was only ten years old.  There was no expression on his face, only the impression that he wanted Alexandru to be aware of his presence.  For the split second that Alexandru was distracted, Nick Bockwinkle grabbed the young boy by the head and threw him to the mat for a snap mare and applied a shoot headlock and put Dru to sleep.

Later on, after Al Karasick paid Alexandru his fee for the night, the young man grabbed his overcoat and made his way out of the front door of the Civic Auditorium.  This was against the rules in the wrestling business. No one left through the front door. The talent always went through the back of the house.  Leaving through the front door meant that you broke Kayfabe, which is one of the more sacred and unspoken rules of the business.  Alexandru was not at all concerned since he wrestled under a mask, and there was no way that any fan could make him on the spot.   He quickly crossed South King Street and made his way down Ke‘eaumoku to Likelike Drive Inn for a quick meal. In the dark parking lot, Alexandru was not surprised when he heard the voice from behind him.

“Sunt dezamăgit,” came Decebal’s grainy voice.

“Why are you disappointed?” Alexandru remembers having conversations with other men like Decebal in the old country.

“Tu vorbeşti Engleză?” he inquired with a raised eyebrow.

“Yes,” Alexandru would have never exhibited this level of irritation before, especially with the old ones. But life had changed, and he was no longer a boy. “I speak English, why are you disappointed?”

“Ai putea fi ucis ca omul cu uşurinţă.  Puteţi să-l bate.  Au uitat de unde ai venit?  You could have killed that man easily.  But you let him beat you.  Have you forgotten where you come from?” Decebal kept his eyes focused straight ahead without looking at Alexandru once, there was a smile on his face that didn’t necessarily mean he was happy.

“Acest lucru fac este configurat.  Aceasta nu este real.  Mister Karasick este un om bun.  El ma trateaza ca pe propriul fiu.  Când îmi spune să fac ceva, o fac.  Eu nu plâng şi am ţine gura închisă.” Alexandru explained, “It’s set up, it’s not meant to be real. Mister Karasick is good to me, he treats me like his own son. When he asks me to do something, I do it, I don’t complain.”

“Alexandru,” Decebal began, “Poate că acest loc a avut o influenta proasta asupra ta?  Perhaps this place has had a bad influence on your mind?”

“Listen to me Decebal,” Alexandru continued, “This place, these Hawaiian people, they are not like people from anywhere else in the world. Their hearts are pure, they take you in and feed you because it is considered bad manners if they don’t do it.  They give without expecting anything back, and yet they have had so much taken away from them.  If this is what you consider to be a bad influence, then perhaps I am already corrupted.”

Now Decebal’s eyes met Alexandru’s eyes straight on, “Do you know that there are some of our kind here in Honolulu?  They are from the Philippines, they are called Aswang....filthy creatures. These Hawaiian people have their guardian deities who take the form of sharks and other animals. The gods that they once worshipped are still here, and they are not aware of it in the least, or they must be afraid. It is a strange language they have, the locals here speak another dialect of English. The words are almost arranged backward.”

“It’s called Pidgin. Why are you here Decebal?” Alexandru was irritated at the presence of this abomination.

“Some of the Hawaiian people, although converted to western European belief, still fear their old gods. I thought perhaps I could make use of that old pagan practice, what do you think?” Decebal laughed now even more heartily, “We could be gods here, Alexandru, they would fear us. Our power over this place would be unlimited! We could use their own superstitions to suppress them and make them our slaves!”

Brave beyond his years, Alexandru now stood face to face with something that had lived longer than he had and indeed had the strength of ten men. But he had no concern for his own life, there was something about Hawai‘i that cleansed his heart and gave him peace of mind.  It was something that he instinctively wanted to protect at all costs, even if it meant killing one of his own.

“After everything we’ve done to protect elders like yourselves from the hunters and priests and fanatics and Nazi’s, you want to come here and create your own Olympus?  You want to subjugate a race of people and become their god?  Do you know what that will bring to this place? We may be a world away from our home, but word will get out, and the hunters will find you, and there won’t be anything that I can do to protect you. I’m sorry Decebal, I won’t let you do it.”

Decebal was stunned at the Alexandru's disobedience, he had to be taught a lesson. He lifted the boy off the ground by his throat without effort, his sharp fangs bare.

“Family, you are!  You will obey your code to feed us who are damned, or you will be damned!  Do you understand, boy?” Decebal’s eyes were now blood red and filled with the fury of hell itself.

“Fii atent. Suntem într-un loc public…” Alexandru now struggled to speak under Decebal’s iron grip around his throat, “Be Careful… we are in a public place.”

Realizing the truth of what the boy said, Decebal let him go. Ke‘eaumoku street was bustling with too much traffic. He quickly fixed his coat and tie and made sure that no one saw what just happened. That was the moment that Alexandru needed.  

He depended on the fact that elders like Decebal still held on to the old ways and demanded respect,  his open disregard worked.  Alexandru knew that he could not accomplish what he needed to do with a public attack. A slight on Decebal’s ego would have to do the trick, and it proved very useful.  In one swift motion, the young man drew the short, silver, jeweled sword from his coat and, using his hips for momentum, swung the blade in a quick arc and decapitated his Elder's head from the rest of his body.  Without a second to waste, Alexandru quickly wrapped Decebal’s head in his overcoat and hid his body behind some garbage cans.  The meal would have to wait. 

Alexandru ran back up Ke‘eaumoku Street and made his way across Beretania and headed toward the corner of Makiki and Kinau Streets to the Masonic Temple. The parking lot was full, and with the lights on upstairs and all of the doors closed downstairs, it meant that all of the Freemasons were busy conducting their rituals, and they would not come out for a long while.

Alexandru found a little alley behind the Masonic temple, and it was there that he managed to bury Decebal’s head.  He would have to return for the body later and take it to the incinerator at Kaka‘ako.  The code from the old country was antiquated and had no place in Hawai’i, it was too precious to be defiled by one such as Decebal or any other elder who dared to make this town their personal feeding ground.  On that day, Alexandru promised himself that he would be Hawai‘i’s personal protector from his own kind.  The Elders. 

 Not many came, but when they did, Alexandru would find them and rid the islands of them before they could spread their evil in his paradise.

In late 1996, when Yulianna’s family arrived, Alexandru was happy to see his youngest brother Andrei and Andrei’s wife, Alina.  He embraced his brother warmly and shed tears of happiness.

“Aloha,” he said to his brother.  He greeted each of his family members the same way.  The gesture itself was very awkward and out of character for anyone from Romania, but Alexandru had lived in Hawai‘i for so long that he had found the old customs were too conservative for his tastes.

He was also relieved to find that there were no elders among them.  His heart, however, was made warm when he saw his niece, Miruna, and her husband, Vasile.  Holding Miruna’s hand was her ten-year-old daughter, Yulianna.
The girl worked the lunch shift while standing nervously at her cash register.  Try as she might, she couldn’t take her mind off of the large crate that arrived late last night.  Her mother yelled at her as the line of customers got longer. She noticed that the digital clock next to the register read 12:10 p.m. and that the strange Japanese boy wasn’t in front today. It was unusual because he never missed a day; although he was bothersome, he was always polite.  For some reason, she wished he were here, there was an honest look to him that she liked. 

Most of the men who stood in her line only came to look at her and to think unsavory thoughts.  It was easy to read their eyes.  Her grandmother had taught her well to read deeply into the eyes of human beings, for it would reveal the real intent of that person. The purpose in the eyes of the strange Japanese boy was only that of trust and perhaps more, but the girl couldn’t afford to get close to anyone, much less make friends.  In her heart, she felt that it was too costly,  especially with the circumstances regarding the arrival of the enormous crate; the worry increased ten-fold.  It was just after three in the morning when the girl and her family drove down to the docks to pick up the crate and bring it home.

It was here on the second floor, directly above where the girl now stood as she worked the cash register. It contained a vast, oversized casket where the body of her Uncle lays.  She dreaded the end of the day when she would have to see the sunset in the west.  It meant that her Uncle would be awake, and he would be hungry. Where was Papa Dru?  She had hoped that he would have arrived early, but no one had seen him yet, the time was getting short.


Alan and Piker quickly brought Teddy back to the office and left him there, only returning to the little shopping complex when they were sure Teddy was okay.  Piker headed straight to Subway while Alan walked to the Mediterranean Café and took his place at the back of the line.  He glanced up toward the front of the line and saw that the girl was smiling at him. Alan looked around to make sure that her salutations were not being extended to someone else.  It would be pretty embarrassing if he waved back only to find out that the greetings were not his.  But he wasn’t mistaken; the girl was looking directly at him and waved him to the front. He went with a bit of hesitation and nervousness.

“Hi, I’m Alan,” he extended his hand.  The girl took his hand and held on to it instead of shaking it.  Her touch was very soft, and Alan could feel himself getting a bit flush.

“I’m Yulianna, you can stand here and keep me company while my grandmother makes your favorite dish,” she smiled at him, and Alan found himself riveted to the spot.  He wondered how Yulianna’s grandmother knew what his favorite dish was.

"Oh, yeah," he thought to himself. "It’s probably because I order the same thing all the time."

Piker bit into his Italian BMT sandwich and headed to the Mediterranean Café to wait for Alan.  His mind kept going back to Teddy and his strange aggressive behavior.  The second they took Teddy back to the office, he was fine.  He was right back to his usual self, and his happy-go-lucky demeanor reappeared as if nothing happened.  Piker couldn’t figure it out. 


Two blocks away in Alan’s office, Teddy could hear an unfamiliar voice call his name again and again, not with his ears but in his mind.  The voice invaded his thoughts, and he didn’t like it. He certainly didn’t like the smell that came with it.

“Teddy,” the voice said, “Teddy, I know you can hear me. Be a good dog, and keep away from this place. I will bring harm to your friends if you do not heed my warning.”

Teddy’s thoughts replied to the strange voice, “The man and his friend are my mines. I will protect them from your harm. You will not do this thing that you say, I will not let you. You are not a man, you are something evil.”

The voice in Teddy’s thoughts simply laughed.

Teddy laid his head on his paws and waited for Alan to return. He was afraid for his man and his friend.


Alina came to the cash register to retrieve Alan and had him sit at a small table near the kitchen.  She served him a plate of his favorite dish, a falafel filled with a kabob on the side, and colossal potato slices with a dab of hummus. 

“Eat,” she said to Alan as she brought him a tall glass of his favorite home-squeezed lemonade that he always ordered, “Yulianna says you are a good boy. I hope she is right, yes?”

“Uh, yes,” Alan hesitated.  With that, the old woman repaired to the kitchen to continue cooking.  Alan couldn’t figure out what was going on. One day Yulianna wouldn’t give him the time of day, and the next day, he’s suddenly treated like family. What changed?

Just then, a huge burly man with his dark hair pulled back into a ponytail waked into the Café.  He looked at Yulianna and pointed toward the kitchen as he continued on.

“When the lunch line dies down, we all have to talk.” His voice was compassionate yet firm as if he was someone not to be questioned.

“Yes, Papa Dru,” Yulianna let out a sigh of relief. 

Walking past Alan, he gently tapped him on the shoulder with his large meaty hands and extended a warm greeting, “Aloha, my friend! I’m Papa Dru.”  Alan’s right hand practically disappeared in Papa Dru’s hand altogether.

Standing up now and putting his plate aside, Alan returned the salutation, “Aloha!  I’m Alan.” 

“Sit,” Papa Dru said, “Don’t let me interrupt your meal, please eat.”

“Mahalo,” Alan replied and went back to his hummus.

Walking into the café, Piker was pleasantly surprised to see where Alan was sitting and pulled up a chair right in front of him.

“Ok,” Piker said, “Before I start to freak out about how you suddenly got to sit next to the kitchen when only yesterday you were relegated to standing in line like everybody else for the Falafel Nazi, what is the deal with your retriever?”

“Dunno,” Alan said, “I’ve never seen Teddy like that.  He was really freaked out, but over what?  I can’t say.”

“I think my family can answer that question for you,” Yulianna suddenly interrupted, “Will you come to the kitchen and join us the both of you?  My family would like to talk to you.”

Alan didn’t know what to think, this was all so sudden.

“I knew it!” Piker said, “All this special treatment couldn’t have been a random act of kindness!  This is gonna be like one of those Saw movies!  They’re gonna take us in the back and chop us up to bits, but slowly, while we’re still awake and with no anesthesia!”

Papa Dru peaked out of the kitchen and smiled, “Hele mai ‘olua.  Please join us.” The invitation was sincere, and there was no way to avoid such kindness from a man who was three times their size.

Alan and Piker followed Yulianna into the kitchen and found her family gathered around a big circular table at the opposite end.  She introduced her family to her two new friends.

“This is my Grandfather, Andrei, and my grandmother, Alina.  My Papa Dru or Alexandru, my grand uncle.  My father, Vasile, and my mother, Miruna.”

Everyone bowed and smiled gently at the two young men.  The people who stood before Alan were very handsome people who seemed to have led a vibrant and healthy life.  It radiated from them like sunlight, but there was also some concern in their demeanor, and, for some reason, Alan and Piker sensed that it had to do with them.

“Please,” Andrei insisted, “Sit, we only need a minute of your time.”

Alan and Piker sat there dumbfounded and had no clue as to what was going on.  Andrei gave the nod to his granddaughter.

“Where did you get your dog from?” Yulianna asked.

“Teddy?” Alan asked, “Uh, I got Teddy when he was about two years old. I found him wandering around outside the emergency room at Straub Hospital. He actually followed me home.  We’ve been pals ever since,” Alan looked around the table at Yulianna’s family, “Is there a problem with Teddy?  Do you not want me to bring him around anymore?”

“No,” Andrei said, “There is nothing wrong with your dog. In fact, we believe he is special, and because of that, we also believe that he may be in danger and that the two of you may also be in danger as well.”

“I told you!” Piker whispered through his teeth, “SAW!”

“Shut up!” Alan hushed him.  He looked into the eyes of each of Yulianna’s family members one by one, and he could see that this was not a joke or some prank that Piker must have dreamed up.

“You guys are serious?  This is… this is all too strange.  You’re seriously saying that something is wrong with my retriever and that Piker and I are in danger?  Really?” Until this morning, the only strange occurrence in his life was Kenzie, his crazy ex-girlfriend.

“We understand that this is confusing for you and so sudden. It may be too much to take in,” Andrei said, “Yulianna will walk you back to your office and explain everything. Thank you for talking to us.”

With that, the family excused themselves and set about doing their regular after-lunch clean up. Yulianna put her apron away and led Alan and Piker out of the café. 

“I don’t have time to go into details,” Yulianna began, “so I’m just going to give it to you straight.  For as long as I can remember, my family has been charged with hiding the secrecy of our elders from men called Hunters so that they would not be found out and killed.  We were supposed to help feed the elders as well.”

“So, you had to keep senior citizens in your family safe from people who were hunting them down?  What did these elders do that was so bad?” Piker asked.

“You talk too much, and you don’t listen enough,” Yulianna told Piker. Now, looking at Alan, she continued, “They are vampires, and the care of them sometimes can be too much of a burden on their human families.  One of the things that our kind can do is influence the minds of animals and make them do their bidding, like hunting and killing ones that the elders feel are their enemies.”  The girl paused for a minute and then took a deep breath, “Today, my grandparents were looking out of the kitchen window and saw that your dog refused to let the two of you cross the street.”

Nodding, Alan replied, “Yes.  I’ve never seen that before. It was unusual for Teddy to act that way.”

“Yes,” Yulianna agreed, “A vampire was trying to influence your dog in a bad way but was not able to do so, and it frustrated him, now he is afraid.”

“Whoa!” Piker yelped, “A vampire?  And here I thought that this was totally a Saw kinda thing, but it’s actually Dracula?”  Piker started spinning around in place, imitating a whirling UFO out of control, “Whooooooooo……!”

“Will you stop that?” screamed Yulianna.

“No!” Piker screamed back, “You stop it!  You think we’re a couple of idiots?  You and your family are not the first European gypsies to come to Hawai‘i and try to run a scam on everybody!  First, it was fake Gypsy Tarot cards and then psychics and car dealers and restaurants, but this takes the cake!  Vampires?  Gimme a freakin’ break! Your Mediterranean Café is a damned good front. I’ll give you that! So tell me, how much money do we have to give you so that you can make the Vampire Cullen go away, huh?”

Yulianna grabbed Piker by his huge orange afro and dragged him to the other side of the sidewalk and threw him to the pavement.  Piker was too stunned to say anything. “Don’t you ever compare my family to a bunch of wandering nomads! Orange părul prost!”

Piker slowly stood up and tried his best to assuage the girl’s anger.

“Alright, relax, be cool,” looking at Alan, Piker asked, “you sure you wanna be her boyfriend?”

“You wanna get your ass kicked some more?” Alan sighed, “Go on, Yulianna.”

“When a vampire cannot control an animal or a human being, he or she becomes afraid that they will be found out. So, to prevent that, the vampire will find that animal or human being to try and kill them.” Yulianna said.

“So you’re saying that Teddy found a vampire?” Alan asked.

“Yes,” Yulianna replied, “He didn’t just find the vampire, he knows exactly where it is.”

“Alright, Teddy!” Piker cheered, jumping up and down.

“So, where is it?” Alan's reply was more cryptic.

Yulianna replied with a fatal resignation, “On the second floor, above our café.”


Alexandru confided with Andrei as they sat in the Café while eating Greek olives, “Is your mind clear, Andrei?” Dru asked his younger brother.  Andrei nodded and continued picking out the darker colored olives from the bowl between the two of them.

“Today, we have let outsiders into our circle. Innocent boys who know nothing of what we do, they will make a good offering for the elder who sleeps above us.”

“No,” Alexandru said firmly.

“No?” Andrei replied, “You will stand against your own family, then?”

“Yes,” Alexandru looked at his younger brother in the eyes.

“It is true then, you’ve killed our kind before,” Andrei was stunned at the confirmation.

“Andrei,” Alexandru said as he placed a lighter colored olive into his mouth, “You have perfected the technique of marinating these olives in a jar.  The juices seem to explode in your mouth, whether you bite into it or just let it sit on your tongue. It is a work of art!  The Greeks may have invented everything, but you have them beat with their own olives!”

“You have been one man all by yourself these many years brother of mine,” Andrei began, “Luck has been on your side as you have encountered one elder every few years, but now word will travel back to the homeland and sooner than you expect, more elders will come.  Are you prepared for that, Alexandru?”

“I believe,” Alexandru replied, “that the correct technique in marinating a good olive is patience, trial and error, and constant experimentation with different additives before you can achieve the right flavor.  We can only arrive at this accomplishment through the process of time. The perfection of your olives did not happen overnight, it happened over time.  Today, the making of your olives has become second nature to you, and you could more than likely prepare your olives with your eyes closed.  Like you, I have also perfected my own technique over time. I wouldn`t go so far as to say that my technique has become a work of art, but it certainly gets the job done.”

Heading toward the back door of the kitchen, Alexandru turned to Andrei and bowed his head, “My respect to you, young brother.”


“Wow,” Piker sighed.

“So, what`s the thrust here?  I mean, are you guys gonna get rid of him or what?” Alan asked.

Yulianna put her head down and replied, “It’s not that simple.”

“I don’t understand,” Alan said.

“Haven`t you been listening to what she`s been saying?” Piker interrupted, “Her family is like that Renfield guy from Dracula, they are the servants to the vampire! The one that wants to kill Teddy!  Geeze man, didn’t you pay attention to all those horror films we watched in high school?”

“You were actually paying attention to those movies?” Alan was shocked, “I thought we took girls to those horror flicks so that they would scare the crap out of themselves and then climb all over us so that we could comfort them?”

“Good god, Higashi, pay attention!” Piker shrieked, “Didn’t you hear the part where she mentioned having to FEED the elders?  What do you think it is that they were feeding them?  Certainly not borscht, I can tell you that much!”

“Is that true?” half-smiling Alan asked Yulianna, “Are you guys gonna feed us to your vampire elder?”

“There is a way out of this,” Yulianna replied.

Both Alan and Piker thew their hands up in frustration and let out a huge sigh.

“No, listen!” Yulianna pleaded, “There is a jeweled sword that is used to kill elders like the one we have.  Meet me back here after work, we can go upstairs just before the sun sets and when the elder rises from his casket, you can use the jeweled sword that I will give you and you can kill the elder by chopping his head off and your dog will be safe as well as the two of you!  Be back here after work!  I have to get back to the café.”

Before she left, Yulianna gave Alan a long passionate kiss and then went on her way.

“You know we’re being set up, right?  You’re not gonna fall for the helpless vampire servant girl thing, right?" Piker asked.

“You still got those two Katana back at the office?” Alan asked Piker.

“Yeah, of course, my dad would kill me if he knew I had ‘em.  Rumor has it that those two swords were blessed by the Emperor’s personal priest in Japan.”

“Just in case the jeweled sword doesn’t work, it might be nice to have some legit backup.  Just in case.” 

Smiling now, Piker said, “I like the way you think Higashi!”


Teddy wasn’t happy to see Kenzie walk into the office and make herself at home at Alan’s desk.  She began rummaging through his drawers and almost seemed to be disappointed when she didn’t find anything incriminating.  Leaning back now in Alan’s swivel chair, she saw the taped up photograph of Kelly Hu on Alan’s board and immediately tore it into pieces and tossed it into the wastebasket that Alan shared with Piker.  Kenzie began to rock back and forth in Alan’s chair in an almost manic fashion.

Teddy observed her.  There was a smell about the woman that Teddy didn’t like at all.  It was an almost clinical hospital-like smell that gave off the air of death as if it had followed her back from her last stay at the place where humans were not well in their thoughts.  He was anxious also as he awaited the return of his man.  Time was of the essence, and he had already spoken with his mind to the very ones who would help him with what he needed.

Kenzie had no idea that Teddy sat directly behind her as she rocked furiously back and forth in Alan’s chair.  The dog took a deep breath and let out a loud bark.  The sudden noise startled Kenzie so severely that she let out a scream, and at the same time, she lost her balance and fell backward out of the chair and hit her head on the floor.  When she looked up and realized that it was Teddy, she could have sworn that the dog had a smile on his face.

Alan and Piker returned to the office and found Kenzie kneeling on the floor as she held her hands on to the back of her head.  Teddy was sitting quietly in front of Alan’s desk and quickly got up to greet him and Piker.

“Kenzie,” Alan sighed, “You know my boss banned you from this office, if he sees you here he’ll have you arrested, and I’ll lose my job!”

“Relax, will you?  I just wanted to get my key back from you because I don’t have anywhere to stay right now, so you know…” Kenzie trailed off and winked at him.

“Pssshhh…” Piker blurted out, “Psycho.”

“Half bred orange Q-tip,” Kenzie shot back.

“Oh my god!” Piker screamed, “I’ve got the perfect come back for that, but you know what?  I’m not even gonna go there!”

“Why?” Kenzie replied in her little girl voice, “Because you know I’ll kick your ass?”

“You guys,” Alan interrupted, “Cut it out before we all get into trouble!”

“No,” Piker continued as he completely ignored Alan, “It’s because I don’t like you. You’re not worth the time and energy it takes to even care enough to let your comments have an effect on me to the point where I feel that you even deserve a response!  See, Higashi here won’t do anything about it because you’ve convinced him that he is somehow responsible for your screwed up life, but he’s not.  This man loathes you, but his heart is too big to kick you out of his place or slam the door shut on you whenever you decide to show up at his doorstep after you’ve gone out on one of your psychotic binges!"

Piker and Kenzie’s faces were mere inches away from one another with their teeth bare as if they were wild animals that were on the verge decimating each other.  Just then, Alan happened to glance down at Teddy and saw his dog peek around the outside of the cubicle.  As Alan took a quick glance to see what it was that Teddy was looking at, he saw his boss heading straight toward his work area.  There was no time to think.  Alan grabbed Kenzie by the back of her neck and twisted her arm behind her back.  Kenzie let out a painful scream.

“Ow!  What the hell, Alan?”

Shouting now at the top of his lungs, Alan manifested a voice from within his gut that he never knew existed until that very moment, “I TOLD YOU TO NEVER COME BACK HERE BUT YOU DON’T FRICKIN’ LISTEN!  FORGET THE DAMNED COPS KENZIE, I'LL KILL YOU MYSELF THE NEXT TIME I SEE YOU!”

Alan’s boss had no time to react to the scene that was unfolding before him.  He and Piker were in shock as they watched Alan hurry Kenzie down the stairway and out of the door and into the street.  Practically pushing her out into the middle of traffic, Kenzie nearly got hit by a speeding car.  Hurrying back on to the sidewalk, she was just able to see Alan mouth the word “sorry” as he locked the door in front of her.  Bounding back up the flight of stairs, Alan returned to find his boss with Piker and Teddy in his cubicle.

“Boss, I’m sorry,” Alan began to explain.

“No, no,” Alan’s boss replied, “You handled that really well!  I’m the one that has to apologize.  I took you for somebody who would cave into someone like Kenzie, I mean, she can be quite persuasive, but you stood your ground.  Good for you, Alan, good for you!”

“Was there something you needed us to do, boss?” Alan asked. 

“Oh, yes!” his boss replied, “I have a business meeting that’s going to run a little late into the evening, so I won’t be back tonight.  There’s a report that’s coming in from New York via fax, I need you to monitor the fax.  You need to make sure it prints out in full form with no interruptions.  For some reason, they don’t want to email it.  I don’t know exactly how long these printouts are going to take, but I need it for a conference call first thing tomorrow.  Alan, you and Piker put your selves down for overtime, okay?”

“Sure thing, boss,” Alan replied.

“Thanks, boss, we’re on it!” Piker called out.

“Alright!” the boss replied, “Just close up everything after you get done in here.  See you guys in the morning!”

As soon as their boss was out of sight, Piker gave Alan a nudge on his shoulder, “Man, what got into you?  I was ready to pound Kenzie, and you just jumped in like psycho Al Pacino!” Piker laughed.

“I was not about to get us fired over her drama, so I did the only thing I could think of,” Alan said almost sheepishly.

“Alright, well, let’s get our own work done so that we don’t have to do it tomorrow.” 

Sitting down in his swivel chair, Alan immediately noticed that his picture of Kelly Hu was gone.  He quickly searched in and around his desk until he finally saw that what was left of the image was in his wastebasket.  It was torn to shreds.

“Fucking psycho!  I should have pushed her in front of a truck!” Alan cursed to himself.

It was six ‘o clock in the evening, and the sun had already set behind the west Wai‘anae mountains, which bathed downtown Honolulu in its last purple, orange glow as it lay itself to rest in the bosom of Kaua‘i.  Alan and Piker stood near the fax machine eating a pizza which they had ordered from a mom and pop pizzeria a block away from their office.  The almost mechanical droning sound of the papers spewing themselves out in metronome timing began to have a hypnotic effect on the two young men as they began to get drowsy and almost lethargic.

“This pizza is too heavy on the sausage and garlic.  It’s terrible for us.  I can feel my arteries hardening,” Alan said.

“No more than I can feel myself getting varicose veins in my face,” Piker added.

“More Monster?” Alan asked.

“Oh, god, please!  Yes!” Piker nodded.

“Green or blue?” 

“Borg blue for me!” 

“That leaves Matrix green for me!” Alan laughed.

Piker suddenly began to giggle and said, “I can’t believe we’re getting paid to do this!”

“Well,” Alan countered, “It could very well be that he might have asked everyone else in the office to do the same thing, and they all refused.  Maybe we were his last choice?”

“Even if that was the case,” Piker said, “He may very well be appreciative of the fact that we didn’t say no even though everyone else did.”

“You’re the yin to my yang Piker Teruya,” Alan laughed.

“Is that the white part or the black part?  I always forget,” Piker asked.

The moment was broken up by the sound of Teddy’s deep low growl as it came from their cubicle down the hallway.  Looking at one another, they both walked briskly back to their office space to see what it was that got Teddy upset.  They found Teddy at the top of the landing, which led to a staircase heading down toward the street, the same staircase that Alan used to usher Kenzie out of the building. 

Kneeling down to pet Teddy’s back, Alan asked, “What’s wrong, Teddy?  Everything okay?”

“Higashi,” Piker said, “I think we forgot about our meeting with your friend.  Her entire family is here.”

Yulianna stood at the bottom of the staircase with her family gathered around her.  Just behind the group, standing in the shadows was a taller, more refined-looking man who was clean-cut and well-groomed.  He wore a grayish-green suit with a scarf about his neck, and his eyes were piercing and very powerful. 

Teddy became more and more agitated, and his growl became deeper and guttural until it almost sounded human.  It caught Piker’s attention and, even before he knew what it was, he said, it had already come out of his mouth without a second thought.

“There is no invitation to be had in this place.  None of you are welcome here.  Leave!”

Looking at Piker now, Alan quickly retrieved the two Katana out from underneath Piker’s desk and handed one to his friend.

“You heard him,” Alan said, “No invite.  No entrance.”

The tall figure stepped forward as his family members moved aside for him, “Scuze, we mean no offense.  However, as you have already been told by my great-great-great-great grandchild, Yulianna, I need your dog.  Ma invita, invite me in, and I will take the dog and be gone.”

“This is not only Saw but its Misery too…” Piker whispered. 

“No,” Alan insisted, “It’s Wrong Turn, but it’s vampires instead of inbred, cannibal rednecks.”

“Please,” the stranger’s voice echoed from the bottom of the staircase, “An invitation, we will take what we need and be gone.”

Teddy stepped forward as his growl became maniacal while Alan and Piker replied with a firm, “NO!”

“Ah!” the figure laughed, “The predictability of human nature always gives itself away, and the feeble mind is always ready to be molded.  I anticipated your resistance to my demands and, so, I came prepared.”

Opening the door that led out to the street, the figure gestured to someone who stood outside and waved that person in.  It was someone that the figure took into his embrace intimately and kissed on the forehead.  It was Kenzie.

“Go to the top of the stairs, my love and give us our invitation,” the figure instructed.

Kenzie slowly made her way up the stairs dramatically, taking each step one by one, and Alan’s heart sank as he realized that Kenzie must have fallen under the influence of the figure.  

Alan’s grip on the handle of the katana intensified as the years of training he received was now coming to fore.  The only weakness he possessed was what he still felt in his heart for Kenzie and, yes, that sense of being responsible for the way her life turned out.  He couldn’t even muster the words necessary to stop her slow but deliberate climb up the stairs.  With each step, Kenzie’s smile grew broader and more malicious, and it began to reveal her fangs that were now slowly growing out.

“I asked the elder to let me kill you first, Alan after I extended the invitation to my new family because you’re weak.  I know in your heart that the best thing you could have done all these years was to rid yourself of me, and then your life would return to normal.  I knew that was the right thing to do, but I also knew what I was Alan.  I knew that I sucked the joy out of your life and made you miserable, but I was too selfish to care.  I purposely created drama in your life so that I could keep you with me and now, as soon as I am within arm’s reach of your wretched form, I am going to literally suck the life out of you,” Kenzie said. “Look at you,” she continued, “stuck for words like always.  Here you are at a crucial moment when you should do the right thing that would better your life, and you can’t. That’s why I want to kill you, Alan because you’re so easy to manipulate, and no matter what it is that I do to you, you'll just stand there and take it up the ass with no resistance."

With Kenzie standing just two steps just below him, she leaned forward and said, “Boo!”

In the blink of an eye, Alan withdrew the blessed katana from its sheath with his right hand and at the same time, pulled the sheath away with his left hand.  His left hip snapped back, bringing his body into a horse stance.  As the sword flew away from its home, it cut down at an arc from a high left angle and swept down toward the right thus quickly and cleanly decapitating Kenzie’s head from her body. 

The motion was so swift that it took a second before anyone realized what had happened, particularly Kenzie herself.  She could not comprehend the circumstances until the moment that her head landed perfectly on the very bottom step.  It was only then that she saw her own headless form tumbling down the stairs toward her. 

Using his sleeve to wipe the blood from the blade, Alan sheathed his katana and let out a long slow breath.

“I was wrong,” Alan said, “I’m not sorry.”

“Guess we don’t need a jeweled sword after all, huh, Higashi?” Piker readied himself for whatever was about to happen. 

He didn’t have to wait long. The figure let out a deafening roar and flew up the stairs with a blood-red rage that filled his eyes.  Teddy leaped forward and stood on his hind legs as he put himself between the two men and the figure. 

In an instant, the retriever turned into an eight-foot-tall Hawaiian man dressed in a rust-colored malo who stood there and met the figures attack head-on.  His skin was dark brown, and he wore a full beard and had wild, gabardine-like hair.  Grabbing the vampire by the throat with one hand, the Hawaiian man crushed its neck and began to thrash the body about as if the figure himself was nothing but a little rag doll.  With no fight left in the shape of the vampire, the Hawaiian man used his bare hands to snap the figure’s head away and threw everything he held in his hands back down the stairs.  Yulianna and her family ran screaming out of the door after the horror they had just witnessed.

“Holy crap!” Piker said, “I have no idea what movie this reminds me of!”

“Teddy?” Alan asked, hesitantly.

The huge man stood there with lean muscles rippling right through his skin.  He shook his head in response to Alan’s question and answered, “Kaupe.”


“I gave you those boys and the dog on a silver platter!  Solely as a consolidation that you would all get the job done, I let the elder turn Alan’s girlfriend into one of us, but what happened?  Tell me what happened!  I purposely made them stay back at the office so that they would be sitting ducks, and what happened?  What went wrong?”  Dennis Iordache screamed.  His voice boomed like a million bolts of lightning, and it began to cause the ears of Andrei and his family to bleed.

“We have never been to your office before tonight, father, so we were therefore bound by the protocol of invitation,” Andrei said. He began to wonder about how correct his older brother Alexandru might have been about his feelings toward the elders and a peaceful life that was free from the constraints of familial duty and tradition.  

Andrei now longed for the chilled air from his homeland in Transylvania. It always reminded him of being a child again when the world seemed free and without trouble.  How he wished it were so at this very moment.  For the first time in many years, Andrei’s heart began to fill itself with a warmth that he believed was long gone.  A man must nearly have no soul within himself to live the kind of life that he has and had subjected his family to as well.  Yet here it was, tears flowing freely from not only his eyes but his very being.  Looking at the faces of his family, he realized that there was some semblance of humanity within him and that he would give anything to protect them.

“The fault is mine, father,” Andrei said humbly, “I was present, and if there is anyone who should suffer for the death of the elder, then it should be me.”

With his eyes now gleaming blood red and with his fangs bare, Dennis Iordache responded, “I am glad you agree.  You are responsible, and you will pay with your life while your family watches you die!” 

His tone of voice becoming much sweeter, Dennis Iordache continued, “And when I am done with you, I will kill what remains of your family.”

“Father, is there no honor left amongst our kind?  Are we completely animalistic?  I beg you not to make my family suffer for the transgression that is mine!” Andrei pleaded.

“Do not beg brother. It ill becomes you to do so,” the voice came from the back of the room.  

It was Alexandru who now had Teddy and Alan and Piker behind him.  A second later, two more dogs appeared; a pit bull and a Rottweiler along with a massive black pig.  All four animals suddenly took the form of Hawaiian men who were all eight feet tall and well-muscled.  Their eyes glowed blue as they stood there, dressed only in their malo.

“Alan, Piker? Take my brother and his family and leave, we have a business to conduct with the father.  Go now,” Alexandru instructed. 

Without hesitation, the young men safely conducted Andrei and his family out of the empty room and into a waiting van that would take them to a house on the windward side of the island.

“I can’t believe it,” Piker said, shaking his head.

“What?” Alan asked.

“I have no movie reference for this situation!” Piker screeched.

“That’s because we’re living the movie of our lives Piker and believe me, in spite of everything that’s happened, there is going to be a happy ending with no sequel because life after this will be what we make it,” Alan said.

“That’s deep, Higashi.  That’s really deep,” Piker began to choke up.

“So,” Dennis Iordache said, “You’ve brought yourself and four animals to kill me?  Three dog men, I can understand but a pig as well?”

“These are neither dog men nor a pig, these are Hawaiian Gods.  The retriever is Kaupe, this pit bull is Poki, and that Rottweiler is Ku‘ilioloa.  The pig is Kamapua‘a.”

“Thus, my question, is it going to take all of you just to kill me?” Dennis Iordache asked.

“No,” Alexandru replied, “It will take only me to do it.”

“So confident you are, but then, why the Hawaiian Gods?  Have you become one of those strange humans who requires an audience to perform?” Dennis Iordache mocked Alexandru now.

“No,” Alexandru continued. “They are here as witnesses.  Until tonight they have been told to stay away from the affairs of men and not to interfere.  I need them to see the kind of vile wretchedness that your kind may bring to these islands should your disease ever spread itself amongst us.  It would be many times worse than any epidemic they’ve yet known.”

“I like your resolve.  It’s refreshing!  But it has also made you overly confident.  You don’t really think that you can kill me all by yourself?  Do you?”

“When I was a younger man, I had no problem whatsoever when I took the head of your older brother Decebal, just the same way that I am going to take yours,” Alexandru smiled.

Dennis Iordache roared like an animal as the windows shattered all around him.  Alexandru withdrew the jeweled sword from his coat without hesitation as he awaited the onslaught of the father vampire, but it never came.  In a second, Dennis Iordache was gone as he took the form of a giant bat and flew toward Honolulu Harbor just past the Aloha Tower.

“He’s getting away!” Alexandru shouted.

“Mai hopohopo,” the voice spoke in Alexandru’s head.  It was Kaupe.

“Not to worry,” Kaupe continued, “There is help, he will not escape.”

The animal form of the father vampire was inundated by an army of Pueo who scratched and pulled at him.  The bat form flew straight into the waters of Mamala at Honolulu harbor.  The Pueo then flew off into the night while the creature was forced to return to its human form.

Dennis Iordache had only a moment as he came to the surface to see another tall Hawaiian man dressed in a red malo standing at the end of the pier just at the back of the Aloha Tower.  The shape of his white hair bunched up at the top of his head seemed to resemble a fin.  His white beard seemed to glow against his dark skin as his eyes shown blue.  His hands were tattooed, and his body was more massive than the other Hawaiian gods he saw previously.  

In a second, this Hawaiian man dove effortlessly into the water without a splash. A second later, a giant shark scooped the father vampire up in his mouth and swam back towards the pier where he saw Alexandru standing at the edge of the dock amongst his godly companions.  In his hand, he held the jeweled sword.  The mighty shark dove quickly into the murky depths of the harbor.  The pressure became too much for the father vampire who let out a scream that no one could hear while the saltwater filled his lungs.  Suddenly, the shark’s direction changed, and he was now heading straight toward the surface.  His form bursts upwards out of the water. The father vampire still lay in the grip of the shark's massive razor-sharp teeth. He emerged just close enough to the edge of the pier that Alexandru could now reach out with a stroke of his jeweled sword and sever Dennis Iordache’s head from his body as his other hand grabbed the dirty blonde hair of the father vampire at the same time. 

With the monstrous shark now slipping back into the deep, he made a quick meal of the two-hundred-year-old body that became as nothing in his mouth.  With his duty done, he swam silently away toward his home just beneath the sacred heiau on Hawai‘i Island known as Pu’ukohola.

“Kamohoali‘i!” Alexandru called out, “Mahalo Piha Nui ia ‘oe e ke akua!”

Tucking the head of the father vampire in his coat, Alexandru quickly dried it off and then began to douse it with lighter fluid and set it on fire.  When he turned to thank the other gods, they were gone.  Quickly making his way back up to Bishop Street, Alexandru got in his car.  He needed to get back to his house where he was sure that Andrei, his family, and the two young men were waiting. 

The drive through the night toward the Pali tunnel filled Alexandru’s thought with one wish, and that was to get home. Emerging on the Ko‘olau side of the island was like being cleansed every time.  The fragrance of fresh rain or that of the ocean as the wind carried that smell toward the mountains always reminded Alexandru of what was most important in his life, and it made him smile with tears of joy whenever he thought of it. 

A short time later, as he pulled his car into the driveway of his Hamakua Street home, he was greeted by shrill screams of joy.  This was more precious than any diamond, sapphire, or ruby that decorated his ancient jeweled sword.  It was the laughter of his grandchildren who climbed all over him as he knelt down to greet them.

“Papa!  Papa!  Papa!” 

Carrying them all into the house, he was greeted by his eldest daughter, Pua, who pulled all of her children off of their grandfather and made them all go back into their bedroom to sleep because it was so late.  He was then greeted by his wife, Melia, who told him that Andrei and his family were sitting out in the back yard.  Alan, Piker, and Alexandru’s son in law, Pua’s husband, La‘akea, were preparing steaks on the hibachi for them to enjoy.  Taking in a deep breath and slowly letting it out, Alexandru was happy to see them all safe and sound.  Just then, Andrei came up and hugged his brother and let loose a flood of tears.

“I now understand why this place and these people are so important to you.  You have a family of your own, children and grandchildren just like I do.  Tonight I was willing to die for them, and now that I am here, I why you do what you do.  I am proud of you, brother, and I support you should trouble ever arise again.  But I have to ask you, who were those large Hawaiian men, and where did those other animals come from?”

As Andrei went on with his questions, Alexandru saw the golden retriever sitting just near the place where Alan had made a seat for himself.  The two made eye contact as the retriever nodded in his direction.  Alexandru returned a wink and a nod as well.  The stars seemed to be like clusters as there were no clouds in the sky.  Manaiakalani, Maui’s magic fish hook, was clear to see that night.  That alone was a good sign, indeed.


In the ensuing years of Decebal’s death, as more elders began to surface here in Honolulu and sometimes in even more remote places like Molokai or Lanai, Alexandru began to suspect that the elders had an inside connection to Hawai‘i somehow.  Alexandru knew that there were no families from the old country in the islands at the time that could host and feed an elder without being found out.  Therefore, the contact had to be a single source. 

Alexandru was fortunate to have found work as a Stevedore. From there, he could monitor the import and export business near the waterfront for any indication as to who it might be.  Bringing in an elder by air freight was too risky, so it had to be done by ship.  There were no clues anywhere until fourteen years ago in 1999 when a man by the name of Iordache opened a small import/export exchange on the corner of Queen and Alakea Streets in a second-floor office just above the old Jack-in-the-Box.  

It was a curious move considering that the corner of Queen and Alakea had a reputation among the better Hawaiian populace as being a home of restless spirits.  Every local business person knew that that two-story building was haunted and refused to open an office there.   Alexandru knew that only one without roots in the islands would start a business in that location and so he watched the building closely for many years.  One day, Alexandru saw that two new, young, local boys had been hired, and he immediately tried to think of an idea as to how those two boys could be his eyes in that office.

By this time in his life, Alexandru was already well versed in Akua and ‘aumakua as a result of his Hawaiian wife’s influence.  It was through her that he discovered that some ceremonies which people thought were no longer practiced were still prevalent in Melia’s family.  

One evening his wife said to him as casual as you please, “Would you like to meet one of the Akua?  In some circles, he is considered to be a Kupua as well, but his mana is still the same.”

Without a second thought, Alexandru agreed.  A short time later, in the dead of night, he found himself in the passenger seat of their car as they drove to the Pali Lookout.  As the pair made their way past the lookout itself, they headed down the old access road that brought many a traveler to the Windward side of ‘O’ahu.  The couple took two flashlights with them and only managed to get twenty feet down the road when they suddenly came upon a brindled dog.  

Alexandru’s wife began to address the animal in Hawaiian, and, to his surprise, the dog responded as if he knew exactly what it was that Melia was saying. She then pointed to Alexandru, and the dog walked right up to him.  In the blink of an eye, the dog transformed himself into an eight-foot-tall Hawaiian man.  He was muscular and resembled the classic Hawaiian images of warriors, which Alexandru had seen in so many lithographs and paintings. 

Melia introduced the fabled Akua ‘īlio, as Kaupe.  He had gained a reputation as a consumer of innocents, and yet here he was extending his hand in friendship to help Alexandru up.  Melia explained that Kaupe was a guardian of her family for centuries, as were many other Akua, Kupua, and ‘Aumakua.

It was during that moment that Melia explained to Kaupe about what it was that her husband did and what his concern was regarding the potential spread of vampires in the islands.  Although the gods were not to interfere in the affairs of men until the proper time had come, Kaupe agreed to lend his assistance to help Alexandru’s plight.  After all, they were dealing with vampires, not men.


On the weekend at their iaido practice, Alan and Piker were goofing off with a real katana when Alan accidentally cut Piker on his forearm, which required a trip to the Straub Emergency room.  Piker received fifteen stitches.  Alexandru was watching Alan during that whole scenario.  As he followed Alan to the emergency room to observe and as Alan stood outside on Hotel Street and Ward, Kaupe appeared and mimicked the form of a golden retriever puppy that walked up to Alan and won his heart over.  Alan named the dog Teddy after his favorite local 70’s singer Teddy Randazzo.

Kaupe would report back for the two years without incident until the day that Alexandru’s own family elder turned up.  It was purely a coincidence that his brother’s café opened only a block up from the import/export exchange office.  However, when Kaupe relayed to Alexandru, the incident concerning the telepathic communication from the elder, everything began to fall into place. 

Andrei and his family picked up the old crate while Alexandru was with his wife’s family.  The elder, much to Alexandru’s benefit, was old school and very arrogant.  As it is with most vampire lore, the one who lay in a casket in the empty room above the café began to put out his powers to see who and what it was that he could start to influence.  His ego was immediately challenged once he realized that he could not control Teddy or, rather, Kaupe at all.  He unknowingly exposed himself once he began to communicate with Kaupe.

When Alan and Piker took the retriever back to the office, the dog had every intention to follow them back to the café. Still, at that moment, Kaupe was able to latch on to another telepathic communication between the elder from the restaurant to someone in Alan’s office.

It turned out to be Alan and Piker’s boss, Dennis.  Thus, the plan of action was put forward by Alexandru and Kaupe.  Dennis Iordache had done a meticulously good job of not being found out or, at the very least, not letting the arrival and misdeeds of previous elders who had come to the islands be traced back to him. 

With the arrival of the new elder, Dennis made himself known to Andrei.  He had counted on Andrei’s obedience but had not anticipated Andrei’s dogmatic adherence to ancient tradition.  Dennis intended to offer the two young men to the elder as a pact of sorts to gain his cooperation.  

The turning of Kenzie into a newborn was an extra safety precaution that Dennis Iordache had to take.  He had intercepted Kenzie just as she was rounding the corner at South King and Richard Streets and immediately apologized to her for what transpired in his office.  He told her that he had changed his mind and would allow her to come to the exchange of her own free will.  Unprepared for Dennis’s kindness, Kenzie did the only thing she could think of, and that was to give him a hug.  It was at that moment that the father vampire quickly bit Kenzie and held her tight.  Although people walking by could see the two in an intimate embrace, they ignored their public display of affection and went about their business.  The two had little clue that this day would be the beginning of the end.  Later that evening, as Andrei and his family fled the exchange office, Alexandru appeared with his kino Lau cohorts in tow, and as much as possible with as little time that they had left, he and Kaupe explained everything to Alan and Piker.


The evening ended late as everyone had already gone off to sleep one by one.  The only ones left still sitting near the hibachi with a beer in their hands, and small remnants of teriyaki beef on a paper plate were Alexandru, Alan, and Piker.  They sat there and watched the stars above them from the backyard of Papa Dru’s Ka’elepulu home. 

“So, the gods have your back?” Alan asked.

“Correction,” Alexandru replied, “The gods have my wife’s back.  She is Hawaiian, I am not.  I do not assume to be Hawaiian by marriage.  I know my place in the order of things among the pantheon of gods here in this place.  What I will say confidently is that I love my wife and my children and grandchildren, and I will move heaven and earth to protect them from harm.  I have and will continue to do so.  Based on that and with the love of my wife, the gods have given me favor.  I am humbled by it.”

“What do we do now?” Piker asked, “We don’t have a job anymore.”

“Well,” Alexandru said, “I know a few things about the import/export business, and I am sure I can step in to fill that duty right away.  However, I may need two supervisors to oversee daily operational procedures.  What do you say?”

“I say yes,” Alan said.

“Yes, for me,” Piker agreed.

“Hiki no,” Kaupe chimed in.  The unexpected reply made Alan and Piker jump out of their chairs.

“Is he going to be doing that a lot?” Alan asked.

“No,” Alexandru replied, “He’ll go back to being Kaupe who roams the Nu‘uanu Pali area, or he can do as he pleases.”

Just then, Yulianna appeared at the back door of her great uncle’s house and was staring intently at Alan.

“I think she wants to have a word with you,” Alexandru insisted.

“Uh, I don’t know.  I mean, she tried to feed me to her elder,” Alan said.

“She had no choice Alan, she was bound by the restraints of an old tradition that does not have a place in Hawai‘i.  She knows that now and tonight she was liberated from those bonds.  Go and talk to her.  We will be here when you return,” Alexandru was warm and encouraging as Alan rose from his chair and made his way to where Yulianna now waited. 

Taking another sip of his beer, Alexandru leaned across and seriously asked Piker, “Tell me something.  How did you get that orange hair?”



Although this story is purely fiction, it was inspired by two things. One was a conversation with Noelani Arista when I asked her about the possibility of Vampires ever appearing in Hawai'i. She said, 'Why not? It's the perfect place for them to hide if they didn't want to be found."

Second is the character of Alexandru, who is based on a man by the name of Adnan Bin Abulkareem Ahmed Al-Kaissy El Farthie.  When I first met him in 1988, he stood across the wrestling ring from me dressed in a Native American war bonnet, and his name was Chief Billy White Wolf.  I, like Alexandru’s character in the story, was still new to the business, and I would spend the early part of my career doing the job for the more experienced guys in the industry.  On that particular night, neither my opponent nor Adnan had shown up for the card.  The lineup needed a last-minute shuffle, and so referee Sammy Samson came into the heel locker room and gave me the news.

“Your opponent made a no show,” he said, “And Billy’s match didn't show either, so Lars said to tell you that you’re gonna work with Billy.  The old man is tired, and he wants to go home, so as soon the bell rings, you blindside him and beat the shit out of him for a minute then let him make his comeback.  He’s gonna shoot you into the ropes and give you the double tomahawk chop, you sell his finish and lay down, and Billy gets the three count, and we all go home, okay?”

“Okay,” I said.

It ended up being one of the best matches in my entire professional wrestling career.   I had great respect for the man, and I thought that he and I were going to have a program together, but it never worked out.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that Chief Billy White Wolf wasn't even Native American!  He is Armenian from the Middle East.  Turns out that his old high school classmate was Saddam Hussein, but that’s another story.

So when this story came to me, the face of Alexandru was the face of Adnan. In my mind, there was no other person who could be the basis for Alexandru.  I had meant to go into even greater detail as to Alexandru’s background before he arrived here in our archipelago.  There was a whole section that described his escape from Soviet-occupied Romania in 1944, but the longer the story went on, the longer it took to get to the point of his purpose when he finally arrives in Honolulu.  Sometimes, as many a thespian has said, less is more.  The important thing was that I knew Alexandru’s story, and that is the source from which I drew my inspiration for this man’s life long mission.  As for Adnan, where ever you are, my friend, I hope you are safe and well and that perhaps we may cross paths again but under more congenial circumstances.


  1. Well worth the read..again! I was trying to remember the origins of Billy White Wolf and where I had heard it from. Short timers! It was from you

  2. That was an amazing read! It had me at the edge of my skin!