Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 18, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #44


The green leaf of the Mamane has a dark rich color that could tell anyone who looked at it, that it was full of life and could at any moment release its seeds to the forest floor where it would germinate until it too would become another Mamane that could reach a height of forty-nine feet. The tree blooms a seductive yellow blossom each winter and spring, that can certainly be woven together as a most attractive lei to adorn your shoulders.
Without its umbilical attachment to its mother tree, however, the vibrant life of the flower would only last the length of a poetic breath before it's beautiful yellow color would slowly succumb to a life stealing brown hue.

 At this moment the color in Henry Akaku's life is blood red, his hands are covered in it as he vomits up his own blood, again and again. His wife and children stand by helplessly with no clue as to how they should help him, his congregation falls all over themselves trying to find a member of their church who might be a doctor. The musicians, the singers, and the dancers all huddle together in a prayer circle with their right palms turned up, feverishly praying that the ailment will go away quickly and that Henry will become whole and that no trace of the illness that racked him will be left. This time, the blood comes spewing forth from every orifice in his body, even his eyes, and ears. Families in the congregation finally begin to leave while others stand by, fascinated by the crimson sight as it unfolds in real time. Some are even recording live with their cell phones on social media, his sickness is now going viral. Finally, as the last ounce of blood leaves his body in a dark gelatinous mess, Henry Akaku expires on the stage in front of his five thousand household membership. Screams and cries of horror rise up from a congregation that is left in shock. Even the engineers in the production truck are so taken aback that they have forgotten to cut the live feed. For the remainder of their days, the Akaku children will be in counseling and therapy and it will have a lasting effect on how they will move through life.


Later that same day

Ella Akaku sat outside in the courtyard of the building that appeared to be more like a shopping mall than a church. The children were taken home by Henry's assistant and Ella herself got on the microphone and instructed everyone to go home and be with their families and pray. Everything was still and quiet and Ella could not help but marvel at the miracle that was the Mamane tree which grew in the middle of the church courtyard. It was out if its element, it normally thrives at a much higher elevation but here it was growing so quickly and at such an alarming rate, and yet, like her, it survived and grew from right where it was planted. All the colors of each leaf was a lively green and the yellow flowers stood out with such life that she found herself craving for an orange tootsie pop.

"What a strange thing to think of?" She thought to herself.

She didn't notice the Hawaiian man in the dark suit right away, he sat just off to the side from where she sat in the courtyard. "Penny for your thoughts as they say." The Hawaiian man spoke quietly but with a deep voice.

She turned and smiled, "Thank you, I appreciate that." She took one last sip of her coffee and walked over to where he sat and pulled up a chair next to him. "You were right, what can I say? I'm grateful."

Nodding, the Hawaiian man in the dark suit replied, "I'm glad that I could be of service."

"The prostitutes were one thing, I got past that after we went to marriage counseling and things were good and he seemed to have become a very penitent man. It didn't last long though, what makes it all the worse is that it was our children who caught him. They went to his office to surprise him with the card keys to a resort on the westside.........he had two sixteen-year-old boys from our church....they were...." She couldn't finish, she put her head down and cried, she was past the shame of showing her emotions and having to be strong in front of everyone. This was her moment to let herself be human, the Hawaiian man leaned forward and patted Ella's hand, "I'll get going now, you need some time to yourself. Maybe don't let that stay at that resort go to waste? Either you and your children or just you on your own should go, you need that time to decompress."

"How is it that a man like my husband..." Ella never got a chance to finish what she was about to say, the Hawaiian man stopped her. "Don't make comparisons and don't over think, okay? This is what you came to us for and we helped you, end of story."

"But your countenance, the way you carry yourself and you're so well spoken and kind..." Ella had to know, what the difference was.

"Make no mistake, what we do involves a decision based on situations like yours and that decision determines whether someone lives or dies. I'm a killer, Ella, plain and simple, you can't romanticize something like that." The Hawaiian man explained, with that he smiled and made his way to leave.

"Boy?" Ella called out from behind him. "Thank you."

"None needed," Boy replied. "Like I said, whenever the Mamane flower on that tree blossoms out of season, you'll know that you're being lied to and that wrong is being done to you. You can know that and confront that person and work it out, or you can pluck that blossom and more dire circumstances will follow, like with your husband. This tree is also here to teach you a lesson and test your character, the very same flower will bloom if you lie as well."

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