Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 29, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017 #33


"We sat outside the Starbucks sharing an acai bowl, but I was oblivious as to the contents mounted upon the pile of purple pureed berries. I was too busy crying, but in crying, I knew I was being selfish because it was Candy's decision to make, not mine. It wasn't my body, it was hers, and I couldn't disagree with what she wanted to do because she was honest about it. She wasn't ready to have a child. In her own words, she said she wasn't mature enough, and I had to respect that. She grabbed her napkin, dabbed the tears from my cheeks, and reassured me that everything was okay; it should have been me comforting her, not the other way around.
Over time, it was me who got over it and dealt with it okay, overtime, Candy began to question her choice, especially when she saw little children running around or being carried by their parents; I would see that look in her eyes. The good thing is that I assumed the mantle of responsibility by just being there for Candy during those tough times. We got through it, married, and made a life together. Five years later, Candy was ready, and we had a little boy, Sterling," John Maddow took a breath and exchanged glances with his wife.

"When did all the other stuff start to happen?" Tabby asked as she looked the place over, she was trying to understand what was going on, but all of the signals were confusing. Even at this young age, Tabby had been at this long enough to know when subterfuge was being sent out on purpose.

"Right after Sterling's sixth birthday, almost immediately after," Candy shared, her eyes puffy and red from crying. "He'd wake up screaming bloody murder about another boy trying to get him, but there was no one in his room."

"After that, he refused to be anywhere in this house alone. He wouldn't even use the bathroom by himself. One of us always had to be with him, and he kept on about another boy trying to get him," John said. "We should have listened."

"And the change," Tabby asked, "when did the change occur?"

"We don't know," Candy said while looking at John, "we only left him sitting at the kitchen table for a second while John and I got up to wash the dishes. The next thing we know, we hear this horrific scream from under the kitchen table, and there's sterling sitting there with a blank look on his face. That's the last time he was normal; after that……"

"That other boy got him," Tabby confirmed that fact to herself.

"No," John couldn't believe what he was hearing. "That other boy did not get Sterling! Our son is just going through some kind of emotional episode, that's all!"

Tabby was a cool customer and didn't let herself get bothered by an emotional outburst, "Then why did you call me? Why did you tell me about the foul odors in your home, the pounding on the walls, and the voices coming from your son's room? Why? Just so you can stand there and tell me that the other boy didn't take your son? News flash, that other boy took your son and is possessing Sterling's body as we speak."

"But why?" Candy asked, "why would a demon possess our Sterling? He's innocent; he's not even old enough to hurt a fly!"

"This isn't a demon; this is the ghost of your unborn child, the one you aborted. It's angry because it feels that you cut its life short and never gave it a chance. Now, it's back for revenge, but it's taking it out on Sterling," Tabby said as she removed her backpack and began removing certain items and placing them on the hallway table.



Detective Mike Takata knew that nightmares were simply that; they presented the worst-case scenario to your subconscious when it wasn't prepared for it. As a result, it blasted straight through to your conscious mind, thereby causing you to believe that the nightmare was so real that it was bound to come true. Mike Takata's nightmare manifested ten minutes ago when he received a call to head to Boy Napualawa's office for questioning. The address to Boy's office was found scribbled down on a piece of paper in detective Wong's coat pocket; Wong hasn't been right since then. No longer was he the tough-as-nails, no, nonsense-hardened detective he used to be. He'd suddenly become personable and very kind and talked to everyone.

"You're perspiring; what's wrong with you? The a/c is on, so how could you be sweating?" Detective Wong observed more than he asked.

"Don't you see it, Wong? This is it; this is my nightmare coming true. We're heading to Boy Napualawa's office." Takata was nervous and on the verge of tears, not from sadness but fear.

"He's just a flesh and blood man like everybody else, Mike; he can't-do anything to you," Wong couldn't afford to have his friend come undone even before they got to their destination.

"He's not just a man; he's a Kahuna! There's a difference!" Detective Takata raised his voice, which only upset his friend.

"I'm going to prove to you that he is flesh and blood, and maybe you'll pull your head out of your ass," Wong growled at his old partner.



Sterling sat in his room with the little chair from his desk facing the corner; this was no special effect copied from the movies. With each inhale and exhale of his breath, Sterling growled like a beast, not a dog or a lion, but a beast. The sound made the floor in his room vibrate; even Tabby could feel it under her feet. She put her hand out, cautioning Sterling's parents to not enter the space.

"Call out to him," Tabby instructed Candy. "He's more upset at you than John because it was your womb from where he was conceived but never born from."

Tabby's direct tone struck Candy harshly, but this was no time for pleasantries. If she and John wanted Sterling back, they would have to play by Tabby's rules. "Sterling? Sterling baby, it's mommy," Candy called out.

Sterling stood up out of his chair to turn and face his mother. Candy was shocked at how her child's face was so contorted and twisted with anger he was hardly recognizable. Throwing the little chair aside, Sterling made a mad dash toward his mother, teeth bared and saliva dripping. Candy and John were so shocked that they couldn't move, but midway to his mad dash for revenge on his mother, Tabby stepped in and wrapped Sterling up in a baby blanket that she had blessed and held him still for a minute. Once he calmed down, she handed Sterling over to his mother, "Carry your unborn child and talk to it, the two of you. Tell it that you love it and explain everything. Otherwise, it will never let go of Sterling."

A minute later, John and Candy sat there in tears, reassuring their unborn child that they did indeed love it; they rocked Sterling back and forth while holding one another simultaneously. The two would sit there until three the following morning. By the time they awoke in the late afternoon, Sterling was his old self again, and his unborn sibling was gone, never to return.


Detective Wong had enough of small talk and niceties; he had something to prove. He pointed his 9mm directly at Boy's chest. Wong had had enough and was going to squelch all talk of this mere mortal man being an all-powerful Kahuna. However, Wong's plan didn't work out the way he thought because detective Takata had his weapon drawn on his partner, "Put it down, Wong, you shoot this man, it will be murder one. You'll be sent up for a long time; this room is filled with witnesses."

"That's not how this works Mike; you get my back, you play ball, and we fix this like it was Boy trying to get a bead on us," Wong played on the old school sympathies hoping that Takata would see the light. Boy made it a point to have Ivan, Tiny, and Rita stay at home for this meeting. Instead, he had the Rizal brothers seated at the four corners of the office. Wong didn't see the brothers as any threat because of how small they were in stature, but that turned out to be Wong's mistake. Even before detective Wong fired off a shot, Takata already knew it was coming and stepped in front of Boy and took a round to his chest that just missed his heart. The Rizal brothers were on detective Wong in the blink of an eye; each brother had a pair of brass knuckles with a blade attached to the end. The tip of each blade was already sunk an inch into certain vital parts of Munday's body, especially the one in the space between the scrotum and the anus.

"No," Boy looked at Jose', "call the police and the ambulance. When they get here, we'll tell them everything. I think detective Takata will verify our accounts of what just happened here."



"I had the dream backward. Boy wasn't trying to bring the darkness to hurt me; he was trying to protect me from it. The darkness represents people like detective Wong and others who are like him. During my surgery, when I was under the knife, I saw Boy Napualawa in my dream, telling me that he was coming for me, but not in a harmful way. He was coming to help me and stay with me until I came out of the surgery; man, that bullet was really close to my heart. Did you know Boy was sitting at my bedside when I woke up?

"Mike," he said. "You saved my life; I owe you one."

He left after that, but when the time came for me to go home, my wife and I asked about the coverage and the bill, I found out that the bill was taken care of by Boy. I dunno why I was ever afraid of that man, but I'm grateful I know him now." Mike wiped his tears away as he spoke to his wife over a very late dinner at their Kaimuki home.



Tabby made her way to the dinner table, where everyone was already seated. Boy sat at the head of the table after uncle Ivan refused to do so. Tiny sat next to Rita, and the rest of the chairs were occupied by the Rizal brothers, save for the one empty seat which belonged to Tabby. The brothers stood up from their chairs once Tabby entered the room, and Jose' pulled Tabby's chair out for her to take her place. Once Tabby sat, the brothers waited for Boy to sit before taking their seats. Tonight's dinner was prepared by the brothers; it was their specialty. Beef stew with large portions of potatoes, carrots, and beef. Tonight was also the first time that Tabby met the Rizal brothers; they stood up and introduced themselves one by one with their hands over their hearts. After which they served everyone and prepared their drinks which was sun tea, their boss's favorite. Only after everyone began eating did the Rizal brothers themselves begin to eat, "Ms. Tabby, how was your day today?" Jose' asked.

"My day was fine, Jose'; thank you for asking," Tabby wore a grin from ear to ear; she was smitten by the humility and polite nature of the brothers.

"Boss, please let us know when you would like more?" Oscar asked everyone at the table.

"I take some more of everything," Tiny held his plate up, and without a second thought, Manny took up the plate and refilled it with more beef stew and also refilled his cup.

"I haven't tasted anything like this since my childhood," Ivan chimed in. He purposely ate very slowly to relish the rich flavor of the stew.

"I have to agree," Aunty Rita said, "this is very old-school beef stew. We have to exchange recipes, you guys!"

The Rizal brothers graciously accepted the compliments and traded fist bumps all around. Boy took his fork, tapped it on the side of his plate, and said, "I have an announcement to make everyone." They perked up and directed their attention to the head of the table where Boy removed an envelope from his coat pocket, which he had draped over the back of his chair. He held the envelope in front of him and said, "Tabby."

Her eyebrows raised and her head tilted in curiosity, she stood up from her chair, which Jose' pulled back for her, and walked around the dinner table to where Boy stood. Taking the envelope from him, she opened it, removed a document, and read it for a few seconds until her eyes flew wide open. She gasped and covered her mouth with her hand in disbelief; now her eyes were filled with tears as she hugged Boy. She was speechless as she passed the document to uncle Ivan, who then passed it to Tiny and Rita. Each person who read the letter passed it on with tears in their eyes. The Rizal brothers felt that it was not their place to look at the letter but instead waited patiently for whatever announcement was going to be made.

“Tabby Kahana is now Tabby Napualawa, my hanai daughter,” Boy said. "She's become a part of this office recently, but now she is a legitimate part of this 'Ohana called Napualawa."

The Rizal brothers were moved by what they'd witnessed; each looked at the other and nodded with a smile. "Thank you for allowing us to be here to share this moment, boss," Oscar exclaimed. Hugs were exchanged all around, and the brothers were unexpectedly hugged by Tabby as she gushed with happiness. The longest hug went to Jose,' but he just smiled and made nothing of it. He kept his head down and purposely did not look at Tabby. His duty to Boy and his brothers came first before all else; other than that, nothing else mattered.

"Oh, hold on," Boy exclaimed. "There's another envelope here that I'd forgotten about." Everyone at the table looked at one another with a bit of confusion until Boy handed the envelope to one other person. "This is very long overdue because you've always been my family for as long as I can remember; Aunty Rita, will you become my for real aunty?"

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