Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Dec 28, 2017


If you are ever at Likelike Drive-Inn you will probably find me looking at the people sitting at the counter of this all night eatery, wondering why they're here? Perhaps there's some kind of simplistic comfort in being able to sit in a crowded place where people barely notice you?
Or maybe people secretly WANT to be noticed? Maybe it would be nice to have someone other than the waitress to talk to? Then there are people like Fern and Gert, short for Infernalis and Gertrude. They come here all the time but they keep to themselves and don't indulge the waitress in any conversation beyond ordering their food. At 6ft Fern's athletic build tells everyone that she is either a softball coach or plays the sport herself. Her face is framed to host a natural smile and her hairstyle seems to accentuate that very quality. Gert is slightly shorter and not as athletically built as Fern but very big boned and wide at the hips. They're matched perfectly and I can't help but imagine that if they were anywhere else but here they'd be happy. It turns out that this is the only place where they can come to hide when they're not being harassed at home.

Home is in a Kapolei suburb where they were just recently excommunicated from the church they belonged to. It's called, "Evening Harvest Ministries."  Fern and Gert were devout members of the congregation and were not beyond having brief prayer circles in the parking lot with other church members before departing for an all-day hike or retreat. They participated in cooking meals for gatherings and special meetings and most times they would offer their home to visiting members from out of state in order to save them the cost of a hotel room in Waikiki. Lewis Ahrens was the pastor of the church who in the beginning showed much favor on Fern and Gert for their selfless devotion to the word. That is until one evening pastor Ahrens delivered a heated sermon with such an intense fervor that it moved Ella Tagupa to stand on her feet and cast her crutches aside. She was born with deformed legs which turned in at the knee. Countless operations throughout her life proved to be fruitless and at 47 years old she was prepared to succumb to the suggestion of her doctor and have her legs amputated. That evening she became overwhelmed by the words of pastor Ahrens who preached that all physical afflictions are the result of afflictions placed upon one's self. "It's true," she thought to herself. "I've afflicted myself with doubt and hate."

With every ounce of strength she possessed, Ella willed herself past the pain and hobbled her way toward pastor Ahrens. The Pastor stretched out his arms to Ella and bid her come to him and as valiant as the effort was she never made it. The effort proved to be too much for her and her resolve gave out before her body did.  Her stiffened form fell toward the carpeted floor and Fern and Gert could see the expression on Ella's face. The hope for a miracle was gone, she was defeated.

She accepted her fate.

Gert was at Ella's side in a flash, she placed her hands on Ella's deformed knees and there was a sudden loud pop and then a crack. It was such a sharp sound that it caught everyone's attention. Ella screamed in pain and jumped up to her feet, "My legs are already broken you, dumb bitch! Are you trying to kill me now?! "

There were gasps and stifled screams but mostly silence, Fern grabbed Gert and they left in such a hurry that no one really noticed, except for Pastor Ahrens. He noticed. he saw everything. Ella Tagupa was cured, her legs were no longer deformed, they were now straight as an arrow. She went from a slouched and bent over 5'4 to a regal and tall 5'11. A miracle of healing took place under the roof of the "Evening Harvest Ministries" and it was not performed by the pastor but by a layperson, a common everyday human being known as Gertrude Oliver.  It was about that time that pastor Ahrens lost his congregation, not in a trickle or like grains of sand in an hourglass, but all at once. Fern and Gert were not prepared for the phone calls and the random visits to their home but in order to quell the crowd before any kind of hysteria would amass itself on their front lawn, Fern and Gert insisted that what happened was not a miracle but a mere accident of circumstance.

"You see how full figured I am right? It was the wrong thing to do but I pushed down on Ella's knees by accident so that I could stand up and it just popped into place in some kind of other way and now she can walk! That's all it was! There's no miracle, just go back to church everybody! Pastor Ahrens is a good man! You can't just abandon him like this!" Gert pleaded with everyone but they were not having it. Mrs. Lourdes stepped forward and showed Gert and Fern a video she recorded on her phone. It was Gert purposely placing her hands on Ella's knees and as clear as day everyone could see that the bones righted themselves without Gert ever having to push down on them. What she had just claimed to the crowd of people from the ministries as happening did not happen at all. There was no way around it, it was the laying on of hands. A miracle had taken place.



Eight-year-old Gertrude Oliver is Hawaiian on her mother's side. Her mother's name is Ipo Nahele and she met Houston Oliver ( Gertrude's father ) on his first day of duty guarding the gate fronting the Barber's Point military base. It was love at first sight and they were married in less than a month. Gertrude came along in 1962 and neither parent took notice of Gertrude's gift until the day a stray cat was run over right in front of their home. The feral animal was mangled but still alive, little Gertrude ran out to the street and held the cat in her arms until all of the broken bones and cartilage popped back into place. The feline ran off as if nothing happened. That is when Ipo realized that the years of talk regarding her bloodline having come from the goddess 'Kapo'ulakinau'  may have actually had some merit to it. She was a goddess of sorcery but also a goddess of healing.
From then on Ipo was particularly careful to watch over Gertrude as she grew from childhood to womanhood. To the few who were healed by Gertrude the only payment required of them was silence and anonymity in exchange for the task performed. However, Gertrude could only heal as long as she was within the boundaries of what is now known as the Kapolei area because that is where her gift derived itself from. The name Kapolei as we already know is for the beloved sister of Pele and Hi'iaka.



After many nights of hiding at Likelike Drive-Inn to have their meals and to avoid a once devoted crowd that now turned hostile because of Gertrude's reluctance to perform any healing, both Gert and Fern decided that it would be best to visit pastor Ahrens for a meeting. That evening the lone chevy malibu which was parked in the empty lot told Fern and Gert that the pastor was present. He was surprised but happy to see them, after exchanging greetings with one another the three sat and talked seriously. Gert apologized for what took place and shared with the pastor that she had instructed his followers to return to his church but to no avail, and so she was forced to ask pastor Ahrens a serious question.



As alone and un-noticed as I tried to be, Fern and Gert recognized me and asked if I would join them. So what you have now is everything they shared with me except for the end but here it is. The ladies decided that it would be best to move from their home in Kapolei to anywhere else but there, maybe Vegas or maybe the big island. They weren't sure yet.

"But isn't Kapolei the source of your healing?" I asked.

"It is," Gert agreed wholeheartedly. "But pastor Ahrens needs his congregation and my presence will continue to take that away from him and he's a good man."

Not meaning to be intrusive, I had to inquire as to what they were forced to ask of pastor Ahrens?

"To make sure that his flock didn't try to follow us, we gave him our permission to spread whatever rumor he wanted about us so that he could get his church back." Fern intimated as she spoke in a hushed tone.

"Geeze, what did he say?" I was expecting the worse.

"He said that we were clandestine interlopers who were stealing his sermons so that we could form our own church," Gert shared the pastor's information with a raised eyebrow.

I was still confused. "Clandestine interlopers?"

"Occult practitioners," Gert confirmed with a smile. "We suggested that he could convince Ella Tagupa and everyone else that her healing came at the cost of her soul and that it was only pastor Ahrens who could give her salvation. Only then could she be fully healed in every sense of the word."

"That's a hell of a price to pay for your own peace of mind?" I mused.

"It's time," there was a hint of lament and sadness in Gert's voice. "You lose a bit of yourself every time you heal someone, it's the price you pay for something you never asked to have. People do so much harm to themselves, and sometimes it gets passed down to their issue. You wouldn't believe how bad a broken heart takes a toll on someone's body. They slouch, they have back problems, the all too early onset of constipation. Some people never recover and one morning they wake up dead. Children hurt me the most, especially when it's obvious that they're being abused but this is a good trade-off for a normal life and no one gets hurt in the end."

Pointing at my empty plate Fern asked, "You want another one? You inhaled that eggs and corned beef hash pretty quick."

Before I could protest she'd already ordered a second plate with a side of french toast. A few minutes later I was sopping up the egg yolk and the syrup with the last piece of french toast when Gert reached over and placed her hand on mine. "Mahalo for coming over and spending time with us, we didn't mean to bother you."

"The honor was mine, I learned a lot. Thank you for trusting me enough to share."



I knew I was going to pay for that second plate of eggs and corned beef hash with the french toast on the side. I figured I'd get home quick enough so that when the onslaught came I'd be prepared. I sat on the toilet for five minutes when I realized that nothing was happening. Strange.  What was even more strange was that I slept through the night without once waking up to take a leak. The following day was also strange because someone at the gym pointed out that my face seemed different but that they could not put their finger on it. I headed to the locker room and found a mirror where I looked myself over for a minute and I finally realized that the dark splotches around my eyes were gone. In fact, it didn't hurt to sit down and stand up anymore and my ankles weren't swollen like they usually were. This wave of energy suddenly surged through me and I jumped on the elite stair climber and placed the settings on medium. My legs didn't hurt, I was winded of course but not as horrible as before.

I had to stop and think for a second, did this have something to do with Gert? Did she heal me last night when she placed her hand on mine? I didn't feel a jolt of energy or anything? But then, how is it possible that Gert could have done it without being in Kapolei? That thought would rack my mind for the rest of the day and through the night until I sat bolt upright in my bed at three in the morning. I'd been struck with a gem of realization. Gert's guardian deity and ancestor is Kapo'ulakinau, a sister of Pele. Pele is also our Aumakua (guardian) as well.

Maybe that's the answer? Or maybe Gert is more of a great healer than she lets on? Maybe she's too humble to extoll her own virtues?


Ghosts Of The Old 'Ewa Plains

Join us... if you dare.

Saturday, January 20, 2018
Meet at Kapolei Regional Park
7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
$55 per person…

No comments:

Post a Comment