Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 31, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #92


Day 1

I was going to kill him with a Barrett M107 .50 caliber; why not?
I knew where he lived, I staked out his house, got the best distance, and I basically knew his comings and goings. I wanted to ensure that I killed him in front of his wife and kids and maybe even take out his sons, but I hadn’t decided yet. Geographically, the uplands of Maui are much more spread out the higher you go. It’s the perfect environment to snipe someone and not be seen. But after some thought, I came to the conclusion that my efforts might be a bit overkill. Take a guy out with a single .50 caliber round that has 15,000 joules of muzzle energy alone, with thirty times what a 9mm round has? That might be overcompensating for shortcomings. I needed something more personal, more intimate; I needed to look him in the eyes. Maybe a knife? If so, I knew just the knife that would give me the satisfaction. There they were, wife, sons, and him; he was the last to come out the front door. It was a bit of a walk to the SUV, giving me plenty of opportunities to lessen the numbers. Their nearest neighbor lived a mile down the road, and it would be a while before anyone found them. "Wait for the knife," I told myself. "Wait for the knife."

Too late, a sudden flash of memory got in my head which surprised me. I thought I'd taken care of all that, but it just popped up. Ten years of being treated like a fool, not only by her but by her family, only to find out they fully supported her infidelity with this asshole standing in my crosshairs. I had to remember my breathing exercises to calm my blood pressure and heart rate; I couldn't kill him like this. I had to be 100% relaxed. They were all in the vehicle by that time and as it drove off, standing there alone in the SUV's place was a little girl in a pink tank top, blue shorts, and blue slippers. She wore two ponytails on her head, and when I focused in closer, she was looking right at me. Tears were brimming in her eyes, and she shook her head and mouthed the words, "No."

I pulled away from the scope and blinked twice. Was I seeing things? This little girl didn't walk out with him and his family, so where in the blue hell did she come from? I went back to scan the perimeter, but she was gone. That's two clear acres of land, and I couldn't see her anywhere; what in the actual fuck? How does a little girl like that just suddenly vanish?


Day 2

Kahului is a busy little town and it's fast becoming like Honolulu, especially during the lunch rush. Everybody is out and about and all too eager to escape their little cubicles for at least an hour. I thought about using my Kukri knife but again, overcompensating. I chose a pairing knife. It was fast, quick, and I could completely gut him before he even knew what happened. There he was, right on time leaving the building that used to be the old blockbuster video. A rental car pulls up, and at first, he opens the passenger side door to get in, but the driver exits the vehicle and comes around to his side. She wants him to drive; she's a gorgeous younger local girl in her mid to late twenties. As ageless as he looks, I imagine she'll be surprised when she finds out he's sixty. Or maybe she does know, and she doesn't care? I can't think about those things right now; I have to do what it is that I came to do. The car leaves the lot, and they head to a drive-thru first and then over to the Maui Sands Hotel. Of course, the rental car, the hotel, she's not from Maui, but she's here for the day. They exit, and he grabs her small carry-on from the back seat, and they head to the lobby. I have enough time and space to beat them to the lobby and sit there as I'd pretend to read a magazine while holding it up in front of my face. They're here; the acoustics in the lobby is so tangible that I can hear the front desk clerk give them their room number, #316. The second they leave the lobby, I calmly leave and head in the opposite direction. I figure if I come down the other end of the hallway toward them, it would be an easy job, small hallway, tight space, easy peasy. I bound the two flights of stairs with no problem, luckily the exit door to the third floor is open, but as I am about to make the top landing, the little girl that I saw standing on the lawn of this asshole's upcountry home comes walking out from the hallway. She grabbed the inside door handle with her tiny little hands and pulled it shut.

  "Shit!" I hissed.

The sound of the lock clicked in place, I'm looking through the tall, skinny, rectangular-shaped window and she was standing there on the inside. She's looking up at me with tears ready to fall from her big doe eyes and mouthing the words, "No." She's looking at me like I'm a little kid who just got busted stealing cookies from the cookie jar. I glance up and see them opening the door to their room; they step in, and the door shuts behind them. I bolt down the stairway because now I'm going to take the direct route, I'm going down the open end of the hallway, and I'm going to knock on the door and finish him right there. If she answers the door, I'll break her jaw and knock her out, then I'll gut him. No talking, begging, or negotiations; I'll just split him open like a watermelon. I get there just in time to see the two of them leave through the same back entrance I couldn't get into because of that little girl. That's clear at the opposite end of the hallway; mind you I've trained hard enough that I can run the mile in five minutes. However, they're already driving off in the rental car when I get to the back entrance. They pull out to the main road heading toward Wailuku; it will be easy to catch up to them because there aren't too many rental cars like that one colored gun barrel gray. They're heading to Lahaina via the scenic route through Wailuku, it's a nice drive and it sort of reminds me of Kunia just as you get over the rise and start to catch a glimpse of the waters of 'Ewa. I guess he's off of work for the day; he and the girl spend most of it spending money as they walk from shop to shop and emerge with bag after bag. They duck into Longhi's after a while, and luckily for me, they take a  seat at the back. I position myself where I can see them, but they can't really see me. This is where I begin to notice that there's no hand-holding or stolen kisses or no flushed looks of lust or affection between the two. He'll rub her shoulder now and again, and she'll place her forehead on his chest but nothing else. Suddenly, his wife appears with their two boys behind her and they all yell and scream with their arms wide open, and the girl runs towards them with tears in her eyes. They are all hugging and crying and before you know it. She removes toys from the bags she has and hands them to the boys who are just beside themselves with happiness.

"Fuck," I tell myself, "it's his daughter."


Day 3

So much for the intimate kill; I'm upcountry again scoping out his house. The rental car is filled with his two sons and daughter, who drive them all away. It looks like it's a day with their big sister; the SUV sits on the lawn, a silent guardian of the property. An hour later, he emerges from his front door and gets into the SUV; his wife gets in on the other side. I watch them carefully through my scope wondering why I haven't taken the shot? Suddenly there's a short burst of flashing lights from the interior of the SUV, four if I counted correctly. The driver-side door opens, and he comes stumbling out; he staggers for a few more feet before the back door of the SUV opens, and a slimly built local man jumps out and follows him. He's got a Kel Tec p11 in his hands, and the man empties one more round in the back of that asshole's head. The wife comes out from the passenger's side and helps the stranger drag her husband's body back in the car, she gets in, and the two of them drive off.

"Holy shit," I whisper. "That was some fucked up family drama,"

The walk back out to the used car that I bought specifically for this task was about a mile and a half down the trail. I was completely exhausted when I finally got to it and was looking forward to a hot shower once I returned to my room. It was a little after midday when I came upon the vehicle and to my surprise, there was the little girl standing in front of it. She wasn't about to cry this time; all she said was, "Go home, don't come back."

She vanished into thin air like she was never ever in that space just a second ago. After everything that happened to me, my ex, and her affair with this now-dead asshole, my plot to avenge the wrong done to me by her, her family, and him? All that training so I could win the perfect opportunity to kill him only to find out that his wife was scheming to hatch the same plan? It all hit me at once, and I fell to my knees in tears. "Go home," I could hear the little girl's voice in my head now, "Go home, don't come back."


Years Later

I managed to put my plot for revenge behind me, and because of that I met a wonderful woman who I married, and we had three children of our own, one girl and two boys. The boys graduated from high school and college and opened a mechanics shop together; our daughter pursued her career toward her Ph.D. During grad school she met a nice young Vietnamese boy named Kevin; on a whim, they flew down to Las Vegas over the weekend and got married. We were happy they sent pictures, but Kevin's parents were not. They accused our daughter of leading him to do it without their permission. Needless to say, that marriage was short-lived. She came home that same year during spring break and stayed upstairs in her old room. Kapahulu was strangely cool that day so our daughter spent most of the morning going through some of her old stuff. I had just gotten off the phone with a friend of mine when I heard wild laughter and cackling from my daughter's room; she and her mother were sitting on her bed looking at a photograph.

"Hun, come! You have to look at this picture," tears were falling from my wife's face as she waved me over.

My daughter sat there with the face of the photo turned down in her palm, "Daddy, remember that that day when you me and mom were taking a walk, and that guy pulled out of his driveway and almost ran us over? Remember when you pulled him out of his car, and you were about to beat the hell out of him?"

"I kinda remember," I said, "it was a while ago."

"I never saw you so mad like that before, and it scared me," my daughter began. " I remember mom was screaming for you to stop. Remember what I did Daddy?"

There must have been a blank look at that point because I couldn't recall. My daughter turned the picture over and handed it to me. "You can't remember because every time you got mad you would black out and you couldn't recall anything."

"Mia was the only one who could snap you out of it," My wife said.

The picture I held in my hand was of Mia at four years old; she wore a pink tank top, blue shorts, blue slippers, and two ponytails in her hair; she was about the cry. You could see the tears brimming.

"Mom took this picture that day; remember I stood there and told you, 'No' and you stopped right there and then?"


All those years ago, Mia stopped me from killing that asshole, but she hadn't even been born yet. Who knows what the course of my life might have taken had I been successful in killing that jerk? Who knows where I'd be or if I'd even be alive today to tell you this story? Hawaiians call it, "Ho'pa'i" or revenge. I think the powers that be had other plans and called it Mia.

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