Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 20, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #72


Tama was a normal boy of thirteen years old who loved the things that boys his age loved to do. For Tama, his primary enjoyment came from playing the 'ukulele.
He wasn't a virtuoso by any means but he simply loved the sounds that came from the instrument, and he especially loved how it made him feel. During school Tama always stole a moment to go hang out with his friends and see who had the notes to the latest song, whether it be Hawaiian or something mainstream. One afternoon when school finally let out, Tama stopped at room C to buy some ice cakes before heading home.  He took the back road to the bridge which led towards St. Josephs school. Bringing out his ukulele from his case, he began to strum the chords to a song which he'd been trying to remember. The song was played on a guitar but the notes were different for a 'ukulele.

"Tryna catch hold of the islands dream
lately, it seems that it's just beyond reach
hoping it won't take too long to find
Maui you're on my mind..."

Tama was patient and he kept at it; he looked up for just a split second and noticed a very beautiful girl leaning up against the railing of the bridge. She was dressed in blue shorts and a white shirt with a green windbreaker jacket over it. For a local girl, her skin was particularly dark like an almost chocolate color. She was barefoot and she didn't seem to be bothered by the heat coming from the footpath. In fact, considering the red dirt that was ever present in the area, there was no trace of it on her feet. What was even more unnerving was that the girl was looking directly at Tama,

"Can I try your 'ukulele?" The affectation of someone who was clearly being insincere was not present in the girl's voice. Initially, Tama didn't feel a need to be concerned, she didn't seem like someone who was going to steal his 'ukulele.

"Sure," he presented the instrument to her while holding it with both hands, almost as if it were an offering. She propped herself up on the railing of the bridge where she adjusted herself so that she could sit comfortably. Tama held it up to her again, but this time she let herself down on the other side of the railing where there was not much space for her stand.

"What are you doing?" He was worried that she had planned to jump into the waters below but that would be pure suicide because it was dangerously shallow on the bottom.

"Don't worry," she smiled a careless smile but it was more like an 'I don't care' smile. "I'm not going to hurt your stupid 'ukulele."

Tama immediately zipped up the six string in its case and walked away, he glanced back at the girl and now saw that she had hopped off of the rail in a single bound and was running toward him. "Little bitch, get back here and give me that fuckin' 'ukulele!"

Tama screamed and ran as fast as he could with the strange girl hot on his heels! Just when he felt her fingernails scratch at the back of his 'ukulele case, he'd just made it to the other end of the bridge. Looking back again, he was horrified to see that the beautiful young girl was gone, in her place was something that only looked vaguely human. It was a deep black and green color with a grotesque face of an old hag that had strands of black hair which looked more like moss. Her torso was crooked from the waist up, it leaned off-kilter to the right. The breasts were black and the privates were soaked by only what looked like more dark colored moss and seaweed. The eyes were piercing and the nose was short and the mouth was agape while spittle drooled to the sides like Christmas tinsel. The arms were twig thin as were the legs and the fingernails and toenails were black talons, sharp and thirsty.

"What, hah? You think you too good to let me play your 'ukulele? All I wen ask was fo' play your 'ukulele you faka!" There was something in her voice which twisted Tama's insides. It was a deep ancient hurt and it wasn't just about his 'ukulele, it felt like something she's been carrying on her shoulders since time without beginning. It was then that she, the creature, fell to her knees and began to cry. The shoulders heaved and her lament raised the hackles on the back of Tama's neck. Slowly her nightmarish form shrank until it became the beautiful girl again, she looked up at Tama, her face red with emotion and her eyes filled with grief. "I can't leave this bridge, but I heard you playing your 'ukulele and I liked the sound. I just wanted to try playing it, that's all."

"Why are you stuck on this bridge?" Tama was very hesitant to ask but he couldn't bear to hear her cry any longer.

"Because of love, my parents wanted me to marry an older man in his thirties but I didn't love him. I loved my cousin and I wanted to be with him but my parents wouldn't let me so I threw myself off this bridge. Over the years my pain and heartache turned me into the ugly thing you just saw, my cousin played 'ukulele and it reminded me of him when I heard you. I just wanted to try, just one time." The afternoon sun shining on the girl's hair gave it a luster of black lacquer, she was stunning and Tama was overcome with the urge to hug her. Instead, he removed the entire 'ukulele pack back and handed it to the girl, "Thank you," she smiled. "I'm sorry for swearing at you and calling you those terrible names."

Once the case was in her hands and Tama had not yet let go, the girl yanked it toward her and Tama came with it. She instantly changed back into her true form and with her sharp black claws, she gutted Tama from his sternum down to his pelvic bone. His insides spilled out immediately, the creature, overcome with her hunger lust grabbed Tama in her arms where she leaped over the railing and plunged headlong into the waters below. Landing on its feet, it disappeared into the underbrush just off the shoreline where it finished Tama off while he was still alive.

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