Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 21, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #71


Before. 2:00 pm. School bell rings.

George Luke is a science teacher at Waipahu intermediate who was enthusiastic about changing young minds once he graduated college with his teaching certificate and his degree in science.
He was also the schools wrestling coach because he lettered all four years in college, naturally strong, George proved to be unbeatable. The only caveat to all those achievements was that George was always socially awkward and didn't quite fit in. He appeared to be made of two extremes, he was either painfully quiet or too loud and boisterous. In either case, no one wanted to be around him, not the students, not the staff. Luke was also not his real last name, it was actually 'Look' 

Like his parents and their parents before them who came from Guangdong to Hawaii in 1789, George was of Chinese descent. According to what George was told by his father, the Look family changed their names to Luke after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. His father didn't want his family to be mistaken for Japanese and be sent away to an internment camp. It didn't really help because George still received strange looks or was asked odd questions as to his ethnicity while growing up. It had only been two months into the new school year and George had already noticed one bright spark of a student in his class, Tama Chun. He was one of George's students who was very bright and always finished his classwork and homework assignments on time. The only irritating thing about Tama was that instead of managing his time constructively once his work was done, he would bring out his 'ukulele and start to play it in class, George didn't like that. He was forced to confiscate Tama's 'ukulele on more than one occasion, but Tama was never indignant about it. He reminded George of another student of his from years ago when he taught science at a different school in town. He too had the same disposition as Tama, his name was Hanson Napualawa. Walking over to his student's desk, George reached beneath it in order to remove anything Tama may have had in the little cubby hole. There was only a piece of drawing paper, and a class photo of a girl from the school. The picture was something that Tama drew with a caption written beneath it, "What I fear"

It was a hideous creature with deep black and green skin with the grotesque face of an old hag. Strands of black moss colored hair hung from its head and its torso was crooked. The breasts were almost cartoonish as were the private lower areas but the eyes were white with small black dots in the middle. The mouth was open with drool falling on either side and the limbs were thin but the fingernails and toenails resembled talons on an eagle or a hawk. George's head began to throb and he took a deep breath and rubbed his temples. He'd just come back from a trip to China over the summer where he went to visit the province from whence his family came. He'd only been able to recall his vacation up until a particular point, after that, everything became hazy and he would be overcome by searing headaches. Looking at the school picture of the young girl now, he recognized her as Denise Romento, she was Tama's classmate. There was a caption beneath her photo written in ballpoint ink,  "My desire." 

In the picture Denise is wearing a white shirt with a green windbreaker jacket over it, her skin was of a dark chocolate color and her eyes were a lite brown. Her black hair framed her face nicely and her smile was natural, not forced. George could see why Tama might have liked her; his headache was back again but this time it was crippling. The last thing George remembered was falling to the floor in a heap and being overcome with a feeling that some part of him was being pushed out of his body.

After that, everything went black.



Adele Agamasen would later tell the authorities that she saw Tama Chun at the old Waikele bridge from the kitchen window of her home. He was holding up his 'ukulele in the air with both hands as he moved closer to the railing. He then put the instrument back in his case and began to walk away, she saw him pause for a moment and then he removed his 'ukulele case and held it out in front of him. The next thing she knew, he jumped over the bridge, for no reason that she could discern. That's when she screamed bloody murder and called the police. By the authorities findings, the water below the bridge was very shallow and had Tama's body landed where it was supposed to, there should have been broken bones at the very least. However, his body was found along the stream bed laying in the tall grass with his 'ukulele case clutched close to his chest. There was no trauma to the body whatsoever but his face was frozen in a visage of abject fear. The entire community would mourn for the tragic loss of someone so young and so innocent who had a future yet to be written on the blank pages of what would have been his life.



George found himself laying on the wooden floor of his classroom which had been trampled over by the bare feet, shoes, and slippers of so many students that he could literally smell their collective sweat. For a moment he believed the dampness on his polyester shirt and pants to be his own perspiration but really, it was blood. He examined himself closely and was relieved to know that the blood wasn't his own, but then whose was it? When the cobwebs finally cleared from his head, George stepped inside the portal bathroom behind his desk. Splashing his face with water he took a deep breath and leaned against the door, why couldn't he remember anything about his trip to China beyond arriving at his ancestral province? It was all a blur of images and colors that made no sense, juxtaposed with the sounds of horrible screams and ghastly smells, George wasn't quite sure if he hadn't become addicted to some sort of strange drug without his knowledge. Was he suffering from withdrawals? Returning to his desk, he saw Denise Romento standing just inside the entrance to his classroom.

"Mister Luke?" Her voice was deeper and more mature than most of the thirteen-year-old girls her age.

"Yes, Ramento?" George's cadence of over-enunciating every word was off-putting to the students in his classes because it made him sound like a robot, especially with Denise. It creeped her out and she couldn't look her science teacher directly in his eyes, it always seemed like he was looking deeper into her soul.

"Can I get my social studies folder from my desk? I forgot it before lunch," she stood there and waited for him to give his permission while holding her books up to her face.

"Yeah," he grunted. "Might as well since you forgot it unless you like to flunk and everybody thinks you're stupid. You're not stupid right?"

"No," Denise almost took a step forward but stopped suddenly, George's face was contorted in very much the same way her stepfathers would be when he was disappointed with her. His voice sounded exactly the same when he was about to hit her or when he was about to.......she turned around and left abruptly. "I'll get it tomorrow morning." 

The school was her sanctuary, it was where she stayed as late as she could until she knew her mother was home. Her stepfather would always leave for work by then, and it would just be herself and her mother. But now school just didn't seem safe anymore, the trauma of home life must be getting to her because just a second ago she had a hallucination. Her teacher's face morphed into that of her stepfather, she would go home and make it a point to pray before she went to bed, maybe that would help for sure. be continued

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