Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 27, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #65


I was just back from the mainland for vacation and my brother Wahi and I got turned around while hiking the Aiea loop trail, it was unusual for us since we hiked that trail all the time as kids.
We were early that day and packed lite snacks and water, we were only fifteen minutes in when all of a sudden we were lost. Well, I wouldn't say lost, I would say that the trail we had hiked so often before which we knew backward and forward was gone. The forest was not the forest we remembered, littered with albizia, Norfolk pines, and eucalyptus; higher up were the 'ohia and koa. Whatever trees there were at present, it was scented, and there seemed to be more foliage with extensive vines.  There was an abundance of birds who did not at all sound like the ones my brother and I had remembered either, this was strange. Wahi removed his compass from his backpack and according to its readings, we were east of north and not at a bearing of true north. Before we could make sense of anything, we suddenly came face to face with a group of Hawaiian men who were wearing malo and ti leaf rain capes. Armed with nets instead of weapons each one had a long stick that seemed to have a kind of purpose to it. In the nets were birds of different colors and in another was what seemed to be a basket of some kind with feathers. In the next instant, the men set upon us and began to beat us. They were strong and so it was difficult for Wahi and myself to fight back, there were more of them than I had counted. They held my brother and I to the dirt and forced our heads into the soil. I couldn't wholly surmise what was happening but I caught glimpses of men in feather capes of different designs, motif, and length, but only briefly. I was given a short stinging jab to the side of my temple by one of the Hawaiian men who held us down and then I felt what I knew to be blood trickling into my eyes.

It stung.

Suddenly I was lifted to my feet by the Hawaiian men while Wahi still lay prone on the ground. If this was some kind of Hawaiian L.A.R.P. group then they were certainly getting carried away.

"Okay," I said. "You guys are fucking taking this too far!"

One of the Hawaiian men wearing a shorter cape stepped forward and hit me on the side of my head with what looked like a club with a large knotted root at the end. Everything moved in slow motion and the last thing I remember is seeing them haul Wahi to his feet and dragging him away into the forest. When I came to I was surrounded by a group of hikers who had me laid out on top of a picnic table under one of the pavilions. I asked them about Wahi and where he might be but they told me that they'd only found myself in the middle of the trail. Wahi was gone, yes, I put out a search for him and put up posters everywhere and I was even a suspect in his disappearance at one point. He just vanished, there was no trace of him and I tried to explain what happened to my family but they wouldn't listen, they thought I was suffering from the trauma of what I may have witnessed. Even my sister asked me in confidence if I'd done something to Wahi. It was all I could do not to hit her but that would not bode well for me.

Wahi is somewhere in our ancient Hawaiian past, I'd lost so much of my sense of culture while living in the mainland that I was stupid and helpless when my brother was taken away. I'm studying, however, and I'm reading, and I'm learning our language. Every year at the very same time I hike the Aiea loop trail hoping to find that rift in time where I can find Wahi and bring him back. Please wish me luck

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