Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 29, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #63


I remember as a child that it was not an unusual thing to leave your doors open at night and more often than not passersby were always invited in by my parents to be given a warm meal and water to drink.
There was a Hawaiian man whose name no one knew but everyone called him Kahuna because that's what he was supposed to be. He would come and stand outside our fence until someone saw him and acknowledged him, most often he would ask for water or for one of the mangos from our tree. His eyes were intense and although he had a white beard with very short hair, his presence was undeniably powerful. A day came when he didn't want water or a mango, he wanted food. So, my parents brought him into our kitchen and sat him down and began to prepare a meal for him. My father sat with him and began to ask him questions about his family and where he lived. The kahuna said he lived by himself not too far from our home; mainly he lived off of the food he grew himself. Otherwise, he would catch fish for a meal or he would dry it on his dry box, if he wanted to eat kalua pig he would trade his fish for a pig from the pig farm. He was a retired city and county worker who couldn't stay still, he constantly needed something to do. Then my father asked him why everyone called him, 'Kahuna?'

I gasped to myself because I couldn't believe that my father had to gall to ask such a thing, but the Kahuna didn't seem to be bothered. "Because I am," he said.

"I heard get different kine kahuna? The healing kind, the fishing kine, the kine can tell the weather. What kine are you?"  My father asked.

"The other kine," the kahuna answered plainly.

My father didn't get it and I was trying to get his attention in order to make him stop, because my mother wasn't saying anything, she just kept cooking. "The other kine?" My god, my father was clueless.

"The other kine," the kahuna's voice was even and steady. "The kine you hear about but nobody wants to talk about." Good old dad finally got it and he leaned back in his chair, his eyes looked over at where my mother was but she just kept cooking. "Then people look at me the same way that you are right now, afraid that I'll do something to them."

"Are you?" My father asked nervously.

"No," the kahuna shook his head. "Unless you give me a reason to?"

"No," my father replied. "We're always happy to give you water and mangoes whenever you need, and right now we're happy to feed you."

My mother was done frying up whatever food it was that she had in the pan. She walked over to the kitchen table where she scraped it from the pan and on to the plate in front of the kahuna. I don't recall who screamed first if it was me or my father. I do remember the kahuna eating his meal very calmly while my dad and I backed up in horror. Serving the kahuna was what remained of my mother, clumps of her hair and her flesh fell to the kitchen floor revealing blood and sinew. Her eyes popped out and landed in the kahuna's food while other parts of her literally went to shit. When the kahuna finished his meal, he stood up and wiped his mouth on his shirt sleeve and excused himself to the front door.

"That's just in case you decide to say bad things about me after I leave," he walked out our front door and up the driveway. He took a left turn and walked up the road toward the highway, my father and I screamed again when we heard my mother's voice. "Aren't you guys going to eat?"

She was herself again, complete flesh and blood, and not falling clumps of hair and skin. The kahuna never came back for the food, mangoes. or water after that. Of course, we never told anyone about what happened in our kitchen either, except for right now.

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