Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 8, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #84


"I remember when you were a baby, and I always brought you to Sandy beach in the late afternoons so you could collect all kinds of different rocks and shells.
You had empty mayonnaise jars, and baby food jars, and old lunch pails full of them. You did all your homework at school, so when you got back, you could spread all of your rocks and shells on the carpet and just look at them one by one. I still have them in my closet, I never threw it away. I always thought that one day you'd want them so you could pass them down to your own children," Beth was only half paying attention to me while she removed a huge fold-out table from the back of her SUV and carried it into the garage. "You'd get so upset if someone moved any of your things and goodness forbid if anyone touched your brand new toy before you did, you'd refuse to play with it after that."

After setting up the table, she went back out and got a large box that she set on the floor. Opening the box with a pocket knife, she brought out a black cloth and threw it over the table and evenly spread it out, so the edges were hanging on all four sides. From the box, she took out more items that I couldn't see because she had her back turned to me, but whatever they were, they were heavy because I could hear a dull thud as she placed each one on the table. It sounded like they had some weight to them. "Those are nice memories, Dad, but it doesn't change what you are," she said.

"What am I?" My question was meant to probe into her mindset rather than expect an A and B answer.

"To me, you're nothing, but to the families of all those people you killed, dismembered, disemboweled, and buried underneath this house, the house I grew up in? You're a fucking monster who deserves to die, that's who you are." She was angry, of course, I mean how could she not be? Her father messed up, and now all of her friends must know, and that has got to hurt her social situation.

"Is that what this is all about? Is that why you've got me all tied up and bound like a cocoon hanging from the rafters?" I half-laughed, but as snug, as these ropes were, it didn't hurt too bad.

"It's called 'Kinbaku-Bi' Dad, it's a Japanese bondage method which explores the beauty of tight binding," she sure was busy putting together whatever it was that she was putting together.

"Wait now hold on here, do I need to be hearing this from you? This is really awkward having to know this about my own daughter," I half chuckled, but I really was embarrassed considering my circumstance.

She finally turned around and looked at me, she had the remote for the garage in her hand, but she hadn't pressed the button to close the massive door that I installed years ago. "You got your thing, I got mine," she said.

"Alright Beth, this has all been fun, but you can cut me loose and let me down, my arms are starting to get numb," I was stern, but I didn't raise my voice. I learned early on that Beth's feelings got hurt real easy if you raised your voice at her, then she'd shut down, and then everything came to a grinding halt.

"No way," she shook her head and looked at me with such seriousness. "You have to pay for what you did to all these people, especially mom. She didn't run off like you claimed, she's here buried underneath this garage right where you put her."

Poor Beth, for as much as I adored her and loved her, she was still very lost and innocent to the ways of the world. "How are you going to make me pay Beth? Turn me into the authorities? You'll just make me famous, I'll be all over the media, and then I'll have a book deal and a movie deal. What comeuppance is there going to be then? Oh wait, wait, wait, I know….you're gonna kill me yourself, right? You're gonna kill your own father and then make yourself out to be a martyr, right?"

Beth pressed the red button on the remote, and the garage door slowly lowered itself; at the same time. She went back to the table and lit four dark-colored candles that were placed on the four corners of the table. In the middle was the skull of some kind of animal sitting on a white cloth marked with a blood-red satanic pentagram on it. "I'm not going to kill you Dad, I don't want that kinda blood on my hands."

"Then who Beth? Who's going to kill me?" I didn't mean to mock her, but enough was enough, she was very indignant.

"The people you killed are the ones who are going to kill you," her eyes were not the eyes of the little girl I raised and nurtured. This was someone else, some other person who took over the Beth that I knew like the back of my hand.

"And how is that going to happen? You're gonna raise them from the dead?" She wanted to be an adult, so I mocked her like an adult should be mocked. I'll worry about her feelings later.

"It doesn't seem like it to you right now, Dad but I am your daughter, I did a lot of studying and a lot of research for the sole purpose of what's about to happen." The garage door was shut entirely, and space itself was black save for the troublesome glow of four candles on a table spotlighting a satanic bible. Beth turned her attention back to the table and began praying something which sounded like Latin. It was a long fevered prayer, but in the course of whatever the incantation was, the atmosphere in the garage changed, it became thick with the feeling of filth. That's the only way I can describe it. Where Beth's voice filled the space in front of her a minute ago, the sound of her voice seemed to fall off, like there was some kind of wall that suddenly appeared. When her prayer finally concluded, she walked over to me to inspect the rope, just to make sure that it was all tied very securely. "In this sense with what's about to happen, I am one hundred percent your daughter, other than that, when I finally found out about who and what you are? You died that day, that's when you turned to nothing. You see, dad, to kill you, I had to become you."

She turned around and made her way out the side door, which led into the kitchen, the second the door shut behind her. I began to tense up every muscle in my body and then relax. The more I expanded and contracted my body and my breathing, I would eventually start to perspire, and the ropes would fall away. Once I got myself free, I would have to find Beth and probably split her skull open with my favorite meat cleaver. I hated to think of it that way, but when your own child misbehaves, what choice do you have?

"Look at you, Edward, you're like a piñata ready to be bashed in and destroyed," it was a woman's voice from just beyond the glow of the candlelight. She stepped forward to pick up one of the dark candles and held it to her face. It was Sandra, my dead wife, who I killed myself. One side of her head was still wholly smashed in by the baseball bat that I used to do it with. Next to her was little Frank Pacheco, the paperboy who kept throwing the rolled-up news rags at my window day in and day out. I threw a basketball at his head one day and knocked him off of his little bicycle. I didn't realize how delicate he was, or maybe I threw that basketball a bit too hard at the back of his head? I snapped his neck in two pieces. "You never pay your subscription on time, Mr. Abreau, you're always late, and I end up having to pay it myself. You deserve to have the paper thrown at your window, you fucking ass hole." He picked up a candle as well and held it to his broken head, which hung grotesquely just below the collarbone.

Then there was old man Komoyasu who would not rake his yard no matter how much I begged him to, so what happens? The wind blows his leaf piles into my garage; what's worse is that he just stands there and looks me in the face with a smirk while it's all happening. Of course, he had to go, what a pleasure it was to bash his face in with his own Kirin beer bottle. He grabbed a candle too and held it up to the twisted pulp of flesh that used to be his face, all he could do was give me the finger.

 I'd completely forgotten about Muriel Chandah, but when she emerged out of the blackness and held the candle to her face, a warm feeling came over me, and I couldn't help but smile, "Muriel, I can't believe it's you! I really regret killing you, I thought we had something, but I was mistaken. Can you ever forgive me?"

"There was never anything between us Edward, I told you that time and time again, but you broke into my home and forced me to watch while you killed my husband and my son. You forced me to lick their blood off the kitchen floor before you murdered me."

The four of them walked around the table until they all stood directly under me, they each raised their candles slowly until the flames were about to touch my face. I could feel the white-hot fire getting closer and closer. At the very moment when I was about to scream, the garage lights suddenly came on, the side door opened, and it was Beth standing halfway in. She slowly pushed the door completely open, and a crowd of strangers stepped through the door until they filled the space. Sandra, little Frank, old man Komoyasu, and Muriel were gone. The candles they held were still lit and sitting on the four corners of the table. My eyes were adjusting to the light, but I had to know, "Who are all these people Beth? What are they doing here?"

"These are the people whose family members you killed; by doing that, you killed a large part of who these people were. I told them all about you, and just to be fair, I gave each one of them a weapon that you used to kill the person they loved. I bet you're not going to like the cheese grater," Beth stepped through the side door and closed it behind her…........all I'll say is this. By the time little Frank Pacheco's father got his turn, there wasn't much left of me for anyone to revenge themselves on. Hell, I was just a hanging side of butchered and bleeding steak, but through the haze of all that pain I saw them, all those people I killed, I saw them. They were in that garage too; at first, they hugged the walls and watched, but then they ended up possessing their own family members so that they could have a turn at bat, literally. A brilliant move that Beth, that's what the whole Satanic ritual was meant for, I guess she did study.

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