Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 23, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #38


Pettiness is something I have no stomach for. With that said and firmly understood, a letter written in pink glittered ink filled a page with a kind of dribble that only teenagers use with which to communicate their underdeveloped feelings.
Except the letter was authored by an adult who should have known better. Perhaps this was his attempt at humor or worse; it was his teenage daughter who penned the letter while he gave dictation. As is customary, one must never kill the messenger. In this case, I did not. I simply maimed him by breaking his thumb. There are those precious few moments between the actual breaking of a thumb and the facial expression that follows once the pain has fully registered in the victim's brain. I took advantage of those minuscule seconds to turn the messenger about and as neatly as possible place the letter on his back. Quickly straightening out the paper, I scribbled a reply just below the signature of the sender.

"By the breaking of the thumb, I send my answer,"

Turning the messenger in my direction I placed the letter in his pocket and pushed him away. Closing the door behind me, I was privileged to hear his howling screams of pain. The day was uneventful and the hours whiled away at an excruciatingly slow pace. It was near the hour of three when the knock on the door echoed throughout the foyer. The servants appeared from the receiving room, the kitchen, and the upstairs hallway. I placed my open hand above my head to indicate that it was I who would answer the door. I was greeted by the same messenger as from earlier. He sported a ghastly separation of his shoulder from his socket. Perspiration covered his forehead, his breathing was labored and filled with breaths of agony. "Letter for you sir," his right hand, the free one, shook nervously as he held out the envelope in front of me. He cringed when I snatched it from his hands as if I were going box him on the ear with it. The contents of the letter had not matured to a level where two grown men could communicate civilly. The ink was now purple glitter and the letter itself was sprayed with a bubble gum perfume. From the letter, my eyes looked up at the messenger. Seeing my unwavering gaze, he cowered back a step. Before he could manage the second, I kicked him in the scrotum with such force that it lifted his feet from my tiled marble floor. He took on the visage of a ballerina whose toes were pointed down with grotesque finesse. He fell to the floor in a fetal position with both hands cupped over his crotch, I took the opportunity to reply to the sender.

"The crotch; perhaps you ought not to reply,"

Dropping the letter at his feet I closed the door behind me and walked away. Agonizing grunts echoed through the foyer and my servants expressed a look of concern but I waved them off and bid them to begin the preparations for an early dinner. An hour or perhaps two may have transpired when the servants poured a glass of the finest Bordeaux from my collection. I intimated to them that I would take the drinks on the lanai just outside the picture window of my master bedroom. I liked taking in drinks and dinner here because from this vantage point one could see the five-acre lawn and the driving path next to it which led to my front door. I had only brought the wine glass to my nose and had not yet taken a sip from it when I noticed the 1956 black Packard Clipper come through the front gate. The driving path was filled with gravel and coral stones so as not to let any vehicle kick up dust in its wake. Looking over at Barley I directed him to help the messenger upstairs and to bring him to me. Nearly thirty minutes expired before Barley and the messenger stood in front of me. The messenger wore an angry black bruise over his eye which had only now begun to puff up. It was a wonder to me that the poor man could even drive. Barley retrieved the letter from the messenger and handed it to me. As I opened it I found relief that it was not written in any other colored ink but black, the color that ink was meant to be. Reading the content of the letter I threw my head back in disgust.

"Barley, a cuff to the abdomen if you will? We certainly don't want to knock the granny out of him-however, do use the brass knuckles." Those things haven't had any use since my knockabout days, I get a bit nostalgic and misty-eyed when the brass knuckles are brought out. While Barley took to the messenger with his fists, I returned an answer to the sender.

"This should settle it once and for all, a cuff to the abdomen employing the use of brass knuckles. I expect that internal bleeding will be the result. Be satisfied with that if you will?"

Later in the evening, the time had come to turn in. The dogs were in the house now after having spent most of the day frolicking about the property chasing after rabbits and wallabies. No one would suspect that the fine city of Honolulu would be host to Australian wallabies but yet here they were on my estate. It was nigh the half hour of ten when the black Packard drove up with no messenger. Just the letter.

"We'll call it square for tonight."



With an abundance of money and there being no need to work, the rich become idle and are most often disillusioned as to what their money can truly buy. This could not be called avarice because there are no monetary risks at stake. In this game, the messengers are paid handsomely to deliver letters between myself and my competitor. The stakes? Who can cause as much bodily injury to the messenger short of killing them? Injuries below the hips are not allowed; private areas being the exception. Whoever kills the messenger loses. Just so we can be clear, the messengers are not forced into the game, they are not unaware of what the stakes are. They know perfectly well how the game is played and the payout for their participation is a hefty sum of $750,000.00.


The hour is ten and breakfast is not to my liking, the scrambled eggs were cooked for a second too long and now they are colored grey and have a runny texture. It would have been a bit more full-bodied had milk been added per my instructions. Once more, the butter on the toast was not spread out evenly but only in the middle of the bread. No matter, the messenger has arrived as I have heard the sound of the doorbell. I am still vexed at the inability of my staff to conjure a plate of proper scrambled eggs and so I bid Barley answer the door and bring the messenger in. I was very surprised to see a young girl of only fifteen dressed in her messenger uniform. So young and very innocent in the ways of the world. Obviously, she'd been sent by her parents who were too weak of heart to take the messengers job themselves. Right, we'll have to fix that. Won't my competitor be surprised when I send him the broken dead bodies of this girls parents with the attached letter that will say, "The day is yours, my friend. However, the girl will come under my employ. To be fair, I shall send the next messenger right off and we can continue tomorrow."

Even the idle rich who are comfortably numb are able to come out of their wealthy stupors long enough to show a bit of compassion. Now, where is that letter?

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