Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 8, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #23


They walked six abreast holding him over their heads as they traveled along. They were in a hurry and to their detriment they bound his hands in front of him and not behind. He was a kupua, a shapeshifter.
The directive of the paramount chief was that the man's feet were not to touch the ground, for from the ground he derived his power and could very well kill them all. It must be true they thought for the man's skin was ashen and gray. His frame was gaunt and nearly skeletal. What kind of threat could he have been in such a state of obvious deprivation? They would not dare ask, their orders were clear. Take the man to the overlook and cast him bound hand and feet into the ocean. After what seemed to be an eternity, they were close. The winds carried the aroma of the sea spray inland which told them it would be over. Soon they stood at the edge of a precipice and with the blue ocean surging up against the rocks several hundred feet below them, they let out a sigh of relief. Lifting the man over their heads they let out a count, "kahi...lua...kolu...."

Below them, a mighty rogue wave manifested from within the blanket of the indigo ocean like the open palm of a titan. It slapped itself against the face of the rocks and exploded into a spectacular display of sea and foam. Simultaneously another wind appeared and lifted the residual sea spray up toward the men and their burden. It covered them in a sheen of ocean water which caused their minds and bodies to relax momentarily. It covered the man they carried as well but it did something to him. It expanded his body and returned the color to his flesh. The more he morphed his weight became unbearable to men who carried him. The width of his body opened tenfold, his height doubled to eight feet. His muscles were like steel cables and his core was a mass of lean abdominal striations. Before the men could comprehend the unfolding events before them, the man who was once their prisoner would soon be their executioner. His feet touched the ground and he gathered all six men in his arms and made a running leap over the cliff. Time stood still as they plummeted down to the ocean, the men screamed and struggled to loosen themselves from the grasp of the kupua. It was useless, once they plunged into the depths of the water, the kupua let them go. The six men broke the surface and swam furiously to the rocks where each was able to find a place for themselves to rest and strategize but they would not have the time. A large swell appeared but never manifested itself to be a wave, it lilted each man from his rocky perch and brought them back out. They had not even a moment to tread water before a massive black shark surfaced and as easy as breathing, the creature opened his mouth and received each of them still whole and alive into its waiting maw of razor-sharp teeth.

The six men were not meant to cast a weak and defenseless kupua into the ocean, they were meant to be his meal. It was the price that the paramount Ali'i had to pay in order to rid his waters of the terrible shark god who reddened the ocean with the blood of his people.

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