Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Dec 27, 2018


I usually don’t hear my cell phone go off at three ‘o clock in the morning and if I do, the sound seems to come from a deep dark tunnel in the murky distance of night. Or least that’s how it sounds to me.
With that said, I don’t normally answer the call until I am fully awake. My friend Terry Higa is a lieutenant with the Honolulu police department and apparently, it was his phone call that I failed to answer the night before. When I didn’t answer soon enough, he and three other officers came pounding on my door with such urgency that it would lead me to believe that it was either my landlord, the police or who the hell knows? But it was Terry.

“What’s happening?” I groaned half awake as I opened my door. "Don't you know it's Christmas morning?"

“ Bra, why you no answer your phone? Anyway, I going give you time to get dressed. You gotta come with us.” Terry said.

I had done terrible things to my body during my years as a professional wrestler and it was finally catching up to me. Well, it only caught up to me in the morning. I limped toward the bathroom and grabbed my jeans and my favorite long sleeved blue buttoned down shirt off of the hook from the back of the bathroom door and got changed. Brushing my teeth and combing my hair very quickly, I applied one sock on to the left foot and hopped around on the same left foot a moment later as I tried to put on the right one. The three officers who came with Terry quickly helped me right myself as I got my three-day-old sock on my foot and slipped both feet into my shoes. A moment later I followed Terry out of my front door as they led me to his Toyota 4 runner that was parked out on the road. I waved to my landlord as I climbed into the front seat of the SUV with a reassurance that everything was ok.

“Howzit Hawaiian? What you did?” The landlord asked.

“I’m not sure,” I replied. “But if it’s serious you’ll see it on the six ‘o clock news!”

Buckling up my seat belt I made it a point to ask Terry that same question.

“Am I in trouble Terry?”

“No,” He said. “Me, Carl, Smokey and Scotty was eating breakfast at Zippy’s when I got the call from headquarters to get in touch with you. Das’ why I was calling all night see? I neva’ know dey wanted fo’ talk to you in person so das why we came your house.”

“Oh ok. Do you know what this is all about?” I asked.

“Dey going tell you when you get there bra, no worry.” Terry was now using his cop voice which just irritated the hell out of me. Looking at the three officers sitting in the back seat, I couldn’t help but ask,

“So, is there a requirement at the academy that you all use the same baritone podagee pidgeon English voice in order to get your point across?” I asked.

They didn’t get the joke. They just sat there stoically and stared at the back of Terry’s head.

“Bra,” Scotty said. “You should tell him now Terry. You know we neva’ go Zippy’s just to eat breakfast.”

“Psssh,” Carl shot back. “We don’t even know if ‘dis guy can handle dis kine stuff bra.”

“Mr. Kealoha,” Smokey asked. “Da kine stuff you do, you deal with ghosts and spirits all da time right?”

“Yes,” I nodded. “Every day.”

“See?” Smokey said looking at Terry. “Just tell him already!”

“Tell me what?” I replied as I looked at Terry. “What’s going on?”

Ignoring me, Terry looked back and forth between the rear view mirror and the road as he spoke.

“Eh, I telling you guys right now dis going make better sense to him once he sees it for himself so just relax!”

“Terry?” My mind was racing now as to what the hell was going on between the four of them. What secret were they keeping? He just looked at me with a dreadful seriousness that I had never seen on his face in all the years that I knew him. I didn’t press the issue any further but I could feel the tension and discomfort from the officers in the back seat. We arrived at the station and immediately switched from Terry’s SUV to a larger black on black Chevy Suburban. Suddenly I was covered with chicken skin and I stopped dead in my tracks. I was wide awake now and all of my senses were on high alert. I couldn’t explain what the feeling was except to say that it was something close to dread and foreboding. It was serious enough to make me think twice about going any further with these guys. Everyone else stopped a second later when they realized that I hadn’t followed them into the Suburban.

“What?” Terry said. “What’s the matter?”

“You tell me right now what the hell is going on,” I demanded. “Right now and don’t you bull shit me, Terry!”

“I can’t tell you because I don’t know how to explain it!” Terry pleaded. “That’s why you have to see it yourself bra! Das all I can tell you! C’mon bra, just get in and you goin’ see.”

There were countless times in my past where I knew I should have said no, but I didn’t. This was one of those times. I should have just walked right out of that parking garage and went the hell back home and went right back to sleep! Instead, like a damned fool, I got into the Suburban and went with them. Why don’t I ever learn my lesson? Why?

It was obvious that we were not going to the police station because we had just left the facility, so then where were we going? Was it pertinent to ask at this point? More than likely not, but whatever it was must have been something sufficiently significant to spook three hardened police officers who themselves looked mean enough to scare the color off of paint. Terry was spooked too but he was trying his best to keep it under control. He was always a cool customer in a tight spot but not more than just a few minutes ago, there was a crack in his Kevlar. I saw a hint of maniacal insanity in his eyes. He managed, however, to pull it back and he was the same Terry Higa again. I shook my head as I was now reminded of Carl’s earlier remark about whatever this is being too much for me to handle? If these guys were that badly affected then how was I expected to be of any assistance if that’s what I was really here for? I would find out soon enough as we pulled up to the back parking lot of a local museum. There was a team of men and women dressed in suits with dark glasses on and wearing wireless earpieces. They were standing at the rear entrance and watching them scurry about I could just make out their holstered weapons beneath their coats.


Federal, Government, CIA, I wasn’t sure but I was covered in chicken skin again. They all converged on the vehicle once they saw us. Terry and the other three police officers exited the vehicle in no time but the agents ignored them completely. The agent in charge was taller than the rest and appeared to be more seasoned than everyone else. He made a beeline for Terry and immediately began to question him.

“Is this him?” The agent asked.

“Yeah,” Terry replied in his local accent. “Dis is da one.”

“Mr. Kealoha!” the agent barked. “Am I pronouncing that right?”

“Yes.” I nodded.

“Please come this way. I’ll explain everything to you once we’re inside. I’m agent Mac Creedy. I’ll introduce you to everyone else in a second,.”

At that point, Terry, Carl, Scotty, and Smokey began to follow along when agent Mac Creedy stopped them.

“We’ll take it from here, you guys can go home.”

“Whatchoo mean?” Terry said enraged. “This is our case…!” He never got to finish once agent Mac Creedy cut him off.

“WAS your case; this is a government matter now and you have no jurisdiction. Go home gentlemen while you still have jobs and homes to go to,” Agent Mac Creedy cut a fine figure of a man who must have lived through many things and came out of it none the worse for wear. But there was something about him I didn’t like. He was too clinical, too clean, too well manicured and too perfect. The four officers retreated without a fuss after that and basically left me feeling as if I had just been thrown to the wolves.

We took an elevator to the second floor and before I knew it we were standing at the end of a dimly lit hallway with a single spotlight on the other end of it. The left and right sides of the hallway walls were lined with other agents who had their guns drawn as they all pointed their weapons in the same direction. It was hard to see and I found that I needed to adjust my eyes for a second before I could focus on what I was looking at.

At the end of the hallway seated in a chair just beneath a barely visible spotlight was a Hawaiian man with shoulder-length pepper colored hair. He sported a beard that was beginning to turn gray. He wore a long-sleeved blue t-shirt that by the insignia on the left breast identified him as a city and county employee of the parks and recreation department. He seemed to be chained to the chair at first but as I looked at him more closely I realized that he was chained to more than just the chair. Strapped around his waist were sticks of dynamite with wires attached to each cap. It seemed as if each wire was then attached to one common wire which leads to a device which the Hawaiian man held in his right hand.

“Oh my god,” I whispered.

'This guy,' Agent Mac Creedy began. ‘has no record, no misdemeanors, no felonies, never committed a crime in his life. Graduated high school and went to work for the city and county and went home and went back to work the next day. Never went to college, never took a night class, and never got married. He’s lived with his parents his entire life and oh yeah, goes to church on Sundays. Humdrum ho-hum, that’s this guy. Then last night he suddenly walks in here, manhandles the guards, pulls out some sticks of dynamite and chains it and himself to that chair. This guy has had no former military training in his entire life and then all of a sudden he somehow out of the blue gets explosives from somewhere and has the know-how and skill to turn himself into a human bomb?”

“Agent Mac Creedy I think you have the wrong guy. I don’t know what Terry Higa might have told you but I’m not a terrorist negotiator," I stated my case plain and simple, expecting to walk away and call it a night.

“He asked for you by name.” Agent Mac Creedy deadpanned.

“What?” I asked.

“Last night he asked for you by name and asked that we bring you here so he could talk to you.” Agent Mac Creedy was serious.

I was dumbfounded as to how I would even remotely be associated with a suicide bomber.

“I don’t get it?” I said.

“Listen,” Agent Mac Creedy shot back. “He’s already killed five of my best agents with his bare hands! We’re at a standstill and we have nothing to negotiate with! Those men and women he killed have families and loved ones! They are real people do you understand?”

I was at a loss for words for the first time. I couldn’t fathom the situation because there were too many loose ends and there was more going on here that agent Mac Creedy was conveniently leaving out.

“I don’t understand what it is that you want me to do?” I said as I was now confused and mildly irritated.

Just then, the voice that echoed toward me from down the hallway was sweet and full of joy, It was the voice of a true innocent whose heart only knew happiness and purity.

“Kealoha.” It beckoned. “Mai, hele mai. E kama’ilio pu kaua.”  It was the Hawaiian man at the end of the hallway who was chained to death itself.


Everything about this situation was wrong. My senses kept screaming into my subconscious and my conscious mind began to give me a migraine. My logic kept calling me a moron and was questioning the inability of my common sense to make me walk out the door and never come back. Unfortunately, there was a misfire between what my brain knew to be the right thing to do and what actually came out of my mouth,

“Agent Mac Creedy,” I said. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure but I believe that man just spoke to you?” He replied.

“I know,” I said. “I’ll get to that in a second.”

“Alright,” He agreed.

Pointing toward the end of the hallway at the Hawaiian man, I asked, “You said that he manhandled the security guards at this place is that right?”

“Yea,” He replied.

“Where are they?” I asked.

“They’re at Straub hospital,” He answered.

“They’re at a hospital? So they weren’t manhandled, they were incapacitated?” I pressed.

“You could say that,” I could see that Agent Mac Creedy was waiting for me to make my point.

“Did he take out the entire security staff?” I pressed even further.

There was no reply at that point which could only mean that I had hit the mark.

“Alright if we say that’s true and he indeed took out the entire security staff of this facility, then who called the police?” Another non-reply accompanied by a cold stare should have told me to stop right where I was and walk away, but no not me. I was on a roll that was induced by a divine influence, not from above but from my past. In my world, a great many things that I do are motivated by the thoughts and dreams that are sent to me from my ancestors. Their guidance is spot on and never fails to point me in the right direction, but for some reason, that intervention was coming through a lot stronger than before. There was no filter. I was getting a direct signal in a local museum that was filled with sacred Hawaiian items from antiquity, I guess I forgot where I was for a moment.

“After receiving an anonymous tip from someone on the inside, the police know exactly where to find this Hawaiian man. You see on the way over here I rode with four very seasoned, very hardened police officers who’ve probably seen it all, but those gentlemen were genuinely scared of something that happened here, so much so that they wouldn't tell me about it. They insisted that I had to see it for myself and thus far I haven’t seen anything. But I’m willing to bet that it has something to do with that Hawaiian man sitting at the end of the hallway.” I said.

“That’s the problem with you civilians, you watch an episode of CSI and you think you’re a detective all of a sudden.” Agent Mac Creedy began. “It doesn't work that way. Now if you don’t mind, I’d like you to go and talk to that man and find out what this is all about.”

“How come no one has taken a shot?” I asked pointedly.

“What?” Agent Mac Creedy shot back.

“You’ve got 12 of your agents standing at the end of that hallway, six on either side hugging the bulkheads. They’ve got their weapons drawn and pointed straight at that man. They’ve got a clear shot and not one of them has taken it. You could have ended this without me a long time ago. Those five agents you lost must have been your first strike team? Were they sent in to sweep and clear the area?”

“Alright,” Agent Mac Creedy said. “That’s it, you’re coming with us.”

Before I knew it I had a swarm of agents around me who wrestled me to the floor and began to bind my hands behind my back and blindfold me. Even when I think about it now, I can’t really tell you what happened because I didn’t see it, but I felt it and I heard it. I could feel my body being pushed across the floor so quickly that I wasn’t prepared when I hit the bottom of the wall on the opposite side of the room. After that, for a quick second, I heard the horrible, painful screams of people who were suffering in unimaginable pain and then nothing. It was gone. There was silence for a minute and then I began to call out to anyone who was there.

“Mac Creedy? Agent Mac Creedy? Someone? Hello?” Silence.

A mere second had passed before I felt my bonds come loose and my blindfold come undone. As I sat up and looked around there were bodies strewn about everywhere. Mac Creedy and a few others were the only ones slowly coming around. Good, they were still alive.

“Mai,” The kind voice called out from the other end of the hallway. “E kama’ilio pu kaua. Mai nana ia lakou. Hele mai, mai maka’u..”


As I turned to look at him I found that beaming smile radiating toward me through the dimly lit hallway. His eyes sparkled with a life that was pure and without the influence of western thought. He entreated me once more to come closer and indulge him in a private conversation. I can’t tell you if it was his unassuming demeanor or just his presence that made me feel safe even though he was laden down with explosives about his waist. I believe now that it was that distraction that initially prevented me from noticing right off that his mouth was not moving and that he was communicating telepathically.

Agent Mac Creedy’s personality aside, I was glad to see that all of the other agents were not dead as they were all very slowly coming around. That gave me the private audience I needed with my non-verbal friend. I got as close as I could to him and then took a seat on the floor. He looked down at me now and smiled again and while his left hand still held on to the detonator, he extended his right hand in friendship. I was hesitant for a second but in my head, I heard him say that no harm would come to me while I was there and that it was the very Gods themselves who prevented Agent Mac Creedy and his team from taking me away. Before I could think back an answer, he suddenly grabbed my hand and held it firmly in his. A moment later, I saw a brilliant flash of light come between myself and him and the next thing I knew, I had blacked out.

When I came to I stumbled back a couple of steps and managed to catch myself as I instinctively reached out to grab something. I had righted myself up against a wooden wall of an unfamiliar house that I was standing in. The living room was small as it hosted a portable television, an oversized recliner that took up most of the space in the tight space and a two-person couch. The curtains were made from what looked like kapa as it hung on the inside of the three smaller windows. To my left were two bedrooms, one immediately on the side of me and the other about six feet away. Between the rooms was the bathroom and in front of me was the entrance to the kitchen and beyond that was what had to be the back door. From what I could tell it was early to late afternoon and I could hear a man’s voice from outside talking to someone. Curious, I peeked out of the window and there was my friend standing in the yard still dressed in his City and County Dept. of Parks and Recreation long-sleeved shirt and work jeans. He was his same pleasant self and he exchanged kind words with four massively built Hawaiian men who towered over him. They were all dressed in feathered capes and helmets that took on the appearance of the elements, one seemed to be made of brilliant sunlight while the other was made of the ocean and yet a third wore a feathered cape of a pureblood read color while the fourth sported a feathered cape of fine green ferns. I could barely make out the conversation itself when suddenly the Hawaiian man fell to his knees and prostrated himself before them.

Simultaneously the four oddly clad Hawaiian men turned their gaze toward me and I had scarcely a second to look at them when I saw that their eyes were glowing cobalt blue. There was a loud ringing in my ear all of a sudden and then another brilliant flash of light. It’s the last thing I remembered before I awoke again with Agent Mac Creedy hovering over me.

“Mr. Kealoha? Are you alright? Are you able to talk?” He asked.

It’s redundant at this point to say that I was disoriented what with having my thoughts telepathically invaded and then being transported to a house that I had never been in before and then being brought right back to a strange room where I had to wake up to the sight of one of the most unpleasant human beings that I had ever met in my life. My vision was a bit blurry and I felt like a jackhammer had just pounded my head into two pieces. I could barely make out what looked like some heart monitoring equipment from across the room,  I could hear the constant three-second bleep marking red time on the screen.

“Am I in a hospital?” I groaned.

“No,” Agent Mac Creedy answered. “You’re in our main nerve center right below the room that we were just in.”

“How’d I get here?” I asked.

“We found you on the floor in front of your friend upstairs. You were unharmed. He told us that once you came around that you would explain everything so we brought you here and waited.” He replied.

“I’m going to help you up and I want you to swing your legs over to the side of the gurney so that you can sit upright and get that blood circulating through your system again”. One of the agents walked over to him and put a glass of water in his hands. “Here,” he said, “drink this, it’ll clear the cobwebs and fix you up real nice.”

With one gulp of the water, I was suddenly wide awake! My nostrils were burning and my eyes were tearing up. I jumped off the table and grabbed the first plastic water bottle I saw and tanked it down in no time.

“What the hell was that?” I choked. “Are you frickin’ trying to kill me?!”

“It’s liquid Wasabi, our own invention. How do you feel now?” Agent Mac Creedy asked.

“You’re lucky that I’m not the one with the gun,” I answered.

“Follow me over here,” He said. “There’s something I want you to see.”

I trailed behind Agent Mac Creedy as he led me to the area where I saw through my recovering telepathic haze what I thought was a unit of heart monitors but I was mistaken. It was a network of black on black laptops with red yellow and blue charts and diagrams on each screen. There were a series of different colored wires which were hooked up to each laptop from behind and they all came from a common source, a seven-foot-long incubator. Beneath the incubator was a platform of some kind that received each series of wires into an individual port which connected to the incubator itself. Within it was a shorter platform that hosted two armed prongs which held up the largest nautilus conch shell I had ever seen. There seemed to be some sort of darknet that held the shell itself in its pouch. There was one long piece which was braided to either end of the darknet that appeared to be a kind of strap where the bearer of the shell could carry it about his shoulder. As I looked closer I could see that the darknet was comprised of a series of smaller, more detailed braids which made up the whole. The breath left my body as it dawned upon me that this netting was made of human hair. That’s when I noticed an almost countless number of human teeth embedded into the sides of the calico colored shell. The hair stood up on the back of my neck as a slow cold chill ran down my spine. Instinct made me take a step away from it as I also saw a chip missing from the shell just near the bottom.

“No way,” I whispered to myself.

“Do you know what a Clarion might be?” Agent Mac Creedy asked.

“Yes,” I replied.

Pointing at the large incubator Agent Mac Creedy asked, “Then you know what that is?”

“Yes,” I said with a cold bit of sarcasm. “It’s a conch shell.”

Who knew that a little smart ass remark would have been the thing that would light a fire under Agent Mac Creedy’s ass and send him off the deep end? I didn’t, but it gave me a great advantage to negotiate terms my way. I was no longer a tool at this point, the real tool was the one who completely lost his composure.

“Son of a bitch!!!” He screamed. In a flash, he grabbed me by the shirt and threw me to the ground. I landed with a hard thud as the breath left my body and before I could recover Agent Mac Creedy had already picked me up from the floor with both hands and pinned me up against a wall. I kept my chin tucked in tight in order to prevent my head from hitting any hard surface. Agent Mac Creedy already had his fist cocked back and was ready to let me have one right in the teeth when suddenly the entire room of agents began to pull us apart. I, of course, offered no resistance because I figured that the money would come in handy once I took him to court for assault. I just needed him to hit me first but of course, his people got in our way. So in a last-ditch effort before they could separate I spat in his face. Oh, the murderous look in his eyes was priceless! I screamed at his companions to let him go but our moment of barbaric entertainment was cut short.

“AGENT MAC CREEDY!!!” Came the booming voice from the back of the room. A short, stalky man with gray hair and glasses in a greenish colored suit came running out of nowhere and ordered everyone to break it up. The mob obeyed and let the two of us loose and went back to their stations. Whoever this guy was, it was obvious that he was Agent Mac Creedy’s superior.

“You compose yourself right now Agent! Your behavior is deplorable! Have you forgotten why we’re here and what our purpose is?” The man demanded.

“No sir,” Agent Mac Creedy replied. “I have not.”

“You go back to my office and wait for me. I’ll deal with you later!” He pointed. Without any protest, Agent Mac Creedy left and disappeared into one of the back offices.

Extending his hand out to me, the older man introduced himself, “I’m director William Schraeder Mr. Kealoha. Let me begin by apologizing for my agent’s behavior. Are you hurt?” He asked.

“I’m fine,” I said.

“Was Agent Mac Creedy able to brief you on what is taking place here?” Director Schraeder asked.

“Uh no, he was just showing me this conch shell and then he asked me a question and I answered him and I guess he didn't like the answer I gave him so he attacked me,” I said.

“What did Agent Mac Creedy ask you?” Director Schraeder inquired.

“He asked me if I knew what was in that case and I told him it was a conch shell and then he went all P.T.S.D. on me,” I answered.

“Mr. Kealoha,” Director Schraeder said while shaking his finger at me, “We checked up on you and we know that you’re an expert storyteller. You have a way of shaping words together that evoke a particular kind of response from people. I think it was the WAY that you answered Agent Mac Creedy’s question that made him upset. You were probably tweaking him the whole time.”

 I immediately feigned ignorance. “Director Schraeder, I was talking to him in the same way that I am talking to you.”

“Alright Mr. Kealoha, alright,” The director responded with his hands up in the air. “Now, did Agent Mac Creedy say anything to you about, “Clarion?”

“He mentioned the word,” I responded. “He wanted to know if I knew what it meant.”

“And do you?” Director Schraeder was slowly pushing now.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Enlighten me further please,” Director Schraeder was just as condescending as Agent Mac Creedy but in a more Mom and Pop sort of way.

“It’s a war trumpet. However, by looking at what’s in that incubator I gather that you’re leaning more towards Gabriel’s trumpet am I right?” I speculated.

“And can you tell me exactly what it is that’s in that incubator?” Now he was coming across more like a hungry wolf waiting to pounce on his prey.

Looking at the shell horn in the incubator I began to shudder at the thought that this object was actually here right in front of me. I immediately knelt down on my knees while looking up at it with awe and reverence.

“I first read about it as a kid in our school library, and as I grew older I came across more detailed versions of its history from antiquity. A few years back I finally began to take it out of its mythical context and when I dissected the stories surrounding it more closely, I knew that it did indeed exist at one time but as it was with all objects like this one; once our kapu system was done away with, it was either destroyed or had been kept in some unknown repository cave somewhere. I can’t believe it’s here and that it is real. My eyes are gazing upon an object that was held by sacred Ali’i and miscreant gnomes. It was then rescued in one single night by a supernatural dog who gave his own life for its freedom. It commanded the elements and all things therein contained. It also held within its confines, the agonizing voices of the conquered enemies of its keeper whose tortured wailing would cause the common man to go mad.” I said softly.

“Then you know what this is?” Director Schraeder echoed the question that was earlier asked by Agent Mac Creedy.

“Of course I do, and so do you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have it locked up in this basement with these monitors hooked up to it.” I said. “By the way, why do you have all these wires and monitors hooked up to it?”

“If this is truly the object that legend says it is and if it can truly exercise and influence a unique reaction from the environment…” I had to cut Director Schraeder off. In other more congenial circumstances I would have loved to hear his dissertation, but not today.

“I’m sorry Director Schraeder but can you give it to me in layman’s terms please?”

“We’re monitoring its supernatural powers.” He said frankly.

At that point, my stomach sank and my gut began to twist. I could tell that I was standing at the precipice of a plan that was probably bigger than I could imagine.

“Dare I even ask?” I said.

“You’re a smart man Mr. Kealoha, you’ll figure it out.” Director Schraeder said. “From the time we first began this study two weeks ago our monitors have recorded a major spike from this object on three separate occasions. The first time was when your police officer friends came upon that Hawaiian man sitting upstairs. The second time was when Agent Mac Creedy sent in his elite squad. Unfortunately, they never came out alive. The third time it spiked was about an hour ago when Agent Mac Creedy and my people blindfolded you and tied you up.”

Director Schraeder pointed to the laptop screens where the graphs were calm and colored nicely and then to another point in the graph where all the colors on each individual line of the graph converged into a singular color that emitted a bright yellow light. He then punched in a code on the keyboard and brought up a smaller video screen in the top right-hand corner of the laptop. It was a video of my friend sitting chained to his chair while I was out cold on the floor in front of him. Director Schraeder pressed enter and the video replayed itself. I saw myself walk into the shot and sit on the floor at his feet. The next second he took my hand and I saw myself faint dead away. That’s where the video ended.

“That was strange, there was no spike recorded here at the moment when he took your hand and you blacked out. Can you tell me what transpired?” Director Schraeder asked.

It was starting again, the voices were coming through but it was like a cacophony of them all at once, all putting the same information in my head simultaneously.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “So you were right here in this basement the whole time. That conch shell didn't show an indication of it being anything other than supernatural until that man upstairs showed up. Where exactly is he seated in circumference to that conch shell Director Schraeder?”

Pausing for a moment, the director finally responded.

“He is seated directly above it. Somehow, and we don’t know exactly how, but somehow he has control over this conch shell. We can’t proceed with our plan, we’re at a deadlock and he is holding this entire project hostage. Now, he asked for you by name for some reason and that is why you were brought here. Something happened up there between the two of you and I want you to tell me what it was. It may just be the crucial information that we need Mr. Kealoha.”

“This explains why this hasn't gone public. You were right Director Schraeder I am a smart man and I’ve figured out what this is all about. It’s about war. It’s about having the upper hand in any way possible in order to win a war or to start one. You’re counting on what’s in that incubator to help you achieve those means but you can’t because of him.” I said pointing above us.

Director Schraeder finally shed his diplomatic mantle and laid everything bare on the table so to speak.

“That object can alter the course of human history! We can control the destination that mankind takes for the next thousand years and there will be nothing but peace! The world will know the power of that conch shell and won't ever once dare to oppose us! Don’t you see? All you have to do is tell us what he said to you and we can begin to change everything!” The poor director had worked himself up into a maddening fervor that could only be compared to the ranting of a circus tent preacher. “It’s exactly as you said earlier! That conch shell is the Hawaiian version of Gabriel’s Trumpet and the command we will have over the climate and all living beings is just too great to fathom!”

I agreed with the Director and finally bid him follow me upstairs where all of his questions would be answered, but I did have to remind him of one plain fact before we left the basement.

“The name of that object or conch shell as you call it is the “Kiha Pu.” None but an Ali’i of the highest ranking blood could command its call and wield its powers. In the wrong hands, it may prove to be more like the monkey’s paw.” That crucial bit of information went in one ear and out the other. It didn't matter at that point. Director Schraeder was about to get his answer, but just like Agent Mac Creedy, it wasn't going to be the answer he wanted.


On very rare occasions a selected few in the world are truly inspired by divine means to perform an arduous task or to deliver a life-changing message that is meant to alter the course of man's history. In our culture, when divine messages came to our ancient priests they were unfiltered and very specific and if followed to the letter, the chief who heeded these words would know great benefit and prosper for years to come. The lives of seers and prophets literally hung in the balance in accordance with the correct interpretation of the heavenly message. Unfortunately, skillful con men who have disguised themselves as evangelists and modern-day prophets have also claimed the same divine gift to the unknowing masses and have gained the following of thousands, in some cases with disastrous results. In those circumstances, people have dangerously elevated and deified the person to an almost godly status rather than interpret or understand the written law of any philosophy or religion.
In most recent years the government has kept a watchful eye on those smaller factions of independent terrorists who commit suicide bombings and the like on a domestic and foreign scale. Whether they are immediately squashed or allowed to flourish is entirely unknown to the general public but where does this leave someone like Kekua Elama who appears one day at a local museum and chains himself to a chair in an empty hallway where he can’t do any real damage to anyone or anything except to himself?
Somehow he implanted a vision in my head that revealed a visitation by the four major gods of our pantheon, Ku, Kane, Lono, and Kanaloa.
They had chosen him as their instrument by which he was to secure the Kiha Pu as the gods themselves had come to know that the conch shells otherworldly powers were going to be used by evil foreign men who had no blood tie or royal claim to the sacred clarion whatsoever. They commanded Kekua to either rescue the item from the local museum or to destroy it and he himself along with it should unforeseen circumstances deem the action necessary. Their champion possessed a pure heart of innocence and it was plain to all who knew him that the mind and soul of a child lived within his adult body. And so without question on that late afternoon in his yard, Kekua Elama consented to the heavenly decree and immediately became imbued with the knowledge of how his task should be carried out. He was also given the strength of 20 men and was then burdened with the knowledge of Lua, the Hawaiian martial art of bone breaking. His only limitation was that Kekua only spoke Hawaiian and that his English was limited. Who would ever understand the reason for his actions if someone should ask? Hearing the distress in his heart, the gods gave him a name to call out and ask for when the right moment presented itself to him. The heavenly four assured him that the owner of the name would appear and that this man would tell the world of Kekua’s story. Not once did I ever assume to think that that person would be me, I naturally thought that it should have rightfully been the kuleana of one of our esteemed Kupuna in our community, not one so lowly and more human than myself.

There was no doubt in my heart that what I saw was absolutely true. Although I have never had the occasion to stand face to face with our gods, I have seen their machinations work through other people. I have unwittingly recorded their voices and have seen their images move through heiau, sacred landmarks, royal palaces, shopping malls, schools, and department stores. They do exist.
However, the director and his men in black were not going to buy this story by a long shot. A bombing inspired by the Hawaiian gods?


They would only see it as a kind of Jihad and not a communion between a humble Hawaiian and his godly ancestors. The director and his agents filled up the hallway behind me while I stood not more than a foot away from Kekua. I had to think fast.

“Well?” The director chirped. “We’re waiting.”

“His name is Kekua Elama. He has a very rare case of Asperger’s syndrome which somehow is tied in with his psychokinesis, the ability to move objects with one's mind. What’s also happening is that he is an innocent, his body is fully grown and mature but his mind and soul is that of a child. Do you understand?” I said.

Director Schreader put his hands up in a sign of indifference and shook his head.

“Ok,” I continued. “His favorite book which he’s read countless times over from when he was a kid is called, “ Puapualenalena.”

It’s a legend that takes place in ancient Hawai’i where a special dog rescues the very same Kiha Pu which you have downstairs, from a group of miscreant trolls who have stolen it from the sacred Chief Kiha for whom the shell is named.”

“We’re well aware of the legend Mr. Kealoha,” The director moaned.

“You’re aware of it but you don’t KNOW it!” I snapped. “Now shut up and let me finish! The kids who live in Kekua’s neighborhood are cruel and they tease Kekua every time they see him. One day as he’s sitting on the wall outside of his house reading his favorite book, those same kids come up to him and ask him what he’s reading and so he tells them. Can you imagine Kekua’s surprise and astonishment when those rotten kids tell him that they actually saw the Kiha Pu in the local museum? That weekend they get Kekua to go with them to the museum to go look at the fabled magic conch shell and of course, Kekua is counting the days until he gets to see the Kiha Pu in person! That day comes and when Kekua is standing there looking into the glass case, he sees that the Kiha Pu is nothing like the conch shell in the story. The embedded teeth of slain enemies are missing. The chip or crack that came off of the conch shell when Puapualenalena dropped it as he was being pursued by the mountain trolls wasn't there either. What he was looking at was a large, plain and very unremarkable conch shell. Not the clarion of legend. Some part of Kekua began to unravel and he expressed his confusion and anger regarding the contrast between the conch shell in the story and the one that he was looking at. He knew that story and other versions of it forwards and backward. He studied the make of that conch shell and knew every fine detail there was. That’s when those little no good kids told Kekua that he should go back and sneak into the museum and find the real Kiha Pu. He took what they said literally and did exactly that.”

“You’re gonna tell me next that he learned how to strap a belt of dynamite around his waist because he looked it up on Google?” Director Schraeder asked. “What about those spikes on our monitors and the guards and the police and my team? What about all of you guys getting blasted across this room? How’d he do that?”

I put my hands up and shrugged my shoulders in reply.

“Those were extreme circumstances that put him under duress. The result of that was his acting out in the only way he knew how. Psychokinesis.” I said

“You forgot about why he asked for you by name?” The director shot at me.

“Turns out he’s also a fan. He has two of my books. He thought that if there was anyone who would understand his plight, it would be me. That’s how I got dragged into this.” I was playing it up real good. I could only hope that the director was buying it.

“And the conch shell?” The director demanded.

“He’s connected to it somehow,” I said. “Think about it for a second. If he’s really that closely connected to its source of power maybe you can work this out somehow. Maybe he can help you and maybe you guys could learn how to harness both sources, the Kiha Pu and Kekua.?”

I could see the idea running through the director’s mind. He removed a small black cell phone from inside his jacket pocket and dialed a number. The conversation was hushed and went on for several minutes. After he hung up he looked at me with a wink of approval. Whoever it was that he just spoke with on the other side of the phone had to be the only someone who could give the green light to my suggestion. At that point, I was glad that none of the agents understood Hawaiian and that Kekua’s comprehension of English was limited. Finally, the director instructed me to tell Kekua to undo his chains and to remove his belt of dynamite and to deactivate the detonator. Looking at Kekua now I nodded and smiled. I wasn't quite certain if he could read my thoughts at that point but I let him know that the demands of the gods were agreed upon and that he should follow the director down to the basement. After what seemed to be an eternity, Kekua began to carefully undo his iron restraints and explosive devices and in less than a few minutes, he was on his way to the basement to finally realize his dream. Following along now I was suddenly stopped at the top of the stairs by director Schraeder as the rest of the agents disappeared down the stairwell with Kekua.

“We’ll take it from here,” The director said. “Thanks for all of your help, we’ll get Terry Higa to come to get you and take you home.”

Two more agents came from behind the director and hurried me to the same back exit that I entered in from before. I had lost my sense of time and I couldn't even recall what day it was. Just as the agents had opened the door for me and the sunlight peered into the dark room and temporarily blinded me, Kekua ran up from behind and gave me a great big hug.

“ ‘O Kekuaotarani to’u inoa piha! Mahalo nui e te hoa! Mahalo!”

With that said, he disappeared down the stairwell and I was sent back into civilization. I almost couldn't believe that they bought the story which I just literally pulled out of my rear end and that they were all now gazing at one of the most sacred Hawaiian objects in our history, not more than a few hundred feet away from where I was standing. Divine inspiration has its moments for sure and I just had mine. Whew! That’s about when another divine moment hit me right between the eyes. It made my blood run cold in an instant and caused me to run back to the very door that I came out of. It couldn't be. I kept convincing myself that it was a coincidence and that it couldn't be the real reason why the gods chose him to be their vehicle. It was his full name.


The Kekuaokalani of history was the nephew of Kamehameha the great. He inherited Kamehameha's war god Kuka’ilimoku while the kingdom itself was bequeathed to Kamehameha’s son, Liholiho.
After the death of his uncle, Kekuaokalani himself led a rebellion against his cousin for abandoning the old religion. Kekuaokalani perished in that battle. He was a martyr to his fidelity in keeping the old ways.

I prayed that I was wrong.

As I raised my fist to pound on the door, the last thing I recalled was everything suddenly taking on the appearance of a negative from a photograph; it was like the color was drained out of the world for a second. That anomaly only lasted for a moment and then I was overcome with a massive headache and simultaneously enveloped by darkness.

I recall hearing noises and murmuring and the awful smell of something burning. It all felt very unsettling as if some sort of horrible disaster had just taken place but I wasn't able to see it. Everything went black.


I woke up later on my couch sweating profusely. The fan was off and the door and all of the windows were closed. I sat up immediately and noticed that something fell off of my chest. It was a piece of paper on the floor. I picked it up and looked at it and noticed there was a short note scribbled on it.

Did you see it for yourself?"


I removed my seat-soaked clothing and took a cold shower. My head was pounding and I couldn't think of anything else except for eating a bag of Poi in order to coat my stomach. I would stay sick for a while and I would never be sure about what that whole black and white negative thing was but I know that I would never want to go through that again.

Almost a year later on a quiet late Wednesday afternoon, I would find myself on Ka’ulula’au Street in Papakolea sitting in my car just outside of Kekua’s home. I had my laptop with me as I had earlier Googled the address just to be sure and yet, here I was.
Locking up my car, I made my way to the small front entrance where I saw two eager Pit Bulls standing on their hind legs waiting to be petted. Just then I heard a voice call out from the nicely trimmed yard on the right side of the entrance. It was small but very clean and it hosted a short Coconut tree and a huge tangle of Puakenikeni right next to it. A pleasant wind wafted the fragrance of the ten cent flowers toward me and I had almost forgotten about the voice that called out

“Can I help you with something?” It was a warm female voice that harbored no trace of fear or anger. From behind the Puakenikeni branches appeared a Hawaiian woman who was tall and had the bearing of an Ali’i.. Her demeanor, however, was one of kindness and affability.

“Aloha!” I replied. “I was a friend of Kekua Elama and I just wanted to see where he lived. The last time I saw him was about a year ago.”

“Oh,” she said. “He disappeared around the same time that his parents passed away in their sleep. They used to live here but I maintain the house now. I’m Lehua Elama. Kekua’s parents were my older cousins.”

“I see,” I said. “I’m Kealoha,"

“Oh yes!” Lehua replied. “I know you, I know what you do.”

“I’m not here looking for ghosts,” I assured her. “I’m just wondering if it’s too niele of me to ask about what happened to Kekua? Like you said he up just disappeared one day.”

“There’s really nothing big about it. He was watering the grass one day and his feet got tangled in the hose and he fell back and hit his head on some rocks over there.” Lehua was now pointing to an area in the yard that I couldn't see. “Come,” she waved me over.. “Here, you can come look.”

There were four closely aligned black colored rocks that were about half a foot high. As I knelt down and got an even more intimate look at the pohaku, I was startled by what I saw,

“They all look like Ki’i!” I said.

“Yeah,” Lehua agreed. “Give me the heebees! How many times I told Kekua to take out those pohaku! He tried one day but come to find out those pohaku are stuck in the ground or they must be part of one huge boulder so he just left it alone. You know, I remember when we were studying Ki’i when I was at U.H. Hilo and you know what?”

“What?” I replied.

“These four pohaku look like Ku, Kane, Lono, and Kanaloa.” She said.

It goes without saying that my entire body from head to toe was covered in chicken skin as Kekua’s vision replayed itself back in mind.

“So, he hit his head on these four pohaku?” I asked.

“Yes,” she confirmed. “After that, he disappeared and his parents passed away that same night. Funny kine yeah?

“Yeah,” I agreed. “Funny kine.”

I offered my thanks to Lehua for her time and after expressing my condolences I quickly made my way back to my car. I immediately hit the freeway and headed toward the local museum. I don’t know why I felt that I had to go back there after a year but maybe it was a grim curiosity that needed to be satisfied. A short time later I had made my way through the back parking lot and noticed that there was some construction going on and the very building where everything happened was gone. Not just gone as in being torn down and awaiting a new structure to take its place but gone as if the building itself never existed. A year ago I stood in front of a group of government agents and fabricated a story that I had hoped would save one Hawaiian man from martyrdom or save us from being taken along with him. But did I? Did I really save him or did I just hasten his agenda? Or even worse, in trying to help him did I defy the edicts of the gods? The only person who could answer that question was the one who stood in a large basement at the local museum among a cadre' of government agents who also disappeared along with their Hawaiian hostage. I wonder how awe struck Kekua must have been when he cast his gaze upon the actual Kiha Pu? His heart must have been filled with reverence and joy at the sight of it! I like to think that with a heart filled with boyish wonder, Kekua took the Kiha Pu and held it to his lips and sounded the mighty clarion with such triumphant enthusiasm that he eradicated all of the evil thoughts and deeds which filled that room until it and he and the agents were wiped clean from the world.

That's my happy thought.

In reality, no trace has ever been found of Kekuaokalani Elama and for the few times that I ran into Terry Higa, he would make small talk but he would never mention anything about that morning when he came to get me at my place. ‘Til this day he pretends that the events of the past year never happened and that all of the ghost stories I've collected and told were finally taking a toll on my perception of reality.

It was a sobering thing to know that there was something that existed out there that is larger and more malevolent than any of us could begin to imagine. And I’m not talking about men in black suits.

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