Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 26, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #98


1:30 in the morning and the emergency room is quiet. Everyone is sitting, reading a book, or catching up on paperwork. Even the security guards amble slowly during their routine patrols. Otherwise, there's nothing to do. 
Jenna Marza is nearly dozing off to the sound of the windblown rain as it sweeps up the parking lot like water on the beach, running up the sand only to recede a second later. Looking at her watch, she figured the head nurse was done with the patient in room five. Her job was to collect personal information from an ER visitor for insurance purposes. It was a walk of twenty-three steps to station five. Jenna knew all the number of steps it took to get from her station to every room in the ER, it was just something she did to pass the time.

On the other side of the closed curtains in room five sat a well dressed Hawaiian gentleman in a dark suit and tie. His shoes, however, did not match the outfit. They looked like military jump boots, except they were spit-polished to a shine. He said nothing but sat there staring at his hands.

"Name?" Jenn asked.

"Moran," the Hawaiian man replied. "Moran Pouli."

"Address?" She asked, noting that his voice was deep, but it had a scratch to it, like an old 45 on a record player.

"999 Bishop Street. Honolulu, Hawaii. 96813." There was something unusual about the sound of his voice, and Jenna could not help but become unnerved by it.

"That's the first Hawaiian Bank building in downtown. I need your resident address, sir, not the address to your office." She was surprised at the Hawaiian man's ridiculous claim, either he was funny, or he was crazy and on drugs.

"It is where I live, I've been there for a very long time." How articulate he was, how exacting and calculating were his words. At face value, the man could have been a funeral director or a chauffer, but his demeanor made him appear to be so much more. Jenna thought that perhaps the man was a criminal and did not want to reveal his place of residence.

"Alright, have it your way Mister Pouli." Jenna sighed and typed away. With all the particulars out of the way, Jenna could not help but ask him but one question. "What is the reason you're here?"

"Just hanging out and waiting," Moran Pouli quietly answered.

"Waiting for a doctor or.....?" Jenna asked, hoping to get an answer and praying that Moran Pouli was not a psycho. She was right at the exit of the room, so running out of that space in due time would not be a problem in case the Hawaiian man in the suit decided to attack.

"My first job finished early, so I had some time to kill. I thought I'd just hang out for a bit." Casually pointing toward the pulsing light in Jenna's pocket, he offered, "Your phone's ringing."

Jenna excused herself and left room five to take the call. It was her oldest son asking if he could order a pizza for dinner. "That's fine," she confirmed. "Just make sure you use the paper plates, you know how you always forget to wash the dishes."

Returning to room five, she found it empty save for Moran Pouli sitting on a chair in the far corner of the room. "What happened? Did the custodians clear out this room?"

Standing up, Moran adjusted his coat and stepped away from the chair. "Shortly, a young man is going to walk in here, claiming to have a headache. Humor him but don't give him any medication, have security detain him and at the same time call the police. He's having a mental breakdown, and he's armed. If you don't do this, he will kill as many people as he can in this ER. Including you. In fact. you'll be one of the first."

Jenna quickly exited the room and screamed for security. Everyone jumped, and security was there in no time. "There's some crazy guy in there talking about being armed and killing everyone!"

Security cautiously stepped into room five and found it empty. Moran Pouli was gone. No one had the chance to question Jenna because there suddenly appeared a young man who was clearly disheveled standing at the nurses' station. "Can someone help me, please? I have a terrible headache; it feels like my brain is going to split open.....please, I need some kind of medication!'

Without a second thought, Jenna gently took the young man by his arm and walked him into room five. To her shock, everything in the room was right back the way it was. Everything was in its proper place. Jenna had the young man take a seat on the bed and urged him to relax. "I know just the kind of medication you need, I'll go get it and be right back."

The second she left, she had the security guards station themselves right outside room five. She quickly rushed to the front desk and called the police to report an armed man in the ER. A squad of blue and whites filled the Emergency Room parking lot in less than five minutes, and the young man was arrested after it was discovered that he carried two concealed handguns on his person. Jenna Marza never knew what happened to the man named Moran Pouli, but she always referred to him as the record player man because of the sound of his voice.

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