Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 14, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #80


I don't know what made me want to own and run a little convenience store in Kapahulu, but it was just something I fell into because I had nothing and no one but myself. It used to be owned by old man Muramatsu and his family from the time when the Chinese merchants migrated from Chinatown after the big fire. As old man Muramatsu told me, it was a good clean family business with good neighbors who came to shop.
Everyone knew everyone, so there was never a problem with thievery or delinquent behavior from the kids. I took him at his word and six months in, no problems. Some drunk customers came in after-hours demanding more liquor knowing very well that we couldn't sell it to them after 11 pm, but it never got out of hand.

 It was a late September night when a few college kids came in so that they could buy up on energy drinks. Finals were due, and everyone was cramming. There was the usual quiet after a rush like that, and I usually went back to my usual routine of reading the latest Stephen King novel. I happened to glance up toward the security mirror mounted on the back right-hand upper corner of the store. That's when I saw the kid in the black shirt, shorts, shoes, and baseball cap. He was kneeling next to the fridge with his backpack wide open and stuffing drinks into it. Rather than get upset and go back there and yell and swear at the person, I decided to casually stroll in his direction and come upon him with a better approach. Maybe talk some sense into him. It's only fifteen steps to that part of the store, but when I got there, he was gone. The security alarm to the back door didn't go off, and I didn't see him leave through the front door. I checked the parking lot and the rubbish bin. I even opened the ice freezer. Nothing.

It happened every night for a month at exactly 11pm. Even the footage from the security cameras didn't show anything. I couldn't explain it. Finally, I called the old man Muramatsu and asked him if he would come in a little before 11 pm one night because I had something to show him. I thought he would have refused, but he showed up.

"What is this now? Why am I here?" He asked.

I looked up toward the security mirror and bingo, there he was. The thief dressed in black, stealing drinks. I pointed at the mirror, and old man Muramatsu followed my line of sight. He saw it too. He reached in his pocket and took out a key chain. He then pulled the double doors of the entrance toward him and used the key to lock both doors. He then looked back at me from under his old wrinkled brow and said, "Stay here, I'll take care of this."

In the reflection of the security mirror, I saw him walk up to the thief and say something, I only saw his gesture as he pointed toward the front door. I didn't hear anything, he said. The thief got up and walked to the front door and de-materialized right through it. He vanished.

"I never told you about this part because it's family business, so it doesn't concern you. Fifteen years ago, one of our workers was here late. He caught that person you just saw stealing when he saw him in that mirror just like you did. He locked the door so the thief couldn't get out. The robber had a knife, and so he and the employee struggled until they stumbled and fell on the floor. The thief fell on his own knife, and it went right through his heart. He died right away, no could help. My youngest son had a drug problem, you see? It was bad, my wife was too soft-hearted, and she would give my youngest one money to support his addiction even though he lied and said he was using the money to buy food. When I found out I got a hold of that kid and kicked him out and cut him off, see? That was my son who was killed in this store. Our worker didn't know, so not his fault. I figured I don't have to say anything, but I didn't know his ghost would come to haunt this store." He was a tough old man Muramatsu, so you can imagine how equally tough it was to see him cry like that.

Out of respect, whenever it gets close to the anniversary of the death of Muramatsu's youngest boy. I close the store early just, so no one gets freaked out in case they see the ghost of the young drugged-out Muramastu stealing from his father's old store.

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