Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 28, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #66


A dark and terrible storm raged only in the evening. It drenched the Kapolei neighborhood with its deluge, soaking all things in its wake. Sitting in his bedroom while gazing out into the pitch black of the sudden storm, young Kawika thought it strange that the storm only appeared at night.
A churning in his stomach gave him a feeling of unease. It was unsettling and that feeling stayed with him throughout the night and lent him not a moment's rest. He was only 14 years old but he had learned much about the Hawaiian martial art called, 'Lua' from his father. His two older brothers showed no interest as their jobs in construction took up most of their time. It pained Kawika that his brothers didn't care about learning Lua from their father, but that they persecuted him mercilessly for it, always making fun of him.

Downstairs, his mother, his uncle Theodore and his brother are in the living room of their Kapolei home. His father has suddenly taken ill and no matter what doctors have done, the illness is not getting better. The family fears that these days may be his last. His state of affairs is the topic of discussion around the large dining room table.

"I'm sorry Bea," Theodore says, "you've been a great wife to my brother and a good mother to my nephews, but you're not Hawaiian so the house cannot go to you."

"Then it will go to 'Aukele," Bea countered, not at all bothered by her brother-in-law's statement.

"Psssshhhh.....'Aukele doesn't care about this house," Theodore shook his head. "He's a construction foreman, he can build his own house on his own homeland plot."

'Aukele is Kawika's oldest brother who is a big shot at his job and makes a lot of money, but he's divorced with three kids and he has child support payments to make. "It's not that simple uncle Theo," 'Aukele counters." But thanks for the vote of confidence just the same."

"And if not 'Aukele, then 'Aiwohi," Bea begins. "And when he's old enough; Kawika. No matter how you look at it, this house stays in our family."

Uncle Theodore lets out a deep sigh and stands up from the table, "No sense talk to you folks!"

"What's your interest in this house anyway? Are you running out of room in your own house what with all your baby machine daughters?" Bea spoke directly and held nothing back. Just then Kawika came downstairs and joined everyone at the table.

"Kawika," Uncle Theodore half pleaded. "Talk some sense into your mom about this house please?"

Kawika looked at his mother, and then at his uncle. He held both of his hands with the palms facing up at his sides as if he were trying to balance out something, " Have you been in to see my dad yet?"

"Oh no, not yet," Uncle Theodore replied.

"Were you going to?" Kawika asked very pointedly. "Or did you just come to talk about the house?"

The look in Kawika's eyes was unnerving, Theodore felt as if he were addressing a grown man. "Uh, good idea," he replied. "I better do that."

Just then Kawika's second oldest brother 'Aiwohi walked in the front door. "Uncle Theo! Hold on! I'll go with you!"


From his father, Kawika learned the use of many traditional strokes of Lua and many different weapons. There were many to master from long spears to choking cords, to clubs, and shark tooth weapons but his favorite of all was the one that most would pass up. It was called the "Ma'a" and was the very same kind which David used to slay the giant. The stone was fashioned to be round and almost bulbous on the bottom and sharp at the top. When spun above your head and cast true in the direction of its intended target, it could kill a man with one strike.

In Kawika's dream that night, a voice whispered from out of the void, "Ua ho'omaka ia me ka ino."
The following day he could not shake the words from his heart, the words said, "It began with the storm," but he had no clue as to what it meant? That is until he arrived home later that afternoon and went straight to his father's bedroom. It was like a light illuminating the darkness, his father fell ill when the storm began. He immediately went upstairs and retrieved his ma'a, and then went out into the backyard and climbed the Pak-lan tree until he sat in its highest branches. From his pockets, he removed three vile tubes and removed the cork stoppers. In one vile was fresh rainwater, in the other vile was the first dew of water caught in the middle of a taro leaf. In the third vile was water from a coconut, which in ancient times was used to anoint an Ali'i. From each vile, he poured the contents of its clear liquid on to the ma'a and then the stones. With it came a prayer in Hawaiian and then Kawika sat and waited for the impending storm. When it came it manifested first as a dark cloud, the torrential rains followed but the dark cloud itself floated down upon the roof of his house and began to take on the shape of an animal that he could not identify. It vacillated to a human form and back again to that of an animal. Kawika knew right then that this was not a storm at all, it was a curse sent to make his father ill so that when he died, no one would suspect. Suddenly, the cloud sat up on the roof with its legs crossed and it's arms folded. Kawika saw that it had eyes that blinked as if it were contemplating something. The blood in Kawika's veins boiled and soon he unleashed his ma'a and spun it furiously over his head. At that moment, he recalled his father's admonishment to subdue his passions otherwise he would never be able to strike true. With tears streaming down his cheeks he controlled his breathing until he finally reached a state of calm. It was only then that he released the cord and let the stone go. It hit the eye of the black cloud creature with deadly accuracy. It let out a painful shriek and went tumbling backward over the opposite end of the house. Climbing down quickly, Kawika ran to the opposite side of the house and when he came upon what he found, he nearly threw up.



Kawika's father sat in the passenger's seat of the rental car, silently looking out the window, enjoying the verdure of Hanalei. It always brought him a good feeling to see the beauty of its magic scenery. Kawika maneuvered the winding hairpin turns and man-made bridges as effortlessly as breathing. However, he was not happy to be on Kauai.

"You drive good you," Kawika's father commented. "Just like you was driving your whole life."

"Dad, I don't wanna go, can we just turn around?" Kawika pleaded in his low tone of voice. Puberty struck him when he was finally seventeen, after that everything changed and everything sprouted.

"Not all healing is done through magic Kawika, sometimes healing is done by sitting in front of the cause of the very thing that's preventing you from healing." Kawika's father spoke evenly and with a very gentle tone.

Kawika himself could only sigh and shake his head. "How long are we supposed to be here?"

"For as long as is required, the first steps must be taken today." Kawika's father's eyes lit up when he saw the famous acreage of taro patch. Pointing out Kawika's side of the window he said, "that's one of the places we must go for our healing."

After that, Kawika didn't say a word until they finally arrived at the beach house in Naue. The wooden gates were open, they were expected. For Kawika, that was a sign of finality, he couldn't get out of it. His Kauai cousins all came out from various parts of the two-story beach house, all to greet himself and his father. Even 'Aukele and 'Aiwohi were there with their wives and children. Uncle Theodore refused to come. 'That's on him' Kawika's father would say.

The manicured grass on the property lead straight out to the beach, that's were Kawika caught sight of the man he detested, Dyer Wilson. His father walked past him and greeted Dyer with a handshake and a hug.

"How are you old man?" Kawika's father laughed.

"I'm good as can be, considering my recent operation, but it's always good to see you!" Dyer laughed along with Kawika's father and it made him feel ill. He decided to turn around and hide somewhere in the house when he suddenly bumped into his mother who had been standing behind him the whole time. Her arms flew out and she hugged him tightly. It was uncomfortable and nauseating.

"You're hurting my cheek with that thing," Kawika groaned.

"Oh I'm sorry," his mother apologized.

Kawika could only glare at her. It was five years but the hurt and disgust still remained like it happened yesterday. The eye patch covering his mother's left eye reminded him of it.

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