Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 8, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #86



I remember my sixth-grade year in school when our teacher Mrs. Klemmerʻs husband, passed away from a sudden heart attack in his sleep. She was devastated needless to say, and we didnʻt see her until the end of May. She wasnʻt her old lively self, the one who told us that the world was ours to embrace, to change, to conquer, and to love. That person was gone. All we had then was a shell of someone who was just going through the motions.
Of course, we did our best to behave and not upset her. On the very last day of school, we got together with our parents, who helped us to get her cake and a card signed from all of us. We arranged it so that when she walked into the classroom, she would see it on her desk. We waited with anticipation, we were eager to see the expression on her face, and we, along with her, would smile and laugh.

8:00 am, and the classroom door opened, it was the principal. He was brief and to the point.

"Your teacher Mrs. Klemmer handed in her resignation this morning. Sheʻs moving, we donʻt know where but considering that her husband has just recently passed away, we understood.  Mr. Shigemoto is your substitute today. Please give him your full attention." The principal left, and standing there was all five feet nothing of Mr. Shigemoto.

"You guys can do whatever you want to do, but just be quiet, and donʻt ask me anything about your teacher because I have no clue." He didnʻt care obviously, and he didnʻt want to be in our class either.
It was only when he walked over to Mrs. Klemmerʻs desk did he notice the cake and everything else. "Oh, I didnʻt know you guys had cake? If this was for Mrs. Klemmer.....I mean, you guys can still have the cake just donʻt make a mess and be quiet."

The last day of school is always a half day. So it was a half-day of being confused and sad. My walk brought me down the empty main building hallway where all the teachersʻ personal offices are located. Everyone was gone, but from the last office at the end of the hall, I could hear a sad lyrical song playing on a phonograph.

" Those schoolgirl days, of telling tales and biting nails are gone...but in my mind 
I know they will still live on and on....but how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume? It isnʻt easy, but Iʻll try..."

The sweeping violins and the kick drum beats fill the hallway with its full sound. I approach slowly so as not to be heard, considering that floors are wooden. The full strum of the Stratocaster keeps time with each step I take, while the bass comes in so deep that I can feel it in my pulse through my body.

"If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet sir, with love..."

The door is slightly open when I peer in and see Mrs. Klemmer, leaning back in her leather swivel chair with a picture of her late husband in her arms. Her eyes are closed, but the tears fall seamlessly down her cheeks, her face is flush. The heart-ache causes her body to shiver with grief as she cries silently to herself.

"The time has come.....for closing books, and long last looks must end...and as I leave, I know that I am leaving my best friend. A friend who taught me right from wrong and weak from strong....thatʻs a lot to learn....what....what can I give you in return?"

A sense of sadness comes over me, and by instinct, I want to hug her, but something tells me that this is her pain alone, and thatʻs where she should be left. I was halfway into her office when I thought to hug her, but as I turn to leave, something catches the corner of my eye.

"If you wanted the moon, I would try to make a start, but I....would rather you let me give my sir, with love."

Sitting on a chair against the opposite wall is Mrs. Klemmer. Her eyes are open but unfocused. Her arms are propped up on her lap with the palm of her hand facing up. From her wrists up to the pocket of her elbow are deep wounds where the dark trickling blood is still brand new and has not yet coagulated. At her feet lay a sizeable red pocket knife with the bloody blade opened.

I think I ran out of her office first before I started screaming, I think I did that once I got outside and sprinted across the open courtyard. It was the last day of school, and most of the campus was empty. No one heard my screams, and no one would find Mrs. Klemmerʻs body until much later. I am confident I ran up the length of Pensacola and kept on until I passed ʻOʻahu cemetery and finally stopped at Puʻiwa park.



I have been asked by the admin of my old school to go and bless a space that seems to have had some long-standing spiritual trouble. I arrive and find Mrs. Klemmerʻs office has been replaced by four soda machines and a broom closet.

"What exactly is happening ?" I ask as I cannot honestly discern how a bunch of beverage machines and a broom closet could be haunted.`

"Show him," the principal nods to the janitor. The janitor places three quarters in the soda machine. Rather than having a can of soda come barreling out of the slot, there is a strange sound instead. Itʻs, the sudden flurry of violins, joined by a six-count beat on a bass guitar. A high pitched voice that sounds like its singing from a small Panasonic radio is slightly heard through the open slot of the Coke machine.

" Those schoolgirl days of telling tales and biting nails are gone....."

"Mrs. Klemmer," I sigh to myself. Forty-four years later, and sheʻs still haunting what was once her old office.

"Excuse me?" The principal squeals, unsure of what Iʻd just said. "Whose Mrs. Klemmer?"

"Can you pull out these soda machines and open up the broom closet, please?" I completely ignore the principal, knowing full well that it would take too long to explain. "I have to say hello to an old friend."

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