Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 27, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #36


The energy wheel consists of a small square of florist’s planter block, a sewing needle, and a piece of paper that is measured at two inches square. Two opposite corners of the paper are almost folded so that they are touching, forming a triangle.
The edges are taped together by a thin strip of scotch tape. The eye of the sewing needle is placed into the florist's block while the tip is pierced through the center of the folded paper, and the taped corners lightly balanced on the tip needle. The slightest wisp of air will cause the article to spin on its own, which is why a bell jar is placed over the wheel so that any measure of ambient air cannot seep in and thereby cause the paper to move.

At first glance, this contraption appears to be an unusual makeshift parlor trick with no real purpose except that it might very well have been something that was invented in the early 1900s during the era of Houdini. Amateur paranormal groups who don’t do their research and rely entirely upon the state-of-the-art equipment to provide them with their own validation, will take one look at the energy wheel and think of it as something of an old joke. Nothing could be further from the truth.


The energy wheel was placed in the center of an oak wood table between a twelve-year-old boy named Crenshaw Hawkins and me. Three days earlier, I received a frantic phone call from the boy’s father, Clement, who sounded as if he was at the end of his tether. He claimed that the house they lived in would sometimes be filled with the smell of sulfur. Try as he and his wife Naomi might, they could never quite find the source of the overwhelming aroma. On other occasions, the family of four would be downstairs having dinner and then retire to the living room where they’d spend the rest of the evening watching television. At the end of the night, they would each make their way upstairs to their bedrooms only to find them completely ransacked with clothing and bedsheets and blankets were strewn about. The final straw came when their daughter, Sienna, was sitting at the dinner table with her family when, without warning, three angry red scratches slowly manifested down the length of her forearm. In the same instant, Crenshaw let out a scream and jumped up from his chair to reveal three long scratches on the back of his right calf muscle. It was too much for the Hawkins family to take. The following day Clement happened to mention his dilemma to one of his friends at work who, himself, had my phone number from a friend of a friend that I’d previously assisted. Clement couldn’t wait for me to prepare myself; he wanted me to come to his house as soon as possible.

At this point, I would caution anyone in this same situation to get as much information as possible from your potential client beforehand. This way, you don’t walk into an alleged haunted house half blind, and half prepared. The last thing anyone wants is to be left standing there with nothing but their dick in their hands.


The directions were easy enough to follow, and by three in the afternoon, I was standing at the front door of the two-story house which belonged to the Hawkins family. I raised my hand and went to press the button for doorbell when I heard a squeaky voice from behind me.

“You must be Lopaka? ”

I turned around to see the slight Caucasian boy who only stood at four feet eleven inches tall.

“Yes, how are you?” I said as I extended my hand.

“My mom and dad went to the store with my sister, they’ll be back soon. My dad says to go inside and wait,” the boy said.

Before I could offer any protest, the boy had already disappeared into the house and left the front door open behind him.

“Hey,” I called out into the house, “I think it’s better if I just wait in my car until your folks get home, okay?”

“Suit yourself,” he answered, “Would you care for something to drink while you’re waiting?”

“Uh, sure,” I said. A short time later, the boy returned to the front door with a tall, ice-filled glass of cola.

“Thank you,” I said as he handed the drink to me. Taking a short sip, I let the cold liquid wash over my tongue before I swallowed it. I was pleasantly surprised and filled with a bit of nostalgia at the same time.

“Cherry Coke,” I smiled, “I haven’t had this since I was your age. How old are you?”

“Twelve, this used to be made with cherry syrup and coca-cola back in the day,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Yeah,” I answered, “exactly.”

“The foyer is air-conditioned, and there’s a couch where you can sit while you’re waiting. It is sweltering out here,” he said.

Just then, a green Chevy Suburban pulled up in front of the house and out stepped Clement Hawkins with his family behind him. He was a tall, burly Caucasian man who reminded me of a young wrestler by the name of Barry Windham. His wife Naomi was a bright, effervescent blonde who had an infectious smile. Clement shook my hand and thanked me for taking the time to come out to their house while his wife hugged me and then introduced their two children. Sienna was their sixteen-year-old daughter, who was dressed like she was going to a Motley Crue concert. Black fitted jeans with a thick white belt, a Crue shirt, and pierced ears. Her hair was dyed a deep black, and her eye shadow and eyeliner were penciled in thick. She had a lovely smile and seemed to be a bit awkward with the introductions. Crenshaw was twelve and a bit overweight for his age. His dirty blonde hair hung over his eyes as he looked at me from beneath his locks. Extending his hand to shake mine, I noticed that his hand was shaking nervously. We all simultaneously turned and looked at the open front door of their house.

I saw the looks on their faces and said, “Oh, your other son said that you told him it was alright for me to go in and wait, but I told him that it was better that I wait outside until all of you got home. He’s a nice boy your son, very polite; he made me this Cherry Coke.” Holding up the glass to them, I took another sip. It was only then that I noticed the severe looks on all of their faces.

Sienna looked at her father and muttered, “Daddy...”

Naomi walked over and closed the front door and then locked it. She then wrapped her arms around Clement’s and looked at him. It seemed as if they were sending each other a secret signal of some kind. “Mr. Kapanui,” Clement said, “Would you mind following us to McDonald’s where we can talk a bit more about our… situation?”

“Sure,” I agreed. As the family quickly climbed into their SUV, I asked Clement, “What about your son?”

“It’s alright, Mr. Kapanui, just follow us. We’ll explain.”

With that, he drove off, and I made my way across the street and got into my vehicle. As I passed the Hawkins house, I couldn’t bring myself to look at it for some reason. It was as if my eyes would not let my head turn in the direction of the domicile where the boy offered me his father’s hospitality by proxy. You know that feeling you get when your stomach is all twisted in knots, and you get this tightness in your chest, and the hairs on the back of your neck begin to stand up? Yeah, I completely ignored that feeling instead of taking off and driving straight home.


All that remained of the cola drink was the ice in the glass, which was quickly melting. It was sort of an awkward thing to hand it back to Clement as we were about to walk into the fast-food restaurant. Thankfully, Clement was a cool guy. We sat separately from Crenshaw and Sienna because their parents were old-school and adhered to the rule that children, especially their own children, should not be involved in adult conversations. Once the boy and girl were settled in with their food, Clement immediately began to say that he and Naomi only have their two children and that there was never a third. So you can imagine how shook up they were when I told them that their son hosted me early on while the rest of them were out.

Naomi did intimate that, however, that she and the children have caught glimpses of a smallish boy around the house now and again. They would either see him out of the corner of their eyes or just catch a glimpse of him as he stepped into one of the upstairs rooms. Today was the first time that they had heard of him appearing in full form and openly communicating at the same time.

“I think it has something to do with one of my kids. I’m not sure which one, though,” Clement said.

Naomi chimed in, disagreeing, “I told him that it’s ridiculous. How can innocent children have anything to do with ghosts?”

‘You see,” Clement began, “I started to notice that nothing really happens until the kids are in the room, but I can’t tell which one of my kids it is because they always enter the room at the same time. Every time there’s been a smell, a noise or a knock; if furniture moved or the lights went on and off, it's always been when both kids were around.”

“So you’re saying that, collectively, you’ve all had these experiences at the same time while all of you were in the same room?” I asked.

“Yes,” Clement and Naomi said together.

“But never individually?” I asked again.

“No,” Clement replied as he looked at his wife for reassurance.

“Alright, when we get back to your house, I would like to sit down with each member of the family and talk to you individually. Would that be okay?” I looked at the two of them for a sign of approval.

“Sure,” Clement replied, “We can leave right now if you want?”

Naomi walked over to her children and began to usher them out the door of the fast-food establishment as Clement put his arm around his wife while she rested her head on his chest for comfort. It is evident that this was a close-knit family who was going through a slight rough patch in their life.

Ok, so it was more than just a rough patch, it was something that was beyond their understanding. Clement himself had not even begun to scratch the surface of what might really be happening in his household, and the reality of the situation might prove to be more than he could handle. Many people tend to forge an understanding of the paranormal from what they see on television these days without ever having had a firsthand experience.

A perfect example of this was when two women visiting from California called me for a private tour to some of the most haunted spots on ‘O’ahu. They claimed to be amateur ghost hunters, but they did confess that they learned most of what they knew from watching a ghost hunter’s show on cable television. After picking them up at their Waikiki hotel, we drove out to the North Shore, where there were a few choice spots for paranormal activity. Our first stop was the birthing stones at Kukaniloko in Wahiawa. I began to notice that, for a pair of amateur ghost hunters, they weren’t taking any pictures or audio recordings of any kind. They were more wide-eyed like a deer in the headlights as we walked around the sacred area dedicated to female Ali’i, who gave birth to future rulers of ‘O’ahu. Once we were done, we jumped into the car and headed out to our second stop, which was a graveyard in the middle of the Waialua cane field. By that time, the two women were in tears and begged to be brought back to their hotel room immediately. I offered them their money back, but they said that it was quite alright and that I shouldn’t worry about it. When I asked them what was wrong, all they could say was that they had seen something at the birthing stones that made them realize that there was a vast difference between what they saw on television and what actually appeared to them in front of their faces. Other than that, they didn’t care to go into any great detail. From that point, however, they swore that they were going to give up amateur ghost hunting completely.


Sitting in the kitchen of the Hawkins home now, I asked the family to wait out in the foyer while I set up the energy wheel in the middle of the kitchen table. I instructed them that I would call for them one by one. I began with Crenshaw first.

“What is that?” Crenshaw asked as he stared at the device in the glass bell jar.

“It’s an energy wheel,” I said. “Well, let me ask you this, Crenshaw. How are things in school?” I queried.

“Fine,” he answered.

“You gettin’ along with everybody in school? Friends, teachers?” I asked.

“Pretty much,” he nodded slowly.

“Is there anyone that you don’t get along with? Anybody who’s making it difficult for you to fit in?” I pressed.

“Well,” he groaned, “my dad …”

“Your dad?” I said, surprised.

“Yeah, he always insists on walking me to my homeroom class in the morning. It’s really embarrassing, and the kids make fun of me. It just sucks, and he won’t stop doing it. It’s like he’s afraid that something’s going to happen to me. I told him that it would be a whole lot more simple if he’d just kill me.” Crenshaw looked like he was on the verge of tears at this point, so to distract him; I began to explain more in detail about the energy wheel.

“This thin piece of paper is delicately balanced on this sewing needle, and the needle, in turn, is sticking into the florists block there. Now, the reason that this jar is placed over this energy wheel is so that no air can pass into the jar and cause the delicate piece of paper to suddenly spin around on the needlepoint,” I explained. “That being said, Crenshaw, how do you think we can make that piece of paper spin?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Crenshaw drew in a deep breath and leaned across the table and blew on the glass jar with everything he had. It was going to be a long night.

“So about what’s been going on in the house here, have you had anything happen to you while you were alone? Your dad told me about what’s been going on, but he said it only happens when all of you are together. Is that true?” I asked.

“Yes,” Crenshaw replied, “Sometimes I’d rather stay in my room, but yeah, nothing happened when I’m by myself.”

As I thanked Crenshaw for his help, I asked him if he would mind calling his sister Sienna to come to the table next. Before he left, though, I also made it a point to ask him if he would mind not mentioning anything about the energy wheel to the rest of his family. This is the point in the story where I finally relieve you of your frustration and tell you what the real purpose of the energy wheel is. It’s used to measure PK or psychokinetic energy. In much more everyday terms, it measures or negates the presence of a poltergeist in a house or business. You’re probably asking yourself, “Well then, what is the purpose of interviewing the family?”

The purpose of the interview is to see who the agent in the household is that the poltergeist is working through or rather, if the result of what may appear to be a poltergeist in a household is simply pent up, repressed, subconscious energy that manifests itself through PK or psycho-kinesis which is the ability to move objects with the power of the subconscious mind. In terms of the energy wheel, if PK is indeed present and working through a human agent, then it will cause the energy wheel to spin independently on the point of the sewing needle. In most typical cases, a highly emotionally disturbed teenager is the agent or host for a poltergeist. More often than not, it’s a teenaged girl, so this immediately ruled out Crenshaw. He was just a normal twelve-year-old boy who was suffering from a case of overbearing-father-itis.

I had only less than a minute to take the energy wheel and place it on the kitchen counter next to their refrigerator, which was off to the far left. This way, as the remaining family members entered the kitchen, they wouldn’t be able to see it or even notice it, but I would. Its location would allow me to glance at it every now and again without being too obvious. If, at any moment, the energy wheel moved even slightly, the case would be solved, and we would have our agent/host.

Sienna was next. Apparently, she’d had enough time to run upstairs to her room and change into a sports bra and a pair of jean shorts. When she presented herself at the kitchen table dressed in that outfit, I kindly asked her if she wouldn’t mind going back upstairs to change into something else. She was doing it for shock value and just trying to get a reaction. However, I happen to be the father of a teenaged girl myself, and so the only response that she got from me was the same reaction that my own daughter gets, stern but calm.

Sienna was not repressed, nor was she emotionally disturbed. In fact, she was part of the cool crowd in school and didn’t have any real problem socially, save for the fact that a lot of other girls were jealous of her because of her popularity with the boys. Her home life was healthy, she did well academically. She wasn’t a Rhodes Scholar, but her grades were decent.

“So, are you some kind of exorcist?” Sienna asked.

“No,” I replied.

“Then, what are you?” She squeaked.

“I’m Hawaiian,” I said in a deadpan voice.

“Huh?” She squeaked.

“Can you tell me about what’s been going on at your house?” I asked.

She took a deep sigh, and her entire countenance changed as she slumped into her chair. Sienna was silent for a moment before she shared what was on her mind. “My mom and dad don’t know because I haven’t told them, but there’s this little boy that I see in the house once in a while. He’s mostly downstairs in the bathroom over by the foyer, but I’ve seen him in the garage too. He’s small, but his face looks older… He never looks AT me, he’s always looking for something, but I don’t know what.”

I glanced over at where the energy wheel was sitting, and it was perfectly still. It hadn’t moved at all. “Did the boy ever say anything to you?” I asked.

“No," Sienna said.

That ruled out telepathic communication from a conscious entity that existed on its own without its physical body, which is precisely who and what the boy that I’d met earlier was; in effect, an apparition. I thanked her and asked her if she wouldn’t mind sending her mother over. In a short time, Naomi was sitting nervously across the table from me. She began to fidget nervously as she twisted her finger in her hair.

“Is everything alright with my kids?” She asked.

“Oh, they’re fine,” I smiled.

“Is anything wrong with them?” She was tearing up now.

“No, there’s nothing wrong, Mrs. Hawkins. Your children are perfectly normal everyday kids.” She began to cry uncontrollably, and I gave her the time she needed to let out whatever it was that had been pent up. The storm of emotion subsided only momentarily before she let loose.

”Being married to Clement, with his job and all, we’ve traveled a lot. We’ve never had a problem in any of the places we’ve lived, ever. This is all so strange to me because I’ve never had any kind of encounters with ghosts or spirits or anything. I’ve always been busy raising our children and seeing to it that they get a good education and that the house is still clean when Clement gets home… and Clement… when he has to travel for work, he’s gone for months on end. I always make sure that I keep him up to date with what goes on at home so that he never feels left out. But this… this is something that I don’t know how to handle because it’s something that’s not on my schedule of things that I have organized in my family’s life! How do I get a handle on something that I can’t see? It doesn’t fit in my box, and it scares the hell out of me because it’s affecting all of us in this house, and we don’t have any control over it! My husband is a contractor, do you know what that means? Do you know how hopeless it makes me feel when I see the fear on his face when the furniture is moving around on its own, and we have these horrible odors that we can’t even trace a source too? And today… when we come back home, and you have a glass of soda in your hand that you say our son gave it to you?”

“I understand,” I reassured her, “Calm down and take a deep breath; otherwise you’re going to hyperventilate.” There was no movement in the glass jar, the energy wheel was in the same position it had been in thus far.

“I haven’t said anything to Clement or the children, but I have seen that little boy’s ghost standing over Crehshaw’s bed, just watching him. He wasn’t angry or anything, he was just staring at Crenshaw like he was trying to figure out who he was. I don’t know if that even makes sense, but…….please help us if you can? Please?” She begged.

“I’ll do my best,” I replied.

A few minutes after Naomi left the kitchen, Clement was sitting calmly in front of me with a smile on his face. “Everything okay?” He asked, “You look drained.”

“I’m good,” I chuckled, “Thanks for letting me talk to your family, and thanks for being patient.”

“No problem,” He replied. “Are you thirsty or hungry? You want something to snack on while we talk?”

“No, no, I’m good, really. Thank you for offering though, I appreciate it,” I said.

I hadn’t intended to look at the energy wheel right at that moment, but my eyes just happened to fall in that direction purely by happenstance. At first, I thought it was a mistake as the mind has a habit of playing tricks on you now and again, but there was no trick here. The energy wheel was moving slowly at first, but it was moving. It spun slowly in its glass casing without the assistance of a stray gust of wind, the air in the kitchen suddenly changed. It was filled with that familiar smell that I’d become accustomed to throughout my life. It was similar to the scent of the ozone just before a rainstorm. I was excited and fearful, but I couldn’t let either emotion show on my face as long as Clement was sitting across the table from me. This was rarely seen in most cases where Poltergeists are concerned simply because it is usually an emotionally disturbed teenager who is the Poltergeist agent. More specifically, it’s most often a teenaged girl. Although there have been cases where adults have indeed been the Poltergeist agent, those incidents have been very few and far between. However, in this case, it looks like it’s the man of the house.

“So,” Clement asked, “It’s the kids, right? I’ve heard that in most hauntings, its kids who are responsible because they’re innocent and spirits are attracted to that inner light, am I correct? If it’s true, then I’d say that it was Crenshaw who’s attracting these spirits.”

“Why would you say that?” I asked.

“Well,” Clement continued, “Crenshaw is kind of a loner, you know? He doesn’t quite fit in, and kids like that tend to get bullied a lot in school. I mean, I’ve tried to teach him how to defend himself and everything, but he’s just not into it. He’s an innocent, you know? The kid doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, not one.”

“You don’t think its Sienna?” I asked.

“Sienna not so much,” He said, “She’s overconfident, and that just makes the boy problem worse.”

“I think that’s part of the father's warranty once you have a girl. Believe me, I know, I’ve got a 17-year-old daughter, and I have no problem being over-protective. It’s our jobs,” I smiled.

“I hear that!” Clement agreed as we quickly exchanged a high five.

“So, Naomi seems to have a lot on her mind,” I said.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

“Well, aside from keeping the house together and making sure that you’re kept in the loop after you get back from contracting, she now has this new problem she has to deal with, that, according to her, doesn’t quite fit into her schedule. It’s outside her box, and she doesn’t know how to handle it. Does that make sense?” I said.

“Yeah, she runs a tight ship, and I try not to get in the way of that. I mean, if it’s not broke, then don’t fix it, right?” I agreed with him, of course, but there was more to it.

“I’m not a counselor or a psychiatrist Mr. Hawkins, not at all. But if it’s alright, I’d like to share with you some of the things that I DO know.”

Nodding now, Clement seemed to agree with what I offered. “Alright,” he said.

“Stress affects people in a lot of different ways. With yourself being a contractor, I mean, that’s a whole other level of stress that I imagine one would have to learn how to either work with or wash out. Am I sort of close?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Clement replied. “You’re in the neighborhood.”

“Good,” I said, “So, in some cases, people work well under stress while others completely fall apart at just the slightest hint of stress.”

“Like pencil pushers,” Clement chuckled.

“Yes,” I agreed. “But there are also situations or life events that are so overwhelmingly stressful to us as human beings that the only way we can deal with it, the stress that is, without us losing our minds is to put it away somewhere in our deep subconscious. On the surface, we’ve convinced ourselves that the problem is gone and that it’s been filed in our psyche inbox so to say. However, it isn’t really gone. It’s just waiting, festering if you will. Sometimes, that unacknowledged stress begins to manifest physically. Sometimes it’s just the little things like stress lines on our faces, bags under our eyes. Sometimes it takes a toll on us internally, and it begins to affect our health, you know? Hair loss, weight loss, stroke, cancer. Then in extreme cases like yours, the stress that’s been put away into the depths of the subconscious is now like a dam ready to burst and what you’ve been experiencing in your house are those little cracks in the wall of the dam with trickles of water spilling out here and there. Very soon, this dam is going to burst, and then there will be no control over the subconscious flood that comes through.”

There was deep concern on Clements's face now, but the real weight of the circumstances had not fully been realized. “Is my family having some kind of psychosis? Is that what you’re sayin’?” Clements's voice was shaking with emotion at this point.

“Clement, I need to speak to you candidly if you’ll allow me?” I asked.

“Please,” Clement nodded, “I just want to know what the hell is going on. Frankly, you’re starting to scare me.”

“There’s no need for concern,” I assured him, “May I continue?”

“Sure,” He said.

“Would you mind doing me a favor?” I asked.

“Yes, of course,” he answered.

“Would you mind turning around and taking a look at that glass jar on the kitchen counter behind you?” As Clement turned his chair in the direction of the glass jar, he could clearly see as I could that the energy wheel was now spinning at a blinding pace.

“What is that?” he asked, “a motorized fan?”

“It’s an energy wheel. It’s used to measure P.K. or psychokinetic energy, you’ve heard of it?” I asked.

“Um yeah,” Clement said, “Objects moving by itself?”

“Yes,” I said, “But it’s also used to measure the presence of a poltergeist or a poltergeist agent. While I’ve been interviewing each of your family members that energy wheel has not moved once until you sat at this table.”

“I don’t understand,” Clement was confused, “I’m a Poltergeist?”

“No, no,” I said, “That’s not how it works, but I have to ask you, Clement, was there an event in your past that was too hurtful or too painful that you felt you had to put it away somewhere deep down inside because it felt as if the emotion of it alone was going to destroy you?” Clements's hands were clasped together now as he held his head down.

“I don’t understand what that has to do with what’s going on in my house?” he said quietly.

“It could give me a clearer understanding of how to help you Clement, that way, we can resolve what’s been happening in your household. But I can’t do it without you. Please, for your family’s sake and for your own peace of mind, try to remember. Was there something in your past, anything traumatic that’s been unresolved for a long time?” I said evenly.

Clement stared down at the table for a long while before he began. I could see just over his left shoulder into the living room as the six-seat couch slowly moved across the floor and made its way toward the kitchen where we were both sitting. Behind the sofa came the love seat and the two teak wood chairs alongside it. The tears falling from his eyes left tiny puddles of water on the oak table as his shoulders tensed and then relaxed. The storm that brewed within him for these many years was finally being let out, and I prayed that this emotional freedom would be his salvation. Otherwise, the more he kept everything locked in, the more everything and everyone around him would have to suffer for it.

“I grew up not too far from here on Makule Road. It’s practically right down the street from here. I was a local haole boy, but nobody messed with me.” Clement said. “I had a little brother named Carson who was born with a heart condition, so developmentally as he grew up, he was a lot smaller than the other kids in school, so they used to pick on him all the time. My parents were always on my ass about protecting him and making sure that nothing happened to him, you know? They worked a lot, so they were hardly home, so most of the time, it was just Carson and me. I practically raised him myself. He was a smart kid, though, real smart, and he had a mouth on him too, and that’s what used to get him into trouble all the time. I remember that most of my time was spent fighting the bigger kids off of Carson without getting my own ass kicked………….., which is what ended up happening a lot. I’d get mad at him and ask him why he couldn’t just keep his mouth shut? He told me that he wasn’t just going to stand there and let these kids pick on him, so he fought back and stood up for himself. That would be about when the bigger kids would pound on him, but someone would always come to get me just in the nick of time, and I’d have to save the day. Carson always used to say that one day he’d return the favor and he’d save me, somehow……..crazy kid. I was seventeen at the time, and Carson had just turned 12, it was his first day at ‘Ilima Intermediate. I guess things went fine for most of the day until school was out.  These boys from Campbell cornered him at the manapua truck just outside the school on Ft. Weaver road. They were throwing his school bag around and playing keep away, Carson finally caught his book bag, and as he tried to run, one of the boys still had a hold of the strap from his bag. There was a tug of war for a second and then Carson picked up a rock and threw it at the kid, hit him right in the eye……….the kid let loose of the strap suddenly, and Carson stumbled backward right on to the street………… he got run over by a delivery van…..I found out after……………………..his face was scraped up pretty badly……..the rest of him...” Clement stopped at this point.

“You were in school at the time, I understand that. There’s no way you could have known.” I assured him.

“I wasn’t at school,” Clement said. “I cut out. I was at Lisa Respicio’s house, her parents wouldn’t be home until six ‘o clock, so you can guess what we were doing.”

The house was suddenly permeated by the smell of sulfur, and in no less than a minute, Clement’s family stood at the bottom of the stairs. I would find out later that as they waited in Naomi’s bedroom, the bed itself slid across the room and headed straight to the door. They’d hurried downstairs to let me know about what had just happened, but when they saw the couch and the rest of the furniture move across the living room floor, it stopped them right in their tracks. They’d heard enough of the conversation to realize what was going on. My eyes met theirs as they stood in the foyer. I shook my head and held my hand up briefly as I bid them wait right where they were at. Naomi's eyes were pleading with me to let her come forward to comfort her husband, but the look I gave her in return made her realize that I meant business and so she and the two children didn’t make a move.

“My parents never forgave me. I mean, they never came out and said it, but I could see it in their eyes every time they looked at me, wishing it was me and not Carson. I wish it were me too, I’d give anything to take his place. At least that’s what I used to tell myself, I tried. I mean, I tried.” Clement sobbed.

“Tried?” I asked.

“Tried to take my own life,” Clement replied, " I couldn’t bring myself to do it……so I joined the contractors and buried my life, my hurt and pain deep, deep down and far away. Even when I got my transfer and found out that ‘O’ahu was going to be my job, I didn’t even think about it."

“So like you said, you live right down the street from where you grew up? Just like the school that your brother went to. I can understand how that would cause these traumatic memories to resurface I mean you have all the trigger mechanisms right at your front door practically,” I said.

Clement still had his head down as he continued. “It’s not just that. You see, I was in the middle east, and my job is to view people through a… “Scope” if you catch my meaning?” He said.

“I get it.” I nodded.

Taking in a deep breath, Clement put his hands out in front of him and looked at them thoughtfully. He then clenched them into fists and put his hands down in front of him and began to weep. Behind him, Naomi’s natural instincts made her want to come to her husband’s side to comfort him, but I put my hand out and cautioned her to stay put. Clement needed to ride this storm out himself.

“There was a target that needed to be taken out because, well, it would end up costing the lives of countless innocent people if he weren’t taken care of. The intel was pretty specific, they had the target’s daily routine right down to how he took his coffee… I waited four days on the second story of an empty old building. It was just a shell really, not much of a structure, but it was perfect for what I had to do. It was noon on the fourth day when the target finally showed up. He was on time and, as easy as you please, he walked down the street without a care, stopped into a few open markets and then made his way to the café where he normally sat down for the middle eastern version of a Starbucks latte.” Clement stopped and looked up at me as if I were his confessor who could give him the final absolution that would free him from the bonds of his mental prison.

“It happened so fast… even before it dawned on me… I… I had already taken the shot. I was so intently focused on my target that I hadn’t paid attention to the waiter who brought the target his coffee. You see, the waiter was new, and he brought the target the wrong coffee, so he had to come back and take the order one more time… he stepped into the scope, right in front of the target’s head, and I don’t think he even knew but… the waiter… he looked right at me… it was a boy. Just a kid, you know? He… he… he… looked just like Carson… his spitting image… but I… I had already taken the shot to see? I got the two of them, the target and the boy. I… I never said sorry to Carson when he was lying there in the casket at his funeral because I felt that he couldn’t hear me, and I never apologized to the boy I sho… because I felt it was too late.”

Clement heaved now and cried uncontrollably. Looking over at Naomi, I motioned for her, Sienna and Crenshaw, to join us. Making their way around the living room furniture, they finally fell upon Clement and hugged him as the final part of the storm began to slowly abate. The couch and the two teak wood chairs gently slid back to the spots from where they came, and the energy wheel slowed to an even pace within the glass case. The smell of sulfur was gone now, and save for the still present aroma of an impending rainstorm, things were almost back to normal. From the foyer came the slight Caucasian boy who only stood four feet tall. “Clement,” I said softly, “Everything that’s been happening in your home since you’ve returned has been the extreme manifestation of your repressed guilt and your memories. All that’s left now is forgiveness.”

Looking in the direction of where the boy now stood, Clement and his family followed my gaze. As they saw the boy, Naomi and the children quickly put a space between themselves and him, but Clement remained where he was sitting. “Carson,” Clement whispered.

“Tell him,” I said, “Tell your brother what you’ve meant to tell him all these years.”

“I’m sorry Carson,” Clement cried, “I’m sorry that I wasn’t there that day, I wished to God it was me instead of you, Carson! I’m so sorry… you’re my brother, and I was supposed to be there for you, and I wasn’t. Please, Carson, please forgive me?”

Carson took a step forward and gently placed his hand on his older brother’s shoulder. There was a warm, gentle smile on the boy’s face as if he were telling his big brother that there was nothing to forgive and that the circumstances of his own demise were beyond anyone’s control. As the two brothers looked at one another, they exchanged a glance of understanding that only the two of them could know. Whatever it was, it changed Clement’s demeanor immediately, and the same warm, gentle smile now played itself across his own face. Carson himself slowly faded into nothing, and, in the next second, he was gone. The energy wheel stopped.

Clement would tell me later that while he and his family were away from the house earlier, he was anxious that I would show up while they were not home. I guess that extreme worry manifested itself into the ghostly form of which I would later come to know as Carson, Clement’s brother, not his son. It also may have been that Clement’s issues concerning his deceased younger brother may have projected itself on to Crenshaw. Perhaps that may explain why Clement felt that he had to walk his son to class every day. As of this writing, that has stopped.

As we consider the information that you’ve been privileged to read, where poltergeists and energy wheels are concerned, when Clement was finally presented with the opportunity to ask his deceased brother for forgiveness and that lifelong pardon was finally granted, was it not Clement who really forgave himself?

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