Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 11, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #22

PALAPALA ʻAELIKE

WAHI: MĀNOA


At the end of a cul, de sac is a two-level five-bedroom home nestled up against a lush forest at the very back of Mānoa Valley. The wind of legend, Kahaukani regularly lends its light breeze to the branches of the trees which hover above the home, making the leaves above sound as if it were a light, gentle rainfall.
From the time of sunrise, a dark cloud appears out of nowhere, slowly looming into the valley. With that cloud came a man who stood six feet tall, wearing a pair of jeans and black cowboy boots. He wore a ʻ80ʻs styled suede jacket with tassels on it. He presented himself as a strange anomaly walking up the east Mānoa road, not on the sidewalk, but in the middle of the street. Cars drove around him, and some honked their horns at him for the careless inconvenience he caused. Even the police who thought they had set him straight by sternly ordering him to traverse on the sidewalk were met with a charming smile and a relaxed attitude. However, Iʻve strayed away from the point where our story begins.

~

The stranger approached the cul de sac at the end of Lowery road. His informants told him it was the very last house, and indeed it was. The five-bedroom two-level house reminded him of those old Heidi, Snow-white movies, where the birds sing and thereʻs gaiety and laughter all around.

"Yellow?" The stranger shook his head. "A yellow house? Well, thatʻs out of character."

He noticed a woman in the front garage of the house pulling clothes out of a dryer and placing them in a large laundry basket. From the backyard of the home, he heard the sound of children at play and shook his head with surprise. "Good morning!" He called out.

The woman stood up and brushed a lock of hair from her face and regarded the man standing at the foot of her driveway as some crazy homeless guy or a drug dealing con man. Either way, she didnʻt like him. "Yes? Can I help you?"

"My name is John Henry and Iʻm an ancient friend of Jimmer Kam, I just stopped by to say hello," he said.

"Iʻm his wife, Iʻll let him know youʻre here, but you have to wait right where you are," she looked John Henry in the eye to let him know that she meant business, but in his eyes, she saw something that wasnʻt good. It was like a predator, ready to pounce if given an opportunity. "Isnʻt John Henry that folk tale about the black man who built the railroads?"

"The very same," John Henry replied.

"Is that even your real name?" Chloe asked.

"It is maʻam, and if youʻll just tell Jimmer that John Henry is here to see him, heʻll know who youʻre talking about," John Henry explained.

Chloe picked up the basket of laundry and went to go and get her husband. In a short time, Jimmer Kam appeared from beside the garage and walked down the drive-way to meet John Henry, who could only smile once he saw the man. "Are you Jimmer?" John Henry said with a bit of dramatic confusion.

"You know itʻs me, John Henry," Jimmer deadpanned.

"No, the Jimmer, I know? He lives in high rise penthouses where he drinks champagne for breakfast and sleeps with a beautiful woman every night! THAT Jimmer is dressed in the finest suits and drives the lastest luxury cars; hell, THAT Jimmer wears silk pajamaʻs to bed and getʻs his dick washed in the morning by THE finest female masseuse!" Taking a closer step toward his friend, John Henry continued. "THIS Jimmer in front of me, wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and slippers, with long hair and a full beard? I donʻt know him. Who the hell are you, and WHERE is the party Jimmer I used to know ?"

"What do you want, John Henry?" Jimmer asked.


"Well," John Henry began as he removed a large piece of folded up paper from the inside of his jacket pocket. "Iʻm here to talk about this contract, itʻs ten years today and your payment has come due."

"No, it hasnʻt," Jimmer replied. "Look at me, this isnʻt the result of a ten-year contract."

"Oh, I beg to differ, young man," John Henry said. "YOU came to me ten years ago at the intersection of University and South King at four in the morning, looking exactly the way you look now. You wanted to be rich, live in penthouses, be surrounded by beautiful women, and you wanted to be a multi-millionaire! I did exactly that! Hell, I made you! Now, itʻs time for a little soul train ride to the other side if you know what I mean?"

"I lived like that for five years, John Henry. After five years with everything I could ever want at my fingertips, I realized one thing, I wasnʻt happy; I felt emptier than I did before I signed that contract with you. One afternoon at Lau Yee Chai, I was having lunch with some investors from Hong Kong, and I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror hanging from a wall near my table. Even though I was looking at my own reflection, I had no idea who that person was in the mirror. Thatʻs when I took whatever money I had and walked away from everything. I found a beautiful woman who loves me for me, and we had two children together; Iʻm happier than Iʻve ever been."

"Jimmer, whoʻs signature is this on the dotted line at the bottom of this contract?" John Henry asked.

"Mine," Jimmer answered.

"The contract is the contract, my boy, you donʻt have to go home, but youʻre going to get the hell out of here and come with me," John Henry snickered.

"Iʻm not going anywhere," Jimmer said. "That contract is guaranteed for ten years, and I only used five."

"So what?" John Henry shouted. "Thereʻs no fine print here, no caveat, no loophole! The contract is the contract!"

"I know that," Jimmer looked at John Henry. "You and I both wrote this contract, remember?"

John Henry lowered his head for a second and then smashed the contract into his jacket pocket, "DAMMIT! DAMMIT! DAMMIT!" Exhaling and giving himself a moment to calm down, John Henry continued. "The problem with all of this is that youʻre right, we did put this contract together and the other problem is that I LIKE you, I genuinely LIKE you! Hell, I was even thinking about extending your contract another twenty years! Hell, I was even thinking about making you, my apprentice! Like a free agent; you negotiate contracts and collect on the marker, then you bring the souls to me, and I cut you in on some of the immortality!"

Jimmer shrugged his shoulders, "I donʻt know what to tell you."

"We could re-negotiate the contract?" John Henry chuckled.

"No," came the voice from behind them. The Hawaiian man dressed in the white linen suit approached the two men as he manifested out of the thick forest surrounding the house.

"Shit on a stick!" John Henry cussed. "If it isnʻt the Hawaiian god of the underworld? What are you doing here, chief? This isnʻt your style."

"And this isnʻt your territory," Milu replied. "I will allow you to leave, even dressed like that."

"Oh, why do you have to get personal? Thereʻs nothing wrong with a little Bon Jovi throwback!" John Henry said.

"Demon," Milu looked him in the eye without flinching. "There is no contract, go while you still can."

"Alright, alright," John Henry said with affectation. "Iʻm going." In a flash, the flamboyant demon named John Henry was gone.

"When did you change your mind regarding the contract?" Milu asked Jimmer.

"When I saw myself in the mirror at Lau Yee Chai, I didnʻt know who  I was then," Jimmer said.

"Do you know who you are now?" Milu asked.

"Yes, Iʻm Hawaiian. Itʻs who I always was, I just got lost for a while," Jimmerʻs eyes were filled with tears now.

"When weʻre lost, we become misguided, and what we believe are the answers is actually a pathway to darkness, misleading us even further from the light. Trust your kupuna, speak to them, ask for help. They are no further away from you than I am." Milu smiled and turned to make his way back into the forest.

"Are you taking me with you?" Jimmer asked.

"Yes," Milu replied. "Forty years from now."











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