Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 9, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #24


NICOLE KAHO‘OHULI WAS MURDERED one night, while on her way to attend a class at the University of Hawai‘i.  Her assailants, Gary Catao, Fowler McGuire, and Jermel Evans, took her by surprise as she was exiting her car in the parking structure above Cooke Field. 
On the contrary, the surprise was on them.  Nicole fought back with an animal-like ferocity and nearly overpowered the three men who were twice her size.  She was so infuriated at the attempt of these three in trying to rape her that she never called out for help.  As far as she was concerned, she was going to kill them all with her bare hands.  Fowler McGuire escaped Nicole’s fury long enough to run a considerable distance to his car and start it up.  He was speeding at nearly 70 miles per hour by the time he returned to the scene of the assault.  Nicole already had Jermel Evans prone on the ground after delivering a punishing kick to his groin.  All Gary Catao could do now was cover-up as the young woman peppered him with an onslaught of elbow strikes to his skull.  In every instance, when Gary Catao covered up to protect his head, Nicole would hit him with blinding uppercuts to his ribs.

Fowler McGuire would, later on, tell the police that when he returned to the scene, he witnessed Nicole hurting his friend Gary and only at the last minute saw that Jermel Evans was on the ground.  He thought Jermel was dead and that Nicole had killed him.  The sight of his childhood friend lying on the ground, lifeless, infuriated him, and he felt that he was left with no choice but to come to Gary Catao’s defense, who he was also afraid was going to be killed by Nicole Kaho‘ohuli.

In a split second, Fowler swerved his car toward Nicole and hit her head-on.  She died on impact.  The three young men panicked and left her there.  They thought that they had gotten away with it and that no one would ever find out, but they had two things that were already working against them.

Number one, the entire incident, was recorded on a security camera.  Exactly where the security guards were at during the assault was never determined.  Number two, Nicole herself had left significant scratch marks on each of her attackers before she died.  Gary Catao was scratched on his neck with deep marks from forefinger and middle finger.  Jermel Evans had four scratch marks on his left shoulder, and Fowler McGuire had five small chunks of flesh taken out of the back of his right calf muscle as he tried to escape Nicole’s attack.

While the young men were arrested within twenty-four hours and charged with murder, they were released on bail into their parents’ custody within a week, courtesy of the best lawyer that Fowler McGuire’s wealthy father could afford.


Daylee and Leena Kaho‘ohuli were just coming up the driveway of their Kalihi home when they saw their friend Mike Nakamura in his police uniform standing in their driveway.  Mike and Daylee were childhood friends from the time they met in a karate class in Waipahu.  They got into a fight with each other the first day, and, after being severely reprimanded by their sensei by being whacked on the head with a kendo stick, they became life-long friends.

Mike had a stern look on his face, which was usually the look that they called his “work face.”

“Hey Mike,” Daylee said, “What are you doing here on your day off?”

Leena gave Mike a hug and began to go into the house so that he and Daylee could talk.

“Uh, Leena.  You have to hear this too.”

Leena was concerned, “What’s wrong, Mike?  Did something happen?”

“Daylee.  Leena.  I wanted to be the one to tell you before you found out on the TV or something…” Mike’s voice started to crack.

“What is it, Mike?  Sounds serious,” Daylee said.

Mike drew in a deep breath and let it out, “Nicole was killed last night.  Three men tried to assault her, but she fought back.  One of them got away and came back with his car.  He hit Nicole at full speed.  She died on impact.  It was so quick… she didn’t…”

It only took a few seconds before the reality of Mike’s statement hit them.  Leena went pale, and her legs began to go out from under her.  Daylee and Mike caught her just in time.

“Mike,” Daylee asked, “Was that the girl on the news?  The one at U.H.?  We just heard it on the radio as we were driving up the road.  Is that the one Mike?”

Daylee’s voice wavered now, and his mind did not want to accept what he just heard, “Please Mike!  Please!  Tell me it was someone else’s daughter, Mike!  Please!”

Mike could do nothing but stand there and cry.  Leena suddenly stood up and began to beat Mike on the chest, screaming at him the whole time.

“How dare you come here and tell us something like that?  What’s wrong with you?  Are you some kind of sick person?  You go get Nicole and bring her home right now, Mike Nakamura, or we will never talk to you again!”

Holding Leena back, Daylee asked Mike once more, “Mike.  That couldn’t have been Nicole.  C’mon now, this is all some bad joke, right?  Did you hear what they did to that poor girl?  They ran her over for chrissakes!  Who would do that to Nicole?  Who?  This is all some kind of mistaken identity thing?  Right, Mike?”

No words came.  Only tears.

Daylee screamed at Mike now, “Don’t just stand there!  Say something!  Say something!”

There were no words, Nicole was dead.  Their lives would never be the same.


Nicole’s services were difficult for Daylee because he couldn’t bring himself to view his daughter’s body.  He felt that if he didn’t, then it would mean that somehow Nicole was still alive and that maybe she had gone off to college somewhere far away, like Europe.  Leena was able to deal with Nicole’s death a little better than her husband.  Of course, she was devastated and heartbroken, but she knew that her love for her only child would never diminish.

The services had been going on for twenty minutes, and Nicole’s father was nowhere to be found.  Daylee stayed outside in the courtyard of the funeral home the whole time.  He sat there as he felt his emotions stirring within him.  He was suddenly jolted back to reality when he felt a sharp, stinging pain on the back of his neck.  Looking up, he saw his father standing over him with his eyes colored blood-red.  Daylee knew from experience that this meant his old man was pissed.

“You get your ass in there right now, and you honor your daughter!  This is her funeral services, and you are her father, so move your ass now!”

Manford Kaho‘ohuli was a man that no one ever said no to.  He was a big-boned, Hawaiian man who worked as a Stevedore his whole life.  The one thing Manford never tolerated was foolishness or idle behavior from a grown man, especially not from his own son.

“I no can, Papa.  It’s too much for me,” Daylee replied offhandedly.

Manford picked his son up by the scruff of his coat with one hand and stood him upright, “Too much for you?  TOO MUCH FOR YOU?  You know what is too much, hah?  Me having to see you act like one panty!”

“Eh, I not one panty!” Daylee retorted.

“Boy,” Manford was boiling now, “You betta shut your mouth right now before I broke your jaw.  You hear me?”

Putting his head down, Daylee replied, “Yes, Papa.”

“You think you da only one hurtin’?  You no tink I hurtin’ or your maddah not hurtin’?  Das, our only grandchild in that coffin!  Everybody who stays here tonight hurtin’.  You go in there, and you honor your daughter and give her your aloha.  Otherwise, she no can go to Kuaihelani to be with her ancestors.”

Daylee looked at his father, “Papa?  You can take me inside?  I need help.”

Manford nodded, “I go with you, boy.”

Nicole lay there in her favorite Holoku that Daylee brought for her the first time she danced the hula for a performance during her senior year at Roosevelt High School.  He took her hand and held it in his and quickly noticed that it was cold and stiff.  The finality of death had taken his daughter.  That was the reality of it.  The tears didn’t come.  There was no overwhelming grief, and he didn’t find himself tempted to throw himself on his daughter’s coffin once it was lowered into the earth.  Instead, there was clarity.  When the opportunity had come, Daylee grabbed Mike and pulled him aside.

“Let’s talk a walk,” Daylee said.

They walked to the top of Mililani cemetery and sat on the bench near the statue of Christ when Mike asked, “What’s up?”

“Mike,” Daylee continued, “Tell me honestly, not as a police officer, but as my friend, do you think that it’s right that those three guys get to walk away scot-free?”

“They didn’t get away; they’re out on bail.  But don’t worry.  Those guys can’t fart in this town without us knowing about it.”

Shaking his head now, Daylee said, “That’s not what I asked you, Mike.  Stop thinking cop and just think regular everyday human being.  Do you think that it’s right that these guys get to live while my daughter is laying six feet underground ?”

Mike took a deep breath, “Between you and me?  Of course, it’s not right.  Everybody knows that.  But there are laws…”

“I’m not asking you about laws!” Daylee cut him off, “I’m asking you if it’s right or not!  That’s what I’m asking!”

Below his breath, Mike said, “I know what you want me to say, and I’m not gonna say it.”

“Why not?” Daylee shot back, “Has the police got you so programmed that you can’t even give a simple yes or no answer?”

Now Mike stood up and yelled back at his childhood friend, “That’s not fair, Daylee!  That’s not fucking fair!”

“What’s not fair is those three ass wipes are still alive while my daughter is dead!  That is what’s not fair!”

After a moment, Daylee motioned to Mike to sit next to him, “I’m sorry, Mike.  That was over the line.  I didn’t mean it.”

“It’s okay,” Mike said, “I know what you want to do.  I feel the same way.  Nicole was like my own daughter too.”

“Then help me find a way,” Daylee said, “Help me find a way to make it fair.  Help me find a way to kill these guys.”

Mike got up and walked away.

Not more than five feet away from where Daylee and Mike were sitting was a funeral director who happened to overhear the entire conversation.  He had just come back to the hearse that was parked near where the two men were sitting after directing six pallbearers to take the casket they were holding to its final destination.

“Forgive me, sir.  I’m not normally maha‘oe, but I happened to hear your conversation.”

Daylee tried to brush the man off, “You didn’t hear anything.  Just go away.”

Insistent, the funeral director went on, “If what I heard was correct, then I know a way to help you make things fair.  Come back to this same spot in three days at twelve, noon, and I will be here.”

Daylee looked the funeral director over for a minute.  He was a tall, thin man in a plain, blue suit and tie.  There was nothing remarkable about the Hawaiian man except for his stark, white hair and piercing, black eyes.  Daylee noticed how large and calloused his hands were.  There was also a kind of energy to him that Daylee couldn’t figure out.  It was the kind of energy that put itself out but also took back.

“You don’t have to say anything just now,” the funeral director remarked, “Three days.  You’ll find me here, in this same spot, in three days.”

“Really?” Daylee replied, “And exactly how are you going to help me?”

“Ah,” the funeral director laughed, “There are too many people here in this cemetery today.  They may hear us.  Better that you return in three days, and I will tell you everything you need to know.  I must hurry now.  I have another appointment.”

With that, the funeral director got into his hearse and drove off toward the main building.  Daylee returned to Nicole’s services.

Later that night, Daylee had an unusual dream that he was back at the cemetery and that it was daylight.  Nicole was sitting on the same concrete bench where he and Mike sat earlier that day.

“Dad, don’t,” Nicole said in the dream.  Her mouth wasn’t moving, but he could hear her voice in his head, “Don’t dad.”

Just then, the hearse that the funeral director drove appeared behind Nicole on the small lane.  Nicole looked back at the car and looked at Daylee again and said, “Dad, don’t.”


Daylee was taking some sliced salami out of the refrigerator when he overheard the interview on the news the next morning.  Leena was watching as well. The young female news reporter asked the two young men a series of questions.

The woman was standing in front of a house in Salt Lake on Likini Street.  She had been granted an exclusive interview with Gary Catao and Jermel Evans.

“Describe what happened that evening when you saw Nicole Kaho‘ohuli in the parking structure at Cooke Field?”

“Well,” Gary Catao said, “She had a bunch of books in her arms when she was getting out of her car…”

“Yeah,” Jermel continued, “So we saw that she was struggling and offered our help, and I guess we surprised her because that’s when she dropped her books and started attacking us.”

“That’s a fucking lie!” Daylee screamed, “She was going to a dance class that night!  She didn’t have any fucking books with her!  She only had her dance bag!  Fucking liars!”

On Wednesday at exactly twelve, noon, Daylee drove up to the bench near the statue of Christ in the Mililani Cemetery.  Waiting just off to the side of the seat was the funeral director.  As Daylee drove up closer, he also noticed Mike leaning up against the left end of the statue.

Getting out of his car now, he approached the two men, “Oh, I see!  This whole thing was a scam, so you’re here to arrest this guy!”

The funeral director looked over at Mike and smiled, “He’s your friend.  Would you like to tell him, or should I?”

“Tell me what?” Daylee asked, “What’s going on?  You know this guy?”

Looking over at the funeral, director Mike said, “I’ll do it.”

“And to think,” The funeral director continued, “You were going to walk away from your childhood friend even after he asked.”

“The best thing I could have done for him was to walk away,” Mike shot back.

The funeral director looked at Mike seriously and said, “Tell him.  Or I will.”

With that, the funeral director walked down the lane toward the main building.

‘What the hell was that all about?” Daylee asked.

Mike’s whole demeanor suddenly changed.  It wasn’t the work face.  It was the face of someone Daylee didn’t know.  Daylee had never seen him this way before.

“I’m sorry, Daylee.  I really am,” Mike said.

“For what?” Daylee replied.

“For this,” Mike quickly stood up and threw a blinding right hook to Daylee’s jaw and knocked him out cold.

When Daylee awoke, he found himself in the middle of a massive-sized heiau that overlooked the west and east end of ‘O’ahu.  His head was still spinning, and the left side of his jaw felt tight, but it wasn’t swollen.  The area was illuminated by the bright stars and an even more brilliant full moon.  If not for those two elements, the entire structure would have been pitch-black.  He could make out a figure standing just outside the east end of the heiau.  When his eyes became a bit more acclimated to the dark, he could see that it was Mike.

“You okay?” Mike asked.

“My jaw is kinda stiff, but I’m okay,” now losing his temper, Daylee screamed, “What the fuck, Mike?”

“You wanted fair?  I’m giving you fair,” Mike replied.

“This is fair?” Daylee repeated, “Asshole.”

Daylee noticed that the heiau was located in the middle of a vast open area.  What was strange is that even though he could hear Mike from outside the temple, whenever he spoke, the sound of his voice would just drop off right in front of him.

“What is this, Mike?  What’s going on?”

“This heiau is built on a vortex.  You’re standing in the middle of it.  It’s active.  It’s working right now.  Look at your hands.”

Looking at his palms, he saw that they were black with what looked like soot, “Why are my hands painted black, Michael?”

“That’s isn't paint,” Mike replied, “Those are the ashes.”

“Ashes of what?” Daylee shrieked.

“In a short time, you won’t be able to hear my voice anymore.  Sit down right where you are and think about Nicole.  Think about everything that happened to her and think about the men who were involved in her killing.  Don’t think of anything else but that.  Sit down, right now, Daylee, and think.”

Soon Daylee could only see Mike’s mouth moving, but he couldn’t hear him anymore.  Daylee sat right on the spot; he was just standing, and it didn’t take him long to think about what happened to Nicole.  It wasn’t too long also before his heart was filled with black rage, and he could envision himself piercing a knife through the center of each man.  He began to think about Nicole fighting for her life and being killed so brutally by this Fowler McGuire.  His temples began to pound, and his heart was racing now.  His fists clenched and his jaw tightened even more.  No wedding.  No grandchildren.  No more family holidays.

“No,” he thought, “No.”

It began to build inside him.  He could feel it swelling up from his gut.  It was surging now like a storm.


Daylee screamed again and again and again until his voice went hoarse, and he was spent.  As he sat there with his body shaking in tears, he suddenly heard a deep gravelly voice from behind him that shook the very ground that he sat on.

“Eia au,”

Daylee whirled around to see a massive, shadowy figure that was beginning to take shape right in front of him.  At the east wall of the heiau he saw Mike on his hands and knees with his head down.

As the figure approached, Daylee asked, “‘O wai la ‘oe?  Who are you?”

“‘O au ‘o Lua.   I am Lua,” came the reply, “Ho‘ike mai ia‘u kou lima.”

Daylee held his palms open facing the figure, and the shadowy figure grabbed both Daylee’s hands between his own.  Daylee felt his hands burning, but the shock and pain were tremendous, he was unable to scream.

“‘Ike Pono au ka inaina i loko ou.  ‘O ia ke Kumu aia au ‘ia ne‘i.  I thoroughly see the rage within you.  This is the reason why I am here.”

Then the figure lets Daylee go.  He crumbles to the ground and soon realizes that the pain is gone.  He looks at his hands, but there are no sores or scars.  His hands are perfectly fine save for the palms, which are blackened from ashes of unknown origin.

The figure looks over at Mike and says, “Ku a‘e.”

Mike stood up.  He adeptly stepped over the wall of the heiau, and, as he approached the figure, he bowed his head as if he were approaching someone sacred.  He knelt next to Daylee and puts his arms around him.

Under his breath, Daylee tells Mike, “I have to ask him something.”

“No!" Mike hissed.  " You’ve already asked once, no one ever asks twice!"

Before Mike could stop him, Daylee opens his mouth, “Pehea ka uku?”

“Ke ola,” the figure replies with the slightest grin.

Mike immediately prostrates to the ground and forces Daylee’s head down to the dirt beside him, “Idiot!"

Darkness then enveloped the figure.

“What’s the big rush?” Daylee asks as Mike is hurriedly forcing him out of the heiau.

“The Mahealani Moon is hiding behind the clouds now.  Once she appears, this entire heiau will disappear.  If we're not out of here in time, once it's gone, so are we!”

They cross the east wall of the heiau just as the light of the moon touches the earth, and the entire heiau seemed to dissolve, leaving nothing but an empty field of pili grass.

Daylee is exhausted and tells Mike that he can explain everything later, “Right now, I’m going to kick your ass!”

All Mike says is, “About that...” and knocks Daylee out again with a wicked right cross.


10:30am, Thursday morning, Daylee wakes up on the couch in his own living room.  Leena is applying a cold compress to his forehead and is clearly upset.

“You know, I can understand you’re upset because of Nicole’s passing, but that doesn’t mean you have to drag Mike out with you all night to go drinking at some goddamned bar with naked women dancing on the stage!  And poor thing, look at Mike!  He fell asleep over there on the armchair, all stinky drunk!  What the hell is wrong with you?  Don’t you know Mike had to work today?  Now he’s gonna get in trouble cause of you!”  Pressing the compress harder into his forehead, she yells at him once more, “Hold this damn thing yourself; I gotta go work!”

Daylee is speechless and confused as Leena walks out the door, gets into her car, and drives off.

Mike bolts upright from his chair and says, “She left already?”

Daylee moans, “Oh, my head is pounding.  Mike, come and get this thing off my head.  Leena put too much ice, it’s burning my skin.”

“Sure,” Mike walks over to where Daylee is laying on the couch.

As soon as Mike gets near enough, Daylee punches him in the groin.  Mike drops to his knees in agony.  Even with his head pounding, Daylee manages to run into the kitchen and grabs Leena’s most heavy frying pan and folds the entire thing over Mike’s head.  Daylee is furious.

“What brah?  You like to try false crack me two times?”

Mike is trying his best to crawl away as Daylee goes back into the kitchen in search of Leena’s massive cookie sheet.

Daylee screams, “How’s dis for one false crack?” and hits Mike square between the shoulder blades.

As he readies himself for a second swing, he is suddenly pushed forcefully across the living room.  He lands on the couch and flips over backward.  He gets up on his knees and looks over the couch and sees Mike on the other side of the room in an open palm thrust stance, his palms jet black with the same ashes Daylee’s palms were stained with earlier.  Just as it begins to dawn on Daylee what happened, the blackness on Mike's palms fades away.

“Sit down,” Mike says, “So I can explain everything.”

Daylee says, “Explain from ova there!  You not going false crack me again, brah!”

“Alright, just sit down then.”

“No, fuck you!  Why you had to false crack me brah?”

“You still stuck on that?  You stupid or what?  The funeral director called me last minute ‘cause you’re my friend.  We’re supposed to use chloroform to knock you out but never have, so I had to improvise.”

“I changed my mind.  Why you no come over here so I can improvise my foot up your ass?” Daylee said, challenging his friend.

“Look,” Mike said, “I’m sorry.  But once I explain everything to you, you’ll understand, and you won’t be so mad.”

“Okay,” said Daylee, “But first thing, you better tell me why my wife thinks we went strip club last night and got all drunk!”

“Alright, alright,” Mike tells him, “Just sit down.  Just listen.”

“Okay, I'll listen, but I ain’t sitting down.  I don’t trust you no more.”


8:00am on the same morning on Likini Street at Radford Terrace, Catao residence.

The loud banging on Gary Catao’s bedroom door continued for nearly 40 minutes before he finally woke up.  It had only been less than a month, but he was still dizzy from the beating he suffered at Nicole’s hands.  The pounding on the door didn’t make him feel any better.

“Why the hell is she home?  She should be at work right now, making her customers’ lives miserable, not mine!”  Gary muttered to himself before he began shouting at his mother, “What the hell is it?  Whattaya want ma, for chrissakes?”

“Get up and go take a shower and find a job!  NOW!  You and your friends’ real tough guys, hah?  You go try rape one girl, and when she turns around to kick your guys’ ass, you cannot handle, so you have to go run her over wit one car?  Den you go on the news and lie dat you folks were trying to help her after dey wen already show the tape from the security camera?  Whatta a dumbass!  No wonder why your boss went fire you!  I dunno how I went get one son like you!”

Infuriated, Gary opened his bedroom door and was ready to be in his mother’s face in no time flat.  Except that it wasn’t his mother standing outside his bedroom door, it was a tall shadowy figure with the outline of what looked to be a human being but without the details.  In mere seconds, the shadow figure thrust its right hand into space just below Gary’s sternum and tore out his liver.  Even before the pain could register in Gary’s brain, the figure then scooped Gary’s eyes out with the fingers on its left hand.  It then held Gary’s eyes and liver up above its head as if it were making some kind of offering.  By the time Gary’s lifeless body fell to the floor, the figure had already eaten what it had so effortlessly taken from its victim.

Esmerelda Catao would return home to find the body of her son lying in an almost black pool of blood just outside his bedroom door.  Because the neighbors had become accustomed to Esmerelda screaming at her son at all hours of the day and night, it would be a while before they would finally come to check on her and see what the matter was.  It was an exciting experience because they would end up screaming just as loud once they saw what Esmerelda had found.

Two hours later, at Hobron Square in Waikiki, Jermel Evans stood in the dance studio next to Keola, the hula instructor for the Hula Lima Lu‘au Show.  Facing the mirror in front of them, Jermel did his best to follow Keola as they went over the first verse of a hula kahiko called, “Kawika.”

“E ia no Kawika e i e, ka heke a‘o na pua e i e.  Right kaholo, left kaholo, hands, and arms out to both sides and pua motion to the front middle.”

“I’m not feeling it,” Jermel said.

“I know,” Keola replied, “It’s been twenty-five minutes, and we’re still stuck on the first verse.  Listen, maybe you should tell yourself that you’re not cut out for this.  I need dancers that get it in the first five minutes.”

“Are you a Kumu Hula?” Jermel asked.

“No, but I’m the dance and line captain for the luau show,” Keola smirked.

Jermel walked out of the studio and went back to his car.  His girlfriend, Sherayne, who sat in the car the whole time, waiting, asked Jermel right away, “So?  Did you get it?  It was easy, right?  Kawika?  That dance is a hula standard, so it should have been duck soup, right?”

“Nah.  The guy isn’t even a real Kumu Hula.  I cannot dance for somebody like that,” Jermel said, “I just left.”

“Jermel,” Sherayne was mildly irritated, “Did you get it or not?”

“I just told you I left!” Jermel yelled.

Very calmly, Sherayne replied, “Today and only today that Lu‘au Show is paying people fifty dollars cash if they get the job, TODAY.  Fifty dollars will give us enough to put forty dollars in the car for gas, and then we’d have ten dollars left over to eat lunch at McDonald’s.  You go back in there right now, and you kiss ass to that guy even if he’s not a Kumu hula, and you get that job.  Otherwise, I’m dropping your worthless ass, today, Jermel.  Do you understand?  After what happened with that girl, you still think that you have the right to act like a prick to me?”

“I didn’t do anything to that girl. That was all Fowler,” Jermel said smugly.

“Of course you didn’t do anything Jermel,” Sherayne said sweetly, “You never got the chance because that girl kicked all of your asses.  It’s all over YouTube and the news.  She kicked you in the nuts and left you lying on the ground while she beat the shit out of Gary.  And if Fowler hadn’t run away like the little bitch that he is, she would have fucked his shit up too.  However, out of the three, YOU were the most pathetic.  Lying on the grown, all curled up and helpless.  Some tough guy you are, huh?  Go back in there and make that paper bitch.”

Jermel’s looked changed as if he was going to hit Sherayne, but instead, he got out of the car and headed back to the dance studio.  Heading back up the stairs now, he noticed that one of the light bulbs on the landing must have gone out because it was dark in most of the left corner.  However, when he reached the top of the stairs, he saw that the light bulb was perfectly fine.  He couldn’t figure out what was it that was casting the shadow in the corner.  It almost seemed to be there of its own free will.  Jermel stepped closer to it and saw that it was a simple shadow as the result of something he couldn’t see.  He had intended to mention it to Keola when he saw him, but he would never get the chance.

The figure appeared without warning, and grabbed Jermel by the ankles, lifted him off the floor, and threw him back down on his head.  Jermel was too dazed to react.  With two hands wrapped around Jermel’s right ankle and its left foot stepping on the middle of Jermel’s thigh, the figure placed its right foot next to Jermel’s head and, with one short, fast pull, it tore Jermel’s body into two pieces.  Working quickly, the figure knelt down next to Jermel and removed the liver and held it up over its head, offering a prayer of supplication before it consumed what it had taken.

That very same day in Kalihi, back at the Kaho‘ohuli residence, Mike’s explanation of the previous night’s events and the story of the Black Hand Society didn’t sit well with Daylee.  Even though it made sense and answered many questions, there still seemed to be something missing from the equation.  Daylee had asked Mike to leave after that.  He needed some time to think.

At twelve noon, he was sitting at his kitchen table with his laptop in front of him.  On the screen was the YouTube website with the feature of the week, which read, “LOSERS GET THEIR ASSES KICKED BY GIRL THEN KILL HER.”

He wasn’t sure why he was about to look at the video, which recorded his daughter’s brutal death, but there was an inner voice that told him that therein would be the answer that would satisfy the question in his heart.  After a few more minutes, Daylee finally clicked on the PLAY icon, and the video began.

Nicole’s Audi Quattro backed into the parking space at the Cooke field parking structure, and, the second her door opened, Gary, Jermel, and Fowler were on her.  Daylee realized this as he replayed that part at 36 seconds, five times.  Daylee saw that they were not only waiting for Nicole but that they had been watching her every move for some time before finally mounting their attack.  Fowler and Gary grab her by the shoulders first.  Jermel reaches forward in what looks like an attempt to rip open Nicole’s top, but Nicole lands a brutal kick to Jermel’s groin and lifts him right off the ground.  Everything is happening so fast now that Gary and Fowler haven’t even realized what just happened to Jermel.  Nicole reaches down behind her to her left and grabs Fowlers left ankle and pulls up and front.  Fowler takes a nasty spill on the back of his head.  On the video, Daylee could hear the sickening sound of Fowler’s head hitting the concrete pavement.  In the same instant, Nicole spins around counter-clockwise to her left and delivers a punishing elbow to the side of Gary’s skull.  The impact of Nicole’s elbow strike knocks Gary up against the door of her car.  In the background, Daylee sees Fowler slowly crawling away and then, getting to his feet.  He stumbles twice and then disappears off the left side of the screen.
 After that, it’s nearly another minute of footage where Nicole punishes Gary with a series of elbow strikes.  Gary throws blind punches for a few seconds, but the elbow strikes are too fast and too precise.  Gary’s legs start to give out from under him, but Nicole continually holds him up against her car, almost as if she is refusing to let him faint from the pain.  Soon, Daylee sees that this has become a game to Nicole.  When Gary covers up with his arms over his head, Nicole delivers short, burning jabs to his ribs.  She’s enjoying it.  A chill comes over Daylee when he suddenly realizes that he is seeing a side of his daughter that he never knew existed.  Something about the last few overhead elbow strikes catches Daylee’s eye.  Nicole brings her right elbow straight down on the top of Gary’s head and knocks him senseless.  It’s a traditional elbow strike with the palm open.  At first, it looks like distortion or a glitch.  Daylee plays it back and pauses the video at precisely 2:14.  What he sees nearly takes the breath out of his body.

“Oh, my god,” Daylee put his head down in disbelief. “Oh, my god.”

Digging into his pocket, he finds his phone and calls Mike right away.

“Officer Nakamura,” Mike answered.

“Mike, it’s Daylee.  Come get me now, we have to find Fowler McGuire!  If we don’t get to this kid as soon as possible, he’s gonna die!”


Nicole Kaho‘ohuli's ghost stood in front of the Mercedes as it sat in the garage of the McGuire home in Manoa.  Fowler had just started up the German sports car when the specter of the girl he murdered suddenly materialized out of nowhere, he now sat riveted to the steering wheel. He was too overcome with fear to even try and run.  All Fowler could do was cry hysterically and beg for forgiveness.  At the same time, he hurriedly rolled up the windows and turned the air conditioning on full blast as it was now stifling hot in the vehicle.  Nicole’s apparition dissipated for a second and reappeared as a black, undulating shadow which now let itself seep in through the air vents in the car until it filled the Mercedes entirely.  Fowler felt the oxygen leave the vehicle, and he began to choke for air.  The shadow-filled his lungs and Fowler literally started to drown in the shadow’s wake.  His last conscious memory was the sound of something pounding the car window and screaming out a name.  After that, everything went black.

At this point, the shadow had left Fowler’s body and ripped the car door off its hinges.  Dragging the young man’s limp form out of the Mercedes, the shadow held him over its head as and began to take on the outline of a human form,

“Leena!  Leena!  Leena no!  Put him down, Leena!  Put him down!”

Mike and Daylee arrived at the McGuire home just in time,

The figure recognized Daylee’s voice and slowly turned to look at him.

“Leena!  Leena put him down.  Put him down, Leena.  Let him go.”

The figure dropped Fowler on the garage floor with a thud.  The darkness that enveloped it slowly pulled away.  All that was left was Leena Kaho‘ohuli, standing there in the same clothes that she wore when she left the house earlier.

“Leena,” Daylee pleaded, “Come here, honey.  C’mon.  Let’s go home.”

“Hun,” Leena cried, “He killed our baby.  He took our Nicole from us.  Are we just supposed to let him and his friends go?”

“It’s done, Leena, it’s over,” Daylee said with finality.

“How did you know I’d be here?” Leena asked.

“I was watching the YouTube video, the one with Nicole,” Daylee said.

Gently scolding her husband, Leena replied, “Oh, you shouldn’t watch that video, Daylee!  It’s only going to make you upset.”

“Leena, at the end, when Nicole was hitting Gary Catao with overhand elbow strikes, her hand was open.  Her palm was black.  The only conclusion is that she inherited the gift of her martial art from you, a member of the Black Palm Society.  Someone taught her how to fight that way, it wasn’t Michael.  So, it could only have been you. Let’s go home, okay, honey?” Daylee held on to his wife with everything he had.  After today, no one was ever going to know their secret.

An hour later, Daylee lay in bed with his wife.  Watching her sleep, he thought about what Mike had told him earlier that morning.  He would have to make it a point to see Mike later tonight.  Right now, Daylee just wanted to be with his wife, protecting her, loving her, and helping her work through her heartache.


1989.  Somewhere in the mountains of Palehua near Mauna Kapu.

Mike Nakamura, Jack Pagdilao, Manny Fernandez, and Billy Mitchell were all practitioners of Kenpo Karate.  Over the years, they had individually become affected in one way or another by personal tragedies in their lives.

Mike Nakamura’s thirteen-year-old niece was raped and killed by a stranger as she walked home from Waipahu Intermediate one day after school.  The man forced her into his car and took her out to an old junkyard where he bashed the back of her head in before raping her.

Jack Pagdilao’s brother was gunned down in front of Arakawa’s one morning because he refused to give up his wallet to a couple of young punks.  The two were never caught even though seven eyewitnesses saw it happen.

Billy Mitchell himself was assaulted by a large mob of local men because they believed that he was disrespecting them by crossing their basketball court late at night.

Manny Fernandez watched in horror as his sister’s jealous ex-boyfriend ran her over with his Chevelle after seeing her kiss him goodbye at a family party at the Visayan Club in Waipahu.  Manny was the only one to come forward and testify as an eye witness.  The jealous ex-boyfriend got off due to a lack of evidence and credible witnesses aside from Manny.

The four martial arts instructors had finally had enough.  They wanted to do something about the injustice that seemed to be prevalent in their society.  Coincidentally, Jack, Mike, and Billy were classmates with Manny’s sister at Campbell High School.  After attending her funeral services at Mililani Cemetery, they gravitated towards one another and found themselves sitting on the concrete bench next to the statue of Christ.

Manny was the first to express his disgust with the justice system and their stronger efforts to support the criminal rather than the victim.  He wanted something fair.  He wanted his sister’s ex-boyfriend to pay.  Jack, Billy, and Mike felt the same way.  Life should be taken for the one it took.  Death should be the payment.

That’s when they met the funeral director who had conveniently been listening within hearing distance as he had just helped a small group of pallbearers remove a casket from the back of his hearse.  He didn’t really introduce himself, but he did promise them that if they would meet him in the same exact spot where they were sitting now, three days hence, at midday when the sun was high overhead and cast no shadow; he would be able to help them resolve their problem.

In three days, the men were back in the same place where the funeral director was already waiting for them with a limousine.

“Please, I’ll take you to where we need to go, and you will have all your answers.”

Soon, they were on their way to their intended destination.  The funeral director told the men that the drive would be rather long, and so he encouraged them to help themselves to any drinks that were available in the bar.  There were only cans of Pepsi, which they each drank.  It was the last thing they remembered.  When they awoke, they were in the middle of a massive heiau at the top of a mountain where they could clearly see the east and west end of ‘O’ahu.  Standing outside the west wall of the heiau was the funeral director.

“I’m sorry that things had to be done this way, but this location is secret.  It’s been in my family for as long as anyone one of us can remember.  Each of you asked that the life of the ones who killed your family and friend be taken in payment for what they did.  I am going to help you fulfill that wish.  This temple is dedicated to the god, Ku‘i, a Lua.  This is where the martial art of bone breaking was practiced; this is where the art of sorcery was taught alongside it.  You will learn Lua in this temple.  The training will be ruthless and harsh, but should you be able to complete this training, you will be unstoppable.  You will move like a shadow, and there will be no trace of you when your work is done.  No one will know who we are, or where we meet, save for one person.  My family line is dying out, and this knowledge must somehow survive.  I now pass down everything I know to you.  Help is coming, prepare yourselves.”

In an instant, the massive shadowy figure appeared and blackened the hands of the four men with its own.  Since that night, they learned every aspect of Lua from the funeral director who would stand without the west wall of the heiau and give instructions to the men who were trained by the shadow figure.  The time would finally come when their training was complete, and the four men were able to go out into society and mete out justice in their own, very unique way.


“There was one big hole in that story Mike,” Daylee said.

“What is that?” Mike asked.

“You forgot the fifth person.  Leena, the funeral director’s daughter.  You left that part out.  She was there training right alongside you guys the whole time.  You tell me everything now, Mike.”

“I’ll tell him,” the voice came from behind.  It was Leena.

“Hun,” Leena began, “This is how we’ve been able to help people out whose family members are killed and cannot find justice.  My father overhears certain conversations, and he decides which people need our services the most.”

“When we first met, you said that your parents had died when you were a baby and that you never knew who they were,” Leena said.

Daylee thought for a second, and then it made sense to him, “Okay, okay, now I understand.”

“The day he overheard your conversation and called me, I immediately called Mike, and we had to decide quickly about what we were going to do.  We never wanted this for you, hun.  It’s really not the kind of life to live, but this is who we are.  You see, my father never attends any of the funeral services.  He only hears the conversations afterward.  He has never met you and had no idea who you were,” Leena explained.

“But he knew Nicole.  He must have trained her himself at some point?” Daylee asked.

“No,” Leena replied, “Our daughter was a prodigy.  She was coming into it on her own.  She has never been to the heiau.  She’s never met the shadow.  All my father and I and the rest of us could do was point her in the right direction.  Those poor boys made a mistake in attacking her that night.  She was going to kill them.  But as for you, hun, we had to decide how we were going to do this.  My father had already set everything in motion, and we had to follow through.”

“So that whole thing about the bar and you being mad at me was an act?” Daylee asked, looking at Mike.

“Yeah,” Mike said, “Of course, the frying pan and the cookie sheet was all you.”

“So, what happens now?” Daylee asked.

“You receive your training,” Leena says, “This heiau is protected by Mauna Kapu and appears in the pitch black.  The Mahealani moon phase protects it and puts it under her sacred Kapa.  It’s a special place.  Manny, Jack, and Billy will be here soon, and we’ll all help you.  Okay, honey?”

“Alright,” Daylee agreed.

When the first phase of training was completed, and Daylee and Leena returned home, they both slept for most of the day.  In Daylee’s dream, he saw Nicole standing outside of the west wall of the heiau at Mauna Kapu.

“This is why I said, ‘Don’t, Dad.’  I was afraid that you might get hurt or that you may not understand,” She said.

“I understand now,” Daylee replied.

“Then you understand that you don’t have to be sad for me?” Nicole asked.

“I’m sad that I lost you so soon,”   Daylee said.

“You taught me to never fear and to always fight until the last if I knew I was right.  It’s because of you, Dad, that I was never afraid.  Even on the night I died, I had no fear.  I knew I was right.  I died fighting until the last, just like you taught me,” Nicole said.

Through his tears, Daylee said, “Baby, I wish I could hold you one more time and tell you how much I love you.”

“I know you love me, Dad.  I could always feel it everywhere I went.  I’ll be with you whenever you go to Mauna Kapu.”

In the dream, the Mahealani moon appeared, and Nicole slowly faded away along with the heiau.

Daylee asked for something that was born from the grief and rage of his own heart and received that which he wanted.  And much more.


  1. Wow incredible story. As a father I felt daylees hurt for his daughter and also felt his rage. I know that if that was my daughter, I too would want justice. I assume this is a true story and that's police chief Nakamura as mentioned. I'm not usually a reader but I was captivated by this story,and simply couldn't stop til I reached the end.its almost 2am and probably won't be going to be any time soon. But mahalo nui and I'll be seeing you soon, now more than ever I want to go on a tour with you guys. Aloha