Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Apr 21, 2020

Black Betty

Two cold hands clasped Betty around her ankles. She was in a deep enough sleep that she had an awareness of the sensation.

The hands slowly pulled her body over the edge of the bed until her feet touched to the cold tiled floor. Juxtaposed to the otherworldly occurrence, the world outside went on while the cold hands slid up the inside of Betty's nightshirt. They cupped her breasts and Betty exhaled a deep guttural moan as the hands moved inside her underwear from the front and back. The cold hands had already removed a single pant leg of Betty's pajama bottom. It was hard and was going to enter her from behind when Betty suddenly adjusted herself and turned over. That's when she saw it and let out a horrific scream. It didn't have a face yet, it was almost as if it hadn't decided what it wanted to look like. It's cold hands covered Betty's mouth to silence her, but Betty's feet lashed out, and she kicked it hard in the sternum. It gasped as it went tumbling off the bed. At the same time, Betty sprinted out of her bedroom. She was too overwhelmed with fear to notice that she was only dressed in her nightshirt and panties. Standing in her driveway, Betty cursed herself out loud when she realized she'd forgotten her phone.


It wouldn't be until sunrise when she finally went back into her home.


Betty went through her usual routine at work, receive the customer's payment, thank them, and wish them a good day. The older customers always had a son, a nephew, or a friend that she would match perfectly with. All she could do was smile graciously and admit that her schedule was too busy for a committed relationship. Usually, the proposals for a fix-up was just making conversation. That is until Betty met Derek and Ruth Moran. They were a perky late-middle-aged local couple who were always smiling and happy. They paid their bill on time, or if they knew they were going to be out of town, they would pay extra toward the next payment period.

"You know you can pay online, right?" She once told them.

"Oh, we know," they replied. "But everything is internet and online, there's no person to person connection anymore. That's why we always pay in person so we can meet nice people like you!"

Now and again, the couple would bring Betty a box of malasadas or cocoa puffs from the bakery. They were just those kinds of people who were genuinely lovely and thought about the welfare of others. That's what made it difficult for Betty to see them today. Their countenance was bleak and stoic, and she found herself thinking of what she might say once they walked up to her window.

"Hi guys," she smiled as best she could.

"How much?" Derek spat.

"The same as always, seventy-five fifty," she replied.

Derek grunted and gave Betty the exact amount. Printing up the receipt, she handed it to Derek, who took it and walked away. Ruth, however, reached under the plastic window and squeezed Betty's hand hard. "It's a horrible thing you did to our son, I hope you're happy with yourself! Ronald loved you, and you just dumped him like rubbish!"

Derek grabbed his wife and shooed her away, all the while glaring at Betty before they left through the double doors. Everything happened so fast that the security guard had no time to react when he saw the deep gouge marks on her hand.

"Oh shit," he hissed.

"It's alright," Betty reassured the security guard. "I've got a first aid kit."


Ronald Moran was the apple of his parent's eye. They were doting parents whose world revolved around their son. When Derek and Ruth proposed to fix Betty up with Ronald, she was more than willing to accept, considering that Derek and Ruth were charming people. Every new relationship has its honeymoon period, so it was for Betty and Ronald. Although Ronald had a well-paying job with the state, he still lived at home. He was tall, handsome, he dressed well, was athletic, and drove the latest sports car. He wanted nothing monetarily, but there was one glaring problem. He'd been given everything, and everything was done for him his entire life. That made him spoiled and incapable of doing anything for himself. Coming to this realization, Betty realized that she was Ronald's girlfriend as long as she gave him sex; otherwise, he expected her to be like his mother. When she called off the relationship, she assumed Ronald would throw a tantrum, but to her surprise, he said, "Okay, I guess."


It was Ronald's parents who would later beg Betty to take him back, they even offered to pay her, but she politely refused. She never imagined that they would react to their son's break up the way they did. It was like she'd actually broken up with the two of them instead of Ronald. 

During her lunch break, Betty received a call from aunty Pua who lived in Kāneʻohe. Aunty Pua was Bettyʻs only relative since the passing of her own parents many years ago. Although the two did not speak quite often, a phone call from aunty Pua always made her day better. 

Except for today.

"Hi, Aunty! How are you ?" Betty exhaled as she sat back in her chair.

"Betty, has anything strange happened to you lately?" There was great concern in her voice.

"Uh," Betty replied, not expecting the question she was being asked. "Yeah, there was something last night. Why do you ask?"

"What was it, Betty? What happened?" Aunty Pua asked with urgency.

"Huhmmm, it felt like someone was trying to have sex with me; I woke up, and someone was laying in my bed, my pajamas were halfway off," Betty recalled.

"Did you see who it was?" Aunty Pua asked.

"No, it was like the face didnʻt form yet, but it was trying. Does that make sense?" Betty asked.

"Betty," Aunty Pua began. "Go home right now, and whatever was given to you within the last six months, burn it. Someone is cursing you with an evil spirit that will have sex with you every night, but what itʻs actually doing is draining the life out of you until you die."

"How do you know Aunty?" Betty was shocked.

"I saw it this morning during my prayers to our ʻaumakua, they showed it to me. Do exactly as I say and do it now, Betty! You know what, I will meet you at your house, but donʻt go in until I get there, okay?" The phone went dead. Betty left her office and went straight home. On the way, she had already made a mental list of things sheʻd acquired in the last six months and could only think of one item.


Betty waited ten minutes before Aunty Pua drove up in her ninety-six Thunderbird. The tall Hawaiian woman stepped out of her vehicle and hugged her niece tightly. "Do you know what you have to throw away and burn?"

"Yes," Betty replied nervously. "Itʻs upstairs."

Betty and her aunty took the stairs to the upper floor of her home and went straight to her large bedroom. Pua watched as Betty walked to the nightstand next to her bed, where she removed something from her drawer. "This is kind of a shame aunty, but itʻs the only thing Iʻve received in the last six months or so."

Betty held something behind her back and seemed hesitant to show it to her, "No need be a shame, just show aunty. Itʻs okay."

"My ex-boyfriend Ronald traveled a lot, so he gave these to me so that it would keep me busy while he was away. I, uh, I kept it after we broke up." Betty sheepishly held out a pair of small steel balls in her palm. They were connected to two wires, which joined a single one, which was itself attached to a lower rectangular switch with an on and off button. "I always wash it after."

"Donʻt be a shame," replied unfazed by what she was seeing. "Itʻs your ex doing this curse, this is how he is still connected to you. Of course, his parents might be hūhū with you, but not mad enough to put a curse on you. They just love their son, thatʻs all."

Pua took the device from her niece and prayed in Hawaiian for a minute. When her eyes opened, they were bloodshot red. "Come stand behind aunty," she urged her niece. Betty went with no hesitation and watched as her aunty squeezed the steel balls in her hand. A pitched black smoke spilled out from between her fingers as did licks of a red flame. The smoke formed into the guise of Ronald Moran, whose pained face seemed to be begging for mercy. Pua opened her palm and clapped one hand on the other. A thundering explosion went through Bettyʻs house and shook everything to its foundation. Itʻs the last thing Betty remembered before she woke up on her couch downstairs. Aunty Pua sat her up and gave her a small glass of Ti leaf milk to drink.

"It tastes like shit, I know, but it will give you your strength back," Pua smiled. "Okay, all pau. I still have to go grocery shopping. You take care now."

"Wait, aunty," Betty stopped the older woman. "What happened? How come I got affected?"

"The curse I sent back to your ex, but you were affected too since you kept using that thing he gave you," Pua replied.

"Oh my god, so shame," Betty put her head down in embarrassment.

"What you do in your own home is your business," Pua remarked. "Besides, it's all dust now, there's no need to worry."

"What about Ronald?" Betty was curious.

"Too bad for him, he doesn't have balls made of steel, so his balls are going to be useless for quite a while." Aunty Pua winked and left her niece to recover.

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