Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 20, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #72


Maylen Borner sounds like a strange name, but it's also a name you can't forget once you hear it. That name burned itself into the memories of our population twenty years ago.

Maylen and his girlfriend, Phoenix, nearly starved his eight-year-old daughter to death by securing her to the pipes of the bathroom sink with a pair of zip ties. Phoenix left the front door ajar to their two-bedroom apartment on Kinau and Ward avenue one afternoon while taking the trash down to the rubbish bin. A plumber happened to be on his way to fix a nearby unit sink and saw the emaciated little girl in the bathroom. He alerted the police, and they liberated Terina Borner from the clutches of her father and his girlfriend. It's twenty years later, and Phoenix Collins is still in lock-up in Arizona. Maylen got out for being a model prisoner and showing exemplary good behavior. 


When people call and ask for a blessing, routinely, it's for various reasons, ranging from having just purchased a brand new house or business to fearing that something in said place might be amiss. In whatever circumstance, I oblige their request and do my best to fulfill their demands and alleviate their fears. Monday of earlier this month was like any other request. The house in question is in an affluent area in Mānoa. Fronted by a large lawn and a roundabout driveway, it was the classic southern plantation style home for which the valley is known. A man emerged from the front door just as I pulled into the driveway. He was about my height but a lot more trim. Enthusiastically he walked toward me with his hand extended and gave me a vigorous greeting.

"Iʻm Doblin, thank you so much for coming; you could not have come at a more opportune time!" 

"Anything to help," I replied. "Iʻll get started, and Iʻll be back in a few minutes."

"Iʻm sorry?" He blinked his eyes and smiled uncomfortably. "What does that mean youʻll be back in a few minutes? I donʻt understand?"

"Iʻm going to begin blessing your house," I replied. "Youʻre more than welcome to follow me."

"Of course, I must follow you," he gushed. "You can see how costly this house is? I couldnʻt let you wander around alone and take the risk of something going missing, right buddy? Gotta watch those inherit gene traits that give people like you sticky fingers."

My first instinct was to kick him in the nuts and then kick him in the face while he lay prone on the roundabout driveway pavement. My second instinct was a roundhouse punch to his kidneys and a knife-edged kick to his knee cap. Any knee would do, left or right. Third of all was the quickest way to end it, a straight punch to his sternum. Not too hard because it could kill him, but hard enough to make a lasting impression. Of course, I had to consider getting sued, so I did the smart thing. "I think you should find someone else to bless your house."

I walked back to my car, and Doblin grabbed the back of my arm and yanked me toward him. All three instincts were on the verge of kicking in at any second. "Where do you think youʻre going?" Doblin laughed incredulously. "You were paid to bless this house and youʻre not leaving until you do it!"

"No one paid me anything," I replied calmly. "I never charge."

The shrill high girl like screams echoed down the lawn toward Oahu avenue as I picked Doblin up over my head and threw him on the wet grass that was newly soaked by the timed water sprinklers. Doblin got the wind knocked out of him, he struggled for air while his body curled up in pain, and his eyes teared up.

"Donʻt get up," I warned him. 

"Dob! You fucking dumb ass!" The voice was almost similar to that of my stupid friend on the grass.  Coming out of the home was a more robust version of Doblin. He made a beeline to his wet companion and yanked him up to his feet. Shoving him in the direction of the front doors, the man yelled, "Go in the fucking house, stupid!" 

Walking toward me know he shook my hand and apologized, "Iʻm sorry uncle, thatʻs my brother Doblin, heʻs a fucking idiot. He hates being brown, so he takes it out on other brown people."

"Well, he certainly does it in a very passive, aggressive, aggressive way," I replied. "Sorry, but he grabbed me pretty hard, and I just reacted."

"I saw everything from upstairs," the man replied. "By the looks of you, I knew Dob was pushing his luck. I tried to get down here as soon as possible, but no worries, uncle, nothing going happen. You think you can still bless the house?"

"Oh, are you the one that called for the blessing?"

"Yeah, Iʻm Maylen Borner," He put his hand over his heart. " I told Dob to look out for you and to call me once you showed up. But no, Dob had to play his stupid games and look? He got his ass handed to him."

He noticed my hesitation as I stared at him. Maylen Borner, who twenty-years ago nearly starved his daughter to death and now heʻs living in a plantation-style mansion in Mānoa? That explains his idiot brother. "Yes, Iʻm that guy who was on the news all those years ago, uncle, I understand if you donʻt want to bless my house."

"I know someone who can help you," I told him. "Iʻll have him contact you later this afternoon."

Before I got into my car, I offered him a word of advice, "You might want to get your brother some help. My friend, who Iʻm recommending to come and bless your house? Heʻs the most gentle soul I know, but heʻs just as brown as I am. Heʻs also a former Green Beret."

I looked in my rearview mirror as I was driving off, I could see a look of profound sadness on Maylenʻs face. Itʻs a bitch to have a record as a convict but add a self-hating brother who hates people who look like him? I canʻt be easy. 


Iʻm standing in the middle of a verified haunted house in Kalawahine. Shit flying all over the place, apparitions manifest at will, and disembodied voices can be heard very clearly by everyone in the house. Easy enough, itʻs a matter of removing all the layers to find out why these spirits are doing what they are doing. There are no demands for their departure from the home—more than likely, theyʻve been here long before the area was developed. There is no sprinkling of blessed water with the Ti-leaf; rather, itʻs a matter of finding out what the spirits want the living to do or not do? That way, the departed and the living come to an understanding. Easy enough, as I said earlier, but there is one thing that churns my insides. Itʻs this land thatʻs been portioned out to us Hawaiians on the homestead. The state has given us matchbox houses and has told us, "Okay, you Hawaiians. Hereʻs your homelands, you all play nice now."

Itʻs tough to bless places like this, places where Hawaiians live, because I feel their struggle, and I wish there were more that I could do than bless their home. My people deserve so much more. The family in this house offers food theyʻve made themselves as a hoʻokupu, gladly I receive it, and I am brought to tears. At the same time, I think about Maylen Borner and the sympathy that I wish I could have for him. Heʻs dealing with a lot more than just Doblin, heʻs coping with his past and the effects of his causes, immediate and long-reaching. I make my way back to my car, and I notice a familiar face among the collective twenty people who live in the house meant for six. The grandparents go through all the introductions of the adult kids, and the little ones. The bright familiar face is a young woman with a child of her own in her arms. The baby is beautiful and well cared for and spoiled. That makes me happy. The baby is introduced as Malia, her young mother, who is all of twenty-eight years old, was hanai into the family when she was just eight. Her name is Terina.

No comments:

Post a Comment