Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 31, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #61


There was a kid in intermediate school that we called Frankenstein because he looked like the resurrected monster from the movie. His actual name was Irwin Ching, pronounced as eye-rin, everybody just settled on Frankenstein.

He stood a whole six-feet three inches tall, and his parents dressed him up in a different colored denim jacket and jeans every day. To complement his ensemble, he wore a Doug Henning shirt underneath. Google it, you'll see. He wore construction boots for shoes, and if you haven't already figured it out by now, Irwin was in a particular class that separated him and his classmates from being a part of an average intermediate level like everyone else. Irwin was a sweet kid, gentle, and kind, and he wouldn't hurt a fly. Not on purpose. Of course, this made him a target for the assholes who hung around the wood and mechanics shop. That would be John-John Mendoza, Scott Rodriquez, and Troy Matthews. They did stupid shit like daring him to kiss any girl who they pointed out. Irwin would run clear across the courtyard and grab the unsuspecting girl in question and plant a wet one her cheek. The assholes would yell and cheer Irwin on for his task until the girl in question returned with a teacher or, worse, Mrs. Lindsey, the principal. Originally from Waimea on the big island, she grew up alongside her paniolo father, uncles, and brothers. When she was not yet, twelve years of age, she could already skin a pig, and she was a sure shot with a rifle. By stature, she stood almost as tall as Irwin; she was big-boned and wide of frame. Everyone, students, and teachers alike feared her in one way or another. 

Once they saw her coming, John-John and his friends took off running. "No sense run John Mendoza!" Mrs. Lindsey shouted. "You and your friends either show up in my office, or I'll show up at your house, up to you!"

John-John and the boys never showed, so Mrs. Lindsey made good on her promise and appeared on the Mendoza family doorstep later that afternoon. A meek appearing couple came to the front door and were surprised to learn that their son's school principal had come to see him. "He's at St. Joseph right now, he's an altar boy. I think there's service for one of the parishioners who recently passed."

"Altar boy?" Mrs. Lindsey scoffed. "That's a surprise."


Surprise of all surprises the following morning Mrs. Lindsey walked into John-John's homeroom class and yanked him out the front door by his shirt collar. John-John struggled and screamed and even managed to get off a wild swing at the principal. Adeptly, Mrs. Lindsey slipped the punch and landed a short stinging jab to John-John's kidneys. She dropped him like a ton of bricks on the wooden walkway outside. "You think I'm afraid of boys? I grew up fighting my brothers and uncles."

John-John and his two malcontents got themselves a month's suspension from school. In the meantime, something happened to Irwin that day when he planted that first cheek kiss on Sherrie Valdez. Irwin noticed the softness of her skin and the natural musk that permeated from somewhere inside her clothing. It made him tingle and ache in his pants, and he wanted more of it. The only trouble was the teachers in his particular class; there were five of them, and they always seemed to be everywhere at once. All it took was a moment of distraction for anyone of the teachers, and Irwin would quietly slip out of the classroom un-noticed. He'd hide out in the girls' bathroom and wait until someone walked in. Then he'd grab them and try to kiss them even though he didn't know how to kiss the way you and I know how to. The screaming always caused alarm and brought everyone running; that's how they'd find Irwin. Mrs. Lindsey usually let the special ed class figure out their problems independently, but Irwin was getting to be a school problem. The principal stepped in and insisted that Irwin have an assigned Male adult with him at all times.


A month later, John-John was back in school but without Scott and Troy. After citing John-John as a bad influence on their two boys, Scott and Troy's parents transferred them to 'Ilima Intermediate School. John-John was on his own. He mostly stayed around the wood and mechanic shop and didn't socialize unless he had to. During his English class one day, John-John got a bathroom pass and headed to the smaller facilities near the science building which was on the opposite end of the campus. John-John liked it because hardly anyone ever used that bathroom, and it gave him a sense of peace while he took a piss. The stream of micturition was in full flow as it echoed off the porcelain urinal. He took a long deep breath as the chicken skin washed over him, his eyes were half slits as he exhaled. That's when he noticed movement from his peripheral. He couldn't determine if it was a shape or just a shadow. Whatever or whoever it was, it was in the farthest stall in the corner. He heard moans and soft murmurs at first and then a kind of tense grunting noise. The stall door slowly swung open, and Irwin emerged. He finished zipping up his jeans and buckling his belt. Ignoring John-John, Irwin walked past him and left the bathroom. "Frankenstein," he mumbled behind him.

Looking back at the open stall, John-John saw a pair of bare feet. They were large adult feet; two hands brought down a sock around the left and then the right foot. There was hesitation suddenly, whoever was in that stall, realized that they weren't alone. There was movement afterward. John-John felt that whoever was sitting in that stall wouldn't come out until he left. Knowing that he'd just came off a month's suspension and didn't need any more trouble, he left. Whoever was in there was not worth being expelled.


You'll understand the confusion at this point when I tell you that not less than a week later, John-John Mendoza was found dead in the tall grass behind the mechanic shop. But let me go over the week before Mr. Woods found John-John's body. After the bathroom incident, students began to tell their parents and their teachers about a strange dream they all had. Can you imagine an entire student body of a school and community collectively having the same dream? In it, they saw John-John Mendoza standing in front of the classroom. His complexion was gray, and the color of his usual bright clothing was drab charcoal. His hair was soaking wet, and the life had gone out of his eyes. In the dream, the students said that John-John removed a hunting knife from his jeans pocket and stabbed himself repeatedly in the sternum. Black blood spewed everywhere, but John-John wasn't done. He drew a sharpening stone from his other pocket and began sharpening the hunting knife on it again and again. In the dream, it made a ringing sound that not only hurt their ears but blinded them with sparks shooting out from the blade. John-John removed his clothing and began to skin himself alive, right down to the bone. The students woke up from the nightmare shrieking in mad fear and horror. Their parents could not console them. It would be hours before they went back to bed. A week later, when John-John's body turned up, it was flayed and filleted in very much the same way his fellow students saw it in their dreams. His killer was never found.

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