Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 22, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #39

 .......continued from story #41

The Hawaiian couple sat silently together while sipping awa from a thermos. The two seemed to be aware of everything and everyone while only looking at one another.

It's the first thing Marcelo noticed about them on the day they appeared. He saw them a minute before walking into the store; they were standing at the foot of the Robert Wilcox statue, marveling at it as if they had witnessed the second coming. Something about them was different from the rest of the homeless; they weren't downtrodden or strung out. They were too bright, too full of the life that should have destroyed them like the other homeless people. A pang of hunger filled their eyes, a thirst to be quenched. It made Marcelo feel uneasy, but today was the day he was going to approach them. "Immediately after work," he told himself. "Go straight to where they sit, no right or left turns, make sure you call home to let them know you'll be late, make sure."


8 Hours Later

Marcelo clocked out precisely at five in the afternoon and made a beeline for the store's front door. He missed the fact that the Hawaiian couple was sitting in the same place, in the same position he had seen them in the morning. He also missed the fact that not a person among the homeless population sat in front of the two playing Konāne. The clue which should have been the most obvious to Marcelo was that the Hawaiian couple had waited the whole day to meet him. "Hey," Marcelo was not aware of social cues or protocols. "Iʻd like to play Konāne if youʻre playing today."

"Iʻm Ouha," the Hawaiian man extended his hand. Marcelo didnʻt take it but continued. "Youʻre supposed to shake a manʻs hand when he offers it to you," Ouha said, mildly irritated.

"Itʻs, alright," the Hawaiian woman gently scolded her husband. "Iʻm Mālama, Ouhaʻs wife." She extended her hand to Marcelo and then took his hand in hers and gave it a firm grip. Marcelo pulled it away and shook it, "Why did you hurt my hand?"

"I apologize; I sometimes donʻt know my own strength," Mālama smiled. "You had a question?"

"It was a demand, not a question," Ouha interrupted. 

"Stop," Mālama shushed her husband. "Please, what were you going to say?"

"Iʻve noticed you two here playing Konane all day and night but only against the homeless. I guess they got disinterested because thereʻs hardly any of them around. I want to play against you; Iʻm pretty sure I can beat you. " Marcelo said.

Ouhaʻs hand shot out and grabbed Marcelo by his shirt and pulled the boy between himself and Mālama. He was so small and so slight of build that he practically became engulfed between the Hawaiian couple. Ouha opened his mouth wide to reveal a row of razor-sharp teeth. "We just want to scare him, my love," Mālama reminded her husband. "We have to be cautious; we canʻt kill him in public,"

"Whereʻs the fun in that?" Ouha growled.

"Just a nick then," Mālama looked around; no one seemed to notice. 

In a flash, Ouha bit off Marceloʻs left ear and swiftly removed an old blanket from his bag and wrapped it tightly around the boyʻs head. The Hawaiian couple quickly walked away from the bench and crossed King street, eventually disappearing into the scenery at Aloha Tower.

Marcelo would have bled to death had it not been for a security officer happening by. Eventually, after all of Marceloʻs manic screaming, not only from the pain but from the trauma of what he witnessed, he calmed down enough to identify the couple and their names to the police. "So," the police officer began while trying to maneuver around the nurses at Queenʻs hospital. "Some big Hawaiian homeless guy bit your ear off?"

"Not a Hawaiian homeless guy, heʻs part shark! I saw his teeth!" Marcelo insisted. 

"The awesome thing, Mr. Mercado, is that thereʻs witness who verified your description of the Hawaiian couple. Just not the part about the guy having sharks teeth," the officer confirmed. "Thanks for your co-operation! Get some rest!"



The owner of the old shop on Smith and Marin street recognized the knock on his front door. There was no grace or courtesy to it; it was forceful and demanding. If they were the gods they claimed to be, why didnʻt they manifest out of thin air like the others before? "We have to be cautious at every turn," Ouha answered after reading the shop owner's mind. "Everyone is hyper-aware of everything these days, so my wife and I must move as every human moves,"

Mālama stepped forward and grabbed the shop owner by his collar and dashed him to the floor, "Youʻd do well to keep your thoughts to yourself; your life may depend on it." The shop owner slowly brought himself to his knees and prostrated before the Hawaiian couple. "I forgot myself, e kala mai iaʻu."

Ouha and Mālama walked past the shop owner, whose name they never bothered to learn. The back of the shop was a bare floor with a rusted old iron ring bolted to it. Ouha grabbed it and pulled it back to reveal a dark maw that led to an even darker abyss. The Hawaiian couple took the ladder, which was maintained, repaired, and replaced by the previous shop owners through the decades. It went down into an old lava tube that was rumored to be where King David Kalākaua personally oversaw the influx of opium. Reaching the bottom, Ouha and Mālama turned on their flashlights and found the rotting corpse of old Alan Mitchell. "You go ahead and feed," Mālama told her husband. "Iʻll have my awa and uala for now."

Ouha stepped on what was left of Alan Mitchellʻs chest and reached down to grab the corpseʻs mangled arm. With one jerk, he pulled the arm away from the torso and began to feed on it. "What harm could be done if everyone knew we existed?"

"At first, weʻd be worshiped, idolized, and loved. Itʻs a society where murderers are protected more than the ones they murder, so itʻs perfect for us," Mālama seemed to agree.

"Well, then?" Ouha shrugged his shoulders.

"For us to exist, people need to believe in us. Our people have survived all these years under the yoke of another god," Mālama began, but Ouha cut her off. 

"Someone somewhere believes in us because here we stand," 

"Indeed, here we stand," Mālama held up her thermos of awa and took a large swig.

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