Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 28, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #33

 "We've talked about this before," my father told me in his best fatherly voice. "You've been warned so many times? Is it going to take someone's death to wake you up?"


"It's just racing," I replied in my best dumb, uneducated son's voice that I could use. "It's Campbell industrial park, who knew that cops go there to park and hide? I didn't."


"Stop with the illegal racing," he waved his finger in my face in the way that most fathers do when they're trying to get their point across. I, of course, had to play the role. "All right, Dad, I'm sorry." What I meant was, "All right, dad, you're sorry. You're as sorry of an excuse for a father that there ever was."


He handed over the keys to his second hand Silverado with instructions. "You are punished. You can't drive your Acura for six months, so get used to the Chevy." I let out a big sigh of resignation to my situation, coupled with a big 'fuck' under my breath. "If I find out, you're racing the truck, and you get busted for it, Matthew? You can consider yourself and the world you live in to be completely fucked. Here's a preview." He had trouble removing his pleather belt from his pant loops; by the time he got the belt undone and had it wrapped it around his hand, he had worked himself up into a feverish state of anger. I thought he was going to hyperventilate. The lashings came from all sorts of different angles, overhead, from the side, across. He was so mad that he wasn't sure where he wanted to hit me; it didn't help that I was wearing a thick jacket. To make him feel better, I put my arms up, acting like I was protecting myself from the alleged beating. That only pissed him off more. Then I fell to the carpet and rolled back and forth while he continued to lash me. "Fucking stay still!" He screamed. Finally, I timed one of his overhand strikes so perfectly that as it came at me, I put arms down and let the belt hit me flush across the face. The sound made such an impact that it stopped him dead. "Oh shit, Matthew," he gasped. 


I got up and walked out of the house without a word. I was already in the truck, purposely driving slow as I left. I knew he had followed me out, and watched as I took off. The quiet departure was meant to throw him off since he expected me to burn rubber and speed off. 


~


40 MINUTES LATER


I parked in front of the 7-11 in Waipio, we're drinking energy drinks and munching down chips, musubi, and Kaki-Mochi. Everyone is amazed and shocked at the long angry red welt across my face. It extends from the left eye and down to the right side of my chin at an angle. I picked everyone up from their homes first before we made a pit stop for junk food fuel. "Shit, your dad fucked you up," Danillo tried to touch the mark, but he decided against it. His girlfriend, Sherry, chuckled, "Shit, you should see the welts on my ass when my stepdad used to beat me, my mom didn't do shit."


"Yeah, that's why you're all in therapy and shit," Danillo kissed her on the cheek.


"That's why I'm all psycho with my daddy issues," she cooed in his ear and then stuck her tongue in it.


"So gross," Linda groaned. "At least my issues are health-related."


"Well," I began. "Just stay healthy long enough so we can get married and have kids, then you can die."


"Fuck that," she squealed. "I'm not leaving our kids behind so that they can get beat up by your father too!"


"Okay, okay," I gave Linda a hug and a sloppy kiss. "Danillo, you guys hop in the back, and we'll go cruise somewhere."


"Shoots! We go!"


~


15 MINUTES LATER


We spent so much time dicking around that I didn't realize how dark it was. Danillo and Sherry were in the truck bed having fun, whooping, and hollering. Linda and I didn't say much; occasionally, she'd look at the welt on my face and shake her head. "You should stop torturing your father and move out."


"I know," I replied.


"Then, why don't you?" Her scoldings were always gentle, but she meant what she said.


"I'm all he has," It wasn't a lie; he'd be lonely and broken. However, if I got him a punching bag to take my place, he might be good.


"You have me too," Linda rubbed the back of my neck. She suddenly took account of where we were heading, but it was too dark for her to see anything beyond the headlights. "Uh. where are we going?"


"The Cemetary," I gestured ahead of us. 


"Mililani Cemetary?" She was taken aback for a second before a smile slowly came across her face. "And why are we going there?"


"To see Jesus," Linda looked back at Danillo and Sherry, who were heavily making out at that point and giggled. 


Once we pulled up in front of the infamous moving statue, Danillo lost his mind, but in a fun way. Well, it was fun for me. "Hooohhhh! What the fuck are we doing here, Matt-chew? You fucking crazy or what? No fucking play around, brah!"


"Relax, brah," I tried my best to calm my childhood friend down. "I just want to see if the statue is gonna move." Unlike Danillo, Sherry loved it. She was excited to see if the statue would step off its pedestal and take a walk around. Danillo wasn't having any of it; he jumped in the back of the cab and pulled Sherry in with him. "We ain't sitting back there."


I reversed the truck until it faced the Jesus statue directly; I put my high beams on like the urban legend said, and then we all waited. The only thing that happened was that an overconfident security guard drove up in his sissy wagon and told us that the Cemetary was going to close in ten minutes. He began to ask us for ID, registration, and insurance. With no response to his request, I put the truck and gear and drove off. I looked in the rearview mirror, and I noticed that the security guard was in hot pursuit of us. Those little golf cart things don't get much in the way of speed, I felt sorry for him, so I slowed down.  I gave him just enough distance so that he could get within a car length of the truck. He was beeping his little horn and shinning his flashlight in my mirrors in an attempt to blind me, maybe. However, things changed when he began throwing little LED flashlights at the truck. As much as I lacked respect for my father, I couldn't let some want to be but never was cop damage the Silverado. "Hold on!" I screamed. 


When I was sure that everyone had braced themselves, I slammed on the brakes. The truck came to a skidding stop, a second passed, and I waited in anticipation for the mini thud of the golf cart as it hit us from behind. 


Nothing. 


Danillo and I got out and ran behind the truck expecting the worst, or at least to get a laugh at the security guard's expense. Nothing. No golf cart, no security guard, just nothing. "He was right behind us; you saw it, right?"


Danillo nodded, "Maybe he turned around and went back right before you hit the brakes?"


"Even if he did, he would have rolled that thing," the silence was eerie, and I had a strange feeling that I couldn't explain. 


"We go already, Matt-chew," I could see that Danillo felt the same thing that I did.


~


LEAVING THE CEMETARY


We had to explain the details a few more times before the girls finally understood. No one was there; the security guard was gone. After arguing semantics, Linda and Sherry just wanted to return to the main road. "What the fuck is that?" Sherry whispered from the back seat. "Babes," Danillo cautioned, "no fuck around, I'm already scared."


"No," her tone was the most coherent I've heard for all the years I have known Sherry. Usually, she's ditzy and only speaks in bubbles. "Somebody is following us."


"What do you mean following us?" I could only see the back of her head looking out the rear window.


"Is it the security guard?" Linda wanted to be sure. Danillo refused to look.


"No, it's somebody, a person. They're running after us; they're almost catching up,"  I looked in the rearview mirror first and then the side mirrors. She was right; someone very tall and slim was running after us. I couldn't make out any specific features, but he was gaining. I sped up to forty-five, plowing through the dark road with a purpose. If anything, it was to ease the tension in the vehicle.


"That should do it," I said while I turned the radio on.


"Nope," Sherry disagreed.  "He's almost right behind us."


Danillo finally looked and began screaming, Linda joined in, while Sherry gave us the blow by blow. "He's running up to your side Matthew,"


"What do you mean my side?" I couldn't bring myself to scream; it wasn't who I was. While I let my father beat me, I learned that pretending it hurt even though I was two feet taller and broader than he was, gave him the confidence he lost after my mother left us. But it also taught me to remain calm in tense situations.


"Your window," Sherry turned and pointed at me. 


It wasn't human; it was a faceless shadow, tall and thin. I estimate that it was at least ten feet tall. I sped up to fifty, and it kept up. I increased the speed to sixty, and it didn't waver. Finally, it backhanded my window and shattered it into a million pieces. It reached in and grabbed my shirt, bunching up the material in its hand, it ripped the fabric right off of me while I was still wearing it. I jammed the brakes and brought the truck to a sliding halt. The shadow thing ran up ahead of us, not expecting me to do what I did. It came to a tumbling stop. Without a second to waste, I laid the pedal to the floor and headed straight toward it. The shadow hadn't gotten to its feet yet when I ran it over. The truck hit it full force, and it went flying a few feet ahead of us. I didn't stop; I couldn't. The second it hit the pavement, I brought the truck right on top of the shadow. It went tumbling under the wheels. Danillo screamed with manic fear, "KILL IT! KILL IT! KILL IT!"


"RUN IT OVER AGAIN!" Linda screamed. "WE HAVE TO BE SURE!!"


"Again," Sherry said calmly. "Otherwise, it will never stop coming after you."


"You mean 'US,'" I corrected her.


"You," she corrected me now. "You're the driver."


"Why because I made the security guard run into us?" I was angry now.


"There was never a security guard; it's been the shadow the whole time. It just wanted us to leave; it was only trying to scare us just enough so that we wouldn't come back and do anything more stupid. Then, you tried to hurt it; now it's mad, so you better kill it."


I made sure I got a good view of the shadow and reversed the truck on top of it. I pressed on the gas and brake simultaneously. I didn't have time to drift, so I let off on the brake and applied the gas, watching in the rearview as the shadow shred into pieces and disappeared into the smoke. 


~


LATER AT THE 7-11


I think we were shell shocked. There weren't any words we could exchange or anything we could say regarding what had just happened. The super gulps and mana pua with a side of musubi served as a substitute for our conversations. After it was time to throw our rubbish away and have me bring everyone home, Sherry looked at Danillo for almost a minute. "I have to go to more therapy or something. This whole experience, I don't know, I have to deal with my issues."


"Yeah," Danillo repled. "For sure, babes, can."


"Back to our miserable fucked up lives, huh?" Linda shrugged her shoulders. 


"I think it's time for me to move out," I grabbed Linda's hand in mine. "The old man will just have to make due," her eyes flew open wide, and she tilted her head to one side as if she were looking at someone she didn't recognize. "For real, I'm serious."


"Even though you might outlive me with all my health issues?" Tears balanced in her eyes, ready to fall at any second.


"You'll outlive me; then you'll marry four, five more times before you finally die," I kissed her on the forehead and held her close.


"You wish asshole," she pinched my love handles and made me jump.


~


HOME


I had to walk around the Silverado; to make sure that there weren't any nicks or scratches. Shit, the tires! Dammit, I'll make up some lie and pretend to take a beating for it. I walked in through the sliding doors on the side of the house, and I could smell fried eggs. Unusual, considering it was just 11:30 pm on the clock. "Calling it a night already? On a Saturday?" By the sound of his voice, my dad seemed to be in a mood for conversation. I could use a chat right now, especially with an adult. I love Linda, Sherry, and Danillo, but sometimes I feel like I'm talking to kids. 


"Yeah, it was kinda dull, and you can only drink so much soda and eat so much junk food," I groaned, feigning boredom.


"Have a seat then," he replied. I walked into the kitchen and saw that the ten-foot shadow had my father like a ventriloquist doll; it had its long taloned claws dug into the back of his skull. "Pull up a chair," it used my father's voice. "Let's talk." It let out a wicked laugh that shook me so badly that I began to piss in my pants. "You can't pretend that it won't hurt this time, because it will."



4 comments:

  1. I’ve been to that area many of times. My dad is resting to the right of the statue if you’re facing it. I’ve gone there late at night. Mainly to visit with my dad or to leave him food and or beer.

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