Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 16, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #45

 The 2006 Dodge Charger sat in the 7-11 parking lot facing Fort Weaver Road. The four occupants were waiting for the forty-eight number bus to make a stop just past Karayan street.

The arrival time of the public transport behemoth is at five on the money. The four occupants wear their standard coat and ties, each sporting black Salomon tactical boots on their feet. You never know when you might have to run and how far. The driver, the youngest of the four, sat patiently, going over the stock market reports on his phone. The oldest sat in the passenger's seat, re-lashing the hilt of his blade. The second oldest sat in the back seat practicing his breathing exercises through meditation; the third rambled on about having to re-weld the frame on the car that they usually drive. "That's why I don't understand why we have to use Junior's car? No offense, Junior, but the Cadillac is our car, that's our signature!"

"That's why we're not using it today," Jose replied. "We can't take the chance that our contract will recognize the car and fly off again. If that happens, who knows? It will take years before we find her; I mean, look how long it took to track her from Kīlauea to Fernandez village? And thatʻs from Kauai to here."

"Yeah, I didnʻt think about that," Manny replied. 

"I chose Juniorʻs car because it can maintain top speed for miles, and thatʻs what we need," Jose spoke to all three of his brothers now.

"Chasing her is going to make her fly off; we have to surprise her before we strike," Junior said while still going over the stock reports on his phone. "She has been able to evade us for this long; sheʻs not stupid. We canʻt give her a second to think."

The three older brothers looked at Junior for a second, and then at one another. "Anyway, if we stick to the plan," Oscar began.

"Yeah, and do what weʻre supposed to do," Manny chimed in.

"We might be successful," Jose concluded. 

The brothers paused again and looked at one another, before playfully punching and messing up Juniorʻs hair. "Hah, hah, very funny."


4:46 pm

"What technique should I use?" Oscar asked his brothers.

"How about the keep your dick in your pants technique?" Jose deadpanned.

"Yeah," Manny nodded. "Last time she almost cut it off,"

"Eh, Iʻm not the same person I was back then, I can handle now," Oscar waved them off.

Junior turned and sat sideways so he could see his brothers. "Thatʻs another thing, sheʻs beautiful and cunning. She does whatever she can to get out of situations like this. The four of us are red-blooded Filipino-Hawaiians; how do we protect ourselves from that?"

"Just remember," Jose pointed his knife at his younger brothers. "This fucking bitch killed our only sister; we protect ourselves by remembering that."



The forty-eight number bus pulled up to the stop with all the collective swirling dust behind it. The front and the middle doors opened, letting out a smattering of young people. The rest were older Filipinos coming back from a day of shopping but mostly from work, some from the hotels, some from downtown state offices, and others working the various markets in town. The contract got off with the last small group; she seemed to be making conversation with a few of them as they walked past the Zippyʻs parking lot and headed toward the 7-11. She was tall and very dark-skinned. Her make up was flawless, and her hair was as dark as the color could be. It framed her face and fell around her shoulders. She wore a multi-colored blouse, tucked into a pair of fitted acid-washed jeans. On her feet were a pair of Puma sneakers. Her nails were a shade of blood-red and expertly manicured, and she carried a wallet-sized purse on a large gold plated chain over her shoulders. Her smile was stunning, and it did something to people who were not ready for it; it entranced them to the point of being dumbfounded. 

"She still canʻt fucking dress like a normal person," Oscar snorted. 

"Thatʻs cause sheʻs not a normal person," Manny reminded him.

"What name is she going by now?" Jose nudged Junior. 

"The same one she used in Kīlauea, Norma Reyes," Junior replied. 

The brothers watched as one part of the group dispersed and went into the 7-11. The rest said their good-byes and walked back to the Zippyʻs restaurant. That left Norma with a younger Filipino man who walked arm in arm with her past the Hele gas station. Junior fired up the Charger once they turned on Renton road. When he bought the vehicle around the corner, Norma and her companion walked to the right on Kikoʻo street; then, they immediately turned left on Imelda. The two met while boarding the bus just across from the state capitol. Norma began the conversation and found out that the young man named Troy Salas lives not more than three houses away from her. She skillfully kept the discussion on Troy's subject and nothing else; each time he revealed something about himself, Normaʻs smile became more extensive and brighter. Before long, Troy handed over his wallet and credit cards to Norma. When the bus finally let them off on Renton Road, she promised to take him to her house, rewarding him for his sudden kindness. The two walked so closely together with Troy being enraptured by Norma that their feet became entangled, and they both fell to the pavement. Norma was back on her feet in a second, both were laughing at their clumsiness. With the strength of ten men, she pulled Troy up from his prone position with no effort. He was surprised for a second, but then he laughed as if it were all a joke. The timing was perfect; it was all that Junior needed. He pressed the pedal to the floor, and the Charger jumped forward from zero to forty in no time. Focused on her next victim, Norma had no clue about the impending danger that would seal her fate. Junior plowed the Charger right into the woman, positioning the vehicle at the right angle to make sure that she tumbled under the tires.

Coming to a screeching halt, the Rizal brothers emptied the Dodge and went straight for Norma. Each of them was armed with what appeared to be knives but were the barbs of stingrays. Even before she could right her broken bones, the Rizalʻs were already on top of her. The brothers were relentless, stabbing her again and again; with her last ounce of superhuman strength, she pushed them off long enough to stumble away. She coughed up blood while her opiate wounds sizzled and smoked. The brothers removed their blades and set to dismembering her, the head went first and then the arms and legs. Jose delivered the last strike, separating her upper torso from her lower half. They quickly gathered everything in a body bag and stuffed it in the trunk of the Charger. The brothers stood at the car and regarded the neighborhood; people were only peering out from their curtains; no one dared come forward. Troy Salas, the almost boyfriend-victim, sat on the sidewalk's edge, with his arms guarding his face. Jose approached him and helped him to his feet, "You alright?"

Troy pulled away and took a couple of feeble swings at Jose, "Leave me alone!" He ran the rest of the way down the street until he reached his house. Jose got in the car, and Junior sped off until they were back on the freeway. No one in the neighborhood called the police; they were all from the same province in the Philippines. The rumors persisted for years that an Aswang lurked among them, who it might be was always the unsolved question. For the Rizal brothers they followed the one that killed their only sister on Kauai in the village of Kīluea. 


  1. ...oops, is this post mis-numbered, since the previous one was also #45?

  2. One was a re-post, this is the regular story for that day