Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 8, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #53

 If you have never had cold fried chicken in the morning, you don't know what you're missing. I take mine with a bag of Ruffles and a nicely chilled bottle of Pepsi.

Probably not the healthiest way to start the day, but there could be worse ways to alleviate a night of otherworldly trauma. Uhhhhh, where are the green olives? I know that's a lot of sodium, but a nicely soaked vermouth olive on top of a crisp ridged potato chip is heaven! Kristy appears from the living room and helps herself to a hot cup of coffee from the maker. Daryl, who is too frazzled to give a shit about his keto diet, brings out the massive jar of pickles from the fridge and joins me at the table. Kristy snuggles up to Daryl and dips a chip in her coffee cup and stuffs the whole thing into her mouth. I shoot her a severe look of concern, and she shrugs her shoulders, "What? You two are eating all that shit, and I can't soak a chip in my coffee?

"I don't judge," Daryl says with his mouth full of pickle and cold fried chicken.

Kristy reaches over to the plate and grabs a drumstick. For a second, she considers dipping it in her coffee but changes her mind. Daryl gets up and retrieves an open jar of kimchee from the fridge and places it in front of him. Our forks converge simultaneously as we all skewer pieces of cabbage and quickly bite into it. The three of us eat in silence, knowing that the question is still lingering.  "Who is going to tell her?"

Imagine the horrible damage we're doing to ourselves when we complete our early morning meal with whiskey shots? It's not for the sake of getting sloshed. It's the anticipation that I will be the one who gets nominated to tell her. "It's because you're the oldest," Daryl mumbled through the stuffed food in his mouth.

"People tend to accept bad news from an older person than somebody like me and Daryl, who is the same age as her," Kristy confirmed.

"Plus, the fact that we're eating her food," Daryl nodded.

"But who knew she'd have our favorite bad foods?" I shrugged.

"An even more valid reason why it has to be you," Kristy smiled. 


It's a two-bedroom home that saw several transitions from its plantation-era corrugated tin roof to a modern shingle motif. Planted crabgrass took the place of the red dirt which surrounded the house. The only thing which didn't need fixing or trimming back was the mango tree, which was purposeful. She baked the best mango bread.. I kept that in mind as I approached the back room where she knelt on the floor with only a towel wrapped around her. The tears fell quicker than she could wipe them away; she carefully undid one part of the towel and dabbed the material on her cheeks.  "Mindy?"

She turned her head in my direction to acknowledge me. "It's not fair; I'm not ready for this."

"No one is ever ready," I agreed. "I have to be honest; I'm not sure how to help you?"

"It sounds ridiculous, but I feel like the fates are against me like they purposely took everything when it was the most inconvenient; please don't say there's a plan or a lesson to all this because that is absolute bullshit!" she sobbed.

"What else could it be?"

"Poor planning, and stupidity, and wilfulness because of ego. All typical bull-headed male traits that serve no purpose in the end except to hurt those who care! " She was exhausted and frustrated.

"I'm sorry, Mindy," I put my head down, not knowing what to say.

"What good is your apology to me? Do you honestly think that will fix everything and make it better?"

"No," I replied quietly.

"Please go, Jace, it's easier to look at your dead body on the floor in front of me than to see your ghost. Your ghost only confirms that you're gone, and it hurts too much," the tears fell on my jacket and pooled ever so slightly until it ran down the side of my sleeve. It's disconcerting in a way to look down at your own corpse. My face is still purple from choking on the chicken, chips, and kimchee, which I had stuffed in my mouth. It just sucks that Mindy had to find me that way. I was in the middle of channel surfing on the TV when I died. I went back to the kitchen and joined the ghosts of Kristy and Daryl, the house's previous owners, who also died while choking on food. "It had nothing to do with me being older," I told them.

"We had to convince you some kinda way, better it came from you than a couple of ghosts that your wife doesn't know,"

"I suppose you're right," I nodded. "Can you pass the Kimchee, please?"

1 comment:

  1. Daaaam i luv kim chee... really can't look at it the same again