Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 1, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #30

 In the dream, I was among a throng of shoppers at Kahala mall, all of them lumbering aimlessly with their heads down.

They were faceless, each and everyone—the store owners and employees who worked at the businesses that were always familiar to me, wore a visage of formless flesh. That was the only difference. "What the hell is going on?" I said out loud. The faceless mob stopped dead in their tracks (no pun intended) and cocked their heads to one side. They heard me, and they all came rushing toward me, surrounding me, pushing in on me from all sides, reaching out to grab at me, to tear at me, to rip me to shreds. I woke up screaming. No cold sweat, just screaming until I was hoarse. I guess that's what happens when you eat a full steak meal before you go to bed.



I remembered that I had to get to Radio Shack before they closed down. I couldn't miss out on the sale. There was a pair of cool walkie talkies I wanted to get a hold of, the ones with the wireless head mics. An hour later, I sat gleefully with my purchase while at the same time enjoying my cup of little pretzel hot dogs. The mall was crowded for a Monday, but all I could think about was trying out the walkie talkies later. It's the simple things in life that give us joy that makes us thankful for what we have and where we are. Oh boy, looking at my watch, I saw that it was nearly noon. I had to get home and take care of some online business. I was parked upstairs just above the eight-plex; I found myself hoping that the elevator wouldn't be crowded because I hate walking up those stairs. No luck, a crowd of people was waiting for the elevator, begrudgingly I took the stairs. I heard the cart moan in the way that my father used to do whenever he had to lift something heavy. The sound caused me to look toward the glass elevator, and that's when I saw her standing just behind the shoulder of a security guard. Her hair was long and colored in a rich lacquered black; I could make out a white something she wore. I couldn't tell if it was a dress or a blouse, but the white seemed to be clinical, almost sterile, like her face. She didn't have one.

I rushed up the stairs to meet the elevator, half wanting to make sure that what I saw was real, and half not wanting to see something that would scar me for life. By the time I'd decided to give up the foolishness and go home, the elevator doors opened, and the people came walking out. There she was! She wore a floor-length hippy style white dress, her black hair went down past her knees, she was heading toward the Barnes and Noble bookstore. I rushed up past her, armed with my phone, ready to take a picture. To my surprise, she had a face, a full round face with full cheeks, brown colored eyes, a hooked nose, and a half-smile. "Idiot! What are you doing?" She shoved me out of her way and kept walking. Shit, where did she go? I ran to the other end of the parking lot and took the escalator that comes down to where the downstairs bathrooms are located. I got a glimpse of her heading toward it. She stopped suddenly, and with her formless face, she looked up in my direction. There was a pause for a second, and then she turned and walked back in the opposite direction. I followed her past the toy store and past the sushi place and the theaters. She walked briskly down the hallway toward the bathrooms and stepped into one of the entrances. Being uncertain as to whether she went into the family bathroom, the women's restroom, or even the men's bathroom, I had to make a quick decision. My immediate thought was the men's restroom; no one would think to find her there. I was wrong. The door to the family bathroom burst open, and she came rushing out like a bat out of hell. She grabbed me by the throat and pushed me up against the opposite wall. She was too strong; I couldn't push her off of me; every time I tried to counter her grip or break away from it, it only made her add more pressure. "Tell me how to get back? You were here last night, and you nearly got killed, but I helped you get back here to your world. Tell me how to get back to mine!"

Too much pressure, way too much, I blacked out. When I woke up, I was sitting in the front row of my own funeral services at the Diamond Head Mortuary. Apparently, my body was found down the hallway from the theaters. Someone had crushed my larynx and killed me. The strange thing is that there were evident finger marks around my throat, but there weren't any fingerprints. Whoever she is, she isn't a faceless ghost, just a being from another strange dimension. Even in my ghostly form, I see her now and again at the mall, desperately searching for a way back to her formless, shapeless world.

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