Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 28, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #3

...Continued from yesterdayʻs story

 It's chapter thirty-nine of Queen Lili'uokalani's book, and it goes without saying that I'm pissed beyond words. I feel bad for even using the word 'pissed' because of how dignified and noble her language is.

It's like I just swore in front of my mother or grandmother. Some of the people in her circle were the ones to betray her. The same jerks who forced the bayonet constitution on her brother King David Kalākaua had offices within proximity of one another. Still, they also had their own spies in both the kingʻs circle and, like I already said, in the Queenʻs circle too. The game's major players are already known to history, Dillingham, Thurston, Cooper, and even though he was not directly involved, but still had hands as dirty as the others; Sanford B. Dole. They even went so far as to plant a cacheʻ of arms in her garden at Washington Place, accusing her of storing weapons for the revolutionists who were trying to restore the monarchy after she abdicated the throne. The queen paid for it and was imprisoned in the ʻIolani Palace for eight months. Thatʻs not even the knife in her back until the blade breaks off. As if the betrayal couldnʻt get any worse, Sam Nowlein, who helped Robert Wilcox in the counter-revolution, turned stateʻs evidence against the queen. At the queenʻs trial, the government lawyers presented testimony from Sam Nowlein saying that the queen knew a rebellion was being planned. Thatʻs who Iʻm looking for, Sam Nowleinʻs descendant. 



Everyone in the warehouse is freaking out over the grease like footprints all over the floor. Itʻs only the left foot and a large one at that; I took out a tape measure, and if Iʻm not mistaken, itʻs a size twenty. Management reviews the video footage in the warehouse. No evidence of anyone planting the left feet footprints as a prank is shown. Itʻs almost as if the left feet footprints magically appeared while everyone was working. Those footprints lead not through a wall or up the ceiling; they lead straight to the warehouse manager's office door. We follow it, and we see the door ajar and the lights on.

We hear choking and gagging; everyone is almost afraid of what they might see. I reach forward to push the door open while everyone stands behind me. It silently swings back to reveal the office manager on the floor, her legs kicking out wildly. Standing over her is a massive human-like shadow with its hands locked around her throat. The warehouse staff watches in horror, but even before they get a chance to scream, the shadow snaps the warehouse managerʻs neck and leaves it at a grotesquely sickening angle. She was still young, only in her late twenties, with a full life ahead of her. She was a single mom with three kids; the manager job helped get her on her feet. She was living with her mom, who was up there in years, in exchange she helped pay the bills and cleaned and cooked. During work, she had a baby sitter who watched her kids. The shadow turned in our direction; my warehouse workers abandoned me and went shrieking into the store. The shadow and I made eye contact; it sneered at me before it disappeared into a puff of black smoke. What the fuck was that? 

I canʻt still explain what made me run to the back entrance where the time clock was mounted on the opposite wall. I ran my fingers through all the time cards until I came to the one that belonged to the warehouse manager. We all knew her as Samantha Smith. Even though she was divorced, she kept her exʻs last name for the sake of her kids. Her time card says different. The lip-smacking warehouse managerʻs full name is Samantha Nowlein Smith.




Security had tightened up in the last six months. I guess theyʻve been expecting me. That tells me how much they didnʻt know about me before hiring me to carry out their contract. One of my favorite scenes from the Chinese Connection is when Bruce Lee disguises himself as a frail old man handing out newspapers in front of the enemyʻs headquarters. He returns in another disguise later on as a goofy telephone repairman. Both disguises are very convincing, and the Japanese never figure out that itʻs him until itʻs too late and very fatal. I shaved my head and grew a beard without trimming it. I got myself a state job as a maintenance engineer, which is another word for Janitor. I kept my head down and did whatever they asked of me without complaining. That kind of thing makes you dependable in the eyes of your supervisors. Itʻs important that you gain their trust. Today Iʻm headed to the conveyance office; security must have given me six different checks and even more pat-downs before they finally let me through. They were young local boys and girls, which meant they kept apologizing the whole time. At one point, they agreed that they should forego the pat-down and let me through, but I insisted they do theyʻre job in case they got in trouble later. In the end, I thanked them and reminded them that their parents and grandparents would be proud. I won them over with that one. 



The conveyance office supervisor was in the middle of a meeting with three other men who occupied seats on a couch that was more for business rather than a place for kicking back and relaxing. He was mildly irritated when I stuck my head in the door, "Empty your ʻōpala, sir? If not, I can come back later."

"No, no," he replied. "Might as well do it now."

His name was Ellis; his Hawaiian features showed more through his Caucasian face than his missionary blood. He and the other businessmen paused on their discussion, waiting until I emptied the wastebasket into the clear plastic garbage bag in my cleaning cart. I returned the wastebasket to its place next to Ellisʻs desk and bowed to them before heading to the door. I locked it and then positioned my cart under the doorknob at an angle to secure the door. I removed the Baretta 92FS handgun with a homemade silencer from my inside pocket. I turned to face them until they finally looked my way. I shot the three men right where they sat; they didnʻt have a chance to protest or plead for their lives.

 "Why did you send another contract to do the job you hired me for?" I asked Ellis. 

He was doing his best to remain calm. "You have a history of moral ambiguity; it wasnʻt personal; I just had to be sure. I mean, you still got paid, thatʻs good, right?"

"Reading the Queenʻs diary was a distraction, which means you already had a spy at the warehouse who knew who I was, but something must have happened, something that didnʻt give them enough time to set me up for the death of Samantha Nowlein Smith," I was close, but no cookie yet.

"You knew him, you gave him love advice, and he ended up killing himself on the job," Ellis confessed. "I didnʻt see that coming; thatʻs what I get for contracting out to the young ones."

I put a bullet in his left shoulder just to wake him up, but I wasnʻt done yet. "She was a good girl, she wasnʻt perfect, but she was trying!" I put another bullet in his bicep to emphasize my point. "She had kids and an elderly mother!" One more in the left shoulder. 

Through his tears and groans of suffering, he still wasnʻt able to formulate words; until the pain was too great. "I was trying to right a generational wrong!" He finally screamed. 

I removed a vial of dark liquid and forced Ellisʻs mouth open. I poured the contents down his throat and held my gun to his eye until he swallowed it. "This is asafoetida, itʻs used in witchcraft to erase the memory. You will forget that any of this ever happened."



Iʻm not sure what I would have done if and when I finally figured out that Samantha Smith was the target, especially with what I knew of her. Ellis was right; it probably would have been a case of moral ambiguity. Who knew that mousey, nerdy Damien Sherman was the other contract for hire? Being young, I guess he hadnʻt yet built up his immunity to the heart's emotions; thatʻs the number one thing that gets a contractor killed, if he doesnʻt end up killing himself. Overall, I got to learn a bit of history about Queen Liliʻuokalani. Who knows? I might have been more useful to her then than I am now. Things might have turned out differently. 



  1. Would have been nice to have a caption explaining the photo. Its queen Liliuokalani in front of Iolani palace I'm presuming. Lovely picture

  2. I read a story about Queen Lili uokalani, her ghost rode her carriage every night in the driveway of the museum, as she did every day in the driveway of Iolani Palace. I am outraged by the injustices done to her and King David. I feel a lot of compassion for her. I wish she could find peace in the next plane of existence. Poor lady.