Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Dec 30, 2020

Reservoir Reservations

 In the early days of Leilehua High School during the 1920s, wild rumors circulated that a strange creature in a stream near the school attacked a small group of neighborhood kids.

The claim was that it grabbed one of the kids and began to drag him into the water; the rest of the group came to their friend's rescue and saved him by pulling him out of the water. There was a bit of a tug of war, but finally, the friends of the horrified boy prevailed. The frightened kids described what they saw to the adults as a child-sized creature with green scaly skin. It had a turtle-like beak and shell on its back. It also had webbed hands and feet, except that the hands had no thumbs. Its eyes were as black as coal as if it had no soul. It reeked of rotten fish and kept passing gas incessantly. However, its most unusual feature was a depression at the top of its head filled with water.

This creature was the stuff of folklore from Japan; it was a kappa or river child. So how did something like this mythical creature make its way to Hawai'i? The Kappa can also take on the guise of a human being as it is known to be a shapeshifter and has an appetite for human entrails. Could it have arrived here with the other immigrant workers from Japan? Could it have eventually found its way to the nearest body of water once it settled in the plantation camps and survived unnoticed? Whatever the case may be, rumor also has it that, once it was found out, the Kappa left the small stream near Leilehua High School and eventually found its way to the Tanada Reservoir here at Dole Plantation.

Kyle Watanabe was eight years old when he sat with his bamboo fishing pole at the Tanada Reservoir, not caring so much if he caught much fish; he just needed a place to be alone and think. On this particular morning, as Kyle watched his fishing line sink into the water, he heard a sound on the south side of the reservoir. Looking up, Kyle noticed his friend and classmate, Glen Nohara, emerge from the tall grass on the other side of the pond. Kyle stood up to wave at Glen and say hello, and that's when he saw it. It was standing off to Glen's left; it was slightly smaller than Glen. At first, he thought it was a little boy, but it wasn't, not really.  If no one were looking for it, they wouldn't have seen it because it blended into the surroundings. The only reason Kyle saw it is because it moved and, before he could figure out what it was that he was looking at, it sprang forward and tackled Glen Nohara into the reservoir. Poor Glen never knew what hit him. Kyle jumped up on his feet in shock. Save for the ripples now undulating across the vast pond; there was no sign of Glen or the thing that attacked him. 

A moment later, red blood spread out on the water, and Glen's body bobbed to the surface. The entire contents of his chest and stomach floated in front of him. His eyes were frozen in the horrified gaze of someone who had just seen the devil. 

Whatever it was that attacked and killed Glen Nohara was gone.

It wouldn't occur to Kyle that the high-pitched sound he'd heard, the one that pierced the quiet Wahiawa morning, was, in fact, himself, screaming. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this new section to your website. Wonderful story.