Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 13, 2021

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2021 #79


The two-story apartment building toward the end of Pupukahi street was fresh and brand new even for the early 70s'. It's where I lived when Kikaida first made his appearance.

It's where I first heard Roberta Flack over the stereo telling everyone about the time when she felt like making love. My eighth-grade neighbor upstairs is the one who introduced myself and Kevin Priest to Sister Mary Elephant on a 45rpm on behalf of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong. Leeward Drive-Inn had the best saimin along with the greatest greasy french fries ever made on God's green earth. The large coca-cola with the right amount of crushed ice is what completed the whole deal. I could eat that combo all day and night if I had my way. I was at the end of my sixth-grade year in nineteen seventy-four at Waipahu Elementary School. My class was on the second floor of a building that faced a graveyard. It was obvious that the school was built around the cemetery. At random times during the class sessions, we would hear the steady drone of the school bell, which meant that it was a fire alarm and that everyone was required to exit their class and either gather out on the sidewalk on Waikele road until we were given the all-clear. More often than not, those fire drills turned out to be false alarms. Finally, the janitorial and office staff realized that it was the sound of someone tossing pebbles at one of the school alarm bells with such timed consistency that it seemed like the alarm was going off. But, who was doing it? Who had that kind of skill and that kind of time to kill? One morning in the middle of her first-period social studies class, a teacher on the second floor of my building by the name of Ms. Teshima sat at her desk while her students took notes from the blackboard. She happened to look out the door, where she could see the graveyard on the other side of the chain-link fence. Pebbles appeared out of thin air, lobbed in a large arc heading straight toward the school building. It began hitting the alarm bell one after the other. Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Ms. Teshima was hard as nails, very strict, very unsympathetic, had a voice that you did not want to hear above a certain decibel. When she shot up out of her chair, her seat went backward and knocked over the bookshelf behind her. Simultaneously, she pushed her huge desk away from her with such force that it slammed into the first two rows of students who were sitting at their own desks. It was her gasp that startled us, but it was her scream that scared us so badly that most of the girls began crying. From where I sat, she obviously saw something outside the door because she was pointing at it. A few of us ran to the door, and we saw it too. Phantom pebbles manifesting out of nothing from the graveyard, hitting the alarm bell right outside our classroom door, with metronome timing. Ping! Ping! Ping! My entire class freaked out, and school was called off for the day. What no one expected was that every single teacher-student whose classroom was located in the two-story building next to the graveyard would begin to experience the same thing at home, the steady sound of pebbles being tossed at the windows of their homes and apartments. My classmate Troy Sugiyama was especially freaked out because he lived on the seventh floor of the Waikele Towers. How could anything happen that high up? But happen it did. The noise seemed to follow Troy no matter where he moved about in his apartment. It would make the same sound in the elevator and along with the road signs whenever he walked to and from school. His parents called an Odaisan who told them that Troy and other kids from the same school building went to the graveyard one early morning before school started to play around. They began gathering pebbles and summarily tossed them at all the headstones. What has happened now was spirits in that graveyard got their revenge upon those kids who disrespected their eternal peace and quiet. I was the only one who was unaffected because I never get to school that early. I was always at Leeward Drive-Inn having my breakfast of saimin and french fries. 

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