Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 20, 2021

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2021 #72


I regarded the elder woman for a second, scoffed, and walked away. I caught a brief glance of the foot and vehicle traffic on Kalākaua before I took a left turn at the lobby. Halfway past the concierge desk, I stopped dead in my tracks.

I turned around and made a beeline back to the courtyard. An elderly woman was there, but not the one who claimed to be Avarice Woodlawn. That in itself was impossible. I met Avarice when she was sixteen through a time slip in a dream, not in real life, but in a dream, for fuck's sake. It wasn't real. It was the machinations of all my cerebral memories during the day, combined with a chicken sandwich that was twelve hours old, and boom! You have a dream about a time slip through which you meet a random haole family in Nu'uanu. None of that was real. I let that ruminate for a few minutes while I walked back through the lobby and to the elevator that would bring me to our room. There was something in the dream that Nancy Woodlawn said that suddenly came back to me. She mentioned that she was the one who sent the time slips to fetch me back to her time. Could dreams also be time slips? By the time that realization came to me, the elevator door had opened, and I was on my floor. The suite was teaming with family noises, the adult kids, the grandkids, the big screen tv, and my wife instruction our daughter and daughters-in-law on the finer points of making a good SOS. 

"Everyone's going down to the beach in a while to watch the sunset," my wife said. "I thought you and I could watch it from the balcony. What do you think?"

"That's a great idea," I kissed her. "I have to take a nap first. I think there's some time, right?"

"Of course," she smiled. "I'm gonna help the babies get ready."

I retired to our master bedroom, where the air conditioning was set at just the right temperature. Crispy cool. The sheets were of that fine texture where it felt like diving into a pool of fresh spring water where it's just cold enough to wake you up but not send you into a state of shock. I don't even recall closing my eyes. I was just suddenly in my dream. Nancy Woodlawn sat at the foot of my bed, but not the one in the suite, but the one in my home. "I figured out that dreams are also time slips."

I was off my bed in a second and standing on the rope-throw rug on the floor. The feeling of the sennit under my feet that I was used to wasn't there. Alright, good. This IS a dream. "So, you just time slipped yourself into my bedroom?"

"I time slipped into your dream in general. I didn't know that it was going to be in your bedroom," she replied. "This is your dream, after all."

"What do you want, Nancy?" I was very brusk.

"You've seen Avarice, haven't you?" She asked.

"Yes, but it's impossible because we met in a.." I stopped.

"In a dream about a time slip," she confirmed. "I'm going to embed the address of my home by whispering it into your ear. You'll remember it the second you wake up. Write it down somewhere and then go to the location. There's some kind of portal on my property a hundred feet behind the pool house. Find it, and then through that time slip, find Avarice."

"That's a tall order," I scoffed. "Even if I do find everything you tell me about, including Avarice. What am I supposed to do after that?"

"Kill her," Nancy said. "Kill her and do it quick, don't waste any time."

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