Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 1, 2021

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2021 #60


My brother was the one who got all the attention from my parents growing up because he was always in trouble.

Even from a young age, my folks had to rescue him from school for one reason or another. It got so time-consuming for them that it seemed like they forgot that we were their other children. Trevor wasn't a delinquent, nor did he have behavioral problems. Trevor saw ghosts. The ghosts he often saw were attached to the teaching staff or a student, and there was always a message or a comment from the dead. Analisa, our sister, understood the situation, but she always reminded my parents to not put our life as a family on hold for this one thing. That fell on deaf ears. At some point, my parents realized that what they had on their hands was the means for us, or them, to get out of our current financial situation by selling off Trevor's penchant for seeing and speaking to ghosts. It went gangbusters. Trevor quickly went from appearances to local media audiences and then to a national audience. In no time, the offers came for screenplays, documentaries, and Trevor's own talk show. It was overwhelming for our parents and Trevor, but for myself and Analisa, we stayed at home with our aunty Tricia, our father's oldest sister.  The three of them would fly home for a couple of weeks, and then they'd fly off somewhere again. Analisa and I bore the brunt of the teasing and bullying in school because Trevor was our freak brother. Luckily, our aunty Tricia nipped that problem in the bud by walking up to our main antagonizer Creighton punching him square in the sternum and dropping him like a bag of rice. No one messed with us after that. 

Whenever Trevor was home, he was obnoxious and very mean to Analisa and me, so we'd either lock ourselves in our rooms and ignore him, or we'd make it a point not to be around when he was home. If the notoriety went straight to Trevor's head, it was directly because our parents let the whole experience change who they were. Sure, they moved in us into a much bigger home in an affluent neighborhood where we went to a good private school, but what was the point of it all if they were never around? When they were around, aunty Tricia always brought them up to speed on what was going on in our lives, but one day they poo-pooed her and told her they didn't want to hear it right then. Aunty Tricia went off the deep end and told my parents in no uncertain terms to go fuck themselves. The next day, she went to court and claimed both Delta and Buchteira Olivado to be unfit parents. With all of her documentation, she would win the case and gain full custody of myself and Analisa. 

By the time Trevor was fourteen, he was an alcoholic hooked on DABS and a slight snort of cocaine every now and again. In addition, our father was involved in an affair that he failed at hiding while my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive case of breast cancer. Because of his addiction, Trevor began losing his edge, and he couldn't quite communicate effectively with the ghosts that came through to talk to him. Finally, when he was fifteen, Trevor couldn't deal with the fact that his career was over. No one wanted anything to do with him. My parents were too useless to do anything for him. They couldn't even bring themselves to hold Trevor and console him. Instead, they blamed everything on him. That same afternoon, our youngest brother went to a freeway overpass and timed the traffic flow down to the nano-second. Choosing a parcel delivery van that traveled at the right speed, Trevor jumped and was obliterated on impact. He probably didn't feel a thing.


Our brother's services were a pure shit show. Thousands of people who never knew him, grieving as if they were related to him or worse, crying all over my parents. As fucked up as the whole thing was, Delta and Buchteira ate up the adulation and drama. They couldn't help it. It was another opportunity to get themselves back into the good graces of the media. In fact, during the eulogy, my father claimed to have changed his wayward ways so that he could be with my mother and pray to rid her of her cancer. "It's what Trevor would have wanted," he claimed. Other people who we had never seen before got up and spoke about Trevor like they'd known him all their life. Fuck asses. The time came for the last viewing where everyone said their last good-bye and kissed more ass to my folks. I asked aunty Tricia if the three of us could be last? She agreed. I told Analisa that she didn't have to go up if she didn't want to, but she was right there beside us. I couldn't even recognize our little brother when we saw him lying there in the casket. His face was bloated, and the dark circles under his eyes made him look comical. I felt a hand on my back, and when I glanced behind me, it was our father standing there with his arms open, waiting for a hug. He grabbed me before I could step back, his arms wrapped around mine so I couldn't push him away. Instead, I whispered in his ear, "You killed my brother, you may not have done it yourself, but you drove him to it." He recoiled away and looked at me. "Get the fuck off me, now."

"How can you be like this, Ernesto?" He pleaded with me like he was perfectly innocent. "Your mother is dying of cancer, did you know that? You didn't even say hello to her!"

"You can both go straight to hell," I spat at him.

"Ernesto!" He cried for effect. "We're family. We have to get past this and forgive each other!"

"You bring Travis back the way he was, whole and undamaged. I'll forgive you," I replied. "But since we know that's never going to happen, you know what you can do with your forgiveness."

We couldn't stay. We had to leave. Otherwise, I would have ended up killing the old man. 

The media remained through all the high drama and right down to the graveside services and burial. Our parents made a big show of it that the reverend had a hard time giving the prayer at the grave. It wasn't until it came time for Trevor's casket to be lowered to its final rest did the real production take place. The heavens pealed relentless bolts of lightning and thunder while the torrential rain soaked everyone. Then as if on cue like an old Vincent Price movie, the lid to Trevor's casket flew open, and Trevor himself rose out and marched right up to where my parents sat and hiked them over shoulders and threw my father into his casket first with my mother second. Trevor stepped on them both to keep this still before he finally lay on top of them sealed the lid shut. The casket rattled so harshly that the straps ripped away, and it fell six feet into the dirt. Immediately, the sound of thunder shook everything with such ferocity that the pile of dirt vibrated from where it sat, making it pour into the grave, covering Trevor's casket all at once. The unforgiving rain turned the dirt into mud, making it impossible for my parents to be dug out in the nick of time. They perished from suffocation. I guess Trevor had it all figured out and saved me the trouble.

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