Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Dec 27, 2022

Lele 2022

 ...continued from yesterday

Horrified screams rose above the din of traffic and everyday life.

Dec 26, 2022

Pryor Kamaka 2022

Pryor Kamaka was a prodigy at his westside school and the hope for his family and community's future.

Dec 25, 2022

Rizals 2022

"We each have our own car, but the Cadillac belongs to Jose," Junior said while removing the soaked rag from the water bucket.

Dec 24, 2022

Dec 23, 2022

Rita 2022

Boy sat in the kitchen with aunty Rita peeling potatoes while she worked on the deviled eggs, which is one of his favorite dishes that Rita made.

Dec 22, 2022

ʻAina Awakea 2022

Uncle Tiny, aunty Rita, and Tabby were out shopping for the weekend stay at the beach house.

Dec 21, 2022

Sanjuro 2022

"This is an old game," Tabby frowned while looking at all the pieces on the papamū.

"I have no words of wisdom to follow that statement," Boy replied. "Some things need to be learned and absorbed without the need to speak."

Dec 20, 2022

Halāwai 2022 Part 2

 ....continued from yesterday

James Pilar sat in front of Boy's large Koa wood desk, with Benny Correia next to him.

Dec 19, 2022

Halāwai 2022

 The union boss and their cohorts always got the side room opened for them during one of their lunch meetings.

Dec 18, 2022

That Day 2022 Part 5 Finale

The guitarist slowly mounted his assault on the audience without knowing we were in for a battle.

Dec 17, 2022

That Day 2022 Part 4

 .....Continued from yesterday

Flamenco is passionate and bombastic, with its accompanying members lending incredible rhythmic claps to the guitar player who blindingly strums his six-string.

Dec 16, 2022

That Day 2022 Part 3

I can't recall what we ate that night at Kenny's, but whatever it was, it was secondary to the conversation Debbie and I shared over that late dinner.

Dec 15, 2022

That Day 2022 Part 2

 Continued from yesterday....

"Oh no, no!" I assured her. "I catch the bus all the time, no worry!"

Dec 14, 2022

That Day 2022

When you're in love, everything is filled with the electricity of it.

Dec 12, 2022

Dec 9, 2022

Dec 6, 2022

Dec 5, 2022

Lana 2022

It was a long day of learning to unravel the layers of things that affected our upbringing. Hurts, betrayals, heartbreak, unrequited love.

Dec 2, 2022

Moku 2022

 Soil soaked with human blood from battles, mass murders, and sacrifice does not wash away through rains or floods or a change in the lay of the land.

Dec 1, 2022

Hoʻokumu 2022

Saddle Road was laden with vehicles parked off the blacktop, with their owners either basking in all the glory of the red volcanic glow from Mauna Loa.

Nov 30, 2022

Nailed 2022

Naturally, they thought she was helpless and stupid because she was a woman wandering the aisles of the hardware superstore.

Nov 29, 2022

Lepo'ula 2022

Rust-colored dirt beneath my feet interspersed with flakey salt deposits.

Nov 27, 2022

Coffee 2022

Every morning, she'd sit there with a hot cup of coffee she would never drink, a breakfast she would only half finish, and a magazine she'd stare at without reading.

Nov 26, 2022

New Punk 2022

 The little cracked seed store in Ala Moana was never for a moment dull.

Nov 24, 2022

Kūkulu 2022

Men who work paving roads, filling in potholes, and other such labor have told me that they hate working late at night in the rural areas of ʻOʻahu. The vibe gets really creepy, really fast.

Nov 23, 2022

Manawa iki 2022

 It was humid, and I was rushing to get to my car, turn the a/c on and just sit there for a couple of minutes before heading to the drive-thru.

Nov 22, 2022

Trouble 2022

One never expects trouble even though trouble could be lurking about, waiting for an opportunity to make itself known and presentable when you least expect it.

Nov 19, 2022

1977 2022

There weren't too many places in Waipahu to park late at night and enjoy a dinner plate from Graces Inn with a jumbo-sized drink to wash down your mixed plate of shoyu chicken, Terri-beef, cone sushi, fried noodles, and corned beef hash.

Nov 17, 2022

Again 2022


Because of my uncle Thomas, my parents could buy the family station wagon at a good price.

Nov 16, 2022

Iwakaluakumaha 2022

On the 24th, Barry Kalaluhi waited in the small church in the warehouse district in Kalihi.

Nov 15, 2022

Kalina 2022

Empty space without even a residual echo of all the glory, life, heartache, and sadness imprinted into the very fibers of the floor, the twisted mesh of the screened windows, and the sturdy wooden pillars and beams.

Nov 14, 2022

Uncertain 2022

 She was the strongest person we knew; she held the ʻohana together after our father passed away.

Nov 13, 2022

Homeful 2022

Having these last few beers on the most beautiful day I've seen in a while was not easy.

Nov 12, 2022

Paʻakai 2022

My old neighbor was a Hawaiian mother who advocated using natural salt from the sea, for blessings, to salt meat, and for regular table salt.

Nov 11, 2022

Free Me 2022

 ...continued from yesterday

Between us were the kitchen counter and the rack of knives.

Nov 10, 2022

Nov 9, 2022

Free Again 2022

 ...continued from yesterday


Admittedly, it shook the core of everything I thought I was up until I met Merla in her dog and human incarnation.

Nov 8, 2022

Free 2022


There's something to be said about how the Las Vegas machine has everything big, bright, and in your face.

Maha'oi 2022

“I don’t even know if get fish in Manoa falls; I was the only one here this morning right at sunrise.

Nov 6, 2022

Five 2022

Can animals become ghosts or spirits after their body no longer lives?

Nov 5, 2022

Four 2022

 We encounter spirits all the time, not like how we see them in the movies but in real life.

Nov 4, 2022

Nov 3, 2022

Nov 2, 2022

One 2022

 The first time I saw a spirit, I became immediately nauseous after the experience.

Nov 1, 2022

Six 2022

I lurk around old memories, old feelings, and the nostalgia of peaking during high school and never being able to live beyond it.

#106 2022

 My life is like swimming in the shallow end of a pool, where I was too afraid to venture anywhere profound because I’d gotten used to the life that I was told I was supposed to have. 

Oct 31, 2022

Blaine 2022


My muscles are beginning to stiffen; soon, cramps will set in.

Oct 30, 2022

Die, Live 2022


As a kid, I used to ride past here with my father. It seemed seedy and antiquated back then as if all the dirty parts of its past cluttered itself in this one part of town.

Oct 29, 2022

ʻEke 2022

 On the side of the freeway, on the grassy median just under a lone guava tree, the leather bag came to rest after it was ejected from the over-customized Toyota Tacoma, which rear-ended the Hyundai SUV at ninety miles an hour.

Oct 28, 2022

Lloyd 2022

 Sitting on the library steps, I took in the night air and noticed the usual group of homeless near the front doors, tucking themselves in for the night.

Oct 27, 2022

Hoʻolauna 2022

 I am one of those people who does not mind eating in a public place.

Oct 26, 2022

Warn 2022

We all tried to tell him not to build his house on that land, but he accused us of being racists because he was, as he said, "A haole who owns a Hawaiian land."

Oct 25, 2022

Oct 24, 2022

Beneath 2022

The most deadly is when the pond is crystal clear because it lulls people into a false sense of security.

Oct 23, 2022

Bathory 2022

 "Don't come any closer," she warned. "You're just gonna end up like him and everyone else before him,"

Oct 22, 2022

Oct 21, 2022

Neko 2022

The old house at the end of 12th avenue on the Waikīkī side of the freeway was an excellent purchase.

Oct 19, 2022

Box 2022

 You know this story, not because it's an urban legend, but because it's real and it happened to someone who could be our friend, brother, cousin, uncle, or father.

Oct 16, 2022

Rua 2022

 I hate these occasions because they bring out the worst in people.

Oct 15, 2022

Mauka 2022

It was a sarong she wore for sure but not like the gaudy colored ones you find in some touristy shop off the beaten path.

Oct 13, 2022

Pele 2022

I am reminded of when we happened to be in Hilo, and we visited someone who was said to have pictures and video footage of himself and the goddess Pele.

Oct 12, 2022

Kaula Hao 6 2022: Pu ana.

 Abner did the smart thing by not only hiding in Tahiti but by acclimating himself to the culture and the language.

Oct 11, 2022

Kaula Hao 5 2022

The following day at 4 pm, shackled hand, foot, and hooded, Abner was taken to a horse-drawn wagon that seemed to purposely take every bump and hole along the way.

Oct 9, 2022

Kaula Hao 3 2022

Yet another month transpired before the princess appeared outside the jail cell, sitting on a stool.

Oct 8, 2022

Kaula Hao 2 2022

Nearly a month transpired before Abner could have visitors to attend to him and keep him company, if only for a short while.

Oct 7, 2022

Kaula Hao 2022

Abner Millet had no purpose after the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Oct 6, 2022

Road 2022

 Miles of the road this far seems like it will go on forever, and perhaps there won't be a conclusion.

Oct 4, 2022

Nalowale 2022

Bayer Kelea vanished one day while on his way to hike a trail in Moanalua valley.

Oct 3, 2022

Server 2022

Appeasement is why I went to the funeral of a person I didn't care for because this person was a burden to our family. Her name was Alena Seresto, the youngest of her family of thirteen and the most spoiled and least traditional Filipino in her family. Went to college on the mainland, married someone from Minnesota, divorced after five years, and lorded the wealth of her alimony over her sisters and their families. The rest of her older siblings had long passed, so whoever was left got the unwanted pleasure of her company. Alena passed in her sleep after a long bout with liver cancer, she suffered terribly, and in the end, she died alone. Even under those circumstances, I had no desire to attend her services, but my mother told me I would go out of respect for the dead. So, I went, but I sat in the very back. 

While everyone got up to speak and struggled to say something nice, I snuck off to the lounge, where the servers had already put out the food. Lots of musubi without the nori, just the ume, my favorite. Shoyu chicken, teriyaki beef, sweet-sour pork, regular rice, and fried rice. Oh yeah, what a spread. I asked one of the servers if it was alright to make myself and plate, and she told me to go right ahead. So when I was done, I found a table in the corner with just one chair, where I sat to inhale my meal and then leave. But not without saying goodbye to my mother first, of course. 

"What are you doing sitting here by yourself?" I heard a voice ask from behind. I looked up to see a young local Filipino girl pull up a seat and place herself directly across the table from me. Her clothing hurt my eyes. The top she wore was a long-sleeved black and white with broad black stripes, the collar was pulled up vampire style, and she wore capris with pleated pockets. The belt she wore wrapped around her waist and then down to where it wrapped around her right thigh. Her heels were too high, and she wore her hair in a strange bob. "Didn't you hear what I said? What are you doing here sitting by yourself?"

"Eating," I replied.

"No shit," her sarcasm was cutting like she would fight me simultaneously. Then, looking at what was on my plate, she remarked, "don't they have better food than this crap?"

I ignored her and kept eating. She let out a long, bothered sigh and began tapping her fingers on the table. First, out of boredom, but now she was doing it purposefully to get my attention. "What?" I looked up at her, very irritated. 

"You never answered my question," she said.

"I'm here by myself eating because I wanted to be here by myself eating before the crowd files in, and then I can't be here by myself eating like right now," my tone was even and unwavering, and I kept it that way so she would get the hint. "Anyway, are the services over in there?"

"Psssh, services," she scoffed. "It's more like bullshit; they all hater her; they should just say what's on their minds, assholes,"

"I didn't care for her myself, but if I didn't come to show respect, then my mom would be on my shit," I said. "Why are you are you here?"

"I don't have a choice either; I have to be here," she sighed. "I'd rather be anywhere else but here,"

"Go get a plate before the crowd files in," I suggested. "Otherwise, you're gonna be shit out of luck. You know what? You stay right there; I'll get your plate for you."

"Well, that's unexpectedly nice of you," more sarcasm. 

"The quicker you eat, the quicker I can be alone," I smirked and went to make her a plate of food. I came back, and she was gone. So, I ate her plate of food as well. When I was done, I returned to the services to tell my mom I was leaving. I saw my mother now seated at the very back where I was. By her body language, I could tell she was over it; she was more likely ready to leave herself. I also noticed that irritating girl standing up against the wall directly behind my mother. She clutched a picture frame close to her chest, crying bitterly as if her heart had been broken. Which is understandable considering the circumstances. She went to leave and walked past me, nearly running into me if I hadn't made room for her. What caught my eye was the picture frame she held on to; in it was an old-colored photograph of a young Filipino girl in the pink of her youth, dressed exactly the way this irritating Filipino girl was dressed. Before I could comment on the weird incident, my mother grabbed me by the arm and pulled me toward the front of the services. 

"At least go see your aunty and pay your respects," she hissed at me.

I didn't argue; I just joined the long line of mourners and offered condolences to my cousins, Aletta's ex-husbands, and their succession of kids. Finally, we got to her casket, which housed her body. Every piece of jewelry she owned was around her fingers, wrists, neck, and ears. Her burial gown was orange chiffon with puffy laced shoulders. One couldn't see her hair too clearly because her head was overwhelmed by her large Ms. Kalihi Industrial crown from 1982. My mother shed tears and told Aletta how much she loved her. After that, there was a table next to Aletta's casket, which hosted a bunch of pictures depicting her various accomplishments, one of which happened to be the picture that I saw the irritating girl holding on to. "That's your aunty. While attending fashion design school on the mainland, she also worked full-time. That's when she was the Aletta we all loved, but little by little, after each divorce, she changed."

How do I tell my mom that the Aletta in the picture was the same person I spoke to in the lounge and that she got on my nerves? How do I tell her it was the same person I saw standing behind her, not less than a few minutes ago, clutching onto a picture of herself? And then, why appear to me of all people who didn't even want to be there? Life is so strange, and there are so many things that are not explained, mysteries that we will never understand. Like tonight.

Oct 2, 2022

Polaroids 2022

 On my own at 19 years of age, I moved far from my little duplex hobble in Waipahu.

Oct 1, 2022

17 Days 2022

It's no secret that I have a very well-paying job, so I can't complain about the work conditions.

Sep 30, 2022

Fox 2022

One evening, a woman leaving a cruise ship decided to take a leisure walk about the pier and eventually into downtown Honolulu.

Sep 29, 2022

Kaʻao 2022

During a time known only to those who lived in the days of our ancestors were two brothers, Kua and Hiapo.

Sep 28, 2022

Only 2022

Being the only sick kid on the small property of four houses, two toward the front of the old dirt road and two toward the back near the river, gave me a lot of time alone.

Sep 27, 2022

Tuesday 2022

 What else is there to look at but blues skies, beautiful clouds, and green mountains veiled by misty rains?

Sep 26, 2022

Pani 2022

I stood back and watched my daughter kneel at her mother's grave at the Hawaiian Memorial Cemetery.

Sep 25, 2022

ʻIole 2022

 As stories like these go, a group of errant teenagers pooled their Venmo money together and bought an ouija board online.

Sep 24, 2022

Sep 23, 2022

Lei 2022

Lei can be woven of several particular flowers, ferns, and the like.

Sep 21, 2022

Sep 19, 2022

Sep 17, 2022

Sep 16, 2022

Kēia Mua Aku 2022

 During elementary school, I used to make fun of this girl named Dʻarby Kaholoiki.

Sep 13, 2022

Lita 2022

 Forty years have passed, yet the memory of it is as fresh as it was like it happened yesterday.

Sep 12, 2022

Māhoe 2022

 E-mails, text messages, and other messenger apps have been uploaded to my phone ad nauseum in the last few days.

Sep 11, 2022

Manawaʻino 2022

When she slept on her side, the curve of her body looked like the outline of the Mānoa mountains.

Sep 10, 2022

Kānewawahilani 2022

My dream revealed to me a massively wide ʻohia tree which also stood unimaginatively tall because of how it pierced the clouds.

Sep 9, 2022

Effort 2022

We worked at Coco's Coffee House back in the day when we were too young and too stupid to know better.

Sep 8, 2022

Sep 7, 2022

Hana Pa'a 2022

During the shutdown's first phase three years ago, a dear friend came down with Covid.

Sep 6, 2022

ʻO ʻoe 2022

Viewing an old video restored digitally with color added was a fantastic thing to see.

Sep 5, 2022

Live 2022

Years ago, a cat we loved named Cotton walked out of our home and never came back.

Sep 4, 2022

Kīlauea 2022

Filled with all signs of life, furniture, chairs, love seats, knick-knacks, and mementos, the home felt stark and void of life.

Sep 3, 2022

Light 2022

My Popo passed away toward the end of the hungry ghost festival last year.

Sep 2, 2022

Pā 2022

Congratulations were the order of the afternoon because of Selena's accomplishment in signing twenty new clients for their unique health care products at Hololmua Mana Power Drinks within fifteen minutes.

Sep 1, 2022

Dress 2022

 A speculative rumor said that the simple peasant dress belonged to a princess.

Aug 31, 2022

Aug 29, 2022

Aihualama 2022

The lush exuberance of lauaʻe lay across the forest floor like a finely woven makaloa.

Aug 28, 2022

'O wai ? 2022

 A five-acre property sat overlooking the waters of Honomū on the big island.

Aug 27, 2022

Aupuni 10 2022

Mom was a wealth of knowledge and very worldly, which to me, as her son, seemed out of character because I had never seen that side of her.

Aug 26, 2022

Aupuni 9 2022

"We're going to talk about noho," Mom began while peeling away the shells of her boiled peanuts which she placed in a separate hand-sized bowl.

Aug 25, 2022

Aupuni 8 2022

 Aunty Elena, mom's cousin, laughed uproariously and soon turned red.

Aug 23, 2022

Aupuni 6 2022

Tonight's lesson was about making my own salt, which I had no clue that one could actually make their own salt.

Aug 20, 2022

Aupuni 3 2022

Yandra, although not a member of the family, made herself worthwhile to mom in every way she could without being too much in her hair.

Aug 19, 2022

Aupuni 2 2022

The dawn of the early morning let its rays of still-rising light bathe the living room and the kitchen. I always liked it this way. This was a quiet hour before everyone began to stir in their beds, my brothers and sisters with their kidneys filled, knowing they had to come out of the excellent dream they were caught up in so they could relieve themselves and get on with their day. My mom sat in the far left corner of the living room on her rattan rocking chair, wearing her old bowling team shirt and quilt blanket on her lap. Physically, she was staring off somewhere, but mentally, her thoughts were filled with what she had to say to us once we were all awake and sitting at the table for breakfast. I walked over and sat at her feet on the freezing concrete floor. 

"Penny, for your thoughts," I said.

"Good morning," she smiled. "Your wahine must be fast asleep; won't she miss you if she finds you're gone?"

"She's fine," I assured her. "How are you?"

"I'm ok," she affected. "Can you please do me a favor, wash up and start breakfast? I'll go wake everyone up in the meantime."

While mom made her rounds, I went into the bathroom and did the routine: I washed my face, brushed my teeth, washed my hands, used the bathroom, and rewashed my hands. I woke Yandra up with warm kisses and pressed our bodies against one another. We made love quickly and promised to make it last when we were ready for bed at the end of the day. When I got to the kitchen, Mom had already fried the bacon and mixed the eggs simultaneously. I stepped in and took over for her, to which she smacked my shoulder with her koa wooden spoon and scolded me. "Go wash your face, can smell your girlfriend all over you!"

Embarrassed, I did what she commanded, and when I returned, she finally let me take over. By the time Terry and Thomas were awake, they were hungry and sitting at the table with growling tummies. My two sisters, Jana and Jen, were frying the French toast and the sausages. Yandra filled the Guava and Orange juice pitchers and had the last plates and cutlery set out. "Hello, strange person that we don't know who was not introduced to us," Terry got up, shook Yandra's hand, and hugged her. "I'm the oldest and most responsible brother," he said. "I'm Terrence, and this brooding Edwardian mess is the second oldest brother, Thomas!"

Tommy stood up long enough to say hello and hugged and kissed Yandra. "On french toast over there is the oldest sister, Janalyn, and on sausages is the youngest girl, Jenharad. It's a long story."

"We met already while going to and from the bathroom," Jana said. 

"We like her," Jen agreed. "She just jumped in and started helping, didn't even have to be asked."

"Of course," Terry continued ignoring his sisters as he always did. "You already have carnal knowledge of our youngest brother Timotee or Tim as we disproportionately call him because he tends to forget common courtesies like introducing his girlfriend to his family."

"Oh, stop being such a prude, Terry," Mom scolded him. "You were the very one who couldn't stop playing with yourself all through your teen years." Oh shit! My mom outed our oldest brother as the chronic masturbator in the family! We nearly pissed our pants laughing while Terry looked at all of us with disdain.

"Hah, hah, very funny, but don't forget who had to cover for most of you when you came home drunk, Jana, and you snuck a boy into your room, Jen! That was me who took the beating for the both of you!" He reminded the two girls.

"No one's forgotten that, Terry," Jana groaned. "Because you bring it up every chance you get whenever we're together!"

"Everyone, please, if it's not too much trouble, let's take our places for breakfast," Mom stretched her hands out as she always did. This indicated that we had to pray once we were seated. With her head bowed, and her eyes closed, Mom took a deep breath, and when she exhaled, she said, "Terrence."

In protest, my brother said, "Mom,"

"This is not a request Terrence," still, with her head bowed and eyes closed, Mom wielded power.

"Kū and Hina are our family's ancestors," my brother began. "Please give us your love and compassion and protect us as we partake of this meal and offer you the essence of it; Aloha,"

With that, everyone set forth to eat their breakfast, especially Yandra. Mom liked that she wasn't shy about eating. "You marry this girl," Mom nudged me. Once breakfast was over and everything was washed and put away, we gathered in the living room and waited for Mom to join us. She took her place in her rattan rocking chair and got to it immediately. "I want to pass on and teach you, children, everything I learned from my mama and grandmother. I'd like to start as soon as Monday."

"My school schedule is full, Mom," Thomas spoke honestly. "I'm carrying a full load this semester."

We've got work, the kids, and our ungrateful husbands," Jana spoke for herself and Jen.

"I'm Mormon," Terry said. "You know I can't; I mean, it was enough that I had to do the prayer earlier,"

After that, my older siblings came up with excuses for why they had to leave suddenly. Work, family, car repairs. Anything to get themselves out of there and away from any spiritual obligations they felt mom was trying to put on them. That left me, Mom, and Yandra. 

"I've got time, Ma," I told her. "I can start Monday." be continued 

Aug 18, 2022

Aupuni 2022

The time of my life was spent in Orlando, Florida, with a great job and even more incredible nightlife.

Aug 17, 2022

Haʻi aʻo 2022

Pōhina was worried that his acceptance letter to the school to which he applied would never arrive.

Aug 16, 2022

Aug 15, 2022

Rama 2022

We all waited with bated breath in the small, cramped back room of the old house in Papakōlea.

Aug 14, 2022

Turns 2022

I, for one, pride myself on always following the advice of my parents and my elders.

Aug 12, 2022

Huluhaele 2022

Featherwork is a tedious task and requires focus and saint-like patience.

Aug 11, 2022

Nalowale 2022

When my brother disappeared in Moanalua valley fifty some odd years ago, there was no fanfare on social media, no plastering of his face all over the place.

Aug 10, 2022

'Uhane 2022

I can't tell you why I suddenly started exercising because I don't know myself.

Aug 9, 2022

Ki'i 2022

 After my tūtū wahine passed away, the arduous task of clearing her bedroom fell solely upon me, for it was stated in her will that I was the only one allowed to do so.

Aug 8, 2022

Mum 2022

Throughout my life, I could not shake the feeling that my mother didn't like me.

Aug 7, 2022

Friend 2022

 Fried noodles today are not like the way they were made in 1975 when you were 13 years old.

Aug 6, 2022

Strange 2022

There's a favorite song of mine that resurfaces randomly every now and again.

Aug 5, 2022

Hulu 2022

Fingers pressed against the meticulously placed feathers evening them out, so they all faced the same direction.

Aug 4, 2022

Pana 2022

Awakened by the pulse and rhythm of the cadence of breathing, they stretched forth their hands and feet and tightened their muscles as much as they could bear without cramping.

Aug 3, 2022

Marks 2022

 Today the ancestors made themselves known in droves, but I could only speak to three of them. 

Their presence was overwhelming as they all tried to get in through the front door. They will take advantage of any opportunity to communicate their wants and needs.

Aug 2, 2022

Lana 2022

The light coming up over the horizon is a dull, muted color until the dark purples and slight oranges begin to manifest.

Aug 1, 2022

Hānau 2022

For years, I worried about the tradition of burying the afterbirth of my children in a proper location that would be our land in perpetuity.

Jul 30, 2022

Hua 2022

Melancholy nights looking up at the night sky, waiting for the Hua moon phase to slowly advance over Hanauma or Molokai.

Garden 2022

His hands were large and meatier than most.

Jul 29, 2022

Insert 2022

Surreptitious movement is advantageous if you're the only person clearing a room and you've been cut off from your insert team.

Jul 28, 2022

Ticket 2022

 I've been going to carnivals all my life, from the time of the big tent shows to what passes for a festival these days.

Jul 25, 2022

Jul 23, 2022

Bloodlust 2022

 Dressed in their finest, most expensive tuxedos, the old men watched as the new initiate received his indoctrination ceremony.

Jul 22, 2022

Jul 21, 2022

Mehameha 2022

 Stark white during what I could only assume was the daytime hours, and a subtle gray represented the evening.

Jul 20, 2022

Sleepy 2022

 End chairs and coffee tables flew across the living room, and the rug curled back and slid into the hallway.

Jul 19, 2022

Jul 18, 2022

Jul 17, 2022

Kinipopo 2022

 It was a muggy Saturday morning, and Devon's team was down by two points.

Jul 16, 2022

Jul 15, 2022

Cry 2022

Terror struck the late evening visitors at Kāneʻīlio point at Kūʻīlioloa heiau.

Jul 14, 2022

Jul 13, 2022

Property 2022

The patrons at the resort eyed me closely, wondering what I, a Hawaiian man dressed in black, might have been doing sitting at a rich beachside property?

Jul 12, 2022

Church 2022

Growing up, a kid in our group didn't attend church with us on Sundays.

Jul 11, 2022

Move 2022

We lived in this house for more than forty years, more than a few lifetimes.

Jul 10, 2022

Kumula'e 2022

As kids, having lunch or dinner at the old Willows restaurant was a treat.

Jul 9, 2022

Alma 2022

We must be fair in addressing the Filipino plantation workers as well.

Jul 8, 2022

Jul 6, 2022

Kilo 2022

 "The gods came from there," my grandfather pointed to the night sky while we sat on the roof of our house.

Jul 4, 2022

Jul 2, 2022

Jeshua 2022

Jeshua Faleafine was the security guard at the old grocery store on Gulick Avenue in Kalihi.

Jul 1, 2022

Shitty 2022

 Even as I sit here, I question why I agreed to have dinner with a man I have nothing but contempt for, and yet here I am.

Jun 30, 2022

Irene 2022

 Irene J. Foster visited me two days ago to let me know that a particular person would come forward and own up to what she wanted me to say.

Jun 29, 2022

Adolpho 2022

He smelled like VO5 most times, but he also had that Vitalis aroma about him.

Jun 28, 2022

Sweat 2022

Love and hate is the way I'd describe my sophomore year in high school.

Jun 27, 2022

Jun 26, 2022

Ao Holo'oko'a 2022

"In life, you should hope that you can move seamlessly from one moment to the next without pause or flaw in the process.

Jun 24, 2022

Wedding 2022

 Wedding days are always filled with tension, panic, and pressure, just like at a funeral.

Jun 23, 2022

Dance 2022

She was so caught up in her conversation while she and her business partner took a shortcut through the Kawaiahaʻo church graveyard that she did not notice she had been walking over more than a few graves.

Jun 22, 2022

Change 2022

Twenty three years ago my friends and I were hiking the Aiea loop trail at precisely nine in the morning which is right about when the time when the place is still quiet and unbothered by tourists and the like.

Jun 21, 2022

Fisherman 2022

 My brother and I were home on Kauai, which we didn't get to do often.

Jun 20, 2022

Ron 2022

Believing this story is still difficult for me, even though I am a person who has had a lifelong experience with mysterious and strange things.

Jun 19, 2022

Take 2022

John Kenai, his wife Alyssa, and their daughter Kylie became houseless when their landlord decided to sell the house at the last minute.

Jun 18, 2022

Hoʻokō 2022 3


"Jedidiah could not come up with the money to pay for passage back to the east coast to retrieve his son and the daughter of the aliʻi ʻai moku," the museum curator said.

Jun 17, 2022

Ho'okō 2022 2

 "This is not good, Jedidiah," Herman smiled as he spoke with his long-time friend so as not to give a hint of their conversation to the Hawaiian chief.

Jun 16, 2022

Ho'okō 2022 1

Jedidiah Corliss, by way of circumstance, and not by the hand of God as he would later say it was, but by happenstance, saved the life of the only child of the Aliʻi ʻai moku of Lihuʻe who was near to falling off a sheer cliff to the rocks below.

Jun 15, 2022

Guilt 2022

 Another story about another house with a strange unsolved history in urban Honolulu.

Jun 14, 2022

Hālua 2022

Truth. The more aquiline your features and skin tone, the more you are admired and accepted.

Jun 13, 2022

Leimaliko 2022

Hoʻoleiʻupena is the act of casting out the fishing net as you would a lei around the shoulders of a beloved person.

Jun 12, 2022

Jun 11, 2022

Moonlight 2022

No one had ever done a moonlight parade through Waikīkī. A starlight parade, yes, but not one by the full moon's light.

Jun 10, 2022

Under 2022

Missing was one sock which the partner to the only unique pair of socks I ever owned from Scotland.

Jun 9, 2022

Ka'ahele 2022

This case was not part of my wheelhouse, so to speak, so I did not understand why my presence was required in the beginning.

Jun 8, 2022

Menehune Mū 2022

 "Oh, they left long, long ago," Aunty Meng reminisced. "The Menehune men started marrying Hawaiian women, and the Menehune queen did not like that.

Jun 6, 2022

Leiʻala 2022

A Vietnam veteran remembers the day he stepped off the plane at the old Honolulu airport. Of all places, the least location he expected to see protesters against the war was at home, at the airport. He said the air went out of him as if surviving the war in service to his country was pointless. He intimated that he felt stuck, as if there were no way to exit the airport without being confronted by one person or a group of people who were against the war. "Are you alright young man? You look troubled?" An old Hawaiian woman stood there with a ginger lei in her hand. "Where is your family? How come they're not here to greet you?"

"I'm early," the young version of himself replied. "I was looking for a payphone to call home and let my parents know I'm here."

"It must have been such a long flight," the old Hawaiian woman said as she draped her ginger lei around his shoulders. "After you call your folks, you should sit down and relax. It must have been a very long flight home, no?"

The veteran told me that he and the old Hawaiian woman sat and talked until it was time to head out to the sidewalk where his family would pick him up. "We talked about what high school I went to, the people I knew, and my mother's maiden name. Then, before I knew it, it was time go. I thanked that kupuna, and she gave me a big hug.

"Welcome home, Kawika," she said. "Aloha!" The old Hawaiian woman walked away, heading toward the gates where a group came through the terminal.

"Tūtū!" The veteran called out. "I didnʻt get your name?"

"Leiʻala," she smiled and went about her way.

"When my parents picked me up, we hugged and cried, and I finally got myself and my bags in the car; we were on the way home, and my mother noticed my ginger lei and asked me where I got the lei. I told her it was given to me by an old Hawaiian woman at the airport and that she sat with me until it was time go,"

"Did you get her name?" My mother asked.

"Leiʻala," I replied. My dadʻs station wagon came to a screeching halt. He turned around and gave me a strange look before pulling off the road.

"Leiʻala?" My dad questioned. "Are you sure?"

"Yes, dad," I replied. "Why?"

"Leiʻala was my great-grandmother," my father sat there with tears welling up. "She was hardly seen without a ginger lei; it was her favorite. Thatʻs why she was named Leiʻalaikeʻawapuhi, The fragrant ginger lei. She was welcoming you home, son."

"I was shocked, but my parents sat there for a few more minutes, crying, and knowing that with the trouble and worry I experienced at the airport, my great, great, tūtū lady came and kept me safe until it was time to go home," he shared. "True story, true story."


17A Productions Presents

Lopaka Kapanui at Hawaii Theatre

A LIVE and IN-PERSON storytelling concert at the historic Hawaii Theatre. This master storyteller is one of Hawaii’s most popular teller of tales and has been in the business of scaring people for more than 20 years. Lopaka is terrifically skilled at provoking that sudden chill going down one’s back or causing the small hairs on your arms to stand up. Chicken skin is what we call it in Hawai‘i. Others might refer to it as chills or goosebumps. Sharing real accounts of Hawaii’s supernatural culture, Lopaka often leaves audience members questioning the darkness on their drive home and anxiously leaving the light on at bedtime.


Jun 5, 2022

Pushed 2022

 No longer the Sears at the mall on the Windward side of the island, it stands empty and stark.

Jun 4, 2022

Choked 2022

Choking, struggling for air, the eyes wide, the lips turning blue and foaming at the mouth.

Jun 3, 2022

Knocks 2022

 Soft and then loud but gradually like a crescendo in a music piece.

Jun 2, 2022

Weird 2022

Looking away would have made me just as guilty as the person committing the heinous act.

Jun 1, 2022

Story 2022

 What I heard interested my attention for less than half the time it was happening because I was busy doodling on my phone.

May 31, 2022

Lady 2022

 The gulch goes through the botanical gardens and then continues to lake Wilson where many a corpse of a young able-bodied Schofield soldier has been found.

May 29, 2022

Kaomi 'Elua 2022

Everything after that was so simple; we fell into a love that was already nurtured by a long friendship, and marrying Priscilla was a no-brainer.

May 28, 2022

Kaomi 2022

We were friends from the first time we realized we liked Power Rangers.

May 27, 2022

Haʻaloʻu 2022

When my son's marriage ended, I was there for him as much as he needed me to be.

May 26, 2022

Lingered 2022

 "Oh," the psychic shuddered as he walked into the establishment. "It's THIS place. I'd completely forgotten about it."

May 25, 2022

Lingering 2022

March 1979

Her name was Jennifer, and she'd been running the Club Miranda since nineteen seventy-six.

May 24, 2022

May 23, 2022

Lost 2022

 There's no way to get lost at the Kualoa beach park, especially when you're heading out to the campgrounds.

May 22, 2022

Phillip 2022

Twenty-five cents seems like something trivial to be bullied for, but this was nineteen seventy-six.

May 21, 2022

List 2022

Strangers owe you nothing, and you, in turn, owe nothing to strangers.

May 20, 2022

May 19, 2022

Intrude 2022

They were armed to the teeth, but for some reason, with all the hardware they had, they came in with knives.

May 18, 2022

May 15, 2022

End 2022

Sunday, January 13, 2018, at 8:07 am, a false missile alert was sent out to the Hawaiian islands.

May 14, 2022

Bullied 2022

Our fourth-grade teacher was uptight, horribly classist, and racist.

May 13, 2022

Malley 2022

We had to throw his clothes away and burn them and anything else he touched, stepped or slept on.

May 12, 2022

Place 2022

 Of course, from a child's perspective, the house you grow up in can seem like a grand mansion.

May 11, 2022

Site 2022

Of all places, a fast-food choke and puke shouldn't be infested with spirits.

May 10, 2022

Trap 2022

The comic book store was packed with back-to-back nerds in all shapes and forms.

May 9, 2022

Road 2022

My connections tell me that it's because of this built-up anger after the pandemic, this at a governor who prioritizes the people who lined his pockets rather than the voters who got him into office.

May 8, 2022

Parking Lot 2022

He's on the Young Street side of the parking lot, not trying to run away but waiting for me to catch up.

May 7, 2022

Restaurant 2022

The restaurant isn't anything special, but it's the one everyone goes to after a night of clubbing and drinking or after attending a concert.

May 6, 2022

Creepy 2022

 "Pounding on the door, in the middle of the night," the woman told me after the conclusion of one of our downtown walks through an old cemetery.

May 5, 2022

Awakened 2022

 This is another one of those stories where the free spirit comes into someone's life just long enough to change their mind and heart and release them from the constraints of a humdrum existence.

May 3, 2022

Waiting 2022

 It's an old house sitting empty at the end of the road just before the Wiliwilinui hiking trail.

May 2, 2022

Kākau 2022

We bought the house in Kaimuki about three months ago, right near the fire station.

May 1, 2022

Aggressor 2022

Years ago, a fight nearly broke out at an eatery on Ke'eaumoku, particularly crowded on a late Saturday evening.

Apr 30, 2022

Sunrise 2022

 It may not seem like much because of how urbanized the Kaimuki/Wai'alae/Kahala districts have become.

Apr 28, 2022

Peter 2022

 Little feet pattered across the wooden floor and then down the hallway to the bathroom.

Apr 27, 2022

Yandy 2022

Every day, the birds flit about looking for scraps that anyone will throw at them. Yandy Kalei'iki instead throws them little diced-up

Apr 26, 2022

Apr 25, 2022

Galaxie 2022

"Thankfully, things haven't changed too much at St. Louis Drive-Inn.

Apr 24, 2022

Seizure 2022

 Many years ago, my cousin Caleb would have these seizures where his eye would roll over, turning pale and then blue.

Apr 23, 2022

Makaluku 2022

Have you ever had something happen to you that was so unexpected and traumatic that it changed you completely?

Apr 22, 2022

Hale Pule 2022

 Although I am an atheist, and I believe I have been since the time of childhood, I can't help but miss this old church.

Apr 21, 2022

Scene 2022

Uncle Kai, the former caretaker at the oldest church in downtown Honolulu, told me about many of his late at night encounters.

Apr 20, 2022

Stew 2022

Many people, like yourselves, come forward and graciously share your ghost stories and other strange experiences with me.

Apr 19, 2022

Ho'opahulu 2022

The ones that haunt this house are like wisps of smoke that manifest to an almost solid form and fade away like memories that excite your senses but are not genuinely tangible.

Apr 18, 2022

Piholo 2022

 If you locate the beach in the Hawaiian islands with the most drownings, you'll have curiosity seekers and wanna-be paranormal investigators swarming to it.

Apr 17, 2022

Loo 2022

Fucking bathrooms at the mall are specifically designed for tourists with smaller body frames so they can fit in the stall.

Apr 16, 2022

Manaʻopaʻa 2022

 Manaʻopaʻa was an office on the second floor of the one twenty-five-M building on Merchant Street.

Apr 14, 2022

Hanaʻoʻoleʻa 2022

Tilling the land, the soil, and the earth to make way for a decent loʻi kalo to feed his family for the first season was necessary.

Apr 12, 2022

Mākou 2022

They donʻt hide in the shadows as weʻve expected them to, like how we see in those investigative videos on social media.

Apr 11, 2022

Disturb 2022

 My stay at the Waikiki hotel was designed for me to get away for a bit from the droll humdrum everyday nothingness of life.

Apr 9, 2022

New 2022

We got the two-acre piece of land for a steal at a hundred thousand dollars.

Apr 6, 2022

Apr 5, 2022

Apr 4, 2022

ʻĪkoi Kolu 2022

"Look, we're sorry ok? What we did was stupid, and yes, we were being disrespectful, and if there's any way to stop this, we're all for it," Corliss begged.

Apr 3, 2022

ʻĪkoi Lua 2022

"That's the purpose of this office, isnʻt it?" Aunty Rita asked, and of course, my uncles agreed, but the question was directed at me. "Isnʻt it Hanson?"

Apr 2, 2022

ʻĪkoi 2022

Two soldiers stationed at Schofield went out for an adventure one night.

Apr 1, 2022

Mar 31, 2022

Mar 30, 2022

Asafoetida Lima 2022

Noon already; it's been two years, and it's been casually beautiful and seamless.

Mar 29, 2022

Asafoetida Quātrus 2022

"Any previous girlfriends before me?" Jenny slightly tickled me. "I'm mean, you're not a monk, and I know you've had a life up until now,"

Mar 27, 2022

Asafoetida Deux 2022

While Jenny worked on her porterhouse, I went across the street to see Mr. Young at the crack seed shop to see if he had any of his unique lemon peel that day.