Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jan 11, 2022

Metal 2022

Leather chaps, boots, and metal band shirts while you wore a cool leather jacket with long or short tassels.

We all wore it, most especially with jelled and sprayed-out hair. Our parents watched us live out their 60s' revolution, but it was edgy and hardcore. There weren't many tv shows or movies that exactly reflected metal culture because it always served as the background for bit players, but never was it directly the focus. Now, here we are thirty years later, still a product of that metal era and suffering the repercussions of what we put our bodies through in our twenties. In 1988 there was a club that the whole college club converged on in Waikiki. It was at the end of Lewer's street in a basement converted to a metal music hotspot.

I dressed the part as the rest of my friends did, but I preferred to hang back with a beer and a basket of popcorn. After an hour, we'd typically head over to The Wave to see Sonia and The Revolution, where we'd close out the night. On this particular night, after the clubs closed down, we walked over to the Westeria for breakfast. Once that was done, we hopped in whatever car had room and drove out to Sand beach just in time to see the sunrise. There we were, metaled out, on the beach awaiting the new day. It was that hour where the dark still ruled, and the sun had not yet made its purple hue noticeable. That's when we saw it come out of the surf. It hadn't taken form yet. It was just a large glob of a white mist, moving in a straight line toward the place where we all sat on our cars and on the curb. It was unbothered by the wind once it took a more solid shape. It was a woman, very tall, skinny, and very much pissed off.

At what? We weren't sure, but it was coming our way. Right then, something strange occurred to me. As twenty-somethings, our lives revolved around metal culture. Especially the darker aspects of it. We wore the shirts, clothing, and jewelry with the pentagrams and goats heads, and logos with half-naked women dressed as witches. We saw it as a form of rebellion, but were we, in fact, worshipping satanic evil? It seemed ridiculous for a second, yet here was this unexplainable creature that manifested out of the surf coming to take our lives. We were all mortified with fear, literally stuck to where we sat or stood. It wasn't until the apparition was almost on top of us that the first scream came from Dora Pamantigan. That scream shocked us out of our catatonic fear. We scrambled and nearly ran into one another until we finally jumped into our cars and peeled out of the area. Just because we drove off doesn't mean we were out of danger. The malevolent white mist apparition was now blocking the road leading out of the area. Whatever this evil manifestation was, the one thing it was not was corporeal. So I drove right through it. The car behind us followed suit. When we finally passed the entrance to Hanauma bay, we saw the lights at Portlock and the Koko Marina shopping center. It gave us a sense of relief as we pulled into the parking lot fronting Zippy's restaurant. We emptied out of our vehicles with most everyone scared out of their minds. Even the guys were crying. We didn't leave for a while because we wanted to wait until the sun had fully risen from the east. It being day, it felt safe to go home. A few days later, we all met again about near closing time in front of the McDonald's at Ala Moana shopping center to share one bit of information that we found astounding yet frightening. The smell of sea spray seemed to be everywhere, whether at home or work. It seemed that no matter where we went, the aroma followed us. That's when I suggested to the group that we sort of give it a rest with the heavy metal stuff and that perhaps because of it, we had unknowingly conjured something. I got no argument from the group. How we remedied the situation was to go back to Sandys at the exact hour when we encountered the horrific apparition and apologize, sans the heavy metal clothing and hair. We all agreed except for Terrence Hirano, who said, "Has anyone noticed the dried sea salt on your cars? I've tried washing it off myself, and I even took my Datsun to McKinely car wash, and it didn't come off."

It wasn't until Terrence mentioned it that we noticed the same thing. "Fuck," Dora said. "We all drove right through that thing. It's been with us the whole time on our fucking cars!" Finally, Terrence had the wherewithal to get a hold of his uncle, an Odaisan. An hour later, Terrence's uncle showed up and gave him an earful. Then he jumped all over our asses before he finally performed the blessing on our cars. When the ceremony and prayers reached a fevered height, with Terrence's uncle sweating profusely, the layer of salt jumped off of our vehicles and formed into the horrifying apparition from the other night. It hovered for a second and suddenly jumped right into the Odaisan's body and possessed him completely. Needless to say, we watched, mortified and filled with fear. Even when security arrived, they were unsure what they should do. Terrence suddenly leaped forward and removed a handful of the blessed salt from his uncle's pouch, and shoved it in the old man's mouth. Terrence covered his uncle's mouth with both hands to prevent him from spitting it out. It was a struggle for a bit until his uncle's body finally relaxed and went limp. Then, from the pores of his skin, came a black mist which hovered for a second and then became a putrid-smelling liquid. It was over.

A short time later, Terrence's uncle regained consciousness and was himself again. He stood up and told his nephew, "Tell you faddah he owes me money."

"Aww, uncle c'mon!" Terrence begged.

"Nothing is for free," the uncle replied. "Your faddah of all people knows that."


Here we are, thirty-four years later, heavier than we were, and most of us guys without a full head of hair like back in the day. We gathered at Sandy beach with our children and grandchildren. Of course, we're still not entirely sure what really happened all those years ago. But at least we're here during the day and not at some ungodly hour that we can no longer stay awake for. Which is actually a good thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment