Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jan 23, 2022

Simon 2022

During my childhood, when there were no tangible explanations for human behavior to cast a light upon someone's nefarious interactions or lack thereof, a Chinese neighbor of ours, Simon Wong, appeared friendly enough because of how he always smiled and laughed in his conversations.

But he was, in fact, a man of great prejudice against many races of people. Most significantly, Filipinos. For some reason, known only to himself, he detested them as if they were a piece of green vegetable caught between his teeth. The only kinds of ethnicity that he seemed affable enough to genuflect himself to were the Haole with which he came into contact. He uncharacteristically humbled himself before them and did not present himself to them as their equals but more as their servant. Here is where our little story begins. One of Simon's many financial undertakings was owning a recently acquired bed and breakfast. As we have now known Simon, he only rented out his services to Haole tourists. The venture was successful until one day, unannounced, a middle-aged Filipino man named Horace presented himself at the front door of Simon's bed and breakfast, apologizing for the intrusion. It seemed that the hotel room he reserved in Waikiki had double-booked his accommodations. It was his hope that Simon had a place for him." "Oh"" Simon exclaimed." You're not one of those half Spanish flips; you're a full flip, yeah?"

"Excuse me?" Horace retorted." 

 "What did you say?"

"No, worry" Simon waved him off. "That's how we talk here in Hawai'i; no need to get mad."

"Do you have room or not"" Horace asked. 

 "You know, in the war, my older brother was kidnapped by some Flips in Luzon," Simon began.

Horace took a deep breath," "That has nothing to do with me, and besides, the people of Luzon fought as allies with the Americans against the Japanese occupation during world war II. You'd know that if you knew what you were talking about, you asshole," Horace stormed off, not realizing that Simon picked up an old brick and threw it at Horace, hitting him on the back of the head and killing him instantly. Simon acted without pause and buried Horace's body in his large vegetable garden, but not before resting the car's keys, wallet, and cell phone from Horace's pockets. He drove Horace's rental vehicle back to the hotel and left it in the parking lot, with his suitcase in the trunk. No one was the wiser. A short time later, Simon's vegetable garden yielded a healthy crop of cucumbers, potatoes, and zucchini. There was only one problem: each vegetable's pulp was a blood-red color that slowly oozed forth. Soon, the odd phenomena began to affect the water, coloring it in a blood-red shade. The dirt in the garden and around the property took on the same hue. Who was this man that Simon Wong killed? He remembered the name from the driver's license in his wallet, Horace Medina. Simon did a deep google search and then searched even deeper on those background websites. A whole month transpired before Simon discovered that Horace was adopted by the Medina family, who was from Luzon in the Philippines but immigrated to Rancho Cucamonga. Horace's biological parents were Shu and Mae Wong, who were also happened to be Simon's parents. That would make Horace Simon's long-lost brother.

A short time later, when a family of four appeared before Simon's door to fulfill their reservation and occupy his bed and breakfast, they were assaulted by a horrible stench. Following the wafting aroma, the family would find Simon Wong's decomposing body hanging from a mango tree that overlooked his vegetable garden. Each ripened fruit from the mango tree seemed to have an odd blood-red hue. What a way to begin a vacation.

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