Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jan 14, 2022

Sock 2022

My brother Chad was back from his time in the military and his tour in the middle east.

He came back with a dog. We assumed it was a PTSD dog, which would help him if he had an episode. But, nothing happened. Chad seemed fine. However, over the next few months, I did notice one thing, the other half of my socks began disappearing. This forced me to buy packs of new socks, and the second half of those socks would vanish as well. So, what I started to do was wear the shit out of one pair of socks until they could practically walk on their own without me. Then, I'd throw them away and start using a new pair. You can imagine the grief this caused my parents and my younger sisters. But nothing seemed to bother Chad at all. He had a regular job, had friends and an on and off girlfriend, and went to his regular appointments at the V.A. One weekend, Chad was away with a bunch of his buddies from the army. They went on a camping trip out to Mokuleia for fishing and getaway time. While Laney, his PTSD dog, stayed behind with us. Chad told us not to worry about feeding Laney until he got back. Otherwise, he told us to just give her some water, and she'd be fine. Laney was a good dog, very obedient, and she'd use the doggie door when she needed to go outside and do her business. Saturday night Laney took a little longer outside than usual. My parents asked me to go look for her and, a surprise of all surprises, she wasn't in the yard.

Mind you, we lived in Pearl City heights, and the back of our house, aside from the yard itself, led to an embankment that led down to a gulch. I called for her to come back up, but she didn't acknowledge me. Her focus was on something else. Whatever it was, she began chewing on it. I made my way down the embankment and into the gulch. I flashed my light on Laney and asked her what she was eating? That's when I saw it. It was a pile of the other half of my old socks, all tied up at the top. The smell hit me, and I gagged, but something told me to untie the sock and see what was in it. I wished I hadn't. It was a finger, a large fat one. The sock next to it held a bloodied ear and the one next to that? Pinky toes. The last one? A nose, a large brown one. My parents were the ones who confronted Chad about the whole thing. His response was very nonchalant. Laney was the best bomb-sniffing dog in the area where Chad said he was stationed. The only thing was that she had an appetite for human body parts because that's what she was raised on by her original owners, whoever they were. It was her regular diet. 

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