Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Apr 7, 2022

Sleepless 2022

My job, my life, and my career.

It's all the same thing. From all three, I get no sleep. Because of that, I've been having problems as of late. I've begun seeing things that hide in the little nooks, crannies, and crevices that I have never noticed before. Did you know that there are also things that hide in the smallest of shadows, even during daylight? It's like a microscopic realm of spirits that we never knew existed until now. I chalked it up to my lack of sleep, but when these things began to point out certain things in my office, I knew I was not hallucination due to sleep deprivation. Malcolm Pacheco was someone at work that I could not stand. He was always up to something and always complained about something to anyone who would listen. Whenever a problem arose, it was another person's fault, not his. Even though it was obviously his fault one hundred percent.

As I will refer to them, the creatures peeked out from the cracked opening between the partitions that was Malcolm's office. They pointed toward his desk drawer, where I saw him open it only slightly, and then with his fingers, he removed it. A small HD webcam. He crawled under the desk next to him in a flash and did something I could not see. A second later, he was back at his own desk, typing out invoices on his computer. A second after that, Celia Delgado took a seat at her desk next to Malcolm's. She'd come back from her lunch break, and it was only then that I noticed her outfit.

A nice peach-colored top with a black knit sweater over it and a knee-length skirt that matched the color of the shirt. Malcolm was a fucking pervert; what a bastard. I excused myself and went to my supervisor. A few minutes later, my supervisor's secretary appeared and asked Celia if she wouldn't mind helping her with something at the front of the office. Soon, Warren Kaneko, our supervisor, appeared and demanded that Malcolm crawl under Celia's desk and remove the camera that he had planted. Malcolm feigned ignorance, but Warren pointed to the camera tucked in the corner of the room near the hanging potted plant. Needless to say, Malcolm was fired and then sued by Celia and her husband.

While walking around the shopping center in Ala Moana, another creature peeked up from a crack in the sidewalk. It stopped me by turning me around and redirecting me in the opposite direction. The doors to the department store burst open, and a group of thieves ran out, armed with stolen clothes. In pursuit of them was an overzealous security guard who carried a concealed handgun unknown to his bosses. He removed it and fired once at the thief closest to him and missed. The bullet hit an elderly woman through her shin. It then ricocheted off the ground and hit a little girl in her arm. If not for the strange creature, that one bullet would have hit me and possibly could have done worse damage. Even in the realm of my relationship with my girlfriend, one of the creatures made an appearance from the shadows beneath my window curtains. We were sitting across from one another, enjoying our take-out dinner from a local eatery. The creature manifested and extended its pointer finger to my girlfriend's purse. The flap to the cover was open enough to see a piece of material sticking out. I casually reached over and removed a pair of men's underwear. No questions were asked, no discussion occurred, and no arguments ensued. We were done. Still, there was the curiosity as to what these creatures really were? Were they real, or were they the manifestations of my own insecurities and doubts come true? Or was it sleep deprivation, and was I dreaming the whole thing? I'll say that a few days after, my supervisor came to my cubicle and had me sign a form. "I'm giving you a mandatory few days off to get some sleep," he said. "You look like hell in a shit hole; go home now."

I did, like he said, and I got some long-needed sleep. Once I got into a regular sleep routine, I didn't see the creatures anymore. Just one of the perils of working for the state, I guess. True story, though, true story.

credit: Fatherly



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