Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

May 12, 2022

Place 2022

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

There are three bedrooms, a large kitchen, an oversized living room, and a yard with thick short grass. Now, looking at the same domicile as an adult, the place is a little match box house. How did we make so many memories in this tiny place and manage to have many holidays and parties? How did this hobble endure so much heartache and sickness? I can't believe I lived and almost died here, but I did. The yard is gone, replaced by concrete, yet the old looming mango tree still lends its quiet sadness to the tiled roof that still holds it up, preventing it from crashing to the ground like it had always wanted. It was such a mournful weight to bear, but this house did it, despite us who lived within her walls, hoping, dreaming, and wanting something better than what we were given. It survived beyond us. Now, forty some odd years later, it's being torn down to make way for a concrete monstrosity. The long arm of the caterpillar moves and pushes the walls with the intent to make the structure collapse in and of itself, but before it can even touch my old home, the house seems to let a long moan as if to say it deserved one more chance. However, the old girl had outlived her chances. Her pipes were rusty, the electricity was too erratic, and the termites could no longer be contained. 

"You're sick old girl," I told her. "There's nothing that can be done, but I'll be here until the end," I promised her. "I'll be right here."

She went quickly, she didn't resist, but before she became a mere pile of rubble, she gasped one last time. "Don't leave me," she gasped.

I stayed for as long as I could, but when it was finally time for me to leave, I heard the old mango tree weeping. "I did it; I finally touched the ground."

"Then why are you crying?" I wondered.

"I thought she'd be here with me when it happened, but now I realized that the only way I could have touched the ground was if she moved," the old mango tree caught himself, holding in his tears as best he could. "Moving meant she had to go away, and she did. So she's gone; my dear old friend is gone."

The construction workers crowded her branches like hungry ants, stripping her of all her fruit. "No!" He cried out. "No!"

I couldn't take it anymore; I got in my car and left. I drove up the length of my old street until I hit the main road, and even then, I had to go to the beach to get some fresh sea air. It's the thing I will miss about that old house. I always had her to talk to and the mango tree. Now, they are gone, gone like they never existed.


17A Productions Presents

Lopaka Kapanui at Hawaii Theatre

A 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.


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