Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jun 1, 2022

Story 2022

 What I heard interested my attention for less than half the time it was happening because I was busy doodling on my phone.

My siblings and their friends settled in the garage while I was already there, vegetating and not thinking, feeling, or having to be anything. All I wanted was a private moment of nothingness. "She sat next to me at the bus stop behind Ala Moana; there were people there too, so it wasn't like in the stories where it's dark, and no one else is around, right?" No replies; everyone nods as they are now engaged in the tapestry of the story that is slowly coming together. The story's teller is Miles, a young man the same age as my sister and me. She is terribly interested in him; perhaps he knows or does not? But, no matter the situation, something about the reference to the Ala Moana bus stop caught my attention.

"She's sitting there, crying quietly. Not sobbing or anything. Just tears rolling down her cheeks. No one else seemed to notice or care, but I did. I asked her if she was alright, and she put her head down and looked at her hands. Then, she got up and walked away; I saw that she was only a torso with no bottom half. No legs, just a floating torso. As I remember everything, the one thing I can't remember is what she was wearing or even what her face looked like," he said.

"Whuut?" My sister gasped. My younger brother was not as impressed, but still, Miles wove his tail well enough to keep him interested. That's when I put my phone down and inserted myself into the conversation. 

"The bus stop behind Ala Moana, is that what you said?" I turned around in my chair to give Miles my full attention. 

"Yeah, right there, with people around," he confirmed. 

"Is this the side facing Keʻeaumoku or Kona Iki Street?" I had to confirm before I made any contributions.

"Kona Iki side," he replied.

"I've seen her too," I sighed. "Same situation, with people around and not in a dark and lonely place."

"Who the hell is she?" Miles asked. "Do you know?"

"There is talk of an old wailing wall somewhere near, a place wherein ancient times people would go to sob, cry, grieve, or lament," I said. "That place was where they could relieve themselves of heartbreak and sadness, and the wall would absorb it. At least, that is the rumor that has been circulating for a while now."

"Shit," Cassandra leaned forward and wrapped her hands around Mileʻs arm. "I will only go if you go; otherwise, forget it."

"Who said he was even going?" Troy scoffed. "I thought that this was bullshit at first, but now there seems to be something to it. What about you, big brother?" He said, looking at me. "You going?"

"And do what?" I asked. "Sit at a crowded bus stop and wait for an apparition to show up?"

"No," Miles replied. "We should go at night, like late, and then wait."

"How about we do not tempt fate, and you and I acknowledge that we have had a similar experience and respect that and leave it alone?" I suggested.

Five hours later, it's two in the morning. We are at the desolate bus stop behind Ala Moana, facing Kona Iki. Save for the few homeless curled up in their sleeping bags on the ground or under the hedges, it's only the four of us. It's three-thirty in the morning when we all agree that nothing will happen, and we decide to give up the ghost, as they say. Simultaneously, the homeless have woken up and gathered their belongings to move elsewhere. Our conversation has become too loud, and it is disturbing their slumber. As they shuffle off with whatever worldly possessions they have stuffed into their shopping carts, we all witness that each of the three homeless have no feet below their knees. They are nothing but floating torsos, the upper halves of what used to be their complete corporeal bodies. We got our ocular proof after all, but at what price? Our sanity? A small pittance to pay for going against one's better judgment.


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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