Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 30, 2022

Garden 2022

His hands were large and meatier than most.

They toiled and worked hard, became chaffed and calloused over the years, much like his heart. His shoulders were broad and wide with bunched-up trapezius muscles that gave him an inhuman appearance. The forearms might as well have been steel cables that flexed with each movement of his equally large fingers. His face was like that of a warrior, tested repeatedly on the field of battle. Every line and crevice was a war map that one could read on his forehead, cheeks, and mouth. His thick white beard gave him a formidable countenance, which is why people kept their distance. However, it was his eyes that gave him away. There was a glimmer of kindness there, one that told you that his days of whatever it was that he did to earn his reputation fifty times over was now behind him. You often see him gently petting his dog and the few cats the pooch could tolerate in his expansive garden. On the rot iron table, between the slices of freshly picked oranges and a glass of wine, also sat a pot of hot herbal tea which he poured into his lucky tea cup and intermittently sipped from. The life by which he earned his name was long over; the highlights were vague memories that were better forgotten rather than being celebrated or, even worse, written about in some book. The world would sleep much more peacefully at night, never knowing the nightmare that he lived and exacted upon the people who opposed him. He lost his family, not by any adverse circumstance, you understand, but by choice, so they would not suffer any ripple that could reverberate back from the shores of causality. The rot iron chair he sat in creaked and moaned with the slightest movement of his gargantuan frame. His legs were as thick as tree trunks, and he was always barefoot these days as there wasn't any footwear that could fit his massive feet. It was just as well. 

It was one in the afternoon, and he barely heard the bell from the front entrance when Carlos appeared. Young and sprite still for a man in his early forties, with his entire life ahead of him.

"You shouldn't be here, Carlos; you know how bad it might turn out," the man spoke, a deep voice reverberating through his body. It caused a slight vibrational shimmer on the table's surface, which shook the wine glass and the teacup.

"Mama sent me to check up on you to see if you needed anything?" Carlos asked.

His father, the man whose name caused fear in everyone, called 'Ihe or spear; he did not look up at his son but instead replied. "It's too dangerous; your mother knows that. Please go, Carlos, for your own sake."

With a slight sigh of frustration, Carlos exited the garden but not before kissing his father on the forehead. The bell from the front entrance jingled, and his oldest son approached the insert team waiting outside. "He's in there, doing the same thing every day."

"Alright," Lieutenant Commander Bryson replied. "We'll do the rest, thank you."

"We're ready," Chief Petty Officer Kaimana confirmed.

"Do not engage until I give you the signal; you got it, Kaimana?"

"Understood," Kaimana replied. "Information first, then eat him." be continued

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