Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 15, 2022

Kolokolo 2022


Sigh. Why? I could be at home under a warm blanket drinking an unhealthy cup of soda while consuming salami and ruffles. Yet, I'm here in this butt-fuck of a place in the middle of a crime-ridden neighborhood. The people who called for the investigation are full of shit, yet they have the gall to claim legitimacy because they're using the ghost radar app on their phones. Why am I here, then? Because someone I was indebted to called in their marker, that's why I'm here. Fuck, just fuck. The couple who live in the house are in their mid-thirties but are affecting as if they are much older, and it's fucking irritating. I'm sorry, I'm all over the place, but the couple, like everybody else, claim that there's a demon in their home. Navigating the home is difficult because the couple are hoarders, so it's moving through an alley of piled-high newspapers, tupperware, and shit they purchased online. The house is more haunted by shit than demons, and I can't take it anymore.

"Where's this demon now?" I asked, hoping they could tell me something specific instead of the meandering rambling they'd been giving me thus far.

"You'll see it," the husband said. "Once you see it, you can't unsee it."

"You can smell it too," the wife added. "That's how we know it's a demon; they bring that smell from hell with them."

At that point, the husband shoved a pile of fading kero-keroppi dolls to one side to reveal a firey red glow from the bottom of a pair of stairs. Of course, under all this shit taking up all this space from floor to ceiling, one would never guess they had stairs leading to a basement. "That's where the demon is," the husband pointed.

"He took up residence in our basement and made it his own personal hell," the wife scoffed as if she were ready to fight.

I flicked on my flashlight and headed to the steps. The couple gasped and then yelled at me not to enter their basement. When they saw that I wasn't listening, they began praying in Latin with a thick pidgin accent. A second later, they saw me walking back up the stairs, and without a word, I walked past them, pushing aside every pile of crap out of my way so I could find the way to the front door. They were right behind me, all the way until I got into my car. "What happened? Did you see the demon? The husband asked.

"Did it try to possess you like it did us?" They pushed her husband aside. "At least let us bless you before you go!"

Before driving off, I started my car and rolled the window down. "That glowing flame from hell is coming from your heater, which is in your basement. Someone cut the wires to the light switch downstairs as if they wanted someone or anyone to believe that the fires of hell had decided to take up residence. Get a life, you two, and clean up your fucking house!" I drove off without so much as a goodbye. A month later, on the evening news, there's a breaking story about a hoarder's house going up in flames in the middle of the warehouse district in Kalihi. Guess who? Yes, that same couple. They escaped unharmed physically, but everything they owned and collected was lost to the fire. The findings revealed that the fire started in the basement, which the authorities thought was strange because there was nothing that was an accelerant to start a fire, yet it happened from that exact location. 



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