Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 9, 2022

Kaula Hao 3 2022

Yet another month transpired before the princess appeared outside the jail cell, sitting on a stool.

Abner had just finished his lunch for the day and was reclining in his bed, such as it was. "Why do you keep coming to visit? I've made it clear on several occasions that I do not require your company,"

"Whether you are freed or deigned to spend the rest of your days in this place is contingent on my company," Manu replied. "Are you prepared to have a decent conversation?"

"The decent thing to do is let me out of this godforsaken place," Abner sputtered.

"That is the second thing that your freedom is contingent upon, your conversational skills," Manu pointed out. 

"If these bars were not between us," Abner was seething. His teeth were bare, and his fists clenched with the muscles bunched around his neck and shoulders. 

"You would do what?" Manu asked. "Throttle me? Cuff me? Kill me, perhaps? Are you put out because I am a woman and a dark-skinned one? It must be a lot for you to swallow, considering that a mere few months ago, you were a slave trader of dark human flesh? Now, here you are no better than a mendicant living in the squalor of a jail cell, infested with rats and worse."

"I'd do more than cuff you," Abner scoffed.

"The guards aren't here to protect me from you; it is very much the opposite," Manu said. "You're an administer of pain and suffering, but you have no skill in protecting yourself against it. I am not a princess in the way of your European fairy tales Mister Abner. I am the daughter of warrior chiefs who would readily gut you open and leave you bound hand and foot, hanging from the highest tree, with your innards worn outside for the elements to feast on."

"The pot calls the kettle black; now, how about that?" Abner mocked his hostess.

"I am curious about what kind of man you are," Manu began. Without a word, the princess excused herself and left. Soon, the guards appeared and opened the jail cell. A doctor and two nurses attending him entered. They began to examine Abner to ensure he was healthy and not suffering from any malady that would affect his overall well-being.

"From one decent American to another," Abner said to the doctor. "Help me get out of here; after the battle of Bull Run, we treated the wounded better than I'm being treated,"

"I'm British," the doctor replied. "So are my nurses. You would do well to listen to the princess and do as she tells you. By her grace, you are healthy as you have been, do not exhaust her patience."

"For what? Conversation?" Abner could not grasp the point as to why the princess kept him locked up.

"Do as she says," the doctor replied. "It will shorten your stay." be continued

Credit: Hawai'i Life

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