Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Nov 24, 2022

Kūkulu 2022

Men who work paving roads, filling in potholes, and other such labor have told me that they hate working late at night in the rural areas of ʻOʻahu. The vibe gets really creepy, really fast. They told me that one night they were filling in potholes on Kaukonahua road as it goes up to the egg farm. No one noticed the absent traffic and how quiet it was save for the sound of their equipment and the scraping of shovels. The men said they would never have seen it if one of them had not paused to remove his helmet to wipe the sweat from his forehead. In hindsight, they felt that it was better if they stayed comfortably numb. It was a massive army of Hawaiian warriors, and they, the road crew, were in the middle of it. It was not night marchers because not one of the ancient soldiers held a torch. It was a sea of them, and they filled the entire area. The foreman shut down all the machinery while simultaneously hissing at his crew to stop and remain quiet. The whole army took one collective step forward, making a deafening thud that shook the road crew to their core. A second step and the men gathered large monkey wrenches in their hands, shovels, and anything else that could serve as a weapon. There was no third step from the ancient army; instead, they released a horrific war cry and surged toward the road crew in full force. Knowing there was no hope in living through what was about to transpire, each road crew gave the other a nod, making an unspoken pact that they would fight to the last man. But no harm came to the skin of any of the men; the phantom army faded into a smokey mist, their battle cries echoing into the distant air. Then, they were gone. 

"True story, uncle," the foreman said. "We all seen ʻum,"


Credit: Jai Masson

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