Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Nov 30, 2022

Nailed 2022

Naturally, they thought she was helpless and stupid because she was a woman wandering the aisles of the hardware superstore.

More than a few male sales clerks on the floor pontificated their unwelcome knowledge to her regarding power tools and their various uses. Ignoring them, she got three battery-operated Bostitch nail guns and went to the front to pay for her purchase. The male cashier also began to mansplain the use of a nail gun, to which she smiled and thanked him for his sage advice which she did not ask for. The walk back to her car wasn't too far; she got lucky with a prime parking spot. In her car, she loaded the three nail guns with their battery packs and loaded the gun with the required number of nails. The time was past one in the morning; whoever thought of a twenty-four-hour hardware superstore was a marketing genius. One never knows when one might need to use various kinds of hardware at an ungodly hour when only the dead are supposed to roam the earth. 

"Soon enough," she whispered to herself as the double doors automatically parted for her. There would be casualties along the way, of course, but that kind of collateral damage is to be expected in situations like this. The store manager needed to go first; anyone else who tried to play the hero after that had to pay the price. She knew the way to his office, and because of her observation skills, while shopping at the store, she knew when he'd be in the office for long periods. A month ago tonight, he embarrassed her in a crowded aisle of people for not knowing how to load nails into a nail gun. She tried uselessly to explain that this was her first time, having never used one before. Her lack of hardware knowledge only fueled the fire, and the store manager, Trevor, had a field day at her expense. After the humiliating incident, she realized she couldn't file a complaint to management because the manager was at fault. Once that sunk in, something broke inside her. That's when she began to frequent the store under a different guise each time so there wouldn't be any suspicion. First, she went as a frumpy housewife, then as a hotel front desk clerk. On another occasion, she became a nurse and then a state worker. She wore many different disguises until this evening when she went dressed as herself. Now, she was standing at the foot of the stairs that led up to the manager's office. It was hidden behind several tall shelves filled with boxes and boxes of old air conditioner units. It was at the back of the superstore in the far right-hand corner. It seemed like the kind of office you, as a worker, would not want to be called to because it may have been your death march. Maybe, Trevor, the manager, intended it to be this way. Pulling on the straps of her backpack, which held the remaining two nail guns, she took her time while climbing the steps, not getting short of breath. She took her time; there was no rush. Rushing made people suspicious, and it also heightened your blood pressure. 

"Calm, smooth, take your time," she whispered. "Soon enough."

Now she was standing at the top of the stairs on the landing that fronted the manager's door. Reaching out to give it a knock, she was interrupted by a voice at the bottom of the stairs. It was the manager. 

"Hey, you can't be up there!" Trevor bellowed at her. "Getchur fuckin' ass down here right now!"

She obeyed, and as she descended the stairs, Trevor saw her holding the nail gun in her hand. "Okay, if that fucking thing is broken, you take it to customer service! You don't just fucking try to barge into my office, you stupid bitch!"

She raised the nail gun in his direction and fired the first shot to his heart just to stun him. It worked, he was stunned, and the pain wouldn't register for another second. That gave her enough time to send the second shot into his eye. That sent him reeling backward, tripping over his feet until he hit the floor hard. Then, standing over him, she sent the third shot into his crotch. No one in the superstore heard Trevor screaming with unimaginably horrible pain that only a man could know if he got shot in his dick with a nail gun. 

"Who's the bitch now, Trevor?" She asked him. "Who's howling like a bitch now?"

She emptied out the rest of the nail gun in his head. Then, putting the gun in her backpack, she dragged Trevor under the stairwell, where she then moved several boxes closer to hide his pathetic form. It was done with no witnesses or looky-loos trying to play good samaritan. 

"We haven't left the store yet, Sarah," she told herself. "Only when we're on the H-1 heading back to Salt Lake, then we'll be good,"

Taking her time and not rushing was important. She did not want to call any attention to herself. Fifteen minutes later, she was on the H-1. She was home free.


It was 10:02 in the morning. It was Saturday. She never set the alarm on Saturday; she woke up when she woke up. Rolling over, she saw that he was sleeping too, dead to the world, having no clue that she killed him with a nail gun last night in her dream. It was a month later, and she still hadn't forgiven Trevor for embarrassing her in the hardware store while a crowd of people awkwardly watched or ignored them. Finally, a security guard had to put a stop to it. He had no clue that she was still thinking about it a month later. Thinking about killing him with a nail gun, not at home, mind you, but at his job in his office. She may not have known how to use one a month ago, but now, a month later, she was a crackerjack. Those YouTube videos came in really handy.

"Patience, Sarah," she told herself. "Patience,"

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