Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 29, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023. #7 Manawa Kupono Pt. 3

 There's a quiet Buddhist monastery at the end of Kalihi St.;

The monks were friendly enough to accept me into their brotherhood and help me mute out the voice that ceaselessly troubled me to will me back in time where it would give me the proper instructions on how to prevent the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. I absolutely refused. Time in all myriad forms cannot be tampered with, and we need to address multi-verses or parallel ones, for that matter. This is what I said to the voice.

"Don't you see?" The voice persisted. "Have you forgotten? You willed yourself back in time, if only for ten or thirteen seconds, but you did it! Imagine what you could do if you held out longer?"

"The implications are too great," mind you, this was the last time I would reply to the voice. "I'm not doing it!"

It was insanity after that, trying to ignore a voice that was not mine but was some remora-like time traveler with no physical body to call its own, and yet, it managed to latch on to mine and hitched a ride through the void. The monks taught me a sutra meant to quiet voices which may not be divine or telepathic. They told me that any seated position I chose that was the most comfortable was acceptable. Once I committed it to memory, the sutra would have to be repeated until the voice disappeared. There were times when the sonorous tone of the sutra became one single sound, and then, above the existing one, there manifested a higher one. It was that singular tone which muted out the bothersome voice. Shortly after that, the high monk quietly entered my room and said, "Five years have passed, and you are no longer troubled; you may leave as you wish,"

For my own sake, I decided to remain at the monastery as one of the caretakers and groundskeepers. There were four of us. Because the area was remote and so far removed from modern society, time became irrelevant, as the rest of the monks and I were not allowed worldly possessions such as cell phones, watches, and other devices. One day, because I still had my CDL driver's license, I was asked to take one of the brothers to town to buy more rice as the supply was dwindling. The brother who usually prepared meals was having to fix a clogged sink. We took the 15-passenger van and headed to Costco, which, after five years, had stayed the same. The same cluster of cars and people swarmed the place, oblivious to the impermanence of worldly attachments, such as 30-inch TV screens and beer kegs. The brother who came with me is called Brother Ryhsentschtall. He was allowed to join the monastery because his Japanese mother came from a well-to-do family in Niigata, who donated significantly to the mother monastery in that prefecture. We loaded the two wagons with as many rice sacks as possible and began navigating toward the cash registers. More problematic was pushing those wagons through the crowd until we finally loaded the van and were on our way. Driving out of 'Iwilei, I knew how much I did not miss my old life. Even with all my money, I knew I didn't need much. Just the simple things. However, nostalgia was the one attachment I did not realize was still in my subconscious. I suddenly wondered what Ted and Nancy were doing and if the book emporium was still there. 

"I'm gonna take a shortcut," I told Ryhsentschtall. "I'll be real quick."

"We should actually hurry back," he was nervous and understandably so. 

"It's going to take brother Teshima a while to unclog that drain; I'll be less than a minute," I assured him. Pulling into the strip mall, I could see it hadn't changed much, and the parking was still the same. Unavailable. Except for the one loading Zone parking in the front. I left the keys with Brother Ryhsentschtall. "Three minutes," I pointed at him.

The air conditioning hit me as always when I walked into the store. I still felt comforted by it. The old staff was still there, along with Ted and Nancy. Their eyes opened wide when they saw me, as did mine, as I could feel it on my face. Then, I had tunnel vision as if falling down a long cylindrical hole. There was a big rush of a deafening wind and a chattering of millions of voices. I knew I was screaming, but the deluge drowned me out. Suddenly, I was in the imprisonment chamber with a splitting headache, making me so feeble that I had trouble standing. The strong hands grabbed me under my arms and lifted me to my feet. The middle-aged Hawaiian woman, dressed in black, walked to what appeared to be a hospital bed with a mattress. Near that was a table that hosted a pitcher of water and some bread on a plate. 

"I'm the voice," she said. "I saw you the day you appeared out of a portal and fell to the ground. I was standing inside that store and saw the whole thing. I rushed outside to see you, and as you faded back into that portal, a part of me went with you, but only my voice.  While I've been imprisoned here, I've been able to mentally communicate with you until you finally drowned me out,"

I've been in this room many times, and many times as a visitor, as the audio narration went on about what transpired in this space. Yet, here it is, the actual room in real-time, in 1895. Seated in front of me is the Queen herself, Lili'uokalani. I fell to my knees and lowered my head, profusely apologizing. "Don't worry," she began. "I've had time to think, and you were correct. Time should be left as it, not to be tampered with, but oh, how I do miss my husband and my brother,"

"I apologize, Your Majesty if I had known it was you..." I began.

"No, Apana, the apology is mine," the Queen assured me. "I was bitter and desperate for any kind of revenge. A way to strike back at my enemies and be rid of them. I knew of the consequences, but I was blinded by rage,"

"Forgive me for being so informal, but may I ask what changed?"

"Time," she said as she stood and walked toward the window behind me. I rose from my feet and kept my head bowed as she passed. "My brother spoke of portals where one could travel through the veil of time. It was one of the last things he studied as part of his Hale Naua society. I would never imagine the manifestation of that very idea would fall through a window in time on a dirt sidewalk in the middle of town,"

"It seems strange to me that you would even acknowledge such a thing, considering your faith in the god of the very people who did this to you," I kept my emotions in check, considering who was standing before me.

"One is allowed to be open-minded while still having faith in their beliefs," she chuckled. "It is time, mister Apana; your home is calling for your return,"

"I can stay, your majesty; I can stay and change the course of time," tears fell and my heart raced. "Damned causality and all things that could alter the future! I can help return you to your throne!"

"You've done all that time allowed," she placed her palm flat on my forehead.

"I'm willing to die if it means my death," I sobbed.

"No," she was stern. "Not one ounce of Hawaiian blood will be shed in my name. Not for the sake of history or time. A hui hou mister Apana,"

Everything went black, and when I opened my eyes, I was back in my room at the monastery. The high monk, Brother Teshima, and a furious yet worried brother, Rhysentschtall, were there. So were Ted and Nancy. Once it was determined that I was fine and that no medical treatment was required, the brothers exited my room and left me with Ted and Nancy.

"We were never quite certain," Ted began. "But we had an inkling that you could go through time,"


"Our book emporium is built over what the old Hawaiian maps identified as a puka. No other description was given," Nancy said. "Purely by accident, Ted and I discovered that the more intensely someone reads those books, the more they open themselves to be transported to the period written on those pages,"

"Whether it's a Leina, a Lele, or an 'Aokuewa, or an 'Aomilu, we don't know, but the mana from what's under our bookstore uses the books as the way in and through," Ted confirmed.

"How did you know that?" I asked.

"Let's just say that the wife and I slipped through a few times," Ted nudged his wife. "We knew there was something about you, Mister Apana, and it seems we were right,"

"Can we ask where you went?" Nancy was excited to know.

"To see the Queen and give her back her throne,"

Ted and Nancy looked around the room and then at themselves. "Apparently, it didn't happen," they said while looking at me with a bit of surprise in their expressions. "You discovered the same thing we did: causality."

"No, I discovered something from the Queen that now makes me understand her decision, even though the opportunity to change time stood right before her," I said as it dawned on me. "Integrity,"

I spent five years in a monastery learning to mute out the disembodied voice of the queen while, at the same time, she waited out the nearly eight months of her imprisonment, knowing somehow that I would manifest before her. She was the embodiment of dignity until the end.

1 comment: