Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 13, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023. #22. Canoe

My work day started non-stop at two 'o'clock in the morning, and it didn't finish until 1:30. Now, I was driving back home from Makua Valley after a full day of excavations in the sand dunes, looking for what someone said was the forward noses of a double-hulled canoe. Pictures were sent along with the longitude and latitude of the location. The homeless encampment had to be razed and moved out until the place looked as if no one had ever been there. Nearly eleven hours later, and every time we were close enough to see the double-hulled canoe, close enough to hook it up to our straps and pull it out of the sand, it kept sinking further and further away as if it were teasing us. I had to call it a day and get home for my health and peace of mind. I was beyond exhausted, and once you get that way with the job I do, you get careless, lazy, and absent-minded. I was rounding the corner heading east as the road came over that rise right before the dirt parking lot on the right, which sits directly across from Kaneana Cave. My headlights illuminated a double-hulled canoe sitting in the middle of the road. I swerved quickly to avoid it. It's the last thing I remember. When I came around, the sky was darkened by black smoke billowing from an unseen fire.

My body was drained of energy, I couldn't sit up. All I could do was look around me. There were bodies everywhere, some dead, some in the process of dying. Some wore ahu'ula, others just the mahi'ole with the feathered capes damaged and soaked in blood. Men were moving about the field with spears, piercing those who showed some light left in their souls. They must have been the victors of whatever battle this was. One of them saw me and began walking in my direction. His friends saw him see me, and they followed. I couldn't do anything, speak, or get up and run away. Their eyes were afire, hungry to run me through so they could feel the sinewy flesh tear itself from my bones, hoping to hear that last gasp as the life leaves my frame. As soon as they were within arms reach, a massive wind blew through the battlefield and swept away all black smoke, revealing a beach where a double-hulled canoe sat, emptying itself of its occupants as a peleleu blackened the water behind it, bringing more warriors to the fore. Everything went black and silent. When next I awoke, I was in the ER and Queens. I would later find out that there was no damage to my car. The police said it was like something flipped my car over and placed it nicely on the side of the road. There was no physical damage to myself either; I was just suffering from terrible exhaustion. 

The crew finally pulled up the double-hulled canoe from the makua sands the next day. News cameras and the like were there to film the whole thing, now covered by a large tarp to protect it from onlookers who might want to climb on the ancient canoe. When everything was in place, phone cameras and otherwise were ready to record, the tarp covering the double-hulled cane was pulled away, and the voyaging vessel sank right back into the sand. I'm unsure what it all meant, but I will say this: a double-hulled canoe saved my life in a dream. Then, in real life, it hid itself in the ancient sands of Makua.

Art Credit: Herb Kawainui Kane.

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