Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 14, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023. #23. Shaun.

 I saw my first one at the old Gibson's store in Mapunapuna.

She wasn't shopping aimlessly; she had a purpose. She was looking for someone. Her mu'umu'u was an off-white, almost beige color. It was of the old style, like what you'd find today at the fabric marts or the swap meet. It was in the nick of time when I realized that she was looking for someone who could see her. She was a spirit, and whoever she knew could see her, she intended to make herself known to that person, not in a good way. I put my head down and pretended to look at the price tag on a toy 'ukulele sitting on display next to a mini-hifi player. I kept my body movements small so the spirit couldn't tell I saw her, then jolted myself in the other direction. She floated past me and left a waft of old dried linen sheets left out in the sun too long. Carefully, I looked up and watched as she de-materialized through the double doors toward the back of the store. My mom called my name just then, and I followed her toward the little Kiosk where andagi was being fried and given out as samples. They don't make andagi like that anymore; it was so delicious! Soon, nature called, and I gently pulled on the strap to my mother's large purse to let her know where I was headed. With the business done and my hands washed, I returned to the andagi Kiosk, where my mother lingered for a few more pieces. I put both hands around her arm, letting her know I was there. I felt a slight tap on my shoulder and looked up; my mother was chewing an andagi off a thin, pointed stick while holding a second out for me to take. If that was my mother, whose arm was I holding on to?

I saw a man built like my mother in a dark cream-colored bowling shirt with a pen in the breast pocket, Bermuda shorts, knee-high socks, and loafers. His clothes were soaked in sweat, and beads of it precariously balanced on his face. On his head were three thick strands of hair combed to the side; otherwise, he was completely bald. His eyes were a faded black as if the color had gone out of them over time. When he looked down at me and blinked, I saw that the right side of his head was gone, like it'd been completely bashed in. He saw me see him, and he began to say something but never got the chance. My screams muted out whatever he'd planned to say. Then the strangest thing happened; I don't know why I hadn't seen it in the first place. Whoever he was, his name was monogrammed over his breast pocket. SHIBUYA.

"Yes!" He said excitedly. "That's me! I'm Shibuya! I'm Shibuya!" Tears fell from his eyes while he reached out for me with both arms as if he would pick me up and carry me. "Thank god, thank god! I'm Shibuya! Please tell my mom I'm here; she lives at 2121 Moanauka, right below Tripler! Tell her my uncle did this! Tell her, please!"

I ran screaming out of Gibsons with my mother right on my tail. I had a nervous breakdown in the parking lot. I was a babbling idiot by the end; my poor mother carried me into the car and laid my head on her lap while she drove with one hand and rubbed my forehead with the other. "I'm sorry, my love, I forgot about that place. It's my fault, ok? Please forgive me? Mommy's sorry, mommy is very sorry!"

I moaned, cried, and twitched at the same time if I recall correctly. My father was already home by the time we got back. Mom carried me into the house and lay me on my bed, explaining what happened to my father. "He can see them the same way he sees you and me," Mom said. "I forgot about Gibson's being haunted; it slipped my mind."


"Do you think he can tell we've been occupying his parents' bodies all this time?" He asked.

"No, he's not at that point yet," she sat on the couch with her head in her hands, tears falling.

"What happens when he does get to that point?" He wanted to know, not out of difficulty but because he'd come to love Shaun as if he were his own son. "He'll notice that we're not aging, then what?"

"It's our fault that his parents, along with us, were killed in that car accident," she raised her voice. "In a good way, their necks were broken, so the physical evidence isn't bad. For us, it was bad. Before he gets to that point, we have to conveniently disappear or pretend to have died in the same way his parents died,"

He cried he couldn't help it. "I'm attached to Shaun; I've really come to love him. Possessing his parents and raising him like this is the least we could do," they embraced and cried together. They'd figure it out when the time came. They most assuredly would.

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