Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 22, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023. #31 I Ke Au Moe

 Everyone had to take turns sitting in the same room where my father's body lay.

Mom never explained how he died; she only said it was his time. We all thought we would bunch up and camp out in the room where his body lay on a bed we'd never seen before. Mom told us it had to be individually so we could spend time with him.

"The more estranged you are, the more time you must spend with him," she said. We looked at one another, calculating who might have hated Dad the most.

"How much time does that come out to?" My sister Lita asked. 

"For you, one hour. Since you're the youngest and you didn't get a shred of his assholery," Mom nodded. "Miki'ala and Todd, you get three hours each, twins or not," she pointed purposefully. To me, she dramatically snapped her head. "Eight hours for you, Lauwiki-being the oldest and all,"

Lita's hour came to her sitting on a chair significantly larger than she was, totally absorbed with her device. Acting as if our father's dead form was just another part of the furniture in the room. Her hour was up, and she got off the chair and left. Miki'ala sat close to the open entrance to the room in case good old Dad decided to sit up and have a conversation with him; he'd have an easy escape route. Three hours of nervously vacillating between the porn on his phone and my father's corpse took its toll on him. He spent the last thirty minutes of his three-hour stint in the bathroom relieving himself and crying hysterically. Todd's turn came, and he pulled up a chair next to Dad's bed and held on to his rigor-mortised hands, silently crying. Wishing that Dad was there for one more round on the punching bag. Dad was teaching him to box so that he could beat up on Miki'ala whenever he had one of his crying fits. Mom never found out about it, but she was suspicious. My eight hours sitting with my father's dead body was just me staring at him, hoping he'd give me the decency of coming to life so I could pay him back for everything he did to our mother. I must have dozed off at some point because I remember slowly returning from my dreamless sleep; I awoke to the floorboards creaking in my direction. My eyes flew open wide when I saw my father's dead body, wearing only his pajama shorts, plodding in my direction. Before I could react and scream, a horrific booming, crashing noise cut the silence in the room, and my father flew back toward the strange bed he'd just come from. My mother stood at the open entrance to the room, holding a shotgun slung low. She'd tell me later that the shells were filled with blessed salt from the ponds at Hanapepe Kaua'i. 

"The best thing to use if you want the dead to stay dead," she nodded towards Dad's really dead corpse. "I knew that fucker would try and return, so I was ready."

"You knew he was gonna come back from the dead?" I squealed. 

"You're the only one out of all of you that stood up to him and went toe to toe," she hugged me. "If he was going to return for anyone, it was you. All I had to do was wait,"

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