Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 5, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023. #14. Too Loud.

 The Chrysler van, with surfboards pilled on the roof, pulled up into the parking lot and out came the mother and her five children.

All boys, wild in appearance, shirtless with only surf shorts and slippers on their feet. Fresh from the beach, the mother herded them into the coffee/snack shop like circus animals in a cage, calling out commands as she went along. She was barefoot, wearing surf shorts and a long-sleeved named brand shirt. Unlike her sons, she was the only one whose hair was matted wet. Each boy gave his order to the barista, then they dutifully walked outside and found a table where they would sit and wait for the mother. The boys were very well-behaved; they remained quiet and kept to themselves. Their mother loudly narrated every thought that randomly crossed her mind to anyone who would listen. Even when she brought the orders out for her sons, she was too loud and obnoxious, calling out the name of each boy to whom she handed their drinks. 

"Poor me, five boys and none of their fathers stuck around. They all took off and left, but I'm so lucky to have my sons with me,"

Annoying and unwelcome news to everyone trying to enjoy their drinks, bagels, or donuts. "I always meet the wrong guys," she lamented. "You know what I mean?" She directed her question to the middle-aged, clean-cut local Japanese man who paid her no mind. The mother might have been in her early to mid-thirties, and traces of her young beauty were still there, except it was accented with crowfeet at the corner of her eyes and white coloring at the roots of her still dark red hair. "Nobody helps me," she looked around. "I do it all myself; you ask any one of my boys, and they'll tell you." The sons sat with their heads down, focusing on their drinks and their bagels. "I'm a good woman; I work hard, cook, and get one good job. I'm a good girlfriend and wife; I don't know what the problem is,"

"You talk too fucking much," a male voice came from one of the men sitting at the furthest wrought iron table near the parking lot. "It's not that you can't hold on to a man; it's because you can't keep your fucking mouth shut, that's what it is,"

"Wow, braddah," she feigned, being wounded now. "I don't even know you; how can you say something like that to me in front of my kids?"

"And we don't even know you, but you didn't give us a choice either," the man stood up, and he was a mountain. Nearly seven feet tall, broad, and solid. "You forced all of us to listen to your life story whether we liked it or not, and believe me, none of us liked it. We all want to be left alone, to check our cell phones and have our own private conversations, but you ruined it with your pathetic heartbreak story. Have respect for everyone's personal space, and if not, fuck off,"

"Don't swear like that in front of my sons," she put her arms around the nearest boy, lifting her head back enough to look down her nose at the monster of a man across the open space. 

"Yeah, your sons," he pointed. "They're probably used to this embarrassment, so they're sitting silently, not acknowledging you or anyone else!"

The woman gathered her tribe and marched them back to the van, blessing the tall man in the name of god as she passed him by. He waved her off like an annoying fly that wouldn't go away. Everyone watched while the boys piled in, closed the doors, and sank into their seats, ensuring no one could see them. Dramatically, the mother threw her hair back and gave everyone a last look of defiance with tears in her eyes. Then she got into the driver's seat and shut the door. The van had just reached the main thoroughfare when an unmarked concrete hauling truck came out of nowhere and ran the thing under its huge wheels. The sickening sound of twisted metal and iron scraping against the pavement made such a high-pitched squeal that all who witnessed the tragedy had to cover their ears. The concrete-hauling truck was untouched and still idling a few feet up the road after it came to a stop. Before anyone could get to the van to check if the woman and her sons needed help, the concrete-hauling truck kicked into reverse and went back and ran over the vehicle quickly the first time but slower the second and the third time until it finally took off. The concrete hauling truck had no. PUC, markings, or license plates. No one in the van survived. At this coffee/snack shop outside Waikiki, everyone minds their business and keeps to themselves. No one makes waves and for good reason.

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