Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 27, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023. #67. Hole Waimea.

Kalehuaokauakipu'upu'u Kalaniwewehi, that was her name.

She'd always gone by Lehua for short. At some point during her early adult life, she'd grown tired of having to explain the meaning of her name. The lehua blossom of the kipu'upu'u rains was the literal meaning. The deeper meaning was that she was the flower or descendant of the famous kipu'up'u warriors of Kamehameha. She was home on furlough until her unit was activated for service. While home, she decided it was a good time to qualify for her black belt in her father's Kaju-Kempo class.  

"You already know how to box; Kempo seems like a step back for you," her father told her while putting a glass of whiskey in front of her. The bar named 50 Kimo's was supposed to be Kimo's 50th State Bar, but the signage people screwed it up. However, Kimo himself ended up liking it and left it that way. 

"It's something to do because once I'm activated with my unit, it's all OPSEC after that, very hush, hush," Lehua said. "Let me ask you something, Dad, is it still having to fight five guys at once before I get my black belt?"

"It's the same when your tutu man qualified me for my black belt," her father said. "Do you know how you're going to do that?"

"Take 'em all one time, I guess," Lehua shrugged and sipped her whiskey.

"Aiyah, Ms. Soldier action," her father scoffed. "that's your solution? That's your answer after everything I've taught you about Kamehameha?"

"Well, what then?" She was semi-shrank because, as tough as she was, Lehua didn't like displeasing her father. He was her hero, after all, and she wanted to be so much like him. 

"Out of the five, you pick one guy, and when you pick that guy, you'll only have a few seconds," Kimo began. "You bum rush him away from the other four, and you do something so fucking brutal to him; it'll shock the shit out of the rest. Take advantage of that moment and be unmerciful. Especially since you're wahine,"

On the other end of the bar sat Corey Vitali, a recent transplant to the Waimea. Kimo noticed him eyeing Lehua the whole evening. He threw back the last swig of whiskey and moved to where Lehua sat. 

"Barkeep! Another whiskey for myself and whatever the lady is having," he nodded toward her.

"Tequila," Lehua nodded to her father, "the bottle."

Lehua downed the whole bottle right to the worm, which she ate with relish. Corey threw back his whiskey, which seemed futile. Kimo put his head down and chuckled; Lehua looked him dead in the eye without blinking. "What's your story?"

"Corey Vitali," he leaned back and leered at Lehua without offering a handshake. "Retired Navy SEAL, looking for a place to settle into off the beaten path, so I found this place,"

"If I had a thousand dollars for every military surplus-wearing asshole that came through here with his ex-Navy SEAL retired to the Hawaiian islands story, I'd be Musk,"

"Who the fuck is Musk?" Corey countered.

"Elon," Lehua replied as she touched Corey's shoulder. "Can you do me a huge favor?"

"Yeah, sure," he changed stances, now holding onto his custom-made belt buckle.

"Can you please get the fuck out of my face with that bullshit Magnum P.I., Hawai'i Five-0 'O Loughlin story?! Please!" She turned to her father, and they both began laughing because they'd heard the same story from the same type. Cory, dejected and his pride destroyed, slinked away outside. "I have to go see Malani. I've been back twenty-three hours, and I haven't seen him yet,"


Malani's regular job was for the sanitation department during the day, but he worked on his 70 Dodge Charger in the evening. It was his father's car, which he inherited after his father passed away. He liked giving it his personal maintenance and upkeep. He installed the last few parts of an aluminum radiator tonight when he saw Lehua standing there. 

"Hey," he laughed and shook his head.

"Hey? That's all I get?" Lehua affected. "Why are you laughing?"

"Because I know what's gonna happen next," he giggled.

"What's gonna happen next?" She playfully mocked him.

"We're gonna shoot the shit for a couple of seconds, and then one of us is going to suggest driving this car someplace where we can baptize it," Malani eyed Lehua, daring her to tell him that he's lying.

"You're damned fucking right," she winked. "Let's go!" be continued

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