Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 24, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023. #95. Grant Society. Case #3321

 We're on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary.

People who don't cast a reflection. Doppelgangers. An extra count of persons who don't match the fixed number. We wear rubber gloves, so there's no unintended transference in case we unknowingly touch something or someone. We can't take a chance. The place isn't haunted; it's infested. We're unsure about what, so we're taking all precautions. No stone is left unturned, as they say. It's a new art gallery in Chinatown where they piled all the bodies to be burned because of the spread of the bubonic plague. A controlled burn, they said, of all the infected buildings, but no one could predict the kona winds that turned everything on itself, and so the entirety of Chinatown burned down to a blackened crisp. That manifested in the art gallery in plain sight for all to see and be horrified. We moved through the space as carefully as we could for nearly an hour and a half before moving to the courtyard. 

"Keep your gloves on," I demanded. "We can't relax yet. Stay alert."

It was the same drill. We moved cautiously through the courtyard and covered every inch before we took the elevator to the roof. That's where the problems began. Everyone was overcome with a crippling anxiety. Fight or flight, as it were. "No one leaves," I said. "Stay right where you are,"

Most of the team was in a curled-up fetal position; if not, they were huddled in a corner, weeping uncontrollably. I approached each person, trying my best to snap them out of it, but to no avail. I glanced down the street below and saw that there was devastation everywhere. What we now know as Hotel Street didn't exist. Maunakea, Smith, Bethel, gone. Everything sat in ruins. I felt the despair, the hopelessness. Like all I could do is curl up and die. Out of instinct, I removed my rubber glove, touched the roof's edge and held on to it. In a flash, I was back to reality. Immediately, I removed everyone else's rubber gloves and made them touch whatever was around them. This was the reality that they had to anchor themselves to so they could come back. And come back, they did. 

The building was a time loop back to the spread of the great Chinatown fire in the year 1900. My feelings about all the precautions we needed to take were the standard ones, but who knew we wouldn't need the rubber gloves in the end?

Credit: State Archives.

No comments:

Post a Comment