Monday, October 17, 2011

CAMP KOKOKAHI - PART 2

AS EXPERIENCED BY: Wesley
LOCATION: Camp Kokokahi / Kāne‘ohe / O‘ahu / Hawai‘i
DATE: 1973


“Who’s next?”

We all looked at David Kamaka. David looked uncomfortable. “Why me?” he asked.

“Because,” slurred Dason, “you Hawaiian. You must get good ghost stories.”

David hesitated. “Nah, not really.”

Manuel passed the bottle of wine to David. “Come on, you scared or what?”

David shook his head. "No."

"So what then?" I asked. I handed him a cigarette.

David stared at the bottle of wine in one hand and the cigarette in the other. "My tutu said that. . ."

"Her grandson is a wuss?" finished Dason, punching David in the arm.

David didn't even flinch. "No, she said that when you talk about bad things, you invite them into your life."

"So you are scared," teased Karen. "You're worried your little story will evoke bad spirits."

Everyone laughed. Then we started to chant, "David! David!"

David took one last drag on the cigarette and extinguished it on the wooden plank, staring off into the distance. He stood up slowly, and proceeded to drink the entire bottle of wine without taking a breath. David roughly tossed the bottle to Dason.

“Fine,” he said. “I got a story.”

"Yeah!" Everyone cheered.

"This is a true story. It happened way before I was born, when my mom was just a keiki. One night, my tutu had finished putting my mom to bed and was in the living room watching television when she heard a scream. It wasn’t the normal cry from a baby who was hungry or needed a diaper change. My tutu said it was the most terrifying scream she'd ever heard. So she rushed into my mom's room and saw. . ."

David paused. Everyone seemed to lean forward, waiting for him to continue.

"Well?" asked Karen. "What did she see?"

"It still haunts my tutu til this day. And she's one tough lady. It was a menehune."

There was a sigh of relief and some people laughed.

"A menehune?" Dason asked. "I thought you were gonna say was one monster or something."

"Yeah," Karen said, "aren't they like cute little elves? Don't they build stuff?"

David shook his head, his jaw clenched. "Not this menehune."

"Okay, sorry," I said, seeing how agitated David had become because we weren't taking him seriously. "So what about your tutu?"

"My tutu saw this menehune with dark green skin like a reptile and reddish-orange hair. It was hunched over the cradle, its gnarled fingers around the baby’s neck, choking it. The baby's screams had stopped. 'Eh!' my tutu shouted. The green menehune continued to suffocate the baby but turned to look at my tutu, its sinister red eyes staring at her. It pointed at my tutu and laughed, a high-pitched laugh, mocking her, revealing its teeth, some decaying, some viciously sharp. She remembered stories her kupuna told her about evil menehune. The only way to get rid of them was to swear. So she swore at the menehune at the top of her lungs. She let out her anger and fear with the worst words she knew.

"Green Menehune"
By Gabriel Del Aragon

"The green menehune flinched and released my mom, who started to cry again. My tutu was relived that the baby was okay but she continued to swear. The green menehune cowered to a corner of the room, still laughing and pointing. My tutu intensified her swearing and walked towards the green menehune until it jumped out of a nearby window, its reddish-orange hair flowing behind it. My tutu rushed to comfort my mom and found the impression of a handprint where the green menehune had tried to squeeze the life out of her daughter. To this day, more than 40 years later, my mom still has that handprint on her neck."
Manuel walked over to David and sat down next to him. "I remember seeing your mom and wondering if that was a birthmark."

David shook his head. "It's not."

"She's lucky to be alive," I said, patting David on the back. "Good story, man."

Everyone clapped and Dason slurred, "I thought menehune were good."

"Not that green one with reddish-orange hair." David said.

Suddenly, without warning, the wind picked up and began blowing wildly. Empty bottles of wine fell over and rolled into the bay. Karen struggled to keep her hair out of her face and her skirt from flying up. We tried gathering our belongings but it had gotten so dark that we could barely see a thing. I looked up towards the moon and saw its light hidden behind a bunch of clouds, moving furiously, almost like mist. I couldn't believe my eyes as I watched the clouds part to reveal a ghostly white figure illuminated within the full moon's glow. The figure resembled an woman, with long white hair billowing wildly around her hunched body. Her bony arms reached forward as if longing for an embrace.

"What the?" Dason asked. He was looking up as well. "Am I that drunk?"

By this point everyone was staring at the moon, the womanly figure still there, beckoning.

"No, I see it, too," I said, shivering from the chilly torrent of wind.

"What do we do?" screamed Karen.

"We need to leave," David said, pointing to the other side of the pier. "Now!"

We all hurried as fast as we could down the pier, even though we were drunk, terrified and the wind threatened to blow us into the bay at any second. But we all got back to camp safely. No one said a word. The wind had died down and right before I entered my cabin, I forced myself to look up at the moon. The woman had disappeared.


EPILOGUE

That night at Camp Kokokahi was the first time I'd heard of the green menehune, but it wouldn't be the last.

About a year later, my friends and I were at a party in Wahiawa. Cute girls from Leilehua High School were there and we wanted to impress them. Dason started telling them spooky kine stories, hoping they would squeal and jump into our arms. He tried to tell them David’s story about the green menehune that we'd heard the year before at Camp Kokokahi. But he was so drunk that he forgot to describe what the menehune looked like. I rolled my eyes and continued to drink my beer.

Summer, a cute hapa girl, took a long drink from her red plastic cup and said, "Actually, something really strange happened to me recently."

"Yeah?" I asked, moving closer to her. "Tell us."

Summer hesitated. "You'll think I'm crazy."

"Or drunk!" shouted Dason, clinking his beer bottle on Summer's cup.

Summer snicked. "Well," she said, "one night, I arrived home late when I realized I forgot my house key. But I knew the backdoor would be open."

"Good to know!" Dason said, laughing.

“Shut up," I told my idiot friend. I put my hand on Summer's shoulder. "Go on."

“I opened the back door, which leads into the kitchen, as quietly as I could. I heard a rustling sound coming from inside. I figured it must have been my mom or sister. But when I walked into the kitchen, I saw. . .it was a. . ." She cringed. "I feel so stupid, you're gonna laugh."

I patted her shoulder, trying to comfort her. "What did you see?"

Summer bit her lip. "There was a green menehune sitting on one of the kitchen table chairs. I was so shocked, I yelled, "Holy, s**t!" I think I startled it because it looked up with these creepy red eyes then ran right past me, out of the house. I thought I was losing my mind."

"You're lucky it didn't kill you," I said. "Dason forgot to mention it, but that evil menehune he was talking about was green, too. Green with red eyes. It tried to choke our friend's mom to death when she was a baby."

"No," Summer said. "It probably wasn't the same thing."

"What else do you remember about it?" I asked. I wasn't even trying to scare her anymore. I just had to know.

"Well," Summer said,. "Its hair. As it ran past me, I noticed its reddish-orange hair flowing behind it."


WRITTEN BY: Courtney Kunimura
for Spooky Kine Investigations
SKI.ckunimura@gmail.com

ARTWORK BY: Gabriel Del Aragon
for Spooky Kine Investigations
SKI.gdelaragon@gmail.com

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