I'm publishing a book of short stories centered around the Honolulu experience. The following stories are examples of my work.
Other stories I'm working on:
The Rats below Chinatown
The Scooter Pickup
Three Minute Molly
Sheila believes this must be heaven floating on a cloud, a luxuriously warm breeze rushing around her body, and the warmth of the sun softly kissing her face. She’s in euphoria, gliding and twisting in the clear blue sky, escaping the darkness at the edge of the horizon, ever coming closer to surrounding her. Unfortunately, the darkness engulfs her quickly as she comes down hard for a crash landing, only to awaken in a cold sweat, shivering uncontrollably with only one thing on her mind, how to get her next fix.
Dimly lit was the park she awakened to as she scanned the area looking for anyone familiar. She sees the usual park folks with their makeshift tent homes tied against the steel wire fences. Friendly the folks were to those in need of shelter and comfort. She was not scared of the people here; she was more concerned with the cops. With needle marks on her arms, she was a dead giveaway as a junkie. She has a large Hawaiian tattoo wrapped around her forearm that somewhat camouflages the needle marks, but if you look closely, you will see the needle tracks. .
Her one small pleasure in this world was a tomato plant garden she was growing in the corner of the park that can’t be seen behind the trees and bushes but had a good amount of sunshine in the back. She waters the plants often when she can, and they are now just beginning to bear fruit. She shares the tomatoes with the people in the park, who also help her tend to the mini garden from time to time.
She’s been watching this giant tomato worm grow bigger and doesn’t dare try to get rid of it. Instead, she treats it like a pet. Picking it off the tomatoes and carefully placing it back on the vines. She imagines her burly green friend as the king of the tomato plant for all to beware of and to be left alone. She closes her eyes, pretending to be the mighty green caterpillar, thinking nobody can hurt her.
Although it dwells in the darkness of the tomato leaves, it fears no one as it climbs the vines to reach the fruit. Aphids bow down in awe of its massive green muscular body while other insects and caterpillars escape in fear at first sight of it. As it climbs the largest red fruit, it looks down on its surroundings as it reigns supreme over the entire tomato plant, but alas, something inside its little mind calls to it to encapsulate its body. A peculiar obsession it must proclaim as it hastens to encase itself for a long slumber sleep and look forward to a new dream.
A kaleidoscope of colors crosses through the threshold of its mind into a dream as its slumber deepens further into the no-return stage of transformation. Curious, it is to see its body begin to reshape as it feels its outer skin start to fall off into an adhesive gel reinforcing the strength of its outer shell from within, giving way to its newfound legs beginning to take shape. And what is this? What is this sprouting from alongside its back, running down to its lower backside? New muscles have formed around the base of this strange new sprout from the backside. They’re not legs; they’re very thin and light but strong. It can’t wait to see this new growth when it finally escapes this shell.
Sheila wakens from her daydream of her mighty little friend to a hurting pain in her stomach. She’s sick again, going through withdrawals, and she knew she had to get another fix soon or end up convulsing all over again.
The next day she went to her bank and withdrew all the money she had left, but she needed a little more cash. So, she went home, cleaned herself up, and dressed nicely, ready to walk the streets again. She took her usual spot on Hotel Street and turned a couple of tricks. It was a good night. She had more than enough money to satisfy her craving for a while.
Sheila convinced herself to get some extra, so she could stay feeling good longer than before. She tracked down her local pusher friend Big-O, who told her to go easy; that’s a lot of China White for just one high, girl. She told him, “Don’t worry baby, I’m a big girl; I can hang.” Big-O warned her, “I’m telling ya, you break that shit up, girl!” concerned if she was listening to him. She wasn’t.
So, she took her stuff to the one place that gave her peace, that small tomato garden in the corner of the park. She hadn’t been there in a few days and was looking around for her little green friend but couldn’t find him. Then she noticed a sizeable reddish-brown cocoon under the tomato leaves, touching the ground. Could that be him? It must be because he is the only king of this tomato plant.
After admiring her little friend’s new body armor, she took her drug kit out of her pocket and set it up to heat and liquefy her drugs on the tin foil. As soon as it was ready, she pulled out her syringe and filled the needle with the drug. Wow, there was a lot this time. She had never seen the syringe so filled. This should last a while, she thought.
Sheila took the rubber strap and wrapped it around her arm to bulge out the vein. She then took the syringe and shot the drug up her arm. Ahhh, she felt so relieved as she hunched over with a smile looking at her little buddy’s cocoon as she fell into a slumber of brilliant colors exploding in the sky.
She’s flying again, twisting in and out of the colorful clouds. There was no dark horizon chasing her this time; she made sure of that with the extra dose she shot up. She’s feeling ecstatic again, and nothing can get in her way.
As Sheila’s flying high, her friend that sold her the drug is looking for her in the park. He finally found her in that little hidden place with the tomato plants. She was way out on cloud nine. He looked at her arm with the Hawaiian tattoo and found the fresh needle marks. He cursed himself, “Shit, girl, what the fuck did I tell ya? God dammit!” He was pissed at himself for not keeping an eye on her. He called for an ambulance to pick her up and rush her to the hospital. She was oblivious to what was going on.
The paramedics arrived and started pumping her stomach as her pulse was weaker. They administered CPR with little effect. They knew they had to rush her to the hospital to save her life.
As the ambulance started speeding away, all she could feel was the motion of the speed as it added to her dream of flying high. Brilliant colors filled the images in her mind as her pulse weakened. A vortex was starting to form high above her in the sky, ever getting closer. Colors swirled around and enlarged the opening of the whirlwind. She could feel the warm, luxurious wind whipping around her body like a tornado. She let go and went with the gust of the wind as it pulled her into an unknown portal with no vision of the other side.
.The life support system flatlined at the hospital bed. The doctor administered an AED blast to her chest, trying to revive her. She was too far gone.
At the same time, back at the tomato plant garden in the park, her little friend was starting to break through the cocoon. Little by little, breaking out of the weakening outer skin. Finally emerging was this great and powerful hawk moth with wings twice the size of its body. It finally saw the growth of the wings it was anticipating in its slumber. Excited, it took flight to test its newfound wings in the sky. It was twisting and gliding in and out through the air fearlessly and carefree, as it lavished through the warm air.
Curiously there was a unique pattern on the wings of the moth, which looked like Hawaiian tattoo patterns, as it flew high and far away.
There she goes again, Noelani talking to herself; she was a homeless person wandering the streets of the Honolulu Arts District, walking and talking out loud. She’s a regular in Chinatown, never bothering anybody and keeping to herself. Sometimes folks would buy her something to eat like a manapua, and she’s always graceful and thankful.
Then there are these teenage skateboarder kids in the neighborhood who are always causing trouble and bullying people. Real, local neighborhood punks. Mischievous kids out for a good time hanging around the skateboard park.
Noelani was making her rounds around Chinatown, down River Street, and across to the park, talking out loud like there were people next to her. She rattled on without a care, not paying attention to where she was going. Then she stumbled upon the skateboard park where the skateboarders hang out.
Randall, one of the older kids and a big troublemaker, spotted Noelani walking by and whistled to the other kids to check her out. Noelani wasn’t that big, a little on the skinny side, and never asked for trouble, but she could handle herself to some extent, but not against a gang of kids.
The boys came closer to Noelani and started heckling her, calling her crazy lady. Noelani stood fast and said, “what do you want?” “Leave me alone.” Then the boys circled her and started pushing her back and forth, and she began to scream. She grabbed a necklace around Randall’s neck and yanked it off. Then, she made her way out, ran up the street into Chinatown, and disappeared. The boys ran after her but couldn’t find her anywhere. It was getting late and dark outside, so the boys went home. Randall told the others to meet him again tomorrow so they could find this crazy lady.
The next day the boys scanned the streets of Chinatown looking for Noelani. Randall wanted his fishing hook bone necklace back. Randall told the other boys, “When I see her, I gonna break her face.” The other boys laughed; “you mean break-face.” “You still a mainlander.”
The boys asked around town, and some folks say she stays in the park at Smith and Beretania streets. So, the boys skate-boarded to Smith-Beretania Park. They waited until it got dark—still no sign of the talking lady.
Then, late at night, a mist began to gather on the surface of the grass, and Noelani appeared from the gate and sat in the middle of the lawn. The boys were behind the fence, out of sight, and sprang up, jumping over the fence to surprise her. She sees them, then nervously starts talking out loud again. Randall runs in front of her and sees her wearing the bone fishing hook necklace she took from him.
He yells at her, saying he will rip that off her neck. She started talking faster to herself, looking from side to side. Her eyes begin to flutter upwards as she gets into a hula trance, moving with sensual enchantment. She starts chanting in Hawaiian as the mist thickens beside her and surrounds the kids. She fills the park with a thick fog you can’t see from the streets.
All of a sudden, sounds of warriors chanting a haka as the mists begins to take form into figures of men. Soon, the mists solidify into ancient Hawaiian warriors, and the kids cower, huddling together in a circle, yelling, “Don’t look at them! Turn your eyes down to the ground!”
Randall, scared out of his wits, not knowing what to do, couldn’t help but look at them as one of them picked him up by the neck and threw him down to the ground. Randall, even though he was a big kid for his age, was knocked unconscious as the other kids cried and cowered together, pleading that they were sorry over and over again.
Noelani also pleaded not to hurt them further, and they stopped; then, she told the boys to leave and take Randall with them. Without hesitation, the boys carried Randall out of the park as fast as they could. Never to come back to this park and bother Noelani again.
It turns out Noelani is never talking to herself; she’s talking to her ancestors, who walk beside her. We can’t see them until she calls for their help. She wanders these streets because these are the streets that covered up the land that her ancestors lived on. She is the last descendant of her clan. She is stuck between worlds, searching for the homes of her ancestors that all the buildings in Chinatown have long since covered up.
She will keep wandering these streets, talking to her ancestors, until she can find the location of their homes. Until then, her ancestor will be in a state of unrest.
If you happen to come across her, be nice and know that she is the power of the ancestral mist and can call her ancestors when she needs them. Her name is Noelani, which means heavenly mist.