Claws-trahphobia

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Story by Kathy Collins

Listen to this column read aloud in pidgin:

Tita Kathy CollinsHo boy, I stay so busy nowadays! Dis time a da year, plenny people call me fo’ come tell ‘em spooky stories. Chicken-skin kine (goosebumps, fo’ you guys on da mainland). To me, da bes’ stories is da ones been pass down from our kupuna and their kupuna befo’ dat. So every Octobah, I go around and tell da legends and hist’ry of Hawai‘i. Den afta-wards, people come fo’ tell me their own chicken-skin stories—modern-day kine.

One story I nevah going fo’get wen come from one nice, quiet Japanee man. He said was one true story, honest promise, fo’ real kine. He said dis wen happen to him an’ his friends when dey was high school, maybe forty years ago.

Was one Sunday night, four guys inside one Toyota, they wen go Lahaina side fo surf all day. Afta’ come dark, befo’ dey drive back town side, dey wen stop at da ABC Store an’ dey wen buy milk and cookies fo’ eat on da way home.

All was good, jus’ one regulah ride home, da guys all talkin’ story, eatin’ cookies, and laughin’ up by da time dey reach da pali. (Pali” is Hawaiian fo’ “cliff,” so dass what us Maui guys call da part of da highway dat go along da West Maui cliffs. Da scenic route.) Jus’ when they come to da tunnel, one guy in da back seat wen open up his milk carton. Soon as he get ‘em open, dey hear one loud screech, “EeeeeaaAAAaahhhhhooOOOOOOOO!” Almos’ like one wahine screamin’, but mo’ wild . . . like one giant tomcat gettin’ ready fo’ beef.

“Eh, no fool around!” da drivah tell da guys in da back seat. And right den, da car wen ma-ke, die, dead! Da drivah, he try fo’ start ‘em up again, but no can. Da batt’ry no mo’ juice, da engine no can turn ovah. Da boys figga dey gotta get out an’ push da car out from da tunnel, but all of a sudden, dey seen one humongous cat face, right in front da windshield!

Da cat face open up its mouth, show his teeth, and den let go one more screech, mo’ worse dan da firs’ one! Da drivah an’ da front seat passenjah stay frozen wit’ fear, no can talk, no can move. Da guys in da back seat, dey panic. Dey start fo’ trow stuffs at da cat face fo’ scare ‘em away. An’ when da milk carton wen come flyin’ out da window, da cat face disappear, jus’ as fas’ as he wen come. Da drivah try da ignition again, da car start right up, an’ da poor boys wen dig outta there fas’ as they can!

Everybody know you not s’pose to take pork ovah da pali at night, but dass da first time I wen hear about milk. I guess da monsta cat was thirsty. I donno if anybody else seen dat cat on da pali. I know plenny people seen da white dog ovah deah—some guys say dass Pele’s dog, and sometimes Pele herself stay walking on da road wit’ him.

But you know what is da mos’ scariest t’ing of all da nighttime sights on da pali? Drunk drivahs. So drive defensive an’ no drive drunk. Make sure you no end up in one spooky story.

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