My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Sunday, December 2, 2001

The Honolulu Soap Co.:
Sunday digest

>> Ala Moana Beach Park

Sitting on a park bench, HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes was about to ask Dr. Laurie Tang if the name Serena Kawainui meant anything to her when his cell phone chirped. Laurie was glad for the interruption. Gomes' question about her boyfriend Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka "acting differently" raised a fear in Laurie that she was about to learn things about Donovan she didn't really want to know -but needed to know.

"OK, you tell her." Gomes handed Laurie the phone.

She recognized the voice of extreme photographer Johnny B. Goo. "There was no moisture in the lens, in the housing or anywhere else. So I've no idea what caused the white cloud in some of the photos of you and Gomes."

Laurie hung up, handed the phone back to Gomes. "This makes absolutely no sense."

"Neither does what we saw."

"Excuse me." Gomes and Laurie looked up, saw a man with white hair and sun-leathered skin. "Some people over there ..." He nodded toward the swelling crowd that had come to see for themselves the WWII-vintage Japanese mini-sub that minutes ago had surfaced out of nowhere. "... they're saying you saw a naked woman inside the sub."

Gomes' cop instincts kicked in. "What's it to you?"

"I know this woman."

Laurie and Gomes exchanged a glance. Maybe this old guy was crazier than they were.

"All my life I wanted to see that wahine, and today I did." Jimmy Ahuna was glowing too. "I saw the goddess."

Gomes didn't like it that the old guy kind of snuck up on them. You never get surprised in a public place! Even more so sitting here in swim shorts, his short-barrel Glock 9mm in its ankle holster in his car. Gomes broke his own rule. All because of this wahine. He couldn't take his eyes off Laurie. At least he was aware enough to notice that Dr. Tang couldn't seem to take her eyes off him, either.

"Who are you?" Gomes said brusquely. "What do you do?"

"Jimmy Ahuna. Howzit." He nodded, smiled. "I fish mostly since I retired from the Pearl Harbor ship yard. That's how come I seen that sub, two times now - fishing."

"You saw it before today?"

"Sure. Queen's Beach, couple weeks ago, thrownet that time."

"You said you know the woman we saw inside the sub?"

"What's her name?"

"Ho'ola," Jimmy said, as if that should explain everything. From their blank looks, it obviously didn't. "Ho'ola, goddess of life - rescuer, healer, saver, preserver."

"Why did we see her, and you saw her, but nobody else saw her?" Laurie said.

"She only reveals herself to whoever she wants to reveal herself." This was all too much for Gomes. "I'd like a better explanation than that."

"I no can help that, bruddah. An' you no can help the goddess touching you. She blessed you, the two of you, together. She told me. Blessed you and your children."

"That, I think," Gomes said, gathering himself, "is getting rather ahead of ourselves."

"I'm sorry to interrupt," Laurie said, "but I do need to get to work."

"But we're not through with my questions."

"We could talk over dinner tonight," Laurie said. "I'm cooking."

It wasn't, Gomes noted, a question.

>> Watching from behind a row of monkeypod trees, Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka was ready to scream. Or kill. It was so obvious something was going on between Laurie and Gomes. Yes, Gomes had to go, now more than ever.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be emailed at

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