My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Friday, February 21, 2003


>> Queen's Medical Center

Lily Ah Sun was back where she would always want to be, beside Quinn. Sharing his bed, she snuggled close as he told her everything that his father had just revealed about a night in Waimanalo 21 years ago.

"So that's it," Quinn finished.

"Now we know."

Truth can be so liberating. But sometimes it takes some getting used to. So they laid it all out one last time.

After their chance reunion when he'd pulled her over for speeding, they started asking what caused their fathers' feud. That led Lily to the State Library newspaper archives and the mysterious Bobo Ah Sun. Now, after Lily met with Tony Martinez, after Quinn's first conversations with his mother in 16 years, after Lily confirmed things with her mother and finally after Quinn confirmed suspicions with his father, their truth came down to that night in Waimanalo.

Bobo, the hanai brother, was back in town, performing on a cruise ship. Quinn's father Mits invited him to a poker game with their brother Sheets in Waimanalo. Sheets, riding in the back of Mits' car with his folded-up HPD uniform and Smith & Wesson .45, grabbed the gun, put it to Bobo's head, made Mits drive to a nearby illegal chemical dump pit, explaining to Bobo that he knew about the night seven years earlier when he'd raped Sheets' bride-to-be one month short of the wedding, and Bobo was the father of Grace's first child Lily. Then, out of view of Mits but well within earshot, Sheets put two bullets into Bobo's head. Bobo toppled into the pit that glowed greenish in the dark, and Sheets tossed in his brother's police revolver as well.

What they didn't know was that when Bobo and the Smith & Wesson settled at the bottom, the gun came to rest beside his right hand. Thereafter, as Sheets hoped, the corrosive chemicals were as destructive to steel as to flesh, and soon it was impossible to positively identify either as anything more than a crumbling gun and finger bones.

"There's one more thing, Lil," Quinn said, reaching for the TV remote, turning up the volume on the 10 o'clock news. "That chemical pit, it's the same one they've been investigating. They think they found human remains."

There on the screen were members of a joint team -- Health Department, Medical Examiner, HPD, EPA -- explaining what they'd found.

"By some quirk," the medical examiner said, "well after the corrosive effects of the chemicals began, someone dumped a batch of heavy wax into the pit." She held up chunk of translucent wax encasing a decomposing hand skeleton that appeared to hold a decomposing pistol. "Our best guess is suicide. Unfortunately, we've been unable to identify either the individual or the make of the weapon. End of story."

Not quite.

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

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