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My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

Thursday, April 17, 2003


Dim the lights


>> North Shore

At her home on Waialua Beach Road, Raydean Gonsalves dimmed the lights, put on the CD "Makeout Hits of the '80s" and sat herself down on the couch beside Lono Oka'aina, handing him a cold Coors. It was the right time, the right place to be with the one you almost loved so long ago.

"Cheers," she said, touched her Silver Bullet to his. "You know what's funny about running into you today at The Eddie? I was looking at our yearbooks the other day, thinking about the choices I've made in life. Since Bully left me last Christmas, I've been doing a lot of that. Anyway, there's that picture of you and me at the FFA dance our junior year..."

"I remember ..." The way she lay her head on his shoulder as they slow-danced, the way her breasts pressed against his chest.

"I liked you then, Lono. I think you liked me too. But Bully was the one who chased me."

"I try not to make the same mistake twice," he said and kissed her.

At the Rockin' Pikake Ranch above Kahuku, having completed their tour and their comments on various "species" and "examples," the group of men retreated back down the hall outside Shauny Nakamura's small, stainless steel cage. They all stopped to look at her one more time. As they left, Victor said, "Tomorrow."

What did that mean?

Wrapped in only a light blanket, Shauny heard a heavy door close with a bang, then a series of metallic clanks as it was bolted shut from the outside. She knew she wasn't alone.

"Hello?" Shauny called tentatively. "Anybody there?"

Silence at first, then from down the hall a loud whisper. "Herro!" A woman's voice, Asian accent.

Another whisper, "I'm here." A male voice, sardonic. "The, uh, anti-war chap." As the Aussie in the group had described him.

"Who else?" Shauny called.

It was hard to tell, but she heard perhaps 20 other voices, males and females.

The series of metal clanks was repeated and the door was flung open. Shauny heard a familiar voice and his footsteps coming closer. "There will be no talking!" The Japanese was back. "You are being observed. There are cameras." He passed her cage, continued down the hall, brandishing that large pistol. "If you speak, the electronic collar around your neck will make you wish you hadn't. This is a fact."

Returning down the hall, he paused outside her cage, leered in. "You're a runner, aren't you?"

Trembling in fear, Shauny nodded. She was a runner.

"That should help," he said. "For a while." He turned and was gone and there was silence. The lights went down and there was darkness.




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 dchapman@midweek.com

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