My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Nature’s call

>> Kaimuki

The world of a detective so often turns on the smallest detail, the no-can-explain happenstance. So it was for HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes. Having just asked the Toyamas in Aina Haina about their sad experience with the Family Photo Burglar, he was on his way to the Honolulu Soap Co. in Kalihi to ask Sheets Ah Sun why he'd driven past the illegal chemical dump site in Waimanalo twice in two days when Gomes felt an extreme need to use the bathroom.

As it happened, Gomes was just minutes from his home, and soon he was turning up 16th Avenue from Pahoa -- and noticing a woman with a desert camouflage expedition-size backpack getting off TheBus and walking up his street. Gomes was a one-man Neighborhood Watch, but was distracted by nature screaming his name and quickly forgot about her.

But Kate was acutely aware of the green car that turned into a driveway and of the man who jumped out of the car and raced into the house. She lived a detached life, withdrawn from the world, but watched it carefully as if from behind a dark corner. And some part of her brain knew that what she was doing was, well, some people wouldn't like it and there would be trouble if they caught her. But it wasn't as if she could stop, not unless the elderly couple three doors up were home and not at their regular, scheduled dialysis for the wife.

Kate was happy to see their Honda Civic was not in the carport. No other neighbors were in sight. She walked around to the side of the house.

>> Hawaii Kai

Just ahead, his sister Lily's teal BMW was the last car through the yellow light onto Kalanianaole before it turned red, and the cabbie started to brake.

"Run it!" Laird Ah Sun said from the back eat. "We'll never catch her in this traffic!"

The cabbie gunned his Lincoln. "This part's extra, brah."

"No problem. See if you can pull alongside her."

"You sure this is just your sister?"

"Absolutely. No da kine, I told you."

As the taxi pulled alongside the Beamer, Laird rolled down his window, waved. "Toot the horn!"

The cabbie did.

Lily had the windows up, the AC on, the new Mauka Showers CD cranking. She was vaguely aware of some nutcase hanging out the car to her right, waving and yelling, the driver honking the horn. It was true, Lily thought, you can drive a mile and never see anybody as sane as you are.

But then she heard her name. Oh God, this wasn't Jerry again, was it? He hadn't bothered her in over a year. She absolutely was not looking over.

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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