Phantom Lover Chronicles: Free Blog Story CHAPTER ONE

Phantom Lover Chronicles

By A.J. Llewellyn

Cover Art: Silver Pixies


           Chapter One: The ‘E’epa


“I am so sick of that Snake person,” Kimo griped.

My gorgeous husband sat slumped against the kitchen table watching me make breakfast. Actually, he wasn’t so much watching me as he was busy griping about everything. He called it supervising. I called it being a pain in the ass, and not the good kind, either.

He’d never questioned my cooking before. Suddenly he wanted to know why I’d used a whole stick of butter for my caramel apple French toast, and didn’t I think two cups of sugar was too much of a good thing in the pies I was baking for the day?

“Kimo,” I said, finally. “His name is Snape. Not Snake. And he’s not real.”

“But the kids love him.” He looked so bleak as he said this.

“Of course they do. He knows magic and he’s a sort of bad dude. Kids love the black hats, you know.”

I thought back to my own childhood and how I’d adored the villains on TV shows. My favorite had been the Bookworm on Batman. I’d pined for a gold outfit and his groovy, shimmering top hat. But that’s another story…

Our three kids and their twin cousins had been hooked on the Harry Potter DVDs for weeks. Weeks. Frankly, the movies were driving me er, potty, but I knew that the children watching their favorite movies over and over again was normal. Pottermania was a harmless hobby, and, since this was Sunday and the third straight day of nonstop rain, I was inclined to let Harry and his pals babysit for me so I could get breakfast on the table.

Kimo toyed with the sugar bowl. “And another thing. If this Snape is so fantastic, how come he can’t manage to find a bottle of shampoo to wash his hair, huh?” Kimo asked me this question a lot.

I didn’t respond. I was afraid I’d laugh.

“Lopaka, are you laughing at me?”

“No, darling.” I bit my lip and concentrated on slicing apples into the egg batter.

“And you’d think anyone with some self respect would give themselves a decent haircut. He looks like an idiot with those greasy curtains hanging around his face.” A pause. “Lopaka, you are laughing at me.”

“No, no, I’m not.” I had tears in my eyes from trying so hard not to laugh. I couldn’t claim onions were making me cry since I was making a sweet dish. I took a deep breath and turned to face him.

“Kimo, you know more magic than Snape. You know how to entrance our children. Why don’t you do it?”

“They want bubbles and smoke, and oozing slime and spells. And incantations.” He licked his fingertip, put it in the sugar bowl, then sucked it.

“So, teach them some,” I said. I swallowed. Hard. Watching him sucking his finger was a deeply erotic experience for me.

“Hawaiian magic doesn’t involve all that nonsense.”

“Yes, darling, I know. But why not humor them?”

“They want little creatures and things that fly—”

“We have little creatures,” I said. “We have menehune.”

He frowned at me. Menehune were the Hawaiian equivalent of fairies. They worked hard and legend had it they’d built all the islands’ fishponds all by themselves. They were not especially handsome. They weren’t greeting card type fairies. They were more like spit-in-your-eye-and-kick-you-in-the shins type fairies.

“You think the menehune are going to be thrilled about being bothered to entertain our children when they have things to do?”

“Well,” I said. “You can offer them some gin. They love it.”

“Yeah, that’s true.” He began to rub his chin.

“Just one menehune,” I warned. There was only so much spit I could handle in a day.

“Two,” he said. “I like the idea of conjuring up a couple of them. The kids will think it’s fantastic. I bet Professor Snake doesn’t know any menehune.” He was getting excited by the idea, I could tell.

I warmed to the theme of Kimo playing magician. “You can dazzle the kids with a bit of smoke and mirrors. We’ve got food colorings and that chemistry set Little Kimo got for Christmas. I bet—”

“Mypaka, that’s a wonderful idea!” Kimo jumped up from his chair. My massive, six foot four hunk of hot Hawaiian man covered the distance between us in seconds.

He held me in his arms and kissed me. Dang. He was a magician, all right.

“Mmmm…Mypaka,” he purred, his hand reaching inside my board shorts to stroke my now rigid cock. “Nice to know I still have the touch.” He withdrew his hand again.

“Hey,” I protested.

“Sorry, Mypaka. The magician must perform. I’ll take care of that snake—” He jerked his thumb toward the living room, “and then I’ll take care of…this one.” He briefly put his hand to my crotch.

“Perform on me,” I said. “Please. Please.” I wasn’t too proud to beg.

“Sorry, Mypaka. I’ll make it up to you.” He began to pull things from the kitchen shelves.

“What are you doing now?”

He didn’t answer me.

“Whatever you do, please remember the spells you make. We had a heck of a time getting those Shrek ears off the twins last Halloween.”

Kimo turned to stare at me a moment. “A small accident.”

I didn’t argue. My sister had flipped out when eight-year-old Kamaha and Keli’i had been stuck with lime green, hairy ogre ears right up until Christmas. We’d had to pay extra for the photographer to Photoshop the ears out of the family Christmas cards. And then my sister’s in-laws arrived from the Philippines for the holidays.

Yeah…that had been fun, explaining the ears to her husband’s superstitious parents.

As usual, Kimo could read my mind. “Lopaka, you know the kids wanted to keep the ears. That’s why nothing worked.”

He did have a point. But still…

“I think Snape would look perfect with ogre ears. They’d go so nicely with his greasy hair,” Kimo said. Arms full of spices and condiments, he gave me a swift kiss.

“Oh, do we have any bananas?” he asked.

I had to think. “Sure, we always have bananas.”

“And fish. Maybe you can steam some. Menehune love bananas and fish.”

“Got it.” I started dipping the thickly sliced Hawaiian bread into the batter as Kimo left the kitchen.

He was in a good mood now, plotting and planning…at least I got to cook unsupervised and finished preparing our meal. None of the kids wanted to leave the TV, but the smell of their favorite foods soon swayed them.

“Mama,” my daughter, Pele said. She always called me mama because in the Hawaiian kahuna tradition, I was actually Kimo’s wife. I bent to her. She threw her arms around my neck and hugged me. My little girl, who was four, could be the sweetest thing, and then the most frightening. Her temper was volcanic, as befitting a daughter of the great fire goddess.

Pele was wearing red pajama bottoms and a red T-shirt with the words I Recycle Boys etched onto it. She talked tough but Pele adored all the men in her life, especially her six-year-old brother, Little Kimo.

            She also adored her twin, whom we all called Kamapu, but she tended to boss him around. He loved her so much he put up with singed hair and eyelashes. He just loved his feisty sister.  She carried a lava stone in her right hand. The thing crackled with life. It belonged to the lava pool at the base of our mountain home. Lava stones were her toys. She liked to play with them and talk to them and always cried when Kimo and I made her return them.

Kamapu preferred Hot Wheels cars, which he enjoyed dunking in my coffee for some reason. It was a game we played frequently.

He enjoyed it a lot more than I did.

I marshaled the kids into the dining room, where my grandma, Tutu, had set the table. A low-lying one with scatter cushions around it, we enjoyed our family-style meals. My nephews Keli’i and Kamaha had spent the weekend with us. They could see their house across the mountain top from our massive windows, but they weren’t looking.

There was too much fun stuff on the table. Tutu’s husband, Sammy, a gifted kahuna, was at the Queen’s Hospital helping his daughter deliver her second child. For the kids, this meant more bacon and French toast for them.

They tucked into the pile of Portuguese sausages and I passed around the stack of French toast, calling out to Kimo who rushed in, full of excitement.

“Something smells good,” he said snatching a piece of bacon before the mini vultures could demolish every last rasher.

It was a shock to see his getup. Dressed completely in black, he’d parted his long, beautiful black hair down the middle. He’d also managed to make it look greasy.

The kids stared up at him. They all stopped eating.

“Who wants to see some magic?” Kimo asked.

The kids all exchanged looks. Kamapu was the first to respond.

“What sort of magic, Daddy?”

“All kinds of fun things. I’m going to show you things you’ve never seen before.”

“What things?” Kamapu gazed steadily at his father as he chomped a slice of toast.

“Magical things.” Kimo swept his arms widely.

“Can you conjure a house elf?” Keli’i asked.

“Better than that,” Kimo insisted.

“Nothing’s better than a house elf,” Kamaha responded.

“Yeah,” my little ones echoed.

“I’m going to produce two menehune for you!”

The kids all fell into silence.

Finally, Keli’i said, “And what will they do? You said magic. All they do is work.”

“Yeah,” the others chorused.

Poor Kimo looked crestfallen. It said something about our children that living in a magical household they didn’t question the existence of fairies. They wanted something more…exotic.

The kids all looked at him. I think they were waiting for smoke and slime and razzle-dazzle.

Poor Kimo…

“I don’t want a menehune. I want to watch Harry Potter,” Pele said. She turned her great, dark eyes on me. “Please, Mama. I want to watch Professor Snape.”

“You don’t want a menehune?” Kimo looked stunned.

“No.” Kamaha bit into a sausage. “Grandpa Sammy brought one here. He made me chop wood.”

“Yeah,” Little Kimo said. He’d been silently motor-boating his way through his food up until now. “Me too. And I had to help him make a stone wall.”

I laughed. I’d forgotten about that incident. It was true. Tutu joined in my laughter. She was bent over double remembering that day.

Poor Keli’i, Kamaha and Little Kimo had been tricked into helping the menehune build a barbecue for Maluhia’s visiting in-laws. Kimo had rescued the twins. He looked at me know and I shrugged. Yes, I’d forgotten, but I tended to block most unpleasant memories.

“And they drank all of Daddy’s beer,” Keli’i recalled.

“And they wouldn’t go away. Even when Pele gave one of them a hot foot,” Kamaha reminded us.

I bit my lip. Ooops. I’d forgotten about that, too.

Pele kissed the crackling lava stone in her hand. She’d been strictly forbidden to throw fireballs at anybody without permission. Most of the time she remembered the rules but it didn’t help that Kimo laughed at her exploits and egged her on behind my back.
“I want a house elf,” Pele announced.

“Me, too,” the boys chimed in.

“I can do better than that,” Kimo said, sounding smug. “How about an ‘E’epa?”

The kids stared at him, but this time in utter fascination.

“A forest elf?” Pele looked ecstatic.

“Do they work?” Little Kimo asked, a suspicious look on his face.

“Do they smell funny?” Kamaha asked.

“Do they eat all the bananas?” Keli’i asked.

“No, they don’t to answer all your questions.” Kimo sounded indignant. “They like to make mischief.” He glanced at me.

Mischief. Yeah, like we needed more of that around here.

The older twins were exchanging knowing looks. I could read their facial expressions easily. “An ‘E’epa. I’ve never chased one of those before.”

“When can he come?” Pele asked.

“After we go to the Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau and ask Goddess Pele for permission.”

The kids knew the heiau well. They knew all the sacred island outdoor temples since Kimo and I volunteered our time to their upkeep.

Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau was the biggest of the ancient temples and yet, the least known. Very few tourists knew of it. I could tell the kids were intrigued by the idea, but then suddenly, it began to rain.

“Do we have to go, Mama?” Pele asked.

“No rain, no rainbows,” I reminded her.

“Okay, Mama!” She jumped from her seat. “What do I wear to meet an ‘E’epa?”

“Whatever you want,” I said.

“I want to watch Harry Potter,” Kamapu said. The other kids drowned him out.

“Are you sure the ‘E’epa won’t eat all the bananas?” Kamaha asked me. I assured him he wouldn’t. Not that I knew for sure.

Tutu supervised the kids getting ready as I cleared up the breakfast dishes.

In the kitchen, Kimo gathered fruit and vegetables for the official offering at the heiau.

“Will this work? Can you really conjure an ‘E’epa?” I asked.

“No idea,” he said cheerfully. “We’re about the find out.”

Pele came into the kitchen, predictably attired in a red bikini and red gum boots. It was her wardrobe most days, except when she went to school.

“We need so ti leaves, baby,” Kimo told her. Her eyes crackled with pleasure. She loved anything mystical. She loved adventure.

“Okay, Daddy!” She marshaled the boys outside and they soon returned with all kinds of leaves and flowers.

“Very good,” I said.

The kids were ready and anxious to go. I noticed Kamaha hiding all the bananas under the sink. The kid was obsessed.

“Mypaka, do you think there’s a Hawaiian form of boggart?” Keli’i asked me. All the kids swiveled their inquisitive gazes at me.

“What’s a boggart?” Kimo asked.

I knew they were shape shifters in Harry Potter’s world that took the form of the intended victim’s worst fear.

“We have a form of them,” I said, cautiously. I worried about Kamapu, who I thought was a little young for the movies but he seemed unaffected by them. Probably because he’d experienced actual paranormal things in his short life that relegated the Harry Potter stories to mere entertainment.

“Cool!” the kids shouted in unison.

“Will we see one today?” Kamapu asked.

“Possibly,” I admitted.

“Cool!” they chorused once again.

I glanced down at my daughter. “Darling, if we do see anything, please remember to show respect. Don’t throw fireballs first then ask questions later.”

“Okay, Mama,” she grumped.

I quirked a brow at her. She’d once burned both of mine off hurling a fireball at me. I’d finally managed to grow them back in. It hadn’t been easy. It had required a little intervention from Tutu’s mascara wand and much gnashing of teeth for me.

“You go with them,” Tutu told me, kissing my cheek. “I’ll wait for the pies to come out of the oven. I’ll wash up and go to the hospital. Sammy needs me.”

“I stacked the dishwasher,” I told her. She beamed at me. We turned the machine on and she sat down to play her favorite online bingo game.

The rest of us were on our way.


* * * *

The Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau is situated on the North Shore. Unlike a couple of other sacred temples that have been made available to public viewing, tourists dropping in on Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau has not been encouraged by the State of Hawaii since being declared a national historic landmark in 1962.

This perfectly preserved sacred site measures at five hundred and seventy five feet by a hundred and seventy feet and stands three hundred feet high. It has the most powerful, yet deeply upsetting mana, especially around nightfall.

And therein lies the reason for its virtual anonymity. Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau was the site of numerous human sacrifices during the reign of King Kamehameha 1.

During his time, the explorer George Vancouver visited the islands and though he later became great friends with the king, his initial voyage was treated as some sort of invasion and three of his crewmembers were attacked.

According to legend, these men were sacrificed at Puu O Mahuka Heiau.

            Known as the hill of escape by some people, its troublesome history as a place of human suffering has made it difficult for the kahuna who visit it to allow people to run rampant on the actual mound. A small stone table stands in front of it and offerings are left there all the time. It is a place of honor, or remembrance. A place to ask for special favors.

Kimo drove over to the other side of the island in the family SUV, the kids keeping up an entertaining conversation in back.

With two tiers of child-safety seats and music playing, there was a festive mood in the vehicle, quickly hushed by the turnoff to Waimea. We plunged deep into the forest road away from the famed, big-surf beach.

Everyone stopped chattering. We parked, took all our offerings and walked across the ground to the massive enclosure for the heiau.

The kids knew it well and respected its impact on their psyches. Keli’i, an extremely sensitive child, often saw ghosts around the island and he was the first to ever detect supernatural activity anyplace we went.

He held my hand as we approached the altar table. Kimo and the other kids began leaving their offerings to the island’s deities, Kimo chanting to Pele.

The kids were silent. Not frightened, but respectful. I also noticed a small breeze kick up and Keli’i squeezed my fingers. hard.

“Mypaka!” he whispered, pointing at the hill that had once been the place of untold human deaths.

“Look!” His eyes widened.

I couldn’t see anything but a dark cloud suddenly hovered above us.

Suddenly, a fireball shot out at us.

Pele retaliated swiftly, hauling her arm back and tossing one over in the direction of the first fireball.

Another one shot back and just brushed my right temple. I screamed. I could smell burning hair and knew it was mine. My damned eyebrows! And after all my efforts to grow them back again.

And then out of nowhere a black cat appeared.

“Are you okay?” Kimo asked me. He came over, trying not to grim at my facial misfortune.

“What do you have against my eyebrows?” I asked my daughter who giggled. She trotted over to the black cat.

“Don’t,” Keli’i said to her.

Pele glanced back at him. Suddenly the cat backed away and seemed to convulse.

“It’s the ‘E’epa.” Keli’i sounded awed.

“That was fast.” Kimo did too.

We all watched as the cat turned into a two-foot tall little man in shorts and a loud Hawaiian short.

“What are you looking at?” he asked in a thin, squeaky voice.

“You!” Kamaha said. “Are you an ‘E’epa?”

            “Who wants to know?” the indignant little man asked. “Did you bring me any bananas?”

“See, I told you.” Kamaha shot me a look of reproach.”

The little elfin man seemed pissed. “I hope you don’t expect me to sing or dance,” he muttered. “I’m not in the mood.”

“No, I’m going to chase you,” Kamaha said.

“Me too,” Keli’i said.

“Me too!” chorused my three kids.

“No, you’re not,” the ‘E’epa said. The kids ran closer to him and he let out an ear-piercing squeal. He ran off, the kids springing after him.

“See,” my husband said, putting his arm around me. “Snake’s got nothing on me.”

I heard the kids hooting with laughter.

And then I heard a vehicle engine.

“Kimo,” I said, hardly able to breathe. “Where are your keys?”

“On the ground.” He turned and pointed. “There…oh. Oops.”

“What do you mean oops?” I heard the screech of tires, a blast of car horns. We ran outside of the enclosure just in time to see the ‘E’epa driving away with our kids in the back. That menacing, mean little elf gave us the finger.

“Well,” my husband said, “this shit just got interesting.”

















15 Responses to “Phantom Lover Chronicles: Free Blog Story CHAPTER ONE”

  1. I truly loved chapter 1 with Kimo,Lopaka & the children ! I can only imagine what it would be to grow up in a magical household ! This has humor,adventure, & romance ! what more do you need for a wonderful story ! can’t wait for the next chapter !!!! 🙂

  2. Thank you Ruth! I loved writing this story!!!!!

  3. I think you are trying to tell me something AJ… Look Kimo Has nothing on Snape!! He is the hottest sexiest, Most Magical Hawaiian I know!!! BUT Snape is all dark and mean and *shivers* a girl cant help but love a bad boy and Snape is as bad as they get *winks*

    I loved the story Darling and I am pleased, and tickled my Snape Obsession inspired it.. You honor me so much and I am humbled to know You are my friend



  4. Dear Silver Pixies,
    Nice save sweetheart.I am glad you think I am all those things but what is this *cough* obsession *cough* you have with Snape? Do I need to turn him into a toad?


    Kimo xoxo

  5. Please please please don’t turn him into a toad Kimo!!! Make you a deal give me something better to obsess over and I will gladly give up Snape for you *winks*


  6. Dear Silver,

    I would except my husband will kill me. I’ll turn a blind eye to the obsession…though I do so badly want to turn him into something useful like…kindling!

    Kimo xoxo

  7. Thank You Kimo for your understand and Ummm Kindness… This is why your so loved Kimo your kind Compassionate and understanding of all your Family…

    oxoxox Silver oxoxoxoxo

  8. Thank you Silver…you are a big part of our family!!

    Kimo xoxo

  9. OMG! I love this AJ. I especially love the cover. Good work Silver. I have never liked Snape. Though I do love Kimo and his magical ways. Keep up the good work AJ.

  10. Hey AJ,
    I was wondering if you will be re-releasing your Phantom Lover series. Also l have been trying to get my hands on “Tall, Mean, and Darker” but cannot seem to find it anywhere. I read the sequel but not the first one and now l cannot seem to find it anywhere. Any help?

  11. How come it takes forever for your books to appear on amazon?

  12. Hi Maame,

    I am re-releasing the Phantom Lover series starting June 6 at Amber Allure. They are republishing Phantom Lover, A Vampire in Waikiki, Honeybone and the Mingo McCloud series.
    I’m really excited because they are giving me special release dates on the first Thursday of every month, releasing the books in batches of three!
    I will also be writing new books in all the series.
    So glad you enjoyed Taller, Meaner, Darker but alas, Tall, Mean and Darkly is out of print and no longer available.
    As for the release dates of my books on Amazon I have no control over this. The different publishers I have control the release dates. Sorry if this has caused a problem for you but I hope some free stories here helps!

  13. Yes it does help. Am glad to know you will be writing new additions to all those wonderful series. Am especially looking forward to Mingo’s wedding. Too bad about T, M, AND D. I guess that is what happens when you don’t read series in order. I wanted to get The Cross from Amazon for my Kindle. It is easier for me to find my books when l buy direct from amazon coz it come with the cover as well. Anyway l know it will be there eventually l just have to wait. Thanks for writing back. So looking forward to June. Thanks.

  14. Hey AJ,
    I fell in love with Kimo and Bobby from my first listening of Phantom Lover. Because I listen to so many audiobooks, I have a greater appreciation for the delivery of this book. I loved the readers’ voice. He was a great addition to an already great story.
    In reading the emails you posted, I think I can answer my own question but I’ll ask anyway. Why are there no more audiobooks for the Phantom Lover series? Since I’m assuming that is out of your control, do you know if there are any plans to convert any of your other books?

  15. Hi there…I have control now that the rights to all the books have reverted to me. They are all being re-edited and getting new covers. As for audio books I produced the one on my own with the help of my brother. An amazing artist called Donnie Don Don did the voice work and he is incredible but audio books don’t really sell that well and I’ll wait and see about doing another one. Thanks for asking! So glad you enjoyed the first one!

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