From The Ghost Writer

quill-pen-300x300 Carla and Rose woke with big league hangovers. Murph was sitting in a lounge chair watching them. He’d returned from his walk and coffee out and had taken up the laptop to work. Keekah had come up, herself not a hundred percent, and checked in on Rose. She told Murph she would prepare a full brunch and they could all come down whenever they were ready.

Murph remembered a waitress he’d known. They’d had a trip to the Poconos together. Saturday night she’d gotten really sloshed and she woke up in the middle of the night wanting farina. Go figure. Murph called room service—good thing they were open twenty-four seven—that delivered the most perfect farina Murph had ever seen. It was positively beautiful, totally even in the plate, smooth, steaming hot, a round dollop of yellow butter dug into the middle and melted. Murph was thinking some choice words, but he was having a good weekend so he was taking it in stride. He helped her to the table and as soon as she saw the farina she heaved all over it.

Rose made no attempt to cover herself as she sat up in the bed. Carla had not stirred yet but she was up too. She asked what time it was. Murph told her after eleven. He told her it was time to start heading back to real life.

“This is real life,” Rose said. She got up unabashedly and went off to pee.

“I am so hung-over,” Carla said.

“You remember last night?” Murph asked.

“Everything,” Carla said. “You should have joined us in the hot tub.” She turned over in the bed and buried her head in the covers.

“Yes. You should have,” Rose said returning to the room. She sat on the edge of the bed, faced Murph and drew one leg up on the bed, knee bent. She leaned her arms on her thigh. This gave Murph an up close and personal view of every bit of her.

Murph looked. He did not look away. Carla finally sat up and seeing Rose posing for Murph, bad as she felt from the hangover, she moved behind Rose and started kissing her and fondling her. “Last chance,” she said. “Two for the price of one.”

“Pass,” Murph said. He got up and was about to head out of the room when Rose said, “Please.” Carla echoed Rose’s one word. “Please,” she said.


They were mostly quiet at brunch. Keekah and Keelah were as hung over as Rose and Carla. They were dressed in house-dresses and wore scarves on their heads. They padded about in soft bedroom slippers.

Even for as bad as they felt, they prepared a wonderful brunch. Some things were ordered in and delivered—bagels and lox, kippers, white fish and all the trimmings that went with them. But they prepared the eggs and home fries, fresh squeezed juice, a beautiful fruit salad and strong, hot coffee.

“We’ll be leaving around two,” Rose told the sisters.

They acknowledged. Keekah told her she and her sister would close up the house and take all the food back to the city. She suggested they could have it for lunch tomorrow at work.

“How are we going to work?” Murph asked.

“Same as always,” Carla said.

“You think?” Murph asked.

“What happens on the Island stays on the Island,” Rose said.