We kept the same sin hidden from each other for years. She buried hers in the backyard, I sank mine at the bottom of Brill Lake. Strangulation and a gun, different to be sure, but how nice it is to find, even in the waning twilight of our lives, that we still have something in common.
The children moved us out of the house last summer, to a small apartment at Senior Shores. Mona couldn’t stand to leave her rose garden—promised to haunt the new owners if they touched one plant. I didn’t understand the fuss until she confessed to me over applesauce that it was really more of a Rose garden…
Rose had been our neighbor forty years before.
There’d been a disagreement, then a repurposing of the curtain pulls, then a dead Rose on the living room floor.
“Why’d you bury her so close?” I’d asked.
“You try burying a body while raising two kids. Roger had a baseball game.”
“Well mine’s in the lake,” I said. She looked at me calmly, to see if I was telling the truth or just ribbing her like I’d done all our years together.
“Maxwell?” She asked. Maxwell Price, my immediate supervisor, had gone missing one winter on a hunting trip near our cabin. I nodded, wiping a bit of cream corn from her chin.
“I hope not on our side of the lake. I like to put my feet in there.”
“No, over by the Sandersons.”
“Well that’s just fine then.”
Most of the minds at Senior Shores are starting to go a little. Everything feels dulled except the fluorescent lights. The QVC channel is constant.
We’ve set our eyes on the night nurse, Eloise.
She’s bigger than the both of us, but we’ll do this one together.
Front page image by Anita Carril.
GHOST WRITER is a project by Tracy Danger Mumford. New sections are released every other Sunday. If you’d like to receive email alerts—and that’s all you’ll get, a short email—saying the new one’s up, sign up here: