Ren thinks her grandmother’s old seaside motel in Myrtle Beach has character. Still, it’s a shock when that character speaks to her through a crack in the wall. Ren’s counting on this summer to pull her family back together, but if she can’t heal the wounded spirit, the rundown motor lodge will be destroyed...along with her parents’ marriage. FRONT DESK meets RULES FOR GHOSTING.
The sky goes murky, and sheets of rain pelt the minivan. It’s so dim, I have to stop crocheting.
Mom puts the wipers in turbo mode and squints into the gloom.
“We should pull over, Carson. Let the storm pass,” Dad says in his soothing, yoga-instructor voice.
But Mom’s not soothed. “It’s fine.” She wipes the inside of the windshield with her palm.
The summer storm stops as abruptly as it started, and traffic speeds up. Steam rises from the wet road like an army of freshly awakened ghosts.
I pick up my crochet hook and get back to work. But my stitches pull tighter and tighter, as if the strained feeling inside the minivan is soaking into my project. I undo the last row and start over. If I don’t, the whole thing will end up wonky. Consistent tension is the key to crochet. Nana taught me that.
My older sister Sofia lays down her book. The dust jacket says Harry Potter, but it’s hiding a Stephen King horror novel underneath. “My phone says it takes five and a half hours to drive from Atlanta to Myrtle Beach, but it feels like forEVER!”
Hoping to lighten the mood, I say, “Tell us your favorite thing about growing up in Nana’s motel, Mom.”
“Ummm.” She pauses, like a kid who got called on in class but doesn’t have an answer. “Honestly, the motel creeps me out.”