The Redhead was having a party. I had prayed for rain and low temperatures but I noticed the Lord hadn’t answered as I flashed my ID to the guard at the gate. He looked at it for a long time, went into the lodge and reading from my card, spoke briefly on the phone. Then he came back, pressed a button, and the barrier came up.
“Have a good evening,” he said.
The road wound its way beside long, high walls, manicured lawns and golf cart crossings. A single right turn brought me to her door.
I saw immediately it was an interesting group. The Italian was there, of course, along with an ex- newspaper publisher and her husband, The Redhead’s mother, a decorator and a washed-up sportswriter. By the way, a bottle of bourbon and a sportswriter will get you everywhere.
I knew the Redhead meant business. She’d unpacked the Lalique and done the cooking herself. It was a holiday feast, a regular Christmas in July–even The Redhead herself was in green. She was leaving soon for Europe and this was her last hurrah until the luau she intended to give in a month or two. Some pig’s number was already up.
I leaned back on a neat little sofa with a high back, making myself look relaxed. More champagne opened. I sipped my drink and glanced around the room.
No one saw the karaoke coming.