New Winslow S1E7
Soft flute music played over the speakers at Forest Charms. It was late morning and Iris stood behind the wooden counter, surveying her shop as a couple of customers browsed the shelves.
The shoppers seemed pretty well occupied and had already said they didn’t need any help. So Iris turned away from them and looked back down at her notes. She chewed absently on the end of her pen as she reflected on the questions she’d marked down. They were way too vague, but she couldn’t really go any more specific than that. She literally didn’t know what caused it. If she didn’t know that, how could she stop it?
Once the shop closed up for the day, she’d take some time and dig into her books. Maybe there was some precedence in one of the dusty old books she’d picked up at an estate sale and never looked through.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a customer dropping a stack of books on the counter in front of her.
“Oh, hi!” she said cheerfully, scanning the books at the register. “Are you paying with cash or credit?”
“Can’t you guess?” the woman teased.
Iris kept the smile on her face and forced her eyes not to roll. Even with the small size of her customer base, she still got that joke on a regular basis.
“Unfortunately, that’s not how The Sight works,” she said with a laugh.
The woman laughed too. Iris didn’t recognize her, so she must’ve found the shop on Yelp or something. Iris sent up a wish to whatever would listen that she wouldn’t get stuck on her way out of town.
“Credit, then.” the woman said.
Iris ran her credit card, then waited the painfully long time it took to process. The woman signed the slip, took her books, and walked out.
As Iris turned back to her notes, the bell over the door rang.
“Hey, Iris, got your order here.”
Iris frowned. “My order?” she repeated, still looking at her notes. “I don’t have an order coming in til next week- oh! Hi Roman.”
Roman Beckett stood in the doorway with the sandwich she had completely forgotten about ordering an hour before. She liked Roman. His wife, Celine, was a regular customer and while they weren’t close, the proximity of their shops meant that they ran into each other on a regular basis.
“Hey,” Roman said, just as another customer approached the register.
“Hang on one sec!” Iris said.
She quickly sold the man the crystal he wanted and turned back to Roman, who was standing in front of a collection of tarot decks. He had one in his hand and was inspecting the package.
“Are you thinking about getting one?” Iris asked.
Roman jumped and set the deck down guiltily. “Nope,” he said. “Just looking. I have your sandwich here.”
He unzipped the delivery bag and pulled out a sandwich. He handed it to her, then set the receipt on the counter.
“I just need you to sign here,” he said.
Iris leaned over and scrawled her name on the receipt. “Oh, by the way,” she said, setting her pen down. “Do you know anything about the curse?”
Roman froze, his hand reaching out to pick up the receipt. “Excuse me?” he said finally.
“Like, where it comes from? Or how it works? I got hit with it the other day for the first time ever and I realized I don’t really know anything about it. And I should, I mean, I own the town magic shop. I need to learn more and I figured if anyone would know-”
“It would be me,” Roman interrupted, his voice flat.
Roman picked up her receipt. “No,” he said, his voice a little sharp. “No, I don’t know anything about it.”
Iris was taken aback at the sudden change in his demeanor. “Oh, well, okay then.”
“I have to get going,” Roman said. “I’ve got more deliveries.”
“Yeah, right, of course,” Iris said. “Sorry to hold you up. Oh, um, let me know if you want a tarot card reading sometime soon. On the house.”
“I’m all set,” Roman replied, his voice gentler but still stiff. “I appreciate it.”
He walked out, the bell jingling behind him. Iris watched after him for a moment, then turned back to her notes. Nothing to add at this point.
The door opened again. “Hey, Iris!” came a booming voice. “Can you tell me what I’m here for today?”