Uncategorized
Amanda  

New Winslow S7E1

(Author Note: I’ve said in a lot of different places over the past few months that Season 7 would be the final season. That was actually the plan, but if you read my newsletter or subscribe to Patreon, then you’ve seen that I ended up splitting the planned season in half. So you’re getting Season Seven now, with Season Eight coming later in 2024.

Speaking of subscribing, if you enjoy reading New Winslow, please consider a Patreon subscription. The more money I make through my writing, the less freelance work I need to take on. Which means more time spent writing. Plus there’s early access and bonus content!

And special thanks to my existing patrons: Charlie, Sarah, Carmen, Susanne, Kathy, Nightfoot, Dawn, Tera, Louise, Sonya, Muhammad Seven, Kristin, Bobbie, Reggie, Darcy, and Andie. You’re all incredible <3

And on to Season Seven!)

————————

Andrew was trying his best to stay calm and he could tell Iris was too. It had been six hours now and nobody had heard anything from Noah. Olivia had left to search for him beyond New Winslow as soon as Andrew came screeching up to the house that afternoon and he’d been home with Mia until about an hour earlier, when Aunt Monica had come over to take her. And apparently Andrew had looked as bad as he felt because Aunt Monica had taken him in a tight hug and, despite the strict orders he’d given himself, he’d broken down in her arms for a few minutes.

But now he was back at Iris’s shop and they were looking for anything in her books that might work to track Noah wherever he’d gone. Iris had already been to the Countess while he’d been doing his best to stay patient and present with Mia, but neither of the women who owned it had seen any trace of Noah that day. She told Andrew that she could sense something connected to him there, but considering the link he apparently had with the ghost of Billy McBride, the link that had torn open the memories he was living every night in his dreams, that didn’t actually mean he’d been there. And of course they didn’t have CCTV anywhere near the mansion. Because why would they possibly have something so useful as that?

Noah’s mobile phone was tucked on a ledge in the shop where he’d set it down earlier in the day. Andrew couldn’t help looking over at it as he moved an ornamental dagger aside on the counter and picked up an old, overloaded notebook of Iris’s to look through next.

“We can try to set up a tracing spell,” Iris said, her voice falsely confident as she flipped through yet another useless book, stopping on a page and smiling at Andrew. “If you go home and get something of his, maybe I can get a read on his location.”

He was about to point out the phone, despite knowing in his heart that this plan wouldn’t work. But then the front door of the shop slammed open, making them both jump. Olivia strode across the room, her hair wild and her face murderous. Before Andrew could say anything, or stop her, she walked straight up to Iris, grabbed fistfuls of her shirt, and slammed her into the bookshelf behind them. A handful of spell books toppled to the floor and a glass ball shattered as Iris let out a yelp of surprise and pain.

“What did you do?” Olivia demanded, her voice ragged.

“I was trying to help,” Iris choked out, “I swear, I told him we should stop, but he insisted we keep going and-“

“Stop what?”

“It was the same thing as before,” Iris insisted. “I hypnotized him. It was just a regular session, I was trying to help him remember his dreams so that we could- things came up and we stopped, but he said we should keep going and-“

“AND YOU DIDN’T THINK TO SAY NO?” Olivia roared. “You are literally psychic! It didn’t occur to you that, hey, maybe he’s not emotionally fit to be doing this? Not even for a fucking second?”

That had occurred to Andrew, and he had been turning it over in his head since that hellish moment he’d watched Noah’s taillights go out of sight. “Liv-” he started.

Olivia ignored him, letting go of her grip on Iris. For a second, Andrew was relieved. At least until Olivia grabbed the dagger that had been sitting on the counter and held the lethal point of it to Iris’s throat. “I should kill you,” she said, her hand shaking as Iris looked terrified.

“Liv!” Andrew yelled. “Jesus Christ!”

He grabbed the arm holding the blade and pushed it down, away from Iris’s neck. Olivia didn’t resist. “We’re leaving,” he said.

He worried Liv might try to fight him now. Or maybe she’d turn the knife on him too, which considering how much he blamed himself for what was happening, he was surprised she didn’t do. Instead, she dropped the blade, which hit the wooden floor with a clang. She stared down at it for a second, then looked back at Iris. “If Noah’s not okay, I will kill you.”

Iris was still wide-eyed and trembling, pressed back against the bookshelf. As Andrew mentally flailed, Olivia leaned in so close to Iris that their mouths almost brushed. “How do you like being fucking afraid for once?” she whispered, her voice thick with tears.

Then she stormed out the door, letting it slam shut behind her. Andrew looked at Iris, who had turned almost completely white. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah.”

“I have to go.”

Iris nodded shakily, and he was hesitant to leave her alone. But Liv clearly should not be driving right now. So he’d have to swallow his own terror and focus. He nodded to Iris, then rushed outside.

***

Thankfully, Olivia hadn’t gotten back in the car and driven away without him. Instead, Andrew found her bent over a sewer grate in front of the insurance building next door, vomiting. She flinched as he touched her back.

“Liv…”

“I know,” she snapped breathlessly, wiping her mouth on the sleeve of the light blouse she wore. “I know.”

“Let’s go home,” he said. “I’ll try to track him. That’s what we were talking about doing now.”

“He wasn’t anywhere.”

“We’ll find him.”

Again he waited for her fury to turn on him. But she just stood up and followed him to the car. “I’m going to go back out,” she said. “My mom has Mia until tonight, I need to keep looking. I didn’t check…I know there’s a bar in Ware that he used to…”

She didn’t finish it and Andrew didn’t want her to. He’d rather Noah was drinking than dead (his own stomach turned at the thought), but that still wasn’t a good ending here. “Are you okay to drive?” he asked as he got into the driver’s seat himself.

She nodded as she slid into the passenger seat and closed the door. “Yeah,” she said. “I know that was…”

Again, she trailed off. “Assault with a dangerous weapon,” Andrew finished for her. “Liv, bloody hell, if Iris decided she wanted to press charges…”

“I know.”

They drove in silence, letting the small downtown fall away as they approached Liv and Noah’s duplex. “I should have stopped him,” Andrew said finally as they pulled into the driveway.

“Could you have?”

That was a different answer than he expected. And certainly not a knife at his own neck to create a twin for the slice he’d hurriedly treated while caring for Mia. Apparently he was quiet for a moment too long, because Liv looked at him with bloodshot eyes. “Can any of us stop Noah from doing anything?”

He didn’t know if this absolution of a kind made him feel better or worse. But he nodded around the enormous lump in his throat. “I’m going to keep looking,” Olivia said. “Keep your phone on you.”

He got out of the car and she moved into the driver’s seat, driving away as soon as he closed the door. It was too hot out here for April, but he didn’t want to go inside. Not unless he was going to be greeted by Noah, who got home when no one was looking. And he was safe and sober.

But that wasn’t going to happen and this tracking spell he was absolutely still doing wouldn’t set itself up. He had to go back to Iris’s, he realized, kicking at a pebble on the ground in frustration. It was at least a half an hour walk and there was no time to waste. So they were both going to have to swallow down their fear and get back to it.

He pulled out his phone and called Iris, who answered hesitantly. “Yeah?”

“When you say something of Noah’s, like what?” Andrew asked. “I saw his phone in the shop, would that work?”

“No, a phone’s electrical charge would interfere. Something that he regularly wears would be a good one,” she said. “Clothes, a hat. If it makes contact with his body on a regular basis, then it should work.”

“Okay,” he said. “Liv just went back out to look for him. I’m still going to do the tracking spell.”

He waited for her to offer to help, but she was silent. “Iris?”

“Yeah,” she said. “Okay.”

“I suppose I’ll walk back then?”

“Right, of course.”

“Are you alright?”

“What do you fucking think?”

Absolutely not, he was not dealing with this today. “I think it might not have been entirely your fault, but you still have a goddamn responsibility to him, just like I do,” he retorted. “Forget it, I’ll figure it out and do it here.”

He was about to hang up when Iris said, “Wait, Andrew, I’m sorry.”

The hot anger receded as quickly as it had flared to life. Hanging up and storming off wasn’t going to help Noah. “Olivia left?” Iris confirmed.

“Yeah, about thirty seconds ago.”

“Give me your address and I’ll pick you up.”


CONTINUE TO S7E2


Leave A Comment

3d book display image of The Vanishing House

Want a free book?

The Northern Worcester County branch of the Foundation for Paranormal Research is one of the organization’s top investigation and cleanup teams. So when a case comes in involving a century of mysterious disappearances, they figure they’ll be done before their lunch break is supposed to end. Investigators James and Amelia go to the site while their coworkers remain behind. But in seconds, Amelia vanishes in the cursed house and the others are forced to find her with no help from their bosses. Will they be able to get her back or will the house claim one final victim?

Get Your Copy Today>>