New Winslow S7E3

All that tension that had faded away during their nights in Vermont was settled right back into Roman’s shoulders as he drove down a winding dirt road somewhere between Petersham and New Winslow. He wasn’t quite sure what he was looking for beyond Noah, safe and alive. But it was the middle of the night, there was no sign of anything except wildlife out here. The pine trees loomed above and ahead of him, swallowing the lights from his truck. If Roman didn’t start making his way back toward the main roads, he was going to be lost as well.

Iris had sounded more afraid than Roman had ever heard when she called him. Not that he’d heard Iris sound scared very often, or maybe ever. But they’d barely been back to the Countess when the phone rang and Iris said they needed his help. Andrew had called as well, a little while later, to tell him that Olivia was searching for Noah nearby. She’d taken the towns to the south and he’d taken the Petersham area, his hopes dimming a little more with each passing hour.

Iris had explained what happened. Something about one of the ghosts they were looking for, Billy McBride. He was apparently at the Countess and contacting Noah, which was part of why Noah was so messed up these days. Despite decades with Celine, Roman didn’t really know much about all that. But Roman knew all too well what could happen when a recovering addict was overloaded and needed a way out. He’d seen it too many times, guys with years of sobriety starting to drink or use again when life got overwhelming.

He could only hope that if that was what was happening here, that Noah had gotten overwhelmed and taken off to get drunk, that he’d show up safely again when it was all over.

Of course he didn’t say any of that to Andrew. He knew they were both thinking it, but there was no point in adding anymore fuel to the fire.

The dirt road was getting more narrow by the foot and finally, Roman had to surrender. He stopped the car, checking his phone as though he’d have any service out here. Nothing, of course.

He pulled a three-point turn a little too quickly, the dirt by the edge of the road crumbling precariously under his truck’s tire. Stupid move, he thought, giving it a little more gas to get out as he turned back the way he came. He didn’t need to give them all a reason to worry about him as well.

“Come on, kid, where did you go?” Roman muttered to himself, the silence of the car jarring when he was so used to blasting his music. But it was coming up on midnight, he had his windows open, and he didn’t need to get himself shot by someone living this far out in the woods.

He was watching the tightly illuminated road ahead for anything. An abandoned truck, someone walking along the nonexistent shoulder of the road, anything at all to make him feel less helpless and alone out here.

It took Roman longer to get out of the woods than it did to get in them. As his phone regained signal, he noticed a text from Celine and pulled the truck over to check it.


No change. Are you alright?

Was he? His sponsee was missing, and Roman was helpless to do anything but search the woods for him. He could be dead, he could be possessed, he could be drunk. Hell, he could be sober sitting somewhere in Worcester, just needing to get away from New Winslow for a little bit. God knew Roman could understand that one. Come to think of it, maybe Worcester should be his next stop. Obviously the rehab center Noah had stayed at last year wouldn’t be able to tell Roman anything if he’d showed up there, but it had to be more likely than these old back roads.

But nothing was going to happen at midnight and Roman was going to fall asleep out here. He’d go back, catch a few hours, then keep looking.

He called Noah’s phone, which unsurprisingly went straight to voicemail.

“Hey, it’s me,” he said uselessly as he pulled back onto the road. “Noah, if you get this, please call someone. Any of us. No one’s mad, we’re all just worried about you. Or just come to the Countess if you want, I’ll be there.”

He cleared his throat, trying not to think of the funerals he’d missed over the years for guys who had gone back to using. “Or go home, man. Olivia and Andrew are worried about you. Please take care of yourself.”

He hung up, feeling like he should say more. But there was nothing more to say, so Roman kept driving in silence.




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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?

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