New Winslow S7E10

Noah was out in the backyard when Celine arrived. Olivia let her in and she looked around at them all.

“Protections are still really strong in here,” she said to Andrew, who was sitting with Mia on the couch, trying to seem enthused about the book they were reading together.

Andrew nodded to her. “Thanks.”

Celine grimaced and Andrew looked a little embarrassed beneath a misery that was way too familiar to Olivia. He stood up while Mia gave him a dirty look, then took the book and started reading nonsense out loud to herself. “Where’s Noah?” Celine asked.

“Gardening,” Olivia replied. “He’s acting completely normal for like three years ago. But whatever timeline he’s on makes no sense. What do you think it is? Have you heard of this?”

“I’ll have to see him first,” Celine said with a gentle laugh. “Come on.”

She and Olivia headed out back, while Andrew stayed a few steps behind. But they weren’t even off the back deck yet when Celine stopped short.

“Oh my God,” she breathed.

And now Olivia was even more terrified than she’d been. “What?” she demanded. “What is it?”

“The energy is all wrong.”

Her stomach twisted as she realized she hadn’t even considered the worst possibility. “Are you saying that’s not him?”

“No, no, it’s him,” Celine said quickly, squeezing Olivia’s arm before Olivia even realized she was shaking. “No, honey, he’s him. It’s alright. Let me just talk to him, okay?”

Olivia nodded, trying and failing to make her body stop trembling. Celine let go and Andrew was there before Olivia felt her absence. Noah was now walking toward them, a hand up in friendly greeting.

“Celine, hey!” he said. “I wasn’t expecting anybody. How are you? How’s your family?”

“They’re good, thanks,” Celine said distractedly as she stopped about a foot away from him. “Noah, what happened?”

“What do you mean?” he asked, politely puzzled. “This? Just scratched myself on some thorns.”

She reached up and Olivia watched as Celine gently laid her hand on his cheek. Noah was spellbound as Celine looked up at him.

“Sweetheart,” she said softly. “Who did this to you?”

“What do you mean?” he repeated.

Celine was wide-eyed and Olivia wanted to comfort her, even as she was trying to keep herself from falling apart. Meanwhile, the subject of everyone’s fear just seemed politely confused.

“Celine, are you alright?” he asked, then looked over at Olivia. “Guys, what is going on?”

“Remember what I told you earlier?” Olivia asked as Celine looked around the yard, almost like she was recalibrating or something.

“No?” he said with a laugh. “Liv, come on, you’re scaring me. And I don’t mean to keep nagging, but it’s really hot out here and you have to give your body some time to recover.”

“I had a baby two years ago, Noah,” Olivia said. “I’m not joking. We’re both thirty-four years old, my daughter is two, Andrew’s been in town for a year and a half. And your d-“

She stopped herself as he looked expectantly at her. She couldn’t just drop his dad’s death on him in a moment of frustration. Same with his alcoholism or Billy McBride, or any of it. Not like this.

“It’s alright,” Celine said, and Olivia envied that “mom of three kids” certainty that she managed to infuse into her voice so quickly. “It’s alright. It’s magic.”

“So this is from Iris,” Olivia said, already considering what weapons she had in her car.

“No,” Andrew said. He held up his hands quickly. “And I’m not just saying that to keep you from making a bad decision. He wasn’t like this when he left Iris’s shop the other day.”

“I’m right here,” Noah snapped, glaring at Andrew.

Andrew flinched. “Let me do some thinking,” Celine said. “I’ll call in a little bit. It’s odd, Noah. It’s like there’s a large track through your energy, like it’s been wiped through or torn or something. I…I don’t know, exactly. But I promise we’ll figure it out, alright?”

She still looked a little nauseous as Olivia walked her out a moment later. When she got back into the house, Noah and Andrew were in there. Andrew was holding their shared car keys.

“I’m going to talk to Iris,” he said, as though expecting her to argue with him. “You don’t have to go, but she’s got the kind of knowledge we need. So I’ll talk to her, Celine will get back to us, and we’ll figure it out.”

He was firm, and his eyes went from Olivia to Noah, then back to Olivia. Noah looked deeply confused and pissed off and Olivia didn’t love the idea of being the one to yet again explain all of this. But she also had to concede that if it wasn’t directly from what Iris did, Iris at least might have some kind of solution to go with whatever Celine thought of. At least, she’d better have something.

“We’ll be here,” she said.

Andrew nodded, then left.


Celine was shaking when she walked into Roman’s room at the Countess Bed and Breakfast. He was sitting at the small table by the window with his laptop open in front of him, going over some of the numbers from the quarter at the House of Pizza. Since having him take deliveries outside of the New Winslow had proven to be pretty inefficient, he’d take over most of the bookkeeping instead. So he was pretty occupied with how expensive some of the produce had become over the past three months. But as she walked in and he saw the look on her face, his stomach fell.

“Babe,” he started as he got up and went to her. “What-“

“Someone’s screwing around with energy,” she said into his chest as he wrapped his arms around her. “Someone fucking powerful.”

Great, exactly what they needed right now. “Sit down,” Roman said, guiding her toward the bed. “Tell me everything.”

He knew he was talking to her like he’d talk to Jamie, but she seemed to need that structure right now. Roman hadn’t seen her so rattled since he’d had his heart attack. And as she told her story, relief turned to horror, turned to cold recognition.

“It was like someone just tore a strip out of his soul,” Celine said. “Not enough to kill him, physically he was fine. But it was like this messy wipe going through his energy and it wrecked his memory.”

A wipe…why was an energy wipe coming to mind?


“I know who it was,” Roman said, reaching for his phone. But it was ringing before he even got a chance to dial.




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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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