New Winslow S7E24

Noah waited as the phone rang, glancing over at Andrew, who was sitting over on his sofa for moral support. It rang three times, and he was tempted to hang up before it hit voicemail.

“Miranda Kelly’s phone,” said a young female voice. “How can I help you?”

“Hi,” Noah said. “Um, this is Miranda’s son, Noah. Is she available?”

The assistant made a quickly smothered noise of surprise on the other end. “Just a moment,” she said. “Let me put you on a brief hold as I consult her calendar.”

There was a click, then light piano music came across the line. Noah moved the receiver away from his mouth for a second. “My mother has her own hold music,” she said to Andrew, who laughed but still looked a little nervous.

After a moment, the piano music cut off abruptly. “Noah, hello,” his mother said with all the warmth he normally attributed to her. “What’s going on? I only have a minute.”

“Mom, hi,” he said. “I just have a question for you. And it sounds tiny, but it’s extremely important.”

“If it’s a financial matter, you’ll need to go through my accountant, Noah.”

Andrew looked at him, wide-eyed. Noah made a slashing motion across his own throat, even as he rolled his eyes. “No,” he said. “Nothing like that. Is your family originally from New Winslow? I mean, going back a few generations.”

“Yes,” she said quickly. “Is that all?”

“I guess,” he said, though that old part of him that begged for connection was still pushing for him to keep her on the line, to ask about her life, his family, anything. “Thanks, Mom.”

“You’re welcome. Goodbye, Noah.”

She hung up, and he did the same, feeling as drained as he always did after those conversations. Andrew looked at him cautiously. “You alright, then?”

“It’s nothing new,” Noah said, sitting down on the couch beside him, letting his leg fall against Andrew’s as he did so. “She left when I was seven, it’s not like we ever had a good relationship.”

“No, even so, that was cold.”

“So is she. Whatever.”

Andrew took his hand, and Noah looked down as he gave it a squeeze. “But I have the information we need now, all one word of it,” he said.

Andrew said nothing else as he reached up with his other hand and ran a comforting hand through Noah’s hair. Noah swallowed hard, the tenderness of the motion at odds with the cold he’d felt as he hung up the phone. This shouldn’t bother him, it was literally all he’d ever known when it came to his mother. But maybe it was just everything that had happened lately that was making him feel like there was an itch on the inside of his skull. “I’m going for a run,” he said to Andrew, standing up. “I’ll talk to you later.”

With each trip to her mom’s new home, Cleo was more and more eager to get out of Central Massachusetts. Today, she was going to spend some time at the facility in Watertown before working the dinner delivery shift in the Boston area.

They were outside in the beautifully manicured back gardens right now, sitting in Adirondack chairs and watching a game of bocci happening nearby. Cleo was struck by how young some of the residents looked. Her mother wasn’t particularly old, if she didn’t have dementia she’d probably still be working in some fashion. Cleo knew that hurt in the times when her mother was lucid. She missed her quiet, private life back in New Winslow and there was nothing any of them could do to bring it back.

The fact that Noah could be fixed and her mother couldn’t stung in unexpected ways. She’d never resent Noah for it, what he’d gone through was traumatic and supernatural. And her mother’s case wasn’t, it was just…medical. And life. And shit luck of the draw.

“I don’t know how to play that,” her mom said, breaking into Cleo’s gloomy thoughts.


“That.” Her mom pointed at the bocci players with one hand, while sweeping back her long silver hair with the other. “What’s it called?”

“Bocce,” Cleo said.

“You’ve played it?”

“No,” she said, laughing slightly. “But the old men in Andrew’s old neighborhood would. One man taught him how to, he ended up being pretty good at it.”

“That’s nice,” her mom said with a smile.

“Do you want to play?”

As Cleo expected, her mom looked scared as she looked at the players. But then she turned back to Cleo. “I don’t know how.”

But the fear was turning into something a little more thoughtful now, with maybe even some excitement underneath it? “I bet someone could teach you,” Cleo said encouragingly.

“Can you?”

“No,” she said. “I never learned.”

“Can Andrew? When he gets out?”

Of course her mother knew that Andrew was trapped. Throughout everything, it had never really occurred to Cleo to have that conversation with her, but she knew. “I bet he’d love that,” she said.

“How is he?”

Her mom was looking back at the bocce players, but clearly expected an answer. “He’s good,” Cleo said. “He’s got an apartment in New Winslow, right over the shop.”

“Good, he’ll love that.”

Would he? Cleo didn’t answer, just turned to watch what was turning into a fierce bocce battle.




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>>