New Winslow S8E14

They were wasting time. This was all Noah could think about as he sat down on the couch, trembling, with his phone still held limp in his hand. He hadn’t expected Andrew to be at Iris’s shop, which was just silly of him. Andrew worked there and it was midmorning, so he was more likely to be there than anywhere else in this fucking town. Cleo was gone and he’d figured it was the perfect time to talk to Iris and just get this done. 

He just wasn’t thinking clearly. Once he got his head on straight, he’d stop making simple mistakes like that.

They needed to reach Billy. He was capable of reaching Billy, more than anybody else here. Noah was the only one who could go to that space. And if they didn’t reach Billy, then they weren’t going to be able to contact Samuel or Rosalind or any of the other apparently trillions of ghosts that were mixed up in this godforsaken curse.

“Call Roman.”

Andrew’s voice was still echoing in his ears and he was so embarrassed, even through his outrage. All he wanted was to just stop feeling any of this, but he had no alcohol upstairs and Liv had made it clear that she both had nothing and wasn’t going to get him anything. And he wanted something, anything, right now. It didn’t matter what, as long as it made him numb. And the fact that he was so focused on that in the middle of this mess made him so ashamed.

But Noah really did need to call Roman if Andrew was ever going to talk to him again.

“Hey bud, what’s up?”

Roman sounded calm, cheerful as he answered the phone. “Hey,” Noah said dully.

“What’s wrong?”

“Andrew said to call you.”

“And I assume it’s not curse related?”

“We’re wasting our time,” Noah said. “If I’m able to reach this guy and the only thing keeping me from doing so is that I’m afraid to, or – or I might get a headache, then we need to just get over that and take the risk, you know? I can recover after if I have to. And, like, I don’t really care if I get hurt. It’s not about me, it’s about Andrew. And the curse and all those other people who got hurt. It’s one thing that I can do for other people, to not be so goddamn self-absorbed all the time, and no one is letting me. But if I have one drink, just one, then maybe I’ll be brave enough to actually do it, even if I’m so fucking scared.”

He didn’t mean to say all of that and he wasn’t going to cry on the phone with his sponsor. Roman was silent on the other end of the line as Noah took a shaky breath. “Noah,” he said finally. “Andrew’s right. Tell you what, let’s grab a coffee and go to a meeting tonight, alright? There’s a six-thirty at the First Church in New Salem.”

“I’m working tonight,” Noah said.

“At my store?”

“Yeah. Me, Charlie, and Kennedy.”

“Who the hell is… oh, Kennedy, yeah. He’s a good kid.” Roman said. “Okay, how about earlier? I’ll check, but I think there’s one in Barre if we hurry.”

“I’m fine, I swear,” Noah said. “It’s just been a rough few days, that’s all. But I need to get this done. I can fix it later, after he’s safe.”

“Man, listen,” Roman said. “I told you about how Celine almost left me for the same shit.”

“Yeah,” Noah said, knowing his impatience was showing through. “I know, you told me about that. But that was forever ago. And Andrew’s not even actually with me or whatever you mean, not like you and Celine. I mean, we’ve- and I- But I mean it, it’s ridiculous to take things so slowly when Andrew’s in danger.”

“Noah, I’m not talking about ten years ago. I’m talking about last year.”

Roman’s words cut off the landslide of rambling he knew was already starting, one where he’d probably end up spilling more details of his sex life than Roman could ever possibly want to hear. “I got obsessed with breaking the curse before Minnie Jensen died,” Roman continued. “And I fucked up my body and mind so bad that I had a heart attack. You were there for that part. But before that? Man, Celine almost left. I kept saying I was doing it for her and then she was almost gone because of it.”

Noah shook his head as he tried to think of what to say. This was different, it had to be different. But apparently he took too long to come up with the reason why it was different, because Roman started talking again.

“How about I’ll call Charlie and we’ll adjust the schedule. Then we can meet up, does that work?”

“I’m not feeling great,” Noah said, and it wasn’t entirely a lie. “Do you mind if we do it the day after tomorrow? I’m working tomorrow night too.”

“You sure? I think a meeting would be a good idea.”

It would. Noah knew going to an AA meeting right now would be a great idea. But he wasn’t going to.

“Do you have someone with you?” Roman asked after a few seconds when he’d clearly picked up on Noah’s answer.

“Yeah, Liv’s downstairs. I’m good, I swear. And I’ll hit one in New Winslow before then, it’s fine.” That was probably a lie.

“Alright,” Roman said. “Yeah, day after tomorrow sounds great. But I’m here if you need me, okay? You gonna be alright?”


“Call me, I mean it.”

Noah hung up with Roman and sat down, rubbing his hands down his face. It was fine, Noah was fine. He just needed to get back in control before he went downstairs and apologized to Liv. Andrew was still at work and he wasn’t about to try calling the shop again today, but Noah would apologize to him too. Then he’d come back up and try to rest before work. And tomorrow, he’d call Iris again and find out what he had to do next. Andrew would be pissed, but he’d also be safe and that was more important.


Andrew had the day open before him now that Iris had sent him home. Though technically, home had burned down. Or, if Andrew wanted to get even more technical, it was Boston, which seemed further and further away with every week he spent here. But he left Forest Charms and went back to the one place that truly felt like home these days. 

When he got there, Cleo had already left for her next interview in Boston. Noah’s truck was in the driveway, which was a relief. And as he opened the mailbox, he saw his new mobile and what appeared to be some kind of notice from the insurance company. So he scooped those up and headed inside.

Liv was in the kitchen with Mia, washing dishes while Mia ate strawberries at the table. Strawberries were smeared everywhere in thick, gloppy stripes as she gleefully squished more than she ate. “Andwooo!” she called as he walked in.

“Noah’s upstairs on the phone with Roman,” Liv said, drying her hands on a strawberry-stained cloth as she turned around. “He texted me, I wasn’t sure why.”

“He fucking called Iris,” Andrew said, shaking his head. “I talked to her before that and thank God I did, because otherwise she probably would have done whatever he asked her to do.”

Olivia looked sick as she gazed out the window above the sink. “I don’t know what to do,” she said. “He seemed alright, but after last night… I feel like I can’t really predict what he’s going to do anymore.”

“I was harsh,” Andrew admitted. “Again. But I don’t know what else will get through to him.”

“Hopefully Roman can.”

As if on cue, Andrew heard footsteps on the stairs outside in the hall. A moment later, the front door opened and Noah walked in. He looked at both of them, seemed surprised to see Andrew there, then looked down at the floor. “I’m sorry,” he said.

Andrew walked over and put his arms gingerly around Noah, who seemed slightly startled by the embrace. “I meant what I said,” Andre w said. “You’re worth more than that. Please, please don’t throw that away.”

Noah nodded too quickly against the side of Andrew’s head, not saying anything. Andrew held onto him, wishing he believed that Noah would listen.




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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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