Read The Winslow Incident Online

Authors: Elizabeth Voss

The Winslow Incident

THE WINSLOW
INCIDENT
Elizabeth Voss

THE WINSLOW INCIDENT

Copyright © 2011 by S.
Elizabeth Voss

This first electronic
edition published by S. Elizabeth Voss in January 2013.

Cover by Tackaberry

Map of Winslow by Allen
Brokate

Originally published in
hardcover by Five Star Mystery (Gale/Cengage) in December 2011.

This book is a work of
fiction. Names, characters, places, events and incidents are either the product
of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No
part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or
electronic form without the express written permission of the author.

Epigraph

I
find
myself considerably discomposed and disordered—full of notions. Poor N.
Burt cut his own throat. We hear great talk about witchcraft.

—From the Diary of Stephen Williams, Longmeadow,
Massachusetts, 1716-1735

(
Poisons of the Past
, Mary Kilbourne Matossian)

D
on’t touch me! Stand back! I am dead, do you hear? I am dead.
I have snakes in my stomach! They are burning burning burning.

—Charles Veladaire, Pont-Saint-Esprit, France,
1951

(
The Day of St. Anthony’s Fire
, John G. Fuller)

B
lood is pouring from the sky: We are going to drown. I see
a river of bodies. I see a town of ghosts.

—Aaron Adair, Winslow, Washington, 2010

(
A Plague of Madness
, G.F. Olson)

Table of Contents

EPIGRAPH

MAP OF
WINSLOW, WASHINGTON

THE
CREATURES, GHOSTS & TOWNSFOLK OF WINSLOW

PROLOGUE

PART ONE
:
 
In A Town So Small, How Can So Many People be Lost?

FRIDAY
JULY 9, 2010

Holloway
Ranch

FRIDAY
NIGHT

The
Winslow Hotel

SATURDAY

Yellow
Jacket Pass

Hazel’s
House

Rhone
Bakery

Ghost
Town Tour

Warn
the Innocent

The
Delivery

Rodeo
Carnival

Rose’s
Crock

SATURDAY
NIGHT

Mother
Lode Saloon

SUNDAY
MORNING

The
Mercantile

The
Ghosts of Winslow

The Winslow
Hotel

SUNDAY
AFTERNOON

Matherston
Cemetery

The
Rhone Place

SUNDAY
EVENING

Not a Soul
in Town

The
Water Tower

A Long, Sad
Sigh

MONDAY
MORNING

Raining
Fish

Hazel

Sean

Cobwebs

Something
Is
Very
Wrong

Whatever

Wolves
of Winslow

MONDAY
NIGHT

Ladybug
Ladybug

a Most
Peculiar Feeling

FIVE
SUMMERS AGO

Hawkin
Rhone’s Cabin

DEAD OF
MONDAY NIGHT

Crazed
Beautiful Witch

Ring
Around the Moon

The
Winslow Hotel

TUESDAY
DAWN

Where’s
Jinx?

Holloway
Ranch

Mathers
Mansion

Poison

The Old
Apple Orchard

Shattered

TUESDAY
AFTERNOON

Quarantine

PART TWO

Trapped. Trapped Like Rats and Left to Die

TUESDAY
SUNDOWN

Don’t Look

The Deep
Pond

Lucky
Charms

Dead
Horse Point

Worse,
Much Worse

Prospect
Park

The Bridge

The
Monsters in Town

MIDNIGHT

Dark
Dark Dark

Blood

The Pest
House

WEDNESDAY
3:00 AM

Zombies

4:30 AM

Killing
Sean Adair

Daisy

Three
Fools Creek

Hawkin
Rhone Vampire

WEDNESDAY
SUNUP

The Old
Apple Orchard

Zachary

Missy Rhone

The Bakery

Hazel

The Bridge

The
Winslow

The Woods

Ghost
Town Tour Redux

Hide-and-Go-Seek

Olly
Olly Oxen Free

NOON

Dead

PART THREE

Sometimes the Past Needs a Good Diggin’ Up

ONE O’CLOCK

Now,
Now, Easy There

Mayday!

Pard

Hazel

Tanner

Patience

Nathan

Sarah

Sean

3:00 PM

House
of Horrors

THREE
WEEKS LATER

Hawkin
Rhone’s Cabin

DEDICATION

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR

Prologue

D
aybreak found the veterinarian crisscrossing
Loop-Loop Road, looking for his mind. He had lost it the night before and
couldn’t seem to find it anywhere.

Returning home empty-headed, Doc Reed
Simmons slammed and locked his front door.

I’m not well
, he admitted.

He wedged a dining room chair
against the door and then sat, rigid and fearful of making another sound. From
that vantage point he could make out the patch of brown grass that constituted
his lawn but not the vehicle he heard roar up.

His rifle rested across his knees.

This intrusion could only spell
trouble. Since Simmons’ visit to Holloway Ranch the day before, followed by the
realization that he too felt peculiar, he’d had his suspicions. And if those
suspicions turned out to be correct, he did not want to be involved in any
capacity.

Nothing I can do about it
anyway.
He shuddered so violently his
teeth clacked together.

Footsteps on the gravel driveway,
as loud as fireworks, advanced toward the porch. Simmons could identify the
condition if not the cause: hyperacusis, his sensitivity to sound growing more
and more painful as this interminable morning wound on and on.

I’m not well
, the thought crept back into his worried mind.

A dog began to bark . . . and
clamor and claw around the porch.

Simmons cringed, which sent his
forehead throbbing again.
How did I cut my head so severely?
Images
flitted through his mind: the red truck, crashed in a roadside ditch; his bloodied
face reflected in the bathroom mirror, hands fumbling to dress the wound. Now
gauze stuck to the gash, making the area even more tender and sore.

If only that were the worst of it.

“Doc Simmons?” a young female
voice sliced his eardrums and encouraged the dog to bark louder. “We need your
help.”

Hands trembling, the vet gripped the rifle. Just as he’d
feared, they were coming for him. And why? He wasn’t an MD.
I wish we had a
real doctor on this godforsaken mountainside—

A thunderous knock erupted inches
from his ear, piercing his skull like a spike.

He sprang from the chair.

Holding his gun, he crouched in
the middle of the living room and twisted this way and that—the barking
coming from every direction at once—until he realized,
I can’t see.
Where were his glasses?

Floodgates opened and panic the
likes of which he had never known washed through his core.
I’m not right!
There’s sure to be others. Bound to get worse. What should I do?
His mind
was a book he struggled just to open, written in a language he no longer
understood.

There—he recognized the
vague shape of his spectacles on the foyer table and dashed to retrieve them.
Donning the glasses brought the world back into focus, brought him instantly
back in control.

“All right, then,” he decided, feeling
angry that they expected him to save them when really the situation was quite
hopeless, wasn’t it?

He kicked away the chair and
wrenched open the door to find the girl poised to knock and plead again.

Trick or treat, he half-expected
her to say.

Instead she gasped and drew back
from the doorway, a reaction that told him
he
was the trickster in a monster
mask.

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