Pagham-verse, Podcast, thirteenth, weird fiction

Podcast S02E02 ~ Thirteenth Part 2

Welcome back to ELDRITCH GIRL! This time, I’m having to split up the novel differently. THE CROWS had 21 chapters and an epilogue which worked out at around 23 episodes for the first season, but THIRTEENTH only has 13 chapters and is about the same length. So we’re going with calling the episodes “Parts” and splitting the chapters up by POV section.

Part 1 (S02E01) is the introduction to the novel, showcasing the new theme tune by Gemma Cartmell, and gives the content/trigger warnings for the book. It also has the Prologue which overlaps with THE CROWS’ timeline, telling events of the 14th May from a different POV. You can catch up with that episode here (the post) and here (the podcast episode).

Chapter 1 Part 1: Forced abduction of a minor by a family member (no SA); serial killer father intent on homicide of daughter (some readers might potentially read this as coded SA, but that’s not the story/intent).
Chapter 1 Part 2: Sibling trauma, abusive/toxic family dynamics, drugs and drug use (coerced)

Chapter 1 ~ Kidnapped

Katy is abducted and Wes breaks several promises – but it’s not entirely his fault.

Katy flashed a look down the track, stretching into darkness, and back to the board. There was no sign of the train. It was still showing as delayed. The gate was open, barriers unmanned, the café on the other side closed up. She was still the only passenger waiting on the platform.

Cameras. Where were the cameras? There must be some.

Katy swallowed, dragging her case a little further down the platform and into the pool of light, where the CCTV hung below the lamp.

Her cousin let her retreat the few yards, shaking his head. “They don’t work, you know. Haven’t for weeks.”

Katy glanced across the platform to see if the train to Hastings was on time.

“Don’t do it,” he warned lightly.

She’d have to leave the case with all her stuff, her chargers, her hair straighteners, laptop, clothes, favourite pillow… Her fingers twitched involuntarily on the handle. She tried to move the handbag strap over her head to secure it if she had to jump down onto the tracks and drag herself up the other side. But then what? He’d follow. Could she do it as the train was coming, would she make it in time? Would it be going slow enough? Could she jump on before he got there? “You won’t make it,” he said, with enough casual certainty to spike her gut with doubt.

~ C. M. Rosens, Thirteenth, Ch 1, pp. 16-17

In this chapter we’re reintroduced to Wes who appeared in THE CROWS Chapter 16: Sinister Local History, where it was established that he:

(1) cannot be remembered when you look away from him
(2) deals drugs or used to, and certainly has easy access to them
(3) owns a house in an upmarket part of Pagham-on-Sea
(4) has a girlfriend called Charlie who is bi, and with whom he has an open relationship
(5) is a bit of a player and is Friends-With-Benefits with his childhood friend Tina

Wes is Katy’s oldest brother and three months older than Ricky. They are both 29 in this novel, and Katy is 17.

Wes has moved more permanently to London – he’s got his own flat in Chelsea as well as the house in Pagham-on-Sea, but he is currently staying in his boyfriend’s penthouse apartment in Kensington. He’s still with Charlie, and they form a polyamorous V with Wes as the hinge partner (Charlie and Hugo are very good friends but Hugo is gay, and they are not dating each other).

You also meet Katy in more detail in the first section of this chapter after the events of the gory Prologue, and find out what the consequences of that whole mess are. There’s a lot going on. One of the most fun things for me about writing this is that you see Ricky Porter through the eyes of two people who are blood-relations to him, and really don’t like him. These perspectives – a traumatised 17yo in survival mode and a drug-addled playboy torn between his lifestyle and his family responsibilities – are what shift the vibes of the book from modern Gothic Horror to far more contemporary weird territory.

Hopefully they are perspectives you’ll want to stick with!

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