We pick up from last week, still in Chapter 2: Lord of the Flies, and go to the end of the chapter with this next section, another Katy POV.
Katy wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, and underestimates her cousin.
CWs: abduction, toxic family dynamics, teen with self-harm tendencies/ideation
Chapter 2 ~ Lord of the Flies (2)
Tears clogged her gullet like concrete. “Is this a joke to you?”
“Course not!” He dropped his gaze to the floor. “Nah, I’m not… I di’n’t mean it like that. I’m tryin’ to help, believe it or not, and you won’t listen, so…” He shrugged, glancing up, and she’d never seen him – or anyone – look so haggard and helpless. “I offered you help before, remember, and you turned me down, so…”
She cleared her throat. “What, so you thought you’d kidnap me?”
“Abduct.” His lips twitched. “Kidnap’s for profit. This is abduction.”
Katy wasn’t in the mood for pedantry. “Whatever.”
“I need you to stay around for a bit. That’s all. It’s… for your own good. I know you turned down my offer last time, I know Gran told you to, but I don’t think you understood me proper – it was naun-else but mentoring I was offerin’. Think of this as your second chance. Alright?”
She rolled her eyes. “I knew what you were offering. I didn’t want it.” She hadn’t fancied being his disciple at fifteen, and she sure as hell didn’t want to be his disciple now, either. “Do I get a choice?”
“Not really, no.”~ C. M. Rosens, Thirteenth, Ch. 2 pp. 60-1
Ricky’s accent is more London now that he’s been almost exclusively living with Carrie/Fairwood for 8 months, so the dialect is dialled back and they’ve both caught words and phrases off one another. Katy has the same sort of blended Sussex/Londonised accent that everyone in her school/college has, but everything her cousin does is fairly outre to her.
This section was fun not just for the dialogue but for figuring out the interaction between Ricky and the house, and Katy’s reaction to that since she doesn’t know what’s going on. The backstory and recent family history also comes into play here, through Katy’s understanding of it, and you get to see a variety of unreliable narrators at play as we go on. Ricky’s definitely revealed to be more of an unreliable narrator than the reader thought in THE CROWS, as things he remembers in that book are challenged in this one.
I chatted with Johannes T. Evans about unreliable narrators and memory in last season’s Queer Monster Hour, but this is the novel in which I bring that theme to the fore.