Welcome back to Eldritch Girl…
In Part 5, Wes fails to handle some personal problems and ends up on yet another family outing he doesn’t want to be involved with.
CWs: unhealthy sexual/romantic relationship, addiction, coerced drug-taking, toxic family dynamic.
Chapter 3: Dangerous Liaisons
His phone buzzed in his pocket, but he ignored it.
He was aware of cars crawling along and people jostling him as he stalked towards his own Italian sports car, impractical in the ice and snow but unforgettable either at speed or at a standstill. He was vaguely aware of a car with tinted windows creeping along the kerb, but there were plenty of those. He didn’t think anything of it until his phone buzzed again, insistent.
Wes paused to dig it out of his pocket and the car paused too. It was his sister Lucy, she of the impeccable timing.
“Wes! Get in the car.” His sister’s voice was artificially cultured, bubbly and bright, with a slight Essex twang she’d picked up since her relocation to glamorous Romford.
Wes groaned. “What?”
“We said we’d pick you up, have you forgotten all about us?”
He couldn’t remember even speaking to his sister in the last month, except for sending dirty memes on the sibling group chat. “What – it’s Charlie’s thing today, I’m just going home, I’m not up for it right now.” Whatever ‘it’ is.
Lucy’s voice went up a fraction, scraping over his brain. “You promised you’d hang out with us. We never see you. We got tickets and everything. Uncle David doesn’t just hand those out, you know. Sasha’s shows are so good.”
Wes needed more than a glass of champagne and three vegan vol-au-vents for this. “Sasha – Cousin Sasha? She’s in the, um…” He stumbled over the phrase ‘snuff film industry’, mindful that he was in the middle of the street. “…I really don’t think…”
“You promised.” Lucy was dangerously close to a breakdown. Wes ducked down a side street and tucked himself in a doorway.
“Yeah, maybe, hanging out sure, but not – not for watching Sasha off someone on camera I bloody didn’t. When did I…?”
“Unbelievable. What’s your problem?” Wes cursed his family from branch to rotten root, guilt roiling up as he thought of Charlie and Hugo. He fumbled for his cigarettes. “Snuff films aren’t fucking vegan, Lucy, that’s my… that’s my fucking problem, alright?”~ C. M. Rosens, Thirteenth, Ch. 3, pp. 75-6
This is where Sasha Shaw was born, and ended up with her own (in-progress) splatterpunk romcom series. You’ll get to meet her later on in the background of Part 6.
In this part, you get to meet Wes’s long-term partners (both of them) and two of his siblings – you’ll meet the rest of them later.
You get a glimpse into Wes’s world – the world he doesn’t really belong in – and the world that his sisters inhabit, where he… also doesn’t really belong. Wes is stuck, and that’s not because no one remembers him, it’s more because he has aspirations he can’t quite live up to, he wants to be something he doesn’t fully understand how to be, and he can’t shake off the family that keep dragging him back to the world he wanted to leave behind.