Welcome back to Eldritch Girl…
In this chapter, Wes’s meeting with Katy goes very badly, resulting in Katy needing a rescue. For those who need specific CWs about on-page family bullying and physical intimidation (siblings, parents, uncles), this is the one to skip or to be aware of.
CWs: driving-under-the-influence POV, implied careless driving, homicidal ideation (he fantasises about strangling Katy with his scarf) and strong language, attempted abduction by father and siblings, some graphic sibling bullying and intimidation.
Theme Tune: Gemma Cartmell
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The Porter boys were all largely identical, but she could tell Liam from Kieran by his greater muscle-mass, and Ashley was much taller. She wondered if Ashley was actually the same height as Wes but couldn’t remember.
“Leave her alone!” Wes’s voice sent a chill through her. He appeared, panting, but their siblings ignored him. “What are you doing?”
“Uncle Marcus said you’d do a shit job,” Nicole said. “We’re the back up.”
Katy backed up against the wall and tried not to throw up. She stared at Wes in horror and hatred, and he couldn’t look at her.
“This is wrong,” Wes muttered, and to his credit he sounded sincere.
Liam laughed. “Which way did you vote, again?”
Katy couldn’t hear this. It was one thing to suspect, another to know. She stared at her older brother, the only one who’d made her life bearable, and felt the world dropping away.
Wes was an impressionistic blur of colour, approaching slowly, filling her vision as he stepped between her and their family. “I fucked that up.”
“But you voted.” Liam sounded hurt. “You voted for us. You chose us. What are you doing?”
“I’m – I don’t know.” Wes didn’t move. “I don’t know, I think this is wrong.”
“Get out the way,” Nicole snapped. “Uncle Marcus wants her to stay with Uncle Barry for a while. That’s all. He thinks he can help you.”
For a second, Katy faltered. “Can he?”
“You don’t need that kind of help,” Wes told her, voice low. “Trust me.”
She just wanted it to stop, for them to all go away.
“I… I don’t want to go with you, leave me alone.”
“‘Leave me alone’,” Nicole mimicked, giggling. Her whole back parted into two wings of flesh rimmed with wriggling teeth, then snapped back together. Nicole had always been Daddy’s little angel.~ C. M. Rosens, Thirteenth, p. 182
This is the section where you see the sibling dynamics for the first time, and what the Porter siblings are like as individuals. I want to get into more of this in The Day We Ate Grandad and explore those dynamics through the warped retrospect of memory and how grief impacts those relationships…
Nicole is one I want to develop more as she only appears in this scene. Liam and Kieran may also be 2 brothers I focus on more, and the triplets (Kirsty, Lucy and David [Dave], who aren’t present in this scene).
Dave is canonically trans, which has already been alluded to earlier in this book, but he’s off-page in this one, as is Kim (with her spawn) and Adam. I have also written a scene I probably won’t use in the next novel but will put on Ko-Fi for supporters which is a scene where Wes visits them and they video-chat with Kim (who is not present at this intimidation scene either). They will probably appear in the next one, which is very family-focused.
Liam is a serial killer who has a storage unit like his dad, and Kieran’s just as bad. I want to investigate the others a bit more, although Nicole’s the most interesting and the most like Wes in terms of lifestyle, just without the cash. She is deep into the darker side of the family rituals, and works alongside Uncle Barry in experimenting with drugs and their effect on human and non-human organs, I think. In my head she’s the Frankenstein of the family, and there’s a lot I could do with her in short fic form.
Next time (after Christmas) : the immediate aftermath of meeting this lot, and the consequences for Wes and Ricky when Katy processes it all – including when she checks her phone and reads Wes’s text.