3 min read

The Story So Far

A breezy high-level plot summary to get you up to speed.
The Story So Far

If you want to start at the beginning of this serialized novel, I suggest going to Welcome to Chokeville. If you just want to refresh your memory on what’s happened so far, or would rather skim through a dry synopsis than experience the actual thing (like I do with horror movies on Wikipedia), then you’re in the right place.

This page is, of course, nothing but spoilers!


Part One / TONIGHT! NOW!

Batya is a low-level thug-for-hire in a seamy port city called Fort Hook. She’s wrapping up a cruddy drug deal when she’s ambushed in a hotel kitchen by no less than five hoodlums. She takes out four but the fifth one knocks her out.

She wakes up in a guest room and discovers it’s under the sea somewhere. Turns out her big sister, Mina, was the one who kidnapped her. They used to work together as hired goons, but some falling-out in the recent past split them up.

Since then, Mina has gone to work for an illicit courier operation called Hawthorne Grain—this undersea establishment is its headquarters—but is now in trouble with the boss, Margaret. Mina screwed up some important job and was about to get “let go” (i.e., slain) when she convinced Margaret to bring in Bat, promising that the sisters working together will solve all her problems.

Margaret gives them a rush delivery job to do—tonight, now—as a kind of test. Bat grudgingly agrees to help out. (She could use the money, seeing as she made some very unsound financial decisions during their time apart. More on that later.)

At Sal’s Crab House, the restaurant run by Hawthorne Grain, the sisters get the job details from Sal, who acts as both dispatch and chef. The job is to deliver an envelope to a location by midnight tonight. The problem is the location is represented by a weird symbol neither of them recognize. After some terrible brainstorming, they decide to go to the local radio station to put out an APB on this symbol.

The only way to the radio station is through the very haunted woods. Bat is accosted by some kind of deer demon, but manages to escape and reunite with Mina.

At the radio station (which is inside a lighthouse) they interrupt the late-night DJ, in the middle of his show. Mina smooth-talks him into letting them ask his listeners about the weird symbol. They discover that it represents a secret men-only surgery competition happening tonight at the streetcar terminal.

The outcome of this contest is violently contested as hordes of men beat each other up. The sisters find the recipient of their delivery in the midst of this blood-soaked melee, and it turns out to be Margaret. The whole job was a test that she set up, and they passed it. (Sort of.) Now she wants them to do some real jobs, including a big one that all the other couriers are scared to take on.


Part Two / A STACK OF JUMPS

The next morning, Batya goes back to her awful motel to learn that a thug was on her tail, looking to collect on the money she owes. She hightails it back to Hawthorne’s underwater HQ where she meets The Archivists, three teenagers who act as Margaret’s intel providers. Margaret brings Bat on full-time, though she has to split her salary (and share a room) with Mina, which is annoying.

The sisters then head out into the city to do a series of courier jobs. One is delivering a writ to a very pregnant baroness, another is shaking down a shipwright who owes money to a bookie. Bat gets a little overheated with the latter and breaks his fingers and steals some extra cash for herself.