Patricia Wants to Cuddle
Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen
Margaret, just call me Maggie, Davies scrubs the remains of a dead sheep off her deck. Poor thing had been bludgeoned and torn to shreds, but that won’t ruin her morning. Finishing her tea before dealing with the ewe’s remains, Maggie thinks about her dead wife, and is glad she didn’t die so violently. Perhaps though, she would have preferred this grisly demise over the chemotherapy.
TRex Derickson shares a post on CatchChat.com he has week nine spoilers for The Catch. The show will not be heading to Tokyo but Otters Island, Washington. Jeremy Blackstone, the eligible bachelor, has selected his Final Four ladies: Christian influencer Lilah-Mae Adams, fashion vlogger Amanda Parker, auto show model Vanessa Voorhees and HR representative Renee Irons. Amanda and Vanessa are still the frontrunners but rumor has it Jeremy is leaning to Vanessa which is an interesting twist as production is counting on her to be the villain in the final edit. Following TRex’s post, commentators debate the final selection and give their salty thoughts on the Final Four.
The Catch production crew and contestants are flying to Seattle, Washington. As the turbulence hits, Renee thinks about the possibility of fiery deaths as the plane crashes down, unfortunately it’s not the screams of her fellow passengers she can hear, but the monotonous flight attendant asking “Trash?” as she walks up the aisle. Renee doesn't even want to win because the show is stupid and Jeremy is gross. Gah! Why won’t the engines explode?! Amanda, in the seat next to her, is chatting away as the plane makes its descent. Amanda laughs at something Renee isn’t paying attention to and all Renee thinks is that she likes her laugh. The plane lands with a thud, not with a fireball.
After the flight, there is the ferry ride to Otters Island. Vanessa is on deck getting a reprieve from Amanda’s overpowering perfume and thinking about Jeremy and how much she is going to fuck him after they're together. She is very confident she will win the show and doesn’t have a lot of respect for her fellow contestants. Watching the coastline of cliffs and trees go by, Vanessa leans precariously over the railing, sure she can see something skittering between the trees… a cougar? A bear? A wolf? The ferry lurches and Vanessa would have gone overboard if Dex Derickson, the host of The Catch, didn’t grab her. Dex has very little clue who she is despite weeks of being on the show and in close proximity to all the contestants because the vast quantities of Scotch he consumes constantly have pickled his brain. Vanessa lets Dex waffle about almost going to Tokyo when he mentions seeing an arm in the water below. Yes, yes an arm. Wait. What? Dex saw an arm in the frothing wake, but Vanessa doesn't see anything. It was probably just a Scotch-induced hallucination.
Lilah-Mae has a plan, a plan to spread the word of her Lord to the digital age and once she wins she will use Jeremy’s connections to help launch it. For now, she needs to reclip her hair extension, focus, channel her years of pageant experience, and be her gorgeous self on this podunk island. Focus is difficult however when Vanessa terrorizes her by jumping out of a bathroom stall. Deep breaths Lilah-Mae, deep breaths.
CatchChat.com commenters are debating on who Jeremy will pick. TRex is usually spot on with his predictions as these shows tend to follow a template, but everyone has their favorite and their own theories. Meanwhile, Renee is watching Lilah-Mae delivering a promotional bit to the camera. Lilah-Mae is far too chipper and the script is far too garbage for 2 am. On another part of the deck, Vanessa and Amanda are whispering to each other. At first Renee thought she might inspire a generation as the first black woman to reach the top two, but it didn’t take long for her to realize The Catch took everything you gave but didn’t give anything back. Her co-workers had nominated her for the show, and they and the producers of the show heard her say all the right things, but never the truth that she sometimes daydreams about women or she’s not always sure what there is to live for. Jeremy interrupts Renee’s reverie, and says he needs to talk. Jeremy tells her he likes hanging out with her more than the other girls, but he can’t pick her. He’s still planning on giving her a corsage and she’ll make the final two, but she won’t win. The racism is unspoken, but very much there.
Casey Collins is a big deal on The Catch production crew. She essentially runs the show and chooses the best storylines and uses the off-camera conversations between contestants to the show's advantage. Right now, she’s been stuck in a car for the last half hour with cameraman and occasion fuck, Mike, driving like a Nascar driver and the lady contestants bickering in the back about religion. Casey hopes the sniping keeps going when the cameras are turned on. Stirring the pot, Casey points out that Otters Island is a pretty famous LGBTQ getaway. *Chuckle.* As Amanda is describing getting sand in her ear and vag during sex on a beach, Mike slams the car brakes. He says he saw someone on the road despite it being 3:46am. He looked big and naked? Strange.
Further comments from CatchChat.com debate the decision to film at Otters Island. Previous seasons have made some cringe location decisions, the less said about Phoenix the better, and Otters Island isn't much different as it is famous for some missing hikers in the 90s. People got obsessed by the mystery and loads of crackpot theories whirled around: aliens, serial killers, lesbian witches. Any one of those would spice up the show.
The group reaches the B&B owned by Margaret call me Maggie and though Amanda is jet-lagged AF, she needs to get her sunrise photo taken for her vlog on the old fashioned point-and-click digital camera the production crew gave her since they aren’t allowed to have their phones or social media access. Oh, how she wishes she had her phone because she's desperate to check her follower numbers. Amanda whines at Vanessa until she agrees to help her take the picture, and together they head into the trees with the sounds of sheep bleating keeping them company until they find the perfect spot. As soon as the rays are just right, Vanessa snaps some shots then drags Amanda back to the B&B because she needs sleep. Amanda however stays up a little longer to check out the shots. As she examines them, she spots a silhouette in the distance behind her. It’s tall and standing between two trees - what is that?
A post on CatchChat.com details the missing persons from 2004. Three women went missing from Otters Island State Park. The families of the missing women have never been satisfied with the investigation, saying that a three-day search was hardly sufficient. Further comments talk about the conspiracy theories surrounding the disappearance, others call on the mods to close the post down, which they do.
Casey hooks up with Mike, well, eventually. He actually thought she wanted to talk about the shoot later that day. Bless his dumb gorgeous self. After they finish, well he does, Mike confesses to still being keyed up about the person he almost hit. At least he thinks it was a person, he was so naked and hairy. Casey doesn’t take Mike seriously so he hurriedly leaves. He is sick of Casey always laughing at him anyway.
It’s Renee’s time in front of the camera, sigh, and she doesn’t drum up the enthusiasm the production team would probably like but Jeremy is a soulless grifter, Casey is an unmannered vampire and the interview is more of an inquisition. Renee won’t take Casey’s bait no matter how much it might annoy the producer; even back in week three when one of the girls spouted racist rhetoric, Renee knew how she would be seen. However, it is easier to give the vampire some useful soundbites. As Renee is about to give in, Maggie interrupts with offers of tea which thankfully calls the interview to an end. Renee and Maggie get on really well, and enjoy chai tea and fresh homemade scones. Maggie is intuitive and can see Renee is not happy, and that Renee’s preference may also be for women. Renee has always suspected she’s bisexual, but it’s not something she’s ever explored.
In 2004, Abigail Choi posts on findingkate.blogtropolis.com. Her sister Kate went missing on Otters Island ten years ago and the park rangers, police, and the FBI have done nothing to find out what happened to her. Now it is her turn. As a safety net, Abigail will send all her information and posts to [REDACTED] who will publish it if anything happens to her.
It’s Lilah-Mae’s time to be in the spotlight and ascend with her big solo date with Jeremy. They’re going on a helicopter ride, something she has done many times before with her girlfriends around Dallas, but for the show she will pretend she’s never been. The viewers don’t like contestants who come from wealth and privilege even if her family's money comes from hard work and faith in the lord. It’s Lilah-Mae’s intention to use this moment to give her mission statement, to light the bushel on fire. Unfortunately Lilah-Mae doesn’t account for the terrible, or more likely purposeful, bad piloting. The ride is jerky and bumpy, and Lilah-Mae throws up on the helicopter window uttering a “shit." Her speech is ruined and by the glint in cameraman Mike’s eye, he caught the whole thing.
As Vanessa is being driven to Mount Resilience, the next location for the show, and sizing up her competition in her mind, she realizes that Casey is leaning on the partition intercom and she can hear every word between the producer and Dex on speakerphone. This will mean useful intel so she needs to play it cool and not let on that she’s listening in. Casey and Dex are talking about who the winner might be. Jeremy wants to get his dick wet so not Lilah-Mae, Renee has already been spoken about and is not “winner” material, Amanda and Jeremy were caught half-naked in a yacht bathroom, and Vanessa is going to have to step it up and soon. Well, fuck. Possibly literally.
Back in 2004, Abigail updates findingkate.blogtropolis.com. Otters Island doesn’t look sinister… at first. It’s got an outdated charm but it’s all surface. She’s been on eight hikes so far and has still found no clues or theories as to what happened to her sister. She realizes, standing on the top of a peak, that Otters Island is eerily quiet, there are no birds there though plenty in the trees. What’s wrong with this place?
Tonight they are filming Date Night on the peak of Mount Resilience where they are spending the night glamping, complete with a firepit and yurts. Renee finds the theatrics and pageantry completely ridiculous, though the others look so serious as Dex tells them two will be eliminated in the morning, but first a game of Truth or Dare. Ugggh. Dex has a date with some shellfish so he won’t be spending the night on the mountain, only Casey and Mike will stay from the production side. The asinine game begins with Jeremy picking Renee first and he dares her to tell the truth about how she feels about him. Come on. Renee manages to dodge the truth while the others call foul on it being a dare in the first place. Vanessa takes over the game, first daring Amanda to kiss anyone except Jeremy. She chooses Renee who is very willing as she finds Amanda exceptionally attractive but exceptionally dumb. When the kiss ends, the rest laugh at the hijinx, but Renee, however, feels like something has unlocked inside her.
Lilah-Mae’s religious stick up her ass is on full display following the kiss between two girls and Vanessa turns on her. The two argue, loudly, drowning out the dull roar Renee would swear is coming from the trees. The screaming match turns nasty when Vanessa calls out the fact Lilah-Mae once worked at Hooters and didn’t tell the producers and Lilah-Mae shouts back that Vanessa had an abortion six months ago. Everything goes quiet and the Date Night is over.
findingkate.blogtropolis.com: Abigail saw something on the peak today. She doesn’t want to say anything else, suffice it to say that her cover story of being a nature photographer is no longer a lie.
Amanda is filming some social media content inside her yurt that is actually really cute. These sorts of posts and videos give her some sponsorship opportunities, including this amazing rose-scented water spray. Discount code in the comments! She heads to bed in an adorable romper because, though the yurt might be fancy, it’s still freezing. Hopefully Jeremy will come by and help keep her warm... Speaking of, is that him scratching at the door? Amanda gets up to unzip the flap and a creature covered in shaggy, sweat-caked hair which is definitely not Jeremy sticks its head in. Amanda screams and backs away from the human shaped creature that comes inside and starts sniffing the air. In the haze of internally screaming "oh fuck" Amanda spots a pair of very perky hair-covered breasts. She also notes the creature is seven, maybe eight feet tall and looks strong, very strong. Is it a lady ape? And why has no one come to help her? She’s been screaming hysterically! As the creature comes closer, its wet-dog smell becomes overpowering. Deciding to save herself, Amanda makes a dash for the door but before she can get away, the creature pulls her back by her ponytail and slams her head hard against the fancy bamboo floor of the yurt.
Vanessa is woken up by Renee who matter-of-factly tells her Amanda is missing. Yes, they checked the out-house and Lilah-Mae thought she heard animal noises. Vanessa, rather than being concerned, thinks Amanda is a secret genius and this is her gamble to get one of the final spots. The tension is thick as they sit around the firepit waiting for the park rangers to arrive, egos still sore from the game of Truth or Dare.
An Editor's note is posted to findingkate.blogtropolis.com where they state they debated actually posting the entries. In their final communications with Abigail, the Editor had started to believe Abigail was losing her grip on reality. Abigail's behavior became erratic and unpredictable, her communications confusing. The Editor doesn’t believe Abigail saw what she claims she saw on Mount Resilience, but to honor their promise, they will continue to post the blogs, though really, they just want Abigail to come back home.
Sitting around the fire pit, a loud metallic crunch echoes across the peak. Mike suggests a car crash, but Casey thinks he needs to stop scaring the contestants. Checking her phone, Casey sees a missed call from Dex twenty minutes ago. He obviously got her voicemail about Amanda and possibly tried to head back up the mountain. Shit. Deciding they’d better check, Casey takes their only car and leaves Mike with Vanessa, Renee, Lilah-Mae and Jeremy at the camp.
Amanda wakes up alone in a cave. Pulling herself together, Amanda imagines how Dex will narrate her off the show which is motivation to move. At least she would pull in the ratings and her social media hits would go through the roof, but that last picture she took on Labor Day is not cute enough for the news. Limping toward the cave entrance, Amanda hears a noise from behind her. The creature must have been deeper in the cave and it knows she is trying to escape. The creature makes a massive leap and easily catches her, dragging her back inside.
Meanwhile, Casey is hurtling down the mountain in search of Dex nearly crashing herself. She never thought Dex would be stupid enough to come back up the peak. On a straight patch of road, Casey spots a wreck and when her car lights hit it, she recognizes it as one of The Catch fleet, its windshield shattered, smoke drifting from the hood, and a figure unmoving on the ground. It’s Dex. Casey pulls up to it, but before she can get out of her car, a male voice from behind her says her name.
Things are still tense and snippy back at camp. Renee seems to be the only one calm and unflustered by the events. Sick of standing around being aggravated by Lilah-Mae’s existence, Vanessa declares she’s going to head to the tower on the peak because it might give her the vantage point to actually see something. Renee says she will look in Amanda’s yurt. Jeremy, who has been distant with Vanessa since the Truth or Dare abortion revelation, says he’ll help Renee. Lilah-Mae offers to go with Vanessa. Vanessa agrees as long as there is no bible talk!
Casey is furious with Mike who was told to stay with the contestants but who actually snuck into the backseat of Casey's car. The person in the crashed car is obviously Dex, and Casey, trying to make herself believe he is still okay, is too scared to check so reality doesn’t pop her bubble. Mike, however, scrambles out of the car to Dex and confirms he is gone. As Mike is looking around the area, he spots a footprint in Dex’s blood… Someone else was here. Before he can say anything to Casey, his lower jaw is blown off by a shotgun. Casey runs back to the car and overhears two women speaking, one is Margaret call me Maggie, the B&B owner, and the other is a middle-aged woman called Abigail. Unfortunately for Casey, the two women realize someone was with Mike and start searching for her. Casey dives out of the car to make a run for it, but a foot presses her back down to the road. Maggie is above her, gun pointed at her, and Casey realizes she is surrounded as more women come out of the trees.
On the peak, Renee feels invigorated and is enjoying the thought that the show is finally over, but it's a shame that Jeremy won’t go away. He’s trying to be all pally with her, but Renee has had enough and tells him to fuck off. Jeremy tries to get further rise out of Renee, but he’s not worth her time. Finally at Amanda’s yurt, Renee spots a torn piece of Amanda’s cute pjs straight away, then another. Despite Jeremy spoiling for a fight, he agrees to go searching for Amanda with her. As Jeremy is screaming for Amanda, Renee thinks how this entire situation should be scary, but she’s actually calm and feels completely at ease. Jeremy is swinging his flashlight around when Renee spots blood on a tree root. Heading further into the trees, Jeremy thinks he sees something and Renee is more than happy for him to go off and look because she has found a rocky drop-off she wants to check out. Climbing down, Renee finds a cave with a flickering light within.
Looking inside the cave, Renee finds it is a welcoming space with signs that someone is living out of it. Heading deeper in, she finds skulls, rib cages, and, scattered amongst the bones, old boots, fabric and other hiking paraphernalia. At the bottom of the pile is Amanda’s disembodied head. Alas, poor Amanda. Heading back outside, Renee heads back up to Jeremy and keeps her mouth shut about her find, thinking, “Let them feel the chaos for once.”
Casey is being marched blindfolded up the mountain surrounded by her captors. Her offers of money to let her go are met with laughter, but then what do they want? Casey tries to use the same tactics on her captors that she uses on the contestants, but these ladies are not dumb or malleable. Abby, despite Maggie’s cautions, wants to talk to Casey. She explains that she saw beauty on Otters Island, true beauty, a beauty she wishes Casey could have seen, too, but she got unlucky and came down the mountain. Finally they arrive at their destination and Casey is pushed from the cliff into the icy river below.
Vanessa and Lilah-Mae have reached the stone observatory and they begin the long climb up. They aren’t speaking much, and thankfully not bickering. At the top, they even have a bit of a heart-to-heart and realize they are both flawed humans with feelings and pasts they don’t want to define their futures. Their conversation is interrupted by a scuffling sound, and peering along the face of the tower, Vanessa spots a dark shape scrambling up the side. It looks like a hairy person, but that can’t be right. The creature leaps the last few feet and lands on Vanessa who screams as the creature's drool drips into her mouth. Vanessa realizes as she uselessly tries to push the creature off her that it's a female and has been watching them since they arrived on Otters Island. The creature slams Vanessa’s head down against the stone ground then starts to pummel her.
Lilah-Mae didn’t run off. She started to, but she came back to help and rushes the creature to get it off Vanessa. Lilah-Mae screams to Vanessa to run, and stumbling, she tries. Before heading down the stairs, Vanessa turns and sees Lilah-Mae being held by the throat by the nine-foot creature before it throws her over the edge of the tower. Vanessa runs.
Renee and Jeremy hear screams and run toward them. Renee has overtaken Jeremy easily and ignores his plaintive misogynist gasps that he should get there first. Renee stops in her tracks when she sees an impossible sight: a magnificently tall female figure holding a pair of severed legs, one in each hand, with the leftover body on the ground at her feet. Behind the creature, Renee spots Lilah-Mae impaled on a pine limb. Suddenly, Jeremy taps her on her shoulder. Together they watch the creature easily pull Vanessa’s body apart. Now that the creature has finished her task, she looks to the boulder where Renee and Jeremy are hiding. Renee is calm and so pleased she got to see “one perfect, incomprehensible thing before she died - something that could raze all her useless memories to the ground.”
While Renee is happy for the wonderful creature to come for them, Jeremy inexplicably rises to his feet and starts yelling and waving at the creature. Jeremy’s flailing flashlight allows Renee to examine the beautiful creature more closely. The lady creature watches Jeremy, seemingly to welcome the “challenge” Jeremy poses. With unfounded bravado Jeremy drops his flashlight, grabs a rock and starts charging the creature. Renee scrambles from her cover, grabs the flashlight and shines it into Jeremy’s eyes as he lunges toward the creature and drags it down her arm. The creature cries out and as Jeremy calls for Renee to help him, the creature springs up and lands on him, crushing him like a twig. Jeremy continues to call out to Renee as his spine is disconnected from his legs and the creature lifts her hand and brings it down on his skull until his weak cries stop.
The creature is hurt and is sitting slumped against the boulder moaning. It distresses Renee seeing such a beautiful creature in pain and she goes to her, slowly, non-threateningly, giving her reassuring platitudes. Using a ripped section of her undershirt, Renee tends to the creature. From the trees, footsteps approach. Renee is prepared to defend the hurt creature but Maggie emerges and does not seem surprised to see Renee with the lady Sasquatch or the grisly tableau. Maggie explains that Patricia has a funny way of making new friends, but Otters Island is hers, and they are the ones who need to adapt to it. Renee can’t imagine leaving Patricia behind.
TRex Derickson posts on CatchChat.com about the sad news from the show. Dex Derickson died in a drunk-driving accident and Amanda, Vanessa, Lilah-Mae, Renee and Jeremy are all missing. There’s been a gruesome photo leaked to the press of cameraman Mike with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Producer Casey was found near Mike, apparently drowned. The police believe it was a murder-suicide/killing spree scenario. As more information is released, TRex will update the fandom, but in the meantime, all they can do is send their thoughts and prayers.
Flash forward to 2044. Laurel Quinn is forced to buy an expensive, but thankfully cute, hat from an Otters Island shop. Behind the counter is a black woman in her fifties who looks familiar. As Laurel is paying, she realizes where she’s seen the woman from: The Last Corsage, a Netflix docuseries about The Catch. The woman laughs and says she gets that a lot, but she’s not her. Laurel asks about a good camping spot for her and her friends, and the woman pulls out some dusty brochures for those not afraid of Lady Bigfoot.