Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Borrasca

Go To

Borrasca is a 2015 novella written by C.K. Walker.

Sam Walker moves to the town of Drisking, Missouri, and quickly befriends two other kids, Kyle and Kimber. They take a trip to a strange treehouse where you are supposed to carve your name on the tree or "you'll disappear". When Sam's sister, Whitney, actually does disappear a few months later, he passes five lonely years wondering what happened to her. When more people start suddenly disappearing, the three take it upon themselves to find out what's happening to all the disappearing people and what connection the disappearances hold with the mountain outside of town.

Due to popular demand, or arguably due to her own interest, Walker made a sequel titled Borrasca V, which takes place years after the events of the first part.

Borrasca can be read on Reddit here. The sequel Borrasca V can be read CK Walker's official site here.

It was adapted into a weekly podcast by QCODE which was released from May to July 2020. It featured Cole Sprouse as Sam Walker and Lisa Edelstein, Louise Lombard, Hynden Walch, and Dylan Bruno in supporting roles. It can be listened to on QCODE here.

Borrasca (and its sequel Borrasca V) contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Kimber in "V"; she has amassed a collection of guns in order to end the operation, and delivers the killing blow to Graham Walker in the climax.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The name of Kimber's father, Jacob, is changed to Peter in the podcast adaptation. Likewise, the name of Sam's roommate, Seth, is changed to Erik, and Meera and Owen's Borrasca purchase child's name is changed to Weston from William.
  • Adults Are Useless: Massive abuse of this trope occurs. Even when many people disappear from the town every year, no one seems to care and the police only conduct a bare-minimum investigation and never find anything. Justified, as almost all of them are in on the conspiracy.
  • Advertised Extra: Even though her disappearance sparks Sam's interest in solving the mystery, Whitney doesn't show up in the story all that much.
  • Age Lift: Sam, Kyle and Kimber were in 4th grade and sophomores after the time skip. In the podcast adaptation, they're in 7th grade and seniors after the time skip.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Sheriff Walker becomes this to Sam when Sam learns of his involvement in the conspiracy, especially when Walker takes over for himself.
  • Baby Factory: This is the fate of the poor girls who go missing. They're routinely raped and forced to bear babies, who are then taken away from them and sold to rich people/human traffickers, or given to the townspeople in exchange for their silence.
  • Big Bad: It initially appears Jimmy Prescott is this as the head of the Baby Factory and human trafficking conspiracy, but Sam's own father, Sheriff Walker literally takes over the role when he usurps Jimmy and becomes the main antagonist in V.
  • Bit Character: Even though they show up somewhat often, Phil Saunders, Meera McCaskey, Sam's mother, and Kimber's dad ultimately serve almost no purpose in the story.
  • Break the Cutie: Just about every protagonist goes through this in the first story and/or its sequel.
    • Sam's sister goes missing, as does his friend Kimber. He and Kyle investigate what happens before they discover the truth of the human trafficking plot, which Sam discovers his sister was a victim of. Kyle is beaten to an inch of his life and Sam is framed for the incident by his own father, who reveals he's in on it. By the time of V Kyle is kept alive but in a drug-induced coma for years, while Sam is forced to flee town and takes up a drug habit to cope with what he witnessed.
    • Kimber's mother commits suicide and reveals in her note that she is the product of a trafficking plot and that her then boyfriend Kyle is her half-brother (he's also a product of the Baby Factory). She gets abducted by the traffickers to silence her, and while she is rescued it's revealed in the sequel that she was raped by Sheriff Walker during her captivity.
    • Whitney might just have it the worst! Not only was she taken to the mines as a young teenager, she was done so expressly to be a Sex and Breeding Slave to her own father for years on end. By the time she is found, she's completely catatonic by what she's gone through and seemingly unwilling the leave the mines when Sam comes to rescue her. She is eventually ground up by a thresher because the children she was forced to bear were considered useless when they were discovered to be products of incest.
  • Broken Bird: Kimber in ''V" after being kidnapped and raped, as well as losing her childhood friend. Sam as well who's even abused drugs due to the psychological damage of the town and the fact his father now owns the Borrasca plant, therefore he's "the heir". That's not to mention Whitney's fate in the original story as she's reduced to a silent wreck with no willpower left.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Downplayed; Kimber is still fiery and bitter down due to her trauma from being kidnapped and raped in "V", but she's still there to support Sam as he tries to recover from his addiction to heroin.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Sam does this throughout his final confrontation with Walker, as he is being beaten, forcing him to own up to his crimes while making it no secret that he now despises and they intend to kill each other. All this turns out to be a distraction to get Kimber to kill Walker once and for all.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Kimber's mom, Sheriff Clery, and Jimmy Prescott.
    • In V, Sam's friend Seth.
  • Cool Old Lady: Kathryn Scanlon does everything she can to help the trio solve the mystery...although she may have known the truth, to begin with. Jossed in V, as revealed she actually didn't know much and was actually killed during the gap.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The town of Drisking looks on the outside like any ordinary if charming town; the townspeople living a peaceful life raising families. On the inside, however, it's a cruel Baby Factory that was founded upon the toxic water in the town causing infertility among its residents. 14-year old girls are sold off to the mines and used as cattle until they can no longer reproduce and are thus sent to a thresher to be killed. Worst of all, this trafficking has been so deeply rooted into the town's system for decades that it almost took the lives of Sam and Kimber to reveal the cops' atrocities to the world and stop it permanently.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Ultimately, everything is revealed about the disappearances, the strange mountain sound, and the townsfolk odd behavior. An accident in a mine some 60 years before caused minerals to go to the town's water supply, causing all of the townsfolk to go infertile. The Prescotts then propose a "baby-making machine" to get the town children again. Women and girls are be kidnapped or sold to them from the families in town, then they are impregnated by the Prescotts and the sheriff's department. After they give birth, the babies are sold either to the townsfolk or human traffickers. When the women get too old or too sick, they are put through a grain thresher, which is the cause of the grinding noise everyone hears come off the mountain every once in a while.
  • Defiant to the End: Kyle refuses to tell Jimmy Prescott anything about Kimber's whereabouts even when Jimmy's beating him to death.
    "Last chance, Landy."
    "Fuck you." Kyle said through a wheezing, rattled breath of air.
  • The Dog Bites Back: V ultimately culminates in Sam and Kimber exposing and toppling the conspiracy to the world, killing the monster at the head of it all - Sam's own father - with everyone involved in the conspiracy either killed or being hunted by the government.
  • Downer Ending: The original four part story ends like this. The Prescotts continue their baby-making machine and the townsfolk continue to turn a blind eye because of the benefits, Kimber's fate is unkown, Kyle ends up being a vegetable for the rest of his life, and Sam's father accuses him of putting him on that state, forcing him to leave the city and ending up as a drug addict.
    • Subverted on Borrasca V however, as it reveals that Kimber managed to escape from the farm thanks to them and run away to California, encountering Sam so both of them can put a stop to the business and manage to get the story reported to the FBI.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The sequel Borrasca V gives some actual beautiful closure and an actual good ending: Sam and Kimber return to Drisking and "Borrasca" and let themselves get hurt by Sheriff Walker only for Kimber to deliver a fatal blow to Walker, and with the help of Sam's friend Seth, they're able to release the information of the Borrasca plant to the world, allowing the FBI to step in and shut it down for good.
  • Empty Shell: This is Kyle's ultimate fate due to the severe brain damage Jimmy gives him from stomping on his head hard enough to crack his skull. By the time he's released from the hospital, he can't even feed himself, much less speak. Somewhat alleviated in V where he's recovered enough to at least be responsive when Kimber visits him.
  • Enemy Mine: Jimmy Prescott is revealed to be the secret benefactor who set up Sam and Kimber's adventure in V, less out of altruism but more to do with getting Walker out of power. They both get him arrested shortly after they kill Walker.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Sheriff Walker's appearances throughout the first story depict him as a loving and caring father who is concerned about his children and town, being especially close to his son. This lasts up until after his Evil All Along reveal at the end of the first story and throughout V where his deeds are fully revealed. By the time he's confronted, he doesn't bother trying to hide the fact he's cruel, arrogant and heartless (also rather vulgar), aside from being sarcastically jovial.
  • Fiery Redhead: Kyle is noted by Sam to be one in part 1.
  • Get Out!: Sam gets this twice in the final episode of the podcast:
    • First by Kyle's mother, after she blames Sam for beating Kyle brain dead due to the latter being scapegoated.
      (While screaming bloody murder as Sam's being whisked away): "HE SHOULD BE IN JAIL!!!"
    • And second by Sam's father, who forces his own son out of his car at gunpoint once Sam realizes he's in on it.
      (Spoken in calm disdain): "Get the fuck out of the car."
  • Hates Being Touched: Kimber in V due to being raped while imprisoned at Borrasca.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The grinding noise that comes off the mountain every once in a while is this to Sam, Kyle, and Kimber.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Sam and Kimber throughout V on account of being fugitives of Drisking's jurisdiction. Partially because of Sam being framed for battering Kyle, partially because they are a threat to the conspiracy that pretty much the whole town is in on.
  • Human Traffickers: The main incentive behind the conspiracy to abduct women in the town and force them into Sex Slavery is the Prescotts and others use the women as a source for a steady supply of babies, which are then sold off to various underground organizations for small fortunes.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: The rhyme in the description below the page image, which the children of the town must say before they enter the tree house for the first time.
  • Irony: Sam monologues at one time in V that Kimber is more of a sister to him than she ever was to Kyle, considering the fact that Sam isn't related to her whilst Kyle is, and they're in a relationship.
  • Jerkass: Jimmy Prescott, Sheriff Clery, and especially Sam's father.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Discussed in V. Jimmy Prescott tries to argue he's preferable to Walker, as he claims that while what he did was beyond fucked up, he at least put the money from their operation back into the town to improve the economy and gave babies to the families, whereas Walker is only interested in selling the babies to outside clients and pocketing the money for himself, letting the town fall into shambles. Sam doesn't buy any of it and concocts a plan to take them both down, as he can't stand the idea of letting one continue the Baby Factory operation.
  • Moe Greene Special: How Walker dies this way courtesy of Kimber.
  • Mundane Ghost Story: Although the events of the story seem supernatural, in the end, all of the story's horrors were human caused.
  • Never Trust a Title: A "borrasca" is actually the first mine closed off after something stops the mining. In this case, it's a red herring, because it's not the borrasca that is important, but what happens just outside it. Though in a way the title is also fitting since a "borrasca" could also be used to describe the women thrown in the thresher. To the men running the operation, they were seen as borrasca and not as people. (A borrasca is a mine that has dried up and can no longer be used for profit).
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Sheriff Clery and Jimmy Prescott give one to Kyle.
    • In V, Walker gives one to Kimber and Sam, shooting both of them. Then again it was part of their plan by having Kimber wear the bulletproof vest and allowing her to play dead and then shoot Walker.
  • Police Are Useless: Ultimately Played With. The police force of Drisking play it utterly straight, being in on the conspiracy, culminating with the town's sheriff becoming the head of it. Sam and Kimber's efforts to expose the conspiracy to the FBI also go ignored entirely. By the end of the story though, the death of Sheriff Walker finally prompts the FBI to seriously investigate and dismantle the human trafficking system.
  • Posthumous Character: Kimber's mother as of V.
  • Posthumous Narration: Kimber's mother's suicide note closes the first story and explains almost all of the story's events
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge/Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Downplayed on the "Roaring Rampage" part due to them not being in any position to do so, but the plot of V hinges on Sam and Kimber reuniting to find out if Kyle is still alive and maybe get some justice against the town of Drisking. Ultimately they succeed.
  • Precision F-Strike: Dropped in the last episode of the podcast by Graham Walker. See Get Out! above.
  • Rape and Revenge: Part of Kimber's motives in V is that she was one of Walker's rape victims. She's also the one who ultimately kills him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Once the human traffickers realized that their operation has been caught live on camera, Griggs and the rest basically said this and run for it.
  • Signs of Disrepair: The local urban legend about the occasional disappearances that happen around town is that the "skinned men" are responsible and that they live up in the hills. The name "skinned men" actually comes from the partially faded sign DRISKING UNDERGROUND MINE, which turns out to be where the victims are actually taken.
  • The Sociopath: Sheriff Walker is undoubtedly the biggest monster in the conspiracy, he spent years putting up a front of a caring or concerned father, while in secret continuously rapes his daughter before as part of his involvement with the human trafficking empire. When his daughter dies he takes over the empire for himself, kills his wife, remarries (one of his sons childhood crushes no less) to have another daughter to make a new Sex Slave. When his son confronts him, Walker is non chalant about his plans to kill him and have another son to replace him.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Most children fathered by Sheriff Clery have red hair. It's what makes Sam (correctly) assume that Kyle and Kimber are related in episode 1 of the podcast adaptation. It is also established that Sam as a young adult strongly resembles his father.
  • Surprise Incest: As it turns out, Kyle and Kimber are half-siblings, born from the same father, Killian Clery. In fact, all of the children that share the first letter of their names are half-siblings, such as Phil, Phoebe, Parker and Paige are half-siblings, whom were born from Jimmy Prescott. So if any of those kids dated each other it would be this trope. This could account as well if Kimber and Phil, who briefly dated at one point, were born from the same mother, or anyone else who were.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Because of how the baby factory in Drisking works, practically everyone is related somehow.
    • Taken up to eleven in the podcast adaptation. Several names of people's parents are mentioned, and it is revealed that individuals with K names and P names are raising children who were their Borrasca purchases. One such example is Ken Landy raising Kyle Landy, meaning that the man who Kyle thinks is his father is really his half-brother.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: What an understatement. As it turns out, several decades ago, the water supply of Drisking was tainted by iron from a condemned mine, causing the majority of the population to become infertile. To make matters even worse, the water was never fixed and a new water source was never used, so even in the present day infertility continues to plague the population. The Prescotts (the rich family that practically owns the town) came up with a solution by kidnapping women and girls from other areas, impregnating them, and giving the townspeople their babies. Eventually, Thomas Prescott began to sell babies to rich couples looking to adopt, and soon afterwards began to sell babies to human traffickers. The townspeople turned a blind eye to this because the money from traffickers brought much-needed income to Drisking. As for the kidnapped women, they're forced to bear children until they become too old or sick to continue; once they've outlived their usefulness, they're pushed a giant machine that was used to refine ore until nothing is left of their bodies but dust. This baby machine scheme has been going on for quite some time, and anyone who tries to whistleblow is swiftly dealt with.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Sam and Kyle as the two guys, and Kimber as the girl.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: As twisted and wrong as it is, the conspiracy started out as this; it was originally a plan by the Prescott's to save the town from its infertility problem and use the funds they make from additional human trafficking to help the town's economy. When Jimmy took over, he became a little more about money, but even he claims that what he's doing is to benefit the town, unlike Walker who wants all the power to himself. Sam doesn't buy Jimmy's claims and calls bullshit on them.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Part V makes us wonder what happened to Sam's mother, who he wants to reunite and make amends to. It's revealed she was killed in a car accident, possibly caused by Walker to get married to someone else.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once the kidnapped girls become either too old or too sick to bear children, they are killed by being put through an ore refiner.