Moving onto another complex character–Markeisha Porter! She’s one of the few Caelians who actually developed the more I wrote the story. Today’s her birthday, so keep scrolling to learn all about her.
SPOILER ALERT: Reading about Keke might spoil something for you if you haven’t read Aquarius all the way through. Please do not continue if you hate spoilers!
Age in Aquarius: 25
Height: 5’9 | Weight: 135 lbs.
Hair: thick onyx styled in a tightly braided bun (usually)
Eyes: apricot orange/light brownish
Human Race: African-American | Species: Demon
Hailing Planet: Zulwini (Uranus)
Ability: none (yet 😏)
Rank: none (unofficial co-matron)
Specialties: can read people more easily than most, down to Earth, loyal, big sis vibes, mediation
Best friends: Raine Porter, Sabryna Blair, & Ravyn Wise
Soul mate: Owen McMahon
Three facts about Keke:
- Keke is the middle child of a small farming family that lived a couple miles outside of the Savannah Colony’s borders. The colony itself spans over 560 miles.
- The Porters moved to the enormous Kansas City colony following an incident with the Jovian angels and their eldest child. Tyriq Porter is presumed dead as he was last seen defending himself from bandits.
- She tends to act as a mediator between disputing members, prompting the rest of the tribe to consider her as Ravyn’s co-matron. No matter what Sabryna says, she can’t convince Keke to accept the role.
My thoughts on Keke:
When I say that I was ecstatic to work on Markeisha and Owen’s arc, I mean it! Originally, the couple was supposed to bond in the background before Pixie wakes up from her coma–there was supposed to be two bonds that occurred during their stay, and at first I was blissfully unconcerned with how passive this would be. My ignorance started slapping me in the face more and more as I wrote and rewrote the book, writing in first that introduction scene with Keke and Bree on the camper, and then the scene where the two of them meet for the first time, and again when I went back and reorganized the story so that the first chapter could focus on Gio and his recruitment, instead of jumping into the duel where he’s recognized (yes, that was the actual starting point for this series. I also had an alternative, much longer prologue written out, but I decided against it. It’ll be fun to post later on here, anyway.) The last scenes I wrote regarding them were their actual bonding scene and the final chapter–and yes, I know that the final chapter technically is just Markeisha, but it’s related. Just know that in Taurus, Owen and Markeisha are going to need to work through their issues in order to get things done.
Keke and Raine were always meant to meet Bree and Rae in KC and run off together, come across a couple other girls, awaken as Bree is recognized as their chief, and head on their merry way. The more I focused on Keke, though, the more I found her and Raine’s backstory coming together–and I found myself loving the idea that she and Owen would sort of mirror one another. Initially, she was just a background character who was supposed to “use her loving nature to calm the anger and pain inside Owen” or whatever the fuck, but I came to hate that. To paint her as some feminine, motherly creature to Owen’s toxic angst was offensive and just plain stupid, so I reconsidered both of their backgrounds. That’s where Tyriq and Imena came in.
Tyriq Porter, Markeisha and Raine’s older brother and only other sibling, was about twelve when he saw bandits on his way home from the Savannah Colony. He ran up to every angel he could find, begging for any one of them to escort him home. Since he was just a child, the angels didn’t believe him and refused to help. He left without an escort and never made it back home. Their parents were devastated by his disappearance, with their father going off on his own every now and again in search of Tyriq. No trace of him was ever found, and after five years of searching in vain, the Porters moved to the Kansas City colony. As a result, both sisters harbored distrust towards angels, so much so that Keke let her bias keep her from accepting her rightful rank of co-matron.
(I just wrote out Imena’s backstory and not only is it actually longer than Tyriq’s–two paragraphs longer–but I was nearly finished with it when I realized I was about to dedicate three whole paragraphs to a dead character that had little to do with Keke. It’s 11 PM and I had coffee before this so I think it fueled my creativity. I’m already crashing though, so I’ll leave out Imena’s story and include it in Owen’s birthday bio… Which won’t come around until next January. Sorry.)
Without Tyriq, Keke’s mother had to help her father contribute to their new colony, so Markeisha practically raised Raine. The two are close in age but the younger sister had a knack for mischief, leading Keke to learn how to negotiate with others from a young age in exchange for their silence regarding Raine’s transgressions. Her antics normally consisted of minor pranks, trespassing, and sneaking off with someone’s girlfriend, so there were times when Markeisha had to forego her diplomacy and let her fists do the talking.
In her preteen years, she took an interest in learning about the occult and alternative spiritual beliefs of the pre-apocalypse, particularly Wicca. Keke would do her peer’s homework in exchange for household materials she could use in place of traditional ritual items, and she dedicated a section of their family’s garden to herbs and spices most commonly used for spellwork.
Shortly after Raine graduated from the colonial school, the girls decided to leave the sanctuary they had known for most of their life to travel. Armed with their parents’ blessing and the companionship of Kansas City’s best weaponsmith, Ravyn Wise, the girls left one evening in hopes of avoiding bandits when they stumbled across a runaway teen.
Sabryna was hesitant to trust the trio, but Raine had recalled seeing her practice wielding her knife in the previous weeks. The girls made an agreement: Sabryna would teach the Porter sisters how to properly fight, Ravyn would supply them with weapons, and the four would travel together as a group. They continued with this arrangement for a week, growing closer, until they stumbled upon Emily and Gwen fighting off a small squad of bandits. Sabryna and the gang aided the two young ladies and discovered they were also on a journey without a destination in mind. They all made camp, and after a night of opening up, Sabryna was recognized as the true chief of the Zulwini Tribe. She unlocked the potential in their souls, revealed their mission, and chose both Ravyn and Markeisha as her matrons–but Keke rejected the position, conflicted between her loyalty to her tribe and her hatred of the angels she would need to trust. She spends the rest of their travels–including those expressed in Aquarius–turning down the position. By the end of the book, it is unclear whether she will ever accept it, but with Keke beginning to accept her soul mate bond with Owen there is hope on the horizon.
If we were to compare the Zulwini Tribe to anything, it would be a family–and if I were to label each member with a respective familial title, then Markeisha would definitely vacillate between big sister and fun aunty. She cares about each member as an individual, insists that the betterment of the tribe as a whole depends on the happiness of each person in it, and consistently puts the needs of the tribe before herself. She’s strong, speaks her mind, and does her best to keep a neutral view when dealing with her subordinates.
For those of you who don’t know, Markeisha is a supporting character in my trilogy Saturn Rising, which is the first installment of The Chronicles of Life & Death. The first book, Aquarius, is available now on Amazon as an e-book and paperback. You can even read it all for free with Kindle Unlimited! Learn more here.
Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash
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Mother of two ☆ Witch without a coven ☆ Founder of the Sisters of the Shadows ☆ Professor of Charms & Incantations I & II and supervisor of The Arcane Citizen, a student-run newsletter for the Academy of Occult Arts ☆ My web series are now available at https://vocal.media/authors/natasha-penn ☆ https://linktr.ee/nattypenn for all social/support links
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