Disclaimer: This novel contains adult material including sexually explicit activities, strong language, homophobic language, extreme violence, suicide, depictions of trauma, and more. Reader discretion is advised.
The Dominance of Abigale Quinlan
Shard 04: Fractured Family
As I slept, I was not met with the same dream I experienced 107 times before. I was not in Verde’s domain, or in another world. Instead, I found myself in my home, creeping down the stairs. Everything was cast in darkness, and I could faintly hear the sound of someone crying. My mother.
My sock-covered feet pressed against the stairs as I slowly descended, my body heavy with worry. I eventually made it downstairs and silently walked into the living room, where I saw my mother on the couch, covered in a thick blanket. By the time I was within arm’s reach, her muffled sobs evolved into a mournful wailing.
As I looked at her, I realized what this was. I was reliving a memory yet again.
It was the morning of January 13, 2013. Two days after my mother’s Divorce with Bryce was finalized.
For as much as I hated Abigale Quinlan… there was someone else I hated more than her. My mother’s ex-husband, and my biological father. Bryce Novus. While Abigale Quinlan was a monster who killed for pleasure, the extremity of her evil made her feel distant, detached, and like she was not even human. Because she wasn’t human. Bryce was.
For as much as it hurt me to think about him, about the life he stole from my mother, I had no control over my being, over the world around me. And as second-hand memories began flooding my mind, the world around me began to morph. Morph into the story of Caroline Steticks and Bryce Novus.
My mother, Caroline Steticks, grew up in a rural Washington town by the name of Rainy Woods. When she was 15, she met Bryce Novus. A 19-year-old man who presented himself as a proud upstanding young person. Well-built, well-spoken, and well-connected. He was an outsider who came to Rainy Woods for work— on a building contract. But that did not stop him from pursuing a relationship with my mother. She described herself as a reclusive and passive girl, one who was intimidated and attracted to someone as ‘upstanding’ as Bryce.
For whatever reason, he seemed to like her and, even though there were more aggressive girls who were interested in him, he went back to Caroline, and began dating her. Caroline was dazzled by her feelings toward Bryce and, after a few months, on her sixteenth birthday, on January 11th, 1996, she agreed to give Bryce her virginity.
Caroline had not been taught much about sexual reproduction, had not thought to ask Bryce to wear a condom, and shortly after he left at the end of winter, she realized she was pregnant with… me. She continued to go through her sophomore year of school, hiding this ‘shame’ of hers before the year was over. Then, on the first day of summer break, she left her house in the early hours of the morning and took the bus out of town, hoping to find Bryce. Following a sickening ride and a day of searching, Caroline finally found his apartment, except it was locked. The landlord confirmed he lived there and, with nowhere else to go, Caroline waited outside of his door. As she waited, night fell and, despite her best effort, she fell unconscious outside of Bryce’s front door.
In her vulnerable state, as a sleeping 16-year-old girl, she was grabbed by an older man in the middle of the night. The older man woke her up, she panicked, and as she screamed, Bryce appeared, assaulting the man, and saving her. The two then ducked away into Bryce’s apartment and spent the rest of the night talking. Caroline did not think she could raise a child on her own and did not want to let her parents know she had sex before marriage. Bryce understood, took the blame for this, and offered to become her husband, so long as she became his dutiful wife. Caroline accepted.
Over the following summer, Caroline and Bryce moved their life around, got married, and started planning on becoming a family of three. This put pressure on Bryce to support them, as Caroline lacked any skills to help her find work, especially when five months pregnant. Fortunately, Bryce got an offer from a ‘friend’ of his that would give him more than enough to provide for his family.
This offer saw Bryce and Caroline move to Chicago, Illinois, where they quickly began making a life for themselves. Caroline described the first few years of their life as pleasant. While they had little, they had enough to get by and, even though Bryce worked late nights, he still came home every night with a smile on his face. But that all changed in February 2000.
Bryce had been saving away part of his paycheck, investing in stocks and securities, and finally cashed out, seeing massive gains. He not only had enough for us to move out of the city, but enough for him and a few of his co-workers to start a new company. We moved to Oransen the following summer, into a house large enough to comfortably house a family of five. I don’t remember much from around then, because I was 3, but my mother looks back at those times fondly, and says that things were good… for a year or two.
Bryce wanted to have more than one child to call his own and, since moving into this house, he had been trying to conceive a child with Caroline. They tried and tried, but it never happened. They eventually visited a fertility expert to see why they weren’t able to have a second child. The answer was… Bryce was sterile. He had a crotch-related injury shortly after he left Rainy Woods. Meaning that if he wanted another child, they would not carry his blood.
As Bryce and Caroline learned of this, Bryce’s company was struggling, and he was getting into more and more arguments with the co-owners. He would come home pissed off, and let us know it. Or rather, he let Caroline know it, complaining to her while I was told to stay in my room. She would calm him down as best she could, offer her body to him, and he would accept.
As Caroline became more accommodating, Bryce became more demanding, dictating how Caroline dressed, demanding her to change her appearance, often on a whim, and forcing her to come with him to events as his trophy. He was given everything he asked of her, and he still wanted more. That’s when he started attacking her. And when I tried to defend her, that’s when he started attacking me. She told me not to stand up to him. That she could bear his wrath, but she could not bear to see me battered and bruised.
I despised him for what he was doing to my mother, and though she kept quiet, I could tell how much she feared him. I begged her to not put me before her, but she did anyway. I told her to leave him, but she had been beaten into submission, had become too dependent on Bryce to fight against him, and did not consider any opportunity for escape. At least, until I started high school in August 2011. On my syllabus, she saw the name of my English teacher, Raiyne Underwood. A woman that Caroline knew from Rainy Woods who, through fortune and circumstance, also moved to Oransen.
I told Raiyne about my mother shortly after I started school, the two reconnected, and after Caroline told her about Bryce… Raiyne began doing what she could, putting in the necessary calls to help Caroline and I get away from Bryce. Bryce did not take the news well but, with Raiyne there with Caroline, he did not dare to give her more evidence.
Bryce moved out shortly thereafter, and I rarely saw him after that. He and I were never close, as he was busy with work and, while my grades were good, I lacked the masculine traits and strength he wanted from a son. Caroline once told me that I was part of the reason why Bryce wanted a second child. To try ‘again.’ As such, I felt no sorrow as I saw him leave the house in early December 2011.
The following year was… hard on Caroline, as she tried to distance herself from Bryce, working with a lawyer to determine the terms of this divorce… without ever wanting to truly hurt Bryce. Despite everything he did, part of Caroline still… cared for him. Part of her was still able to look past the colder, fatter, and shorter-tempered man he became and see the man he used to be. The only man she ever loved.
I was the only one there for her as she came to terms with these feelings. Accepted that the man she once loved changed long ago, and what remained in his place was a beast who beat her for his own perverse pleasure.
Eventually, the legal proceedings came to an end. Bryce had been investing and scrounging money over the years, taking out massive distributions from his company and amassing millions in the process. These savings were split, ownership of the house was transferred to Caroline, and she changed her name from Caroline Novus to Caroline Steticks.
She was fragile during that year but, when it was all over, she crumbled. Whatever had been holding her together was gone, and I was the only one there to support her. Just as I relied on her for so much, she now relied on me.
As this flashback ended, I found my eyes locked on my mother. Her blue eyes were surrounded with reddened skin. Her face was pale, her blonde hair was frayed by the static of the blanket, and her heather gray shirt had a purple stain from the wine she had been drinking. Based on the bottle on the coffee table, she only drank half of it. As her eyes landed on me, she spoke in a slurred drawl, caused by excessive crying, a lack of sleep, and slight drunkenness.
“Jad… c’mere sweetie,” my mother said as she opened up her blanket, inviting me in.
“Men are… such pieces of garbage! You give them everything, and they keep asking for more, and more, and more! Even when they seem like they’re one of the good ones. Bryce used to be a good man… I loved him. And he loved you… but the money is what ruined him. Nothing was ever enough, so he kept going deeper and deeper. But you Jad… you’re my sunshine. My pride and joy.”
I felt my eyes welling up, and I knew that if I were to speak, I would just begin crying, so I grabbed her hand instead.
“Bryce wanted me to have a lotta kids. Fill this entire house up with them. He wanted them to be like him. But he couldn’t have that. All he had was you… and I’m glad I only had to put one child through this Hell! …Do you hate me for this Jad? For letting him abuse us for so long? Please, I can take it. Your momma’s tough. She can take anything.”
“Mom… Mother, I could never hate you. You were protecting me. You always wanted the best for me, and, if anything, I wish that I could have done more to help you.”
“Whenever he was hurting me, I just thought of you. Your sweet smile was enough for me to get through anything, Jad. I don’t know how you turned out the way you did. How I managed to raise a kid as good as you, but… thank you, Jad. Thank you… for being you.”
My mother then fell asleep, resting her head on my shoulder. I couldn’t sleep, but I remained there, sitting on the couch, and just… thinking about how everything turned out this way. How, after this rocky transition, things got… better. My mother and I were happier than ever once he left our lives, and nothing bad ever happened to us after that… at least until I ruined it.
As I saw my mothers face in tears, I thought back to the last time I saw her like this. That heinous moment where I embraced my inner monster.
She was the last one in the house. I had consumed all others. She witnessed their deaths and ran into a bathroom, thinking that my monstrous form couldn’t get past the door. She was wrong. From the bathtub, she flailed herself at me, kicking and screaming, but my abominable body of malformed flesh was numb to all pain. I wrapped my tendrils around her, saw her face as it sank into me, and remembered the sense of deliciousness that filled my being as my skin consumed her eyes.
I cast this image aside and found myself divorced from the relayed memory. Instead, I found myself in a void, with nothing but my mother floating before me.
“How could you think I’m a good person, Mother?” I said to her unmoving form. “How could you care for me when I am capable of such evil? Of such destruction? Of such malice? I’ve misled you into thinking I am a good person, or even a person at all. When, truly, I am nothing more than a different kind of monster. And… who knows what breed of monster I will become?”
I woke up in an unfamiliar home. It was smaller and looked as if it was falling apart. I brought a hand to my face. It felt harder and thicker. More like it belonged to a man. I walked through the hall I found myself in, feeling my increased weight with every step. The hallway then took me to a kitchen, where I saw a woman. Her hair a whitened blonde and her body both frail and quivering. But her hazy blue eyes told me all I needed to know. That she was my mother, Caroline.
“Morning bitch, make yourself useful and make me some fuckin’ breakfast,” I said in a gravelly voice.
Her head frantically moved up and down as she took in my words, while I walked past her, sitting down at a small table. As my cumbersome girth settled onto the chair, pressing against the wooden frame, its feet squeaked against the floor.
Caroline then produced the food before me, sausage, eggs, and toast. I thrust this food into my maw, bestially inhaling it and barely chewing. As I did so, she sat parallel to me, sipping her coffee, nearly spilling it as her hands continued to shake. Seeing her like this, trembling as she did something so basic… filled me with rage.
I sat up and kicked the kitchen table aside. My plate shattered against the floor while Caroline’s chair fell back, her steaming hot coffee spraying across her pastel robe.
She was at the verge of tears as she looked up at me, but that did not stop me from wrapping my padded, sausage-like, mannish paws onto her neck, only to throw her against a wall. Her robe fell off of her person, revealing a body bereft of muscle and discolored with brown and purple splotches. The signs of repeated domestic abuse.
She spoke to me, her voice weak and barely audible. From her lips, I could tell she was saying “please, stop.” Yet her words made me want to do the opposite. I walked toward her with my knuckles clenched, and I started hitting her. Again, and again, and again.
As I heard her scream for mercy, I only wanted to hit her harder for showing such weakness.
I saw myself betray my ideals. I saw myself descend into my father’s successor. A monstrous lump of meat worse than him, lacking even the reason of a frustrated businessman and acting more like an ornery beast than anything even remotely human.
Even though my body was human, it was still possible for me to become a monster. It was still possible for me to become… this. This detestable cretin incapable of love or compassion.
…Even Bryce used to be a good man when he was my age. What’s to say that I’ll be any better than him by the time I’m in my 30s?
I’ve fallen to evil once… and I could fall to evil again.
The Dominance of Abigale Quinlan Main Page
Shard 00: The Novus Logs Volumes 1 & 2
Shard 01: 108 Days Later
Shard 02: Melancholic Mundanity
Shard 03: Another Day; Another Doubt
Shard 04: Fractured Family
Shard 05: Troublesome Tuesday
Shard 06: Despair And Die
Shard 07: The Enigmatic Sickness
Shard 08: The Erotic Fantasy (Osananajimi;Myself Part 3700)
Shard 09: The Egregious Downfall
Shard 10: The Oransen High Massacre
Shard 11: The Dark Metamorphosis
Shard 12: The Dominant Reflection
Shard 13: My Life As Jadigale Novus
Shard 14: Fade Unto Dusk
Shard 15: Re;Birth Unto Jade
Shard 16: Gender Reveal Party
Shard 17: Enter The Three Wives (Psycho Bullet Festival 2222 – Bout 21-2)
Shard 18: Novus X – Ten Years Later