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 06: Despair And Die
While my previous nightmares sent me into dark corners of my past, forcing me to relive traumas, this time I found myself elsewhere. As my senses regained themselves, I found myself looking down at a phone, using my thumb to scroll down an article. The phone was not mine. It looked sleeker and felt lighter, while my hand was… both mine and not mine. The structure felt similar, but the skin felt denser, harder, and I could see hairs poking out from the backside of my palm. It was my hand, but it was different all the same.
I tried to move my hand and vision to examine closer, but I was denied any autonomy despite feeling everything my body, or at least this body, felt and perceived. My hand then drew closer to my eyes, forcing me to look at what was on the screen. It was an article from the New York Times, the header image showing a handsome, mature, yet virile looking young Asian man who, after a slight second, I recognized as Zoe Xing. Looking down the article, its words were garbled to me, but I somehow knew what it was saying. That Zoe was recently promoted to the CEO of a growing tech company, whose revenues surpassed one billion dollars last year.
My hand then moved to another window, opening up a Patreon page for Maxxisaurus’s Arts ‘n’ Stufffz where I was met with a figure reading that she had over 5,000 patrons supporting her work. Scrolling down further revealed a feed of images, all of which captured the same energy and passion Maxxie always put into her work. Yet it was all… better. It featured more sophisticated shading, ambitious layouts, and excellent designs. A true evolution of her craft.
Before I could piece together the details on my tiny phone screen, my hand navigated to another window, one showing a gaming news site. There my hand honed in on an article entitled “Lucky Love & Sweet Souls Has Sold Over 5 Million Units Across All Platforms.” Looking at the article, it featured screenshots from an overhead action RPG with 2D sprites and 3D environments, before listing the creative team behind it. With the character designer being none other than Maxxie Flare, and the director/programmer being Shiaka Kurokawa.
I was looking at the future that awaited my three friends, and before I could reconcile these feelings, my hand put my phone into my pocket, and looked forward. I was met with the sight of a gray cubicle, a desk with assorted papers and folders, and two monitors, one with a spreadsheet, and another showing some accounting software. My vision then narrowed in on a framed photo hanging from the cubicle wall. It was of myself, Maxxie, Zoe, Shiaka, and Terra. All approximately five years older than we were in the waking world.
“It’s been a year since I talked to any of them,” I said, my voice startlingly deeper than what I was used to.
A sigh then escaped from my lips, and my thicker, manlier, hands gripped a folder before I stood up and began walking through this office, past several similar cubicles before arriving at a conference room with two glass walls. The table was filled with suited men and women whose faces I did not recognize, aside from one. In front of a television display was Vivi Gaimz, her hair short and her dress both professional and androgynous.
She calmly yet quickly led us through a PowerPoint presentation reviewing the Q1 2025 financials for Gold & Darn Accounting. The concepts she discussed fluttered between reality and fiction, as dreams often do, but her words instilled me with frustration. I felt myself unable to follow all of her intuition and analyses. Or at least that’s how the ‘me’ I was occupying felt. Despite having committed myself to life as an accountant, Vivi, a peer of mine, understood things on such a deeper level than I did. Even after committing myself to one thing, those around me were still better at it than I was.
As the meeting came to a close, and I was doled out an assignment by Gaimz, I returned to my desk. Hours passed within seconds as the interface before me flickered and my hands darted across a keyboard, before the world around me shifted. I then arrived at a small home, a condo, where I was met with my mother, her form aged slightly, and her face less radiant than it once was. The world faded as I found myself lodged in a bedroom, typing away at a word processor, its words a hazy mesh, but its structure akin to that of a story. Seconds later, the word processor disappeared, a game took its place, and the keyboard before me morphed into a controller.
This was the life I lived. I worked during the day, saw my mother in the evening, and at night, I toyed around with writing until I grew disinterested and indulged myself with video games. In a surreal haze, this process happened hundreds upon thousands of times, until things came to a halt.
I found myself at the same cubicle, typing away at a computer. Its screens massive and interface exotic. My hands ached as I tried to navigate this lagoon-like rendition of something familiar, only for bursts of colors to occasionally appear on the screen for reasons unknown. I groaned as I looked over this, and then at a pile of work I had to do. I went to grab one of the dozen or so folders arranged in this pile, only for the folder to be grabbed from my hand. I turned my head and was met with a hazy being, one of no perceptible traits beyond their youth. They took some of my work, only for another to do the same, and another after them.
I was left with a single folder of ‘work’ to do, and I flipped through the folder, my head aching as I tried to read these nonsensical words. As I did so, the overhead lights became dark, my computer vanished, and a box appeared in my hands. Before I could ponder any questions, the chair then fell out from under me, and I floated through darkness.
The darkness then landed me into a home. One that I identified as my own. With the box still in hand, I began perusing this sparse dwelling, and found it… bereft of life. The only area that looked like it was lived in was a bedroom. A bedroom that resembled my own, with the computer, bed, shelf, and dresser all in the same place. I placed the box on a shelf, and slowly sat myself into the computer chair, my body aching as I did so. My hands lurched for a controller on my desk, but as I touched it, it felt as if my bones were ablaze. I dropped the controller, and it shattered like glass. With fury roaming through my body, I stomped through the home, my form uncomfortably heavy, and reached the bathroom, where I was met with a mirror.
I was met with the reflection of an old man. One whose hair had receded, grayed, and been shaved down to a slight buzz. One whose frame bore a fair share of fat. One whose green eyes had become desaturated, and whose grizzled, sagging, face was locked into a look of perpetual discontent. One whose ears and nose had hair overflowing from their orifices. The reflection I saw upset me… and what upset me more than anything was the fact that this… was me. And this, everything that I saw, was my future. The life I was fated to live.
A life of no noteworthy accomplishments. A life where I had lost contact with all loved ones. And a life where I would see my body decay into something I could not help but read as… vile.
“This life was more than anything I deserved,” I said, my voice sounding more like Bryce’s than my own. “I was a monster ever since then and, while I tried to achieve happiness, to do so would be selfish. It would be to deprive others of their success. I cut them off, and they all lived rich fulfilling lives, while I wallowed in mediocrity, before being replaced. There is nothing left in this life that brings me joy. There is no one else in this world who truly cares for me, as I have barred myself from such affections. And with nothing else left but to bide my time before death… I would rather bring my life to a premature end.”
In my hand held a musty, old, and very thick metal hammer. A mallet. My hands shook as I held it, and my arms struggled to raise it, but I still gripped it as if my life depended on it, for it was the tool of my salvation. The tool of my death.
I lowered my body into the bathtub, knowing it would be a struggle for me to stand up once I laid down, and stared at the mallet. I had killed myself before. I had done so repeatedly. It was a different body. A strong body. A beautiful body. A superior body that I… now envied for a slurry of reasons. And a body that restored itself upon death. This body was different. It was human, it was mortal, and once death came, it would be eternal. This thought would inspire horror in most, but for me… it brought a smile onto my rigid, melting face.
I bit my tongue as I brought the mallet to my balding head, severing the skin around my tongue, causing a stream of blood to come into my throat. Yet I was not done. Not even close. I swung for my cranium, bashing it with all the force I could muster. Again, and again, and again, until the mallet fell from my hand. It collided with my crotch, smashing my dick and balls against the porcelain below. Pain filled me, skin was ripped, and blood began pouring out from my lower body, much like it was from my skull.
I could barely see, my thoughts were clouded with agony, but I was still alive. I was still breathing. Yet I lacked the strength to end my life by my own hand. With my body too weak to bring harm to itself yet again, all I could do was wait until I died of blood loss and mutter a final few words.
“I should have done this decades ago…”
…I should have begged Verde to end my life.
From there, I lingered on in a daze. Unable to do anything more but groan as death slowly crept closer and, once my eyes grew too heavy, I was met with cold and darkness. I was met with the embrace that… I had desired… for decades.
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