Mother Abigail
By: David K. Montoya

Abigail felt the blood. She knew by now it had blanketed her face, neck and chest. It stung as the crimson fluid fell into her eyes, but that was not a good enough excuse to stop running. It was simply run—run past the pain and fatigue or die.

She had abandoned her family, turned her back on them and God, but the silver haired woman could no longer take the abuse. Abigail Bouchard had endured unimaginable physical and sexual assaulted not only from her husband, but her two sons as well. It was her brother-in-law, Moses, who convinced her to flee. While he was as guilty as the other males in the Bouchard house, Moses however regarded her with dignity and treated her like a human being.

His words rang out in her head: "You need to leave this place, Abby," Moses said to Abigail as he gently held her chin.

Although her face was being held directly in front of his, she lowered her eyes to the ground and hoped to avoid further conversation.

"Do you want to die?"

Abigail raised her eyes to look at Moses, and said, "I-I don't know… At least then I'd be with the Father."

Her thoughts returned to the present with the angry sounding voice of her husband, Ezekiel, as he screamed out to her.

"Abigail!"

At that moment, all thought of the pain and fatigue vanished and Abigail ran faster! She was lost in the Canadian forest of British Columbia, but the frightened mother of three did not care. The thought of dying in the timberlands from starvation brought Abigail more comfort than living with those mongers another moment.

#

The sun began to set for the evening and Abigail knew that was her cue to start supper for her family. Her lips curled into a soft smile at the thought that there was fresh food in the cellar. It was only last year that her and her family were certain that they were going to starve during the Winter Season. It wasn't until an American man came to their doorstep and changed the family's lives forever.

Though the American had been mortally wounded from a blotched bank robbery, he had made it into Canada and into the house before he died in their living room. Abigail knew it was a gift from the Lord himself for being faithful Christian. He saved her and her family from famine—they fed on his remains for nearly three months.

At first, they were wary about consuming another human being, but it was that or starve to death. That night, her and her brother-in-law chopped up the American's body and cured it with salt to make the meat last longer.

Abigail pulled upon a large metal ring that was attached to the wooden floor, with a loud clank, a squared portion of the floor lifted away from the remaining boards that revealed an opening which lead underground.

"Oh, Happy day. Oh, Happy day," Abigail begin to sing while she descended down the stairs that went underground. "When Jesus washed…"

The old wooden stair creaked as Abigail moved down them, it was a dark and dank surrounding with almost no light other than a single candle with was placed at the end of the staircase. There was an odd and eerie blue hue to the place, but that did not appear to have had bother her.

"…He washed my sins away…" Abigail continued. With a slight tug, she removed the candle from its base and moved toward the center of the room, where a chain hung down from the darkness that met the slight illumination from the candlestick. "…Oh happy, happy day."

With her fingers stretched out, Abigail reached into the void for a moment until she felt cold steel.

"Ah, ha." Abigail said. She placed the candlestick down next to a meat clever that was stuck into an old tree trunk. She turned back to the chain that dangled from the darkness, and with both hands the woman pulled downward with all her might. The steel links rattled, and the room filled with the sound of metallic gears turning in sequence.

The harder and faster Abigail pulled on the chain, the faster the sound of turning sprocket-wheels were. Her arms flexed with each heave, eventually she slowed her momentum as a body emerged from the darkness.

The body was of a young man—conceivably in his mid to late twenties—short black hair, it appeared as if it was initially shaved, but grew a bit before he died. Perhaps it took a while for him to die, and his hair begin to grow back, who knows.

The man's eyes were white as the color had vanished over a period of time and his skin was void of color as it hung from large metal hooks that were embedded in the trapezius area on the back. The hooks were attached to a single strand of chain that forked into separate links which kept the corpse suspended in the air.

Over time, she decided that their stock would remain fresher if they were to keep it whole and stored it in a cold underground cellar. Her sons created the chain pulley system to make it easier for her to get the aliment for whichever meal that the family had at the time.

Abigail removed the clever from the stump and walked over to where the carcass hung.

She examined the remains, as is was missing both arms, a leg and his abdominal area was removed. Most of his large muscle were already extracted, there wasn't much usable meat left.

"He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray "Abigail sung, while she pinched the skin on the outer thigh of the body. "And live rejoicing every, every day!"

Abigail grabbed the leg by the ankle with one hand and swung the clever with the other. The blade sunk into the flesh of the hip. She was surprised as a thin stream of blood spewed from the laceration and coated her face and eyes.

"Dammit!" Abigail cursed. She stepped back from the corpse and wiped the blood from her eyes. "Lord in Heaven! He's an idiot! He didn't drain the blood correctly again! Abel!"

With a loud thud, Abigail slammed the cleaver back into the tree stump and snatched up the candlestick. Once at the stair, she placed it back on the wall and ascended back topside.

"Abel!" Abigail shouted.

Her youngest son, Abel, who's about six foot tall, hefty and balding. His long stringy beard hung to his chest and he was dressed in worn down and dirty overalls. He had a pair of equally dirty tan work boots which were untied and appear somewhat loose fitting.

Abel waited for his mother as she came out of the cellar.

"You called?" He asked in a thick Canadian accent.

"You're a damned idiot," Abigail lashed out at her son. She grabbed his beard and pulled his head down to her level and delivered multiple, yet, hefty slaps to the face in quick succession.

"What was that for, Mother?" Abel asked. He rubbed his cheek, so his words can out mumbled.

"I went to get some meat for supper, and when I went to remove it blood sprayed me in the face, again!"

Abigail disbursed another blow to Abel's face.

"This is the third body!" Abigail continued. "You damned foo—"

Without warning, her husband, Ezekiel, walked up to her and delivered a backhand of his own.

"What in God's name do you think you're doing, eh?" Ezekiel demanded. "Women, submit yourselves unto your own men, as unto the Lord."

He slapped again.

"Those are not my words, but the Lord's words, Mother!" Her husband shouted.

"I-I…" Was all the words Abigail could muster.

"You are not to lay a hand on Abel, as he is your superior in the eyes of God," Ezekiel preached.

Abigail's lip stung as she wiped the blood from her lip. Her eyes penetrated Ezekiel while he spoke about her place in the home.

"Man, or not, Ezekiel, he's an idiot."

Ezekiel and Abel shrieked in sheer horror.

"He was supposed to bleed the bod— "Abigail was interrupted, when her tumultuous husband emitted another blow. But this time, he used a closed fist. The impact knocked her off her feet and to the floor.

As she contacted the wood, Abigail's head struck the large metal ring attached to the hatch to the cellar. She lay still for a moment in order to gather herself, while fresh, hot blood flowed from her wound. Without a word said being said, Abigail rolled onto her knees and tried to push herself up. But she was interrupted as Ezekiel's right foot collided with her cheek bone and caused her to drop back onto the wooden floor.

"Please…" Abigail said softly.

"You broke the Lord's law woman, and you must be punished!" He kicked her in the face one more time, before Abel joined in on the physical assault of his mother. Every time Abigail moved the two laid in multiple strikes, now, no longer isolated to the face.

"My daughter despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction," Ezekiel said with a hard kick to her throat. "For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the daughter in whom he delighteth."

That was the last thing Abigail heard as everything went black.

#

Abigail opened her eyes, she was naked, cold and outside the house in a bed of leaves. As she shifted to her side, Abigail knew that she had been sexually violated.

"Ooooh," she groaned.

"What did you do now?" A voice behind her asked. Abigail peered over her shoulder and saw that it was, Moses. He was behind her partially nude, himself. From the looks of things, he was her assailant.

"I said Abel was an idiot," she forced out finally.

Moses grinned.

"And he's lazy as shit," Moses spat while he yanked up his dirty pair of what used to be tighty whities. "Let me guess, Ezekiel heard you?"

Abigail nodded. She pulled herself upright and exposed her bare flesh.

"One day, they're gonna kill you, Abby," Moses said softly, he handed her the dress she was wearing before blacking out. Abigail didn't say anything as she took the dress from her husband's brother and slid it over her head.

Moses walked over to Abigail and ran his left hand down her swollen cheek.

Abigail grimaced in pain.

"You need to leave this place, Abby," Moses said to Abigail as he gently held her chin. He noticed that she was avoiding what he had said. "Do you want to die?"

Her eyes locked with his and then said, "I-I don't know… At least then I'd be with the Father."

"That's not good enough, Abby." From her peripheral vision, Abigail saw Moses unsheathed his knife.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm sorry I have to do this, Abby—I will miss you." Moses replied and raised his weapon and placed the tip on her cheek. "Leave now, or I'll slice you from ear to ear and hang you in the cellar with the other meat."

Silence.

"You know I will, Abby. I'll give you an hour head start. Head East." Moses paused for a moment, then continued, "Once the sun comes up you'll have more light to see where you're going."

Again, silence.

Abigail tears trailed down her dirty face, her hazel eye fixed on Moses.

"Perhaps in another life," Moses said with a warm grin.

She nodded, and with her the back of her hand wiped away the tears. He carefully moved the hair way from Abigail's face, and held her cheek within his fingers.

For a short moment, there was peace.

Moses' face transformed into a serious expression.

"Now, go! Run Abby, run!" He shouted.

With nothing else left to be said, Abigail raced away from the old dilapidated house into the neighboring beautiful, lush forest. Moses stood in the same spot until Abigail disappeared and became camouflaged by the large trees.

An evil smile developed on Moses' face.

"Ezekiel!" Moses shouted as he turned back toward the house.

#

Out of breath, Abigail rushed up behind a nearby tree; she knew that the boys weren't too far behind, but perhaps if she remained quiet, they'd pass her by.

She slid down the trunk of the timber, it was cold, and its spiny process rubbed against her flesh. Abigail focused on her breathing, until her respirations were controlled. Maybe… Maybe they won't hear me, she thought to herself.

Panic swept over her as she heard Ezekiel's voice from afar: "He's got the whole world in his hands…"

Abigail felt her heart as it raced in her throat, as his vocals grew in volume.

"…he's got the whole wild world in his hands…" Ezekiel continued. She wanted to peek around the tree to see how close her husband and their sons were, but she knew better. "…He's got the whole wild world in his hands…"

Her breath stopped in a gasp, almost in a frightened stupor when there was a long pause of silence. Fear itself rushed through her veins and the next audible sound came from right next to her: "…he's got the whole world in his hands."

Abigail swallowed hard.

She refused to turn and acknowledge her situation, even when the sharp tip of her husband's blade progressed along her cheek with a trail of blood.

Her lips began to tremble; she was going to cry.

Abigail looked at the three of them, without acrimony, without any emotion. "Do you want me to apologize, Ezekiel?"

"Do what the Lord leads you to do, Mama."

"All right, I apologize. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have run away like that."

Ezekiel looked at Abigail doubtfully; he nodded. He let out a long sighing breath and nodded again. "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away…"

Ezekiel raised his blade high above his head.

Abigail closed her eyes in momentarily acceptance.

"…blessed be the name of the LORD." Ezekiel said smoothly.

Abigail squeezed her eyelids shut and clenched her hands into the moist soil. Ready for what was to happen next.

But the expected did not occur.

Ezekiel hesitated.

What happened next was more an unconscious reaction than anything else; both of her hands catapulted upward and released the earth into Ezekiel's face. He fell backward with a yell of anger and surprise, his feet skewing to keep his position. She shoved herself upward to her feet and ran toward freedom.

Abigail rushed past the surrounding trees with such speed, they blurred. But still terror as dark as the night itself swept over her. She looked over her shoulder, but no one was behind her.

"I did it," she said.

Abigail whirled back around to be welcomed with a large dirty fist to her jaw. With a loud snap, she collapsed to the ground; she sits up for a moment with shocked eyes. Before her stared the sight of a lunatic that had been hiding in the woods all along. Her oldest child; Cain Bouchard. He was a stocky six foot, three hundred and thirty pounded man. He wore dingy faded blue overalls with no shirt underneath that exposed his hairy chest and a mask that is made from burlap.

"M-O-T-H-E-R," Cain muttered in a monotone, reminiscent of Frankenstein. "I-S-O-R-R-Y."

"Cain, love, it will be all right."

She stood back up and walked over to her son and lifted the side of his burlap mask to reveal his cheek. She placed a soft kiss onto it and lowered his mask back to its original position.

Y-E-S…" Cain whispered.

Abigail's eyes turned blank and filled with emptiness. She attempted to speak, but as her mouth opened blood drained out and traveled downward, it forked when the crimson fluid met the large rusted blade that protruded through Abigail's left bare breast—placed exactly through the heart.

The weapon was extracted which caused Abigail's lifeless body to drop to the could ground. Cain's eyes followed as his mother went limp. "M-O-T-H-E-R."

Cain raised his head away from the body and saw his brother, Abel. He stood behind their mother's corpse and held an old bloodied rusted machete. He wore a psychopathic grin between his lips when he looked up from his handiwork onto his older brother.

"Looks like we're having mom for dinner," he said with a soul less chuckle.

#

Many seasons have passed. The Bouchard's supply of meat began to run dangerously low, and they found themselves in a nearby forest hunting. Ezekiel watched as his two sons placed a spike-strip on a nearby road, and begin to pray aloud: "Oh Lord, I come you as a humbled man. As a servant unto you Father God. Send us food, oh Lord, and in return my family and I will direct them unto your loving bosom.

The brothers returned to their father and took a knee as he continued.

"Allow us to do your work Father! Allow us to continue to be vessels unto you! I reach out to you, oh Lord! I ask this in your precious name. Amen. Am—"

A loud, POP, interrupted Ezekiel's prayer. The Bouchard men stood to their feet to spectate. They traveled up to the edge of where the timber met the asphalt. It was an old black SUV that hit the spike-strip head on, loaded with a family of four—perhaps five, since the one Ezekiel assumed was the mother appeared to be eight or nine months pregnant.

They sat in silence as the man behind the wheel spoke from afar; "Don't worry love, they're safe. Besides, we're in Canada, nothing bad ever happens here."

Ezekiel looked up toward the Heavens with tears in his eyes and softly whispered, "Thank you, oh Lord."

The End

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