Abigail Hobbs is born to a normal family.
Her mother is kind and hard-working, and her father is well-meaning and sweet. She grows up happy, and easily makes friends at her school. She grows up kind and compassionate.
When she grows up a little more though, her father starts to change. He teaches her how to hunt deer, and make sure no part is wasted, otherwise, he says with a slight tremble in his voice, it's murder.
Abigail doesn't want to murder anyone, so if she helps her father honor every part of the deer, it's alright. Nothing is going to waste. For the first time, but not the last, she is afraid of her father.
Her mother doesn't know, will never know. Her father makes her promise not to tell.
When she turns 16, her father starts taking her out to hunt more often.
When she turns 17, he pulls her aside more often and hugs her, strokes her hair, and tells her how much he adores her.
When she turns 18, her fear of him is cold and solid in her mind, like ice. Her mother is still warm but her hugs feel empty and her smiles feel fake.
Her father has always cooked and grilled food for the household.
When she turns 19 he kills a girl her age.
He pulls her along with him on more hunts, but instead of going out into the woods with a gun, he takes her on a public bus, and he points out a girl that looks just like her.
"There," he says in her ear, and the ice in her head makes her shiver. "That one."
"What do you mean?" she asks, and it will be the only time she asks.
"Bring her to me. Befriend her. Invite her over for dinner. She's our target tonight."
"Why?" she asks, her voice shaking.
"It's her, or it's you."
Abigail Hobbs gets up shakily and walks over to the girl.
She likes Dr. Bloom.
It's very clear she both knows exactly what to say and has no idea what she should say. If it's a façade it's a very good one.
(Looking back, Abigail should have seen through her father's façade. Maybe then her mother would be alive.)
She also meets Dr. Lecter, Mr. Graham, Ms. Lounds, and some nurses and other faces who aren't as interesting as the three of them.
Ms. Lounds seems nice enough, but she was a reporter, so Abigail didn't trust her fully.
Mr. Graham was interesting, he was the man who shot her father yet she didn't resent him for it.
It didn't even feel like her father was dead. It felt like he was sitting just outside the room, waiting on her to get better so she could help him kill more girls.
Dr. Lecter seemed like he could be a friend, though. At least in a slightly paternal sense. She trusted him somewhat, not completely but enough.
It was hard to trust anyone anymore.
She still sees her father when she closes her eyes. She watches him murder the girls again. She doesn't get much sleep.
When she stabs Nicholas Boyle, for a moment she remembers Mr. Graham's description of murder and thinks that she knows what he meant.
He is a recurring face in her nightmares.
Dr. Lecter is kind to her, but she fears him now too. He feels like her father, cold yet kind and he brushes her hair away from her face. Mr. Graham also feels like her father, but more in the way that he got angry. He was hot yet icy and every word hurt.
She was glad that anger was never directed at her.
Until it was.
Dr. Lecter takes her to a house by a steep bluff. He talks to her about how it erodes in his smooth accented voice. He keeps her there for a while.
More than once the idea of jumping off the cliffside is tempting.
He cuts off her ear.
Hannibal replaces her father when she closes her eyes.
When she finally sees Mr. Graham again, she knows what will happen to him and it hurts her to know that Mr. Graham won't see it coming.
She can barely watch.
She feels a familiar ice-cold fear as Dr. Lecter holds a knife to her throat. She cries as Mr. Graham screams for the doctor to stop.
But he doesn't.
Abigail's last conscious thought is that she's going to die.