Emily Cadigan, 1978-1994

In Memoriam, November, 1995

Cassiel C. MacAvity

      I first met Emily Cadigan in early 1994, at a meeting of my renaissance faire clan, which she was just joining. We were different in age and interest, but soon became very good friends, as unfortunately, both she and I had the same background of an extremely abusive and degrading house life, in my past, but in her then present.

      Emily needed a lot of emotional support, needed friends who would encourage her having her own interests, and I became a close friend because I knew exactly what she was going through, and gave her what emotional support I could, given her house situation, without demanding that she be what I wanted, permitting nothing else, not even an existence of her own, which is what she faced in her house, and what destroyed her in the end.

      At the same meeting Emily joined the clan, a woman I was dating at the time asked to join as well, claiming that she was interested in working faires and being a member of the clan. After a few months, though, it became clear that her sole interest and belief was that I, as her bedmate, and little else to her, was her personal property, and as such had to be kept under thumb, and if it meant dealing with faire people, then she would do it.

      Apparently she'd decided that being present at faires and Scots games was enough to exert what was evidently considered sufficient control, for she would show up with us, but never really fit in or seem to be at all interested in joining in the regular gigs.

      Emily, on the other hand, was an enthusiastic and involved member from the beginning, running to grab a flag to join in all the parades, enthusiastically greeting and talking to everyone, giving everyone backrubs.

      Being highly intelligent and curious, she thought it odd that this woman she saw around me was being so inert, but when the woman announced point-blank at one point "Oh, sure, you can borrow him for a bit, just bring him back," it was given as the clearly stated "Yes, he's sleeping with me, but of course people- --such as Emily, evidently---can talk to him."

      When the woman finally noticed that she didn't have any of the control of which she kept fantasizing, but noticed, instead, that I was not only around my friends, but especially around Emily, she went ballistic. First, she insisted that my being a friend of Emily's was wrong, and that Emily had to be ignored, snubbed, hurt. I refused, as it was uncalled for, as she herself had earlier stated a clear lack of objection to Emily, and for the simple reason that I just do not treat any of my friends in such a manner, for any reason.

      When it became clear to her that she did indeed have none of her fantasized control, that she was openly unstable, that Emily and I were indeed the independent human beings we had always been and should be, the woman appeared to change her mind, suddenly announcing that she wanted to be Emily's friend.

      What was deduced later was that she had decided that Emily and I had to be controlled, exclusively and absolutely by her, at whatever cost was necessary. From that point, albeit very carefully and methodically, she spent the rest of the 1994 faire season stalking Emily and I.

      By late season, the woman's deceit had gotten to the point that I was growing more and more alienated. Emily saw this, and felt torn, for while I was and remained to her death one of her closest friends, she was beginning to care for the woman, and wanted the best all around. Myself, I thought that perhaps there was a friendship that could be salvaged, and didn't break off contact with the woman.

      By the '94 Northern Faire, Emily and I were still the close friends we had always been, we thought we had a friendship of sorts with the woman, but at the same time, the thought never occurred to Emily or I that we were being stalked and that we should compare notes. The woman also joined Northern Faire, the first year she had done more than visit, and soon took every advantage of its larger size and availability for confusion, lying to and manipulating both Emily and I, and lying to others about both of us every time our backs were turned.

      As the faire progressed, the woman's desperation evidently grew, for Emily and I were still close, even for all her attempts to ruin that, and finally, the second to last weekend of the faire, Emily came up to me, gave me a hug, and then announced that the night before, the woman had asked Emily to marry her. As I recall, I told Emily to be careful, because not only had the woman proven herself to be absolutely clearly selfish and untrustworthy, but when the woman and I had met, she had been claiming at the time to be married---but the "husband" turned out to be nothing more than a live-in ex boyfriend with a joint bank account.

      Emily, wanting the best for the woman, told me that while she was uncertain what she would tell the woman, she was thinking of accepting what was probably a blatantly fake marriage proposal because the woman clearly need a lot of psychological help and maybe Emily could help her the way I had been helping Emily.

      About twenty minutes later, the woman told me that she had proposed to Emily the night before, claiming that as Emily was minor with a lousy house situation, she needed a place to go when she turned 18, needed an alternative to being tossed out on the streets---while trying to ignore the fact that as Emily had only just turned 16 a couple of months earlier, this was still nearly two years off, and such refuge was more than available from a friend without getting into the details of a fake engagement. Very typically, at no point did the woman say anything of loving Emily, or caring for her, or wanting her to be happy, but then none of this was why she had make the fake proposal.

      Her sole interest was continued access to Emily, after the faire season ended, so that she could continue her program of domination. Very soon, the woman succeeded in cutting Emily off from her friends, and within a month, Emily was dead.


      The last time Emily was seen alive was at Celtic New Year in Reno, at the beginning of November, 1994, where the clan had gone for our last gig of the season. A few weeks earlier, at the Folsom renaissance Faire, the woman had brought Emily to the faire for a few hours, without bothering to get costumed herself, pausing only to drop off her sister and drag Emily out of the encampment. Emily was tense, shaky, was chain-smoking her cigars, and was clearly being harassed and treated with absolute contempt.

      At Celtic New Year, on the other hand, the woman stayed away, as it was a very small gig, effectively for genuine faire people only, and she was clearly going to fail in any attempts to dominate me. Emily, in turn, was able to get a ride with her other close friend, and when she saw me, she ran over to give me a hug, demanded to know how things were, announced that she was finally doing well in school that semester, as opposed to earlier semesters, and wanted to know all about how I was doing.



      The Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, 1994, I went to a party in Oakland hosted by a couple of local pagans. Very soon after I walked in the door, I saw what looked like Emily, but what was clearly what only had been her. I was greeted by name, but what greeted me was listless, withdrawn, quiet, about as far from Emily as something could be. It was immediately obvious that somethng was very, very, wrong, but I couldn't understand what, and didn't realize the entire truth for many months.

      Looking back, I realize I knew instantly that she was dead, but even then, I walled off the truth for another five or so months, until April. No one, not even I, as one of Emily's closest friends, and with what I knew of the woman, suspected that the woman hated Emily so much that she would destroy every trace of the being that had been Emily Cadigan.



      Having given Emily an agonizing and totally hidden death, the woman's first public celebration that I encountered was to bring her new masturbation toy to the clan Christmas party, a gathering of Emily's friends. As soon as dinner was ended, as a demonstration of what she could get it to do which Emily would have refused to do, she sent it over to me to feed me a string of blatant lies as to why I was allegedly no longer allowed to talk to the person for whom I had been a close friend. As Emily's murderer couldn't risk more than a few minutes exposure of her new puppet, she quickly left, taking it with her.

      Since then, to the pagans, the woman has claimed that it is not only Emily, but that it is her fiance, presumably in the same vein as the ex she falsely claimed had been a husband, to "whom" she is devoted, except when she doesn't feel like pretending devotion, or makes the puppet go away for a bit, since it is only a puppet.

      In the 1995 faire season, the clan had to deal with the woman's demands for three reservations at every event we worked, when she only visited one.

      One story had been reported of the masturbation toy claiming the woman had not shown up at any events because "Emily" had not been allowed out of the house, but the woman was the driver, not the toy, and pagans had reported the toy's repeated appearances indicated the woman's clear ability to get the toy past the Cadigan's anytime she wished.

      One lie the woman told me in person was that she hadn't been able to afford any events, and as Emily's other close friend had simply not attended any clan events, that's why no attendance. Aside from the other friend having left the clan in disgust precisely because of what the woman had done to Emily, the truth was that the woman's perfect attendance had been when she was unemployed and had been trying to control me, and while she was employed the following season, with more than enough money, her toy was still so obviously screwed up after Emily's murder that it couldn't be seen by anyone who knew Emily.

      At the one event the woman visited, again, only for a few hours, again, disappearing right after the clan fed her, dragging her puppet off with her, when I saw the puppet, I thought I was watching a robot. It was clearly Emily's body, voice, and some of her motions, but it kept freezing in place at odd moments, as if what was inside could only extrapolate what Emily would have done in those situations. Another friend of Emily's, who knew what had happened, and knew what to watch for, reported afterwards that there was clearly nobody inside the body anymore; "The spark is gone."


      At last word, the woman has still been lying about her and Emily, still claiming that Emily is her fiance, and still having it pass itself off as Emily while repeating whatever lies that the woman has told it to repeat.

      I am still clearly hated for not letting myself be destroyed the way and time that she destroyed Emily, and from the 1974/'75 movies "The Three Musketeers" and "The Four Musketeers", I have found myself sometimes playing both the Comte de La Fere/Athos and D'Artagnan to the woman's Milady de Winter.

      For all her lies, for her success in destroying my friend for no other reasons than my being one of Emily Cadigan's closest friends, and the woman wanting to use her body as a masturbation toy, there are truths which Emily's murderer has never been able to avoid, and shall never avoid for the remainder of her clearly self limited existence.

      One truth is that I was one of Emily's closest friends, and to the moment of Emily's death, I meant more to her than the woman and all her lies and deceit ever could.

      One truth is the knowledge that for all of the woman's lies, for all the lies she has had her masturbation toy tell for her, I have never knowingly told any lie either about her or to her.

      One truth is that Emily Cadigan is dead, and as the masturbation toy is not Emily Cadigan, has never been Emily Cadigan, and will never be Emily Cadigan, any pretense of an engagement or even any marriage the woman may try to fake is just another lie, just another insult to Emily, her memory, her friends, and what family she had, because her murderer is not capable of the love and trust a marriage requires, and neither is her masturbation toy.


      Emily Cadigan was a good friend of many people, and those people wish that she had gotten more than death at the age of sixteen. Emily Cadigan did have a lousy background, but she was friendly, caring, had a lot to which to look forward, had she had the opportunity of a full life.

      She is missed.

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© 1997 Cassiel C. MacAvity