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Peggy "Peg" Cleek is the protagonist of the horror novel The Woman by Jack Ketchum. She also functions as the secondary antagonist of the unofficial sequel The Cow.
Book and Short Story
Prior to the events of the novel, Peggy becomes pregnant after being raped each night by her father, Chris Cleek. By the time that her father brought a feral woman to their fruit cellar, she began to form a connection with the animalistic cannibal, who also seems to be aware of her pregnancy. Eventually, Cleek crosses the line for the final time by murdering Peggy's teacher; in retribution, Peggy frees the Woman, who proceeds to enact bloody vengeance on her entire family.
In a display of gratitude, the Woman allows Peggy and her young sister, Darleen, to live in the woods with her. As such, they reside in the forests for a few years.
In the unofficial sequel for the novel, Peggy aids the Woman in slaughtering a theater troupe, Donald Fischer being the sole survivor. After feasting on the corpses of the slain members, the Woman barbs him, fully intending on using him to recreate her tribe. At this point, Peggy had become accustomed with murdering innocents, and she only displays mild amusement at Donald accusing her of being a remorseless monster. Going as far as to criticize Fischer by saying that he didn't know true pain, she shared her story with him, but she omitted the name of her father.
Later on, the group of cannibalistic women kidnap a young woman, slash her throat, and they began to rub the blood of the slain girl on Fischer. Prior to this, Peggy informs Donald on the feral woman's motivation for keeping him alive, but that it was out of her control to resist. The Woman forces herself on the defenseless man, attempting to breed with him. They also pierce his genitals to establish ownership.
The book ends with Fischer still under the possession of the women, implying that Darleen is the next to breed with him once she has her period.
- The Woman (adoptive mother)
- Christopher "Chris" Cleek (father, deceased)
- Belle Cleek (mother, deceased)
- Brian Cleek (brother, deceased)
- Darleen "Darlin" Cleek (sister)
- Socket (sister)
- Donald Fischer (slave)
- She is portrayed by Lauren Ashley Carter in the 2011 film adaptation.