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From This Moment

copyright 2002, by Diana Lecter

Disclaimer:    These characters were created by Thomas Harris.  They are used herein without permission, but in the spirit of admiration and respect.  No infringement of copyright is intended, and no profit, of any kind, is made by the creator, maintainer or contributors to this site.

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Something tells me I will remember today for the rest of my life.

It doesnít really hit me until I step outside and look up at the Baltimore Asylum for the Criminally Insane.  When I was first assigned this crazy case, I donít think it occurred to me that I was actually a drive away from meeting the infamous Hannibal the Cannibal.  I feel flattered to be here.  After all, Jack Crawford could have easily chosen one of the more qualified students.  Yes, my grades are rather good; I wonít sell myself short.  But hell, Iím just a gal from West Virginia.  How on earth did I make it this far?

Whatever doesnít kill me only makes me stronger.  Iíve seen to that.  Too much, sometimes, I think.

As I step up to the building, I feel myself shiver.  Hot damn, what is it about this place?  Iíve seen lunatics before.  I mean, look at my mother.  But this is different.  Way too different for my liking.  It occurs to me that I really donít want to go through with this.  Funny.  And two seconds ago, I was flattered.

Damn female hormones.  And Iím not even on my period.

Why was Mr. Crawford doing this?      Shoving me into the face of a madman?  All for the sake of capturing Buffalo Bill?  Okay, I wonít pretend seeing those pictures didnít shake me.  It shook me.  It really shook me.  I feel goose bumps sprout across my skin simply at the thought.

Well, Iím not really here for Bill, anyway.  At least, I donít think I am.  It seems sort of fishy that Crawford would send me to interview a serial killer weíve had for eight years for the sake of a simple evaluation when another threat is stalking American youth.  Nevertheless, I wonít deviate.  Iíve been told my instructions and have every intention of following them. 

I didnít expect my stomach to churn before I meet the monster, but now I stand before Dr. Chilton.  God, this man is a freak.  He has that greasy smile nailed.  Yeah, yeah, donít think I donít know what youíre thinking.  How about judging me for my accomplishments and not my bra-size?

Hah.  I wish I could say that out loud, but I figured it wouldnít do me too much good.  Besides, I donít think Iím proportioned fairly in that area, anyway.  What woman does?  I settle to look away in distaste. 

Well, at least that shut him up.  I think this is the kind of guy who approves of statutory rape.

OkayÖnow heís refusing to cooperate nicely.  Asshole.  Well, hot damn, Iím going to make him brief me.  I donít care what kind of lunch appointments he has.  Iím here now, arenít I? 

All rightÖheís walking with me now.  Donít I feel lucky?

Ah.  Alan.  It seems men of all kinds hit me on.   Well, heís superior to Dr. Chilton, anyway.  I suspect he might be an interesting conversationalist, when heís not busy studying the process of others bowels, that is.

Bowels.  That reminds me of whom Iím about to face.  I surpass a shudder. 

Dr. Chilton gives me the needed information as we walk.  He seems happy about the overshadowing of Lecterís crimes by other media-hounds, and a rather displeased that he still receives attention in medical journals.  I decide to rile him up a bit and mention that piece of surgical addiction that impressed me.  In truth, I had read it only the night before in preparation for this meeting.  When youíre about to interview a sociopath, youíd like to know as much about him as possible. 

Hah.  It worked. 

Well, it seems that if Chilton canít get me himself, he will harass me in other areas.  Honestly, canít a woman be here because sheís qualified, and not to Ďturn oní the interviewee?  I wonder how I might reply to that hideous insinuation, and hope my words donít come out as cold as they are in my head.  With as much as I would love to sock this asshole in the face, I have a job to do.  And I canít let personal matters interfere with the task at hand, no matter what he says to me.

Or suggests.

And now heís telling me the rules.  The list seems endless, and knowing so many precautions need to be taken to ensure safety while handling this monster, I find myself shuddering inwardly once more.  Fear creeps up my spine, but I force myself to remember that behind every reputation, there is a story.  There is a reason.  And there will always be a barrier between us, and as long as I remember not to give him anything hard, or approach the bars, I should be fine.

I hope I hope I hopeÖ

Now heís showing me a picture.  Why?  Is this really necessary?  Couldnít he have just told me the goddamn story?  Iím sure my mindís creation wouldíve been much worse than any lousy photograph, anyway.

He takes personal satisfaction as I shudder.  I want to rip his tongue out.

Okay, so now Iím free of him.  All in all, dealing with Chilton seems to have relaxed me.  With as much as I still loathe the upcoming meeting, I feel if I survived the briefing, I can get through anything.

No, waitÖhe seems to want to follow me inside.  I canít allow this.  I thought he was going away.  In haste, I open my mouth and suggest he take his leave.  I donít want the distraction, and Iím fairly sure Lecter wonít be too responsive with this arrogant jack-off around.

Chilton twitches at this and grumbles that I should have mentioned that in his office.  Well hot damn, sun of a gun, why didnít you fucking brief me in there like I asked in the first place?  Think I wanted your company on this trip, anyway.

Heís gone.  I allow myself to utter a sigh of relief.

Iím approached by a frighteningly large man who introduces himself as Barney.  Heís nice and chatty, but also stern and to the point.  I can admire that.  He asks me if Iíve been warned and put through all those precautions, and I assure him I have.  When he tells me to walk down the middle, and that Lecter is at the end of the hall, I feel something creep up my spine unlike anything Iíve experienced before.  Fear?  No, the fear is gone now.  Gone with Dr. Chilton and his greasy smile.  What else is there?

Anticipation?  Is that different than fear?

Youíll do fine youíll do fine youíll do fine youíll do fineÖ

And then Iím walkingÖmy footsteps heavy and over-pronounced.  I suspect Lecter will know he has a visitor just by that, even if he wasnít informed in advance that I was coming.  Something tells me, even now before Iíve set eyes on him, that he will have a sixth sense about this sort of thing.

I pass a cell.  A man hisses at me.  ďI can smell your cunt.Ē  Oh really?  How fascinating.

See what I said about getting offers from all types of men?  I refrain from looking at him as I press forward. 

When I know I have arrived at my destination, I turn slowly, in taking the view of Lecterís cell.  He has books to the wazoo, a table-desk, and several drawings.  All furniture is bolted down.  The monster himself was lying on his bunk, reading Vogue.  I allow myself a small smile at the image, but wipe it away before he can turn his eyes to me.

Seeing this person in the flesh and not on some television or picture from the printing press has an unsettling affect on me.  Something stirs.  A premonition?  Of what?  I donít know, but I decide to ignore it for now.

I speak. 

ďDr. Lecter?Ē

His attention is distracted from the magazine and he turns his gaze in my direction.  Our eyes meet for the first time.

First time.  And hold.  For a minute, I forget to speak, forget to blink, breathe, or do anything imperative to human survival.  I am trapped in his eyes.  His maroon eyes.  They sparkle at me, but for whatever reason, I donít know.

Even if I never see him again, I know I will remember those eyes forever. 

Likewise, I know from this moment, my life will never be the same.


Part 1 of 14

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copyright 2002, by Author

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