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Looking into the Abyss

copyright 2001, by Screaming Ferret

Disclaimer:    The characters Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Clarice Starling and Ardelia Mapp 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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"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process they do not become a monster. And when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you."

Friedrich Nietzsche



Dr. Lecter:

I have looked into the abyss and I have fallen. Your voice still echoes in my dreams, while the lambs seem to scream louder every night. Two years since Muskrat Farm, where I blindly stepped over the edge and into the pit. If only I had let you open my eyes then! I have suffered for my blindness since. Looking back on that night, I see so many things I could have done differently. But I made my choices. Not that it matters - we can never go back.

Two years since that fateful night on the Chesapeake. I have not seen or heard from you since. I am not with the FBI anymore, so I do not know about any updates on your case. I wonder where you are now. Do you have a new hand? Are you somewhere like Florence, enjoying the scenery and culture, visiting the opera and drinking fine wine? Or are you like me - bitterly wishing for what might have been, that things had gone differently? Do you plan revenge? It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest, doctor. You are not a forgiving man. If you do drop by, I don't think it will be for a chat and a few drinks for old times sakes. I may be wrong. With you, I can never tell. And even if you can forgive me, I don't think I can.

You see, I know now what I only suspected (and feared) then. I love you. And I looked into your dangerous eyes, and love looked right back. Then I betrayed you. Still, you cut off your own hand to spare mine. It was your choice. You could have taken mine. You should have. You spared me the immediate pain, but Dr Lecter, do you know what you have done to me? I expect you do. I regret my actions on that night so much. Do you know that too? I believe so.

I'm still struggling with the burden of my conscience. It tells me I did the right thing. I doubt it now, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. My intellect tells me you're a monster. My heart knows I was wrong. I should have followed you, wherever you led me. You offered me my freedom and I spat in your face and slunk back to the prison I knew. If only I had gone with you! Of course, reason tells me I'd probably be dead right now. You would've gotten bored with me sooner or later - but better dead than living this miserable half-life.

You have killed me better this way than you ever could with that sharp blade of yours.

My friends - such as they are - worry for me, I know. I have spent most of my time since leaving the FBI sunk in this depression, writing letters I will never send. The actions of my 'superiors' disillusioned me far more than your words did - but those words hammered the point home. You were right - as always. Those wolves do not want justice. They want to stay on top of the pile. Stir ditchwater with a stick and all the scum rises to the top. But I think my eyes were opened too late. I can never join you now.

This letter will never get sent, so why do I write? It will join the rest of the letters I've written to you, in a box safely in the basement. If Ardelia or anyone should see them, they'd rightly get straight on the phone to the nearest loony bin. The thing is, I don't care anymore.

Well, Doctor, you got what you wanted. The complete and utter destruction of my faith in the institution. I no longer believe in justice. It's rather ironic, from where I see it.

And how can I express my guilt on paper? With that one blow, you spared my hand and severed my heart. I like to think you knew what you were doing to me. If you'd loved me at all, you would have spared me this. And no, I would never beg for mercy from you. Not in a thousand years. Because I never want you to stop haunting me, being my demon. Because you are all there is left. You are the end. When I read in the papers of bodies found with parts removed, cases with 'Hannibal Lecter' written all over them, I smile. You are still out there. That is strangely comforting. I'm afraid, Hannibal, that you have turned me into a monster.

I know one day you will come to take what is rightfully yours - my hand, my love, or my life. I know all too well the price of betrayal. So I wait for you now, in my lonely house. Waiting for a letter that may never come, the creak of your feet on the stairs, the blade of your knife in the night.

Waiting forever,

Clarice.

FIN

copyright 2001, by Screaming Ferret

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