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Bridging the Gap

copyright 2003, by Natasha Von 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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She sits across from me in a gown of my choosing. She is so close to ready. But not quite.

“My brave Clarice, all those years ago in Memphis, you made the first step to bridge the gap between us.”

“It was just the case file. I needed it.”

There it is. The last of her resistance.

“That’s not all you needed, Clarice.”

“Just the case file.”

Break her or ease her into it, like a warm bath? Both options present tantalizing possibilities.

“Your dissembling is unbecoming, Clarice. I can still remember your scent. Why did you do it, Clarice?”

“I needed my….I wanted to touch you.”

Mmmm…I feel the change in her demeanor. A desinagration of her moral matrix…like walking through a gossamer spider’s web.

“Why?”

“Because I needed to see if you were…”

“If I were what, Clarice?”

“I don’t know. Human. A man.”

“And what was your conclusion?”

Here she stops. How can I be so cruel as to make her speak the truths of our union? Is it not enough that she writhes in her secret dreams for me? Must I truly drag the words from between her coral lips and into the cold stillness of the night’s air? Oh Clarice, to be kind I must be cruel. You need to know. You need to hear it from your own lips.

I cup my fingers under her chin, and she does not flinch. My index finger strokes the corner of her soft mouth.

“What was it, Clarice?”

“I wanted you to touch me.”

“Mmm. Like I’m doing now?”

She nods.

“Use your words, Clarice”

“Yes.”

“That’s a good girl.”

And now she’s trembling. She is frightened. And yet she does not bolt for her gun, or the door. She lies trembling under my hand. Trembling. Delicious.

“You’re afraid.”

“I am”

“Of what, Clarice? Ravishment? I’ve been here…”

I pause to tap gently at her temple.

“For years. How could I profane the temple of your body, Clarice, when you’ve venerated my image on the alter of your heart for years.”

“I’m afraid of what wanting you makes me.”

“Human?”

“A monster.”

“Do you see yourself as a monster, Clarice?”

“ I don’t know.”

“Monsters don’t save lambs, Clarice. They don’t save martins.”

I lean in very close to her. I can feel my breath reverberating off her cheek, and the warm moisture congealing between our lips as our breath mingles. The look in her eyes is intoxicating. I could drink at this fountain for decades.

“But sometimes, Clarice…sometimes…”

I press my lips to the corner of her jaw line. I smell capers, and butter on her breath.

“Sometimes, they save starlings.”

I feel the strands of the web sliding across my face, over my hair, and then…gone. Such a tentative kiss at first, but her lips seek out my own. I smell the night air of Memphis, her finger brushing mine through the bars of my plight. And the gap between us keeps getting smaller.

FIN

copyright 2003, by Natasha Von Lecter

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