The Land of Fruits and Nuts
copyright 2002, by
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
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“Clarice, for the very last time, you need to level off that cup of flour or the batter won’t have the proper consistency.”
It wasn’t often that Dr. Hannibal Lecter allowed anyone to assist him in the kitchen, but today was…..special.
It was Christmas Eve and it promised to be a comfortable temperature in Buenos Aires this evening. Thousands were expected to be milling around the city and Our Lady of The Holy Cesspool would be filled to capacity.
It was going to be perfect.
Hannibal and Clarice didn’t celebrate holidays in any particular fashion. True, they courteously acknowledged what was considered a significant day on the world calendar, but were hardly influenced by any sort of ritual.
Today Hannibal decided to bake several cakes. Forty, in fact. Clarice’s birthday had just passed and though there was plenty of strawberry shortcake left, these cakes were to be baked and used for a very special purpose.
Though Dr. Lecter certainly needed no assistance, he thought it would be fun to ask Clarice to join him in the festivities. She happily obliged.
“This the kind of thing you were thinking of?” she asked him, grabbing the wire whisk.
She whisked the batter in the first bowl before moving onto the next. There were forty bowls in all and there was much work to be done, but through it all, she kept smiling.
Oh, what fun this was going to be!!
She thought of asking the children next door to come over and help her beat the mixes, but knew just the thought of all of those dirty fingers reaching into Hannibal’s divine concoctions would turn his stomach. ‘Better not’, she decided to herself, as she continued to stir.
After an hour of continual mixing, it was time for the rest of the ingredients to be carefully folded into each bowl of batter.
This was careful work. Not a single ingredient could be wasted. Gently….ever so gently, were the rest of the dry ingredients worked into every single bowl, then after a most careful transfer to the oven, all that was left to do was……wait.
They fucked furiously while the cakes baked off, using Hannibal’s brand new kitchen timer to carefully monitor their progress. One by one, after each cake was lovingly baked they were placed on the back porch to cool and settle.
Hannibal and Clarice napped before it was time to get ready to start their evening. There was much work to be done.
It was Eleven PM. Time to load the van.
Each cake, still in its tin, was placed in the back of the four by four that “Fr. Antonio Suarez” rented especially for tonight’s events.
“Careful, Clarice,” Hannibal whispered,
“We don’t want any to crack, now do we?”
“I know. I’m doing my best.”
“You know, Clarice, there is a story I remember my nanny telling me when I was a very small child in Lithuania. I couldn’t have been older than 4, but I remember it quite well. She told me that hundreds of years ago, one unfortunate family received a fruitcake for Christmas. Disgusted by the offering, they boxed it back up and gave it to another family in their village. They too, were unhappy with the gift and passed it on.
This went on for days. Each family that received the fruitcake would box it back up and send it on to another unlucky soul.
Thus, it is quite possible that to this day, that very same fruitcake continues to circulate around the globe year after year and is still out there…..somewhere.”
Clarice giggled as she loaded the last cake into the van.
“That does it!” she said enthusiastically.
Hannibal reached for her waist and gave her a gentle kiss on the mouth before suggesting they make their way to church.
Midnight Mass would be packed this evening, they mused to each other on the way there.
In about ten minutes, they had reached their destination.
Clarice, now dressed as a nun, walked up to the rectory and rang the bell.
“Si?” the old padre asked her.
In perfect Spanish, Clarice, now posing as Sr. Bertrille, explained how her and Padre Suarez had freshly baked fruitcakes to be distributed to forty lucky families at the end of Mass.
After the excited pastor accepted their charity, they were allowed access to the choir loft.
It took twenty minutes to get all forty fruitcakes up there, but Hannibal whistled gleefully as they made their way up and down the steps. Clarice couldn’t quite make out the tune, but she could have sworn it sounded a lot like “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.”
Finally, it was Midnight!!
Hannibal and Clarice kept their eyes piously closed throughout much of Mass. Until it was time.
It was right before the blessing of the Creche.
It had to be done quickly. Very quickly and as discreetly as possible. A quick toss, then they’d duck. No one would see it coming. But they’d sure as hell feel it.
“Bombs Away!!!” Clarice said as one by one, forty dense, five pound fruitcakes, tins included, got tossed at a random grandmother holding an origami chicken.
It was all over in a matter of seconds.
Afterwards, Hannibal and Clarice made their way safely back to the van and laughed heartily. Later that morning, they would make love while watching reports of the carnage on the early morning news.
Christmas in Buenos Aires….Lecter style.
God Bless us, everyone.
copyright 2002, by
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