copyright 1999, by Lectergrrl
The characters Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling 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
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lambs were screaming.
Starling tossed in her sleep, plunging her face into the soaked pillow and
kicking the offending sheets off her body. A thin sheath of sweat gleamed
softly on the slashes of moonlit flesh on her back. Incoherent murmurs
rose from the depths of the pillow, muffled and permeated with despair.
the darkness, Doctor Lecter moved like a predatory feline. He used the
shadows to his advantage as he slithered into her room, the blade at his
side shining like a mirror as it passed before the wide window. He rested
it on her dresser, appropriately over her badge and beside the empty Yaqui
slide. Lecter paused. Her preferred Colt .45 must be resting inside her
night table. Perhaps even under her pillow. The doctor smiled at that.
Quite some time ago he'd promised her he wouldn't call on her. Either she
expressed doubt about his intentions, or Clarice Starling was inordinately
cautious. Lecter turned, his gleaming eyes focusing upon the moving form
upon the small bed. His Clarice, still single ... Of course, this was not
news to the doctor. He'd kept a close eye on his would-be protégé,
hovering about like a blemish in her life as indelible as the powder mark
upon her cheek.
turned and approached the bed silently. His eyes shone like mercury orbs
in the darkness. They took in the form of Clarice as she turned and
twisted on the bed. Her smooth back was exposed, bones moving restlessly
beneath the ivory flesh. Slowly, he squatted beside the bed until his head
was level with hers. He watched her sleep for an untold time, his fingers
steepled beneath his chin. His lips had pulled into a smile before long.
"Good evening, Clarice," he said after a moment. The metallic
rasp from years inside the Baltimore State Hospital's dungeon had left his
voice, turning it soft and suggestive as it penetrated Clarice's slumbered
mind in gentle waves.
murmured again. "... so heavy," he thought he heard, and his
eyes closed in almost orgasmic delight. It seems the lambs were not silent
this cold autumn eve. "Clarice, I promised you I would not call on
you, but it was stronger than I. You move me, Clarice," he said, his
eyes now narrow slits as they appraised the young woman. "It's quite
disconcerting. I've not been moved in long years." His hand reached
out until he could barely feel the thin prickles of her hair against his
fingers. He moved his hand down in a ghostly caress. "Are the lambs
still screaming, Clarice?" he murmured. "They seem to be. I've
waited for an answer, but it seems I was forced to seek it out myself.
Have I not inspired you, Clarice?" he whispered softly, his head
almost swaying with his own rhythmic words. "Perhaps I've demanded
too much of you too soon." His hand retreated.
only answer was a muffled groan.
fished into his pocket and retrieved a syringe whose needle he plunged
into a small, unmarked plastic bottle. When he'd pulled enough medication,
he dropped the bottle back in his pocket and turned his gaze to her arm.
It was holding her pillow, but he could still find enough surface to
administer the drug. When it was done, he moved away from her and found a
chair in the corner. He sat smoothly, his lips pursed in thought. He was a
patient man. The drug would take some time before it affected her.
awoke with a start, patting blindly for her gun. She found it, nestled
between the mattress and the headboard, and pointed it hysterically in
front of her. Her vision blurred with unexplained tears, Clarice felt the
gun tremble in her hands. An overpowering fear had griped her body, much
like the fear she had experienced deep inside Jame Gumb's basement with no
light to guide her through the maze of rooms and corridors. Split-second
reflexes had been her only resource. But now, she could not explain her
fear. She could not explain why her body trembled.
formed a prayer of thought with his hands, touching his two index fingers
to his lips. He narrowed his eyes in the darkness, watching as Clarice
struggled with herself. She would not see him until he wanted her to see
him. He smiled at that.
Agent Clarice Starling of the F. B. I.," he pronounced each letter
with sardonic glee. "I've missed you."
drug he'd administered was wonderful in its usage. Through the power of
suggestion, he could easily manipulate her. The drug affected her senses
and nervous system as well. He knew for a certainty she couldn't determine
where he stood in the room. And this pleased him. It wouldn't do at all to
have her shoot at him unprovoked.
Lecter," she gasped out, and Hannibal cocked his head. No-one spoke
his name as she did. Usually, it was with disgust or morbid glee. Rarely
with respect. Indeed, Clarice respected the fact she was trapped. But
regardless, Hannibal savoured also the faint southern accent which made
the unique pronounciation of his name sound like "Do'tor
Lector". He smiled again.
expected more enthusiasm, Clarice. I came all this way just to see you
after all." He watched as the gun wavered left to right, saw the
tight, concentrated purse of Starling's lips as she tried to divine his
location. She hadn't dared leave her bed yet. He tired of the game rather
quickly. "Clarice, I could slit your throat under one second of my
decision. Please do me the courtesy of disposing your weapon. I thought we
were passed this foolishness."
don't ever forget what he is.
what is that?
had called him a monster. She couldn't recall Crawford's reply. But he was
more than a monster. He was a cunning beast who knew exactly how to get
inside your head. Clarice blinked, trying to reestablish her vision to no
avail. "Doctor Lecter, what have you done to me?"
see you haven't shed the lamentable vestiges of your poor white trash
background, Clarice. Your accent has become more pronounced. Or is it
because you fear me?" he asked, leaning forward. "The gun,
Clarice," he added as an afterthought.
right, Doctor. I'm putting the gun down. Please do me the courtesy not to
harm me," she asked softly, using his words, trying to forestall any
gruesome fate the psychiatrist had planned for her.
doctor's voice held sudden disappointment. "Tsk tsk tsk. I thought
we've been through this before Clarice. You've done me ample courtesy in
the past year already - keeping to yourself, avoiding the current search
for my self by keeping busy with other, mundane cases. I truly do
appreciate the thought," he grinned malevolently. "If anything,
I disrespected you by coming here tonight and for that I apologize. But
you see, I never did receive your correspondence. I'm *dying* to know the
answer, Agent Clarice Starling."
gun was now on the floor, next to the foot of the bed where she'd thrown
it. Clarice had pressed herself against the headboard, living in a world
of blurred shapes and distorted voices. Just when she convinced herself of
the doctor's position, she heard him from another angle, closer, or
farther. The only thing to remain constant was the wild beating of her
heart. "What answer is that, Doctor Lecter?"
they still scream, Clarice?"
uncontrolled sob escaped her lips before she could stop it. "Doctor
..." she murmured.
came all this way, Clarice. We don't have our dear Doctor Chilton to
interrupt our conversation this time," he said through his toothy
closed her eyes tightly. Despite the greasy, back-stabbing nature of the
Baltimore State Hospital's director, Clarice had mourned Chilton's fate
when she'd heard he'd been missing. "Was he good, Doctor?" she
asked, her voice surprisingly steady despite her mounting anger. "Did
you enjoy him with a nice glass of Chianti and fava beans?" she spat.
not," Lecter answered, unfazed. "I would never soil my palate
with Chilton's unsavoury flesh. He was best left for the hounds after I
did, indeed, treat him to dinner. The dogs appreciated the stuffing,"
Lecter said evenly. "Now Clarice, you still haven't answered my
question ... I don't have the benefit of quid pro quo in this instance,
though I do hold the advantage. I won't subject you to the ridicule of
threats. I do believe you know me capable of numerous, unspeakable
is it so important, Doctor?"
reasons are unimportant," Lecter replied casually. "The lambs,
Clarice," he prompted. There was no impatience in his voice, though
Clarice recognized that Lecter wouldn't wait around much longer.
she hissed painfully. "Yes, the lambs still scream."
Lecter savoured, his fingers interlaced. As long as the lambs screamed, Lecter
would be there to remind her of her undoing. Lecter, the impassive
shepherd, holding a scythe rather than a staff. He took a moment to
appreciate the imagery. "Poor Catherine's rescue did not silence
them," he said softly. "What do you think it will take, Clarice,
before your slumber is no longer plagued by the cries of the spring lambs
as they are slaughtered?" Digging, driving the nail deeper, he bared
his teeth in almost animalistic fashion. "What will it take for you
to forget the blood, and the baying of those unfortunate creatures?"
matter what I do," she wailed, burying her face. "I can't stop
them. They keep screaming, Doctor. Why won't they stop screaming?"
stood and left the shadows. Blind, dazed, confused, Clarice felt warm
fingers lift her chin. She could not see his face, but she felt
overwhelmed by the twin light sources within Lecter's eyes. Slowly, as
though kissing with languid passion, Hannibal bent down and trailed his
tongue from her chin to one of her cheeks, then the other, devouring her
tears. She bowed her head, pressing the crown of her hair to his chest,
wailing ... wailing ... wailing until her sobs matched the screaming of
the end, Hannibal Lecter gathered the sobbing Clarice into his arms,
resting against the headboard of her single bed. "Thank you,
Clarice," he whispered. Before long, his charge was sleeping, her
cheeks stretched and hardened by the tears and Lecter's saliva which had
permeated the flesh. Lecter would be gone in the morning, leaving no
indication he'd ever been inside her house or that his presence had been
anything other than a dream.
the lambs had stopped screaming. At least for tonight, within Lecter's
arms, the lambs were silent.
copyright 1999, by Lectergrrl
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