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Life's Rewards

copyright 2003, by Emily 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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It had been too many years for her, and she conceded to this fact as she sat alone in the living room of her home. Too many years of living a life for the good of her country, serving and protecting. Too many years of putting the good of the many before the good of the few, the few being namely herself. So long in this life, and it had finally caught her. She had reached the pinnacle that she had been groomed for since setting foot within those hallowed walls at Quantico. She had reached the top, and had found the air no sweeter there.

The tumbler in her hand rose, seemingly of its own accord, and she felt the liquid slip past the barrier of her lips once again. The Jack was warm as it went down her throat, but she was numb to the effects. Her gaze drifted about the living room and settled on the boxes stacked in the hallway. All her life fit within those boxes. It was a depressing thought. That an entire lifetime, all the achievements, everything that had happened on the road to the top, fit within four boxes. And this is what she had to show for twenty years of commitment.

Her eyes left the boxes and drifted around the Spartan confines of her house. She could not think of it as a home. Home was where a person lived, not just resided as she did. Home was a place where a person loved, but there was no love in her life. She had never had time for such insignificant things in her pursuit of all things great in the eyes of the law. No family after twenty years, she had sacrificed the thought of ever having a husband and children, the thought of being a mother years ago. Her friends were scarce, her social life flatlining. Ardelia had realized the futility of a career in the Bureau and had left years ago. She was somewhere out west now, happily living the American dream with a house, two cars, two point five children and a dog to greet her when she came home in the evenings.

How pitiful am I, thought Clarice as she took another swallow from the tumbler, I donít even have a dog, much less any living animal in this house. Alone. That was what she was. She had forsaken everything for incorruptibility, for the sake of her own morals. And she had been rewarded.



FIN

copyright 2003, by Emily Lecter

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