See Me Run
copyright 2001, by
The characters Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Clarice Starling, Paul Krendler, and Evelda Drumgo 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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I meant it, when I said it would hurt. Cutting apart my own hand was without a doubt the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Interesting, but painful. Now, sitting on a plane next to a child to whom I've just fed human brains, I can close my eyes and look at the whole situation again.
It's perfectly stored in my memory, and I'd like to relive it all, this time without the experience clouded by anxiety and physical agony. I think I will enjoy looking back on last night much more than I enjoyed the actual night itself...
Removing Paul Krendler from this earth was a distinct pleasure. If I had the time, I'd get rid of every single person like him, but that would take decades. Making Krendler eat his own substandard brain was a nice touch, actually, and I'm seriously surprised my Clarice didn't think so too.
When I first saw her crying, and her childish pity for the lobotomized idiot at my table, I informed her that he was not actually in any pain. She was not comforted in the slightest, and I was glad. If that comment had quieted her, my expectations of her would have been severely disappointed.
Of course, I fully expected her to attack me, especially after I saw she'd phoned the police. I would be interested to hear her explanation of why she did it, but she was in no state to tell me at the moment. I was annoyed that she managed to call so soon - I knew I'd have to run right away, then, without getting a single conversation from her.
It was no trouble to overpower Former Special Agent Starling, despite all her training, and to catch her by the hair in the refrigerator door. While it happened, the bulk of my thoughts were concentrated on trying to convince her to let me go peacefully...I really did want to leave the door open for further encounters between us. Now, though, what strikes me most about the exchange was the almost total absence of fear.
I replay her winces and gasps over again in my mind, and they still convey the impression of discomfort from her hair and anger at being caught. Not a trace of the terror most people would have wet themselves with, if I held them helpless, just after they'd so violently ejected themselves from my good graces by attacking me.
And then, when I asked her that question, whether she'd ever beg me, I already knew the answer. I knew already what her silly pride would say... or so I thought. Now I want to look again at the expression in her eyes, to watch her thoughts spell themselves out there.
Clarice really didn't know what I meant. The possibilities she saw flashed one by one across her face, and then she decided finally that no matter what I would do, she'd let me. I tested her, of course, and it both surprised and delighted me that she stood quietly and didn't fight. I wanted to kiss her, but now that I think about it, I'm not quite sure why. The thought just came to me, and I did.
I liked that kiss. I'll savor it again...
It was calm and collected. Just like me. Neither a goodbye peck nor a slobbery teenaged-tongue job.
And then came the handcuffs. I'll admit, that caught me completely off guard. I *still* can't quite see where she had them hidden. When she clicked them on my wrist I was shocked for a second and didn't move.
She was afraid of me then, just for a moment. I saw it. When I knew I was caught and didn't show any anger, she knew enough to worry...just for a moment. But I talked to her, explaining my position. I don't usually tell things to people about myself, but I felt that Clarice deserved it. Besides, she ought to know more about freedom versus captivity, because she's a captive herself and doesn't even realize it.
I was truly surprised that she still refused me the key. Then I threatened her, and there was one golden moment where she saw the intent in my eyes, and I in hers, and we dared each other to relent. She knew that if she didn't help me, I would do it. And I knew that she wouldn't help me.
Somebody had to lose a hand, that was certain - I would not be recaptured at any price. She couldn't take it like I could, though. Her courage impressed me and I felt an absurd need to protect her all of a sudden. Clarice once told me that I should analyze myself, that I am a very complex person and I'd have fun interpreting what's in my head. Maybe she's right...looking back, it's hard to tell how or why I brought the butcher knife down on my own hand.
When I asked her if I should cut above the wrist or below, I was only joking - to slice off my entire hand would have been a real waste. As it was, I chopped a neat diagonal from my wrist to just between my ring and middle fingers. I don't know what I was thinking, exactly. My mutilated hand could probably only be saved by a good hospital, and there was no way I could make it into a hospital without being recognized...
Now I can review all of my thoughts during this time. Everything happened so fast, and was clouded by absolute agony, but I was still thinking. I remember thinking that the whole night had been a string of trades and gambles. Clarice had bet her career and conscience on her ability to find me on Verger's estate. Then I'd taken her alive out of the pit with me, gambling my own freedom in the process - I knew she would try to turn me in. After that, she thrust a choice on me and I decided to trade her hand for my escape. At the last second, I traded my hand for hers. Finally, I wondered whether to go to a hospital and try to rescue what was left on my arm... I might bleed to death otherwise. But should I really stake my liberty on not being recognized?
I had my back to Clarice, so I never saw her disentangle herself from the refrigerator. I was so absorbed in my thoughts and my agony that I didn't even hear her come up close behind me. I heard her whisper "Dr. Lecter!" softly in my ear, so I turned to face her.
Of course I wasn't looking my best, but still she was regarding me with the most profound respect and reverence. Because I had spared her? Because she was impressed with my silence, while she herself was already crying? Because she accepted at last her feelings for me? I don't know.
She reached behind her head and pulled out a long needle, which she'd hidden Evelda-Drumgo-style in her hair. No doubt she'd originally intended to use it as a weapon against me...but now, she held it out in front of her. "Here...it's morphine, or whatever you gave me."
Well, that decided me. I'd do some kind of first-aid job on myself. I *might* be able to save myself from being totally crippled, and at any rate I wouldn't have to risk being noticed at a hospital.
I took the syringe from Clarice and smiled. I would have liked to talk to her more, but time was short and it was enough trouble to simply stay conscious. "Thank you, Clarice" I managed, surprised to notice that my voice didn't even shake.
"Go," she whispered, tears streaming down her face. "Go now, doctor, before the police come. I'll clean up for you."
I left then. Quite honestly, I think she was secretly happy to see me get away. Agent Starling can go to sleep knowing that she did her best to stop me, but still gets the pleasure of seeing me run. I made it and I know she's glad.
My Clarice knows how to hide evidence, I'm sure. The authorities will never find out that I'm partially crippled now, and easily identifiable. So, I have a real chance to elude them again. To start a new life again.
And when the FBI finds out what happened at Mason's ranch, no matter what Clarice decides to tell them, they'll be suspicious. She saved the life of Hannibal Lecter, then betrayed him, and he exacted no revenge at all. I'm sure "Bride of Frankenstein" rumours will start circulating pretty quickly...which certainly won't sit well with the Bureau. And then there's also the issue of poor Mr. Krendler's untimely demise... On the whole, I'll venture the guess that Clarice will be job-hunting in the near future, unless of course they decide to try to arrest her. Either way, maybe *she* will be ready to start a new life soon, too.
copyright 2001, by
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