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Sacrificial Lamb

copyright 2004, 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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You never take your eyes off me, but somehow cannot find the strength to meet my gaze. Your demeanor could almost be mistaken for submission, but the clenched fists in your lap speak of other possibilities. Sitting stock straight in that hideous folding chair, your courtesy almost makes up for those cheap but well polished shoes. When a few choice barbs finally entice you to raise your eyes to mine, they gleam with the sweet-hot fire of unbridled ambition. You crave it so keenly. You want it, need it…If I were a free man, I’d channel that youthful eagerness into days and nights that would leave you breathless, and panting, and craving more. Oh little starling, I’d love to teach you what true longing is, slake my thirst at the fountain of your tears, drown us both in the deep, still waters of your soul.

She is watching me through a veil of sooty lashes, three tables over, and to my left. Through dark glasses I stealthily observe her, hiding behind an architectural magazine she is pretending to read. There is an intelligence in her deep grey eyes, but worry strains the corners, deepening into faint lines. I can sense the desire in her to stare straight at me, but she holds herself in check, eyes downcast and hidden behind a curtain of dark brown hair. She is not unattractive, my recently acquired shadow. She has been following me for the last four days. There is a tension that holds her body taut, and a sharpness in her movements that is disconcerting. From this awkward carriage, I surmise that she has discovered my identity but is unsure how to proceed. She is faced with a daunting task, the outcome of which is likely to turn quite ugly. Her recalcitrance is mildly intriguing; I wonder why she has not attempted to contact the authorities.

The bill arrives and, carefully blotting the stem and flat ware, I prepare to take my leave. The matter bears further scrutiny. I will double back on her and observe her over the course of the evening. I am fairly certain of the night’s outcome, but I’d prefer to ascertain just how much information my petite Javert has acquired. I glance back at her before I rise, and I catch her off guard. Her eyes are wide, a look of panic spreading across her delicate features. With more speed than grace, she springs from her chair, hurling down a twenty-dollar bill, and bolting towards me. Standing now, I veer away from her, but her small, nervous voice trills in my ear.

“Please! Wait…” She trails off.

Turning back to face her, I can almost feel the anxious tremors of her hands. Her face is blanched of color, her slight frame nearly shaking with fear. And yet, slowly, with clear and practiced annunciation, she manages to speak once more.

“Doctor…Sir…I would very much appreciate a moment of your time…”

And quite, suddenly, the evening gets really interesting.

Special Agent Clarice M. Starling, who behind her back is more often referred to as Mrs. Lecter, slumps over her basement desk in the annals of the Bureau. The cavernous room is plastered still with crime scene photographs and silky shadows. That she is able to sleep here, in a dungeon of her own making, is a testament to her nerves. Live with something long enough, and the fear starts to dull. Or more correctly, when you’ve been pinned against a fridge and a madman, somehow the photographs lose their power to shock and appall. They watch over her sleeping form like just so much moldy wallpaper.


Her eyes flick open, and she raises her head from its case file pillow. Her superior, one of several who have presided over her in the last year of her disgrace, stands over her with a manila envelope. Dread wells up in her stomach like an oil slick.

“Get up, Agent Starling. There’s been a sighting.”


Part 1 of 15

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copyright 2004, by Natasha Von Lecter

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No infringement of rights is intended and no profit, of any kind, is made.