copyright 2003, 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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Dr. Frederick Chilton left the hotel that afternoon feeling quite invigorated. The balmy, soft tropical breeze felt like a garment of silk against his harsh features and he sighed as he inhaled the sea-scented air.
“What a day!” he exclaimed as if someone were actually listening when he strolled down the foreign street that had become quite familiar to him during this two-week holiday.
“Aaahh..Buenos Aires!” Dr. Chilton exclaimed again as he hailed a cab. “What a paradise. Beautiful babes, great food, the tango…a wet dream just waiting to happen,” he thought to himself as he got into the backseat of the taxi next to the elegant gentleman in the exquisite Armani suit.
“Going my way?” the cultured voice asked as Dr. Chilton shut the door.
The stiletto was beautifully palmed in the fellow passenger’s right hand as he whispered to Dr. Chilton,
“I trust you will be cooperative and not try anything foolhardy. If you behave in a manner befitting a gentleman, for a change, then this will all go rather quickly.
“If you scream”, he continued softly, “then both you and our driver are dead.”
Dr. Chilton nodded, broke wind and fainted within a matter of seconds.
“He’s fine,” Dr. Hannibal Lecter reassured their concerned driver as Dr. Chilton slumped forward.
“It’s just low blood sugar. I will tend to him once we reach the Teatro.”
Within minutes, the cab pulled up to the Teatro Colon where Dr. Lecter quickly revived his intended victim.
The two men got out of the back seat after Dr. Lecter paid the fare and both walked into the opera house; Dr. Chilton’s arm now pulled through Dr. Lecter’s with much effort.
The tickets were handed to the usher as Dr. Lecter smiled at the rueful wink the young man had given them.
“My companion and I are eager to see this performance,” Dr. Lecter said in earnest, still palming the stiletto.
The young man nodded, not sure what to make of the two gentleman who were arm in arm as Dr. Lecter led Dr. Chilton up to a private box.
It was only when they were seated, Dr. Lecter’s hand now on Dr. Chilton’s lap, that his unwilling guest began to speak.
“I don’t know what you think you’re doing, Hannibal, but you’ll never get away with this, you son-of-a-bitch. I always knew you were a…a…”
“Quiet, Dr. Chilton. Don’t make a spectacle of yourself.”
“You’ve gone too far, Lecter. Take your hands off of me.”
“Now, now, Dr. Chilton. We have to make this little façade of ours believable, don’t we?”
“I always knew you were a…..a……”
“A homosexual, Dr. Chilton?”
“Yeah, you faggot!”
“Keep your voice down, Dr. Chilton. And you couldn’t be farther from the truth. But then again, you're already painfully aware of that, aren't you?”
“I don’t know anything about you, you fucking fudgepacker. Take your hand off of me, or so help me….”
“Now is that any way to speak, Dr. Chilton? If you make another sound or move one centimeter, I assure you, you’ll be dead all that much quicker.”
“I swear to God, if you ….”
“Quiet, please. The performance is about to begin.”
And after a graceful “Ssshh”, the curtains rose to the splendid overture of “Carmen”.
Dr. Lecter enjoyed the first half of the opera tremendously, tapping his foot, bobbing his head, discreetly, mind you, and even humming a few bars here and there. All in all, it was a noteworthy performance for an afternoon show.
Right before the house lights went on signaling the beginning of intermission, Dr. Lecter quietly slipped out of his chair and out of the box. As gingerly as a cat, he made his way down the plush, carpeted stairs, to the front doors, nodded at the young usher and made his way to a waiting cab.
The screams could be heard all the way to the Casa Rosada. Men howled, women screeched and fainted as students clung to each other in horror.
It was a sight that no one at that show would soon forget. A sight members of the audience would remember for years to come. Some would go on to tell their grandchildren about it, turning the event into a fable. The story soon circulated around Argentina and was called, “The Ghost Of The Teatro”.
It was the story of an unfortunate American tourist, who during a rare afternoon performance of “Carmen”, was found murdered in a private box with a sock in his mouth, disembowled and castrated, with a note in elegant script pinned to the front of his lapel that read:
“My name is Frederick Chilton and I have a long history of putting my foot in my mouth. I'm stupid, insensitive and rude and often refer to people as fucking fudgepackers and faggots.
But not anymore.”
copyright 2003, by
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