CHAPTER 11: Hello Again, Hello

On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a man, slender and elegant in fine slacks, came out of the garret in which he lodged in the Rio's centre and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards Rio-Niterói Bridge. A minute later he stood on the parapet near a patterned gate leading to a courtyard of an exquisite Beaux Arts building. The man stood for some minutes with his head back and eyes closed, then walked across the street and leaned at ease against a high stone wall.

Here they are.

A platinum blond lady in exquisite clothes with a little boy beside her walked out of the courtyard and started to make her way down the street. The man stood away from the wall and followed them unhurriedly.

The lady turned round the corner and disappeared in a quiet dark alley that was bounded on both sides by buildings. Looking out carefully, the man saw her come in a perfumer's shop. The infant was left outside near the entrance.He was slim, precise (what else is new) and had very fine features.

The boy was watching little stones lying on the bottom of an antique fountain, when saw a dark shadow cover the water surface. He looked up.

"Hello" the man said softly, crouching down to his eye level.

"Hello."

"Where's your mother?"

"Gone to the shop"

"Who looks after you, then?"

"I do. Like a good boy. I'm not to go with you anywhere."

The man laughed quietly. Then asked:

"Where's your father?"

"He's gone on an airplane. It's a secret." The man saw the lady take out her pursue.

"Ummmm. Don't tell anyone that you saw me, okay?" – The boy nodded willingly. – "It's a secret between us. I'll come and see you later. You go to your mother now."

TWO WEEKS LATER: She just stood there in a crowd stream, unable to come up or say anything. That morning Clarice Starling and her 3-year old son left their exquisite home and went for a walk. Mere seconds ago they were watching the Grande Rio Samba School Parade, when suddenly her son freed his hand out of her grip and ran somewhere behind. Starling sharply turned around and… froze.

"Well hello Clarice"

Her eyes opened wide at the sight of him. It was the greatest shock Starling had ever felt in her life. For a second she thought that the sky would fall down as well, that everything would start to dance and shatter. But it did not. Instead she saw her husband, Dr Hannibal Lecter, pick up their son and approach her casually.


Dr Lecter held a bottle of Chateau d'Yquem up to the light. He looked at his watch and decided it was time to open the wine.

"I thought you bled out then." Starling spoke out of the dark. "Or someone came and finished you off. The boy was growing up quickly and that was the only thing that kept me sane; the thought of a baby at home".

He handed her a small crystal glass of honey-colored wine, then sat at the piano and, never looking down, only feeling, started to play, eyes closed.

"I'd had time to stop the wound before I passed out for several hours. Thank you for leaving the food and the water on the night table, by the way. When I woke, I did some "sew work" and then passed out once more. I was healing."

"It wouldn't be safe for the two of you if I'd have come sooner. Besides, I had to take care of a certain unfinished business."

Starling stood behind him. His hands stopped, still spread above the keyboard. Slowly, he stood up and turned to face her. "How did you name him, Clarice?"

"Marcus. He's hardly the type, though. Restless, fidgety, never still for a minute. Bags of energy, a bit like a boxer in his prime." A pause. "Does Mason still search for you?"

"Mason is dead."

"So you'll stay?"

"I'll stay."

Tucked up in his exquisite bed, their son was sleeping soundly, dreaming of a small maroon-eyed girl and a few milk teeth in the reeking stool pit.

-Fin-


Well, that is it, I guess. Or are you asking for MORE:-) I must thank all the reviewers – love you, guys )))))
In the Beginning Harris created 'Silence of the lambs'. And Harris said: 'Let there be a book" and there was the book. And Demme saw that the book was good; and he invited Hopkins over there... Many years passed, and then the Lecterphiles appeared.