Chapter One

A man sat alone in the dark on his chair in his living room; the television on. He had a glass of water in his hand. It was untested for the man's eyes were blank and cold; a rush of thoughts was in his head.

There was a packet of letters on his lap. They were opened letters folded and placed down. Letters that he had read over and over. Letters that forever stayed in his mind no matter how hard he tried to get rid of their words.

He tried many times before bet he could never seem to throw them away. He had almost succeeded before on numerous occasions but no, he just couldn't. He had felt that he would need them in another time. As if something important would come to call for them.

They pry his mind, letting it slip into his folds, and he would just examine and analyze the contents thoroughly in his head. He would always stop himself but the instinct won't go away.

He couldn't drink. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't see.

His mind was gone into some other side of the world; changing him and transforming him.

His name was Will Graham.

Will was on the edge. On the brink of it; staring down at the abyss. He was in an awful dilemma. There was something inside him; something that pulled beneath the surface of him. It was a horrid thing. A thing that was beginning to take over him; controlling and consuming. He felt that he had no more self control. It burned him; confused him. It was never ending. He was lost in the walls that were closing in on him.

He knew the feeling. That feeling sunk inside his heart. He felt great discomfort constantly haunting him. He was staring at his mirror. He had been staring at his refection. He didn't want to but it was against his will. Against everything. Unconsciously he unbuttoned his shirt to reveal his scars.

Scars. Those numerous scars that were scattered all around him; inside and out. They never erased, never went away; always going deeper in. Scars that represented so much. Of the past, of the present, and of the distant future.

With his free hand he traced them. He traced his scars and at the touch flashed back to how he got that specific one. Each flash was a live and vivid one. He saw the doer. He felt the pain as the weapon used went in to hurt him.
Everything was real. Too real.

He heard voices too. Uncountable voices that echoed in his mind. Harsh, cold, and yet surprisingly warm voices.

They shouted and whispered in his heads, but two over shouted and whispered them all. Hannibal Lector's and something else. Both made him angry and each gave him pain.

"Do you dream much…?" Hannibal voiced out in his head.

Did he dream? Always. And even not at night but in the morning, during the day, and in the afternoon. No, his dreams were not just appearing at night when he falls asleep and closed his eyes, but also when he was awake; eyes fully open.

What did he dream of? He dreamt of everything. Of everything that he had seen, heard, felt, tasted, and smelled. Everything.

Sometimes he dreams of his ex-wife and son. Like where they were living, how they're doing, if they have found another man to replace him, etc, and etc.

At other times of his family but the visions never lasted long.

Then he dreams of Quantico and his days as an FBI agent. And they included Lector, and he viewed him as a helper to catch the killers not even the slightest of suspicion of him.

But of course the scenery would change. He would find out that it was Hannibal that was the true evil and everything from that to the moment he started living alone.

And he would then wake up to see himself changed like the dream never existed, but that too is another segment. The dark encloses on him; the fear gives him adrenaline and he soon falls back, embraces it, and no more.

The darkness that raised fear which gave him adrenaline to live with it in control rather than disbelief and hate but using it along with his instinct and knowledge.

Will knew he carried baggage. A lot of baggage. It made sense since he doesn't get along with anything anymore. He was sick and tired; lost and unwilling to be found.

Xoxoxoxxoxxooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooox

He turned his head at the sound of someone's voice saying the name of Hannibal Lector.

"The search for Dr. Hannibal Lector and the FBI's Killing Machine Clarice Starling has been going on for several months now…" the voice of the newscaster said.

Will blinked and set his glass down on the table next to him. He stood up; the letters dropping and he turned off the television. He ran his hand through his hair and let out a breath.

He really didn't need to know anything else.

He heard all about the escape of Hannibal Lector with FBI agent Clarice Starling. He knew everything since he read and watched everything. He thought that at last Hannibal would stop sending him letters but was faced with the sheerness of disappointment.

He had foolishly thought maybe since Lector has Starling maybe he wouldn't bother to send anymore words to him but again he was wrong. No, Hannibal kept sending his annual letters and he would read them; never throwing them away.

They always held contents on how Hannibal was doing, description of Clarice, or asking how he, Will himself was doing. But most of it consisted of random or taunting things. Nothing too important and yet each lingered in his mind.

Will rubbed his unshaved cheeks, chin, and under his nose. He walked to his kitchen when his cell phone rang. The ring was sharp to his ears; so he rubbed them also. He reached for his cell and flipped it open. He croaked, "Graham."

"Will," said a low voice on the other end.

It was a familiar voice to him. Someone from his past. It was Jack Crawford.

"Jack," he replied grimly, feeling too tired to question Jack for why he called.

"I this is a bad way of doing things but I need you, Will." Jack desperately said.

Will's eyes rolled and he countered, "I'm retired."

Jack sighed. "I know Will, I know."

"If you know then why are you even bothering?" Will snapped softly.

"Did you hear about Agent Starling?" Jack asked.

Will nodded to himself. He did. All the time. "Yeah."

"Well she's off somewhere with Lector. My men and I can't seem to find them, and there's a new serial killer out there waiting to strike. We need you." Jack pressed.

Will opened his refrigerator but saw nothing to his liking. "You got other young and old blood with you. I'm retired. I am not doing this."

Jack didn't say anything else. Instead he played something near the receiver of his phone. It played loudly into his ear. Will flinched as it reached his mind.

"Please! No, no, no! Please... stop- I don't want to… please don't... I'll give you anything…- anything- I promise… oh God... please..! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" screamed a young woman in solid fear.

Will closed his eyes; the screams of the woman sent cold waves in his mind. He could tell by the woman's cry that she was in pain; begging for release, but in the end nothing more.

He felt both sympathy and empathy for her. It was strange for him but he no longer thought and feared any woman's pain for his ex-wife. Funny, not even her name. Just another victim.

"That young woman was only seventeen. We were sent a recording of her voice a week ago by someone who calls him or herself The Ripper. I surmise it to be a he, so he wrote a note on the top saying, "Catch me if you can." The Ripper seemed 'nice' enough to send us information on who the girl is and who we can contact to let the family know of her death."

Will started to feel something rumble in him.

"Who was she?" he finally asked.

"Her name was Alison Summers. Seventeen and a half. Disappeared on her way home from a party in Washington. No one had seen her since." Jack sadly pronounced.

"Where?" Will slowly asked.

"In California, but I know this guy is not there." Jack replied. "And that's all I got. I don't even have enough to solve this. You do."

"Jack," he sighed.

If he did say yes it wouldn't mater. He had nothing left.

"And I need you to at least to finalize the search for Hannibal and Starling."

He knew it of course. Why would Jack call unless he need help with Hannibal? Always.

"Like I said Jack, I'm retired." Will assured to himself and to Jack. Yet the screams of the young lady echoed further but he felt nothing; only annoyance. And something else.

"All I'm saying is that you could still be making a difference. Just think about it Will. I'll be waiting for your call." Jack finally said and then hung up.

Will closed his eyes and scrunched his face. He needed to think but he didn't know how.

He needed to rest. A true real rest; a rest that would take him into perspective.

Xoxoxoxooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooxxxxxxxxxxoooooooooo

"Oh, my dear this is a very delicate piece of food. Salmon dressed in white wine with steamed yet utterly seasoned asparagus. You will surely enjoy it." Hannibal Lector said to one Clarice Starling who was sitting politely on a nicely furnished wooden table.

She smiled at Hannibal and nodded. "Please. I can eat any of your cooking. Thank you."

Hannibal smiled coolly and started to hum.

Xoxooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooxooxxx

The dream is no longer dead. It rises the truth in our lies. The fear is calling for release. Could it last the real thing inside? Or would it go away as the push comes to hard? But what would happen if the prophecy of words came true? If it were real. If it were true. What would he do?

Because there is no escape and every way out. Why? Where? How?

Gone.