Hannibal: April Fool by DD Agent

Chapter Five

Six Months Later

She didn't know why she had picked Cornwall, England, of all places. Maybe it had that charm of small town life that reminded her of her father. The countryside, open air. Maybe she just wanted things simple now. That was it, simplicity. Always the best way.

Clarice had cut her hair, this time it was short and layered, just above her neck. She had put on a little bit of weight, and had taken up swimming instead of running. She lived in a small cottage away from the world, and she wrote her memoirs each day before burning them each night. It was therapeutic. It was a new life for a new person.

"Mornin' love!" cried a fisherman selling his bounty as she walked down a market street. It seemed that the people here were untouched by Hannibal Lecter, something she found blissful. No one knew who she was, although she had kept her name.

She found a couple of street artists and admired the beauty of their work, for they were truly incredible. There were some wonderful landscapes on offer, showing the ferocity of the waves and the gentleness of the sand. There were also some portraits, although these held a style that was both childlike and intelligent. A style that Clarice remembered very well.

"Did you paint these?" Clarice asked, pointing to the ones she was looking at. He shook his head; he just sold them for a friend of his. She asked where the artist could be found, and he pointed to a lone cottage on the edges of the small town, much like her own. She thanked the artist, and bought one of the waves.

She went up to the lone cottage and knocked at the door. When there was no answer, she went around to the back garden that overlooked the ocean.

"Hello Agent Starling," greeted April. She looked calmer, and she was painting the ocean gracefully across the page. There was no trace of the angry young girl who had killed her partner and countless others. Instead, this was a woman who was sedate and professional.

"He'll be back soon, you can talk to him then. Till then, sit. We heard you got kicked out of the FBI, I'm sorry to hear that."

Everything seemed a little bizarre, most notably because here Clarice was, sitting with a Serial Killer. But then she had done that before. They talked slightly, not much because April was concentrating on the waves. She could see healed scars up and down her arms, knife marks. She had tried to take her life again, several times by the looks of things.

"Good morning April, good morning Clarice."

Hannibal Lecter entered, a little sun on his face and a white shirt that suited him. He handed his young ward a cup of coffee and a pastry. He handed Clarice the same. Hannibal watched as April painted for a moment before kissing the top of her head. He turned to Clarice.

"Fancy a walk?"

It was too early for the tourists to have packed the beaches yet, so Clarice and Hannibal had the whole of the sand to themselves. It was awkward and surreal, but nice. She resisted the urge to curl up in his chest, even though that was what she longed to do. Safety and familiarity.

"How did you find her?" Clarice asked after some time of silence. Hannibal smiled for a moment before explaining.

"She had returned home, and set up here. She managed to get herself a job, buy this attractive cottage with the money I had given her. I have never felt more affection for anyone else except you, than for April. I had to find her, so I did. When I discovered her, she was bitter and suicidal. Your Agents death and my rejection had caused a monster to spring up inside her. My return, I like to think, saved her and countless others. We worked together, helped her painting and her skills. She hasn't killed anyone in four months."

"And you, Hannibal, how have you fared?"

"I only kill the rude or those that threaten me. The people of Cornwall are very nice. Some of the teenagers leave a lot to be desired, however. And there are no tourists at this moment in time. We shall see."

Clarice smiled as they continued their walk back to the cottage. Inside, Hannibal went to get April, leaving her alone in the living room with a phone at her disposal. She picked up the receiver, and her fingers lingered on the buttons she could so easily press. However, her heart ached her not to, and she placed the phone down in its cradle.

Hannibal, having watched the scene, came in and pressed his lips to Clarice's forehead. April joined them, rolled her eyes, and switched on the television to watch a program on art.

Harry Booth and Catherine Cassidy

would like to announce their marriage,

that occurred on the 31st October.

The happy couple were married in

a small ceremony, mostly attended

by locals and Harry's daughter Alex.

They hope to stay in Cornwall for a

long time as they enjoy the peace

and quiet.

End