Once again, I can't believe I had to request a category for this film! Note to young players, to request categories, email .
Disclaimer: I own not Cyrus, though I have to admit that John Malkovitch is so amazing that I almost wish I did. I'm telling you, he was pure brilliance in this after I'd just seen him as poor Lennie in Of Mice And Men. He is pure briliance. I said that already. Ok. I'll shut up. However, I invented all the circumstances around him and Debbie (who's mine) based off his quote "You know what my Daddy taught me? Nothing." I tried to keep him in character but he's quite complicated, so it was hard... I can hear and see him saying all the words I've put in his mouth, so I hope it's ok. Anywho, enjoy!
writingtitan would like her name to feature here somewhere. Big thanks to her for calling me insane. "According to my last psych evaluation, yes..."
Deborah Nees stood gingerly in her sunny dayroom. Her strawberry-blonde hair was pulled back neatly into a ponytail. A string of brightly-coloured glass beads hung awkwardly from one wrist. She walked to the window and looked out at the way the cold light of dawn was casting hesitant shadows on the neatly-trimmed lawn.
She liked the life she'd built for herself here in Alabama, everything tidy and organised and the way it should be. Her husband had wanted to move away when he heard about the prison they were building on the other side of town, but she had refused. She knew, just like Frankie did, that they would move him there. But she, unlike Frankie and despite what everyone else thought of him, knew she would find it comforting to have him near.
A knock on the door startled her out of her reverie. It'd be the postman – perhaps today was the day they'd finally tell her he was coming. She weaved her way quickly around her furniture to the front door so that he wouldn't knock again; it was Saturday and Frankie was still asleep. Come to think of it, it was very early.
A slight tremor kept Debbie's hand by her side in front of her oak door. What if it wasn't the postman? What if he'd been in their new prison for weeks and they hadn't told her? They usually gave people like her warning, but maybe they had thought… she took a hesitant step away from the door. What would happen if she just didn't open it?
If it was him, he'd find another way to get in, and if it was the postman, he'd come back later. She took a deep breath, and opened to door. A flying fist found its way to within an inch of her nose; panicking, Debbie yelped and ducked. A brief exclamation came from the man at the door. "Sorry!" The voice was beautifully ordinary; she straightened up, laughing in weak-kneed relief.
"That's all right, John. I thought you might be… someone else."
The postman grinned apologetically. "I was just about to knock again when you opened the door. I'm a bit early, but I figured you'd be awake. I need a signature to show that you received…" he pulled an ordinary envelope with an official-looking letterhead out of his small stack. "This letter. Department of Corrections." Here it was. She took it slowly and signed his form.
"Thank you," she said. John the postman grinned and left. She hurried back to the dayroom and slit open the envelope.
Dear Mrs. Nees,
We regret to inform you that your brother, Dr. Cyrus Grissom, passed away on Thursday 5th August.
Debbie sat down heavily on her crisp white sofa. Not transferred, but dead? How?
The incident occurred when Dr. Grissom hijacked a high-security transfer aircraft and crash-landed it in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip last Thursday.
She almost laughed, terrible as that sounded. Of course he'd died in an insane escape attempt, free and with the sounds of it echoing in his ears. The way he would have wanted. Not that he would have wanted it at all, she knew, but it was small comfort.
The remains are being transferred to Alabama this Sunday and you are free to make your own funeral arrangements from there.
My consolations for your loss.
The remains… it sounded so final. How had he died? Remains sounded like they'd be sending bits of him to her in a shoebox. There was no point in having a funeral. No-one would come. My consolations for your loss – she snorted in disgust. They were probably slapping high-fives to each other as she read it, joyous not to have to worry about his latest escape anymore. Who wrote these letters? She looked for a signature. US Marshall, Special Agent Vince Larkin. Prick. Debbie put the letter down on the coffee table and massaged her eyes with the heels of her hands. So Cyrus the Virus was dead. Her big brother. Her only family. A tear slipped from her hazel eyes.
Why was she crying? Cyrus was the reason he was her only family. He'd killed their parents when Debbie was twelve and then dragged her all the way across the country avoiding the authorities. She was lucky she wasn't dead or in prison herself, according to the cops that had taken him away. But he'd always taken care of her all the same, defending her when their father was in a drunken rage, fending for her in the most obscure locations on the run, at least pretending to love her if, as they said, he was incapable of actual compassion.
He'd spent twenty-five of his thirty-nine years in prison. The last time she'd seen him was in Colorado ten years ago when he'd escaped a sentence he was serving for killing seven of his inmates in a previous breakout. Debbie's fingers gently caressed the glass beads on her bracelet, his last gift to her, probably stolen, or at least bought with stolen money.
The rain pulled her ragged fringe over her eyes, dripping water down her nose and into the long-cold coffee she had no intention of drinking.
Cyrus sat opposite her, his fingers playing with the soggy sugar sachets in front of him, avoiding her eyes but gazing at her face. "We should go inside," he said in his slow, precise manner, but she was too wet for it to make any difference now, and she shook her head. "Debbie, I'm sorry."
"Sorry for what, Cyrus?" she asked slowly. "For killing Mum and Dad, for kidnapping me, for leaving me to foster care when you got yourself arrested, or for something you've done since then?"
He looked her in the eyes for the first time since he'd arrived. "For hurting you. With all of it. I never wanted to hurt you. I love you, Deb."
She hardly knew what to say. "The police say you're incapable of love."
"Who do you trust, the police, or me?" She felt like laughing. The police never kidnapped her, killed her parents or forced her to hide in bomb-shelters and old fridges from the people that could help her. And yet she knew he was right. She trusted him, impossibly, ludicrously, irrevocably.
She sighed. "What do you want, Cy?" He looked away again and suddenly she felt as though a pressure had been lifted and she could breathe easier.
"I just wanted to say I'm sorry. And see you again." He twisted uncomfortably in his seat. "I'd better go. I love you, Debbie, no matter what the cops say."
"I love you too, Cyrus," she said, and stood up to embrace him; her brother was oddly stiff in her arms as always and she squeezed him gently. "Be careful," she told him.
"I'm always careful," he replied. "See you around, Deb."
He nonchalantly threw a giftwrapped box on the table between their untouched coffees and then he was gone with a flicker of her eyelids, like a plastic bag in a hurricane, blended into the crowd, unrecognizable even by his bald head.
"Deb?" With a start, she realized she was sobbing, clutching at his bracelet, rocking gently on the clean sofa. Her husband Frankie stood in the doorway, tousle-haired with sleep, a concerned expression on his kind face. "I heard the postman. What's happened?"
With trembling fingers she lifted Marshall Larkin's letter from the table and held it out to him. "Cyrus is dead."
"Thank God, they should have given that freak of nature the needle years ago." A tremor shook Debbie's frame again. Frankie relented. "Oh, God, Deb, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it." He ran to sit next to her and took her in his arms. "I'm sorry. All I meant was… he kidnapped you. The guy's a monster."
"He's my brother, Frankie," she sobbed.
"All right. I'm sorry." He held her tightly and they stayed like that, both of them thinking about the man who earned a doctorate in prison, escaped impregnable facilities and died flying airplanes into the middle of Las Vegas.
A/N: Ok, lame ending, sorry. How are you supposed to describe the brilliance that is Doctor Cyrus Grissom without making yourself sound criminally insane? Review please with feedback and suggestions, I know I'm not perfect but I'd like to be close, so much help would be apprectiated!