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Goodbye Writters Block

I have always been very entranced by the Hannibal Lecter series. I have seen all the movies, and reading the books is next on my list of things to read. So, I was watching Hannibal Rising again tonight, and I had a great idea for a Fan Fiction one shot. I hope you all enjoy it!  The story is set right after the Hannibal Rising movie. BTW - I am sorry for any poor grammar.  I'm very sleepy, and two glasses of wine and a beer later ... well, you understand.


Embers

*Disclaimer : I am not trying to claim ownership or make money off of my story. I know that all ownership to the Hannibal Lecter series is Thomas Harris's, and in no way mine. And all the legal mumbo jumbo, etc, etc, so on and so forth.*

Ice clung to the branches of the trees that lined a deserted country road. Faint tire tracks lined the gravel path, showing that at least someone had ventured out into the bleak weather. It had been snowing for three days, a terrible snow that left travel only to those who absolutely had to venture from the comfort of their fireplaces. A young woman smiled as she admired the landscape that slowly passed by her as she rode her horse. She had needed to deliver milk to a neighbor who had a small child, and even though it was cold, the snow had broken and she was enjoying the way back home. As she closed her eyes and inhaled the cool winter air, she heard the faint sound of a car’s motor in the distance behind her. Slowing her horse, she waited to see who was coming. The only people that drove on this road were normally the few neighbors that also owned farms near where she lived, and this did not sound like that of a rickety old truck. Slowly, she saw a sleek black car close in. When it stopped about twenty feet away, she dismounted her horse and walked over. Tapping on the window, she met the smile of a young man, not much older than she.


“Can I help you sir?” She smiled back as he rolled down his window.


“I do believe that I am lost. I’m looking for the trapping farm of Mr. Grentz. Is it near here?”


“Grentz? Well, if you are looking for that oaf, than you are about 10 miles south of where you need to be. And, I do believe, your car is making some strange noises.” The woman had noticed that the car was making a very nasty sputtering sound from the distance, and sure enough, there was a trail of oil, like bread crumbs, behind the vehicle. The man looked puzzled. Stepping out of the car, he appeared both disappointed and angry. She felt bad for him, as she noticed from his accent that he was not from around here, and probably had urgent business with the local trapper.


“If you like, my brother can fix your car. But he won’t be back for about a week. He’s in
Alberta looking to buy some cattle. But you are welcome to drive it to the edge of our field, and stay until he returns.” At first he thought to refuse, but her smile and kindness intrigued him. He nodded in agreement, and she showed him the side path to the field, where he parked the car. She climbed back onto her horse, waiting for him to gather his belongings.


“I’m sorry, I didn’t even introduce myself. My name is Evelyn March, but everyone calls me Evey.” The man hesitated before he responded. Would news of his life in
Europe have reached to this remote part of Canada? Probably not, he reasoned, and seeing that this young woman disliked the man he was looking for, he felt safe at least giving his first name.


“My name is
Hannibal. Thank you for your kindness, Evelyn.” This made her blush slightly, as he looked directly into her eyes when he spoke her name. She composed herself as she looked up to the farm house in the distance.


“It’s just up the road, not even a mile. You are welcome to ride my horse if you like.”


“Thank you, but I am fine walking.” She smiled again and trotted on. Even though he was a complete stranger, she felt somehow safe near him. And, she reasoned to herself, it would be nice to have company until her father and brother returned.

They arrived at the front of the house, and Evelyn tied her horse to the front mount. She opened the door for Hannibal and immediately went to gather wood from the pile on the back porch, to start a fire in the sitting room. He placed his bags by the door and looked around. There was a very worn but comfortable looking sofa and matching chair, accompanied by a radio, a large fireplace, and a piano. Glancing at the photos on the mantle, he saw what he believed was a very young Evelyn, her brother, Father, and Mother. Another picture was of her parents on their wedding day. Where is her mother, he thought to himself? What happened to her? He walked over to the piano and gently placed his fingers over a few keys, making a gentle noise.

“That was my mother’s piano. She played every day when she was alive.” Evelyn had walked in, her hands slightly covered in ash. She had let her hair down, and the red curls graced the bottom of her shoulders. Hannibal could not help notice her beauty, but quickly reminded himself as to why he was here. He was on a mission. He had to avenge Mischa’s death. He closed the lid over the piano keys, and stepped away slightly.

“If you like, I can show you the room you can stay in. I’ve started a fire in their as well, to keep it warm for you. I’m sorry to say that it has been colder than normal lately, and that there may be more snow tonight.” He nodded, grabbing his two leather bags, and followed her up the stairs. She opened the door to the spare room that doubled as a small library. Her brother did not think that she should have so many books in the house, but her father allowed it, as he allowed her to have most things that she wanted. She looked so much like her mother that he could not refuse her.

“You have a vast selection of books, Evelyn. Am I right to believe that they are all yours?”

“Yes, actually, they are. Reading is one of my favorite past times. You are welcome to read any of them while you are here. You seem to me the type of person who knows how to properly take care of a book.” He liked her mannerisms. They were gentle, yet with command. Perhaps, he thought, this detour will not be all for nothing. Evelyn excused herself to check on the stew she had been cooking earlier that morning, and to allow Hannibal a chance to settle in.

Later that evening, after a well cooked meal and a pot of tea, Hannibal excused himself to his room. Under the candle light, he studied his charcoal portrait of Grentz. He was the last one, the last of the men who had killed Mischa. He must avenge her. He must kill that bastard who helped to murder his sister. Blowing out the candle, he went to sleep with visions of blood and revenge in his head.

For three days he had stayed here with Evelyn, laying plans in his head of how to ensnare and lay rest to the demons that haunted his dreams. He spoke nothing of it to her, as he did not feel she needed to be exposed to the horrors of war. But she had heard stories of the Nazis’ destruction and terror, and somehow felt that he had been afflicted by their reign of terror. She saw the hollow look that sometimes overcame him.

He thought again and again of how he would dispose of Grentz. He was prepared to forgo the car, and perhaps borrow one her horses to get him to his destination. The elements could have his victim, except for a few choice cuts of meat, which would stay unspoiled due to the cold climate. He spent his days chopping wood, skinning rabbits, and playing the piano, while at night, he plotted his revenge. He kept a photo of Mischa in his wallet, which he had now placed on the table next to the bed, propped up against a copy of Hamlet. His only regret was the he was enjoying his stay, and was growing comfortable here with Evelyn. She was kind and gentle, yet seemingly unafraid of anything. He liked her spirit and her wit. He knew, however, his destiny was worlds away from hers.

When Hannibal awoke on the fourth morning of his stay, there was a hot cup of tea and warm water in the basin next to his bed. He could hear Evelyn downstairs in the kitchen. It had not been since his stay with Lady Murasaki that someone had shown such kindness to him. He savored the taste of jasmine in the tea, and quickly washed his face and hands. Dressing more casual than what he had arrived in, he made his way downstairs. Evelyn was peeling potatoes at the sink in the kitchen. Her back was facing him, and she had not heard him come down the stairs. Seeing that she was lost in her own thoughts, he slowly walked up to her. Reaching out his hand, he brushed a strand of her red hair away from her face. She nearly jumped, and cut her finger on the pairing knife she was using. Quickly, her reached for her finger and gently placed it to his lips, licking the blood away. This caught her off guard, but instead of making her fear him, she felt excited. She quickly turned her head away and reached for a towel.

“I did not mean to startle you. Please, let me look at your cut properly. I am a medical student.” She raised her hand to his, and he inspected her finger.

“It doesn’t hurt. I think I’ll be okay. And don’t worry about scaring me. I tend to get lost in my own thoughts.” She tore a piece of the towel and wrapped her finger, returning to the potatoes in the sink. Hannibal glanced out the window and noticed a large barn out back. He thought instantly of his prey and that perhaps he could hide the body here. But was the distance too long? Should he simply leave the body for the wolves? If he brought the body back here, how would he manage the distance without the car? Revenge consumed his thoughts even more the closer he came to killing the last of the men he had hunted. So close, to be set a drift by bad directions and a faulty automobile. Perhaps he would simply borrow the horse from Evelyn and be done with it sooner than he planned.

“I see that I am not the only one lost in thought. Is everything okay, Hannibal?” Her soft voice brought him back to reality. She had removed her apron, and he noticed that she was wearing a blue floral print dress that was very flattering to her figure. Perhaps he could wait another day.

“I was just noticing your barn. It is a very large structure, even for cattle and horses.”

“Father usually has a large tractor in there, but it is at the next farm down the road for repair. My brother will not even look at the thing, let alone try to fix it. Not after he witnessed the farm accident last year that killed our mother. And my father, eager to keep him happy as well as me, sent it away to be fixed rather than worry my brother. “

“Your father sounds like a good man, Evelyn. Speaking of your horses, may I borrow one tomorrow, to go and see Mr. Grentz. I’m afraid my business with him is very pressing, and I can’t wait any longer.”

“Of course, what ever you need.” There was disappointment in her voice, as she hoped he would stay longer. But this was simply wishful thinking on her part. After all, she told herself, what would an attractive foreign man want to stay here with her for? That was something that happened in one of her many books, not her real life.

The rest of the day, Evelyn stayed inside reading while Hannibal took to exploring the woods behind the farm. It was not until the sun had set that he ventured back to the house. She was already in her nightgown and robe when he returned. She was smoking a cigarette and watching the snow that was starting to fall lightly outside. She heard him enter and walk up to her. He was standing so close that she could feel his breath on the back of her neck. There was something different about him, something wild and uninhibited. She felt this would be inappropriate to most people, but she new very well she wasn’t ‘most people’. There was no one around to remind her of being a proper young lady or to control her in any way. There was only her, and the handsome stranger who was breathing softly on her skin. She glanced back to him as she took another drag on her cigarette. He removed his glove and touched her shoulder with his cold hand, running his fingers along the line of her collar bone. She shivered, but not from the cold, and exhaled the smoke from her lips. She leaned back into him as he wrapped his arm tight around her. Whispering into her ear, he took her by the hand and led her up the stairs to her bedroom.

The next morning, Evelyn awoke to find only the pillow next to her in bed. She smiled softly to herself, and rolled over. On the table next to her bed was a note.

Evelyn,

I have borrowed your strongest horse and will return later tonight.

H

All day, her thoughts ran wild with images of last night. She had only been with one man before, and never realized intimacy could feel empowering. The way he had touched her, he made her feel like a goddess. She knew he would be leaving soon, to go back to medical school, or where ever he had come from. She also knew that her father and brother would return as well, and with it, her dream would end. She took it upon herself to cook the rabbits that Hannibal had skinned, and prepare a meal for the two of them. She felt as if she was cooking a last supper, her tears adding to the sauce she was making from bacon grease and wine. Alone she sat at the table, smoking too many cigarettes, anxiously awaiting Hannibal’s return.

It was a little before midnight that she heard Hannibal out in the barn. She put on her heavy parka and boots, running out to greet him. He was hunched over beside the horse, his clothes covered in blood. She must have startled him, because the look on his face was one that she had only seen in her worst nightmares.

“Get out of here, now. Go!”

Hannibal, what happened? Are you hurt?” He looked at her again in anger, but this time she noticed something sticking out from the satchel on the back of the horse. At first, she wasn’t sure of what it was, but the more she looked, she realized it was a human scalp, the same hair color as that of Grentz.  She stood, frozen in terror. Hannibal noticed that she had seen the scalp, and quickly rose to his feet. She thought he might come at her in violence, but she stood still, not able to run.

“Evelyn, go back to the house, please. You do not need to know what has happened.” His expression had changed from anger to pain. His eyes screamed of desperation as he hunched back over, holding his arm. She knew that he wasn’t a bad person, that what ever happened was something beyond her control. Taking a deep breath, she found the courage to walk over to him, but he held his uninjured arm out to stop her.

“You killed him, didn’t you? Grentz. You killed him.” She knew that Grentz was German, and had not been in the area long. He had kept to himself, sometimes shooting intruders that entered his property unannounced. She also remembered the police asking questions about him once. She put all of these thoughts together in her mind, and it started to make sense to her. Perhaps he was a Nazi, and war criminal. It was all clear to her now. And whatever Hannibal had done, it could be no where near the horrors that Grentz may have committed. She turned away from him and walked out of the barn, to a large fire pit. She began to throw in wood and gasoline, ensuring that the fire would light quickly. She watched the blaze, her adrenaline running high. Hannibal walked out from the barn. The blood on his shirt was truly visible now. His arm seemed to be wounded by a bullet.

“What are you doing, Evelyn?”

“You will need to burn your clothes, and any other evidence from tonight. If the police come asking questions about Grentz, they will surely ask you, being a stranger here. Please, you must burn everything.”

He was standing beside her now, and he reached out his hand to caress her face. She placed her hand on his, closing her eyes.

“Why?”

“Because what ever you have done, he has done worse. I’m not ignorant, Hannibal. I know what happened during the war.” She placed her right hand over the wound on his left arm. Their eyes fixed on one another’s; she took the knife from his belt and plunged it into his wound, removing the bullet. Neither screamed, but stayed locked on each others’ gaze. She walked to the barn and returned to the fire with a heavy riding blanket, and wrapped him in it as he removed his clothes to be burned. He drew her close to his naked body, and under the blanket, her held her. Together, they watched the fire burn.