Reader. Writer. Romantic.

A tribute to Hannibal

The scent of rotting carcasses filled the air as I stood amidst them. It was glorious, beautiful, an expression of my unrecognized talent. In life they were nothing. They were only common folk, but in death I elevated them to art. I carefully made sure that each actor and actress was in his or her place, taking care not to leave any evidence behind.

Art was not merely a visual experience, not art was a visceral response, an auditory response, a full sensory response. I would make it so. Looking at the bodies entertwined, becoming one as the flowers bloomed around them was overwhelming. After months of cultivation, my garden was almost done. All it needed were some guests, music and food. I would take care of all that soon.

The smell of rotting carcasses was a bit off putting, but it was the price I had to pay for such genius. I looked around and wondered if he would be among the police to see and hear my serenade to him. I loved him, but he didn’t know me. I wasn’t important. Expendable even. But that didn’t matter. Not anymore. I just wanted him to know. To know this was all for him.

I went inside the truck and brought out prosciutto roses made from human leg cured for eight months, heart tartar, flamingo tongue, foie gras among other delicacies. I carefully arranged them on the table I had set in on the carcass cobblestone I had created. I put some flowers in a vase, poured some wine.

I hoped the FBI agents would show up. They would be a lovely addition to my art piece. The final touch to this masterpiece. They were the guests of honour.

*******************************************************************************************************

From my hiding place I watched them come. Come to see their colleagues dead and set into my masterpiece. A soft breeze floated through and the scent of the garden and carcasses mingled and I saw him lean in to inspect the food. I saw a small smile creep onto his face and it was satisfaction enough. I carefully snuck away. Until I could no longer hear the music and then I ran. I ran without stopping. Almost forgetting to breathe. I just kept going. The only thing on my mind was to get home. To destroy all the evidence there.

They would never find me, but I had to make sure. I would burn it all. Burn everything down.

And disappear.

I knew it was going to be hard. But this was my final masterpiece, it had to be overwhelming.

All the work I had put into it, it had drained me. All I could think about was laying down somewhere to sleep. Just to close my eyes and drift away.

But no. Not before my work was done. I still had lots to do. There was no time to be thinking about sleeping.

But I was so tired. It was so easy just to forget all my obligations. To forget all the demands I had on me. It was so easy to say good bye as there was no one left.

I wanted him to know what I had done for him. I couldn’t destroy everything yet. The fire would bring me too much attention. I had to see him first. To let him know. And then say good bye.

*********************************************************************************************************

“Good evening,” he greeted me, “Please come in, Miss Carter.”

“Thank you, Dr. Lecter,” I smiled.

Once the door was securely closed behind me. I took a seat, a deep breath and began.

I spilled to him my story, recounted every last detail, studying his face as I told him.

“They’ll catch you,” he commented.

I shook my head, “You don’t understand. They won’t catch me. There’s nothing there to incriminate me.”

“But I have the obligation to inform the police,” he said.

I smiled, “Not if you value your secret. I know. I’ve seen you work. And with great finesse. I admire you. It was my serenade. My good bye.”

He smiled and thanked me, not quite understanding the crazy person before him.

“I’m sure you’ve had fans. Imitators, people so willing to claim credit to your work,” I said, “I didn’t want to do that. It would have been an insult to your talent. I hope you enjoyed a taste of my work, but I’m going to sleep now and I don’t think I shall ever wake.”

“Would you like some help?” he offered.

I crinkled my nose, “Would I be imposing?”

He shook his head, “Let us create one final masterpiece. Your greatest masterpiece.”

************************************************************************************************************

“This will help,” he said, injecting something into my blood stream.

“What is it?” I mumbled.

“A sedative,” he answered cryptically.

“Thank you,” I said.

I felt myself drifting off.

“Don’t forget the fire,” I mumbled one last time.

I saw him nod as my eyes closed.

***********************************************************************************************************

They found me just the way he left me. On the kitchen table carved up like a roast. The table was set for two. Candles and roses adorned the charred table and the sweet scent of lilacs filled the room. He had come back after to set it just the way I had asked. A soft melody greeted the crime scene processing team. He was with them and did so well to keep that smile off his face, but this was his masterpiece too.

Our masterpiece.

Something we were both proud to call our own. I would never forget him. And I know that he would never forget me.

 

Prompt: The scent of rotting carcasses filled the air.

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