Disclaimer: This is a work of fan-fiction. I do not own any of the characters in this story, as it was inspired by the movie: The Silence of the Lambs.
Warning: Contains some gore.
Dear Clarice, I'm going to kill you. Hannibal scrawled this brief message in crimson ink.
A new year had just begun, but Hannibal was penning his final resolution—in the form of a challenge. He signed the letter, H. Lecter, then followed with a post script. Bring your lambs to the place where it all began.
The letter was placed carefully in an envelope, addressed to Bo Peep, Behavioral Science Department, 935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. Hannibal gave a small chuckle. Clarice knew him well. The government dogs would be baying at his doorstep by tomorrow, and Clarice would be leading the pack.
Hannibal adjusted his mask, pulling it back over his nostrils, before placing the letter in the nurse's hand. "Thank you for your service on the front line," he said. "You are truly Baltimore's finest."
Hannibal closed the nurse's fingers around the letter, and rested her hand upon her unmoving chest. "You'll pardon me, Miss, for my lack of social distance," said Hannibal. "But you're eyes will dry out if you leave them like that." Hannibal gently closed the nurse's wide eyes. "And you should have that throat looked at," Hannibal gestured at the bloody gash across the nurse's neck. "It could be serious."
Hannibal used a cane to regain his footing. His knees and back ached after the struggle with the nurse. In moments like these he remembered his age. He was now an old man. His hands were shriveled, his fingers crooked, and the nasty cough that he'd carried for years was worsening. A hundred prison fights, and three bouts with Hepatitis, nothing had been able to finish him. However, yesterday his grim reaper had finally revealed its shadowy form. He'd tested positive for Covid-19.
Hannibal's breath was shorter than usual, but he would not die on a ventilator. He would not go gentle into that good night. Not without tying up the loose ends.
Hannibal left through the side entrance of the nursing home, nodding at the security camera as he passed. The bureau would send Clarice to terminate him. Time was short, but he would be ready. His only fear was that she would be too late.
The next day Clarice came knocking on his door. Or rather, her SWAT team flattened it. The house was surrounded. However, Clarice entered alone. She edged into the parlor, trailing behind the barrel of her Glock.
Hannibal greeted her with smile, but didn't stand. He was just getting to the good part.
The grand piano had belonged to Anne, and it had once been treated like a precious gem. However, the years had not been kind to it. Some of its ivory keys fell flat when Hannibal pressed them. He had quickly noted which were the dead keys, and played them forte.
Hannibal finished the last bar of the Moonlight Sonata, then gently lifted his hands from the keys and placed them in his lap. He stood and gave a small bow. "Good evening, Clarice."
"Why did you do it, you fucker?" she asked.
Hannibal straightened himself. "You're a tough crowd?" he said. "I'm no Beethoven, but surely it wasn't that bad."
The barrel of the gun entered the ring of lamplight; it was trained on Hannibal's face. "It's been thirty years since you've killed. Why now?"
"I needed resolution," said Hannibal. "You have your lambs, Clarice. While I have a melody. A melody that can only be resolved with blood.”
“You’re mad,” said Clarice.
Hannibal chuckled. “You’re just now figuring that out?”
Clarice gestured at the door. “We can do this one of two ways,” she said.
Clarice wore a full-faced mask. A standard procedure in the event that tear gas was necessary. Therefore, she had not noticed the scent of kerosene that filled the air.
"My, my, Clarice, you have only gotten more impatient with time." Hannibal clicked his tongue. "That's how you greet an old ally? How many cases have we worked together on since I turned myself in, twenty? I've helped you climb those marble steps. The least you could do is chat with this old man for a few moments. What's the harm?"
"Harm?” Clarice shook her head. “You were placed in the Sunset Acres facility due to your years of good behavior and cooperation. You won’t fool me twice.”
Hannibal sighed. "It's a shame about Olivia. She was a kind woman, good nurse too. Sorry it had to end like that."
"I'll bet you are," said Clarice. "Now turn around and put your hands behind your back!"
"Agent Starling, look at me." Hannibal laughed. “These old bones couldn't put up a fight, even if they wanted to. Can't we just chat for a few minutes before I am put down?"
"I am dying," said Hannibal. "The doctor gave me the news yesterday. Told me to get my affairs in order."
"Wish I could say I'm sorry to hear that," said Clarice. Her voice was cold, but the muzzle of her pistol lowered slightly.
"I had to stop by and visit my wife one last time." Hannibal gently stroked the mahogany piano. Anne is buried in Green Mount Cemetery, but her spirit is still here, sitting at this piano."
"She was a concert pianist, wasn't she," said Clarice.
"Ah, you've done your research agent Starling," said Hannibal. "Yes, my Anne was gifted.” He smiled. “And forever obsessed with Beethoven. When I proposed, she wouldn’t accept until I had learned to play the Moonlight Sonata.” Hannibal gently closed the fallboard of the grand piano, throwing the keys into eternal darkness. He sighed. "Anne was my first patient when I set up my practice in Baltimore."
Clarice lowered her gun slightly. "I looked into your wife's death before I first met you," said Clarice. "It was a kidnapping case."
"That is correct," said Hannibal. He picked up the smoldering cigar from the piano stool and took a heavy draw. "They were organ traffickers. And I killed all of them. Then I ate the boss's chewy heart raw." He blew a smoke ring, and it faded into the shadows.
"And you have used your wife's murder to justify the slaughter of innocent people ever since," said Clarice.
"That is also correct," Agent Starling, said Hannibal. "I'm sure you know my psychological profile better than anyone. It should be obvious why I kill.”
"And why do you kill innocent people?" asked Clarice.
"Because it amuses me," Agent Starling. "And it resolves the melody in my head."
"Melody?" asked Clarice.
“Your demons sound like lambs being slaughtered,” said Hannibal. “My demons are not as primal as yours; they simply sound like an unresolved melody. The Moonlight Sonata plays in an endless loop in my mind, Clarice. And blood is the only thing that can silence the roar.”
Hannibal tossed his cigar into the darkness, and a wall of flame leapt up around them.
Clarice was caught off guard when Hannibal attacked her. The gun was knocked away. And then they were on the floor, clawing and grasping.
Clarice's finger was in Hannibal's mouth, and she scratched at his eyes with her other hand, until she freed herself. Freed what remained of her.
Her bloody finger remained behind Hannibal's mouth, which he chewed, then swallowed.
“Better than I'd ever imagined.” Hannibal smiled, the blood dripping down his chin. It was exhilarating, the melody in his head was silent, and his mind was a complete blank. How many years had it been since he’d felt this way... He would go for her throat next.
The Glock sounded over the roaring of the fire, and Hannibal felt something hit him in the chest. He was broken from his reverie, and looked at the large hole in the front of his shirt. Then he looked at Clarice who was holding her gun with unsteady hands, her trigger finger now only a nub.
Hannibal felt himself falling. The fiery world around him faded. The heat was gone as well. As he lay crumpled on the floor, he felt nothing. Except a towering rage. The Moonlight Sonata boomed in his ears, then stopped. Then started again. Looping over and over again, forever without resolution. His anger was still seething, when the last of the light died.