Hannibal Lecter at Christmas

Dear Clarice

Christmas? Thank you so much for inviting me to answer that question. After the turbid passage of a year, is it not a season when the confluence of rich cinammon and the unguent of fresh, abdominal sweat, paint the palate with desire? I have laid the table with lacteous satin, with chylous damask. Perhaps you do not share my admiration for the tiny pink flecks which decorate its edges, here in my personal laniary, my private shambles. No? Then tu proverai si come sa di sale lo pane altrui, as Dante advises. Our own language provides only for the difference between meat and poison. How much subtler the distinction between salt and bread.

Now let us proceed with the festivities, Clarice. Sit down with me, and partake.

On Christmas night, I shall breathe in, ingest the sanguinary delights of the meal I have created. A decorous number with a passionate pancreas and melted cream upon a thick thymus gland. Lead, kindly lights. I shall be dining with an angel, listening to a warm Gregorian chant as I spoon the goo through a pair of gravid lips. It suppurates upon the silver dish. It is in my mouth as honey for sweetness, in honour of Ezekiel, the softest of the prophets.

But first I must prepare. Listen. The serrated edge creating each cicatrice, and the deliquescent, slithery texture of the fingers as they move over the semi-gelatinous surface, these are sensations you would die for. Yes, you would. I let my tongue linger over the tips of all six fingers. Are we not all so tempted? Whether a doge or a duchess or southern white trash raised on cornbread and molasses, do we not all of us dunk? Even you, Special Agent Starling. The marsala trickles into the pan. Mmmmm.

The English are crazy about Delia. They see her holding an egg, caressing it, one button of her richly floral shirt exposing her throat. They stare into her olive eyes, and imagine pressing their tongues against her fleshy lips. They see her bracelet, dangling at an angle. But they are fools. They do not see the inner Delia, as I do now, pert and flirtatious upon my fork. Her beatification is complete. Every last single sliver.

From The Independent