Red Dragon. Thomas Harris. Chapter 24. [Excerpt.]
Molly was gone.
The day was over and there was only the night to face, and the lipless voice accusing him.
Lounds’s woman held what was left of his hand until it was over.
“Hello, this is Valerie Leeds. I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone right now …”
“I’m sorry too,” Graham said.
Graham filled his glass again and sat at the table by the window,
staring at the empty chair across from him. He stared until the space in
the opposite chair assumed a man-shape filled with dark and swarming
motes, a presence like a shadow on suspended dust. He tried to make the
image coalesce, to see a face. It would not move, had no countenance
but, faceless, faced him with palpable attention.
“I know it’s tough,” Graham said. He was intensely drunk. “You’ve got to
try to stop, just hold off until we find you. If you’ve got to do
something, fuck, come after me. I don’t give a shit. It’ll be better
after that. They’ve got some things now to help you make it stop. To
help you stop wanting to so bad. Help me. Help me a little. Molly’s
gone, old Freddy’s dead. It’s you and me now, sport.” He leaned across
the table, his hand extended to touch, and the presence was gone.
Graham put his head down on the table, his cheek on his arm. He could
see the print of his forehead, nose, mouth, and chin on the window as
the lightning flashed behind it; a face with drops crawling through it
down the glass. Eyeless. A face full of rain.
Graham had tried hard to understand the Dragon.
At times, in the breathing silence of the victims’ houses, the very spaces the Dragon had moved through tried to speak.
Sometimes Graham felt close to him. A feeling he remembered from other
investigations had settled over him in recent days: the taunting sense
that he and the Dragon were doing the same things at various times of
the day, that there were parallels in the quotidian details of their
lives. Somewhere the Dragon was eating, or showering, or sleeping at the
same time he did.
Graham tried hard to know him. He tried to see him past the blinding
glint of slides and vials, beneath the lines of police reports, tried to
see his face through the louvers of print. He tried as hard as he knew
But to begin to understand the dragon, to hear the cold drips in his
darkness, to watch the world through his red haze, Graham would have had
to see things he could never see, and he would have had to fly through