But the face on the pillow, rosy in the firelight, is certainly that of Clarice Starling, and she sleeps deeply, sweetly, in the silence of the lambs. She no longer tosses and turns with intensity, matching the screams of her sweet little lambs. Tonight, they will leave her alone with pleasant dreams.
Clarice Starling no longer hears the screams of Jame Gumb’s victims, begging for justice and resolution. Their hands no longer claw at her from the river and the ground, pulling her down into the darkness. Clarice no longer has to stare into the eyes of his latest victim with tiny moths flying from her mouth. She no longer screams for help, for anyone to come and pull her from the ever encompassing dark.
Clarice Starling no longer hears the screams of Catherine Martin. She doesn’t hear her cry or scream for Clarice to pull her up from the dark hole that Jame Gumb left her in, scared and alone. Clarice no longer feels the crushing guilt she felt for leaving her there for only a few moments. Most of all, Clarice Starling no longer feels the burden of Catherine Martin on her shoulders, weighing her down like an anchor to a ship.
Clarice Starling no longer hears the screams of the lambs from her childhood. She does not revisits the memory of sneaking out to the barn and watching them scream like a young child frightened. She does not watch the butcher slice them down one by one and take off into the night, knowing she can do nothing to help them. For now, the lambs leave Clarice to her own sweet dreams.
Clarice Starling no longer hears her own screams. She no longer hears her own mournful screams for her father, the dead night watchman. She no longer beg for him to not leave her alone in this cruel world. She no longer hears her own screams for the lambs on the farm, wishing for a way to save them. She no longer hears her own screams for justice and the truth, always denied to her. The dark no longer threatens to overwhelm Clarice Starling.
Her sleep will be peaceful for the moment. The Lambs will come back screaming; they always do.
Author’s Note: The first line belongs to Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs. I couldn’t help writing something about Clarice Starling especially when I consider her one of my favorite characters of all time.