The Lambs of the Silence
FBI special agent Starling knocked on the door, another routine dead end to be sure. There was no answer so he rang the bell; this triggered a shrill electric bell deep in the dungeon where Catherine Martin lay helpless, deep inside an earthen hole. Jane Gumb considered her reflection in the mirror as she unlocked the door, surely it was some sort of zoning officer, here to complain about the lawn once again, but just in case, she laid her python on the stove and felt a wave of giddy energy wash over her. The python might get a bite today.
"FBI agent Starling," he said and flashed a badge at the door, "I'm looking for someone...a Ms. Jane Gumb"
This struck Gumb as funny, so she snickered quietly and unhooked the chain on the door.
"Jane moved out, but I think I have an address," she said, "can I offer you something...cold to drink?"
"No thanks," he said. There on the window a massive moth fluttered; a death's head moth. Starling felt his pulse quicken and the blood drain from his face. He unsnapped the holster of his duty weapon. Shit, I'm here alone and nobody knows where I am. His Smith & Wesson model 13 held only six rounds, but he was in the habit of carrying two dump pouches. This isn't enough ammo. It was her, he knew it.