Dinner at Dido's
Dinner at Dido's is a story written and illustrated by Iron Eater. It ran in Yes, And 2 at http://s2b2.livejournal.com/283160.html, and is mirrored at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/dinner-at-didos/.
The enigmatic Dr. Dido Fell has a few old friends for dinner.
"It's good to see you again," said Reese, fidgeting in his shoes. They were new, and pinched his feet. No amount of government pay had broken him of the habit of buying cheap ones.
Mina allowed her eyes to smile. "The same," she said. They touched gloved fingers, chaste as a grade school dance. "It's been...two months? Three?"
"At least three," he agreed. He rubbed at his ears; they were already nipped pink. "It'd have to be three, since it was before Halloween. She called me sentimental when I asked if she was going to have a little holiday party. I don't think it was too unreasonable to ask about it." A twinge of hurt was in his voice.
"Yes." Mina tightened the scarf wrapped around the lower half of her face. Only her eyes and the bridge of her nose peeked out from beneath it, and it muffled her voice; the weave was loose enough that she could breathe through it, making it look as though she were smoking through the knit yarn. "She can be difficult sometimes, you know?"
Reese let almost half a minute pass before adding, "Not that it changes anything." He held one of Mina's fingers between two of his own for a moment, then released it. "I'll probably forget all about it in an hour, but you know how it is. It's been a really bad autumn for me."
Mina nodded. "I missed her, too."
This story is pretty weird and the author is not ashamed at all of that.
Dinner at Dido's is probably one of the weirder approaches to Thomas Harris Rule 63 fanfic out there, but given how creative fans of the NBC show can be, that's hardly a given. It takes cues from the show, Red Dragon (and Manhunter, less so the Edward Norton movie), The Silence of the Lambs (and the movie by the same name), and Hannibal (and bits of that movie, too), pretends Hannibal Rising never happened, and is generally a lot more cheerful than one would expect given the subject matter.
Dinner at Dido's has no related links.
This was a hell of a story to write! It started off as a silly idea, later on became a blood oath due to jokingly promising another contributor it'd be Yes, And Issue fodder months ahead of the due date, spent ages not really going anywhere, almost got written off as a failed idea, then clicked in place after the first draft of the first three segments was written and discussed with my first beta before he went on vacation. This was Saturday night before the text deadline; a little writing happened in the wee hours of the same day, but Sunday was more or less a wash. Monday and Tuesday, however, saw a torrent of wrist-straining activity (and amazing speedy feedback from my second beta reader) and the manuscript turned in an hour before midnight Pacific. At the time of this writing my right arm is still kind of sore.
I'd read the books years ago and, lacking copies on hand, had to nose around in various wiki articles to remember certain details, as well as reading through the screenplay to Manhunter for certain stylistic notes, some of which ended up abandoned. The ending of the book version of Hannibal is pretty patently ridiculous, but did serve as the inspiration for the "let's all fuck off to Argentina" plot point, and for that I'm thankful.
For readers unfamiliar with the works referenced, Dr. Dido Fell is a...version...of Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Dido being the founder of Hannibal's homeland of Carthage, and "Fell" being a pseudonym Dr. Lecter uses when hiding out in Italy), Wilhelmina Kellogg is a Rule 63 of Will Graham (assuming he meets the rather bad end in store for him at the end of Red Dragon, sans having a family), and Reese Finch is a Rule 63 of Clarice Starling (embroiled in the unfortunate business at the start of Hannibal). Reese Finch is probably not related to Scout Finch, daughter of Atticus; I considered mentioning something along these lines, and ultimately discarded it since it felt a little too cutesy. Fun to think about, though! Reese isn't quite at his best here; the character is 100% less of a weiner when not pancaked from legal nightmares, and is also good at puzzles, though he doesn't get to show this off in the story.
The "Bogeyman" is this universe's version of Francis "The Tooth Fairy/The Great Red Dragon" Dolarhyde, while "Indrid Pleasant" is this universe's Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb; the latter's name is a reference to the Mothman sightings in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, due to Gumb's calling card and because terrible jokes are the best jokes.
This was my first time using false documents in an S2B2 submission and it was really pretty fun! My days honing my writing on MUDs mean once I figure out a character voice I can usually bring forth lots and lots and lots of dialogue in said voice, to the extent my earlier stories had to be trimmed down quite a bit since they suffered from being almost nothing but. Cindy Jackson is based on Jack Crawford, while Thomas Park isn't really based on anybody. Project Delphi Green was originally simply "Project Delphi" since they relied on it for advice, but this both was the actual name of a few things and a bit too pedestrian; adding the "Green" descriptor both made it feel a bit more conspiracy-themed and gave a nod towards Delta Green, a Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG setting which involves modern-day agents dealing with unspeakable Things. The Bureau is the Federal Bureau of Intelligence, but the FBI doesn't use supernatural assistance on cases, so it's all a work of fiction. Right?
Dr. Fell and the kittens are very satisfying to write, and while I'm unsure if they'll return for a later S2B2 story, I might do little side pieces at some point. If I do they'll get linked up in the appropriate section.
And at the end of the day nobody was eaten. Probably. Best not to ask about it.
- fairyninjas.wordpress.com: "Weiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrd."