Some Weird Sin
Disclaimer and some such:
I do not have the rights to use any characters
officially associated with The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen
television series. I am using these characters without the
permission of FOX, 1013 Productions, Chris Carter, or
any other copyright owners. Of course, this is intended for
[non-profit] entertainment only, and no
infringement on copyrights or trademarks
was intended by the author.
Any similarities to people, places, and other works of
fanfiction are purely coincidental.
All other characters not officially associated with
The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen (including, but not limited to,
Smithee and Ellroy) are property of the author
and should not be recycled into another story without
No animals were harmed during the making of this fanfic,
except for two mosquitoes and one waterbug.
Cost of coffee drunk while writing this: $15.82
Cost of paper used to print out draft copies: $2.38
Cost of Anne Hawley's beta-reading skills: PRICELESS
The 'present' of this story takes place a few years
before The Lone Gunmen series timeline.
* * *
No one answers when I knock. I press against
the door, and it opens with a yielding creak.
Good old Nebraska. It feels weird - after so many
years of quadruple padlocked doors, monitored
entrances, secret passwords - to walk into a
place with so little effort.
But it's not really that easy. I almost
have to force myself to walk,
to put one foot in front of the other.
The house is small and dirty. Not messy,
like our warehouse. Just . . . dirty.
I mean, our place is littered with crap,
but it's a pretty spotless chaos; dirt and mildew
screw up the equipment and we can't afford to
get anything fixed, so we just keep it clean.
But everything here looks like it's varnished
in grime. The kind that doesn't scrub
away without a fight.
I don't want to look at anything, so I stare
at my feet and follow the logical flow of
the house. Standard low-income tract housing.
We've done B&E jobs on types like this
before - always in the name of truth, justice,
and the American way. Of course.
My father's room is in the back; I don't know
what I expect when I open his door. For
some reason, this image pops into my head from a D&D
campaign that opened with, "You have never
been here before, but somehow you know where
you are going. You walk into a room, filled
with the sound of water running down cold
stone. The room is dark, but just enough
moonlight spills through the narrow windows
for you to see that the figure lying in the
bed in front of you is no longer in this world."
Not quite. But what I wouldn't give for this
to be just a part of some roleplaying
game that I could stop whenever I wanted.
I hover in the doorway. The room is practically
barren. A musty pool of sunlight seeps
through blinds. It smells tainted, like
fermenting hay. There's only a bed, pushed
up against one of the walls, and a chair,
a garbage can.
I blink. Something's wrong: The bed is empty.
I don't even have to turn around. "Ellroy.
Where is he?"
"Elgin East. We had to take him there last
night, after . . ." Ellroy sounds like
he doesn't want to go into detail.
"The doctors tried some last ditch injections, and
he's been stable for about six hours, but . . ." he
trails off again. Good; more details I don't want to hear.
"Your hair got long," he finally says.
"It's been ten years." I turn around. "Yours got short."
Ellroy half-smiles. "Well, it has been ten years."
And at the exact moment I reach out to shake his
hand, he steps forward to hug me - and I end up
hitting him squarely in the stomach, hard,
with my outstretched fingers.
"Welcome home, Richard," he gasps, rubbing his chest.
* * *