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.
* * *
"They turned our farm into a strip mall?!"
I lean against the hood of the car, cross my arms.
Barnes and Nobles. Virgin. The Gap. CompUSA.
Body Shop. It's endless and tacky, concrete, ugly
hicks and their ugly hick kids swarming all over.
All over my dad's farm. I remember smug
Suit Man, whipping a pen out of thin air.
Fuck you, man, I hope you stab
yourself with that pen.
"A strip mall." I repeat slowly. "They're
turning Saltville into a commercial penitentiary."
"Already happened, Ringo."
And I wince at the sound of my nickname.
No one's called me that, so casually, in years.
"We thought you were boycotting the funeral," Ellroy
said after a while. "I called everyone in DC to
let you know, and when I didn't hear from you, I
figured it was out of some conscious decision.
And honestly? That really made me furious.
I thought, if you wanted to miss your own mother's
funeral, that was your damn issue. I wasn't going
to chase you about it."
"Yeah, well, did you ever think that maybe I didn't know?"
It doesn't take much effort to figure it out: Smithee
and I stopped talking after I drove him out
of business with LanglyVision. I just remember
trying to stay out of his way for a long time
after that - him and his friends, all of
whom could beat the living crap out
of me if they'd ever wanted to.
All the people Ellroy would've called.
Whether they deliberately withheld the
information, or just never saw me - I don't dwell
on that. And anyway, it doesn't matter any more.
"I don't know what to say," Ellroy inhales slowly.
"I'm real sorry."
And he does look sorry. A part of me wants to
tell him I understand, he did what
he felt he had to do. But the
part of me that really doesn't understand - by
far, the vast majority - wants to grab
him by the balls and scream really
loudly, "Who gave you the fucking
right? She was MY mother!"
My mother. It's been sixteen years since I've
spoken to her, or seen her for
more than a second. I used to hope - whether
or not I really believed it - that
sixteen years was a surmountable passage
of time, something that could be mended
together with the right amount of
reconciliation and understanding. I dealt with
not having her for sixteen years, if
only because I assumed when I got her back,
we'd have longer than that to make up for it.
Suddenly it's a life sentence.
Sixteen. Thirty-two. Forty-eight. Sixty-four.
Eighty. Ninety-six. Ninety-six times sixteen is
sixteen is twenty-four-thousand-five-hundred-
and-seventy-six times sixteen is
hundred-and-sixteen times sixteen is -
Too. Fucking. Late.
I have to find a way to pretend it doesn't
matter anymore. But I feel tears
welling up again. I hastily wipe
them away. It's useless, crying over spilled
milk - it won't change anything.
"I saw her in DC," I say, shaky. "I used to go see
her every week, for a while. Not, you know,
talk to her - I just watched her. When I stopped
seeing her I thought she moved . . ." What
I don't add is that I thought she'd moved back to
Saltville, to live with Ellroy. I hadn't
had the energy to track her down again;
I wasn't sure I'd wanted to. Now
the choice is taken away from me.
Ellroy's silent for a minute. Then he
says, "Come on, let's go. They're bastards
about letting people in past visiting hours."
* * *