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No Images by Rev. Anna
Summary: What does it take to make a tough cookie crumble? Diana Fowley vignette inspired by the Harem MUFON discussion.

Title: No Images
Author: Rev.Anna send feedback to
Classification: V
Rating: PG-13 for a four letter word here and there
Keywords: Diana Fowley
Spoilers: Nisei/Momento Mori, Amor Fati
Disclaimer: Diana Fowley, Dana Scully, CGB Spender
and Fox Mulder belong to 1013 Productions.
Summary: What does it take to make a tough cookie

No Images
by Rev. Anna

Diana Fowley stepped into her dark and empty apartment
and let the door slam behind her, unsuccessfully
trying to shut out the sound of Dana Scully's voice
from earlier today.

"I just want you to think. Think of Mulder when you
met him. Think of the promise and the life in front
of him. Think of him now. And then try and stand
there in front of me, look me in the eye and tell me
Mulder wouldn't bust his ass trying to save you."

"Fuck you, Scully," Diana swore as she pulled the
small keycard from her jacket pocket and fingered it.
"I've been worked over by experts and I haven't caved

Closing her eyes she tried hard to forget the
forgiveness she had unexpectedly found in Mulder's
eyes when she spoke to him.

"I know you know about me -- that my loyalties aren't
just to you."

She put the card back in her pocket and tried turning
her mind off by sorting through the evening mail. No
such luck. With a tired sigh she noted there were
five new letters with the return addresses of MUFON
women on them. She should have stopped accepting them
when she joined Spender's ranks.

She threw the letters immediately into the bottom left
hand drawer with at least a hundred others, but
instead of closing it she stood there staring at the
pile of unopened letters. She should have had them
returned to sender except the senders were probably
all in heaven or soon would be.

Why was she holding on to them? She never opened them
anymore. She didn't have to. One glance at the
return addresses told her she already knew what was in

Thank you.

You're a real ally.


But here she was, years later, still accepting them

"Stop being sentimental, you stupid idiot," she swore
under her breath. She sucked her teeth and placed the
waste basket in front of her. She dipped her hands
into the mound of envelopes and sent the first batch
tumbling down into the can at her feet like huge
pieces of multicolored confetti.

Handful followed handful. She wondered if she were
ever going to get to the bottom of the drawer. She
had to be close as the envelopes she was tossing were
open now. Could she even remember the last time she
read one?

Actually she could. And she knew which one it was
too. Where was it?

She dropped to her knees and began to search among the
envelopes still in the drawer. Her heart was in her
throat as she reached envelope after envelope but
still didn't find it.

Then she saw it. A small blue envelope with African
postage in one corner and Ruth Washington's name in
the other. Ruth was the sole black member of the
MUFON group in Pennsylvania.

Diana's knees wobbled as she dropped the letters she
was holding and retrieved it. An old ache settled on
her chest and she found it hard to breathe, but she
took the tattered piece of paper out of its blue
resting place. She could feel the fresh sting of
tears in her eyes just as she had the first time she
read it: June 1, 1997.

Her eyes slowly scanned the words of the poem by
Langston Hughes.

No Images

She does not know
Her beauty,
She thinks her brown body
Has no glory.

If she could dance,
Under palm trees
And see her image in the river
She would know.

But there are no palm trees
On the street
And dishwater gives back no images.

Swallowing hard, Diana turned it over and read the
letter on the back:

Dear Diana,

I am sending you a copy of Langston Hughes' poem, No
Images. When I first read it I couldn't relate to it.
I knew it was speaking truthfully about my mother's
and my grandmother's experiences as black women of the
1930's and 1950's. For them the dishwater was
literal. They were both domestics. Neither was
ashamed of their work or their race and often bragged
with great pride on both. My mom spent her life
getting dishpan hands so my sister and I could
graduate from college and get a little bit closer to
the American dream denied to her.

After my conversations with you, I rediscovered No
Images. It helped me put my abductee experience in
perspective. The things these fiends did to me have
kept me from seeing my beauty and my glory. They've
kept me from finding the palm trees and the rivers
where I can see my real self. This poem, Penny, the
other women and your understanding have made my
family's derision and disgust about my experiences a
little easier to take. Thank God for MUFON and you.

Anyway, I'm writing to you now because my cancer has
metastasized and I might have half a year left. My
family has surprised me with a wonderful gift.
They're sending me to the Ivory Coast where I will
spend my last days on this earth under African palm
trees and beside African rivers rediscovering the
image of myself I was always meant to have.

I'll probably be dead when you read this. But I don't
want you to mourn. I want you to celebrate. I will
have danced under African palm trees knowing my beauty
and gazed at my reflection in African rivers enjoying
my glory.

Thanks so much for being someone who not only
understood, but who cared.

Ruth Washington
April 1, 1997

"Damn you Ruth!" Diana shouted, glaring at the letters
open and unopened which lay strewn on the floor around
her. "Damn all of you to hell! I'm not that woman
any more. Look how I've treated the X-Files since
I've been back on them. Look at what I'm letting
Spender do to Mulder now."

She crumpled the letter against her chest and angrily
pounded her fists against the desk as once again she
found herself assaulted by Scully's words.

"I just want you to think. Think of Mulder when you
met him. Think of the promise and the life in front
of him. Think of him now. And then try and stand
there in front of me, look me in the eye and tell me
Mulder wouldn't bust his ass trying to save you."

"You wasted your breath, Scully. If I were still that
woman I'd be moving heaven and earth to help you find
Mulder. If I were still that woman I'd give you this
keycard and tell you to go save him while there's
still time. If I were still that woman I would. But
I'm not!"

She opened her fist and let the letter fall to the
desk. It landed with the poem face up. Her eyes
rested on the last line.

And dishwater gives back no images.

"If dishwater gives back no images why can't these
letters do the same?" she moaned.

She didn't want to see the image Ruth's letter and all
these other letters portrayed of her. The image of a
Diana Fowley who eagerly uncovered the truth through
the X-Files, who happily stood in solidarity with
these women and honestly earned their trust and
gratitude, who deeply and freely gave herself body and
soul to Fox Mulder and who lovingly let him give
himself to her.

An image of herself which deep down inside she wanted
to believe was true, and perhaps tonight, for the
first time in a long time, had to admit she couldn't
live without. Why else had she kept these letters
after all these years?

"I'm not that woman anymore," she said sadly, pulling
the keycard from her pocket and looking at it hard.

"Am I?"