|08/09/13||1st Issue Special #3||Batman: Terrible Sadness||(Blog) (Forum)||Disclaimer|
|Rating||Rating Explanation||Last Issue:|
|M||For gun violence.||Flash Color Me Humiliated|
Gotham City, May 16, 1927
A man and woman strolled arm-in-arm through the affluent Park Row neighborhood, a young boy hopping back-and-forth before them, gesturing excitedly, as he told them his favorite parts of the movie they had just seen- The Bat. “…And the teeth that went warglhargawarlh, wiggling everywhere when he talked!” He giggled as he waggled his fingers in front of his mouth, imitating the teeth on The Bat’s rubber mask. “And the cape, and the mask with the big bat ears! And the way he stole the money, but only from the other badguys! And…” the boy shuddered, “…the way he killed them. Oo, he was scary.”
His mother raised an eyebrow and smiled at him knowingly, as they turned down the alley to go to their car on the next street. “Scared you, did it?” She winked at her husband, and he chuckled back.
“Oh, yeah,” the boy replied, spinning in front of his parents as they walked. “I mean, he had that...” Mid-spin, he bumped into a man in the alley, and finished with “…gun,” as he stumbled backwards.
The man he had bumped into gave him an overexaggerated smile, full of yellow teeth, and said, “Heyyy, kid.” He then pulled a gun from his belt and asked, “Did it look like this?”
The boy’s eyes grew wide, and his father yelled, “Bruce!”
“He’ll be doin’ just fine, if you hand over your wallet. Make it quick!”
“Thomas?” said the woman, a bit frightened.
Thomas put one hand on his wife’s arm, while reaching for the wallet in his inside coat pocket. “Fine,” he assured the gunman. “Take it. Nobody wants any trouble.”
“I’ll take that watch too, while you’re at it,” he demanded, licking his lips in anticipation.
“Fine. No problem,” said Bruce’s father, without hesitation.
Looking at Bruce’s mother, he added, “The pearls too, lady. Hand ‘em over.”
“Oh!” declared the woman, her hands instinctively covering her necklace.
Her hands shook. Looking at her husband nervously, she said, “Thomas?”
“Give him your pearls, Martha.”
“Now, lady!” The man jumped at her impatiently, grabbing for the pearls, knocking Bruce down in his haste, and then everything happened at once. Martha screamed, Thomas lunged for the gunman, the pearls snapped and clattered on the pavement, and then there was a thunderclap.
Martha stiffened in fear, and Thomas teetered between her and the gunman, who was now muttering, “Nonononononono…”
Thomas gripped his chest, looked down haltingly at the blood that seeped between his fingers, and then over the gunman’s shoulder at Bruce, who just stared in wide-eyed horror. He tried to turn to look at Martha, but collapsed.
Martha still stood ramrod straight, looking down at her dead husband, her arms moving stiffly at the elbows, in time with her shocked gasps, which were rapidly increasing to hyperventilation.
The gunman was frantic now, “Don’t scream. Don’t scream, don’t scream. Don’tscreamdon’tscreamdon’t…”
Just then, Bruce ran up from behind, and kicked the man in the ankle. Flailing at the man’s back, he hollered, “Don’t you hurt my mom!” The gunman hopped twice from the kick, spun and backhanded Bruce, knocking him several feet backwards.
Then Martha screamed. Thunder followed.
“MOOOMMMMM!” wailed Bruce.
“I told her not to scream! I told her not to scream! ItoldherItoldherItoldher…”
Bruce yelled in primal rage, scrambled to his feet, and charged the gunman. The killer looked at him dumbfounded, then pointed the gun. Thunder again.
Long minutes passed.
Bruce lay on his back, looking straight into the night sky, breathing laboriously, eyes darting back-and-forth, head not following. He heard shouts in the distance, then sirens, then barely, somewhere behind him, a flutter, like wings. Perhaps an angel was coming to save him? He heard a light scritch and tapping somewhere near his head. In too much shock to feel the pain, Bruce shakily craned his head to the right and as behind him as he could manage.
There was another flutter, and a large black bird landed in front of him, pecked the ground, then looked at him. It cawed loudly. Bruce blinked at the bird, his head rocking slightly with the effort of his still labored breathing. The bird’s head twitched to one side, then the other, it’s eyes never seeming to leave his. Bruce felt himself slipping away, and as his eyes began to close, he was sure he heard a voice say, “It’s not death if you don’t accept it.”
|Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb|