ByValerie Phelps, writer at

Author's note: This was a story I came up with when I was young and knew almost nothing about superheros. this story was based off of the movie The Dark Knight. This is also available for viewing on my page. I hope you enjoy.


I love my wife. I absolutely love her. I'm her night in shining armor, and you know what? I show her all the time. I come up with these plans, see, and then I put them into action. A beautiful play, where she's the damsel in distress and I'm the hero. She'd Be in danger, and I'd save her. Afterward, as the mess was being cleaned up, she's always tell me, “you're such a joker, you know that?”

I loved hearing that. My favorite part of the whole thing. We took a break for a while there when little Jessie came along. But once she grew older, I started making plans again. This time, I could save them both. My plans became very elaborate, see, and each time, it was even more of a rush to swoop in and save they day. I couldn't stop, see, and they never seemed to mind.

Sometimes, little Jessie would join in and help with the plans, and then her mother would just shake her head. I always used to kiss her on the cheek and tease her, "Why so Serious?" I loved them both, my wife, and my darling little Jester. Putting together and being part of these plans was her favorite game. Nothing gave me a greater thrill than having her look at me and say, “Daddy, you're my hero.”

For my daughter's 10th Birthday, I put together a magnificent plan. It involved a countdown timer and a bunch of oil drums in a warehouse. It was sure to be spectacular. I never hurt anyone, no. the explosions were usually just some of that powder magicians use to get on and off the stage with a bang. The detonator is never actually hooked up to anything.

So the day comes, see, and oh, I am just as excited as could be. This is probably one of my best ever. I'm headed to the warehouse, perfectly on track to save them with time to spare on the clock. But as I hit the final stretch, there was this awful traffic jam. So I got out of the car, see, and started to run. Outside the warehouse where I’d put this plan into action, there was a huge number of policemen and fire trucks all over the place. I guess this plan was so good, it actually fooled the cops. Maybe it was too good. That made me panicky. How much time did I have left on the timer? 3 minutes?

I took off at a sprint toward the building, only to have several of these guys tackle me and hold me to the ground. I look up just in time to see the warehouse explode in front of me. I scream as I see the burst of fire, and then black out as a searing pain stings my face.

I'm going to have these scars on my face for a lifetime. A painful reminder of what I did to my wife. To my daughter, my little Jester. I killed them both.....

4 Years later..

Jester is alive! Apparently she almost made it out of the building that night. She's lost most of her skin, but she survived. As part of a new series of philanthropic moves, the prince of Gotham, Bruce Wayne, has paid for her treatment at the hospital.

Apparently she's a good artist. She's in her room in the long term ward, drawing every day with her colored pencils. I think I am gonna visit her. Maybe I could rescue her from the hospital.....

No, stop that. A stupid rescue plan is what almost killed her in the first place. No more elaborate schemes. Besides, seeing her and knowing that she's alive will be enough.

Walking through the halls, I hear a couple of cops talking about the Batman. No one knows who he is, or why he's here, but apparently he's roaming the streets at night, catching thugs for the police. Ah, since that night, I don't care much for cops, and I’m really not into anyone who tries to do good deeds. Those cops and firemen though they were saving my life by pinning me to the ground. But they destroyed it. I got to watch my entire life be blown to pieces without me.

Oh, my sweet girl. It's a lot worse than it sounded on paper. Her skin is completely gone. You can see her teeth and muscles under the thin membrane keeping it all inside her body. Her beautiful hair is all gone, and her hands are skeletal. I don't know if I will ever be able to pay for what I did to her.

I make to move away, but she sees me. Our eyes lock, and she utters a single word. “Daddy.” That's it. She remembers me. Oh, perhaps she'll forgive me, and we could be a family again. I can't hold it back anymore. I move to hug her, my sweet little Jester, my baby, my-

The slap sends me reeling, out of nowhere. She's scowling at me. At least, I think she's frowning, I can't tell. But her anger is clear in her eyes. She hates me. “It was your fault.”

I slump against the wall, unable to stand straight. “I was coming for you. I couldn't get to you in time. I'm sorry. I'll never be able to forget what happened.”

She laughs, a harsh, brutal sound. “You think you'll never forget? What about me?” she indicates her arms and face. “I'll never be discharged because of you.” She presses the Panic button on the hospital headboard. I'm about to be thrown out. The thought of my daughter throwing me out just makes me so mad.

“All I ever wanted was to be your here. Nothing in the world made me happier. It was not my fault that I couldn't get to you. I was restrained by policemen and firefighters only a block away! But you won't even let me talk to you!”

She listens to my rant, staring at me with a quiet intensity as the orderlies come in and try to escort me out. I break free and try to grab her hand. “Please, Jessie, Come back to me. All I ever wanted was to be the hero of your life.”

She stands up from her desk to get away from me as the security Guards come in. she places her pencils neatly in their place, then turns to leave with a nurse.

“You're not my hero anymore.”

Her desk and the bulletin board are covered with drawings. Before I am dragged out of the room, I see what she was working on. It was a shadow drawing of the Bat Man, and an unfinished icon, a black shape inside an oval.

Out on the curb, I just sit for a while. I've lost my little girl, and she'll never come back. She's left me for some masked caped fool who punches people at night. I can't ever get her back.

But maybe, just maybe..... I can punish those who took her from me.


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