The Joke’s on You

I’ve always identified with trickster gods and chaotic beings in myth and story. Even in the new mythologies of our society, the fictions and stories we thrive on and love, I find myself gravitating towards these kind of characters. None stands out more in my mind than the clown prince of crime himself, the Joker. The Killing Joke is one of the most heartfelt and honest portrayals of the deep and intense relationship that Batman and the Joker have between one another. If you haven’t read it, you should. It made me think of an entire story arc for Batman and Joker and that lead to me scribbling down this idea here. It’s just a bit of back and forth dialogue between the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince in a cell at Arkham. As a group of terrorists send the city into chaos with a modified version of the Joker’s notorious gas, the bat looks to the clown for answers. I’m not big on writing fan fiction but I thought I’d share this.



Ha ha ha! Look who it is. Come to talk to me again, eh? Doesn’t it ever get old to you, this song and dance we’ve been doing all these years? Why, we’ve practically worn out the floor we’ve gone ‘round so much.

I’m not here to play games.

 You never are, are you? I am the night. Ha ha ha! Honestly, I’m not sure who belongs in this room more. Me, or you?

 This city is in chaos and you seem to think it’s a joke.

Chaos? Chaos?! Ha! Let me tell you a little joke, Bats. You see, I get out, I cause a little mischief, rob a bank or a museum or something, and then you swoop in and lock me up. Then I go and do it again, cause a little more chaos, a little more fun and you throw me back in the clink. So, I break out and kill a few…dozen folks and you throw me back in here again. Now, here’s the punchline: I’m always going to get out again and you’ll always try to put me right back in this padded cell. On and on and on it goes. Chaos is a routine these days. It’s the status quo!

This isn’t funny. Lives are at stake.

Oh, lives are always at stake. The whole problem with being alive in the first place is that it’s a constant chore to try and stay that way. Everyone’s struggling to be a crooked little old man in the end. It’s exhausting.

They’re using your gas this time to drive people mad. They’re causing a panic.

Of course they are. Ha ha ha! I posted a tutorial on YouTube. Hell, it doesn’t take a chemist to figure it out. The recipe’s right there in the comments.

People are going insane and attacking each other. No one’s safe. I need to know who they are and how to stop them.

Sorry. Can’t help you there. Not my monkeys. Not my circus.

This is a tragedy that could swallow the entire city. We’re all in danger.

Must be the funniest tragedy in history. I can see it now. Floppy shoes and seltzer bottles everywhere as everyone becomes a clown just like me. Ha! For the first time in ages, people are starting to loosen up and act like themselves. No more make up. No more masks. Just the real Gotham for the whole world to see.

Tell me, why aren’t you out there reveling in it?

Oh no, not me. Not this time. I’m insane, not stupid. I’ve got a good thing going here. Armed guards, high walls, heavily reinforced doors. I’ll be sitting this one out, thanks. Maybe you should do the same. There’s always room for one more.



About Danno

Dan Lee is a freelance writer, critic, independent author and publisher, as well as a horror culture correspondent. His articles, interviews, editorials, and fictional works continue to run on several sites and publications. He is also one of the resurrectionists behind the return of the Nashville Zombie Walk (2017).
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