Life is a sick joke. All of my loved ones are gone. Most of you will think that's sad, but I'm happy they won't see the monster I will become. I don't even remember if this is what happened anymore. All I'm sure about is that as long as I live I will see his face in my mind. I dream about him every night. I wake up, not remembering what even happened. Only the first few dreams are the ones I really remember. It all started one night, I was playing poker with my friends. We were talking about Eddie's cousin who was found knocked out in an alleyway screaming bloody murder. The police couldn't tell what he was talking about, he was just spewing gibberish. The only thing the cops knew was that he tried to mug a woman. The next day he woke up, face first on the ground. Eddie looked at me, he could tell I was unhappy. My psychiatrist had diagnosed me with depression. It wasn't so surprising at first. I knew how fucked up I was mentally since my sister died. Fifteen years ago. It was 15 years since she died. Two days after the accident, I saw a man shoot a married couple in front of their kid. A kid, for God's sake. I did nothing. I just walked away. This city has gone to hell, and I helped light the flame. I will always remember that little boy's face. He was some rich kid, I could tell by his suit and tie. Tears streamed down his bloodstained cheeks, as he gasped for air after crying for so long.
Eddie played a good hand and shouted in joy. It startled me, because I started falling asleep. I said I had to go. Eddie told me ok so I said my goodbyes to the other guys and left. If this was some big-time game downtown I probably wouldn't be able to leave. Money was all that mattered in this city. Thank God Eddie was such a good guy. We never played for money, none of us ever really needed it. I picked up my hat and coat and walked out the door. I checked my watch, and it was already 7:00. I started walking home and I felt like something was following me. The immense shadow trailed behind me, lurking. I didn't know what it was. It was huge, yet nimble. I walked down an alleyway and saw two people dead in a pool in their own blood. I let out a shout. I walked towards them and turned them over. Their faces horrified me. Their sickening lips, thin and chalky, were twisted into an awkward smile. Tears streaming down their faces. I tried to run but my leg twisted. I looked down at my leg and saw my bone protruding through it. I heard a bloodcurdling screech drawing near me. As the light started to fade the only thing that remained were those white eyes.
I woke up, terrified. I had no idea when I had gotten home or when I had fallen asleep. My friend Karen approached me the next day at work. I was sipping coffee, going to the pot every couple of minutes. I didn't want to live through that experience again. She asked me if everything was okay and I coughed. Slowly the cough turned into a giggle. I covered my mouth looking at her. She looked back at me, frightened. She walked away slowly. I went to the bathroom and looked into the mirror. My face was pale and my eyes were bloodshot. It was painful to frown, the muscles in my face all burned. I went home early, smiling like an idiot the entire time. I walked down the sidewalk. My skin started crawling off me, revealing a new white layer of skin. They formed into the word, "Smile". A crowd of black figures started to circle around me, frowning as moaning. Wailing in agony. The sound made me want vomit. I dry heaved a bit and started to cry. I cried with my mouth in a wide grin. I woke up and saw what was really going on. My coworkers were gathered around me. Gasping and looking at me. I felt ashamed. I ran out trying to cry. I couldn't. Some kind of pink liquid came out of my tear ducts. It felt like acid, searing my skin. I screamed and covered my face. I ended up running home laughing my ass off.
I ran home, not telling what was reality and what was just my mind. My world became distorted. I started thinking of things I never thought of before. My mind went into perilous places that I thought I never would come back from. I walked down that alleyway again and saw it. It was a giant black creature with piercing white eyes. Its wings were spread along the width of the alleyway. He looked like a living black cloud in the shape of a humanoid bat. It was kneeling in front of where those people were dead last night. I ran away. I fucking booked it. I ran the corner and I saw a guy dressed up like a clown. He said to me what I write on the walls every day so I can remember: "A real clown is a man who can tell you that you're going to die with a smile!" Instantly a pit formed behind me. It was filled with some sort of greenish red vat. I couldn't tell what was inside. The bat appeared and flew towards me, those black figures were behind him. He pushed me in. The liquid was cool and warm at the same time. My pain was gone. I was filled with joy. A sadistic, psychotic joy. I woke up in Eddie's house. I had a knife in my hand, stained with blood. Eddie was... dead. His face was carved into a smile. I held him in my arms. Carrying him to his bed. I closed his eyes and went into the bathroom. My face was a blinding shade of white. My lips red probably because of the blood. I grabbed my hat to conceal my new bright colored hair. I bolted out the door, laughing and smiling.
I ran back home as fast as I could. I ran into my room and oh, what I saw... It pushed me over the edge. I entered the room and on the wall there was spray paint. Some punks broke into my house. My room was torn to shreds. My valuables were gone. There was graffiti on the wall. All it said was one word. One word pushed me over into the pit of insanity. I looked at it for what felt like hours. All it said was "Smile". I laughed. I laughed harder than I had ever laughed before. I looked into my pocket and saw there was a playing card in there. I held it in my shaking hand. I couldn't read what it said. I looked over and saw the TV. It was him. They were talking about some guy in a suit, a vigilante. They said he saved the city. I saw what he really was. I saw the man behind the mask, I saw the man behind the façade. It was the boy. He was all grownup, but he made me remember that little boy in that alleyway.
As I looked at him I knew that I was no longer in control. I could feel a fire churning in my gut. All of a sudden my twisted grin didn't hurt anymore. I roared in a sick, insane laugh that boomed through the corridors of my apartment. I don't know what is going to happen to me. I'm writing this down just in case anyone ever wants to know what happened to me. I don't know who's taking control of me. I don't even know if this is what really what happened anymore. I looked at the card, I could finally read it. It was a joker. I liked the name. I don't know who's in charge. All I know is that he's going to bring a smile to Gotham, and to the Batman.
Written by Doctor 52