I. Punch Line
Pale white skin
With strawberry gashes all over all over
Watch me fault her
"You're living like a disaster"
She said "Kill me faster
With strawberry gashes all over"
Jack Off Jill: Strawberry Gashes
I was asleep in my room. Very sick. Very tired. Very vulnerable. I was bored. And in boredom, I slept. After all the excitement of London, and the flu that the British weather gave me, I was ready to just go to sleep. Sleep in my pastel blue covers. Printed with childish daisies. These were the days before my cool green paint-job. I was sick of my fairy-themed room, too mature for the pastel custard walls. But I was thirteen. My requests weren't heard in my parent's ears just yet.
But I slept. I slept with peace.
London had been fun. Everything I could remember of it was fun. My mum. Steph. And me. In the cold London streets. We searched for comic-stores and shopping malls every day. Then we'd walk back from the Underground entrance, pick up hot-chocolates from the café on the corner, and go to our warm and safe hotel room. Every day, being away from Australia and my brother and my troubles. A perfect holiday.
Being sick for the next few days when I got back? I minor price for such an awesome adventure. Mum and Steph were out for the day, visiting friends and having sleep-overs to describe their holiday to others. I didn't have my Mactop then. If I wanted to spread the goss, I had to either ring my friends or go on my computer. And since I couldn't be bothered finding their numbers and I wasn't allowed to sit near close screens if I was sick (still don't understand why, but that's Mum for you) I was forced into my bed. Isolated from the world and loved only in my dreams.
Ever since London, I had actually been having very good dreams. They were sort of... different. I could remember them in more detail the next day, and nightmares were rare. They seemed more bizarre, true, but there was something there. As if my dreams had a backlight to them. I assumed it was hormones and shrugged it off.
I could go on. But I'll let the details come later. First, I'm going to tell you something interesting about that day. That otherwise uneventful day where I was sick in bed.
That day was the day I died. For the first time, anyway.
I won't lie. It was painful. And looking back on it now, it was the most terrifying moment of my entire existence. And my death was at the hands of my best and closest friend. And at that moment, he meant it. It wasn't an accidental death. He meant to kill me. He wanted to watch me die.
Ah, but enough of the emo descriptions. That should come later.
So I was asleep in my bed, covers wrapped over me and lost in a peaceful dream. But I was gradually waking up. It was about ten or so in the morning, and that's a big deal for me to sleep in that late. But then again, I was sick as a dog and tired as anything. Slowly and gradually, my eyes were blinking open and I found myself in my room once more.
And as I was waking, I could hear something kind of peculiar. It was the sliding-door down the hallway opening. Our doors aren't that thick, neither are our walls, so I can hear nearby doors opening and closing most of the time. But this time it just... didn't feel right. At the time, I didn't really get why. So I continued to lie there, my eyes barely closed as I tried to fool myself into thinking that I was still asleep. I was up to a good part in my dream, why should I wake up now? I tried to fall back to sleep, but I was still listening out for something. There was something more.
Just outside my door.
I closed my eyes and pulled up my blankets as something paused outside my door. Both of us were doing the same thing. Listening for each-other. Waiting to see who would take the first move. I held my breath and turned over on my side, eyes still shut as I turned my back to the door. I didn't want Steph and Mum to wake me up! Not now! I wanted to sleep in my sickness, to lie in my death-bed and to rest in peace.
I could hear the handle on my door click. 'Click.' I could hear the sound of it being opened. Almost silent. But still there.
I tried to slow my breath. As quiet as possible. I wanted to fool my mum into thinking I was still asleep. Just leave me alone to sleep! It's what you want, anyway!
But it hit me. Steph and Mum were out all day. And if this was Mum, then she'd have said whatever she wanted to tell me by now. Just poke her head around the door.
But this person... this stranger...
... was in my room.
In my house.
And I was sick in bed.
I listened to the heavy breathing. The strong footsteps. This person had no intention of keeping quiet. They had a purpose in my room. I could smell something faint on him, over the top of the stench I reeked. I smelt of morning, of sweat and of grease and slime. The stranger smelt like ash. Like fire. Like cigarettes.
I froze, my whole body going into a lock-down. I could feel my heart press against my chest. I swallowed my bile and my phlegm. My sickness and my sweat ran through me as my whole body felt cold.
Who was in my room with me?
I didn't dare open my eyes as the figure walked up the side of my bed. He paused for a moment by my side, staring at my 'relaxed' face. I kept my eyelids closed, but not squinted. Slowing my breathing (both to seem natural and to calm myself down) and covering the bottom-half of my face with my pulled-up doona, I stayed as still and as silent as I could. It was the longest pause of my lifetime. Just praying that he'd move away. Go downstairs at least so that I could grab the phone in the activity-room and sneak back into my bedroom. Or the bathroom. That had the best lock in the house. Just get away from me, whoever you are!!
He did move. Eventually. The steps continued. Walking to my wall. I could hear humming. Sing-song. If Mum was trying to wake me up for school, I was going to hesitate and whine as much as possible. But the breathing continued as I heard something wet slap against the cupboards that were built into the wall. This drag of something going across my posters with a rustle of papers. Then another slap. More dragging. And again. Going over and over. And finally, silence.
I had never been so terrified in my life. And still to this day, I've never felt the same fear that I had felt then. Imagine when you were a kid. You're at your friend's house or camping with a group. It's dark. It's night. And your friends tell you those stories. Those stories. The ones that made you sweat and gulp and scream in fright whenever something outside moved just a bit too fast.
Now imagine your childhood again. But this time, it's your first day of school. You parents promise to pick you up outside the school gate. By the road where all the parents pick up their kids. But before you leave the house, they tell you something. Don't trust the vans. Stranger danger. Don't take the candy. Don't go look at the puppy. For whoever's in that van will take you away. And you'll never be seen again.
Now imagine that fear. That fear of something coming to grab you when you're isolated from the world. On your own. Hands coming to grab you and take you away to some strange place. Your future uncertain. Your death soon to come.
I had never known that fear. Suddenly, it had all swept in front of me. I was living that God-awful experience I prayed that I would never have to feel. Right then and there, I knew that this whole house was just another white van. That in this white van, my life was uncertain. I could be raped. In my own house. My blood would splatter across the floor and stain the carpet, and the first thing my sister would see would be my shattered remains as the blood flowed from my broken bones.
I felt like crying at the thought of my family.
I didn't whimper. I didn't dare cry. Not here. Not yet. I'll cry when this is over. Only then will I cry. I kept talking to myself, voices rushing a mile a minute. But I listened out, my ears burning, my heart racing and my mind spinning. I couldn't hear him. Whoever he was. He was gone. I prayed. I breathed. I slowly opened my eyes. No one. No one had grabbed me yet. I turned over. Onto my back. Still no one.
It took me about five minutes of staring at the ceiling before I dared myself to sit up. Shaking, I slowly got up. The mattress squeaked beneath me as my weight shifted. Just a tiny squeak. But I held my breath, completely frozen in place. I waited another five painful minutes. Frozen with my shaking arms supporting my weight. I waited for someone to grab me then. But nobody did. Nobody got me.
Until I read my wall.
See, the 'wet slaps' I had heard was a thick black paintbrush, dripping with my old school paints. It was dropped on the floor, staining the carpet with a thick black mark. But the stranger in my room had been painting me something. Thin black paint that ruined my mural of poster and calendar cut-outs and chipped with spaces near the edges of each letter.
My murderer had written me a message in black paint.
I cupped my hands over my mouth as I read it over and over. I choked on a sob and clamped my eyes shut, trying to tell myself that this was just a dream. It felt like one. It was just... too unbelievable. Like something from a horror movie. This couldn't happen to me. No. It wasn't true. It couldn't be real. I lived in an Australian suburb by the river. All my neighbors are happily married and over forty. They wouldn't dream on killing me. This was just... no. But there it was, in black paint all over my white cupboards and my beloved posters. The message from my murderer.
I KNOW YOU'RE AWAKE
In a blur of movement, something leapt from the floor. In the space between my bed and my bookshelf, my stranger had been lying there that entire time. Waiting for me to let my guard down. I saw a blur of purple as I whipped my head around, but a hit to the side of my head blurred my mind. Something dropped to the floor with a 'thud', but there wasn't a break. I screamed on the top of my lungs, but a leather glove gripped at my face and covered my mouth. Thumb and finger pinched my nose shut. An arm snaked around my body and up my bra-less chest. I screamed, but it was almost impossible for me to breathe. Kicking and screaming, I was dragged onto the floor and off the bed roughly. I landed in his lap and he pulled me into his chest. His left arm wrapped around my belly and his right hand had a vice-like grip on my mouth. I tried scratching at him, but he was completely covered in material and my fingernails were torn to short stumps by my habit. Behind his hand, I tried to bite him and lick his palm, hoping that he'd let go or put his guard down for even a second. But all I did was get a taste of dirty leather. Instead, I tried to get a grip on the carpet with my toes, hoping to stand upright. He was doing the exact same thing, but successfully.
Pulling me up with him, his hands never lost their grip on me. Even when I struggled, he just pulled me closer into him. I tried to drop to the floor, hoping to pull him down with me in my fall. But he merely wrapped an arm over my chest and underneath my arm, jerking me up. I kicked and groaned in protest, letting my body go limp and resting my weight on him all of a sudden like a stone. My knees hit the floor, but he still held onto my upper-body. He didn't wait for me to get up. He dragged me across my bedroom floor and out the door and through the hallway.
"Don't fuss..." he hissed as me. His voice was like a snake. Chilling, poisonous and slippery. "I wanna ask you something!"
I didn't reply. I clawed at his purple sleeve and dragged my feet along the floor. But I only got a carpet-burn and a slap in the face from the hand over my mouth. As he let my mouth go for that quick moment, I let out an unholy scream. I wanted someone to hear me. For the first time in my life, I wanted someone to hear me scream and cry.
"LET ME GO!!!!!" I screamed. "PLEASE!"
"Shush now, kitten!" he said with a giggle. "I just... need... to ask you something."
As he dragged me backwards down the hallway, felt my pajamas drag on the floor. The material began to quickly slip from my legs and off of me. Immediately, my hands leapt for the hem of my sleeping-shorts and I pulled them back up. I arched my back in his arms and firmly put my feet on the floor, almost like a crab-walk but with his arms still gripping my upper-body. Awkward, yes, but as I attempted to stand while he dragged me along I found myself on two feet again. If I was going to be kidnapped, I didn't want him to be dragging me everywhere with my pants around my ankles. The more exposed and horizontal I was, the more likely that something horrible would happen.
"What's going on!?!" I yelled from behind his hand. My voice came muffled, but he could still hear me. Whoever he was. I had stopped kicking now, letting him pull me along backwards through my computer-room and to the landing of the stairs. He bumped into the sliding-door along the way, but he didn't even flinch. My head was still throbbing from where he had struck me, and my whole body was stiff with fear. My nose was running and I was sniffing it all back, feeling sick as I sharply inhaled the stench of his leather gloves. My breathing was quick. Shallow and scared. Like a rabbit's tiny heart-beat. I could feel him breathe right beside my ear, his gulps of air like hisses from steam-pipes.
"Look, I-I-I'll talk, okay!!! I promise, I'll tell you everything you want, just don't hurt me!!!" I begged. I had heard that in a hostage situation, the best thing to do was keep calm. Negotiate reasonably. But when it came to living it out, I was panicking like crazy. I didn't want to die. I didn't want this stranger to drag me away into Hell. I wanted to live. I would do anything to live. "I promise!!"
His hand went from my mouth to my neck. Forcing my head upward, he gripped onto me with his fingers pressed to the bulge in my throat. I winced at the pain and jerked my head in an almighty twitch as he pressed his lips to my ear.
"Thanks for... understanding..."
He let me go and turned me around quickly, pushing me away from him. As I fell, I realized that he was pushing me down the stairs. My mind reacted faster than my body did. I hit the carpeted stair and rolled. The corners of each step were rounded, but as I rolled they still dug into my arms and my side. I hit the opposite wall and lay there, my eyes clamped shut as my being trembled. I shook and shook like an earthquake's tremors. Slowly, I uncurled from my ball and bruises and sore and rested my head to the wall. I prayed. There was nothing else I could do but that.
He had been laughing the entire time. Shrieking with mutated laughter that only hyenas could pull off. I turned my head to looks at him. To finally see who had broken into my house. Who had written haunting messages on my walls. Who had torn me from my bed and dragged me down the hall. Who had thrown me down the stairs and let my body bruise.
I didn't believe it at first.
He was dressed almost entirely in purple. Hunched over. With a shirt of silky blue and a vest of green. All of his clothing was stained. His hair was horribly greasy with a green tint that blended into his dirty blonde hair. His face was painted white. White. With dark black circles painted around his eyes that made him look like a skeletal demon. But his red lips dragged up the side of his face. Up his cheeks and to his ears. The bloody red paint that made his hideous smile of yellowed teeth stretch for the next forever.
"... Is this a joke?!" I asked. I stared at his face for what felt like forever. "What the fuck are you doing in my house!?!? This isn't funny!! How'd you get in?!"
He laughed at my angered expression. But dryly. With sarcasm. I was still afraid of him. But this wasn't funny. Not in the slightest. The freak had got into my house and scared me to death. But he was still angry. It came off of him like waves. His entire presence screamed death and rage. The imposter smiled at me and walked down the stairs. Taking a firm grip on my hair and yanking it roughly, he bent over me like a vulture. The pain throbbed in my head as he pulled and pulled, strands coming out in his hands.
"What did you, uh... what did you say your name was... darling?" he said in a dark tone.
I replied quickly. "Jessica..." I said through the pain.
He smiled at me. I hated how he smiled. "Lovely! Well, for starters... young ladies shouldn't swear..."
Without warning, he kicked me in the chest and pushed me down the rest of the stairs. Winded, I tumbled backwards and hit my head on every step before finally hitting the wall. I was winded and gasping for breath. My chest stung. My head throbbed. And my arms, back and legs were beginning to bruise from my tumble.
He was singing to himself. A twisted melody as he slowly walked down the steps with a skip here and there. I came to a stand on shaking legs. No support at all. But he acted quickly. Gripping me by my naked under-arms, he jerked me towards him and back in his arms. "Get up get up get up!!" he said cheerfully.
(Who happened to be dead, by the way.)
Was leading me through my house on a painful journey and to the living-room.
This was a joke. It had to be.
"I-I don't understand! Aren't you dead?!" I asked him.
He wasn't smiling anymore. I didn't have to see his face to know. "You tell me!"
I gulped. Was he serious? I doubted it. But in the ongoing silence told me something different. So I continued. "You... you died of an over-dose on your medication... They-they got messed up somehow and you--"
He forced me into one of our black dining-chairs. Holding me in place by my shoulders and forcing all his weight onto me. I was weighed down by him completely, and frozen by fear I couldn't move unless he himself made me with force. He smiled at me, his face a few inches from mine and his horrid breath on my face. His lungs smelt like blood and morning combined.
"You should pay more attention to the beloved G.C.N.,"</b> he told me, putting more and more emphasis on each letter until it was just a growl. "I was right on my way to Arkham when suddenly... Wham!!" He clapped his hands quickly in front of my face, making me flinch and jerk my head back in surprise. "I wake up here with all of..." He turned around and waved a hand at the front window of our house. It looked out to the river and the streets, with boats floating and bobbing along in the bay. "... that."</b>
It was beginning to sink in that this guy wasn't just a whacked-up impersonator. "You... You're really him, aren't you?"
The Joker smiled at me. His tongue jutted out between his lips and traced the edge of his mouth. "One of a kind, kitten..."
I didn't know what to say. What to do. If this was the Joker, I was surely dead. But then again, there was always the possibility that this was a big joke or a dream or... just something else. And then there was an even less possibility that he'd let me live and let me go. If I answered questions and kept hold onto my senses, then he'd probably give me a chance to breathe in.
Thank God for all those Dark Knight fanfics I had been reading.
I gulped in an attempt to remove the fear caught in my throat and lungs. It didn't work. "So... wh-what did you want to know?" I asked, trying to look him in the eye. I tried. But I could barely manage it.
The Joker laughed at me. Right in my face. A part of spittle flew from him and landed on my cheek. It stayed there, warm and damp as a dot of DNA. Letting me know that this was real. He rested his forehead on my own as he bent over, laughing and laughing still. I blushed. His face was right before mine. Only an inch away from me. He was here. He was really here. The Joker. In my house.
And as he laughed at me, in that one-man-choir of screams and giggles, it occurred to me that I was pinned down onto a chair with a notorious villain and murderer.
"Oh-ho-ho!! Jessie, you sure are a funny one!" he said, pinching my cheek painfully. A tear flew to my eye in the sting, but I blinked it back. He saw it nonetheless, a smile stretching up the side of his face. "And you're being very... very brave so far... So don't try to ruin your uh... appearance."</b> He waited for me to speak, but was more than happy to see that I learnt to keep quiet. "I'm going to ask you a few questions, alright Jessie? And you are going to answer them... deal?"
I nodded quickly.
"Alrightie... for starters, where am I?"
Would he believe me? If I told him the truth, would he believe me anyway? "Uh... You're in Australia."
His smile fell instantly. "Um... Where did you say I am?"
He ran his tongue over the corners of his mouth. Flicking dangerously like a panther's tail.
"... Western Australia..." I mumbled.
His stare was blank. There wasn't any visible emotion that I could see. I had no idea what he was thinking. But then he took a hand off my shoulder and reached inside his coat. There was a glint of metal and immediately my heart began to race.
"... Wh-what are you doing?"
In a flash, I felt the blade press against my cheek. The potato-peeler was chilling on my skin, and immediately I was in hysterics.
"Wait! Please! I'm telling the truth!!!" I cried. "You're in Perth, Western Australia and this is my house!!! You have to believe me!!"
He sat down on my lap, pressing the blade into my cheek and taking my chin in a painful grip. Crushing my legs and wrapping his ankles around my own, he forced me into the chair. I couldn't move my legs. I couldn't stand. I couldn't kick him. I couldn't do anything to save myself. I gripped at his wrists and tried to push him away, but he shook me off instantly.
"Hands down," ordered the Joker. I obeyed, my fists wound up as they clutched the sides of my chair. "Oh don't fret, kitten, I believe you!! But I have just a... few more questions to ask you..." He ran his tongue over his bottom lip. Tasting the red stain of paint on his bloody smile. "Question... number... two... What time is it?"
I couldn't answer. I didn't know. I couldn't think straight with his knife on my cheek. "The-the time's on the microwave..."
He looked over my head for a second and into the kitchen. Craning his neck, he saw where the microwave was hiding beneath the over-head cupboard. "Ah! Thankyou, Jessie! Now... how'd I get here?"
I didn't hesitate for a second. "I-I don't know..."
The Joker stared me down. His deep brown eyes searched through my mind for anything. Any sign of a lie. "Are you sure?" he growled.
I nodded. "I have no idea how you got here or-or why you're in my house... I don't know how you're... you're even alive! ... I-I know that this is... kinda weird, but... it's weird for me, too... I promise, I-I don't know why you're here!"
"... sure..." he mumbled. He paused for a second. His eyes rolled upward, as if he could look into his mind. He stayed like that. Sitting on my lap, his leather shoes hooked beneath my bare feet, and with a sharp kitchen utensil pressed to my cheek with his breath on my face.
"Huh. What do you know, Jessie?! I think I've run out of questions!!" he said with a smile, looking me in the eye once more. I let out a sigh of relief. He was going to let me go. I felt a smile slowly appear on my face as I breathed once more. But there was something else. The Joker still wasn't getting off my lap.
And the metallic blade was still against my cheek.
"But kitten... I've gotta return the favour... After all, you answered all of my questions, so I should probably answer yours!!" he said. His voice was joyful and light. Amused. But in the circumstances, I was more afraid than ever. "And I bet there's, uh... one question... that you wanna know..."
I panicked. "No..."
He smiled and leaned in close to me. "... you wanna know how I got these scars... don't you?"
My blood ran cold as I stared at the rugged sides of his face. The twisted and cruel lines seemed to sting in my sight. I feared the thought of being the same. "No, please!!"
"Oh shush now, Jessie!!" His hand tightened on my chin and he pressed his thumb straight to my jugular. I choked and struggled to breathe. "You don't wanna spoil the story..."
In the one hand, he rotated the blade and let it trace a circle around my cheek until it pointed at my mouth. I clamped my lips shut, but with the hand that was on my chin he hooked two fingers into the other corner of my lips and stretched my mouth open. I moaned and screamed as he did so, sobbing all the time as he quickly pressed the sharpest corner of the peeler to the inside of my mouth, much like the way someone would gut a fish.
My heart was racing like a timid rabbit in my chest. As he gripped onto my jaw with one hand and put his knife to my mouth with the other, I sat there and listened to his story. I knew there was nothing else I could do.
Looking back on it afterwards, I realised that he had given me plenty of room to knee him in the groin. I don't know why I didn't do anything. I just took it like a bitch and listened. But I guess everyone did. Rachel. Gambol. They all wanted to listen out for the punch-line.
Because of you were about to die, you wanted to remember every detail of it before you passed.
I'll try my best to write out what he told me, but even then I don't think it'll do the moment justice.
"Now... you're a very brave girl, kitten... so I'm not gonna spare any details here... In fact, I might do a little uh... dramatisation here..." he explained in a calm voice. "I was... sixteen years old, just like you--"
"I'm only thirteen!!" I pleaded. A tear went down my cheek at the thought. All the things I was going to miss. I'd never get a first kiss. I'd never learn how to drive. I'd never become a mother. I'd never become an author. I'd never be able to do all the things I wanted to. "Please, I-I'm just a kid, you can't do this to me!!!"
"Ah-ta-tah..." he said in a musical tone as he pressed the peeler harder into my mouth. I could hear it 'clink' against my teeth as my tongue repelled from the metallic taste. "Don't. Ruin. My story
Though I must admit, Jessie, you're very mature for a thirteen-year-old!!"
I sobbed as the tears began to fall. Hot and fast.
"Now where were we? Oh, right, right, the story!!" he said with a highly-pitched chuckle. "So... I grew up in a, uh... dodgy little neighbourhood in Gotham... with the drug-dealers and the murderers and the drunks and the what-not... And one day while I was walking around... I came across an alley. And in that little alley... standing among the trash-cans and the graffiti... was a cloaked old man. Well, at first I thought the gentleman needed some help so I walked over... one step at a time... But this guy was hunched over something that I... I couldn't quite see...
... it was the body of a little girl.
There was blood all around her... flowing from between her legs... and staining the cute pink dress that Mommy made her... I tried to call out for help, but the guy had me pressed to the wall before I knew it!! ... And out of his coat, he showed me a knife... and he pressed it to my cheek with... hehehe... the biggest smile...</b> you had ever seen..."
He put a thumb on the edge of the blade and pushed it into the skin of my mouth.
"And he said to me... 'I wanted to see if she was perfect!!'"</b> he yelled in a voice like sandpaper and grenades. "'But she wouldn't stop screaming!!!</b> Is that...</b> such a crime?!' The guy was a total loon!! ... Now, I started screaming. Louder... and louder... and louder... This was bad move... a very... bad... move...</b> He slipped the knife into my mouth... and gave me two... nasty... cuts... these boys!" he said, turning his head side to side to let me see them in more detail. "... so that I could finally... be quiet..."
I choked on a sob and shut my eyes tight until they hurt and hung my head. "Please
" I begged. "Please let me go..."
He laughed at me. His grip on me shook. The Joker took my chin and lifted me up to meet his gaze. Slowly, I opened my eyes... His painted face stared at me. The dark brown pools in a black night's shadow stared into my soul and into my fear.
"Please, kitten..." he said. "You have to be quiet..."
The knife cut through my cheek and up my jaw-bone. I could see the blade as it flew from my face. It was wrapped between purple fingers and it was covered in blood.
I screamed as he did it again. My mouth open in an unholy howl, he dragged the blade through the other side of my face. With his grip on the back of my head, he made my death slower. Making it last longer. Make me scream for a forever. I could feel my blood drip down my chin and down my neck as the cut slice of skin became slick and wet with red. Half of my face caught me on the chin. I could feel the sides of my face fall down and hit me. Like open windows, the heat between us fled and devoured my wounds. The more I screamed, the further the cuts ran. I could feel them carve into my face, like this numbing sensation.
To be perfectly honest, I couldn't feel a thing. I honestly had no idea what was happening. I was screaming out of the shock. Out of the unbelieved reality of the situation. It's not that I couldn't remember the pain or I tried to suppress it so that I could keep being friends with the Joker. If I could feel the pain, I would've remembered it. I was only aware the my face was tearing itself apart when I realised that the taste in my mouth was metallic and the wet slab against my face... was my carved-away cheek.
The only things I felt was this one unbearable pain in my chest. As my body felt limp and I choked on my heavy sobs, I thought of the image of my family. Michael and my dad... mum and Steph...
Oh God, Steph...
And my mother...
I fell from my chair and onto the floor, my head cracking on the wooden floor. I shut my eyes tight as I felt the blood run from my mouth, trying my best to spit it out but with no success. My mouth was mangled and destroyed and completely numb. I had no idea what it looked like, and to this day Joker still won't tell me.
I could feel him crouch over me. Kneeling by my side as he stroked my cheek. I could hear him faintly, like a voice at the end of a tunnel as I ran away and away and away in the opposite direction. Running away from this man and to the darkened side of the tunnel. I had stopped screaming now, simply crying as I slowly began to die at his feet with tears mixed into my blood.
"There's a good girl..." he whispered. I could feel my muscles relax and my eyes unclench. Simply becoming relaxed. Peaceful. I couldn't open them if I wanted to. I just wanted to sleep.
I just wanted to wake up from the dream and be in my sister's arms.
And, as the Joker stroked my hair and watched the expanding pool of blood...
... I died.