|Can't Get You Out Of My Head
Author: J-Horror Girl PM
Out of Arkham and out of his mind, the Joker hits the town with an intangible companion who might be dead but isn't nearly departed. He can't touch her, she can't get away from him, and so they have to make the best of it.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Mystery - Joker - Chapters: 100 - Words: 177,723 - Reviews: 1,816 - Favs: 523 - Follows: 385 - Updated: 05-15-10 - Published: 07-27-08 - id: 4428854
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the voice. Batman, Joker, etc, all belong to DC and I am making no money on this.
The first time I heard the voice was when I was shaving. I say shaving, but of course nobody in Arkham is going to trust me with a razor, not even a safety razor or an electric, which is a shame because I can think of so many, many, many creative uses for one or the other. So instead, every few days when I get stubbly they send in a couple of tablespoons of mild depilatory cream in a paper cup, the same stuff women use to keep their legs polished silky smooth. How insulting!
Actually, the thought of rubbing my face, stubbly or not, against a woman's polished silky smooth limbs is definitely pleasing, but I was talking about the depilatory. If I ate it I suppose it would eat holes in my esophagus and digestive tract, but while I may be crazy, I'm not suicidal. So I smear it on my face, and if there's any left over I squeeze it in the seam where the door hinges are. The hinges themselves are uncompromisingly on the outside of the door, but the plates that attach them are screwed into the frame and the inner jamb. Sooner or later—hopefully sooner—the metal will corrode and I will be able to break the door out of its frame. Just one of my many plans to escape. Yet I'm still off topic; that happens to me a lot.
The voice. Mirrors of glass or polished metal are likewise out of the question, so what I have is a piece of softish mirrorized plastic like something one would put in a kid's science kit or maybe a little girl's play beauty set from the supermarket. Not that it matters because they won't let me have my face, not my real face, the one that comes out of the tubes and goes on creamy white and black and red. They say it would be counter to my psychological bullshit etc etc. But it (the mirror) does let me see where I have to wash away the cream before it eats any more holes in my skin, and that's what I was doing when I heard the voice: washing off the cream.
'Don't tell me. Let me guess—you were just a little kid playing alone in the park, when a woman wearing a surgical mask approached you. That was odd, but she was friendly and anyhow, you were warned off strange men, not strange women. So she played with you for a while, until you were tired, and you sat down on a bench together. She asked you, "Am I beautiful?" You answered, "Yes." Then she took off the mask and you saw her mouth had been cut open from ear to ear. She asked you again, "Even like this?"
'You tried to get away, but she had a firm grip on your arm. Then you started to cry. That's when she took her hand out of her bag, and you saw she had a huge pair of dressmaker's shears…'
"That's pretty good," I admitted. "I'll have to remember that one." My history is like a kaleidoscope, fragments of memory all jumbled together. The basic elements remain the same, but just one little turn or shake up and the whole pattern changes. I remember my life differently whenever I think about it. I looked around the room. Nowhere obvious for anyone to hide a microphone and speakers, but with microminiaturization a flyspeck could suffice.
'Thanks,' the voice replied. 'I didn't make it up, though. It's a Japanese urban legend. Also a phenomenally bad horror movie called Kuchisake-Onna.'
"I missed that one." I took a towel and dried my face. "I'm guessing if you say 'No,' she uses the shears."
'Correct. But if you say "Yes," she follows you home and then kills you.'
"There's just no pleasing some people." I observed.
'Isn't that the truth. The only way to escape her is to answer, "You're average," or "You're so-so," and then run while she's thinking about it. Alternatively, certain hair-care products are said to be able to ward her off. Throwing fruit at her also works, don't ask me why.'
"Maybe that was it. I just needed a bunch of grapes or something. So—am I beautiful?" I asked.
I dropped the pleasantry. "We are not on such terms that you can mock me!"
'Oh, please. The Phantom of the Opera's much worse off than you, and he could have had more girls than he could handle if he hadn't been obsessed with screechy little virgin Christine. There are women who get off on the Beast more than on the prince. Find yourself one of them—or as many as you can handle—and cut the self-pity crap.'
"Excuse me? Who are you, by the way?" I had a suspicion about the voice, and to test it I reached for a paper towel, wet it, tore it up, and wadded it into two small chunks.
'I don't know.' The voice sounded surprised. 'I was hoping you did.'
"Why would I know that?"
'I don't remember existing until a moment ago. Until you were washing your face and wallowing in self-indulgence.'
"I find that hard to believe." I shoved the wads of towel into my ears.
'It comes as a surprise to me, too.'
"Do you have a name?"
'Not that I'm aware of.' The voice didn't change despite the paper towels, although all other background noise was dampened. That meant it was not arriving in my head by way of my ears.
I pulled out the wads. Having water trickle down one's ear canals is not pleasant. "All right. I've never heard voices in my head before, and frankly, I don't want to start now. I've always considered it a cop-out plea, because I'm proud to admit any and all mayhem, destruction, and killing I've done is all my own idea, thank you very much. Besides, I've never heard of aural hallucinations that offer reviews of movies I've never seen or even heard of."
'I don't get points for originality?' it queried.
"Not in my book."
'A book which is written on human skin with red ink that rapidly turns brown, from what I can tell.'
"Hey! Let's not get personal here! All things considered, I'd like you to leave."
'Be glad to. If I were given my choice of places to be born, I certainly wouldn't have chosen your head. "Charnel house" and "abattoir" spring to mind as descriptions of what it's like in here; it's not fit for company. Just tell me the way out, and I'm gone.'
"Um." That posed a problem. I didn't know. "You can't just…leave?"
'Believe me, I'm trying. I can't get more than three feet away from you, and that's only with a lot of concentration. If I relax I snap right back into your head. I can see everything you're thinking, and the pencil thing you did to that gangster makes the skin I haven't got crawl.'
I had been thinking about how I would have liked to do that to the voice, if the voice had a physical body to do it to. "This is—awkward. Are you male or female?" The voice was more or less gender-neutral, but if I had to guess, I would have said it skewed toward female. Or a boy whose voice hadn't broken yet.
'No clue. My entire life begins as of about three minutes ago.'
"I see. No residual memories, then?" Even I had residual memories. I felt a little sorry for the voice.
"No clue as to what you are? Another personality of mine? The ghost of somebody I killed? My conscience?"
'No, doubt it, doubt it and doubt it, to answer your questions in order. I could give you a chorus or two of "When You Wish Upon A Star," if you like.'
"What?" I was too used to being the smartest and most out-there person in any given conversation. The voice was putting me off my game.
'Pinnochio, you know. Jiminy Cricket, the voice of his conscience. Never mind. What are we going to do about this situation?'
"I don't know…"
TBC, if I get some reviews. TY in advance.