TITLE: Triggered Memory
AUTHOR: Gaeriel Mallory
RATING: K+
DISTRIBUTION: Photon's Crossing, Anyone else, just ask.
DISCLAIMER: The Joker is the property of DC Comics.
NOTE: I get the weirdest story ideas.


I watched with a sneer as one of the white-coated doctors walked past my cage. Some may call it a cell, but I call it a cage. Some animal they put on display for the masses to gawk and laugh at.

They're not supposed to laugh, dammit. At least, not until I tell them to. I felt my sneer turn into a grin and the bubbling feeling in my belly that was the beginning of my trademark laugh.

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I took sardonic pleasure in the shudder I saw go through the doctor's body. I suppose old Batsy wouldn't approve, but he's not here now, is he? And I so do love it when the supposedly sane doctors and nurses who work here scurry away from me like they have ants in their pants. And since there's such a high turnover rate for employment here at good ol' Arkham Asylum, there's always somebody new for me to scare.

Hey, a guy's got to get his kicks somewhere, right?

I turned back to what I had been doing before that doctor had so rudely interrupted me. I had been playing a game of marbles. It had been Doctor Arkham who had recommended to me that I should do something from my childhood to help relax me. So he gave me a bag full of marbles.

There was one pure white marble in the bag, and I suppose that was what triggered the memory. I don't remember a lot from my days before I took the swan dive into the acid but sometimes something will come back to me.

I was nine, I think. Or maybe eight. Somewhere around there. Anyway, I was playing in the corner with something or other while my mother was cooking dinner. It was soup.

My father entered the tiny apartment then. He was white and shaking. My mother looked up and frowned. "What happened?

He sat down at the table and put his head in his hands. "It wasn't supposed to happen that way," he muttered. "It wasn't supposed to happen."

"What happened, dear?" My mother stood behind him and rubbed his neck. "Is it about the job? I'm sure you'll find another one."

He looked up at her. "I did something bad," he said. "Really bad."

"I'm sure it's not--"

"I killed them!" he shouted. "I wasn't supposed to kill them. The guy gave me the wallet and I was going to leave them alone but then I saw the pearls his wife was wearing. I wanted to get them for you..." He started shuddering. "He didn't want to give them up and started towards me. I panicked! I pulled the trigger and they both-- Oh, God. I killed them both."

My mother had backed up from him during that speech, both her hands up to her mouth.

"The worst part was that they had a kid. A little boy. Oh, God... He stood there and watched me kill his parents."

My mother knelt onto the floor next to him and cried. "It was an accident. They can't find you."

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a brown wallet and a white pearl. "Here," he shoved them onto the table. He then pulled a gun from his back, tucked in the waist of his trousers, and dropped it next to the wallet. "I'm done. No more. I just wanted to take care of my family..."

She carefully picked up the pearl and the light glinted off of it.

I came back to myself then, sitting on the cold hard floor of my cage. I gently rolled the white marble around in my hand, studying it. I shrugged and tossed it into the game. It fell to the ground and bounced several times clik clik clik before coming to a rest next to a marble the color of blood.

I felt the bubbling feeling in my gut again.

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

--fin--