I hate my job.

It's easy to explain why. It's not because of the pay; it isn't a fortune, but I've had far worse paid jobs. It isn't because of my bosses, either: they're more or less OK people, although sometimes I think that some of their patient's madness has rubbed on them. It's not even because of any fear of dying while on duty; I've gradually grown accustomed to that possibility. I know well what happened to the last guard who occupied my place the last time the clown escaped. They still haven't found all the pieces. And of course, I know what happened in the last massive riot. Heck, I knew the guy whose brains were blown out by Two-Face. In any instance, if something like that ever happened to me, I've left it all legally specified. Mom and dad will take my house. My brother Frank, my car. My cousin Ariadna, my dog (she loves him). And my ex-wife... well, to hell with that witch.

So, even the idea of dying here doesn't bother me that much. That isn't why I hate being here.

It's his smile.

Luckily, he doesn't smile all the time. Most of the time, he's semi-catatonic in his cell, drooling like an idiot, staring at the walls. Then ocassionally, he bursts into wild, maniacal laughter, and I shudder. Most people actually finds his laughter to be worse than his smile, but I disagree.

As bad as his laughter is, his smile is much worse. I've seen it too many times to be wrong about that. Normally, I avoid even to see him at all, but it's my duty to watch him, so every hour or hour and a half or so, I must take a good peek into his cell, especially if he has been too suspiciously quiet. Then, if he's conscious and he sees me, he immediately shows me his gruesome smile, even if he didn't have it before noticing me. He somehow knows how much I hate it, and he does that to perturb me. I'm convinced of that.

I know a simple smile shouldn't disturb me so much, no matter how macabre it is. But that isn't a simple smile, in any way. Those bare, yellowed and uncountable teeth aren't a normal man's, either. It's very hard to explain it if you haven't seen it... But his smile is the smile of the Death. Seriously. It's the smile of a dead man, someone long dead inside, who smiles and laughs to maintain some semblance of life. I guess that's why he doesn't acre about anyone else's life, either.

Maybe I just think way too much. Perhaps I shouldn't think of him as if he really could hurt me with that stupid smile. He's just a prisoner, I'm a guard. Nothing else. Anyway, I really envy the guy who just has to watch over the Ventriloquist's cell.

In any instance, I don't plan to stay here for too long, sitting next to his cell. I've started to make gestions to get another job. I hope it all goes well. The day when I leave this job at Arkham Asylum will be the happiest day in my life.

I'm thinking about that, sitting peacefully next to his cell, as always, when I suddenly notice him looking at me from the inside. He smiles down at me, once again, and he does he very rarely does: he talks to me.

"You shouldn't meditate so much, Charlie" he says. "That's the quickest way to madness". And there he goes again, erupting into savage, demented laughter.

Now that I think about it, maybe his laughter is indeed worse.

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