I don't know if I'd consider it a dark!fic but just in case, I thought I'd warn you of the shadows that seem creep along the edges...


What makes a madman?

Beyond the obvious; beyond the clear and already defined; beyond the biological and the scientific and the chemical imbalances; what makes a man mad?

At our very core, we are all alike; the same atoms, the same compounds, the same basic building blocks make up the same basic forms with the same basic functions...

The same mushy pink tissue resides between our temples, beneath hair and flesh and bone.

And yet, that tissue above all others governs what we are. Who we are...

And whether we are perceived as sane or insane.

What is the measure of madness? I ask you truly, define the word; give it meaning, give it depth, make it more than just a hollow label plastered on those who are different. Give me a yardstick with which to mark it's progression and severity...

Furthermore, what is the point at which genius becomes that all important, reviled thing called 'madness'?

Plato. Socrates. Alexander the Great. I beg you, read their histories; read every dirty little detail and then tell me that they too weren't 'mad'.

Say that an artist is insane and the history books will say he was 'a master'; say that a scientist is insane and the history books will say he was 'a misunderstood genius'; say that a man dressed as a flying rodent is insane and the history books will call him 'a hero'.

And what, pray, will those yet to be written tomes say of me, I wonder? How will my part in history be portrayed?

Artist or sadist?

Murderer or monster?

Madman or visionary?

Such a fine line between the terms when looked upon from a standpoint in the distant future, isn't it?

A hair's breadth between normal and abnormal...

Where now it's all cut and dry and black and white; in the future, the gray areas will increase in size and blur the lines that separate the positive from the negative...

The lines between the sane and the insane are such fragile things. Mere spidery threads that can snap at any given time without warning...without provocation...

Without reason...

Letting one spill over into the other and contaminating it.

That's why they lock us away, you know...that's why they put us in padded cells and drug us until our thinking processes slow to the pace of a snail...

They see us as a virus. We're the contagion that threatens and looms and lurks within each of them and they think if they can separate us; sever the ties between the two worlds of madness and sanity, that they will remain untainted.

And yet…

All of us are the same; inside and out.

And despite their efforts to the contrary, they will never be able to weed out those that don't belong because we all belong; because we are All. The. Same.

Irony is such a pretty word, don't you think?

I see the world through clearer eyes than they do…perceive things beyond their grasp…

And so they call me mad.

Am I unhinged? Perhaps. Perhaps I am so unhinged that the door itself has left it's frame completely, but does that make me mad?

Am I damaged? Most definitely, but I beg you, show me a man who isn't.

Am I perverse?




Yes. Yes. Yes. I no more deny these things than I deny my need to breathe.

I am all those things and more.

But aren't we all? Aren't we all governed by the same basic urges and passions and desperations, tempered only by the morals and propriety and conscience that society thrusts upon us?

Our civility, civility --that thing that mankind lords over all other creatures that makes him superior-- it's nothing more than a trick; taught the way one would teach a dog to roll over.

Don't you see?

Animals. All of us. Trained like beasts in a circus.

A society of parlor trick performing dogs.

"This is right."

"That is wrong."

"This is good."

"That is bad."




And when one refuses to perform; when one defies the ringmaster and denies the parlor tricks and training and routines that are deemed proper; when one embraces the baser nature at the center of us all: that is when they call you mad.

When you embrace that thing that none of them dares, when you give in to the violence and the chaos which makes up our most basic of character traits, then they lock you away and say you're mad.

But I ask you this:

I ask you, and answer honestly, lest you break another of society's rules and engage in the sin of deception--

Beneath that mask of civility, beneath your morals and your codes of conduct and your conscience: are you any less beast than I?

Are you?

No...you're not.

There you have it then, don't you?

That is the beauty of madness...that is it's measure and it's method.

For you see, we are all mad...

It's just to what extent are you willing to acknowledge it.


A/N: I'm pretty sure this is from the Joker's point of view (I know what you're saying: 'You wrote it and you don't know?') but it might be me channeling Joker channeling Poe (more than likely). I didn't set out to write anything remotely dark but...well. I disturb myself sometimes.

I take pride in the fact I sometimes disturb you too (actually, it's not so much pride as sadistic glee, if we're being honest).

Right...now that I've got that out of my system, where was that fluffy Scarecrow fic I was working on? -wanders away-