Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Batman. I am simply using them to write a little story. It's harmless ... really.

Writer's Note: This takes place after The Dark Knight. There are spoilers in this story.

Batman: Bane of Existence

Thirty Years Ago

The right cross is solid and the child is knocked off his feet. He slides across the hard gravel, rocks and debris slicing up his face.

"How many times do I have to tell you boy?!" The maniacal father looms over his son. "How many?!"

The young boy coddles his lip as bloods flows freely through his fingers.

"I am sorry padre. I didn't know."

A meaty hand clasps tightly around the boy's throat, yanking him from the ground. He is thrown into a nearby wall, breaking his arm on impact. The boy crashes back down to the ground, nursing the now broken bone. He weeps upon the dirt and rocks below him. His tears prevent him from seeing the large man approaching.

"You disgust me!" growled the father, "You are pathetic, just like your mother!"

The boy continues to cry, pain pulsing through his body.

"I didn't know! Please don't hurt me!" he sobbed.

"You ruined my drink and say you didn't know!"

The father lifts his son from the ground again, dangling him high in the air. Two hands clasps tightly around the child's throat and begin to squeeze, choking the life out of him.

"Padre ..." the boy struggles to break his father's vice-grip, choking heavily. "... please."

"You deluded my drink! It's RUINED!"

"I knocked over the bottle ... it was an accident. I tried to refill it with water ... I thought you wouldn't know." replied the boy, resisting his father's choke hold in futility.

Death consuming over him, the boy realizes he must make a choice. And at that moment, a darkness takes control. His hand slides into his pocket, like a snake slithering into its burrow. Meanwhile, his father continues to choke him.

"You are stupid and weak!" spat the father, "And now I am going to kill you like I did your bitch of a mother!"

Suddenly, the father flinches and his eyes go wide. He quickly releases his hold of the boy, allowing him to drop to the ground like a sack of potatoes. The boy hits the ground hard but looks up quickly to see his father thrashing about, digging at his throat. The boy focuses in to see the sharp knife, which he had taken from his pocket, wedged deep within his father's larynx. The father continues to thrash around, stumbling over himself, trying desperately to remove the sharp knife. Blood spews from the wound, splattering about. The boy watches on, his eyes narrowing in anger.

"You will hurt me no more, father." he growled, "and now you will pay for the death of me madre."

Despite his fatal predicament, the father hears his son's words. They cut into brain like fire and leave mortal burns, as they are the last words he ever hears. The father falls to his knees, his eyes beginning to mist over. Blood dribbles down his lips mixing with the open wound in his neck. It is at that moment, the father realizes he is about to die. The father and son lock eyes for the last time, and their roles are reversed. The father becomes the victim and the son the tyrant. Evil takes a new form as the father falls face first to the ground. He gurgles his last breath and then dies.

The boy rises from the ground, wincing as he holds onto his broken arm. He approaches his father's body, staring ominously at the corpse. He smiles wickedly. Vengeance had been served.

"You were the bane of my existence, father." hissed the boy, "Now; I am the bane of life's existence."

Sirens are heard in the background but the boy gives them no heed. He welcomes the authorities with open arms, for no imprisonment compared to that of his father's care.

So now ... the learning process was about to begin. His father had called his stupid and weak. The boy's mission now was to remedy that. He would learn the ways of the criminal, the ways of evil.

Now

A man stands at the massive window of his penthouse, watching as the heavy rain pelts against the glass apertures. With a hand pressed against the skylight, he observes the darkness in his wake. The midnight storm falls upon Gotham City with unthinkable ferocity, keeping its citizens, good and evil alike, at bay. No one dared to enter the night streets in such a heavy downpour; not even Batman. Only in a chaotic thunderstorm such as this was Gotham City truly at peace.

Lightning cuts across the sky and for a split second illuminates the shadows of Gotham. Bruce Wayne lowers his hand from the glass window, tugging down on the front of his silk shirt. His mind is restless and his heart is heavy. He feels restless, trapped within himself, making him want to scream.

Suddenly, a voice calls out to him.

"Master Bruce."

He turns from the windows, acknowledging the presence of his butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

"Hello Alfred." replied Bruce, an edge in his voice.

"Shouldn't you be resting, sir?" asked Alfred, resting a tray on the nearby night stand.

Bruce smiles weakly, believing the question to be rhetorical.

"How many times do I have to remind you that bats are nocturnal Alfred?"

"About as many times as I have to remind you that Bruce Wayne isn't, sir." Alfred takes up a glass of water from the tray and hands it to Bruce with a smile. "Besides, I doubt much crime is taking place in weather like this."

Bruce smile fades as he catches a glint of lightning in the corner of his eye.

"You'd be surprised Alfred." He takes a heavy swallow of water and gulps. "You'd be surprised."

A tremendous thunderclap echoes about the penthouse bedroom. Neither man seems to notice.

"Not in this day in age, Master Bruce. I don't get surprised anymore."

Bruce looks up at his butler with a raised eyebrow.

"Really? And here I thought I caught you off guard every now and then."

The butler allows a soft grin.

"Well, you are a strange one, sir." he joked. "But I've come to expect the unexpected from someone who dresses up like a bat."

Bruce wants to chuckle at this, but he can't. His heart's pain keeps the happiness inside him prisoner.

"I agree with that Alfred. I'm anything but normal."

"Define normal sir." replied Alfred with a shrug, "no one can."

Bruce sighs before finishing off the glass of water. He sets it back on the night stand and turns back to the window, the storm starting to die down.

"I miss her Alfred. Now more than ever."

"I know sir. But you shouldn't mourn her. Rachael is in a better place."

"That's not much of a stretch. Any place is better than Gotham."

"Oh I don't know about that, Master Bruce. Batman does a pretty damn good job keeping the citizens of Gotham safe."

Bruce lowers his head in sadness.

"Tell that to Rachael." he sighed, "Tell that to Harvey Dent."

"No need sir. They already know." replied Alfred evenly.

Bruce glances over his shoulder, his features stoic.

"Stop trying to cheer me up, Alfred."

"Of course, sir." Alfred takes up the empty glass, placing it on the tray. "Cheering up is an inside job, Master Bruce. In that respect, you are on your own. But I am here if you need me."

Alfred moves for the door but Bruce calls out to him before he can leave.

"Do you really think Rachael is in a better place, Alfred?"

The butler nods firmly.

"I do, which is why you shouldn't mourn her." he said, "Please sir, try to get some rest."

Bruce turns back to the window as the storm continues to fade. He shakes his head sadly.

"I can't Alfred. The storm is dying down and Batman is needed."

To Be Continued ...