All Manner of Horror
By: Dirty Reid
A.N: Just a little something I thought of out of the blue.
Chapter 1: Smile
He couldn't believe it.
Uzumaki Naruto's eyes were impossibly wide as he huddled in the bushes. He was horrified at both what he had done, and what he had just learned.
He had just stolen the Forbidden Scroll of Konoha, as Mizuki-sensei said that that was to be his make up test for failing the Academy-specified one for the third time. He had set down in the forest and got to work. Three hours later, Iruka-sensei had found him with Mizuki hot on his tail.
It was then that Mizuki had proceeded to pin Iruka to a tree with kunai and inform Naruto of the reason why people hated him so:
The Yondaime Hokage had not been able to destroy the Kyuubi no Yoko. He had merely succeeded in sealing its soul away... inside of him.
Currently, Naruto looked on as Mizuki kicked the down Iruka for allowing Naruto a window of opportunity to escape.
"Why did you help him Iruka? You know that he killed your parents. You know that he'll kill you too whenever he gets a chance! Why the fucking hell did you help him?!" Mizuki spat as he stomped on Iruka's chest. The scarred Chuunin spat up a gout of blood.
Iruka wheezed, "That is something a demon would do," he said weakly. Naruto felt his already deflated heart begin to sink even further.
"But Naruto is anything but a demon. He is a human being; he's one of my students; and most of all... (wheeze)... he's my friend!" Iruka finished firmly. Naruto's heart lightened and he could not help but smile. His smile promptly turned into a frown when Mizuki became furious.
"You have just sealed your fate, demon lover!" he said before he stomped on Iruka's chest again. Iruka screamed in pain.
"F-fuck you Mizuki," he managed to say before the silver-haired man continued to beat on him. Naruto was on the verge of tears; there was no way he could save his sensei.
'If I don't do something, Iruka-sensei is gonna die! What do I do, what do I do, what do I... hey! That scroll!' Naruto's eyes brightened in realization as he remembered uncovering a secret with the scroll. He pulled the enormous item off of his shoulders and began to twist off the black cap at the bottom of the tube the scroll was attached to. He had noticed the cap when he had laid out the scroll, but had chosen to ignore it in favour of the jutsu. He yanked the cap off and out fell... another scroll.
"What the hell?" Naruto asked quietly as he picked it up. It was just less than a foot long and completely black; even darker than the night itself. For some odd reason, Naruto felt a chill run up his spine as he clutched the small object. It seemed to be emanating some sort of ethereal energy that did not scream, merely whispered 'Avoid me'.
Swallowing nervously, Naruto cracked the scroll and opened it up. Even inside it was jet black. Written in white ink was a small title at the beginning of it, which made Naruto stare for a second.
All Manner of Horror
'Wonder what that means,' Naruto thought as he cracked the scroll open even further. What greeted him was yet more jet black scroll with white ink outlining several slots. Naruto began to wonder what the purpose of the scroll was when he remembered the class where summoning scrolls were explained and what they looked like.
'SWEET! A summoning scroll... but what would it be doing in here? S'not like summons are forbidden or anything.' He quickly bit his thumb and signed his name. Of all things interesting in the Academy, summoning scrolls were something he was interested in and had paid attention to. He quickly dabbed blood on the rest of his fingers and placed them on the lower part of the first slot. For a second, nothing happened. But to Naruto's surprise, the blood that had been an unnatural red against the black parchment simply seemed to melt into it and vanish from sight, leaving a slightly shinier spot where it had been before and making Naruto shiver.
He had no idea what kind of darkness he was about to unleash.
Unbidden by his mind, a seal sequence came into Naruto's head; the seals for summoning.
'Alright,' Naruto thought as he placed the scroll in his pocket 'time to do this.'
"Mizuki-teme!" he yelled as he jumped out of the bushes just as the traitorous Chuunin was about to slash Iruka with a kunai.
"Ah, there you are brat! Where the hell is the scroll?!" he demanded. Naruto set his face in determination and anger before he set his hands in an inverted ram seal.
"You can't have it! But I'll tell you what you can have: KAGE BUNSHIN NO JUTSU!" Naruto roared. The enormous spike of chakra that followed nearly threw Mizuki off his feet.
Orange. All Mizuki could see was a sea of orange. His pupils shrank rapidly when he found them to be hundreds of Naruto clones; very solid Naruto clones. He closed his eyes and waited for the pain to begin.
But nothing came. He opened his eyes to see one Naruto ambling up to him, presumably the original.
"You are gonna pay for hurting Iruka-sensei teme." he said before he bit his thumb and ran through a seal sequence that Mizuki had seen but never used before.
'Where did he get a summoning contract?' Mizuki wondered when Naruto's chakra flared again and he slammed his hand into the ground and yelled "Kuchiyose no jutsu!"
A loud bang and a plume of smoke ensued. Mizuki covered his eyes and waited to see some enormous animal lift up its foot or paw to crush him... but nothing came. The smoke cleared and revealed the baffled faces of Iruka and Naruto. They were staring at what was before them.
It was a man. By visual estimate, he looked to be about 5'8". He wore bizarre clothing, unlike anything either three of them had ever seen. His pants were a rich purple, as was his outer jacket. Beneath the jacket were a dark green button-up vest, and a light blue silken shirt underneath it. Hanging between the vest and the shirt was some sort of strip of fabric with a design on it that was not quite visible.
But the man's clothing did not draw Mizuki's gaze. What drew his gaze was his face.
The man's nearly shoulder length hair was unwashed and grungy. There looked to be some sort of product in it that made its colour a combination of dark, dirty blonde and an ugly green. Some of it fell over his face, which was covered in uneven white makeup. Around his sunken eyes were two black spots, similar to raccoon eyes, but more like the sockets of a skull that allowed one to peer into the man's soulless eyes, glaring up from the pits of hell.
His mouth was scarred severely. The long scratches and uneven skin formed bumps that curved upwards, almost like a gruesome, twisted grin. Smeared over his mouth and the scars was a thick coating of red makeup that mirrored the twisted smile carved into the man's face.
When he turned around and allowed Naruto and Iruka to get a look at him, Naruto felt his mouth fall open in fear, and Iruka's black eyes seemed to open just a little. The man said nothing as he surveyed his surroundings, taking particular interest in the hundreds of staring clones. No words were spoken for over a minute.
The man was the first to break the silence as he quietly smacked his lips.
"Who's the mother?" he asked in a rather high, nasal voice. Mizuki, Iruka and Naruto simultaneously raised an eyebrow. The man took a look at all three of them for a second or two before he burst out laughing; a high-pitched and wheezy sound.
"Hhee ha ha ha HA HA HA HA HA!" the man laughed, showing his yellowed teeth.
"I, I mean, who in their right mind had all of these kids?! Seriously, there has to be some sort of violation of human rights in there somewhere! Hee hee ha ha ha!" the man began to renew his wheezy laughter after his hilarity-laced question.
'Kami, what have I unleashed?' Naruto asked mentally, brought back down to earth when the man looked at them again.
"Okayyyy... who's going to die here?" he asked in such a normal voice that Naruto felt a prick of sweat run down his forehead. "Better yet, who called me?" the man asked in his disturbing, creepy, nasal voice. Unable to make his vocal cords work, Naruto raised a shaky hand. The man looked down at him, all laughter gone from him.
"You," he said more than asked, interest plain as day in his voice "and, um, are these all your siblings?" he asked, waving his black-gloved hand around to indicate the clones.
"U-um, no, th-they're Kage Bunshins; chakra-based copies!" he answered nervously, brightening a little as he finished his explanation. The man stared at him blankly.
"...I have no idea what you just tried to tell me, and I don't really care." he said dismissively, making Naruto twitch in annoyance.
"Impatient, hmm? Well then, I suppose... that I should just get down to business. Who's the unlucky victim?" he asked as he pulled something out of his purple jacket pocket. Snikt! Out popped a short blade about four or five inches long with two oval holes running through the centre of it. Naruto had never seen a knife like that before. The man lifted it up and smelled it before he looked back at Naruto.
"Well?" he asked. His voice clearly exhibited impatience as his grip on the short knife tightened. Unable to form words again, Naruto raised his shaky hand and pointed at Mizuki, who was shaking like a leaf as the scarred man turned to leer at him while licking his lips, making him look even more crazy.
"Hmm, the fruitcake?" he asked, making Naruto grin just a tiny bit at the insult. "Well, um, could a couple of you boys, uh, hold him down?" the man asked as he licked his lips. Naruto looked at a few of his clones and nodded. Within the blink of an eye, three clones had restrained Mizuki; two held his arms, and one had jumped on his back.
"Let me GO!" Mizuki yelled, beginning to thrash. His movements slowed as the man approached him, leaning in close, sniffing, circling. The clones looked rather uneasy as he stopped and looked Mizuki straight in the eyes with his head inclined.
"You look nervous. Is it the scars?" the man asked, pointing at his face with his knife. "Y'wanna know how I got em'?" he asked. When Mizuki didn't answer, the man grabbed his head. When Mizuki started to pull away, the man held his knife dangerously close to Mizuki's face. "LOOK. AT. ME!" he commanded loudly through gritted teeth, making Mizuki stare at him in terror. The man smacked his lips again.
"Ya see, back in my day, there was a war going on. My home country, the United States of America, versus a Middle Eastern terrorist group called the Al-Qaeda. What happened was that the Al-Qaeda bombed several American icons. Now, that, that pissed off the government, and they went to war with the Al-Qaeda." here the man paused to let the story sink in.
"I enlisted in the army and was dispatched with the first group of soldiers to the Middle East. We fought quite well, but the Al-Qaeda were sneaky bastards. When me and a few of my boys were on patrol, we were ambushed and I was taken prisoner. I got pretty beaten up by them, and then I was chained up in an underground safe." The man sighed and gave a little snarl.
"Finally, one man came in. I didn't speak their language particularly well, but the man had a knife a-and I'm pretty sure he said something along the lines of 'Let's put a smile on that face!' before he did this." the man raised his head to allow Mizuki a look at his scars.
"He let me out and left me stranded in the desert. Luckily, I was found by some of my troops and brought back home... But forever, that phrase went through my head, along with another one," here the man paused again and looked at Mizuki pensively before he slipped the knife into his mouth. Even the air was still for a moment.
"Why... so... serious?" the man asked before he violently yanked the knife to the right. The sickening sound of flesh ripping was interjected by the high-pitched scream Mizuki gave off. Despite being splattered with blood, the man held Mizuki's face firmly and cut a small slice upwards from the same cut. Mizuki screamed again.
"Now don't lose your happy thoughts... on second thought, it doesn't matter. Everybody will think you're happy after this because you'll always be smiling!" the man cackled insanely before he cut into the other side of Mizuki's mouth. Again, the silver-haired Chuunin screamed as the second half of the smile was carved into his face.
From behind the man torturing Mizuki, Naruto felt sick to his stomach as he bore witness to the gruesome summon's methods. Iruka looked as though he was going t pass out. Another minute of screaming passed before the man stepped back and swung his knife across Mizuki's throat. The silver-haired traitor started choking and gasping before he fell to the ground. Blood spurted from his opened throat in little spurts, staining the grass in an expanding lake of red. The man licked the blood off his knife and was about to fold it back up when he laid his spooky eyes on Iruka.
"Do you... want me to send him off smiling?" he asked, as he pointed at Iruka with his knife.
"N-no!" Naruto stammered as his clones popped out of existence. The man didn't seem fazed as he shrugged and put the knife away.
"'Kay. Need me for anything else?" he asked. Naruto shook his head. The man kept staring at him.
"What's your name by the way?" he asked.
"N-Naruto." the younger blonde replied.
"Naruto... has a nice ring to it. Here- here's my card," he pulled something out of his jacket, stepped forward and presented it to Naruto, "you can put some blood on it if you want to call me back specifically. See you around." the man said with one final wheezy laugh as he vanished in a cloud of smoke.
Naruto looked down at the item the scarred man had given him. It was a playing card. More specifically a joker card with a small amount of paint covering its mouth, making a large smile that extended off of its white face.
'That smile... is he trying to say that his name is Joker?' Naruto wondered before something more pressing occurred to him.
"Iruka-sensei! We've got to get you to the hospital! Hold onto me!"
"That won't be necessary Naruto." said a wizened voice that Naruto knew all too well. He whipped around and saw his grandfather figure, none other than the Sandaime Hokage, Sarutobi Hiruzen, flanked by half a dozen ANBU. The old man looked rather sickened by Mizuki lying in a stagnant pool of blood.
"Did you do this Naruto?" the old man asked, looking rather interested as Naruto started to fidget.
"M-more or less. I used the Kage Bunshin no jutsu to pound the crap out of him and I guess the clones got carried away." he lied quickly. Hiruzen looked skeptical for a moment before he shrugged and ordered his ANBU to take the scroll back to the tower and Iruka to the hospital.
"Wait!" Iruka complained weakly, "Naruto, come here." he ordered. Naruto slowly walked up to his sensei and father/brother figure.
"Close (cough) your eyes." he said and Naruto obliged. He felt something being wrapped around his forehead. He opened his eyes to see Iruka smiling painfully at him, minus his hitai-ate. Naruto quickly realized what it was on his forehead: It was Iruka's hitai-ate.
He was a ninja. He couldn't help but break into a smile, even after the gruesome murder he had just witnessed.
"Thank you sensei." he said in just more than a whisper. Iruka smiled back.
"Be at the Academy tomorrow morning at eight 'o clock (wheeze) for the team assignments." he said before the ANBU carried him off, picking up the scroll on their way. That left him and Hiruzen alone with Mizuki's dead body.
"Naruto... do you want to talk about this?" he asked, waving his hand in the direction of Mizuki's dead body. Naruto cringed.
"Nah; if I stay here and talk about it, I'll probably woof my cookies and not be able to get out of bed for my FIRST DAY AS A NINJA!" Naruto yelled as he turned and took off for his apartment. Hiruzen watched him go with a smile on his face.
'That's the Naruto I know and... hmm... I don't wanna say love but... dammit, I'll think of this tomorrow!' he cursed as he teleported himself back to his tower for a long night of work.
Back in his apartment, Naruto sat on his small bed, staring at the little black scroll in front of him. He took it slowly in his hands and pried it open. His eyes widened when he noticed that the blood he had written his name in had dribbled back through the parchment somehow. He looked down to a tiny drop at the bottom of the page and noticed that the paper seemed to have been curled up, as there was another sheet on the bottom. He took a hold of the flap and lifted it up.
What he saw nearly made him faint. There was the blood he had used. It was no longer in the form of his name, but simply splotches and rivulets sitting upon a larger image.
The larger image was a white skull with needle-like upper teeth and no lower jaw. The blood looked as though it was leaking from the eye sockets and dripping from the upper teeth, as though the skull had just gored someone to death. He alternated looking at the bloody skull and the creepy card that clown-ish summon had given him.
'If that Joker guy was just one of the summons, I don't really think I want to meet the others. For now, I need to promise myself that I will only use the scroll in the worst of times. I can't afford to let any other freaks I might summon hurt anyone else.'
Little did he know that those 'worst of times' would only start coming even more in his coming years.
The end of chapter 1! I hope you enjoyed my little take on the Joker.
If you are having problems envisioning the skull, it looks like the one from the first Punisher movie.
Also, the summons that can be summoned are not just limited to horror movies. They just have to be really scary looking or evil. Send me a PM if there's someone you want to see Naruto summon, and I mean any scary person at all!
One last thing: Looking for something to write? Feel like doing an original story? Well then, check out my profile and see if you want to take up my Manhunter Challenge fic!