Genevieve Brown sighed heavily as she dropped the bag of groceries down onto the counter, completely disregarding the fact that the eggs she had purchased were probably more fragile than the landing would allow. She slumped into the wooden seat placed beside the kitchen table and buried her head mournfully into her hands.
Any woman would suspect that something was definitely wrong with this world when a regular trip to the supermarket entailed guaranteed feelings of fear, discomfort, and the need to carry various sharp weapons in a small handbag. But this woman in particular knew that her world wasn't ordinary. Living in Gotham was anything but.
Ever since she set foot into her new apartment, she wondered why she had even decided to move there in the first place. It was small, rodent-infested, and definitely not the ideal place to fall asleep in. However, compared to the rest of her happy neighborhood, it was relatively easy to live with. The streets of the East End were filthy, the people much less than hospitable, and it was nearly impossible to get a decent cab without getting mugged in the process. It was such a dreary and hopeless way to live that all she could do was repeatedly remind herself why she truly was there in the first place-- to carry out her dream.
It was only two months ago that she had graduated from the Opal City University with a diploma in her hand and a smile shining on her face. That day, she left the school stadium with a major in psychology and a huge ambition driving her forward. She was so optimistic back then, so eager to finally be able to pursue her dream of exploring the ominous minds of the infamous Gotham city. Now, every waking moment was a struggle to simply stop herself from breaking down and abandoning her dreams altogether. The only thing that prevented her from throwing it all away was the first step that would lead her down the path she so desperately desired to take. Tomorrow would be her first day working at her dream job. She couldn't wait to set foot into the terrifying and, to her, utterly fascinating, Arkham Asylum.
Genevieve woke with a groggy start when she heard the loud, obnoxious buzz of her alarm clock. She turned irritably on her hard mattress, trying so desperately to remember why she had decided to wake up so early, much less on an uncomfortable bed in a dank, unfriendly room. The red, glowing numbers on the small panel flashed 5:00 AM, and her eyes widened.
It all flooded back to her in an instant: her new life, her new apartment, and her new job. Arkham. The fresh anticipation of her first day caused her to sit up in her bed instantly, her hand slamming down on her digital clock in a successful attempt to silence it. She climbed out from beneath the thin sheets and eagerly crawled towards the foot of her bed where her new uniform sat, folded, crisp, and clean.
She grabbed the outfit that she had so meticulously taken care of and stood in front of the full length mirror that was bolted to her bedroom door, courtesy of the unsurprisingly sleazy tenant. She quickly removed her pajamas, which were, essentially, a t-shirt and a pair of panties, and began to slip herself into her new employee uniform. She stood still as she slowly buttoned the shirt, savoring the cool feel of the material against her skin. It made her feel professional, like she had already been working there for years. When she finished with the final button, deciding to leave two unfastened for a more casual appearance, she turned to take a good look at herself.
She lifted her eyes, and she saw another pair reflected hazily in the mirror. Large, and a pale, almost grayish shade of blue, her eyes gazed back at her and examined her features carefully. They saw light skin, a nose sprinkled with brown freckles, and a mouth protected by small, peach colored lips. Curtaining her rounded, heart-shaped face was a simple cascade of caramel brown hair, just long enough to barely brush her shoulders. Her eyes wandered down, and she saw her figure clothed in the shockingly white uniform. She smiled as she saw her nametag that was attached to the breast of her shirt. Large black letters spelled "Genevieve Brown", and beneath, in a smaller font, read "Psychiatric Intern". She couldn't help but stand proudly in front of the mirror before she went on to prepare her usual oatmeal.
With a faint jingle of keys, Genevieve Brown, Arkham's newest intern, locked the door on the way out of her apartment. She made her way down the dark stairwell that led to the bottom of the building, her black flats, which she had bought to match the letters on her nametag, clicked rhythmically with each step. She zoned in on the noise, her unexpected nerves welcoming any mundane distraction.
When she got to her car, a small, rusty, yet endearing piece of work that she inherited from her aunt, she ducked herself through the weathered door and revved the engine to life. She pressed lightly on the pedal, and the vehicle lurched forward from its slightly crooked position in the parking lot. She squeezed the steering wheel tightly. Her journey to what was sure to be her life's calling had begun, and she would do everything in her power to prevent her heart from jumping out of her mouth.
She cruised by the streets of the East End, and was surprised to find herself growing gradually accustomed to it. The dark, sinister windows of the passing buildings and the conspicuous drug dealers wandering the dusty sidewalks almost seemed normal now. Perhaps it was the idea of a brighter future ahead that made her decide that life wasn't so bad after all. Or maybe it was the fact that she was seeing it safely from inside of her car. Either way, her living situation was no longer her concern. All she could concentrate on for the time being was her dream and her dream alone.
She drove for a good half an hour before she reached a stretch of land that definitely had a different feel from the rest of Gotham. As the wheels of her car glided across the pavement, everything around her fell silent as she realized that she was the only car on the road. As she continued to drive, she saw something large and dark in the distance, something that sent chills through her entire being. She drove on, her fingers clenched anxiously around the rubber of the steering wheel once again.
It was more beautiful than she had ever imagined.
She gazed out the window, her eyes wide in wonderment as she drove up towards the massive building. Grey, immense, and utterly frightening, the various walls and windows of Arkham Asylum towered above her like a dark cloud right before a storm. She parked her car in the strangely average parking lot, and hesitantly stepped out from inside the vehicle. She looked up, and she was instantly washed with emotion. Her heart hammered violently against her chest as she was consumed by its menace and enormity, and she felt as if her knees would fail her right then and there. She shivered and willed herself to walk towards the entrance, slowly, but surely, passing the painful looking barbed wire fence whilst doing so.
After what seemed like the longest five minutes of her life, she found the large, metal gates that lead towards the entrance. The intricate pattern shaped by the metal was both lovely and frightening at the same time, and she couldn't help but bite her lip when she saw large letters spell "Arkham Asylum" shaped by the very same metallic bars. She found the voice box off to the side, and she only assumed that she had to introduce herself in order to enter. She pressed her shaking finger to the red button and did her best to swallow her anxiety.
"Um, hello? I'm Genevieve Brown... the new intern?" she removed her finger from the button and cursed inwardly. Could she have sounded more like a fifteen-year-old?
She waited for a response, but none came. Instead, the enormous gates began to part with a loud, creaking screech. She stood still, frozen. When they came to a complete stop with an ear shattering clang, she took a deep breath. This was her life, and she was going to have to face it one way or another. She exhaled and walked through the gates.