Alright guys, fresh from my BETA Hepburn, this is the next step in Batman's journey through this distorted fairytale!
Batman walks on leaving the bridge, river, and even creepier version of Croc behind. Though the sun has not moved in the sky his cowl's computer tells him that three hours have passed before he comes to a fork in the road. Floating in the intersection is J'onn Jones the Martian Manhunter, though obviously like Croc this is just an odd copy of him. While floating two feet off the ground he sits cross-legged with his hand pressed together as if in prayer. He is dressed in a pair of baggy blue pants and he has a large red X tattooed across his chest. His head is shaped like J'onn's true Martian form, but it lacks a mouth, nose, or any other features apart from two red eyes.
"Hello," Batman greats the Martian like figure.
Greetings Sir Wayne, the floating one answers telepathically.
"You know me," he observes.
I know many things Sir. Knight, the green man explains, such as your next question will be which of these paths will bring you to the Dark Castle?
"That would be useful to know," Batman says, confirming the false Martian's claim.
Either path would lead you to your destination, he explains. A third arm sprouts from the false Martian's side and points to the path on Batman's right, which looks much like the wooded park he's been through thus far. This path is a long one, but it is safe and if you took it you would face no dangers and not be harassed, he explains. Then that arm stretches and bends like rubber over his head to point down the left path, showing a much denser and somewhat darker wood then the enchanted park he's seen so far. Taking this road will get you to your goal much faster, that is if you are able to survive the challenges you'll find along the way.
The Dark Knight smirks at the floating Martian. "You already know which way I'm going to take, don't you?" he asks.
As do you Sir Wayne, he answers.
The Batman turns and begins down the left path. "Thank you for the directions," he says over his shoulder
You welcome, and may luck go with you Batman, the false Martian tells him as he walks out of sight.
The area he walks through quickly changes from the park like landscape into a true dark and ominous forest, the kind that one would read about in fairy-tales. While he's sure the Queen meant for this to be spooky the Batman found the foreboding sometimes twisted trees and overall dark ambiance to be relaxing, bringing the words of Robert Frost to mind.
His peaceful mood is broken by a very familiar voice. "Ah Grams! Why do ya got ta live all the way out here? I'll nevea find ya!"
Oh here we go, Batman thinks to himself. Pretty soon he comes up to someone wearing a red riding hood style cloak...with two black diamonds on the back. "Hello Harley," he addresses her.
"EEEK!" she shouts, whipping around. Who stands before him is Harley Quinn, blond pigtails and all, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. Her outfit looks like a Halloween costume from Spencer's, but her red skirt has little black diamonds dancing across it echoing her villain costume. "Whats up Knights, ya scared me haf ta death!"
"Sorry," he tells her. "The woods may be dangerous, if you wish I could escort you to your grandmother's house."
Little Red Riding Quinn's eyes brighten up and she begins hopping in place. "Reeeealy? That'll be super Mr. K!" she shouts, grabbing his hand and skipping off, dragging Batman along behind her.
Despite her recently lamenting about never finding it she soon leads the Dark Knight to a rather homey looking cabin nestled in the woods. Once there Harley skips up to the door, daintily knocks on it, then shouts at the top of her lungs, "GRAMS!"
A minute later the door opens and the Joker (who is dressed in drag) greets them. His grandma disguise literally consists of putting his green hair up in a bun, a pair of wire rim glasses, and a costume that resembles the Granny from Looney Toons. "Oh my dear," the Joker says in his worst little old lady voice, "it is so wonderful to see you! Who is your scary friend?"
"Oh thats Mr. K, he's escorted me here!" Harley answers. "You know Grams you looks different...did ya get a makeover?"
"Yes and I'll tell you all about it my dear," Grandma Joker tells her, "but first you'll have to say goodbye to your friend and come inside."
"Okaie Doakie! Bye Mr. K!" Harley shouts before they both dart inside and slam the door.
The Batman sighs, draws his sword, and silently slips into the forest. Like a shadow he makes his way around the cabin until he reaches a window, there he crouches down in the darkness and waits for the inevitable.
"Grams that was one heck of a makeover," she says to her 'grandmother', "like your eyes are really red."
"The better to see you with my dear," Grandma Joker answers.
"And your hair, its really green," she says.
"The better to hear you with my dear," he explains.
"Um...o-kay?" Harley says, confused. "But what is the weirdest is your teeth, they are bright yellow. Didn't you used to wear dentures?"
In a split second the Grandma Joker goes through a transformation so shocking it even surprises Batman, who was expecting it. His costume is ripped off, his hands are now sharp claws, his face stretches out to a wolfish snout with sharp yellow teeth, and he has a mane of green hair going down his back to a long tail. "THE BETTER TO EAT YOU WITH IDIOT!"
Before the monster can pounce on the terrified girl, the Batman leaps through the glass and lands a kick on the Big Bad Joker, knocking him across the room. "That aint my Grams!" Little Red Riding Quinn shouts.
"No kidding," the Dark Knight says, standing between her and the werewolf/Joker, braced for an assault.
The clownish lycanthrope doesn't make him wait long, as it soon leaps back up and comes at the hero all swinging claws and snapping jaws. The Batman fends it off rather well for a bit, using his blade to block and parry the beast's attacks, but eventually the werewolf gets in a surprise pounce, knocking the hero to the ground and landing on top of him. Feeling victory and dinner within its grasps, the Big Bad Joker can't help but let out a hyena like bout of manic laughter.
Before the monster can clamp its jaws on the Batman's throat it gets nailed in the side of its head by a big wooden mallet, knocking it off its prey. "No one eats my friends!" Harley shouts, pointing the giant mallet at him.
The albino wolf monster snarls in rage then leaps at the girl. In move that can only be described as heroic, the Dark Knight swings his sword in an upward slash, hitting the monster in the belly mid flight and cutting it in half.
The monster falls to the ground, but manages to chuckle insanely for a bit before it finally falls silent. "That was oddly satisfying," Batman says, cleaning off his blade.
"Wow that was freaky!" Red Riding Quinn says. A second later a devious smile comes across her face. "You know Mr. K, the way you saved me was offtly hot. Is there any way I can thank you?" She turns but sees nothing but air where the Batman was standing. She quickly looks around but can see no sign of the hero. "HEY!"
TBC. Tell me what you think guys.