Disclaimer: I do not own the rights "Batman" or any of its characters, including Scarecrow, nor do I own any rights to the comics or the films. I own nothing!
A/N: I was inspired to write this story by the Einsturzende Neubauten song "Ein Stuhl in Der Holle", which in English translates to "A Chair in Hell". If you're interested in hearing the song, it is available on Youtube.
A Chair in Hell
I am standing in the basement of Arkham Asylum. I am alone in the mold and darkness save for the man sitting in front of me, his body strapped to a chair by asylum restraints. His eyes are wide and unmoving, his expression blank.
For a few seconds there is only silence as I stand in front of him, holding my breath, waiting for his reaction. I am not nervous. I know what is about to happen; I have done this before many, many times. Tonight is merely another rehearsal for an upcoming performance, a performance I will share with Gotham City and all of its undeserving inhabitants.
I watch as the man slowly raises his head to face me. His eyes bulge as his jaw drops and an agonizing scream erupts from his mouth, tearing through his throat and echoing through the halls of the basement.
The rough texture of the burlap brushes against my cheeks as I smile. A small bead of sweat rolls down my face as I watch the man helplessly stomp his feet, his face red, the veins in his neck threatening to burst through his skin. I take a deep breath, drinking in his fear and the stale scent of the cell.
The thick and confining feel of my mask does not bother me; it is the other half of me, the better part of me, my true face. I am everything I have ever wanted to be when I wear this mask. I am impeccable, I am perfect, I am indestructible. I am everything you will never be and more.
I lean forward until my face is inches from the man's, and I look into his eyes, bloodshot and full of suffering and terror.
"Is something wrong? You don't look like you feel well."
The man presses himself into the chair, trying to get away from me, to escape his binds. A trickle of blood slides down his chin as his teeth dig into his lip, his hands tightly grasping the arms of the chair.
The sound of screams mesh with my roar, filling the cell with a symphony of fear and anger. His fingernails crack and break as he frantically digs his fingers into the chair, desperate to escape, but knowing it is impossible.
He throws back his head and lets out a pained howl of defeat, tears streaming down his face.
I will do this again tomorrow night. And the next night. And the next.
Every night I bring a patient into the basement and seat them in their special chair, and allow them to play audience as they watch me perform. Every night I rehearse, preparing for my big show, my masterpiece, my performance of a lifetime.
Their screams are my applause, their cries my praise.
I smile and bow as they sob and plead, their voices cracking, their throats dry.
Every night, it is the same.
Every night, it is beautiful.