Reunion of Fear

I walked quickly, holding my briefcase tightly against my chest. I can't let anyone know what's going on. I can't let anyone know my intentions.

I kept on walking through Gotham until I stopped in front of a large building. A banner was hanging that read 'Gotham High School Reunion.'

Many people were walking into the building, chattering away happily at one another.

These weren't the people I cared for. They did nothing to me, but they did nothing for me either. They shrugged past me, not evening noticing that someone was standing right there.

"Oh, well," I muttered to myself.

I straightened my tie and sighed heavily.

I hadn't seen these people for years. I've changed so much since high school. Why should I feel afraid? I'm better than they are. I did something with my life.

I sighed again, forcing my nerves to expel from my body, and began walking inside the building, to my reunion.

It had been years since I've walked through these halls.

I remembered going into this classroom over by the lunch area.

Chemistry... That always was my favorite class. Taking different chemicals and mixing them together. It was always so exhilarating to see what new thing you could make. And of course, I got the highest grade in the class. I got the highest grades of my year. Unfortunately, grades don't make you popular.

I ran over to a glass display that had a shelf full of trophies and ribbons.

My eyes scanned the display until they landed on rewards of mine.

Trophies for winning the Gotham City science fair four years in a row.

I had been offered to take the trophies home, but I decided to let them stay here. I didn't want the newer students to think I was just some loser.

I tore my eyes from my glorious trophies and faced the auditorium, where the reunion was taking place.

I stepped into the room, watching everyone dance and have a grand time.

I sat at a lone table, setting my briefcase on it. My mind wandered to my winnings.

"1st place: Gotham City Science Fair..." The judge announced loudly.

"Jonathon Crane?" A voice ripped me away from my thoughts, and I found myself face to face with Billy Jones. "You actually showed up?"

"I got the invitation, so naturally I did," I replied coldly.

"Hey, guys, come here!" He called at his friends. And they came, one by one. James Peterson, Karl Johnson, Nathan Mitchelson, and Frank Lorenz. "Look who showed up!"

"Is that Nerdy, Good-for-nothing Crane?" Frank howled with laughter.

"I can't believe he had the gall to come here," James chimed in. "He doesn't have any friends."

"I'm here because I got invited," I told them. "Get over it."

"We don't want you here," Karl said.

"Yeah," Nathan spoke up.

"Yeah?" I asked. "Well, that's too bad. Because I'm here. And you don't have a right to tell me I can't be here."

"It's been too long since we've had the chance to mess with this guy," Billy growled. "If he's going to be smart with us, he deserves to be punished."

And memories came flooding back to me at those words.

"Nerdy, Good-for-nothing Crane!" Billy and his gang screeched.

"What's this?" Billy asked, taking my backpack from my hands. "An A+ on your chemistry test? You nerd!"

"Excuse me for wanting to make something of my life! I guess you guys will be working in a gas station, making little money while I become the second richest man in Gotham!" I yelled. Bad move.

Billy's fist met my nose, and immediately, I felt blood dripping over my lip.

"Well, at least we'll have girlfriends," Billy said, gesturing to his friends and himself. "You'll be forever alone."

I grimaced at him. "I've got news for you, Billy: a hooker that you'll all be having sex with doesn't count as a girlfriend."

That resulted in another punch in the face, joined in by kicks from the others. I coughed up blood onto the pavement. I shouldn't have said those things, but I couldn't help it.

"Let's teach Crane some manners!" Billy told them.

Now, back to the present.

I was lifted off my feet by Billy, who had grabbed my tie and yanked me forward.

Everyone stopped dancing and started yelling "Fight, fight, fight!"

"Is this all you're good for?" I spat at him. "Beating people up? Is that want you want to do with your life?"

"For your information, Crane, I've got a steady job at a small business," Billy said, peering into my eyes. "What have you been doing? Getting yourself kicked out of university for trying to experiment on humans?"

That was it. That was it!

I reached for my briefcase, but I was too far for it.

"He wants his briefcase!" Nathan yelled.

"Well, let's make sure he doesn't get it!" Frank screamed.

Karl laughed loudly, grabbing my briefcase off the table and throwing it.

"Damn you!" I growled. "Let me go, you bastard!"

"Language," Billy said, tsking me as if I was a small child. He punched me in the stomach; it felt as though all the air left my body.

"Stop it!" A girl shrieked. "Don't you have common decency, Billy?"

I looked over at her; it was Miranda Harrison. The girl I had pined for in my adolescent years. She was just like I remembered her, except she was with her boyfriend or husband, who was patting her shoulder soothingly.

Well, at least she wasn't with Billy.

"I'm leaving!" She cried, taking her purse and running out. Her boyfriend followed her.

"Now, that the killjoy's gone," Billy laughed. "Let's get back to business."

I reached for my tie and quickly untied it, causing me to fall the floor.

The pain in my stomach was too great for me to lift myself to my feet, so I had to crawl to my briefcase.

They were on me, like a lion on a gazelle.

My hand was inches away from the handle when Billy stepped on my back—hard, I might add—and rendered me motionless.

People, all around me, were laughing.

Saying how I didn't change. Saying how weak I was then and how weak I always will be.

I screamed loudly and lunged for my briefcase.

Even Billy looked surprised.

I quickly opened it and pulled out the spray bottle.

"Stay away from me," I threatened.

"What are you going to do, spray me with some water?" Billy laughed. "You're such a loser, Crane. Loser, loser, Jonathon Crane."

"Loser, loser, loser," they all chanted.

"I'm not Crane," I said in a low voice that was very unlike my own.

"What do you mean?" Billy asked.

"I'm not Crane," I repeated. I shook off my pain and got up, staring fiercely at his face.

"You're so stupid!"

"Tell me, what do you fear?"

"What?"

"Fear. We fear a lot of things. Spiders, clowns, rats, you name it."

"Stop being such a weirdo!" Good. His voice was cracking; he was nervous.

I picked up my briefcase and took out the burlap sack I kept inside it. "Do you like it? It's my mask."

As I suspected, the nervousness seemed to die down slightly. I was greeted with thunderous laughter.

Yes, yes, laugh. Laugh all you want, but I'll get my revenge.

I put the mask on, still hearing the laughs of those around me.

"Fear will consume you," I said menacingly, pressing on my bottle and spraying my lovely drug into Billy's face.

As soon as it made contact, he began shrieking.

"Get them off me!" He cried.

"Billy?" His friends asked, running to him. "What did you do to him, freak?"

I said nothing, but only kept pressing. Their screams brought me great pleasure.

"CRANE, STOP IT!" They screamed. "PLEASE, CRANE! STOP!"

"Crane?" I laughed. "I know not of this Crane person."

"CRANE!"

"Stop calling me that! There is no Crane here! Only Scarecrow!"

I laughed loudly; I was so happy to be the one laughing for once.

"Get them off meeee!" Billy sobbed, trying to crawl away and swat imaginary creatures off him. "Crane, you nutcase!" He yelled at me.

"Didn't I just get through telling you that I'm Scarecrow? It seems your hearing is bad."

I tore the burlap sack off my head and put it back in my briefcase. I turned around and walked out of the school, a smirk on my face.

"You got what was coming to you," I said to Billy before leaving.

Feeling so much better than before, I decided to keep my alias as Scarecrow. After all, the people of Gotham City need to experience sheer bloody terror once in their lives.

THE END