Welcome to the 2022 April A to Z Challenge! Each day (minus Sundays) in the month of April will feature a short work of fiction based on a random word beginning with the corresponding letter of the day. Those random words will be provided by various friends and family members throughout the month. Today’s word, colander, was provided by my cousin, Landon.

Rumors of the Joker’s recent escape from Arkham Asylum had not been exaggerated.

Behind the wheel of a stolen police cruiser, Joker laughed maniacally as he wove in and out of traffic at insane speeds. To be fair, is there anything the Joker did that wasn’t at least a little insane?

In the passenger seat, a bruised and bloody police officer silently panicked as he watched the world fly by around them. The madman beside him had bound and gagged him with half a roll of duct tape. A bit excessive in the officer’s mind, but at least he was alive. For now.

“Has anyone ever told you you’re not much of a conversationalist?” asked the Joker as he glanced over at his hostage. Seeing the tape over the cop’s mouth just caused him to burst into more fits of laughter. “Come now, Officer Caldwell! You look scared! We’re just having a fun night out on the town!”

Caldwell moaned when the car hit a bump in the road, igniting new pain in each of the injuries the Joker had personally given him. Most of the wounds, Caldwell knew, were superficial. Some bruises… a few scrapes… But he knew that the stab wound in his left side was continuing to bleed. He knew it was only a matter of time before he bled out. He knew it was likely that this was the last night of his life. That he may never see his wife or son again.

“Ooh! A Bed Bath & Beyond!” Joker shouted, excited at the prospect of coming upon the home goods store. “Do you think they’re open this late at night?” he asked, looking pointedly at Caldwell. Joker then rolled his eyes. “Fine, keep your opinions to yourself. Not that it matters if they’re open. I’m gonna stop in and pick up a few necessities anyway,” he said with a quiet giggle.

Joker sped through the parking lot of the Bed Bath & Beyond, slamming on the brakes and stopping just inches from the store’s front window. Shifting into park, he looked back to the bleeding police officer and asked, “You want anything?”

Caldwell could only mumble a plea of release.

In frustration, the Joker punched the officer in the face. “If you don’t start making more sense I’m going to have to kill you! Do you understand?!”

Exiting the vehicle, the Joker ran up to the window and peered inside. Only a few lights illuminated the store as it was obvious the business had been closed for several hours. He looked around himself for something heavy he could use to smash the window. Then he slapped his own forehead saying, “I’m such an idiot!”

Joker suddenly remembered he had Officer Caldwell’s gun tucked into his belt. Drawing the weapon, he fired into the store, shattering the glass and giving him full entry.

Back inside the car, Caldwell struggled against the tape that held his arms behind his back. It was a pointless attempt, but he felt like he had to do something. He couldn’t just resign himself to death at the hands of Gotham’s most notorious villain. He had already watched as his partner was killed by the madman. He couldn’t be sure how many Arkham guards had been murdered in the Joker’s wake.

Now Caldwell watched as Joker made his way through different aisles, grabbing at seemingly random items. He couldn’t help but wonder what the Joker was so excited about with Bed Bath & Beyond. The clown didn’t really strike him as the domestic type.

It wasn’t long before the Joker was leaping back through the broken window with several full bags in his hands. He tossed the bags into the back of the police cruiser before getting back into the driver’s seat. Caldwell looked at his captor and was confused when he saw a colander on his head. Random strands of Joker’s greasy green hair poked through some of the holes.

Joker threw a candy bar at the officer. “They had candy at the register. But since you refused to tell me what you wanted, I had to guess. I hope you like Kit-Kats.”

Caldwell glanced down at the candy in his lap, then looked back at the colander on the Joker’s head. Joker noticed. “Oh, this?” he said, tapping the colander with his fingers, “Well, they didn’t have any proper helmets, so this will have to do, won’t it?” Saying this only caused the Joker to burst into more fits of insane laughter.

Within seconds they were back on the highway, speeding through traffic with no real destination in mind. At least, none that Caldwell was aware of. The Joker continued to laugh at something in his mind and Caldwell could feel himself slipping away. He knew his best chance at survival was to stay awake, but as the minutes passed, that was becoming harder to do.

“You mind if I turn on the radio? Gotta find the oldies station. I just love those old classics!” he said, laughing again at nothing in particular.

“Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones was playing when Joker found the station he was looking for. Then, not a moment later, a voice broke in with an emergency news report. “We’ve just received a special report alerting us that the criminal known only as the Joker has escaped custody at Arkham Asylum. His current whereabouts are unknown but he is suspected to be armed and extremely dangerous. Mayor Hill has instituted a strict curfew and the Gotham Police have warned citizens to remain locked inside their homes for their own safety. Stay tuned for the latest…”

Joker got excited. “They’re talking about me! Can you believe it, Caldwell, old boy?!”

He looked over at Caldwell. The officer was slumped over. “Aww… Did you bleed out already? I was hoping you’d last at least until we made it to Blüdhaven.”

Joker slowed and pulled to the side of the road. “No matter,” he said, reaching across Caldwell’s body and opening the passenger door. With some effort, he managed to shove the officer out of the car and onto the pavement. “The ingrate didn’t even touch his Kit-Kat. What a waste!”

The insane clown then slammed his foot down on the gas pedal and peeled away, laughing into the night.

These characters are not my own. Batman and all related characters are the property of DC Comics. This is a work of fan fiction and is just for fun. Please don’t sue me.

Feature Photo by Jamie Templeton on Unsplash


13 thoughts on “Colander

  1. Pingback: A to Z Challenge 2022 – Reflection | The Confusing Middle

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