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, delirium, was provided by my friend, Nicole.
Officer Caldwell had slipped out of consciousness once more. James Gordon drew a breath and closed the small notepad he had been writing on while Caldwell was lucid enough to answer a few questions.
Caldwell was alive, but only just. A passing motorist had witnessed the officer being forced out of the Joker’s stolen police cruiser and was kind enough… brave enough… to stop and help the dying man. At this point, Caldwell had come through his emergency surgery and received a blood transfusion. He was now recovering in a private room where IVs medicated him and various other machines monitored his vitals. The fact that he was able to string more than two words together was nothing short of a miracle.
Gordon stood from his bedside seat and exited the room, quietly closing the door behind him. In the hallway, he was greeted by tonight’s attending physician. “What do you think?” Gordon asked.
“To be frank, it doesn’t look good,” said the doctor, unwilling to sugar coat a prognosis at 4:15 in the morning. “But I wouldn’t have expected him to survive surgery. I’m surprised he survived the ambulance ride in, Commish– Oh, my God!”
Commissioner Gordon had been staring down at his shoes as he listened to the doctor speak. His sudden change in demeanor caused Gordon’s head to snap up. The doctor was now looking over Gordon’s shoulder, his face frozen in horror. He knew that look could mean only one thing. Batman was here.
Jim turned to see the vigilante at the end of the hallway, patiently waiting for his turn to have a conversation with the commissioner. He turned back to the doctor and pulled a card out of his jacket pocket. “Thanks for everything, doc. Give me a call if there’s any change.”
The doctor, now pale as a sheet, could only nod in response as he was still unable to pick his jaw up off the floor. Gordon then made his way toward the far end of the hall where the Batman waited. He was tired and he was sure it showed.
“Long night?” asked Batman as the commissioner approached.
“You really are the world’s greatest detective,” said Gordon, laughing a little at his own sarcasm.
“What can you tell me?” No matter how many times James Gordon had a conversation with Batman, that gravelly voice would always be a little unnerving.
“Dennis Caldwell. He’s been with the GCPD for just over four years. Crazy thing is, he put in for a transfer to Coast City that was supposed to take effect next month. Apparently his wife is taking a big R&D job with Ferris Aircraft. One son, eight, likes soccer,” Jim knew that this wasn’t the kind of information Batman was looking for. But he wanted to share it because he hoped it humanized the situation for him. “I wasn’t able to get much out of him. He’s been in and out of consciousness since he came out of surgery. In his delirium, he mentioned Blüdhaven. Said the Joker talked about Blüdhaven as he shoved him out of the car. Apparently the clown thought Caldwell was already dead.”
“Blüdhaven… I’ll tell Nightwing to be on alert,” said Batman.
A room down the hall called for a nurse. The noise drew Gordon’s attention for a moment as he asked, “Nightwing? I thought he left Blüdhaven?”
But when he turned back to get an answer from the Dark Knight, he was already gone.
“I swear I’m gonna pin a bell to his cape one day,” said Jim as he returned to a seat outside of Caldwell’s room. He settled in, thinking it may be safe to doze off for a few minutes before getting back to work.
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.