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, thrash, was provided by my friend, Brandon. Each story is loosely connected to the one before but will make more sense if you read them all in order. To go back to the beginning to see where this madness began, click here

Under the streets of Metropolis’ Suicide Slums, the Joker and Toyman sat quietly in an abandoned utility tunnel.

“Why aren’t we moving?” asked Toyman. “Superman is bound to catch up to us soon if we stay still for too long.”

“Tsk, tsk…” Joker said, “I thought you were smarter than that, Winnie, old boy. These pipes surrounding us? Lead. Which means he can’t see in here if he uses that fantastic X-ray vision of his. And as long as we stay still and keep quiet, he won’t hear us with his super hearing. So shut the hell up!” Joker whispered as loudly as he dared.

Toyman tried to stay quiet but he was too frustrated or too frightened or too confused to allow someone as unhinged as the Joker give him orders. “What is your plan? You’ve ruined my entire operation.”

“Say another word in the next ten minutes and I will thrash you within an inch of your life!”

Schott could see that the clown meant business. It wasn’t the look on his face that gave it away. That smile never changed. It was the glint of violence in his eyes. Schott knew he was one mistake from being the Joker’s next homicide victim. This is not somewhere that the Toyman thought he would ever find himself.

Toyman managed to control his tongue for a full 15 minutes. Joker silently signaled for him to begin making his way back the way they had come from. “May I speak now?” he asked as he shuffled back toward his old factory.

“By all means!” shouted the Joker, certain that Superman must now be focusing his senses elsewhere.

“What do you want with me?”

“You have something I need,” Joker began. “Your lame version of Santa’s workshop has some equipment that’s more important than you could possibly realize.”

“I only have old toy parts up there,” Toyman said, more confused now than ever.

“Like I said, you have something more important than you could possibly realize. If you understood what you had, you would have rid yourself of it a long time ago, Winnie.”

“Would you stop calling me that!?” yelled Winslow at the clown.

The Joker stopped walking, seeming to consider Schott’s request. “No.”

Returning to Toyman’s old toy factory, the Joker approached a wall that he somehow knew to be false. “Open it,” he ordered.

“Open what?”

“Don’t play stupid with me!” screamed the Joker as he backhanded the Toyman’s face. “I’m getting a little tired of repeating myself. Open it. Now! Or I’ll slice off your hand and use it to open the room myself.”

Taking a deep breath, Schott approached a panel on the wall and placed his right palm against it. An electronic beep sounded and a motor came to life, opening a door to a hidden room.

“That’s more like it,” said the Joker. “Now, if I were a priceless piece of Apokoliptan technology, where would I hide?”

“Apokolitptan tech? What makes you think I have any sort of nonsense in my factory?”

“Oh, Winnie,” the Joker now condescended to Toyman. “I don’t think you have any clue that this technology even exists. No… it was planted here by a crazy man from Apokolips.”

“But how do you know?” asked Toyman.

“Friends in low places, boy-o.”

Joker then reached under a workbench and pulled out a Mother Box. This device was one of three that had been secretly planted by G. Gordon Godfrey. Joker tucked the Mother Box into his jacket pocket and said, “It’s been a hoot, Winnie.”

With that, the Joker dropped back down the hole in the floor that gave him access to Metropolis’ underground tunnels and sewers. Toyman stared in continued confusion and finally collapsed under the exhaustion of the day’s events.

These characters are not my own. The Joker, Toyman, 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 Andre Benz on Unsplash


2 thoughts on “Thrash

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

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