By Nabil Shah
I’ve always wanted to be a superhero. Ever since I gained the ability to read, I’ve been absorbed in comics. I relentlessly read comics night and day; it had become an unquenchable thirst. I would always place myself in the superhero’s spandex boots and that’s what made it so intense. But nothing compared to the intensity of what was to come.
There I was, sitting at the Dollard-des-Ormeaux public library: furiously reading comics. I was at the climax of the Justice League of Canada: The Death of Superb-Man. I was shaking uncontrollably; any onlooker would have been convinced I was psychologically impaired. My favourite superhero of all time would be defeated by a villain who haunted my nightmares for years, the Jokester, a criminally insane clown. I couldn’t wait for it to unfold. What happened next was not what I’d been anticipating.
As I got closer and closer to the climax I began feeling nauseous and had an elongated rush of blood to the head. My vision decreased as my symptoms increased. What is going on? I have fallen sick many times before, but this, this was something else. I was beginning to worry until my train of thought was derailed by the sound of footsteps behind me. I felt a cold hand on my shoulder. I slowly turned around, questioning who it could be. It was my mother.
- “Greetings Greg,” she said. “Let us roll out.” What in the world was she saying? That sounded nothing like my mother.
- “Mom, are you alright?” I asked while looking around. The library seemed strangely empty.
- “Of course Greg,” my mother replied monotonously. “Now come with me.” I hesitated. Maybe I had read one too many comics but something very bizarre was taking place. However, the abnormality was about to be intensified.
With a blink of the eye, the figure changed from my mother to that of The Jokester, the evil, murderous clown from my comics. What on God’s green earth was this. I was stricken with fear as The Jokester ogled me through his white face paint and black eyes. He had a wicked smile upon his face that literally went from ear to ear. He started cackling deafeningly
I ran. I sprinted towards the exit of the library but he was there already. So I dashed in the opposite direction. Regardless of where I scampered, he was there. Standing in every aisle, sitting on every chair, he watched me, smiling.
I tripped and fell on a desk. He slowly approached me. I quickly looked for makeshift weapons to attack him with. A pencil with a broken tip? That would be pointless. I settled for a pair of scissors. It was time to confront my fears. I turned around to find him staring right back at me, an inch separating us. I dropped the scissors. The Jokester grabbed me by the shoulders, a demented smile upon his face. He took a deep breath.
- “Boo.” I screamed until I could scream no more.
- “Restrain him,” the director barked. “Somebody, restrain that man.”
The guards slowly surrounded the forty-year-old Greg as he convulsed agonizingly. He let out a blood curling cry and charged the guards. They tackled Greg and placed him in a straightjacket.
- “Let go, he’s after me!” Greg pleaded. “Can’t you see he’s going to kill me?”
The guards escorted him out of Darkham Asylums’ cafeteria and into his cell. His cries could still be heard throughout the institute. One of the younger guards approached the director.
- “What’s up with him?
- “He’s one of the worst inmates –sorry, patients, we’ve had at Darkham Asylum,” replied the director. “Keeps thinking he’s being chased by some kind of evil clown. Probably read one too many comics.”