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CEA Writers without Boundaries – Part 4

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

Next up we have Fiona Tanzer and Shameez Patel Papathanasiou:

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The Smell of Roasting Meat

by Fiona Tanzer

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Fiona: I enjoyed having this story just flowing out and onto the page quickly and without a great deal of conscious thought. I suppose that this is because the story premise comes from my long-standing fascination with people’s beliefs (ever since I can remember!) and something that I have frequently ruminated over for many years.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Fiona: My inspiration was in one sense my abiding interest in how would a person’s beliefs appear in practice? – and in the more immediate sense, the title phrase just popped into my mind one day and sparked my thoughts on people’s beliefs – and I just sat down to write without any planning.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Fiona: I would like people to take away from my story the reality that whoever we are as people, we all share the same love of family and care for one another, however different our beliefs may appear on the surface. After all, we developed our beliefs and practices ultimately as a sign of our spiritual care for one another.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Fiona: The most challenging aspect in this case was the notion that I am writing about another cultural belief system and while I believe that I have done so respectfully, I hope it came across well. I also wanted to make the story general to Africa rather than particular to one specific locality in South Africa, and to give no indication of historical period so that the generality of the belief system comes through. I chose my characters’ names according to names that I happened to like – but unwittingly I chose names from different traditional groupings in Southern Africa. Ms Masobeng pointed this out to me (for which I am grateful) and I gave it some more thought but decided in the end to keep the different names in token of the intended generality of this belief system. So the name choice ended up adding to the story theme. Obviously, it would have been too much of a stretch to use East and West African names as well.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Fiona: I’ve chosen the story to be loosely set in Southern Africa because that is where I live and have grown up, but the basics of this old traditional spiritual belief system in Southern Africa is shared not only throughout much of the rest of Africa, but indeed throughout most of the rest of the world at one time and another – both today and throughout history. And that, I find fascinating.

 

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In.Hold.Out

by Shameez Patel Papathanasiou

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Shameez: I love writing about smart, strong women

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Shameez: I have experienced the anxiety of having an intruder in my house and it was a different situation, but inspired it nonetheless

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Shameez: Someone, somewhere will read your story and enjoy it. If you don’t, that’s okay too

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Shameez: My story is anxiety-inducing and I am easily frightened, so basically, I frightened myself

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Shameez: Keep writing, regardless of recognition and money, as long as you enjoy your own work

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

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CEA Writers without Boundaries – Part 3

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

Next up we have Rets’epile Motiki and Caroline M Reid:

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HIDDEN FIGURES

By Rets’epile Motiki

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Rets’epile: Hmmm…the last part of my story makes me smile. Now finally everything falls into place in favour of Mary. She exposed to everyone and most importantly to her father, the kind of friend he has…despite the pain she was feeling, laying in hospital…she smiles, “…Daddy…Mummy!”
Her father was her favourate and so, even she speaks to them both, she always calls first her Dad.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Rets’epile: More often than not, most girls suffer silent abuse by people who are pretty close to them. And even when they speak out to make parents aware, they are not believed.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Rets’epile: People should basically beware of everything and everyone. No matter how close one is to them, they just need to take a special note that there is always that hidden musk-like figure behind each person and each and everything.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Rets’epile: The biggest challenges I met were the naming of the characters and expressing the depth of each character’s immense being as of how I wanted the message to cut across.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Rets’epile: Either way good or bad, people have hidden figures. Know that.

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DR WHYE & sSOPHEE

By Caroline M Reid

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Caroline: Writing can be solitary, and this collaborative project mixed it up a bit. There was a community created around this anthology; writing, reading, and editing. (And a busy WhatsApp group!)

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Caroline: I am surrounded by scientists who have an intense dedication to their art. 

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Caroline: I wanted to write about how research can be an isolating experience and take over your life.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Caroline: The leap from having your story as a private document on your computer, to putting it in the public sphere.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Caroline: Enjoy!

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

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CEA Writers without Boundaries – Part 2

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

Next up we have Wesley Jade and Agnes Masobeng:

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Wesley wrote the first the story that first appears in the anthology:

FATAL PERFORMANCE

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Wesley: I enjoyed the process if diving into a world that’s different from our own.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Wesley: I was thinking about actors and how they would be perfect assassins because they could pretend to be anything they wanted. It was a really random thought. And then I was thinking about lost civilizations, the Akkadians, the Atlanteans and the Muin (Lemurians). Then I just combined the two thoughts, and Fatal Performance was born. This story is only the beginning of a bigger story I’m working on.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Wesley: I think that sometimes people do things that we think is wrong, but is actually done to protect others. I dunno, I think that people who end up in bad positions always start out with good intentions and a pure heart. It’s up to the good and honest people to help those who are on the beaten track, to help them find the right path again.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Wesley: Finishing it! Haha! I always start things easily and the flow well, but halfway through I peter out. So the challenge comes in finishing something.

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Uitlanders’ Sweet Bitter Revenge 

by Agnes Masobeng 

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Agnes: Describing my characters especially their physical appearance. Putting them out there, visualising and contemplating about them managed to put smile on my face. The other thing I really liked was the boldness of the students. It is not always the case to find young people standing up against the elders fighting for what they belief to be true.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Agnes: Camping at the strict church B&B in town one time for the Macufe WordFest brought the slighted inspiration of this story as I imagined how it’d be like for strangers to do the unspeakable in the unknown land. Clearly what they’ve been advised against when they left their country and when they were allowed accommodation at the B&B.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Agnes: Revenge. Most of the time the story of revenge never produces sweet fruits. It is true that most avengers have good clear intentions and motives about their vengeance but, as I know of, revenge often times never serves a good cause in the end.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Agnes: Changing non fiction to fiction. Every time I wrote a word it always forcefully wanted to reflect back to the actual events of the WordFest. Therefore creating the atmosphere, the plot where the story is at the moment was very challenging.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Agnes: In the end, I guess we all have to stand up for what we belief in sometimes. No matter how dangerous as long as we are opinionated, raising our voice to be heard and doing away with exploitation, oppression, corruption and et cetera. We’ll be good to go.

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

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CEA Writers without Boundaries –

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

First up is the man who came up with the concept, and pulled a variety of different writers together – Shaun M Jooste who also wrote, Maze for the Dying.

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Q: What made you want to do an Anthology?

Shaun: I’ve always wanted to write with other writers. Being a publisher now, I have the opportunity to gain exposure for other writers.

Q: How exciting/strenuous was the process of wrangling writers, who are notoriously slow movers, to get involved?

Shaun: It was more exciting than strenuous. Im pretty easy when it comes to deadlines and I found that when you all share a passion for writing it is easy to work together.

Q: What was the process like of putting together?

Shaun: Since I have my own templates that I have set up for ebook and paperback, pretty easy. It is just a case of copy and paste into my formats, and then setting up the distribution agreements. If I have structure in my workflow, it becomes a piece of cake. The only issue is finding the time, which becomes tough with a family of two kids and a day job.

Question: Turning attention to your story, “Maze for the Dying”, what did you enjoy about writing it?

Shaun: Developing the suspense and thrill at each turn.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Shaun: The original Resident Evil game and movie.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Shaun: That nothing is ever as it seems.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Shaun: Developing a thrilling story with suspense that makes sense and drives fear.

Q: Lastly, how proud are you of the finished product?

Shaun: Absolutely on top of the world. I think all writers pulled their weight and above on this one and we all have a reason to be proud.

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

 

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The Dark Knight amongst the Walking Dead

Demonsee
Chapter 1:

Dear Bruce

Everyone thought they would be safe in Gotham.

They thought that the disease would be easy to contain, but they didn’t account for the mutation it triggered.

In the first 100 days after the outbreak, 40% of the Earth’s population had succumbed to the disease. The next 5 days was when it all went to shit. Everyone thought that the disease was just killing everyone, but it was doing something worse.

It had been silently mutating within the dead bodies waiting for something…and when that something happened, that was when the zombies awoke.

The disease had initially started with a loss of feeling, the vomiting and cold sweats, and then finally coughing up blood BUT after their resurrection, the deceased had become zombies.

Zombies who were hungry; it was a hunger for human flesh and blood that could never be fully sated.

Gotham has been the last resistance…or at least it was.

No one heard anything over the radios for the last 20 days, and if that tells us anything, it is that everyone is dead or a walking dead.

We are on day 500 since the outbreak started. Almost everyone is dead or waiting for their death…

It’s a kill or be killed world out there.

We tried our best to protect you, and it hasn’t been easy. After the last attack on the hospital we know that we needed to go.

Switching off your life support would have been the best thing to do but we are not murderers. If you ever get wake up from your coma and get this message, I just want you know that we had no choice, we had to leave you behind for your own safety.

We stashed away clothes and weapons in a box for you in the basement.

A katana, a sawed-off shotgun, canned food (that will probably be days away from expiring), rope and the last of the grenades and ammunition that we had. Don’t use the live weapons unless you have to. It draws attention and every damn monster within range will desperately come searching for you…so make sure you have an escape plan.

Don’t trust anyone…even someone humans.

If you want to survive you will have to do what you have to do. It won’t be pretty, but it will be necessary.

Remember, the best way to kill a zombie is with the katana, and if you do use the gun- double tap those bitches straight in the head.

By the time you get this message, you could be the last one left.

For your sake, I hope not.

Try your best to stay alive…if you aren’t dead already.

R.

November 28 2014

Chapter 2:

Bruce couldn’t believe what he had just read.

He had to read the letter from Robin 5 times to make any sense of it.

What had happened to the world while he was unconscious? It looked like shit hit the fan, and now it was up to each person to survive this post-apocalyptic shit that awaited him out there.

His throat felt dry and his legs felt weak.

He tried his best to stand up, but when he did, he fell to the ground.

He had no clue how many days or weeks he had been out for, but given how dead his legs felt, it must have been almost years.

There was no way he should have been alive.

Bruce realised that Robin and whoever the “we” was that he was referring to must have done the impossible to keep him going for so long; especially if everything was constantly stacked against them. For them to have protected him for 500 days instead of giving up was no small feat.

Bruce wasn’t even sure if he would have been able to be there for them, like they were for him.

“By the time you get this message, you could be the last one left.

For your sake, I hope not.”

For Robin to say something like that meant was unusual. He was always the optimist, but this new world order must have changed the man in ways that he could never have anticipated. Hopefully, he could see the kid one day…

Bruce erased the thought; given the state of the world, he wasn’t sure if it was a smart idea to carry such a belief around with him. He would need to use his wits and determination, hope would do nothing but be a distraction.

Eventually after resting for long enough, Bruce summoned as much energy as he could to move his legs. It hurt like a bitch, but he knew that he all he knew was that he had to get to the basement, to get to the supplies that they have left him.

Hopefully the canned food would be something edible and not all foul.

Whatever awaited him outside these hospital walls, he was not going to give in that easily or go down without a fight. He had endured going up against fucking Ra’s al Ghul, and being stuck in that pit being left to die.

It would take a lot more than a temporary coma and zombie apocalypse to keep him down.

One way or another, he would make it.

Chapter 3:

Dear Bruce

I guess by now you must have a lot of questions.

If you are reading this then you are probably doing what we all expected you would…trying to be the hero of Gotham.

Alfred of course would not give up on you…he never does.

I wasn’t so sure you would make it but if I am being honest, I am glad you did.

One would think that with the world going to shit, your enemies would have at least given us a break.

I mean, the world just went to hell anyway…

But I guess expecting the Joker not to blow you and the Wayne Mansion up would have been asking for too much from the man psycho…

He is clearly obsessed with you.

We managed to make it out of the house through the caves, but unfortunately when a beam fell down of you, because of the fire, it knocked down pretty badly. You lost a lot of blood and kept slipping in and out of consciousness until soon you just slept and no matter what we tried you would not wake up.

You were alive…but comatose.

Seeing you defenceless scared us all, but we had to pull it together otherwise we would have died.

I am sorry that you have to do his all alone Bruce.

I wish I could be there to explain and help you but this is the last message you will receive from me. I only had the time to write the two letters and stash them before it was too late.

Maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll see each other again…but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Luck is not on our side.

All the best Bruce.

R.

November 28 2014

Chapter 4:

Bruce had to go back to the cave… the supplies they left him with were useable but basic.

He knew they wanted him to survive and make it out, but he needed more.

If he was going to survive this apocalyptic Gotham, he needed to have as much of his gear as possible, and the only place that he could find all of that is the cave.

Getting into the Wayne Mansion was impossible, the fire had decimated the entire top floor of what used to be his family home, and the entrance to the Batcave was littered with these zombies.

Bruce almost didn’t make it…he realised the stupidity in going back, but he had to return and see what was left.

It’s the only true place that was home…

…that he knew as home.

Everything has been trashed or emptied out.

Given the state of some of the stores along the road to the Wayne Mansion, he saw that the people became desperate after what happened and started ransacking homes for supplies. Almost all of the food they stock piled for emergencies was gone and all the weapons are too.

Bruce breathed a big sigh of relief when he saw that the secret stash he kept within the cave was still save.

He immediately was thankful given how useful they would be to fight of these zombies but then something unexpected caught his eye. It was the last thing he would have thought to find there – Alfred’s present.

Bruce should have expected that the old man would know about his secret spot.

Alfred knew all of the man’s secrets…even those Bruce would never risk telling him about.

He didn’t want to admit it, but seeing the old Batsuit did bring a smile to his face…but that was nothing compared to the note that Alfred left.

However, the smile quickly faded when he realised that it might be the last thing ever left by the man who raised him.


Chapter 5:

Of course Bruce was going to read it.

It was from Alfred for damn sake –

“Master Wayne. 


I hope you never read this note, but if you are, you need to run. He expects you would come back…that you would come back to the one place he knew he would be able to kill you.

If you are reading this note, you need to leave Gotham…

You need to get out NOW.

Don’t let him win.

– Alfred.”

“Don’t let him win?” Bruce muttered.

He couldn’t help but find the last sentence Alfred wrote seared into his mind.

Don’t let WHO win.

Chapter 6:

If it hadn’t been for the alarm system pulling him from the letter, Bruce might not have had enough warning from the siren to prepare.

The door to the Batcave broke down seconds later and what he saw was…

…something that he didn’t even know how to put into words.

Never in a million years did Bruce think that he would find Riddler, Penguin, Two Face and Poison Ivy working together…but that wasn’t exactly it.

They were all suffering from this disease…murmuring the same guttural sound over and over.

Even in an apocalypse, the crazies will always find the other crazies… he should not have been surprised.

They moved quickly, covered a lot of ground after getting through the door, if there was anything he learned just from the couple of seconds from looking at them, it is that these zombies were not to be messed with.

Even with the disease ravaging their bodies, having them feast on human flesh, and chunks of their own flesh decaying, it was their inability to feel pain that did not stop them… in actuality, it made them more dangerous.

He analysed everything; figuring the best way out of the situation.

There was not enough time to get to the Batmobile, and he wasn’t even sure there was enough gas in there to get him out. It would have been too risky…

Bruce knew what he had to do, and as risky as it was, there was no other option.

He initiated the shut down sequence, that would trigger the bombs and permanently close the Batcave, as he grabbed the nearest weapon that he could.

If Bruce Wayne didn’t make it out in the next four minutes, he would be trapped with those crazies and that would certainly be guaranteeing his demise.


Chapter 7:

It was a close call but he made it….

He managed to maim a lot of those freaks, and came close to becoming one of them when Two Face almost bit into him. He managed to push off the freak just in time by giving him an electrical jolt using exposed wires.

Something like that would have killed a usual man, but Bruce had quickly discovered that these zombies are far from the usual. The damn freak got up seconds later, as if he had been merely stunned.

He had to trap and fight off a lot of them, but after much struggle, he managed to do it with the katana. He got out with a few seconds to spare as the Batcave exploded, leaving all of those crazies to whatever fate awaited them inside.

He would had killed them like Robin’s letter suggested but he couldn’t do it. He didn’t know why…

Bruce shook the thought from his mind, and tried moving with his new gear but then he found himself facing a new terror.

He thought that he had made it out of the worst, but he was wrong.

Bruce Wayne heard the one thing that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up…

…the one sound that forced him not to mistake it’s meaning.

A laugh so haunting, it had no humour in it, only complete horror…

Joker’s.

“You know,” a voice echoed, “even though they are no longer people, poor old Bats still can’t kill them. You had to blow the entrance to keep your old friends inside. How honourable of you…I would be so touched, if I wasn’t about to puke in my mouth.”

Expecting the one person who should be dead, to have contracted the fucking disease killing everyone, would have been asking for too much.

Of course he would have survived.

He is a cockroach, and those things survive everything…even an apocalypse.

“What do you want Joker?” Bruce shouted, scouting for the first sign of his presence.

“To give you a little present,” the voice laughed manically.

“I know better than to accept presents from psychos,” he replied. “Give it to someone who cares.”

“You know exactly what to say to warm up my heart Bats,” the voice laughed.

Bruce managed to quiet his thudding heart just in time to hear the sound of a bomb being armed nearby. He managed to jump out of the way of the explosion’s radius just in time to avoid any injury. Getting cover from behind an abandoned car he dived behind…

“Bats?” The voice smirks.

Bruce tried his best to move closer to the sound of the voice, keeping the sawed-off shotgun in his hand.

“Bats? The voice repeated. “I know better than to assume a little old kaboom will put you out for good.”

Edging slowly around the car, Bruce moved from one car to another without being detected; eventually spotting the Joker when his curiosity got the better of him, and forced him to reveal his location.

The more he came out in search for Bruce, the faster he moved – trying his best to reach the Joker and catch him off guard.

“Now now Bats,” he said stepping closer to where the bomb had gone off, “don’t be cruel…I have missed you and you are not showing the right appreciation for my present.”

Bruce quickly snuck up behind him, placing the gun to the back of his head.

“How many times do I have to tell you that I don’t want a present from you?”

“I knew you weren’t dead,” The Joker spun around to face him, giggling wildly, “you like to toy with me don’t you Bats.”

“What are you doing here?” Bruce grunted.

“I wanted to check in, find out how you are doing…you know, just check in on my buddy.”

“I am not your buddy,” he growled, “and never will be.”

“How can you say that when I got you this present?” the Joker replies, extending out his hands to the area around them.

“You are starting to sound like Riddler…” Bruce voiced. “Just spit it out.”

“That’s just mean,” Joker smirked, “and I mean the zombies silly Bats…”

“You… you did this?”

“For you,” Joker laughed, “this virus was my ways of showing you just what we humans are. We are all just zombies, never fully able to quench that hunger for humanity, and going through life in sleep mode.”

“You’re crazy…”

“I’m a visionary,” he growled viciously. “There is a difference…cause now everyone is like you and me. Living life to the fullest.”

“I should end this right now,” Bruce shout, prodding the rifle against his head.

“You could,” he smiles, “but you won’t…because I know something about your precious little Alfred.”

Bruce felt his heart sink at the mention of Alfred.

“What have you done with him Joker?” Bruce questioned, aiming next to his ear as he pulled the trigger.

“Why’d you do that for?” Joker yelled. “That was my good ear.”

“You will endure a lot worse than losing your hearing if you keep testing me Joker,” Bruce yelled. “Where is Alfred?”

“You really need to relax more Bats,” he smiled. “Maybe I should get Alfred to help with that.”

“Where is he Joker?” Bruce fired his weapon between the Joker’s leg. He missed the Joker’s right leg by millimetres.

“Have a look for yourself,” Joker laughed as he pointed to a nearby backseat car window. “Sheesh.”

Bruce knew better than to fully turn his back to the madman, so he kept an eye on the Joker as he slowly made his way to the window.

What he saw made his stomach turn, it was a beast attacking a young girl.

Actually, it was a man that looked like a beast…

It took him a while, but he eventually came to recognise the beast as Alfred.

Of rather, that it used to be Alfred.

“What have you done???” Bruce growled.

“I knew that you would like my present,” he laughed uncontrollably. “I did it for you.”

Bruce was caught off guard when the Joker pulled out a gun and shot out the closed backseat window.

It didn’t take long for Alfred the beast to catch the scent of Bruce’s flesh, and soon enough it was crawling out of the car window.

He would have made the Joker pay but had no time because the Beast was on top of him, knocking the weapon out of his hand as it was chomping at the bit to get a taste for his flesh.

Bruce was going to die if he did nothing…so he did the only thing that he could.

He had no choice but to kill him…

Kill the only person who truly cared for him after his parents had died.

The one who put up with all his tantrums and endured the anguish of what Bruce put him through.

The one man who ever truly knew him.

Bruce quickly clawed at the shotgun with all his strength, and did what he had to do.

Kill the man who loved him like he had been his own son.

For the next minute, Bruce Wayne could nothing but stare at what he had done.

Eventually, reality set in and by the time he had realised what he had done, the Joker was gone.

All that was heard was the sound of his laughter echoing for miles.

It was the only sound Bruce heard as he wondered why the Joker had left him alive and what he was after.

Soon enough, his laugh was the only thing that Bruce could hear and he knew that he had discovered a new purpose.

What now motivated Bruce Wayne to keep going, was the goal of bringing that annoying maniacal laugh to a permanent end.

Joker would pay, and he would pay with his life.

END.