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          Everyone wanted me to be a psychologist, or a lawyer. A doctor, or a nurse. Something respectable, they said. Something worthwhile. Don't be a clown, they'd said. Don't be a clown. They wanted me to sit at a desk for the rest of my life, pushing paper. I couldn't do it. I craved the attention. I desired the spotlight. So, I became the clown. I took to the stage, where I'd always dreamed I could be. In front of all those beaming faces, tears sparkling in thousands of wide-eyes, as they applauded. And applauded me. Harleen Quinzel, Gotham Starlet. They all admired, as I took on the role, so effortlessly. My new skin, my contemporary, haunting, rendition of Pagliacci. The clown.

          I was flawless, or so they all thought. Perfection. Until I opened my mouth. The press had asked me once, during my media reign, "what do you think of Joker, Gotham's criminal clown?"

          What a question to ask an actress, I thought. But answered in all honesty, "I admit, he's something of a crush. A dangerous obsession," I calmly recall the ‘wanted posters’ that littered my walls, the mug-shots in my dressing room, the televised coverage of Joker's escape from the asylum. . . I'd fall asleep watching those over and over, how I’d record his moments of atrocity, only to watch them back, in admiration. With desire. Just praying he'd come for me in the night. I'd snort a line or two and think up such romantic scenarios.


          How he could carve me open, spill my ugliness all over my expensive, shallow, husk of an apartment. How he could ******** me over a bloodied bath, and leave me to die. For some foreign maid to find me, and weep over my broken body. I’d be the next Monroe, a dead slut, idolized in death. . .

          Their expressions fall, their smiles fade. Few gasp. How atrocious! Our starlet is a monster. The people dethrone their jester as quickly as they'd promoted me. My fall from grace is hard, rough. I enjoy every second of it. Every stab in the back stings more viciously than the last. . . I am no longer loved. Instead, I am shunned. I am breaking, and Gotham prods at the loose pieces in anticipation that I’ll shatter. The pain is a thrill.

          And Joker must of known. He must have heard, or read it in the papers. How the dazzling Harleen Quinzel had a fetish for the obscure. I laugh to think on it. He must have known, because he came for me then. Having been booed off my stage, I found him in my home, amongst all of my things, my belongings. My memorabilia. I felt a sickness and a thrill like no other.


          And he offered me a new direction. One which would have me entertaining Gotham again, whether they desired it or not. He'd said, once and only once, had somebody else been able to trump Joker. Whose recent, extraordinary heist had been overshadowed, by none other than Harleen Quinzel. He'd been shocked to find he'd been ignored, replaced, momentarily by a blonde skulking the red carpet. My media avalanche, my tumble down from my pedestal, had everyone gripped, everyone revolted, even more so than Joker himself had managed to achieve. He'd even had hostages. Still, the public turned a blind eye to all his wonders. It appeared my personal torment, illuminated in the lime-light, had been the thing to satiate their grim needs tonight.

          Gotham had chosen Harleen Quinzel. And Gotham had destroyed her.

          "Are you going to kill me?" I ask, pulling back tendrils of blonde hair, coolly, subconsciously offering up my own neck. I'd been fantasizing about this moment for far too long. . .

          "No," he says, as he approaches, though his expression twitches with confusion and rage. His ragged smile splits, halving his vicious face. "Not yet."

          I sigh. There is no relief.

          "Work for me," his gloved fingers flit across my cheek. I hadn't realized, until he'd smeared the tears, that I had been crying.

          "Whatever you say, boss," I respond. And my voice sounds ghostly, alien, even to me.

          And he grins then, wickedly. Dark eyes so deep I have to tear myself away from them. Away from him. "Is this a dream?"

          He laughs, such a hollow laugh, cold, callous. His body convolts. I'm convinced. He's going to kill me. It's alright. I'm ready. To succumb to the ultimate submission. Everything just closes down. I think of the stage, and Pagliacci. I think of my brief but glorious moments. I think of Joker. Of greens, and purples. Whites and blood red. "I love you," I say, with a wavering smile. I wipe the powder from my nose, and he too, is smiling along with me.

          "I'll call you Harley Quinn," he tells me, as I jerk and rattle in his arms. A low laugh leaves him, hot across my face. "Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."

          [ ooc: hope you enjoy my rendition of Harley Quinn, mini-story above written by yours truly. Want to get to know me? Just drop me a comment or PM. I don't bite. Often. ]