• Debarshi Kanjilal

Bruce and Hope | A Micro Fan Fiction

There was rain, there was darkness, and there was tumult everywhere. The goons were running rampant, and fire and rainwater were dancing a fatal routine across the city, to the sweet tunes of gunshots and clamors for help.

A pre-teen kid had traveled to the city to meet the heroes that he read about in comic books, who restored peace in what was once the haven of crime. Little did he expect what he was experiencing right then – so he sat behind a pine tree, brought his folded knees to his chin, and clasped a stuffed animal he was carrying, tightly as he would his last straw.

It was in all the hullaballoo that Bruce decided it was time for Gotham to beckon its emblem of hope. Bruce was ageing; his mind was sharp as ever, but his body had betrayed him and finally succumbed to age. But he was Batman – so he put on his mask, hopped into his bat-mobile and turned on the bat signal one last time.

The bat was valiant in his battle, but excruciatingly sluggish against a coven of villains that had evolution on its side. This wasn’t the familiar flightless bird, nor his nemesis that liked to laugh. The explosions triggered by the opposition formed a dark cloudy ceiling over the fireworks in his utility belt and the wrinkles around his lips drowned the sting of his quips. When he knew his armor had lived out its nine lives, he stumbled across street and let his rumps thud onto the ground while resting his back on the bark of a pine tree.

As he counted his last few breaths, he noticed a little boy sitting right behind him and said in his characteristically hoarse voice, ‘I’m sorry kid, but I’m not the real Batman. He will come soon, and deliver justice to Gotham.’ The kid cleared his throat, offered his stuffed animal to Bruce and said, ‘You’re really brave. All you needed was a little help. Here, take him. If you throw him in the river and catch him in a fishhook, he will become a real tiger and be your partner in all your adventures. His name is Hobbes.’

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