Author’s Assortment #1 – Batman: First Person Bat Pt. 1

Posted: December 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

By G.N. Jacobs

The society page photograph landed about as well a crash test dummy dropped from a great height with depleted uranium bricks tied to its feet. Previously, while any image of Bruce Wayne and some other woman could give Selina Kyle a brief nasty moment, this one capturing a ski trip to Vermont was the first after her own very public breakup. At least she’d timed it before having to treat the deposit as a walkway or sitting through the final dress fitting. Shrieking, she threw a coffee cup against the wall.

Selina wore a rare white version of her “work” outfit to blend in with the snow and watched people carve down the slopes only to climb back up in the chair lift. The body language on the redhead holding an elbow that she thought would be hers just made her scream inside. She lowered the binoculars wrapped in white canvas to adjust the tape covering the lens to prevent flares with the sun high and behind her prey.

She sat in the snow trusting the electrically heated long-johns to keep her seat warm. Two thousand meters down the hill, Bruce carved left showing off for his new arm candy. Red laughed. Bruce laughed but with an undercurrent of sadness that suggested this one would be like many others, temporary even without Selina’s dark fantasies of helping this inevitable breakup along.

Resting her elbows on her knees, the rational part of her fought to have her stand up and trudge through the thigh-high snow out of sight of the commercial ski run for the next Uber out of the resort. The growing irrational part stewed up all kinds of animus towards the woman. The skiers took the next chair up to go again.

Selina watched this with naked eyes and lenses fuming at her missed opportunity. She broke off a stick from a nearby fir tree to sketch her plans in fresh patch of powdery snow. Using stick figures, Selina contrived to push her rival off the hill, while Bruce and friend carved up the upper slope of the intermediate-expert run.

By the time, the skiers had made it halfway down racing around the small handful of other uninvolved skiers cutting up huge rooster tails of powder worthy of the videos typically looped in certain Hawaiian themed hamburger chains, Selina had sketched five more plans. Plans with comically increasing complexity. She needed an 800 number that didn’t actually exist.

About ten feet to her left, a mound of snow she’d discarded as part of the natural environment moved. Silently a man wearing snow camouflage with a pattern known to be British issue from thirty years ago stood up out of his hide shaking off the powder. Stepping carefully, he approached Selina from her blind side. She didn’t notice being fully engrossed with the doings of Bruce and the redhead.

“Ms. Kyle, I thought I might find you here,” Alfred Pennyworth said gently. “Up until now, such jealousy has been completely unlike you.”

A moment after her surprised yelp, she calmed down ever so slightly. The older man’s stealth rivaled hers leaving Selina to wonder what Gotham would have been like if Bruce and Alfred switched places more often. He put out an arm as he sat next to her and she curled up in the embrace with a sense of trust that few engendered.

“I want him back, Alfred,” Selina said with the tone of a little girl apologizing for a huge mistake.

“Of course, you do, Ms. Selina,” Alfred said softly. “I taught Master Bruce everything he knows about reading body language. When you made up that big noise about breaking it off because he needs his pain to be the most effective version of himself, you were lying.”

“And faithful father figure that you are, you told him?” Selina asked in the tone of already having the answer.

“Yes,” Alfred said. “But, he already knew.”

Alfred and Selina sat silently a moment watching the antics further down the ski run. Bruce and friend found an empty part of the hill with which to show off and do tricks. It was now that she noticed that Alfred’s camouflage included a backpack and two shoulder bags. One clearly contained some kind of shoulder arm. The other was a Thermos that the man unslung from his shoulder. Meanwhile, the skiers completed another run and made their way to the lift again.

Selina watched Alfred’s face as he unscrewed the cap allowing the aroma of chicken soup to fill the air. The man expected something to happen that had yet to occur. He handed over the first cup to Selina and poured the spare for himself. He raised an eyebrow taking in the repeated plans for mayhem scratched in the snow.

“Remove the snowy mis-en-scene and you might have a future writing Roadrunner cartoons,” Alfred observed.

“Huh?”

“Your plans to enact what can only be termed Biblical vengeance upon an interloper, Ms. Selina,” Alfred said pointing to the snow. “Let’s see. Plan Two requires a catapult and rocket skates. Plan Three is quite novel, repurposing the paint on train tunnel gag to make a tiger pit in the snow. Plan Four utilizes a rocket toboggan. Plan Five…actually neither I nor the gatekeepers at Looney Tunes would decipher it. So omit that one when you apply. Plan Six, you parasail.”

“And?”

“Speaking at the level of pop psychology, these ornate cartoon vengeance plans are your rational self fighting against your irrational self that came up with Plan One,” Alfred said. “You don’t really want to push your rival off the cliff on the back side of this resort.”

“But…”

“You’ve cleaned up the real reason you broke it off with Master Bruce,” Alfred said. “You’re annoyed he didn’t wait a bit longer before ‘moving on’ and you want some way back.”

“He’s…”

“Yes, he is,” Alfred said. “You have my support in this regard. You and he have been circling towards this moment for nineteen years, four months and six days.”

“Almost to the hour,” Selina said whistling. “Support? Based on…”

“The things you said during the break up moment are true for literally all other serious contenders for the position of Mistress Wayne,” Alfred said. “But, you are the most likely to find that middle ground where he continues his calling, but finds time to be happy at home. Like a police officer or Special Ops chap. So you have my support.”

Seen through binoculars, the skiers leaned over their skis at the top of the hill. Alfred’s reassurance warmed up Selina almost as much as the chicken soup. And then she thought things out.

“Hey, wait! I’m supposed to be here!”

“Yes.”

“He picked that redheaded fluff bomb because with her enhanced features, she’s most likely to piss me off to lure me here!”

“A side calculation, Ms. Selina, but yes.”

“Side calculation? And you’re going to spill about bringing a rifle to a normal ski trip, when?”

“Warmer.”

“Wait! She only plays a fluff bomb on TV!”

“Bacon in the pan, Ms. Selina.”

“He’s baiting some kind of trap for her! The loveably moronic love of my life is camped out in a deadfall trap…Oooh! If he lives I will kill him myself!”

“And now we’re barbecuing with gas, Ms. Selina.”

“I didn’t bring skis.”

“I have two pairs with poles still buried in my hide,” Alfred said. “One should fit you and has boots to match.”

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