My name is Jeffery and I'm twenty nine years old. And I live in what may very well be the scariest city on Earth.
Yeah, I've heard about Mexico, and pretty much anywhere in Europe that still has a Castle. But ghost carrying candles and shutting doors; ain't shit compared to what Gotham will throw at you. It's like this city is a living entity that lives off of your fears. Every single stone, pint of glass, or piece of wood seems intricately placed to frighten you.
Serial killing pig masked slashers, psychopathic clowns, and, oh, yeah, eight-foot tall crocodile mutants. Seriously; all these things are real. I've seen them. Numerous times. And let me tell you, the shit never gets any easier. In fact it gets worse, because you get the sense that the city is trying to kill you. Not just kill, but kill you!
I remember I was on a date one night. This pretty little brunette I met at a Pharmacy in the Narrows. Great smile, bubbly and cute. Perfect ass... anyway, we'd left the movies. Yeah, I know, cheap date right?
Wrong! A tub off SMALL popcorn and medium soda, ended up costing me seventeen, frikin' bucks! Not to mention the movie sucked! It was a new Taken. Taken 12: Taken No More. At this point, I'm thinking Brian and his family should consider therapy. Or, at least work on a buddy system.....
Ahem, sorry, I'm easily distracted.
Anyway, we were parked four blocks away from Crime Alley. Because nobody actually parked in Crime Alley. Not unless you were a cop on stakeout or an illegal gun dealer being watched by said cop.
We shared interest. Shared views on politics, and even sang along to the radio together. All in all, I knew I was going home with the gold that night. My car was a 1997 Lincoln Continental, so there was more than enough room for us to fool around in the back seat. I had gotten the windows tended coal black, like three weeks before this, and at the time, was very happy with the investment. I was lying on my back beneath her. That oh, so perfect booty of hers held in my palms. Seriously, this woman had buns and hammies that could crack a coconut.
I was preparing to seal the deal, when all of a sudden she froze on top of me and looked out of the window. Eyes wide with fear.
Now, I'm not an easily shaken dude. I work as an Assistant Nurse at Gotham General. I've personally tended to more than fifty patients infected with Joker Serum. Seventeen survivors of a Killer Croc rampage, SEVENTY EIGHT, burn patients, whom all nearly died in a fire started by Harvey Dent. The lunatic crime boss known as Two-Face. Dude was runner up for Mayor once. Was a high powered attorney before that. Life went to shit after he was attacked with acid by a mobster he'd convicted and had sentenced to life.
Guess he wanted to share that pain around.
"Hey, Lucy you ok? Kinda scaring me right now" I say with a nervous chuckle. I was just trying to lighten the atmosphere, you know. I hadn't ever seen her scared face. And all I'll say is, she'd have made a convincing scene of tension in a horror film. She was as alert as a dog that caught a scent on the wind, or heard a sound only it could pick up. Her entire body stiff.
"I saw something. I think it's on the roof."
The way her voice shakes when she says this to me freezes my blood. I know for a fact, that this isn't some elaborate hoax. There very truly was something out there.
Almost as if whatever it was had read my thoughts, I hear scratching coming from my roof. Then, screeching like fingers on a chalk board.
Now, I can't tell you exactly why I did what I did. Until this day I just don't know. But before I realized what was happening, I had already crawled from underneath Lucy and had made my way to open the door to the back of the car.
I could feel her grabbing at me. I could hear her shouting at me to not get out. And that I was crazy. And shit, maybe she was right now that I think about it. I just needed to see what was out there hovering over us. That thing she'd seen, and I'd not noticed come down on my roof. And driven by that morbid curiosity I went to find my answers.
I had heard the reports. I had seen the weak shots taken by a cellphone user on the news every now and then. But all the time I'd lived in Gotham, I had never actually seen the Man-Bat. I knew people, whom claimed knew people, that had actually been abducted by him, only to be dropped, on a random rooftop. Which, I didn't believe of course. Hell, I barely believed it was real then, even as I looked into it's red beady eye.
It's fangs were razor sharped and surprisingly white. It's fur brown and roughly matted. Like some one had gotten frustrated while laying down a carpet and decided to scrape the entire thing. It's muscles were powerful and taut. It turned towards me as it's ears picked up my car door. It looked at me curiously. Like, it didn't know if it should react to me or not. It had a damn Owl in it's mouth, and It seemed to be rather enjoying it.
"Uh hi" I blurted out for some reason. Waving a hand to it as I got back in to the car with Lucy. "You don't have anywhere to be tonight do you?"
"Why? What happened is everything ok?
"Oh, it's nothing. It's just the Man-Bat eating an Owl on my roof. We'll be fine. Just let it finish and it will fly off somewhere."
And it actually did. After about six hours. To say that being cramped in a hot, musty, car with a giant monster literally sitting above your head is enough to ruin the mood, is an understatement. But it's what I live with. Because I can't live anywhere I'd like too.
I'm serious. Gotham does something to you. Living in this city too long does something to your DNA or some shit. I can't be in well lit, extremely sunny places for too long. I start feeling suffocated and drowsy. I visited my Older Sister Evelyn in Coast City for two weeks and was miserable the entire time. Same for a few cousins in Star City also. Not to mention everywhere is too expensive for me.
That's another way the Vampire that is Gotham City lures you in. The housing here is dirt cheap. I'm talking three bed-room, two bath for less than nine hundred dollars. I have a pretty decent studio overlooking down town Gotham, and I only pay seven hundred and twenty dollars a month, electricity and water included in the rent.
I can see Wayne Enterprises from my window. And the Bat Signal glows like a second moon when it comes up. That's probably this city's only redeemable trait.
The place is beautiful in a Goth Punk kinda way. Some parts of it looks like you stepped onto the set of The Crow or Dark City. At night the skies glow with the lights of the inner city. And Gotham harbor during the day looks like a Victorian styled painting.
So, if you can get past all the serial killers, mutants, dirty cops, and Bat themed vigilantes running around, then Gotham is a pretty sweet deal.
I on the other hand, have just about had enough. I just can't seem to break this city's hold on me.
It's a shame too. I heard Star City got a Mall of Americas.