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The Brave One

By Sandra Bertoldi

Horror / Romance

Threat

Samantha Steller walked with her mother in the dark halls of Arkham Asylum. A place the criminally insane would naturally call home.

It was the first time that she had ever visited the Asylum. She walked the halls with a swift pace trying to keep up with her mother.

Her mother, named June Steller, was a former police officer, here to make sure the inmates of Arkham didn't escape into the streets of Gotham. Miss Steller was fairly strong willed and walked the halls with no fear at all, while her daughter stayed close to her side.

The place was dark and old. The walls were literally crumbling apart. Sam could see several cracks forming and traveling up towards the ceiling. The lights in the hallway were flickering as they continued to walk further into the Asylum.

They had continued their way through the cell block, which was where Arkham kept most of its inmates. The girl just stared at some of the inmates in their cages, while her mother kept her eyes forward, ignoring the prisoners in their cells.

The girl had to admit that she felt a little sorry for them, they were all locked up, having their independence taken away from them. The inmates just looked so sad to her, hiding in the corners of their cages.

She studied the criminals with sorrowful eyes, while her mother suddenly stopped at the interview room. Her mother had a serious look on her face as she looked through the glass of the room, watching an inmate with dark hair and bluish-green eyes intensely.

"That's Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow." Sam heard her mother said with a scowl. Her mouth was in a thin line, and she could tell that her mother was nervous.

Samantha just simply stared at the young man with some curiosity. She had heard about Jonathan Crane before. Her mother had told her that Crane had killed a good friend of hers, one of guards that had worked at the Asylum with her. She was told that Crane apparently killed him with a special gas that installs fear into anyone who breaths it. It was said that he had literally scared her mother's friend to death.

Sam had also seen a drawn sketch of him once from a victim's descriptions, but she never saw him in person before. She noticed that he looked exactly like the shaded sketch. He was a thin, tall with his hair gelled back and a pair of glasses on the tip of his nose.

He didn't look like he had much strength at all nor did he look like he was really insane. Instead, he looked fairly clean and didn't drool all over himself like some of the other inmates did. She actually wondered if this man was actually as crazy as they claimed him to be.

"He doesn't look like a criminal." Sam stated knowing that looks could be deceiving.

"Well, Crane is a criminal and he's probably the worst of them all." Her mother growled. "I want you to stay away from him Samantha. He can and will kill you. Do you understand?"

Samantha just nodded and saw some guards suddenly carry Crane away from the doctor who was interviewing him. The doctor looked frightened as the guard opened the door and stormed out, dragging Crane out with him. The guard tightly gripped the thin man's shoulders and started to shove him forward into the hallway.

Jonathan Crane's eyes traveled towards Sam. He smirked at her like a predator does to its prey. The doctor in the interview room left with a horrified expression on his face and her mother glared at Crane with a strong hatred. Crane simply turned and smiled at Samantha's mother.

"Hello Miss Steller. I see you brought your daughter with you today." Crane greeted calmly. He sounded actually normal, but Samantha could still see that he was grinning as his eyes were focused on her mother, making her feel a little uncomfortable.

"Take him away to his cell." Her mother ordered through her teeth. The guard just nodded slightly and walked away dragging Crane along with him. He took one last glance at Sam and her mother.

"I would be careful if I were you, Miss Steller. Who knows what might happen to that daughter of yours." Crane warned while grinning. Her mother bit her lip hard causing her to bleed a little bit.

Sam just stood there, stunned that her life was just threatened.

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SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...

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Katherine Drotar: Loved your story. it gripped me right from the first page and I couldn't put it down. You are a very talented writer. your main character was strong while still being emotional. The only hard part I found was the repetition of the story from 2 different points. (it made me want to skip ahead) I u...

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