by Aidan Lerner ’22
October 30, 10:30 p.m. Pinehurst Avenue, Providence RI 02908
Jack Ryder shuddered as he hurtled down the cracked sidewalk of Pinehurst. Even by New England standards, it was one of the coldest October nights in recent memory. Jack paused to push his fake glasses up the bridge of his nose and looked up to see three hooded men sneak past him.
“Before you take everything you own, what are you supposed to be?” The bigger one asked.
Jack, stammering, replied, “A-uh rr-report-er.”
The men laughed among themselves before closing in with threatening looks. Jack closed his eyes and braced for the impending assault.
Suddenly, Jack felt the sound of a cloak and opened his eyes to see a flash of movement with a figure, shrouded in darkness, in the center. Batman! With a flurry of fists, Batman reduced the potential crooks to a bunch of moans. He turned, the whites of his eyes visible under his hood.
“Stay inside tonight,” Batman growled.
11:00 p.m., La Flamme, PC Campus
The Director of Public Safety, Gordon, lit his cigarette and frowned. The Bat Signal was fully operational next to the Flame and the light was shining against the full moon. Batman rarely responded directly to The Signal, but Gordon hoped that tonight he would show it. Tonight, every night, Providence College needed The Bat.
A voice from nowhere shouted, “Activity on Pinehurst.” Support now.
Gordon’s eyes adjusted to the towering figure of the Caped Crusader.
– That’s the least of our problems, Batman. I’ve heard rumors that the Scarecrow is prowling off campus tonight.
Batman stared at Gordon unmoved. “Well, what is Public Safety going to do about it, Jim?” “
An exasperated Gordon replied, “We are doing everything we can. We have a bus that drives people now. But what can we do against people like Scarecrow? “
Gordon looked around, realizing he had lost sight of Batman.
Jim Gordon shook his head. Batman had fallen back into the shadows, gone.
Gordon spoke into his walkie-talkie, “High alert tonight, everyone! New protocol: when people come to the portal, we have to ask them where they are going and look at them. Good luck. “
11:30 p.m. Eaton Street
The Boy Wonder had grown used to spotting his mentor in the shadows.
“I know where the Scarecrow is hiding,” Robin said. Batman revealed himself and turned to question his ward.
“It couldn’t be that easy,” he remarked.
Robin replied, “There is a house on Eaton called Gotham. This is where he is hiding.
“How do you know that?” Batman asked.
Robin was excited to make his point known. “There were mass groups of children stumbling outside, totally lost. Many of them cried because of their emotional fears. They looked like they didn’t know where to go.
Batman stared at his protégé. “Robin, these settings apply to every house in the immediate area. It’s a college.
“Well, I also saw a bunch of fear gas emanating from every window, and I heard the scarecrow laughing.”
Batman has released his trademark bat-a-rang. It was time to get to work.
October 31 at midnight, Harkins Hall
“Another night, another victory for the Batsy’s crew, eh?” Catwoman whispered with her typical purr.
The Dark Knight smiles for the first time all evening. “The scarecrow is taken care of. The outside of campus is safe again, at least for tonight.
Catwoman smiles. “Why are you doing this? Who are you under this hood?”
Batman moved away from his cloak.
“Who am I?” the bat repeated: “Who are we?” A heart. A heartbeat. A community.
Catwoman gasped. She knew exactly who Batman was.