WHILE GOTHAM SLEEPS | A Short Story

I created a short fiction inspired by Batman. I started it a while back, but now it’s finally finished. It feels like too long since I worked at a vein of writing that wasn’t creative non-fiction, so I wrote this story to kind of get back into that genre. As an aspiring writer, if you could read to the end of this and let me know what you think, I’d really appreciate it. Constructive criticism/feedback always means a lot.

While Gotham Sleeps ~ Sarah Thea

The puddles on the street drink up the reflection of the orange street lamps and shimmer many feet below me as I smoothly and silently glide in-between the dazzling skyscrapers. The many vehicles and humans which patrol the streets this late are small – so very small. They only seem like insignificant particles of existence from up here – much different from my perspective of them when both of my feet are set solidly atop the earth. I now understand what these high-rise buildings must think of us – nothing more than what we think of insects and midges.

Wind forcibly storms past me as I glide against its power. It tackles my body and rips furiously through my dark cloak which wafts out behind me. I sense its strength attempting to throw me back, whilst its deafening roar attacks my hearing. 

Meanwhile, the rain which is currently pouring down troops from the clouds to attack the Earth only grows fiercer and bolder as I land feet first onto a smaller tower. My cape is drenched and it clings about my bulky armour. Thankfully, my helmet – though it squeezes my skull tightly – shields the majority of my face from the angry rainwater, but it still pelts against my lower jaw and mouth.

Standing on the edge of the building’s roof and staring down at the alleyway below, I take a moment to comprehend the thoughts which rattle about in my brain and hammer against my skull’s walls. I’m presently in the process of making my way to the harbour outside of the city; I’d caught word that there’d be a probable drug transaction around there at midnight and I’m coming to hopefully end it before the dope even leaves the port. Most people – if they knew who I was – would question why I ever spend my time chasing down criminals. And, if I’m honest, sometimes I question myself too. But, when living in a city so devastated and infested by crime, it’s hard to not want to do something about it. I know I have the tools to aid in the ending of my city’s reputation for crime and that’s not some kind of job I could quit easily. Now this weight of responsibility sits heavily on my shoulders and it won’t shake off. And my whole life has been filled with a craving to make a difference; without doing what I do would give me a sense of worthlessness.

After consulting with my thoughts for the past few moments, I’ve made up my mind to go ahead with tonight’s plan. With that, I just take one more second to glance at the street below, and then dive. I dive into a freefall and let my wet cape flare out behind me as it guides me across to the next block. I’m on my way to Gotham Harbour.

*

When I arrive at the port, the rain has calmed just a bit, but it’s certainly not the definition of graceful yet. Though it doesn’t feel much like my enemy anymore, since its raindrops are usefully covering up the sound of my boots scratching along the asphalt and the movement of my suit as I calmly trek my way through a maze of random, metal sheds. They’re small buildings, but convenient to stay undercover behind.

My grip tightens around the pouch of batarangs clipped onto my belt. Voices are arriving within earshot and I know I’m getting boldly close to the scene of crime.

Peering around a dull red, corrugated shed, I can plainly spot a group of people only around ten feet away. Warm lights around the port highlight their silhouettes. I take in what I see: two crates, three vehicles and four men. They’re gathered into a circle.

The two crates are almost definitely holding the dope – I’m pretty certain about that, apart from the fact that I can’t actually catch a real glimpse of the contents. As for the vehicles, there are two Ford cars and one Jeep. Three of the men appear quite young in age from their appearance – only about their early twenties. They seem so uneasy and unrelaxed, like they’re not too familiar in this field. I only see one of them bearing a small handgun – he looks slightly punk-ish in fashion and the weapon is tucked down the back of his baggy biker jean’s waistband. The other two youths have donned shiny, long raincoats. One of them wears thin, framed glasses.

As for the final guy, he appears to be the one buying the crates. He leans against his Jeep’s open side door – a little older than the others, slightly plump with balding hair. Altogether, he’s calm and collected, with a different attitude than the rest towards the risky matter. He’s undoubtedly experienced and highly used to this work. I almost at once decide that he’s going to be the first and toughest person of the group to take out.

With just a bit of hesitation, I step forward from the shadows of the metal shed. The light exposes me. The heat of nervous perspiration stains my face and neck beneath the mask – I’m still not as confident about this job as I’d like to be.

One comforting thing though, is that the younger drug dealers look a thousand times more insecure right now. Even in the dull, foggy light it’s plain to see, as if I was reading their emotions written across their faces. Unfortunately, the older fellow’s reaction is not so relieving. A bright, angry flame sparks in both of his eyeballs and a look of wild, sheer contempt crawls over his expression. I think he’s a lot less than happy to see me.

“What are you doing here?” He spits out.

“Where have you been getting this dope shipped from?” I growl, paying no heed to his question. I gesture a gloved hand towards the crates. The Adam’s apple in my throat rubs uncomfortably against the tight cowl which grips my neck firmly.

The punk is reaching for the back of his pants.

“That’s none of your concern,” the guy who leaned against the Jeep replies (now he’s standing up straight. Tensed).

I clench my jaw.

The rain has lulled and transformed into a faint, light shower.

He takes one step forward. “You know, I’ve always hated you, Batman.” My title escapes his lips coated in a thick mocking tone of voice. “You really think you’re someone. Gotham is apparently gonna love you for what you do. But who you truly are is a coward. That’s what you are! Always hiding behind some stupid mask. You’re a coward. And I hate cowards! Why don’t you show yourself, eh?!”

It only takes a second for him to end his bitterly angry barking before the punk to my left whips out his handgun. With shaky, sweaty hands, he aims it at my head. Yet, it only takes me about a second to twist the firearm out of his grip, hear the bones in his arm crunch and feel the snap of his skeleton arm vibrate through my own hand as I do so, and then let my elbow heavily swing straight into his terrified face.

The next few moments are all a blur of defending myself from fiery blows and kicks in the misty, dark lighting. Several gunshots go off and a bullet is deflected off my armour. But it’s bounce ripples a bruising pain right through my stomach and I feel sick. Now, three unconscious bodies lie around me on the damp asphalt. One of them had run off – the youngest fellow with the glasses. He’d run for dear life, barely looking back. I’d let him go tonight though. He looked so young and so innocent. For once, I want to let someone have just a little taste of mercy.

I try my best to refrain from gasping in pain as I bend over the druggie’s bodies. Starting with the older, stronger guy, I commence in tying his arms firmly behind his broad back. This one had been tougher than I’d hoped; I have the proof as well. The right cheek of my cowl features a rudely torn crack streaming down from it’s eyehole to its mouth opening. It had been that area where he’d punched me and I can even feel my skin beginning to swell underneath the mask’s damage.

Once I repeat the same process on the other two men, I stand back up. My stomach still feels very bruised, but yet, I’m grateful to my armour for hindering the bullet’s travels into my flesh earlier.

It’ll be 1 A.M. soon. The rain is much less than a drizzle now – it’s stopped its attack. Close by, I can hear the calm white foam washing over the sea and I can taste the saltiness of it drift through the air. The sudden quiet compared to the violent struggle I witnessed just a moment ago feels quite preternatural and eerie.

Glancing over, I can see the nearby Gotham city. The iridescent lights from the many skyscrapers almost seem like they’re calling me back home. I should be going, really. The Police will be here soon to investigate the sound of wild gunshots. But instead, they’ll discover three captured criminals next to their own getaway cars and two crates of powdery dope. No one will ever know for sure who caught them.

And so, I go. I’m headed back for the city – a bat flying into the night’s late hours.

*

Miller watched the lad, slouched over the bar’s countertop, sipping from a whiskey-filled drinking glass. His glasses, which reflected the rustic orange lighting from around the pub, were stained by rainwater – as was his long coat. His hair was pasted onto his forehead with a mixture of rain and sweat. As for the young kid himself, Todd, he was still greatly shaken from the night’s events.

But Miller had listened to his long, drawn-out story.

Scooping up his cane, which was leaning against the bar, Miller spun his stool around, facing the opposite end of the pub. The smell of alcohol wafted up his nostrils. He shook his head in silent despair.

His drug transaction with his customer, Baxter, had gone disastrously wrong tonight. Oh, so horribly wrong! Not only that, but this pathetic Todd was suspecting that Baxter was probably dead by now. Baxter? Dead? He couldn’t be! Not one of the best runners in his field.

And this was all because of that so-called “Batman” freak. Miller shook his head again at the thought. He’d always disliked the slightest mention of the apparent hero’s name – he didn’t even want to believe or acknowledge his existence.

With his blood still boiling due to the news, Miller stood up, turning back once more to Todd. He put his hand on the lad’s leather coated shoulder and leant closer towards his ear. “Listen, don’t tell anyone a word about what you’ve seen. And don’t you dare go back to the port. If not already, the Police will likely get there soon. So leave the dope. I don’t want them finding any leads to me or any of yous whatsoever. Got it?”

After receiving a sullen nod, he turned on his heels and hobbled slowly towards the pub’s doors. He favoured his right foot more as he walked and grasped the wooden cane in his left hand.

Upon escaping out the doors, he was immediately hit by a chilly breath of fresh air. It aided in calming down his upset and frustrated state of mind. He knew this and was glad for it; even he understood that the overwhelming sea of rage which washed over him just a minute ago wasn’t good for his health, not at his age.

He inhaled. His head turned upright, to the Gotham sky.

And it was then, as he was prepared to make his way back to his apartment, that he saw it! He was certain he saw a lonely body standing atop the building to the northwest of him. Miller tensed up and felt himself shudder. It was as if the body was staring down at him.

Braving another glance, he checked again. Sure enough, the figure was there. Haloed by moonlight, with two vertical ears standing alertly up from his helmet and his cloak wrapped tightly around his body, a man stood on the building’s rooftop. The body was unmovable. It was so still – just staring down at the street Miller trembled on.

Batman.

Breathing curses, Miller abruptly turned and hastily paced down the sidewalk, his breathing ragged. He couldn’t believe it – the same masked man who he’d hated with all his heart and soul was right above him just now, staring at him. Staring at him and sending down fear which felt like electricity zapping through Miller’s cold body. His heartbeat quickened its pace; so did his walk. How could he be feeling so petrified?

Batman.

He’d seen him with his own two eyes. He could no longer deny the existence of the Dark Knight, guarding over the city from above. And the existence? It burnt him with so much fear.


featured art by Jim Lee. used from Pinterest.

Mini Bedroom Tour

Hello, my friends! So, today I was intending to post some fiction I was working on lately, but I realised I didn’t like the piece and decided to re-write it. Now I have a bunch of editing to work on and not awful lot of time to do that today… Oh well, I’ll hopefully have that posted next week. Sound good?

Anyways, I have this fun post which I actually was hoping to share way back on my last blog and I think some of you wanted to read it too, but the chance never came around. So, since I have nothing else to post tonight, here it finally is – my mini bedroom tour! Let’s get into it~

NOTE: if you were expecting some kind of aesthetic, stereotypical teen’s girl bedroom, you’re in for a disappointment. My room is far from aesthetic. 😂 Also, I share a twin bedroom, so I won’t be giving a tour of the whole room. Lastly, I apologise for the poor quality of these pictures – I’ve been having a lot of problems with my camera as of last (it’s old).

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Firstly, here is the door you enter by unless you have the ability to walk through walls or something. Behind the door is a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 poster and an overloaded teddy bear coat hanger (the hanger is super old, but it still serves a good purpose).

This is the view opposite the door, featuring a bookcase that looks like it’s about to fall backwards (it’s always tilted like that), old curtains that don’t match with the rest of the purple/pink theme, fairy lights, my guitar, a mess on top of the wardrobe and stuffed animals (which aren’t mine).

Okay, so this is the wall shown above, but from the front angle. I’m only showing the first three bookshelves here because the bottom ones don’t hold my books. Also, that Flash poster is not mine (neither is the Baby Groot one, mind you). I’m not really much of a Flash fan, plus I’m literally clueless about anything to do with the TV series.

A close-up of my bottom shelf, featuring a blurred out photograph of me/a friend, because that’s private. 😉 Anyways, most of these books (and all the ones on my other shelves) are ones I read back as a tween, asides from my Bible and JoJo manga here. Now, for the most part, I read ebooks.

The second shelf, filled with more of my older books, some DVDs and… a purse that I don’t why I put there. The jar, meanwhile, is filled with layers of salt that I coloured with chalk a couple years ago.

And, here we have the last shelf, with a toy London bus, a few pieces of confetti from a concert, a seashell which actually came from the Seychelles (I think?) and the Mandie collection. Did anybody else reading this grow up with the Mandie books? They used to be my favourite books ever and I proudly collected all of them.

Oh, and on top of the bookcase, I have this Frozen LEGO set that a friend sent a few Christmases ago.

Alright, next to the bookcase, we have this small cabinet. In case you’re wondering, that black-hexagon-shaped-thing happens to be a starlamp (you turn it on at night and it projects stars unto the ceiling). The Funko Pops here aren’t mine, by the way.

Okay, so this is my shelf in the cabinet, crammed with… a lot of stuff. I keep my CDs and vinyls in here, along with my “beauty” products, like some makeup, perfumes, hairspray and other accessories.

A closer look at just a few of my vinyls and CDs… and, eh, a Superman comic? I’m not sure why I put that in the shot, but for some reason I did?

Alright, now for the cupboard next to my shelf. There’s honestly not much interesting in there, actually. It’s mostly stuffed with a bunch of haircurlers since they don’t all fit in the bag, which is pictured above. But these Flexy Rod Curlers are SO good. They’re the only curlers that work in my (thick, thick) hair and they leave my hairstyle looking super natural. I highly reccomend. (Yes. I totally got carried away from the tour there…)

Moving on, this is the view of the room to the left of the door. Also, my wall is painted pale pink, not white like this photo would lead you to believe, just so you know.

A couple bits and pieces on the cupboard by the bottom of my bed – a fox painting by my friend (@diahsjourney on Instagram ;)), a juiceboom speaker and my alarm clock.

Yee, my poster wall! And this time, the posters are mine. Oh, and underneath them are some Twenty One Pilots paintings that I created back at the beginning of the year.

A crooked up-close shot of my cork board. I drew Twenty One Pilots inspired doodles all around the border of it. 😊 It mostly features artwork/pretty things sent to me from friends. But, there’s also some Pinterest aesthetics and a few of my own paintings on there too. There’s also some jewerelly there as well. In fact, there’s one particular pendant I want to show you all….

Check out this cool pendant I got custom made by Steele Woodcrafts. Any Marvel geeks recognize the symbol?? It’s based off Dr. Strange’s Eye of Agamotto necklace! You should check out Steele Woodcrafts on Instagram – he hasn’t got a lot posted there yet, but he still does some pretty neat work. And he takes commissions! You could get yourself a necklace like mine. 😉

Okay, right next to my bed, we have this pink-storage-thingy. The bottom tub just holds mainly junk, a bunch of cables and my retainers how boring. The top tub holds my music player, Kindle, sketchbook and two bullet journals.

Here’s the items I described, but in a more detailed photo. I’m in love with this new space cover on my Kindle (I’m currently reading Caraval. Anybody else read it here?), as well as my new colourful and flowery BuJo.

Lastly, we have my small desk. It’s right in front of this TOP poster (which surprisely isn’t mine, but I highly approve of it’s presence in my room since they are my favourite band, after all) and these neat lightbulb fairy lights (which I got for only a POUND!).

Annnd here’s whats on my desk (it’s normally much, much messier, but I only just tidied a few days ago): a mug of pens, a paperweight, a scented candle, an artificial rose, a postcard, a mirror and a red desklamp (not pictured).

Okay, before I go, I wanted to show you all a close-up of my pen mug, because it’s so cute. Owls might just be one of my favourite animals (along with dogs, foxes and wolves). Ahh, I love it.

*

Alright, that’s all for tonight. This post was quite unorganized, but I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you thought of it below! And also– do let me know if there’s any specific posts you’d like to see from me; I can’t promise I’ll do all of them, but I’m SO open for suggests right now. Can’t wait to hear from you in the comments.

Sarah Thea🌙

Summer Is… // Photography Dump

“Summer, you have spread your wings and taken flight away from this branch of life. Even those past three months – which felt more like three days – have proven themselves too tiring for you. Your time has come and gone; gone for a year until you come back around to us again.

Summer, your sunny days were the best. Those were the days you’d cradle me in green, green healthy grass and sunbeams. Those were the days of peace where I’d find comfort in your shade – silent under a tree, overseeing life from behind a pair of rose-tinted sunglasses.

Summer, thank you for your delightful time, even if it felt so short. I cherish every moment I had with you. And, Summer, I’m eagerly awaiting your return.”

(something overly-dramatic i wrote about the end of summer)

A hobby I love getting around to during summer is practicing my photography. The lighting and such is a lot easier to work with in the sunny season. So, today – even though I didn’t get all that many snaps this year – I thought I’d compile some of my decent photos into a nice summer photography dump.

Without further ado, here is my list of summery “things” which I photographed. Hope you enjoy!

Summer is…

Car trips with the family~

I was not aware of the sheep in this photo when I captured it… Anyways, those first three pictures were taken from outside the car, when we took a short break by the roadside. The rest were taken whilst craning my head out the side window.

This one above may be one of my favourites from this section, because of the frame of the car around the edge.

I’d probably like the above photo a little bit better if only the car wasn’t so close to the border and if there was more sky pictured. But when you’re in a moving car, there’s really no time to plan out a whole shot. 😂

Meh, the quality of this one is poor, but look at these sheep which strolled casually past us!

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Summer is…

Sunny afternoon strolls in the park~

I love practicing candid photography on random people I see in public, like this family pictured above.

I love the purple against the green background here.

Ah, finally, a non-candid photo of someone.

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Summer is…

Days spent at the seaside~

Unfortunately I could barely see these photographs when I was taking them because of sunlight reflecting across my camera’s screen at the time, but these were the best beach snaps I got. (Why does the lighting look so odd??)

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Summer is…

Late nights and vibrant sunsets~

The reflection of the sky across the water makes me so happy.

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Well, that’s all the photos I’ve got for this post. Can you believe it’s autumn already though? 2020’s summer flew by FAR too fast.

Before I go– my blog tour ended last week. So if you haven’t already read the latter two posts from that yet, then be sure to check them out. Kenechi reviewed a SarahThea Blog music playlist HERE and Jul crafted a piece of writing prompted by my tagline HERE.

Sarah Thea🌙

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Welcome (First Post + Character Assumptions Collab)

Hi, everyone. Annnd welcome to my brand new blog!

It’s been awhile hasn’t it? I admit, over the past summer, I wasn’t sure if I’d be returning to my blogging life again. I guess, I was so uninspired and completely uncertain over what I wanted to do. But, the hiatus was great for me and it’s left me refreshed and fueled to get back to blogging again. And it feels so, so good.

I’ve started over on SarahThea Blog for several reasons and I honestly really want a revamp from my last site. So, here we are – I’m writing my second “first post” ever, on a completely different site.

To celebrate my new site, I’ve teamed up with a few awesome bloggers on a mini blog tour – Diamond, Kenechi and Jul. They each wrote a post for the tour and I can’t wait for you read them.

So, today, I did a super neat collab with Diamond, to launch the blog and tour. Oh my goodness, guys, it was so much fun. Diamond came up with the suggestion that we send each other pictures of fictional character from our favourite movies/TV shows/books – for kicks – and get the other person to describe those characters (of course, the other person has no idea what these people/personalities are like, which conjures up some pretty amusing results). So, let’s get into it! Here’s the characters I sent Diamond and her thoughts: (I’ll also rate her accuracy.)

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#1 Dominick Cobb, from Inception

Diamond: Okay, so I have actually seen bits and pieces of Inception, so I know it has to do with lucid dreams or something. Um, Dominick Cobb is probably a guy who got really depressed at one point in his life and picked up lucid dreaming. He sometimes can’t tell dreams from reality, and so he thinks he’s a superhero who is invincible. He has a brother who is a teenager, and he dies at some point during the movie. Ooh, maybe that’s why Dominick got depressed in the first place! Yeah, I’m going with that.

My reaction: Okay, this was fairly close. Yes, Dom is depressed. Yes, he sometimes struggles to tell whether his dreams are reality. No, his brother (if he even has one) doesn’t die, but someone really close to him does and that is why he’s depressed. So, yeah, I think it was close! I’d give this a 7/10. (He doesn’t ever think he’s a superhero, though, but that is funny.)

#2 Anton Chigurh, from No Country for Old Men

Diamond: He looks like one of the bad guys. Like, there are some people who just look evil. Anyway, Anton is a criminal who steals groceries from old ladies at the grocery store. He tells them he’ll help them carry everything to their car, but then he takes it for himself, and the poor old ladies can’t do anything to get their groceries back. 

My reaction: YES; Chigurh is a very bad bad guy. Diamond definitely got that right. Um, stealing old ladies groceries?? 😂 No, he’s a bit meaner than that, with a kind of character I’d compare to a combination of The Joker/Harvey Dent. I give this a 3/10.

#3 Max Rockatansky, from Mad Max: Fury Road

Diamond: Well, I’m guessing he’s mad about something. 😂

Okay, so the reason he’s so mad is because he found out his girlfriend cheated on him. He decided to go on a revenge quest, but along the way he discovered a scientist who created zombies and unleashed the zombie apocalypse. That’s why he’s dressed like he just walked out of a YA dystopian novel. 

My reaction: Oh my goodness, this one was great. 😂 Unfortunately, it’s not all that correct…. The dystopian part is true, though, so I give it a 2/10.

#4 Imperator Furiosa, from Mad Max: Fury Road 

Diamond: She looks like maybe she is in the military or something. She shaved her head because it got in the way in her missions. She also wears war paint to disguise herself. She has a tough backstory, her parents were shot right in front of her when she was just eight years old. 

My reaction: Oof, coming to think of it, we don’t know an awful lot about Furiosa. But, I don’t really think any of this really works with her character (sorry, Diamond!), so I’m not certain about what score I should give this…

#5 Murph Cooper, from Interstellar

Diamond: She looks like she doesn’t take any nonsense from anyone. She probably gets told “leave the problems to the adults” a lot, and she absolutely hates that. I think Murph takes karate and hates the color pink. 

My reaction: She definitely got the “leave the problems to the adults” part correct! And the “hating the colour pink” part also works, because Murph’s a complete tomboy. Asides from the karate part, Diamond got this one pretty close. I’d give this assumption a 8/10.

#6 Sam Miracle, from the Outlaws of Time series 

Diamond: Are his arms made of snakes? Um, okay. So, maybe he’s a shapeshifter? And he is a very sensitive individual who cares deeply about all of his friends. He likes to make them laugh often with his silly shapeshifting antics. And…he also is an avid reader. 

My reaction: Um, the shapeshifter idea is incorrect, yet I actually think that’d be kind of cool. But I’d agree that Sam’s sensitive, he cares deeply about his friends and he also is an avid comic book reader (I think?). So, I give this a 5/10.

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Well, that’s my side of the collaboration over. It was so much fun to work on. What did you think of Diamond’s descriptions? How accurate did you think they were?

You can check out my descriptions of Diamond’s character picks on her blog. Just click right HERE. She also did a short Q&A with me AND announced the whole blog along with the launch, so be sure to check it out.

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Alright, so that’s all for today. I am beyond excited for this blog and I hope you are, too. Feel free to look around and get familiar with the new site. I really appreciate you checking my new blog out so far and I hope you were entertained looking through our first tour post and collab piece.

Tour schedule:

August 31st: blog and tour launches with a character assumption collaboration with Diamond @I Have 12% of a Plan & @SarahThea blog.

September 1st: Kenechi reviews a SarahThea Blog playlist @Well… Go Read!

September 2nd: the blog tour closes with a piece of wordcraft from Jul @the flood.

Sarah Thea🌙