For those of you who would like to venture bravely into the big, bad world of Mary Jane, read on!
And, the link to the previous eighteen instalments is here.
A month passed, and the girls were nowhere to be found. Frodo was now the prisoner, and Spidey had had him bound in a tight web. Sam would come by everyday, smirk, and spit in his face.
“You thought you were so clever, do you?”, he would say, while gloating. “You will never get her. Neither will that damned, stupid, arrogant, Spider-Man. She is mine, mine, mine. All mine, my Precious….” His face would cloud over, and then he would simply laugh and walk away. He did not realize that he was becoming more and more like one poor creature who had perished many, many ages back. He was only aware of his hate for Frodo. All the pent-up resentment of the past came back, along with memories of how he had carried Frodo up the mountain, and received scant recognition for it. Why? He had played an equally important part in that tale. Is it because he was just a gardener? “Pah! We shall see about that now, won’ts we?”, he would mutter to himself.
The days passed, became shorter, and the wind colder. Winter was well set, and the snow would fall on the grass, making the green sparkle in the cold mornings. The three men had no time or interest in watching the grass grow. All that they were conscious of, was their rage, and the cold. They were staying in a cold house, with no heating. They could not afford anything better. The cracks in the windows would let in the cold, whistling wind, and they would sit there, rubbing their hands together to keep warm.
“If this carries on, my webs will crack”, grumbled Spider-Man. “We have to find those damned women, and put them in their place. What do you say, Joker?”
The Joker sat there and shivered. His white face paint seemed to crack in the cold. He was a very far from the same criminal that had so terrorized the city, and he was beginning to wonder when his luck would turn.
Maybe, the New Year would bring about some luck. They were so close to it anyway.
They sat there shivering in the cold, and the city seemed to be celebrating. They could hear celebrations, and then they heard some passing walkers singing carols.
“Damn these morons”, said The Joker. His tongue flicked in and out of his mouth, as his eyes moved shiftily from one side to the next.
“Yeah”, agreed Spider. “They don’t know that all this is a waste of time”.
Sam interjected. “Shall we go out and get some hot toddy?”
“Where’s the money?”, asked Spider-Man.
“That’s what these morons are for, aren’t they?”, asked Sam with a sly look on his face.
The light flickered on and off. There seemed to be a crackle in the air, and there was a loud clap of thunder.
Darkness enveloped them, and they got up, cursing.
“Someone’s here”, said Spider. “Let’s move out quickly.”
“What, your Spidey senses suddenly woke up?”, sneered The Joker.
“Yes”, hissed Spider-Man, “And, if you don’t shut up, there will be hell to pay”.
A greenish mist seemed to fill the room. Despite the dark, they could just about make out a fluorescent green mist filling the air. Acrid, burning mist, and they coughed and spluttered.
Falling to their knees, they were losing consciousness fast.
A deep, hated voice spoke to them through the fog that was rapidly filling their brains.
“It’s Christmas Eve, my friends. I could not let you celebrate alone, now could I”
“Damn you, Batman”, said The Joker. “I will get you for this.”
A woman’s voice laughed.
“Merry Christmas”, she said.
Following Christmas, it had started to snow heavily. It was the first time in many years that there had been so much snow, and the city, had become white and quiet. Everyone was indoors in the foul weather until, one day, the sun broke through the cloudy cover that had blanketed the city in the weeks following Christmas, and lit up the sky.
The sun was out, shining through a blue sky, and the air was cold and pure. Crisp, is the word that most conventional people would use to describe the atmosphere, but even I was moved by the silence and purity in the atmosphere. It was magical. It appeared all traces of dirt had been washed away, and all that was left was pure beauty and silence. Ah, beautiful silence that had not been heard in a long, long time.
In this pure silence, you could hear the gentle blowing of the breeze, and could almost hear the warbling of the birds. No, I am not wrong. I say you could almost hear the songs of the birds, because in this bitter cold, they had all flown away. However, yes, if you listened well enough, you could hear the echoes of their summer songs coming through the clear air.
It was indeed a magical realm that had been created by the piled-up snow, the blue sky, the beautiful light and the silence.
Some would say that it was a gift from God. Yet, I would say that it was a gift from me, Loki. I sat there in my warm attic, looking out at the silent beauty I beheld, and then I decided to open my window, and breathe in the joyous song of Nature in full bloom.
It was an interlude that I had searched and thirsted for. It was an interlude, ideal for a restless soul to pause and be healed. It was an interlude that allowed every spirit, clean or evil, to reconsider their journey in life. It was an interlude for each and every one to relax and rediscover the simple joys of life.
That such moments come but rarely is indeed a tragedy, and I Loki, would like to say to all living men and women, boys and girls, that these little magical gifts are to be treasured and remembered with gratitude. I speak to mankind alone, in this matter, because the rest of the natural world already does know how to enjoy such moments.
A pause is all we need, and if we lose that moment, it is gone forever. If we cherish and accept these moments of joy, then something of the magic lives inside us forever.
I sat there by the window of my attic, watching the light change, as the sun rose and waned in the sky. I watched the clean blue colour become warm, and then watched the sunrays turn the sky into a medley of red, orange and gold. Then, the day sky was replaced by the twinkling stars in a blur-black sky. They seemed to dance through the night, and all was good with the world.
The morning sun rose, and with it came a cloud. A black cloud, it was, and the magical moments of the previous day were gathered into the memories of those who had chosen to cherish the gift that was given to them.
The normal days had returned, and people started to shovel away the snow. Some of them had an extremely grumpy, angry look on their faces. They grumbled about the loss of ‘productive’ days. Ah, my friends, what indeed is ‘productivity’, if you don’t have time for reflection?
Some of you impatient souls may indeed wonder what happened to The Hobbits, who had started this tale? What of Mary Jane and Harley Quinn? What had Batman and Poison Ivy done to The Joker and Spiderman?
This interlude, my friends, is drawing to a close.
The tale now continues and, I Loki, shall now resume my labors of old.
“The New Year has gone by, my sweet”, said Harley, poking her nose out from under the covers. The beautiful interlude had passed them by, and they had spent that wonderful day under the covers, engaged in activities that we shall not describe here.
“Yes”, replied Mary Jane. “It’s gone. Yet, the year is young. We need to make a resolution for the year”
A pause, and then Harley flung the covers off, stretching her body, and curling her red painted toe nails. Her white body hid the muscles that rippled beneath the pale skin. She was strong, as was Mary Jane, yet without losing the essential femininity that defined the essential sensuality of a woman.
“What sort of resolution?”, she asked. “Resolutions are for farts and old fogeys.”
“Not a typical New Year resolution,” said Mary. “Let’s resolve to be the meanest, baddest, wickedest, most feared and desired duo in the history of……. of ………. of ……. unorganized crime. We shall be the sexiest and baddest couple in history. How’s that?”
“Sounds perfect”, said Harley.
“Now, what shall we do?”, mused Mary Jane. “What shall we do?” She tapped the table top with her fingers, her eyes acquiring the look of someone lost in a maze of wicked, vengeful, relaxing thoughts.
“What shall we do?”
Silence followed, and the sun streamed through the lace curtains, casting abstract shadows on their alabaster bodies. They looked like twins. White, sleek bodies, red-painted nails, red pouting lips. They differed in the colour of their hair. The intelligent, mischievous, slightly demented look in their eyes was identical. They were indeed made – born – for each other, waifs from the bowels of Hell.
“I know!”, smiled Harley. “Let’s get the Joker and Spidey for all the trouble they have caused us. And, let’s get that sneaky devil, Sam, as well”
“Frodo, we spare”, said Mary Jane. “He tried to save us, and he is so devoted.”
“What shall we do with them when we find them?”, asked Harley.
“Oh, I don’t know, and I don’t care. Our wicked little minds will think up something most delightful, don’t you think?”
“Ohhhh yes…. What a way to start off the New Year”, smiled Harley. “What difference that the New Year has gone. We are the wickedest, sexiest, baddest, most desirable little crime duo in the history of crime.. We are the Crazies….. Let’s do it!”
Some distance away, in a dungeon smelling of bats, sat four men, hands tied behind their backs.
“Pah”, said The Spider. “It’s time for us to escape, and plot our revenge.”
The Joker grinned grimly. His red mouth made a ghastly, smiling gash across his white, alabaster face.
The eyes of the two had a crazed look in them. Looking at the two of them, the Hobbits were hopeful, and yet alarmed.
Wheels were turning, and events were slowly coming to a boil.
The year was young, and was about to witness events that had not been seen in a long, long time.
It is not often that we see the dark place that resides deep inside our souls. We keep it hidden away from sight, and away from ourselves. Whether we are saints, or whether we are villains, there is a strong part of us that does not like to look at this part of ourselves. We are ashamed of it. We fear it. What shall we awaken, our subconscious seems to ask us. It mocks us. Will we awaken the sleeping monster that lurks inside and, if we do, will we ever be able to slay it?
What was happening to Spiderman, as he lay there in the dungeon, imprisoned as he was by Batman and Poison Ivy. He had always prided himself on being someone who respected the law. He was proud that he had always fought on the side of the lawmakers, and had brought villains to justice. He had found love, only to find himself betrayed again, and again. First, with those damned, sniveling Hobbits, and then with that insane, giggling Harley Quinn. Finally, here he was, trapped in a dark dungeon, the prisoner of Batman & Poison Ivy.
How he had been fooled. He had always regarded The Bat as a paragon of virtue, and now he found that the man was the most cunning, the most ruthless and pitiless of all villains.
In the events of the recent past, his pride had been dented, and now his beliefs had been shattered. How could this have happened to him – Spiderman? He had been the ultimate escape artist, spinning a web to catch others. How could he have let himself be caught in a web of his own pride and self-delusion?
The more he brooded in the dark places of his mind, the more the shadow grew. It grew and grew, and acquired a mind and soul of its own. It had a blackness that was deep and dark, and engulfed everything around.
The monster rose from the depths of his subconscious mind, and wounded pride. Soon enough it engulfed Spiderman. Spiderman now was the monster, and the monster was Spiderman.
Outwardly, he remained the same, except for his eyes, which acquired a mad, dangerous, deranged look.
Somewhere through the fog that had engulfed him, he heard a babbling voice. It was the voice of The Joker, a sly, evil voice full of malice, anger and spite.
He smiled. His smile was no longer gentle, nor vain, nor pompous. It was pure evil, and dark. The monster had awoken from the depths of his now black soul.
It was time for a new beginning, and he felt the full insanity of power being unleashed inside him. It was time to break the shackles, and for the true Spiderman to be born.