Batman: The Butler's Burden

Reads: 216  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 2

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Alfred visits the graves of Thomas and Martha Wayne to deliver a relic from the past, and hopefully find peace in light of a devastating tragedy...

This is an eight page short story, similar to tales told in the Batman: Black and White anthology series produced by DC Comics.

Enjoy, and please review! Thanks.

Submitted: January 01, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 01, 2017

A A A

A A A


BATMAN: THE BUTLER'S BURDEN

By Christopher Goode

 

 

PAGE ONE (five panels)

 

Panel 1

INT. LUXURY AUTOMOBILE - NIGHT

Alfred Pennyworth touches the display monitor on the dashboard. Words on the touch screen are enclosed in a Bat-shaped icon, and they read:

 

SCANNING FOR DISTRESS SIGNAL.

 

Panel 2

Closer on the display monitor, now flashing a new set of words in crimson red:

 

DISTRESS SIGNAL NOT FOUND.

 

Panel 3

EXT. GOTHAM CEMETERY - NIGHT

Alfred strolls along a paved walkway near the entrance, with his vehicle parked outside of the gates in the background. To his left and right, tombstones and angelic statues jut out along the misty fields.

Along with his coat, he wears a nice, hand-stitched leather satchel around his shoulder. There is no one else in sight. 

ALFRED (CAP)

Tonight has been a long time coming, I’m afraid…

And I wish it were longer still.

(2)

But there are certain truths we cannot keep buried within...

 

Panel 4

With a stiff wind at his side, Alfred is now bundled up in front of two tombstones. Engraved on the immaculate slabs of marble are the names: Thomas Wayne, and Martha Wayne.

 

ALFRED (CAP)

And if we fail to confront them--

(2)

--they can haunt us to the grave.

 

Panel 5

A close-up on Alfred looking down at the tombstones with heavy eyes. His breath turns to fog.

 

ALFRED (CAP)

I've come here tonight to shed the burden of truth. For my part,

I feel I owe you at least that much.

(2)

The only question is, Mister and Misses Wayne...

 

PAGE TWO (six panels)

 

Panel 1

EXT. GOTHAM’S SOUTH CHANNEL ISLAND - 48 HOURS AGO

This is an ariel view of the island as the sun begins to set behind the horizon. We focus on the very point of the landmass, where a large park is located. A crowd has gathered, and we’ll soon find out why.

Across the river channel to the north is mainland Gotham City, where, if we look carefully, we can see an old abandoned lighthouse bordering the harbor…

 

ALFRED (CAP) Cont’d

“Where do I begin?”

 

CAPTION
Gotham’s South Channel Island. 48 hours ago.

 

Panel 2

EXT. PARK - CONTINUOUS

Zoom in to see that a political rally is unfolding in the center of the outdoor amphitheater. Banners and light stanchions have been erected, and security vehicles are at the scene monitoring the crowd.

In the midst of all this, a middle-aged Congresswoman stands center stage on a platform, addressing hundreds of Gothamites. Some of her supporters are waving anti-Penguin posters. Yes, Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin, has somehow won the republican nomination!

 

CONGRESSWOMAN

--but my opponent doesn’t seem to share those ideals…

 

Panel 3

INT. BATCAVE - CONTINUOUS

We cut to Alfred, sitting alone in the vast lair. Blue light from a computer monitor is illuminating his concentrated face as he watches a live broadcast of the rally. 

 

CONGRESSWOMAN (elec)

…Instead, he is using fear and aggression to promote

class warfare, and drive Americans apart!  

 

Panel 4

EXT. OLD ABANDONED LIGHTHOUSE - CONTINUOUS

We are on the top tier, where a non-operational lantern is encased in glass, and a darkly outfitted man stands on the iron ledge. He is adjusting the lens on a sniper rifle, which is perched on the outer railing...

While doing this, he listens to the Congresswoman’s ongoing speech, via a wireless earpiece headset.

 

CONGRESSWOMAN (elec)

I believe it’s time we show my opponent what America

can achieve when we set our differences aside!

Panel 5

We see the Congresswoman through the black crosshairs of the sniper lens. She is waving at the crowd as she accepts her applause; oblivious of her impending death…

CONGRESSWOMAN

Let’s remind him just how great this nation continues to be!

 

Panel 6

Extreme close-up of the Gunman as he makes his final adjustments. One eye is tucked behind the scope, while the other eye betrays his surprise and fear, as he hears a voice coming from off-panel…

 

BATMAN (O.P)

From this distance, you’d have to be an excellent shot…

 

GUNMAN
Hhm?!

 

PAGE THREE (five panels)

 

Panel 1

Having leapt from the cockpit of his jet-black aircraft, Batman is now airborne! His wings fan out menacingly, as he descends on the Gunman scrambling across the tier.

 

Panel 2

As the Gunman desperately tries to fire at the Dark Knight, a Batarang deflects the rifle from his hands.

 

BATMAN (O.P)

Well let’s see how well you do…

 

Panel 3

Soaring down, Batman barrels into the Gunman’s chest with the heels of both feet!

 

BATMAN

…up close.

 

GUNMAN

UGH!

 

Panel 4

While Batman lands lithely on the tier, the Gunman slams against the outer railing of the Lighthouse!

Panel 5
Close on Batman, his eyes pierced, stalking the defeated Gunman as if he were prey…

 

BATMAN
Give it up. You’re coming with me…

 

PAGE FOUR (six panels)

 

Panel 1

Close on the Gunman. He’s on his butt, with his head leaned back against the iron bars. He looks up at Batman with blood in his teeth, seething hatred.

 

GUNMAN

You--You think this is over? You think we’d chance our

country’s future with a single bullet?

 

BATMAN

What are you saying? Who’s we?

 

GUNMAN

You don’t get it, do you? You haven’t saved a life.

You’ve damned that entire congregation!

Panel 2
Batman has now grabbed the Gunman by his collar, dangling him over the 70 foot ledge! But the Gunman is undaunted—instead he calmly looks into Batman’s fuming eyes.

 

BATMAN
Talk. Now!

 

GUNMAN

Plan B… In case I failed. In case you arrived to stop me…

(2)

It’s set to blow any minute.

 

Panel 3

Close-up as Batman pulls the Gunman face-to-face, teeth clinched and furious as all hell.

 

BATMAN

You’re a madman!

 

GUNMAN

I’M A GODDAMNED HERO!

(2)

Once the Penguin’s restored America, they’ll thank me

for makin’ it all possible! 

 

Panel 4
Batman’s heard enough. With the force of a wild animal, he has hurled the Gunman back into the lantern casing behind them! Glass shatters all around as the giant light fixture breaks. 

 

BATMAN
Don’t count on it.

 

SFX

CRSSHH! 

 

Panel 5

With the Gunman sprawled unconscious on the broken light fixture, Batman stands over him. He has cracked open the Gunman’s wireless headset, examining its inner electrode chip…

 

BATMAN
Alfred, I’ve got a job for you…

 

Panel 6

Batman has sprung from the ledge and into the air, firing a grappling hook towards the Batwing, resting idly in the sky…

 

BATMAN

But I’m afraid there isn’t much time.

 

ALFRED (CAP)

I have witnessed Batman race against the clock many a

night and emerge victorious. But eventually, time grows

wings.

(2)

Soon, it catches up to us all…

 

PAGE FIVE (six panels)

 

Panel 1

EXT. GOTHAM CEMETERY - NOW

Cut to an upshot of a stone crafted angel, sitting atop a concrete stoop. Moonlight is casting an eerie shadow over her. She holds her head in the palm of her hand, looking despondent as she forever mourns the souls of the cemetery.

 

ALFRED (CAP)

I only wish I had learned that lesson sooner.

 

Panel 2
Medium angle on Alfred, standing near the Wayne's tombstones as the wind whips his coattails. The Angel from the previous panel is in the background, looking down on him with sorrow. 

 

ALFRED

Perhaps then I wouldn’t be filled with such-- regret.

 

Panel 3

Alfred has taken the leather satchel in his hands, lifting the flap to look inside. We do not yet see its contents.

 

ALFRED

But now, there’s something I must share with you--

Something I’ve hidden away for many years…

 

Panel 4

INT. WAYNE MANOR - MANY YEARS AGO

Cut to a ten-year-old Bruce Wayne, and a much younger Alfred. They’re inside an arts and crafts room, both messy with splattered paint.

Bruce is holding a paintbrush and Alfred holds the palette board, as they examine the canvass. The easel is facing away from us, but we can see from the joy in their eyes that Alfred and Bruce are delighted with the finished product.

 

ALFRED (CAP)

Master Bruce had crafted it as a child, with the intention of

giving it to his parents on their anniversary.

(2)

That is, until you were both taken from him…

 

Panel 5

INT. YOUNG BRUCE’S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

In the back of the room, near the bed, Alfred is consoling Bruce, who cries in his arms.

In the extreme foreground, we see the painted canvass for the first time. It is sticking out of an overfilled wastebasket, along with other childhood items Bruce has thrown away.

The painting is of a man in a black suit and a woman in a white dress, holding hands with a small boy as they frolic on a brick road.

 

ALFRED (CAP)

When I found it some time later, I knew I had to preserve it…

 

Panel 6

EXT. GOTHAM CEMETERY - NOW

Alfred now holds the framed painting in his hands. His face is rigid; his eyes brimming with tears long withheld.

 

ALFRED (CAP)

In our darkest moments, this relic became my only form

of solace; a reminder of simpler times. When I held it, I’d

long for a day when Master Bruce could return, and the

Batman were no more…

(2)

How could I have ever been so blind?

PAGE SIX (six panels)

Panel 1

EXT. SOUTH CHANNEL ISLAND – NIGHT

An aerial view of the Batwing blazing across the river channel, approaching the tip of the Island, where large trees form a border around the park. Darkness has completely fallen.

 

BATMAN

Alfred, the location of that signal transmitter. I need it, now!

 

ALFRED

Yes, sir. The electrode chip you uploaded appears to have

been communicating with a device in a security

vehicle behind the stage.

BATMAN

Activating infrared sensors…

 

Panel 2

INT. BATWING COCKPIT - CONTINUOUS

Batman is looking down at his onboard computer system, which displays info in front of him like a 3D hologram. The image shows infrared signature of a man sitting inside a security SUV, along with a large block shaped package in the back seat.

 

Our angle mostly focuses on Batman, however, as a look of alarm washes over his face.

 

BATMAN

Alfred, are you seeing this?

 

ALFRED (elec)

My word! They’re going to level half the island…

 

Panel 3

INT. SECURITY SUV - CONTINUOUS

A lone Driver sits behind the wheel, looking sweaty and nervous. He’s yelling into a handheld radio, glimpsing at the backseat, where 40 pounds of plastic explosives have been tied together. 

 

DRIVER

Hey, what the hell’s taking you? Didn’t you listen in?

She’s almost done!

(2)

The clock’s ticking, you know?!

 

Panel 4

EXT. PARK - CONTINUOUS

Close-up on the Congresswoman on stage, concluding her speech. She has now brought a hand to her mouth, looking up in disbelief at something off-panel.

 

CONGRESSWOMAN

Before I go, I’d like to thank you all for…for--

(2)

Oh my God.

 

Panel 5

An angle from behind the crouching Congresswoman on stage. We see the agile Batwing swooping dangerously low into the amphitheater, causing panic to spread amongst the spectators.

Perhaps most frightening, a set of claw-like iron clamps have begun to extend from the bottom of the aircraft.

 

Panel 6

INT. SECURITY SUV - CONTINUOUS

The oblivious Driver reaches for the door handle, trying to get out before the bomb detonates. But something’s wrong, and the entire SUV shudders.

 

DRIVER

That’s it; I’m getting the hell out of--

 

SFX

KRRENCH

DRIVER

Huh? What the--

PAGE SEVEN (six panels)

 

Panel 1

EXT. PARK - CONTINUOUS

The Driver has opened the car door to see that he’s now 40 feet up, suspended in the air by the Batwing’s iron clamps! He holds on tightly to the side of the door, dangling halfway out of the SUV!

 

DRIVER

AHH!

 

Panel 2

As security officials rush the Congresswoman off the stage, the Driver falls into frame and directly on the podium. It smashes to splinters!

 

  DRIVER

OOFH!

 

ALFRED (O.P.)

Sir, are you sure this is such a good idea?

 

Panel 3

INT. BATWING COCKPIT - CONTINUOUS

Close on Batman, torquing the controls with all his strength as the Batwing shudders in protest!

BATMAN

No choice, Alfred. Too many lives at stake!

 

Panel 4

The Glider and SUV break through the trees bordering park, and soar out over the waterfront! Smoke has begun to billow from the aircraft’s overheated turbines. 

 

ALFRED (elec)

You’ve done it, sir! Now please, release it before it’s too--
 

Panel 5
The same angle over the river, only now the SUV and Batwing BURST into flames as the bomb detonates! Fiery pieces of shrapnel fly in every direction.

 

SFX

BOOM!

 

ALFRED (elec)

Sir! Do you copy!?

(2)

Master Bruce?

 

Panel 6

A crowd of curious onlookers gather on the waterfront as pieces of burning debris float on the surface of the river. In the background, the would-be terrorist is being handcuffed by a handful of security personal.

Batman is nowhere in sight…

 

ALFRED (elec)

 No… It-- It can’t be…

 

PAGE EIGHT (four panels)

 

Panel 1

EXT. GOTHAM CEMETERY - PRESENT

We are back with Alfred at the graveyard. As he looks into the painting, we see his reflection off the surface of the glass frame. He looks weary, but also resolute.  

 

ALFRED (CAP)

Master Bruce--Batman--is gone. The thought alone is nearly

too much to bear, yet…I have been given a sense of clarity.

(2)

You see, this portrait once offered me a glimpse into life

without Batman.

 

Panel 2

Alfred looks to the night sky, at a beam of light splayed against the gray clouds above. It’s the Batsignal.

 

ALFRED (CAP)

But in fact, Batman is all Master Bruce and I ever had. It was

our purpose. Our ultimate sacrifice.

(2)

In the end, those are the years I will cherish for all time.

 

Panel 3

Alfred bends down to a knee and places the framed portrait against Thomas Wayne’s grave marker.

 

ALFRED (CAP)

Mister and Misses Wayne, it’s time this gift found its

proper recipients.

(2)

If I should ever forget what your son has meant to me, I need

only look to the sky…

Panel 4

Alfred is exiting the gates of the cemetery, walking towards his parked car. Unbeknownst to Alfred, inside his car, there is a flashing green symbol on the dashboard… If we look very carefully, there are words that read:

DISTRESS SIGNAL DETECTED.

ALFRED (CAP)

And I’ll know his legacy lives on…

 

END.


© Copyright 2017 Christopher Goody. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply