Penguin (Oswald Cobblepot) by Selina Enriquez

Penguin (Oswald Cobblepot) by Selina Enriquez

This was Oswald’s first experience actually taking up residence in Arkham Asylum. He could have up to four personal items in his room “to create a comforting and familiar healing environment,” although that was a moot point. His favorite parasol was not approved, even though the fragile antique was hardly a weapon, and his other possessions had been reduced to a smoldering mound of ash. Seeing them in that condition would hardly constitute a comforting, healing influence.

Oswald knew he wasn’t crazy. He might have caused a scene at the hospital after caped ruffians burned down his nightclub, but who wouldn’t squawk at such a development? He lived above that club—kwak! They burned down his home and his business in one fowl swoop—kwak! He had expressed his outrage with the tip of his umbrella—kwakwakwakwakwak! And if that awful Batgirl wasn’t so nimble, Justice would have been done!

Of course he was upset. They burned down his club and his home. But he was hardly “HAHAHA Harley pass me the shotgun” crazy. He was crazy like a fox, as the saying went, if only foxes had some sort of feathers to justify their cunning. It was precisely because they had burned down his home that Oswald permitted this shocking indignity. He had bigger problems than arranging a release from Arkham when he had no nest to return to. The asylum was a place to live while he went about rebuilding, and revolting though he found his present surroundings, it was a base of operations that cost him nothing. It even gave him an opportunity to observe certain persons up close, for Oswald did not completely accept Dr. Bartholomew’s diagnosis that he had a -kwak- “borderline obsession” with cleanliness before the fire. Control issues -kwak- What poppycock. If there was really anything unnatural about obtaining a few specialty wipes to keep one’s office properly sanitized, it might very well be Hugo Strange’s doing. Or Jonathan Crane’s. One of those lunatics (very good customers and esteemed fellow rogues, but lunatics all the same) that have a 400 page manifesto on fear—kwak, bullies—kwak, and settling scores, real or imagined, with chemicals—kwakwakwakwakwak!

A rude pounding on the wall interrupted his train of thought. It was Ivy again, and he sniffed. Anytime he indulged in a few kwaking expressions of frustrations, she pounded. Even though no lemon-tinged, goddess-is-angry pheromones could seep through the wall, he sometimes imagined he did smell something when she pounded that way. For those who knew Ivy, the associations were too strong.

So —Kwak!— Where was he? Ah yes, he would keep an eye on the Scarecrow and he would humor Bartholomew, but mostly he would work on rebuilding his club.

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