The death of a hero is always thought of being taboo. It’s something that is never talked about because simply, they’re not supposed to die. Without the hero, where does the story go? Where are the citizens left to look for in times of peril. If we lose our hero, who will be the one they base all the myths, legends and stories on? If we lose our hero, where do we find hope?
We had fought in the rubble of an abandoned construction yard, his cape flapping behind him in the wind as he walked towards my fallen body. The sound of my voice slithered in his ears as coughed in agony from the shadows, tormenting him with the same voices I heard in my own head. I could taste the blood I had been spitting up from my mouth after our tussle mere moments ago. The wound still gaping from the metal pipe that was once lodged in there. Our hero stood tall again, after willing himself up as all good ‘good guys’ do at the most climactic portion of the story. I however, rolled over on the ground and propped myself up against the wall. As he walked towards me, going on about his morals and humanity (I’ve heard his pleas for my sanity and reform over the years), I reminded him of who I was.
“It’s never going to work!! You know we’re just two peas in different pods. I’ve just got a certain way…”
I couldn’t help but notice a figure step out from the shadows behind our caped protagonist. This caused me to stop midsentence as I had just reminded our square jawed hero of my sinister love of our frequent encounters. I froze.
A single shot burst through the silence.
I watched as Nightowl collapsed to his knees, something I never thought I would see the day where this would happen. Not this way.
Standing a few feet behind was a villain by the name of The Warden. He waited for a moment to admire his handiwork. With his gun still smoking, he walked towards us. He stepped over the corpse of my nemesis and walked over to me.
“Do you know what you’ve just done?” I asked in utter disbelief.
He smiled and opened his hand, offering to help me up.
“Maybe it wasn’t the most creative way, but I’ve grown tired of the games. My dear friend, I’ve given us the key to the city.”
I paused, trying to take things in in the little while that I could. I looked up, staring at my fellow villain, before taking his hand. And as he pulled me up, I grabbed a shard of glass from the debris around me and jabbed it into his neck. The blood spewed from his throat as I drove it deeper in, all while staring at his eyes.
“There’s an ETIQUETTE!! There are rules to this game and you broke them MY FRIEND. He wasn’t your hero to kill, he was MINE! I AM THE ANTI-HERO in this story.”
I seethed with rage, feeling The Warden grasping at me. I pulled him closer, the glass thrust forward while his ear drawn in as I whispered.
“You took my purpose! You took my end!!!”
I felt the life slipping as blood dripped down my hands. I couldn’t be sure if it was even my victim’s or my own anymore. I released my arms finally, as my ‘friend’ fell at my feet, still making gagging noises.
I looked up and saw the body again. The blue cape draped over him was now crimson from the pool of blood now formed around him. I struggled, limping my way over. Collapsing to the ground myself, I checked to make sure it was true.
The Nightowl was dead.
This end was taken from me.
I could hear the sirens in the distance, they were coming this way. I had no more energy in me to get up off this cold ground. Instead, I used the last of my energy to take my own mask off, and just watch as the flashing lights faded to black.
Every hero needs a villain. They need one to ensure they are indeed the hero people believe them to be; to test them in every way, to give them the opportunity to be courageous and cunning, to force them to be someone they couldn’t be otherwise; to make them understand who they really are.
Every hero needs a villain, but there is no villain without the hero.