Thursday, May 12, 2005

163. The omniscient narrator

Dick Grayson was sound asleep in the guest bedroom, dreaming he was a lion in a cage. His fur was matted and flies buzzed around him; he tried swatted them, but found his tail would not move. Then he became a puppet version of a lion, each of his limbs attached to a string so long that he could not see the other end. The only thing that was plainly visible was that his life was not his own; he was controlled by someone else somewhere else, and there was nothing he could do about it. Nothing at all--

--and then he heard it. The gentle knock on the door, timid and tentative. Could Alfred be bringing him breakfast in bed? How long had he been sleeping, anyway? And why was he drenched in sweat?

"Come in," he said, groggily. As the door opened, he had a flash of recognition: he remembered sitting in an office somewhere, a doctor's office of some kind, waiting patiently for the physician to return and treat him for some sort of illness. It was all kind of fuzzy, and he tried to flush it out of his mind.

He rubbed his eyes, looked up, and saw Bruce standing before him, wearing a robe and presumably nothing else. The older man's voice was stern. He looked angry.

"We have to talk," Bruce said.