Lisa sat at the Living room window waiting for the Police. Her dull grey hair was pinned up carelessly, her impenetrable eyes and inscrutable countenance gave little away. She was lost in her thoughts, she knew this day would come, she knew that It would kill Heath. A gentle knock on the door halted her train of thoughts. It was Sergeant Gerald.

‘Officers, This is a high profile case, Check everything, We need every tiny detail,’ He commanded his cops.

‘Ma’am, You were the only person who stayed in touch with him. You need to be absolutely honest with us,’ he looked at Lisa as he switched-on his pocket-recorder.

She nodded promptly.

‘What exactly happened to Mr. Ledger?’

‘The thing…umm…The Joker, It got him.’

‘What?’

‘Each time it took him, he returned altered, disguised, as if two people were trapped inside him, both striving to get out, but not before shredding each other into pieces. He, the Joker, prevailed.’

__________

                 10 hours ago

                 Joker: Why so serious, Heath?

Heath: The only memories that have remained with me are of her screaming and running away from me.

Joker: Does this make you kill yourself, Heath?

‘Yes’

‘Do you want to die, Heath, do you?’

‘No’

‘What doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stronger. You are stronger today than the day your wife left you…..’

A loud honk on the street made Heath wake up with a jolt. However, he was never asleep. The clock struck six, and still, he was awake. He was tired. The horror of seeing a monster coming for him and not being able to run was unbearable. He was gearing up for one last fight. One fight to end it, one fight to conquer it.

‘When you can’t win against a monster, you become one’ he thought to himself and got dressed in the purple suit he adored, smeared talc on his face and drew a smile on it with a red lipstick he borrowed from his maid, Lisa.

He needed one final lift, his pills. His regular dosage was two capsules per night; but, that night was not about surviving, that night was about winning. Two were not enough, neither were four, nor eight. He knew it could kill him.

‘Sometimes there is no happy choice, Heath, only one less grievous than the others’, he murmured to himself and emptied the pill flask into his mouth and washed it down with a glass of water. Heath was ready, to face and finish it (him?), for once and for all.

He sat on his favorite chair and waited for Joker, it’d been an hour, and there was no sign of him. He tried to stand up, but he couldn’t. His eyes glazed over blankly and his head bobbed forward. It landed right smack on the table in front of him as he collapsed on the ground. His face was bloodied, the nose was broken, but the smile was intact. The smile never left.

***

Author’s note: There’s an assumed story from varied sources on what really happened to Heath Ledger. The abridged version of the tragic story states, with some confidence, that Ledger lost himself to the intense process of becoming the Joker for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. He allowed the Joker into his mind too much and what stayed there even after he was done with the role broke him.
The controversy behind the performance became a currency to such an extent that it didn’t matter how little Warner Bros or the Nolans played into it. The potential audience did all the work for them. What culture blog, a mainstream media blog made a extensive post on this to uncover that mystery. However, there are no concrete outcomes.
While the whole world goes Gaga over Heath’s performance as Joker, does anyone think about it’s cost? What did it cost him? And most importantly, Was it worth it?
This story is dedicated to Heath Ledger, one of the greatest actors of our generation.

***

The above story is an entry into #TheChoice a Five00 entry.
Check out event guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/five00-6/

Check out Shankar’s space here: https://artoonsinn.com/author/shankar-hosagoudar/

***

Thanks for reading.

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