The Right Hand Of The Devil, Part 1

Printer-friendly version

The Right Hand Of The Devil, part 1 of 3

By Melanie E.

Harold Quinzel has a long-held fascination with the criminally insane, and his job at Arkham Asylum has given him plenty of opportunities to indulge.

On this fateful night, however, a new arrival brings about an unexpected twist that will change Harold's life forever.


Image found on a message board somewhere, copyright whoever made it.


Part 1

I've always had an attraction to... "extreme" personalities.

I guess you could say that was the reason I had applied for the job as a nurse at Arkham Asylum. After all, how much more extreme could you get than THOSE lunatics? Murderers, thieves, and psychopaths to the last, each one more frighteningly insane than the one before.

And I was free to study them as much as I wanted.

The building was old, full of dank passages and decaying stone work, but its appearance fit its purpose quite well, and to me, it was like a home away from home.

"Harold Quinzel?"


"Sparky wants you to help with one of the new arrivals. Says he's right up your alley."

"Right away, sir."

Working here was a dream in another way, as well. I only had another year and a half before I would have my own degree in criminal psychology, and what better way to get your foot in the door for your dream job than to be in the right place at the right time? Several of the doctors at the hospital knew this, and would request my help when we had especially unruly patients, though my ease of interaction and connection with the patients seemed to make some of the doctors nervous.

I'll admit, even I was a little surprised when I passed the psyche evaluation necessary to work at Arkham, but there was no way I would throw away the opportunity.

I made my way down the halls as quickly as I could, eager to see just what kind of surprise they had in store for me today.

I was not to be disappointed.

The interrogation room was one of many we had at the Asylum, all of them featuring the same general appearance. A dark, neutral gray paint covered the cracked vinyl padding on the walls of the small room, the only furniture present being a card table likely brought in by the doctor and two metal chairs bolted to the floor, both occupied.

"Name, please?"

"James Hetfield. No, Don Johnson. Nonono, wait, it's Jack Frost."

"Very funny. Real name, please." Doctor Stacy was obviously frazzled already, glaring at the man in the chair before him.

"Why? You didn't believe any of the others, what makes you think you'd know even if I told you the truth?"

"Is everything alright, doctah? Err, doctor?" I asked, my New Jersey accent I worked so hard to hide breaking through in my excitement.

Doctor Stacy gave me a cold stare. "You're kidding, right? I haven't been able to get a straight answer out of this guy since we got him in. No ID, and he's burned his fingerprints off with bleach."

"Blood work?"

"You know how long that takes. And frankly, none of us want to touch him."

I could see why. He was truly a fascinating creature. Long, stringy black hair to the middle of his back, and a tattered green peacoat covered in patches gave him the appearance of any typical vagrant at first, until you noticed the relatively new Italian shoes, and his eyes. Those eyes, brimming with insanity, and intelligence... and something else.

Of course, that was the reason they called me in in situations like this. Where others were driven away, I found myself drawn to the likes of this man.

"Hi, I'm Harold," I said, kneeling down in front of him. "Nice to meet you."

The good doctor looked at me in disgust, obviously put off by my interest in the creature, but I was used to that. Instead, I looked our newest inmate in the eyes for as long as I could. It was only a few seconds -- his gaze was truly intense.

"My, how polite of you, Harold. James Jonah Jameson, pleased to meet you as well," he said with a chuckle.

"Oh, but we both know that's not your name either, is it?" I asked, risking another look into his eyes. I had seen a pattern, though, and I was ready to run with it. "How about I just call you Mistah J instead?"

A smile graced his crooked features for a moment. Not a nice smile, but an approving one.

"We seem to have a winner here."

"I can't put that on his paperwork as anything other than an alias, but I guess it will have to work for now." The Doctor checked his watch nervously. "I've got other patients to attend to. Since you seem to be getting along famously, I'll sign off on letting you take care of this one if you think you can handle it."

"You got it," I said, never even turning around to watch the doctor leave.

"It takes one to know one," I heard him mutter as the door slid shut behind me, but again, I was used to that kind of thing.

"So, Mistah... ahem, Mister J. What brings you in to us today?" I asked as I settled into the doctor's vacated chair.

"A 2006 Dodge Charger police car with two cops on their way home from the donut shop."

I smiled. "And why did they bring you here?"

"I blew their car up with a rocket launcher."

My smile disappeared. "And why would you do that?"


"Tell me, 'Harold,' what is a fine, upstanding citizen like you doing here when they could be anywhere else they wanted?"

I shrugged. "I like the work."

"Working with criminals? Seems pretty dangerous to me."

"We're in an Asylum," I pointed out. "It's the safest place in Gotham to be. Besides, I like the sense of danger I get from working with extreme personalities, such as yourself."

"Oh, really? And what could a little thing like you do if one of us were to, oh, I don't know, attempt escape?"

"I'd take you down," I said, not biting at the bait he had dropped in my lap. I might be small, but years of martial arts practice meant I was far from the weak, defenseless child most people expected when they messed with me, and I had proven it in more than one dark alley at night.

"My my my, such big words for such a delicate frame. Tell me, Harold -- what color lingerie are you wearing right now?"

Again I refused to take the bait. "I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to discuss that, later. For the moment, I'd rather talk about you."

"Me?" He asked in feigned surprise. "Well, that's a rather long story, and it is so very uncomfortable sitting here handcuffed to the chair," he said, jangling the cuffs that held his hands behind his back.

"They won't let me uncuff you."

"No?" He said, pouting. "But I was all ready to talk if you did? Oh, well, too bad."

It was a trap. I knew it was a trap -- how could it be anything else? But it was a trap I wanted to spring. Besides, the doors to the interrogation rooms could only be opened from the outside. What's the worst that could happen?

"Very well," I said, standing up and circling around behind him. It took only a moment to uncuff him, and just as quickly I had his hands in front of him and cuffed again with a satisfying 'clink' as the hooks caught.

He pouted again. "You ARE a tough one, aren't you? Very well, I suppose I'll have to take what I can get," he said, propping his feet up on the card table in front of him, the cuffs that should have been holding his feet dangling merrily from his ankles as he rested his head in his hands.

I hid my surprise as best I could, ignoring the breach in security and settling back into my own chair. I looked into his eyes again, and it was clear that he was studying me as much as I was studying him. Testing me, playing with me. The worst part was, I had no idea what the rules of the game were.

"Are you ready to talk now?"

He nodded. "It all started on my eighth birthday. My father, a great blustering man with a penchant for bribery and a taste for whores, refused to take me to see the bats at the zoo. I always have had a fascination with bats, you see."

"Really, now?"

"Oh, yes," he said, his eyes gleaming evilly. "Of course, I had to punish him for that, so the next time he headed down to our basement I locked him in, and refused to let him out until he promised to buy me a pony."

"And where was your mother in all this?"

"In a cooler downstairs. I told you he had a taste for whores, and there never was a bigger whore than she. Her liver lasted him two meals alone."

"You can't be serious."

"No? Would you rather I told you I had a perfectly happy, normal childhood, and that I simply did what I did because I WANTED to?"

"I'm not sure I would believe that eithah."

"Well, there's just no pleasing you, then, is there?"

"You could tell me the truth."

He frowned, his expressive face conveying a whole range of emotions sane and otherwise. "But the truth is so BOR-ing. Life needs a little spice to it, don't you think? A little fire every now and then keeps things interesting, and gunpowder and gasoline make such GREAT seasonings."

I watched him as he sat there, unsure of what to say. So much of what he had said was completely repulsive, but the WAY he said it, with such clarity and joy. He was an incredibly fascinating character. In fact, he was quite possibly the most interesting person I had ever seen! And even as I was watching him, he was watching me right back, with those intense, piercing eyes.

"Was this your first crime?" I asked him, when I remembered to speak again.

He grinned. "Of course not."

"...Well?" I asked, when he refused to continue.

"Well what? You want to know what else I have done? Nothing too grand, I assure you. A bank robbery here, an assassination there."

"Any that you're particularly proud of?"

"Well, last summer I DID sneak into the police commissioner's house and replaced all his underpants with a beautiful collection from Victoria's Secret. And just last week I paid someone off to shut down the Asylum's power and replace all the cuffs with cheap pot-metal knockoffs."


That was when the lights went out.



So, I couldn't sleep last night for some reason, and while I was lying awake a comics retcon idea I'd had for a while about Harley Quinn and the Joker started to finally coalesce into a writable form in my head. Since it's fairly appropriate for Halloween, here's the first part of three that will be written over the next couple of days.

Yes, I'm still working on other things, too, but this MADE me write it.

If this story steps on anyone else's retconning toes, I do apologize, but I simply couldn't resist, and hey, it's non-canon! So, no harm no foul, right?

Melanie E.

Oh, and before I forget...


146 users have voted.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos! Click the "Thumbs Up!" button above to leave a Kudos


Ohhhh Jeeze!

Keep it coming Melanie! This is great and possibly could be canon. No one has attempted the Joker yet and Harold/Harlene? YAY!
Whatever you do, this is a fun romp so far, please write more!

What can you say,

Like a moth to a flame.

Hugs, Fran

Hugs, Fran

There's a reason-

why they call him the Joker! The mix of macabre humor had me laughing the whole time. This is top notch stuff! You even have the infamous Mistah Jay line in here, oh my! LOL! So how many comments do I need to add before we see another story?

I have the next two days off...

So when I get home tonight I'll get the next part finished up, and maybe go ahead and post it. Then I'll try to have part 3 up by the end of Wednesday.

I'm keeping this pretty short, both to keep it from taking too much time away from my other projects, and because the Joker is surprisingly hard to write for. I had originally intended for the entire STORY to be as long as this part is, but as you can tell, the Joker can twist even the best laid plans to his own ends :P

Melanie E.


revolution's picture

Great First opening. you capture the surprises at every corner effect the joker has to the nth degree!

can't wait to read the next chapter.

Yeeeaaaahhh, I gotta know

Yeeeaaaahhh, I gotta know more of that evil near dream you had, oh yeah. Keep writing please.



Giggling, LOVE This! ! !

Okay, M O R E !

Please More?

Pretty Please, More?

Pretty Please, with Icecream with Whipped Creaam and a Cherry on Top,


Olivea in SUGARTown.

The Right Hand Of The Devil, Part 1

WOW! Quinn and J at it again.

May Your Light Forever Shine
May Your Light Forever Shine

I assume Harold become

I assume Harold become Harley. I'm wondering how you will trigger the transformation.

It will also be interesting to see your take on the Joker. I assume he stays Mistah J and doesn't get Ka-Girled. Unless you put in a scene like the hospital in the Dark Knight movie.

--Brandon Young

--Brandon Young

There are some things you just DON'T mess with

And one of those is that the Joker is, and always will be, a guy.

On the other hand, as for our little harlequin, I'm still in the process of deciding whether it's gonna be a late-bloom meta trait or something a bit more sinister that happens to him...

Melanie E.


I spent 3 months working on a Harley Quinn outfit... I love her! More please!

Harley Quinn and Puddin'

laika's picture

This was a great first meeting between the Joker and the future Harley Quinn. Her story seems a lot more difficult than most comics transformations where a regular person gets zapped by something and becomes a costumed character with powers (in which adding a TG twist isn't really that exceptional); because it's a mostly psychological change on Harley's part. Stories like hers, or how Harvey Dent went from being a good cop to Two Face, or Catwoman's abivalent sense of morality ...... are what make Batman's Gotham is my favorite corner of the comics universe. Unless the Joker spritzes her with crazy drugs from his lapel flower and/or uses some fiendish conditioning there has to be some underlying germ of derangement that will blossom and turn her into the crazed and deadly and adorable clowngirl we all love.

I had my own Harley Quinn story in the works, that dealt with this transformation; where Harley was actually in the process of transitioning from male to female, and had reached a point of extreme disillusionment with her parents and former friends, a series of astonishing betrayals because of her ts status, which had her questioning everything she believed about people and everything her psychology professors were trying to tell her about the mind, becoming very bitter and angry; and then on that day when the Joker held up that bank and took her for a shield, dragging her down the alley, she got the drop on him, grabbed the bag of money, and made off not back toward the safety of the bank and the cops, but with the intent of keeping it for herself- a sudden "screw everything" decision. This is all it takes for the Joker to fall in love; so that when he catches up with her he knocks her out chemically & drags her back to his lair, and with mutual sarcasm and scorn they do hit it off in a strange way; so that when he finds out she's trans he takes it in stride: "OOOOOOH! I DO LOVE A GIRL WITH SURPRISES!" But I don't think I'll be writing NATURAL BORN JOKERS now that you've covered it...

This meeting in Arkham, with all the subtle sizing up and maneuvering on both their parts had me flashing on when Agent Starling met Hannibal Lechter; parallels that seem like they might've been intentional. There was that referrence to cannibalism, and where SILENCE OF THE LAMB's FBI agent character tried to hide the accent that would give away her impoveraged rural roots, only to have the evil crazyman catch on, get right to the heart of her fears + taunt her about them ("Can you hear the lambs bleeting, Clarise?") you have Harold struggling to hide his own accent, which is one of the classic features of Harley Quinn, who doesn't give a flying f--k if people think it's uncouth or whatevah. Your Joker drops several comments about Harold's possible gender variance. Does he know things about Harold that even Harold doesn't know? Future chapters could be very liberating for our young protagonist, in a criminally insane kind of way ....... Fun story!
~~hugs, Veronica

Wow, I hadn't even considered it that way

Though I must say, when I feel the need to write disillusionment or psychosis, the Hannibal Lecter books are a great inspiration. I haven't read "Red Dragon" yet, but "Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal" are both excellent books, with the latter really making you appreciate the man behind the madness, so to speak, while still being horrifyingly gruesome and grotesque.

I will have to add a few warnings to the next couple of chapters, though. The Joker's never been known for his kindness, after all, even in respect to Harley.

Melanie E.

Harley and Ivy

are two of my most favorite team-ups. Harley is such the abused girlfriend while Ivy is the green feminist. The two of them together is awesome. On the other hand it is hardy surprising Harley and Joker have a dysfunctional relationship all considering. As for what point the Bat may or may not get involved I don't think it matters. This is after Harley's story!
I can't wait for more. This is good.

Great story. I don't

Daniela Wolfe's picture

Great story. I don't particularly have anything significant to add as far as criticism save to say I wish you had made this a bit longer.


Have delightfully devious day,

Wonderful :)

Enemyoffun's picture

Non-Canon or not this story is so deliciously wonderful. It fits so much of what I know about the Joker and Harley :)