Lightning strikes in the pouring rain, illuminating the dark form of a cloaked man with horns standing on the rooftop deck of a skyscraper in front of you.
Wondering where you are, you check your smartphone’s GPS as the thunder roars. Gotham City. You grin in spite of yourself. You step towards the man, assuming that the shape is, in fact, a man.
He reacts to the first step you take towards him. The cavernous, jagged voice of the seasoned crime fighter resonates across the rooftop. “Paparazzi, reporter, or in need of assistance?”
Your voice contrasts his perfectly: high and intimidated to low and confident. “I’ve been asked to interview you for an online newsletter for a Christian school.”
He turns around, letting you gaze upon the Batsuit, which envelops him in dark majesty. “Fair enough.”
The Dark Knight jumps down from the hazardously high ledge on the edge of the skyscraper, which looks amazingly cool, but you don’t comment because you want him to stay for the whole interview.
You swallow nervously. “When were you born?”
“December 5th, 2000, in Kansas City, Missouri. I’m from Kansas, though, don’t get me wrong.”
You nod as you write. “So you’re seventeen, from Kansas, and you live in Gotham?”
“I live in Kansas. Spring Hill, Kansas. The nearest Chick-Fil-A is a half hour away from my home, but it’s where I love to be and all my… remaining family is.”
“You’re seventeen. Are you in high school? What kind of things do you do with your spare time?”
He looks back at you and the thunder from the last lightning strike roars behind him. So epic. “I’m in eleventh grade. Almost a senior.” A pause. “I don’t plan on being Batman forever. Gotham has other heroes, but my true calling is to be a meme lord.*” He looks off into the distance, cutting an heroic figure against the moody horizon.
“Do you, uh, play sports?” you ask in the tone of an intimidated fan who’s in awe of his or her favorite person.
“I don’t anymore. Not since…” he trails off as if in sorrow, but regains his composure and acts like he hadn’t even spoken. “I used to play basketball and baseball.”
You’re intrigued, but really want to finish this interview, so you don’t go into it, and go on instead.
“Is there a specific music genre or a couple artists you listen to? Sir?” You don’t know how to address him, so you just go with “sir”.
“I like a lot of music, but my favorite genre is country. Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Dan + Shay, the list goes on like my Rogues Gallery. And apart from country the best band in existence, Imagine Dragons.”
You try to ignore the chorus of Thunder playing in your head and ask the Caped Crusader about his favorite movies, TV shows, and books.
“Hacksaw Ridge is a favorite at the moment. The Percy Jackson, Maze Runner, and Divergent books are good, and Stranger Things is a good television show.” He looks at you, and you get the sense that he’s judging you, which you also try to ignore.
You swallow and continue. “Are you taking any classes this year?” As soon as you say it, you kick yourself mentally – of course he’s taking classes, he’s a junior in high school.
“Algebra 2, U.S. History for High School, English 3 Literature Survey, Logos Study in Philemon, and Logos Study in John 15. And of course, Forensic Science, my favorite by far.”
“It would make sense that Forensic Science would be your favorite, judging from your day job.”
Batman grins, showing his surprisingly white teeth. “Of course.”
You’re slightly more confident now but still sense the need to finish the interview. “Do you have a favorite Bible verse or a message to our readers?”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs three, five and six. ESV.”
“And a quote for the readers.” You glimpse the Batsignal from the corner of your eye and the Dark Knight notices it too.
“Memes are life*, make yours better. Mornings are for coffee and contemplation.”
You look down to scribble the quotes on your notepad then look up. Lightning strikes again and you catch a glimpse of a cloaked silhouette gliding through the air. You grin at the strike of thunder and turn with the notepad to go back home, realizing you never asked his name.
*Drew Brooks is the man behind the mask of the TPS Memes Instagram account.