Sometimes we find writing prompts in the weirdest places, like this piece of fastfic inspired by a subject line from an email in my spam folder. The subject line? “Dark Knight disapproved by Vaticans due to satanic links.” Enjoy:
Accessing: Newscasts Outside of Time
Channel: Medieval Times
Available Titles: Newly Discovered Body Transformation Formula
Dark Knight Disapproved by Vaticans Due to Satanic Links
Remove Your Debt the Christian Way
Accessing: Dark Knight Disapproved by Vaticans Due to Satanic Links
Video missing. Audio and transcription only.
“It’s late August, 1359, and a demon infestation rages across Europe! The Vaticans, in a rare show of agreement, summoned a Dark Knight from the depths of Hell to combat the spreading demonic powers. Sitting twelve feet atop his destrier that crushes the innocent beneath iron hooves, I’ve never seen a savior look quite so imposing! Let’s talk to him now. … Sir! Sir, how are things going?”
The narrator moves toward the source of a disturbance, created or curbed by the Dark Knight himself. Screams, groans, and repetitive thudding sounds predominate. There is a blood-curdling whinny cut short as the reporter speaks.
“We had a quality scourge here: loads of flayed demons and forced exorcisms, it’s been really quite grand. I’m just disappointed that Popes Innocent, Griseus, and Sinistra have seen fit to forgo my payment.”
The Dark Knight sounds Irish, oddly enough, circa 20th century. He speaks with a laid back ease. The Popes he references are those of the Vatican Primus, the Vatican Vatican, and the Black Vatican respectively.
“And what was your payment, Sir– er, Dark Knight?”
“The standard complement of fifty virgins, Tom, with a retainer fee of three hundred newborns. You won’t get my quality for such a good price this side of Gomorrah.”
Cries of “Unclean!” break out in the distance, with hoofbeats to end worlds echoing more closely. What one can only presume to be the Dark Knight’s bellow, a fierce and harrowing sound, rips through the shouts. One can almost hear the blood rain down.
“We understand even the Black Vatican denies employing him in a bid to ‘fit in’ according to one Blood Acolyte. Let’s ask the Dark Knight what he thinks.”
The moans of destroyed flesh grow nearer, with our reporter shouting over the din. He reiterates the Blood Acolyte’s comment.
“I think that was a bit disingenuous of them, Tom. Just because you wash your hands of blood today, doesn’t make them clean. …of blood. … Er, tomorrow.”
“Quite right, Sir! Can you tell the folks out there what we can expect until the Vaticans settle up?”
A voice staggers closer, screaming relentlessly: “My God! Why have you forsak–?” We hear a ragged gasp, then a rather final-sounding thump.
“Where were we? Ah, yes. Scourging will continue on the general populace until fees are met.”
“Thank you! At this time, the Vaticans have offered no reply. You heard it here on Newscasts Outside of Time: Medieval Times first! This is Tom Lane, signi–”
Tom’s voice cuts off, followed by a soft thud. There is a breathless moment, then the sound of hooves and deadly metal: screams begin once more and the sound equipment hits the dirt, shorting out, dumb and dead.
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