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Chasing The Iris

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            Tangi turns on a baby blue Frozen radio with a tap . Guitars strum gently and soberingly as Ben Howard’s “Black Flies” begins at the funeral for Dolly and the burial of the skeleton that was Mark Jefferson.

            “ Black flies on the windowsill,

That we are,

That we are,

That we are you know

            Tangi clears his throat as he stands before an empty coffin with a shoddy drawing of Dolly in it. He and his criminal compatriots - Elmer, Damon Merrick, Lord Laundry, Bedlam, and the goons - are dressed in black as they mourn the loss they have faced.

            Tangi looks around, a sad face replacing his usual happy one. He chokes back giggles and tears as he gives his eulogy. "We are gathered here today to celebrate the life and times of one of our closest allies. One of our closest friends. Dolly… no last name, I think she was just Dolly… was only… an adult when she sacrificed herself to help us escape custody. As we were all villains, we hate the word. But among us as humans, and a walking pile of laundry granted sentience by chaos magic, she was a hero." Tangi sniffles as a tear rolls down his face, smudging his makeup just a tad bit.

            “ No man is… an island

But can’t you see, oh

Maybe you were the ocean, when I was just a stone

            Tangi bows his head as Damon Merrick, Elmer and Lord Laundry walk over to his side to give him a hug. The tone is somber, even with Bedlam as he reflects on his lost lieutenant. With enough strength to regain his composure, he says, "She will be missed dearly. Play us out, Ben Howard."

            “ So here we are!

            No crooks laugh. A few crooks cry. Most crooks are silent. The moment is silent, save for “Black Flies” as it fades out and finishes.

            Tangi wipes away his tears and does up his makeup, putting on a happy face with giddy and glee. His demeanor changes as he groans, "Now, onto this fucking guy. Marky Mark Jefferson. La-ame!”

            The Frozen radio begins playing Joe Sparks’ “You Are Dead” as the many villains present boo at Jefferson’s predicament. 

            “ You are dead, deeeeead, dead.

You are dead, deeeeead, dead

Thought you were hot

Guess what? You’re not!

You are dead, deeeeead, dead

            Elmer interjects, “Like, taking photos of little girls to get off to? What a tit." Merrick gives him a hand to high-five and he does so. He also steps forward to stand by Jefferson’s skellerton before spitting on it indignantly.

            Tangi adds smugly as he dances around Jefferson’s remains, “Quite frankly, little Katie Marsh did something right here! Eh?” Tangi stomps on Jefferson’s skull, collapsing it then and there. He looks down and says, “Certainly, more than you ever did, SNITCH.”

            The crooks and the Enforcer throw random stuff at Jefferson’s corpse - pebbles, burnt cigarettes, old receipts - all while voicing hatred against the sick monster: “Tables turn, fucko.” “Rot in hell, bitch.” “He got what he fuckin’ deserved!”

            “ Brought your adventure to a screeching halt,

You are dead, deeeeead, dead

            Damon Merrick steps over Jefferson’s corpse and says to the villains around him, "He won't be missed, fuck him. Let's go crank call his family."

            They unilaterally cheer, "AYE!" and look to their new boss: Bedlam.

            Standing tall and fearful, Bedlam comments, "Soon, we will bring about the endgame. The end of days. But for tonight, we drink."

            Bedlam tosses bottles of liquor to each and every crook in the area. They catch them all and pop them open, some on their own and some with each other’s help.

            Bedlam grabs a bottle too and opens it for himself. "Drink! To Dolly!" The villains cheer!

            Bedlam looks down on Jefferson and spits ink on him. "To Jefferson!" The villains playfully boo, even pouring their drinks on Jefferson’s corpse. Not out of honor, but out of hate.

            "To conquest!" The crooks cheer and clink their glasses.

            Bedlam raises his cup: "To death!" The villains cheer, albeit a bit confused. Still, they cheer.

            Quietly, Bedlam says lastly, "To all those things that give us purpose." The villains cheer into the night sky.

            Lying on her bed, the Other Max speaks to herself. Or does she? Her face is neutral with that air of bitchiness she loves. “I do not pray, Dolly. I’m a bit above those other gods. As are you. But I will surely miss your old form. I’m not that dumbass Max, and you’re not gone for good. I mean, when do we ever do anything for good?” She chuckles.

            She looks to her side and picks up a big camera. The big camera helmet, that is. The one Jefferson wore. “But I am thankful. For your ‘early Christmas gift’.” She looks up at the ceiling and grins an unnaturally wide grin while nodding. “Thank you.”

            She sits up and puts the helmet on her head. Fits just fine. “We will meet again, missy.” She raises a fist and bumps it against air. “Cheers to crime. Cheers to suffering. Cheers.”


            Max takes a sip of cold glass of Coca-Cola while seated at a big, big table in a not-as-big bar restaurant. It’s a comfy little place near the Two Whales Diner, where the cool, gentle wind soars outside. She says to the many friends around her - Chloe, Rachel, David, Joyce, Rose, Frank, Pompidou, Naton, Jumbo. Wells, Warren, Dana, Juliet and Luke - and smiles at them all. She triumphantly yells, “You guys rock!”

            Chloe lightly nudges Max’s shoulder and tells her, “Hey, don’t exclude yourself! You were the brains behind it all, right?”

            Max shrugs as Chloe gently scratches at the back of her head. “Eh, it’s a team effort. Always a team effort. Because of us, the ol’ Teddy Bear’s going to jail. For a long, long time. And we just stopped a bunch of supervillains!”

            Everyone likes hearing that as the happy chattering between one another is any indicator.

            Rachel looks around the table as she hands Pompidou some steak from her plate. “Where are Victoria and Kate?”

            Max smiles. She knows something’s up. And it ain’t just the sky. “They’re busy at home. Resting. They deserve it, I mean, they did hold the line against Dollzilla back there!”

            Chugging his second mug of root beer, Naton asks curiously, “Ey. I was wonderin’... Can I getta job here? Wit’ you guys?”

            Max shoots her smile at Naton, telling him, “Of course, Nate!” She turns his gaze to Jumbo, adding, “Same with you, Jumbo! The more, the merrier!”

            Jumbo gleefully bumps his fist into the air, exclaiming, “Yes!” He high-fives Naton as well, both working men on the side of good now.

            Max lowers her voice a bit, taking on a more sobering approach to her goal: “Besides, we’re gonna need all the help we can get. After all, evil still lurks in the shadows. But, just, look at all of us. Us and more. Taking down crime. Things can be good. Things will be good. Here's to heroism, and doing the right thing!” Max raises her Coca-Cola into the air and everyone clinks their glasses together in joy.

            Filled with joy, Chloe holds Max’s hand and looks her in the eyes. The two kiss and Chloe tells her girlfriend, “I love you so, so much.”

            “I love you too, Chloe.” Max places a hand on Chloe’s cheek and her smile shines into her heart. As it always does. “Always.”


            Kate holds Alice in her arms, rocking her to sleep as she sits on her bed. "Good baby." She plops a kiss on the rabbit’s forehead and her ears twitch giddily.

            Victoria holds Kate’s shoulder, feeling her soft skin and running her fingers along Kate’s hair - most strands of it are normal, but some are highlighted with the dull orange light - and asks, “How do you feel?”

            Kate nods her head and tells her plainly, “I’m doing fine, of course. With you and Alice here, what else is needed?”

            Victoria smirks at her. “Food and water, I imagine.”

            The two girls laugh amongst themselves. Kate tells her, “Obviously.” The two finish laughing and Kate asks, worried but not, “You think Dolly’s really gone?”

            Victoria shrugs her shoulders. “I sure as hell hope so. Still, all those other guys are out there. The porcupine guy, Tangi the clown, that laundry man with the bitchin’ jacket, Damon Merrick. And of course, Bedlam.” She sighs at the thought of having to take on all those lovely people, but feels ready nonetheless.

            Kate tells her, “We’ll take them down together. All of us.” She holds Alice up for Victoria to see, adding, “Including her.”

            Victoria chuckles. “You’re right. Still…” She looks at Kate’s window, seemingly repaired after Dolly’s demise, and claims, “Fate’s changed. That doomsday dream happened and we weren’t married yet.”

            “And it wasn’t the end of the world.”

            “And Jeffershit was destroyed beforehand. Good job on that, by the way.” Kate puts her hands up, taking in the praise for that little action. “You don’t think it’s too late, right?”

            Kate moves over to Victoria’s side and holds her hand. “Fate is only what we make it.”

            Victoria plops a kiss on Kate’s cheek. “You’re right. And speaking of…” She gets out of bed and stands next to Kate as she sits. She then gets down on one knee, much to Kate’s surprise… and concern.

            Victoria rubs the back of her head before saying what she must: “Katie, it’s a little too late and it’s been a little too busy to run to the jewelry store - that’s all the way outta town - so I’ll give you something that’s just as valuable as a ring.” She moves her hand to the back of her neck where the latch on her pearl necklace rests. Swiftly, she unhooks it and takes it into her hands. “These pearls have been passed down the Chase lineage for many generations. Or at least that’s what Dad tells me. And you… you’ve been the greatest fuckin’ thing in my life. It’s a little ironic, considering how I used to be, and I’m, y’know, sorry about it as I’ll ever be, but, with all the shit that’s hit the fan, you’ve been the light of my life. The one person I can rely on, talk to, trust, and hold. Now, I don’t know if we can get married-married, or if you’d like that right now, but I’d love to have you as my kinda-wife. And I would love to be yours. So, foregoing…” A tear rolls down Victoria’s face and she laughs upon feeling it.

            Kate steps forward and holds her cheek, crying too. Victoria continues, “... foregoing all those old marriage traditions… Kate Beverly Marsh, will you kinda-marry me?”

            Kate holds Victoria’s pearls and tells her, “Yes!”, with a gigantic grin on her face. She kisses Victoria and the two hold each other lovingly as they collapse into two crying messes. Victoria holds Kate’s head from the back and smiles at how this all turned out.

            She adds, “That takes care of the ‘wedding’. Now - well, not now, but later - we take on armageddon. Again.” Victoria wipes the tears from both her face and Kate’s.

            With their faces cleaned, Victoria holds Kate in her arms and tells her, “Together. My love.”