By Way of The Bow

Chapter One:

Target Practice


Disclaimer: Y'all ought to know by now, that what is posted on here is pure fiction. And for that matter, the future content may not be approved by the Comics Code Authority. References to DC comics and all that jazz are copyright DC Comics. Any and all resemblances to real people are "purely coincidental", as they say. Enjoy.

     The music blasted throughout the club. I sighed, as I sipped my drink. I had gained one semblance of freedom, but the price I paid for it was depressing as all hell. I was grateful that the worst of it was over, though. And that after a rather LARGE loan I dreaded having to repay, I was finally the dubiously proud owner, of my own, first car.

     At twenty-seven years old.

     I had been attending the club for all of a week, now. And the only thing to come of it (besides the headache from some of the music I didn't like), was the humiliatingly depressing nightly Olympic event of avoiding the club's resident date reject, who seemed hell-bent on getting my damn phone number every time he saw me.

     I bit down hard on a piece of ice in my drink, at the thought of that. Mind you, I wasn't an unsociable guy. I'd just been burned a few times, and while some gay guys came to this dump to hook up, I just came to brood in my seat, sip my customary drink, see if there was ANYTHING worth listening to by way of the night's performers, and possibly observe a few people, professionally.

     That's right. Professionally. I'm a writer, which makes it my job to study people and then later create fictional characters based on what I see. Unfortunately, it's a little hard to do said job, when people see you looking at 'em and THEY think you want the ONE THING that's on their little minds. Yecch.

     The only thing I really liked about the joint, was that it was tax-deductible on my 1040. Since I go there to observe people mostly, The Little Weasel who handles my taxes considers my trips to dives like this a business expense. I'd already patterned a few good characters, right from day one. By day two, I was already beginning to recognize the regulars from the night before.

     I winced, and quickly slipped my PDA in my pocket. Big Boy just spotted me again. Damn. I gracefully grabbed the remainder of my drink, and began plotting the nearest escape route. Oh, Lord. He's comin' this way. Time I went THATAWAY.

     I slipped through the dance floor, my green duster coat swirling about my ankles. I almost wished I could use my kit on him. Guys like Big Boy just never know when to quit, until you bapped them one in the head with a boxing glove. But there were just too many people around, and as tempting as it was to knock him one to get him off my case... it'd cause too much of a scene.

     I almost chuckled, at the visual image of a glove smacking that pest silly. I also flashed back on my favorite cartoons as a kid... once, I used to root for old Wile E. Now here I was, in the shoes of the damned Road Runner. Lord, you have a twisted idea of life comedy.

     I dodged near the rear of the club, and found a door. Is it unlocked? Yes! Thank you.... buh-bye! I leaned against the door, slipped the lock, and listened with relief as I heard and felt the oh-so-satisfying thud of Big Boy smacking against the closed door.

     "And the Road Runner wins again..." I muttered with slight relief. I unlocked the door again, and then moved down the hall.

     I frowned, as I walked down the back hallway. I'd never been back here before. Lots of doors, who knew what was behind 'em. I'd seen people sneak back here in couples and sometimes small groups of three to five... judging from some of the sounds coming from a few of the doors, I was fast beginning to get a rough idea of what was transpiring behind closed doors.

     I hesitated, at one of the doors. It was slightly ajar, there was a light on, but I didn't hear anything on the other side of it. "Any port in a storm..." I muttered to myself. I pushed the door open, and peeked around the door.

     A guy sat at a table, listening to a pair of headphones. I could see he had a number of tattoos on his arm, and that his hair, was short and bleached blond. The room seemed... like a small oasis, like it didn't even belong as part of the club at all.

     As I watched him, I began to hear the soft strains of the music playing through his headphones. I cocked my head. Hmm. Nice. Got a good hook to it, catchy beat. I pushed my hat back on my head a little, and just listened to the faint music a minute.

     He stretched, and put his pen down. He hesitated, almost like he sensed he wasn't alone in the room anymore, and turned to look in my direction. He clicked off the music. "You lost?" he asked, a slight frown on his face as he took in my appearance.

     I blinked, suddenly recognizing who was addressing me. Criminetly, wouldja look at that. Either my eyes were deceiving me, or I was looking at none other than rapper Eminem sitting at a table in a back room of a gay club, writing a song.

     Simultaneously as I recognized who HE was, I also blushed slightly, realizing how odd I must look. You see, the theme of the club was a costume night. So I was dressed up as my favorite comics hero. Green Arrow. I'd even worn a wig a shade of blond to match. The only thing different, was that I was still wearing my duster coat from outside. I'd never taken it off when I came in.

     "Not really," I said, regaining my voice. "Just kind of hoping I lost someone, if you catch my drift." I explained dryly, jerking my thumb back the way I came.

     He raised an eyebrow, then it dawned on him. "Oh... OH! Well... have a seat."

     "Thanks," I said. I finally took off my coat, and pulled up a chair.

     I cocked a masked eye at him, and pursed my lips. "You're Eminem, aren't you?" I asked, the question more of a statement.

     "Yeah," he said. He pointed over to the couch, where a sleeping form was huddled over under a blanket. "That's Hailie."

     I blinked, trying to process. "Ah," I said.

     "You're wondering why I'm here, aren't you?" He asked, reading my expression.

     Perceptive, isn't he? I mused to myself. "The thought had crossed my mind," I answered him.

     "I own this place. Well... partly, anyway. Silent partner. I guess you could call this room my office. Whenever I'm in town, I do a lot of work here." He explained.

     "Like that music you were listening to?" I asked, gesturing to the headphones he'd placed on the table.

     He nodded. "Yeah. New song I was workin' on. You heard it?" he asked, a little surprised.

     I nodded back. "Faintly. Catchy too." I smiled. "I'm Jake, by the way." We shook hands.

     "Nice to meet you. So. Who're you supposed to be? Robin Hood?" He asked, looking over my outfit.

     "Close. More like a more modern-day Robin Hood. Green Arrow, actually." I said.

     "Cool... I've actually read him before. Yeah, I see it now. The G on the belt. Didn't notice that before. Good choice. If I didn't end up with Hailie tonight, I was gonna go out there, with a costume."

     "Really... who as?" I asked, curious.

     He jerked his head over to the closet. "See for yourself."

     I got up, and opened the door. A costume hung on a hanger. I almost laughed. "Oh, no. Green Lantern?!?"

     "Why not? Check it out, man... even got a brown wig. Hal Jordan is THE best Green Lantern. Period." he said, slightly proud of the costume.

     "No argument there." I remarked. "Though Kyle's got a nice butt..."

     "Ahhh! And the Emerald Archer shoots me right in the bulls-eye!" He joked. "I'll have you know, I have a very NICE tookus, thank you!" He got up, turned around, and wiggled it a little for my benefit.

     "Uh... yeah. I'd noticed, actually..." I muttered to myself. There were quite a few incidents posted all over the internet, of the rapper's bare bottom. "Well, y'know... why DON'T you suit up and have some fun, tonight? You said it yourself. You partially OWN this place. Just have one of the security guys, watch her. She don't look like she's going anywhere. At least not for a few hours." I observed, picking up the hanger and dangling the costume temptingly.

     He hesitated. He glanced at his sleeping daughter, then at the stuff he'd been writing... and then at the costume. He HAD gone through all the trouble to get the costume, and it would be a shame if he didn't even get a chance to wear it tonight. Babysitting Hailie had come up somewhat at the last minute. Besides. The only other reason, he didn't go out there in the first place... was that he hated to go to a party alone. Even when he was throwing it in the first place.

     "On ONE condition...." he responded.

     I raised an eyebrow.


    The green costume fit him like a glove. Or in this case, a green BodyGlove. It certainly left little to one's imagination, being so form-fitting. "You ready?" He asked as I slipped my bow back into my quiver and finished washing my hands.

    "As I'll ever be, 'Hal'." I remarked dryly.

    "C'mon. I wanna check in on Hailie one more time, before we go out there." He suggested. I nodded, and he lead the way out of the private bathroom. We entered the room. At first, nothing seemed out of place. Then I stiffened.

    "What is it?" He asked.

    I pulled out my bow, and used it to lift up the blanket. Hailie was gone. I glanced at the table. So was my coat. "THAT'S what's wrong."

    "Daddeee!" I heard Hailie cry out, as we looked at each other in horror.

    "C'mon!" I shouted. We raced out of the other door, just in time to see Big Boy carrying my coat, and a big lump was moving inside it. Other doors were opening, as a few couples began sticking their heads out to see what the commotion was.

    "We'll never catch up to him!" Marshall said worriedly.

    "Yes. We. Will." I said, calmly. I grabbed an arrow. "Just... wait for it. Where are ya, you wascally wabbit...? Ah. Gotcha." I let fly with the arrow.

    Straight and true, it flew and hit Big Boy right in the head with a solid whump just as he was about to open the door leading to the dance floor. A momentary silence reigned. Then someone began applauding. Others followed. I blinked. "Shows' over, people... nothing to see here... go back to whatever it was you were doing... thank you!" I said, as people reluctantly closed their doors.

    I went over, and picked up my arrow. I shook my head, in amusement. "I was just thinking earlier, how much I'd love to hit that clown with a boxing glove... guess I got my wish after all." I dropped the boxing-glove arrow back onto the ground, and turned my attention to the fallen would-be kidnapper.

    "Who IS that guy, anyway?" Marshall asked, catching up and stopping briefly to look at the guy before going to get Hailie, who had landed in a heap by the door.

    "Search me. He's been pestering me for almost a week now, since I came to the club. I had a wierd vibe about him, but until now I didn't think he was trouble. Get your kid. I'll keep an eye on Chuckles here, while you get her back in the other room and call in the blue fascists." I paused, and then glanced at the door to the dance floor. "Tell 'em to come in the back door. I don't think you'd want the publicity if they went in the front."

    "Good idea." Marshall said, giving his daughter a hug. "Good SHOT by the way."

    "Thanks." I said, as I rolled the semi-conscious would-be kidnapper over to get a better look at him. Big Boy groaned. I propped him up by the door, then stepped back. A few arrows later, and he was all trussed up for the police.

    "Hey, G....A? Marshall asked, coming back in the doorway. Nobody was there, except for the would-be kidnapper. Green Arrow was gone. The rapper blinked, and then scratched his head. "Who WAS that masked man?" He muttered.

Green Arrow Grabs Goon!

Late Friday evening, an attempted kidnapping was thwarted by a hero at a costume party held at a local nightclub. Sources in the local police department are unwilling to confirm any details, but eyewitnesses claim that the child in question, daughter of one of the owners of the nightclub in question, was rescued by an anonymous partygoer dressed as the Emerald Archer, the Green Arrow.

It is reported this masked hero and the child's father stumbled onto the kidnapping attempt by accident, and in a move out of the comic books, Green Arrow used a trick arrow to apprehend the kidnapper before the fleeing man could make good his escape.

The man police found pinned to a wall by a pair of green arrows, Howard Sagen, is an escaped patient at a mental institution. Sagen is being held at police headquarters, pending transfer back to the sanitarium. The owners of the club do not at this time wish to comment....

     I chuckled. I wasn't completely surprised, that the adventure had made the news. I WAS surprised however, that Marshall's name was left out of the account. I glanced over at last night's costume. It had been an interesting night, and I'd hated to duck out on him so quickly. But irregardless of any good deeds I'd done that night, I wasn't one to tangle with the cops. I'd had my fill of 'em over the years, before I'd started my new life on the west coast.

     I scratched my head. The costume itched like hell in some places, but the disguise was damn good, I had to admit. The fake mustache and beard, the mask with prescription lenses, the blond wig... I felt a twinge at not sticking around to talk further with Marshall, and folded up my afternoon paper. That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks. "Crap. I never DID get my coat back... and my PDA was stuffed in the pocket!" I grumbled. I sighed. "Looks like I gotta go back to that club AFTER all..." I glanced at the costume, that I had left over my desk chair.

I sighed, and began applying the goop that was going to hold my disguise in place. It looked like another late night. And I still had to replace those arrows from last night's misadventure.


    Green Arrow wasn't the only one to read the afternoon paper.

    A man with a deep cigar was also catching up on the news of the previous evening. "So.... life imitates art, hm?" the man said, pondering over the article. "This... Green Arrow. I do hope, that last night was a one-time incident. It would be most... unfortunate, should he make himself into a nuisance in MY city."

    The man stabbed his cigar into the paper. "Most unfortunate, indeed."


     Night found me standing on a nearby roof, overlooking the club. Unlike last night, the place had no activity at all. I pulled out an arrow with a rope attached to it. Moments later, I was standing on the ground near the back door. I glanced around, and frowned as I noticed the back door was ajar slightly. "Hmm... when it looks like a trap, and smells like a trap...." I muttered to myself as I pulled out a trick arrow and held it ready in case of any surprises.

     All was quiet, as I cautiously made my way inside. I made my way back to the room I'd found Marshall in last night. I pulled out a penlight from my belt, and turned it on. On the table, neatly folded was my coat from last night. Resting on top of it, was my PDA. I froze. I could hear breathing in the room, and it wasn't my own. The closet door opened. I gasped. "Holy Hannah!"

     "I figured you'd have to come back for your stuff," Marshall said wryly as the light from my flashlight illuminated his face.

     "Dammit man. What're you, TRYING to give me a heart attack or something?" I groused.

     "Sorry." Eminem said, the slight smile on his face anything but apologetic. "So why'd you cut out like that, last night?"

     "Personal reasons." I remarked, slipping my coat back on, and replacing the PDA back into the pocket. "For starters, I'm not a big fan of cops. I get why they exist, but I wasn't comfortable at talkin' to 'em. Besides which... I didn't come here in the first place, to play hero. Which reminds me... you still owe me a DANCE, buster." I said, referring to the unfulfilled condition that had been posed to me the previous evening.

     He just chuckled, and turned on the lights.

    "So. How's the kid?" I asked, gruffly.

    "Hailie? She's a trouper, yo. Took the whole thing in stride, after she calmed down. She wants to meet you, by the way."

    "We'll see," I said non-committally.

    "It's kind of funny, though. When I told her who saved her, she wanted to know what you looked like. So I bought her a Green Arrow comic book." He shook his head, still smiling. "I think you've got a fan."

    "Terrific. My day just gets better and better." I remarked dryly. "I see our little misadventure made the afternoon edition, too..."

    "Well, it's not like you gave me your number, yo," the rapper said, practically. "I had to get your attention SOMEHOW."



    "So how'd you get those trick arrows?" Marshall asked me. The two of us were headed out of the empty club for Marshall's car.

    "I made them myself, actually. See, I'm a writer by trade." I pulled out the PDA and tapped it meaningfully. "Method writer, actually. I've wanted to take on the GA comic for awhile now, so I got into archery as a hobby... learned to make trick arrows as well. When I heard about the costume week at the club, I decided to go for broke and get myself a costume. The rest... well, you were there for that."

    Marshall paused, then looked over at me. "Ever thought of just... doing it? You know. For real."

    "What? You mean, dress like this EVERY night? Become Green Arrow?"

    "Why not? I mean, you're a damn good shot. And you ARE already something of a hero, you saved my kid." Marshall said.

    I paused, then cocked my head thoughtfully. "Tempting thought. I mean, you have no IDEA how tempting. GA was always my favorite hero, back in the day. I mean, sure, you have your Supes, or that long-eared ghoul, the Bat.... but Batman was always a bit too... intense, in my book. Fascinating as all HIS toys are. And Blue? Well, the day I wake up with x-ray vision, THEN we'll talk." I chuckled. "Become Green Arrow. Well... besides the fact that the cops frown on vigilantes outside of fiction like Zorro and the like... thre's one practical problem with that idea."

    "What's that?" Marshall asked, stopping as we got to his car.

    "These." I pulled out one of the trick arrows. "I sunk a good amount of my savings, into making these things just as a hobby. They don't come cheap, y'know. Now, say I lose about ten to twenty of these puppies in a night's work. I'd be in the poorhouse, before you could say bulls-eye."

    "Not necessarily," Marshall mused.

    "Ut-oh. Why do I get the feeling you're hatching something, in that bleached blonde head of yours'?" I remarked, noticing the look in Eminem's eye.

    "C'mon. Put your stuff in the trunk. There's something I think you might want to SEE."


    "Whoa. BIG place." I whistled, looking around. Big wasn't the half of it. Marshall had brought us to a tower that I remembered the city had proposed to be an observation point. As I remember, the funding cut out for running the joint after it had been completed. City had gone overbudget in the construction, and they just couldn't afford to run it as a tourist trap.

    "Do you like it?" Marshall asked, watching me as I looked around.

    "Like it? Cripes. The place reminds me of that Disney cartoon, about that superhero duck. I'd actually forgotten this place still existed."

    "Well... the city's trying to unload it. I'd hate to see it get destroyed, after they went through all the trouble to build it. I don't know what I'd DO with it... but do you think Green Arrow could find a use for it?" Marshall asked, watching the wheels turning in my head as I looked around the place.

    "Shoot... YEAH. Target range over there... worktable in that corner... loft up there to crash if I'd needed it... hm... yeah, it's a nice DREAM." I said, pointing out a few ideas that came to mind.

    "Then consider it yours'." he said to me.

    "WHAT?!?" I exclaimed, turning around in shock.

    "You heard me. Make it yours'. Do what you want with it. Make your dream come true, Jake. You can do anything if you set your mind to it, man."

    "Marshall... why?" I asked, thunderstruck at the man's generosity.

    "I followed my dreams. I've made my share of mistakes, along the way.... but I've also gained more money than I honestly know what I'm ever gonna DO with. You saved my kid, man. Hailie means EVERYTHING to me. Buying a building... that's nothing. What YOU can do, out there.... that's something, man."


    The moon shone brightly. As I stood on a fire escape, I notched an arrow and let it fly, at a gun held by a mugger in the alley below me. I jumped down to street level, and grinned.

    "Aww, SHOOT!" The mugger said.

    "Don't mind if I do..." I said, amused. As I notched another arrow to catch the fleeing mugger, I remembered Marshall's words from the night before.

    "I'm Hailie's hero, man. Hailie's my hero. And you.... you could be this city's."


So.  You like?  Please leave feedback, at .  And yes, I know I know... I have other unfinished projects.  I haven't forgotten 'em, just been damn busy.  I write, what I'm inspired to work on....