THE MARAUDER OF THE MATINEE By Jamie Benedi

I flip up my cape, shrouding my pallid, almost translucent face, so as not to be seen by moviegoers. I hide like an undead wall ornament, perched inconspicuously in a shadowy nook of Regal Cinema. I curl my lips over my teeth, hiding my fangs, not from embarrassment or shame, but in accordance with the sneaky creature of the night that I am. I wish not to startle the scores of wandering peoples. I have come for a matinee, and I rather enjoy the atmosphere. I keep Siskel and Ebert’s disembodied thumbs in one of the pockets of my sweater vest. I stop. I look. I see necks exposed porcelain and pale, pulsing with blood. My mouth salivates.

A widow’s peak sparkles under the phosphorescent domesticated glow of the theater lobby. My toupee’s glossy sheen glistens, ever so brilliantly, to punctuate the infinite blackness of my un-graying, immortal wig. I have come to watch Ben Affleck as Batman. He is a thief, a charlatan and a loser. He is the chump the humans now affectionately call Batfleck. What a name! He should be called snooze machine. I will think of something better later.

I glide over bedraggled civilians in yoga pants, outstretched cape whipping in the air conditioned wind. I study the scene below, mere soulless specks of mortal matter, waiting in line like lemmings, shoving butter clad popcorn into their imbecilic faces, washing it down with carbonated sugary beverages. I turn into a bat and flutter around in aimless circles. I fly past the ticket takers, then an infinite procession of glowing movie posters. Every one of them will flop, save for the few starring the legend that is Madea! Love her.

I choose a seat in the back of the dimly lit theater, so as not to be perceived. The overhead lights in the theater are snuffed out, bit by bit by gradual bit. All-encompassing darkness envelopes the crowd. I feel giddy with excitement. A film reel begins unspooling. The movie has begun. I have to pee immediately.

The Bat signal illumines the fantastical cinematic sky. Batman, fully dressed in an abomination of my costume, materializes on the silver screen.

“What a phony!” I shriek.

I am immediately shushed by the beady-eyed bespectacled multitudes. Throngs of angry ticket buyers spin towards me, twisting their backs to administer dirty looks in my direction. I shrink and shrivel into my seat. I self consciously pat my head, checking the condition of the slicked back hair on my toupee. It is still pristine. Thank the demons of infinite hells for inventing Garnier Fructis. Slumped, with furrowing countenance, I begin muttering my scorn.

“Caped crusader with the pointy helmeted cowl, oh how you have robbed me of my characteristics! Isn’t there such a thing as copyright infringement? I need an agent! Like that Jeremy Piven fellow in Entourage. Great, terrific, show…..”

I mumble truths through clenched fangs. I am shushed by an obese couple covered in movie snack crumbs. Batman puts on his neoprene suit. Winged bats flutter from the Batcave.

“Blaaaaah! What a complete rip off! Are you so blind that you cannot see Carfax Abbey was the original Batcave?”

People are upset, lobbing insults in my direction. I think they are much more disruptive to the movie watching experience than I am. A Juggalo in a Bane mask tells me to “Zip It,” and does the hand motion to emphasize how clichéd and unoriginal she is. I bare my fangs and hiss like a Black Mamba. She turns around quickly. It is quiet. A calm settles in the theater. People begin to relax. The movie continues.

“Renfield was the first Robin!” I shriek.

Everyone is now throwing comestibles at me. I am hit in the head with a Jujube then a miniature corn dog covered in cheese whiz. I snarl at my assailants and whip my cape around expertly deflecting some milk duds. An acne faced teen stumbles up the stairs towards me. He looks like he bathes in popcorn butter.

“Sir, can I see your ticket?” He proclaims with his squeaky prepubescent voice. He is holding a glowing wand and is garbed in the crimson uniform of Regal Cinema. I look him up and down and decide he is an anemic, ginger-haired knockoff of Luke Skywalker. He is no Jedi. That is for certain. And yet he pretends to be! With his ridiculous wand! This walking pimple is no different than the imposter playing me on the Jumbotron.

“Let it be known, I, COUNT DRACULA, am the original Batman!” I proclaim.

“What?” he says.

“Blaaaah,” I shriek.

“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” he says.

“Blaaaah,” I shriek again, voice imbued with a Transylvanian accent as thick as coagulated blood. I transform into a bat and flutter towards the ceiling. I make a watery poop on the ginger employee’s head and fly away shrieking,

“Johnny Depp would’ve played it better! At least he is an actual vampire!”

“What did he say?” the Bane-masked Juggalo asks the pimply employee.

“I’m not sure….. I just heard a bunch of squeaking noises.”


Jamie is fairly new to submitting stories, having just started sending out his work within the past few months. He writes freelance for Curbed DC and has a humour piece published as of now. It is a comedy piece recently accepted by the humour website The Higgs Weldon. It is entitled, “Maybe Another Time.”