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First-Ever Fan-Fic

Believe it or not, I’ve never written fanfic before, despite having been writing in some form or another most of my life. But I literally woke up the other day and said, “Omigosh, this needs to exist.” So I wrote it, and that’s how we got my possibly-bizarre Harley Quinn fanfic I posted earlier this week.

I’ve never felt comfortable writing with other people’s characters, even if I thought of a cool story. But this time, it just felt right.

Harley Quinn is a relatively recent addition to Batman’s rogues. She was introduced by Paul Dini in 1992 on Batman: The Animated Series, an absolutely fabulous kids’ show featuring The Dark Knight himself. Harley is just such a genius character–I’ve always loved her. She’s a psychiatrist with a background in competitive gymnastics who becomes obsessed with the Joker, to the point of throwing away her life as Dr. Harleen Quinzel in order to follow him and be his minion/lover, Harley Quinn (a play on harlequin, get it? Eh? Eh?).

I just thought, hey: What if she still wanted to make it as a psychiatrist after all that time with the Joker? I mean, it takes a lot of work to get to the point where you are interacting with patients. She’s a smart cookie! Aside from the lovesickness/psychotic break/delusions that turned her into Harley Quinn, maybe she’s still got some of that Dr. Quinzel in her. And that’s where I got “From the Desk of Dr. Harleen Quinzel.

I have less love for recent incarnations of the character: she’s veered well off the smart-scientist track and into a more bubblegum ditz/super-strong sex symbol. But I’ll always have a particular fondness for that pun-loving, wise-cracking gymnast-scientist.


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From the Desk of Dr. Harleen Quinzel

To Whom It May Concern:

Please accept my submission to the esteemed American Journal of Psychiatry, “No Laughing Matter: Humor & the ‘Criminally Insane.’” I realize this submission is unconventional, so I have provided further information to help you make your decision.

I am Dr. Harleen Francis Quinzel. I began my career at the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane after concluding my studies at Gotham City University. As an intern, I interacted with many of the famous inmates, but one in particular seemed worthy of additional study: the man best known by his nom de guerre “the Joker.”

Because of his many exploits and the extremity of his manner, many of the staff feared the patient. As a result, I noticed the patient was frequently isolated and demonstrated a depressive affect. Feeling that all patients deserved a high level of care, I volunteered to analyze and treat him.

In him, I found one of the most fascinating subjects I have ever encountered. My patient presented a challenging case, his only clear characteristic being his instability.

Indeed, while under my supervision (lasting several years), the patient has been labeled psychopathic, manic depressive, schizoid, schizotypial, histrionic, antisocial, socially deviant, manipulative, suicidal, and, yes, homicidal. But I have been led to believe, despite off-the-cuff analysis, that the patient is not afflicted by any of these disorders (or others found in the DSM-V), but rather is merely an underappreciated intellectual with a highly developed sense of humor. (A full analysis can be found in my attached article.)

Some may try to discredit my research because of my close association with the patient. I believe that such devotion was necessary in order to more closely study and learn his ways. It is not my fault that to know him is to love him; it is merely a sign of how thorough my research has been. It is true that it was my familiarity and affection for the patient that led to my current circumstances; however, I do not believe that is at all an impediment to my work.

Though I have recently taken my career in other directions, psychiatry was and always be my first love. I also hope my recent incarceration is not too large a burden for your great institution. In fact, my time here at Arkham Asylum has been a boon, finally allowing me the opportunity to fully process and prepare my research.

I hope you will consider publication of “No Laughing Matter: Humor & the ‘Criminally Insane’” in the American Journal of Psychiatry. (Please keep in mind that, if you don’t, my puddin’ might take it personally. He put a lot of himself into this research!)


Dr. Harley Quinn
Arkham, #12
Gotham City, DC 91192

Pretty please?



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Filed under Short Stories, writing