Authors Notes: Death of a Simpson began as a small segment in a much broader storyline that I really liked and decided to go back and flesh out. This is my first attempt at Fan Fiction so forgive me for the length. I don't know any better. I found Homer the most difficult to write for; I went for canon circa Seasons 4-6, this was a conscious decision. Otherwise it rapidly would've degenerated into the more recent "Shrieking Homer" and I think the overall quality of the story is better for it. Maggie was definitely the most interesting to write for, however, because she's pretty much left blank (exempting the future-centric episodes and her occasional affinity for firearms...). I was satisfied with the direction her characterization took and being the oldest of three boys, I'm about as far from being in her situation as possible. The rest of the characters were pretty easy to fall into because I either felt close to them emotionally or I knew someone in my life to base them off of. Watching 3-4 hours of the show almost daily might've had some influence too.
Select your chapter
"Why do I lose control so easily these days?" He lamented. Truthfully, Bob felt he could do something more to keep control, but the disturbing part was he wasn't sure he wanted to. Bob felt less like himself with every passing day. This chase had consumed his entire life for the better part of a decade, and that just didn't seem fair to him. Bob was growing weary of trying to close this chapter of his past, to get on with things, and rebuild some kind of life. "But the boy..."
Bob swung on his half-rotted, three-legged chair and observed the still form of his most recent problem. Under better circumstances, Bob hated to admit, he might have actually gotten along with Lisa quite well. But the image of this same girl, speaking confidently before a jury of his peers all those years ago, enraged him beyond reason.
"How dare she? How dare any of them! Laughing, always laughing at poor Robert! She deserves to feel what I have felt! Ridicule and humiliation! A slow, painful death..." Bob felt his mental barriers dissolving quickly as he slipped over the edge of rationality.
"Hello, Krusty." He remarked without moving an inch. The clown materialized from the corners of Bob's subconscious and stepped out of the shadows cast by a large piece of the faded, old scenery.
"It's time to end this, Bob. For the zillionth time, stop stalling! Do you really have to play with your food before you eat it?" Krusty followed Bob's line of sight and grimaced in disdain.
"There's no need to rush things, I assure you. No mistakes will be made."
"Mistakes? I'll give you mistakes! You've already made one! The backpack getting left at the scene? Amateurs would do a better job than you... so sloppy! And look! You're about to make another one! She's been here for a long time when she should already be cold!"
"Stop! I've had enough of your preaching! What has to be done will be done, so just... shut... up." Bob drove his point home by aiming the gun in his hand at Krusty and firing off a few rounds, dispersing the apparition. To the side Lisa stirred and he intoned darkly, "It's time."
Holstering the gun as he rose from the chair, Bob calmly sauntered over to the spot where she was beginning to come around. With a haughty grin he casually aimed a kick for her mid-section.
"Get up!" Bob snarled savagely as Lisa cried out and tried to curl up into a tight ball. He then continued, much softer. "I promised you some fun didn't I?"
He took a hold of the hair on the back of Lisa's head with a dark chuckle and firmly tugged her up off the ground to stand on tip-toe. Bob laughed inwardly as he was forced to bend down, allowing him to get right in her face.
"So, shall we begin?" he reached behind his back and, with measured precision, slapped the flat of the knife he had concealed there against the shivering girl's cheekbone.
Lisa looked into his eyes and saw no reason to doubt what would inevitably follow. She fell into her center of calm and gathered together the angry and frustrated feelings she had been storing up since returning to consciousness thirty minutes before. Lisa was slowly coming to accept that, perhaps, nobody would be coming after all.
With a loud hack, she spat in Bob's face.
"Hmm... what a charming little girl you are, Lisa." Bob let go of her to wipe the spittle from his eyes and nose. Abruptly he stood and whipped the butt of the knife against Lisa's temple. She overbalanced with a whimper, having been deprived of her natural balance and still inhibited by the ropes around her arms and legs. As she crashed heavily to floor in a heap, white stars exploded into her vision and everything seemed to darken several shades.
15 minutes earlier...
Bart's tired, old Buick rolled to a stop next to the tall wall that enclosed the bulk of Krusty the Clown's former production studio. Shutting off the engine, Bart pulled a cell phone from his pocket and paused, unable to decide.
"Maybe we should call the police and give them the address." He glanced at Maggie for her opinion.
"It couldn't hurt..." She responded nervously. The reality of what they were about to do was settling in on her. Bart placed the call anonymously, then hung up and surveyed the buildings visible against the sky just on the other side of the wall.
"Let's check the front gate, Bob might not have locked it." Bart suggested as he reached into the back seat, grabbed his bat and got out. Maggie nodded, following suit. A short time later they reached the ominous, rusty steel doors and came to a stop in unison. Bart grabbed one of the thick bars and pushed with all of his strength, but the gate remained stubbornly shut. Then he tried pulling it, with similar luck.
"I can climb over and unlock it from the inside, I think." Maggie stepped up next to her brother as he panted in frustration. She looked for an obvious way up and found it. "Can you give me a boost?"
"You'd better be careful, that's a big drop." But Bart set the bat down and offered his hands, cupped at knee height, despite any doubts he may have had. She stepped onto the makeshift platform, holding onto the bars for support. Slowly Bart lifted his sister up, with no small amount of effort, to the lip of the door. Bart added, "Heh, I bet he didn't count on you being with me!"
Maggie clamped on as tightly as she could and struggled against the incessant pull of gravity., cursing every snack she'd ever eaten. Finally she managed to hook a leg around the top of one of the bars that jutted proudly into the sky. Using the leverage from a horizontal bar near the top, Maggie succeeded in reaching her goal and perched herself delicately on the thin gate.
"One...two...three...!" She quietly counted, then launched her body out into the open air. Her landing was far from smooth and she hit with a sickening smack that echoed throughout the vacant lot, knocking the wind out of her with the sheer force of it.
"You okay?" Bart softly gasped. Maggie coughed and sucked in deep lung-full of oxygen before rolling over to stick her thumb up. He breathed a sigh of relief, retrieved his weapon and waited for her to recover. Eventually Maggie got to her knees and looked around. A smile lit up her face as she spotted the guard's shack off to one side of the entranceway, it's door cracked open slightly.
She stood and limped slightly with her first few steps towards it. "Just a small sprain, walk it off!" Maggie scolded herself. The door opened easily when she pushed, revealing a simple office. There was a high stool for the guard to sit on in front of a tall control panel. Her leg throbbed as she used it to scale the stool and reach out for the button clearly marked "Open". Maggie slammed her palm down on it with a groan of pain and fell back to the ground.
Outside, the heavy gate shuddered and creaked eerily as it swung inwards, allowing Bart into the facility. Maggie reappeared from inside the old checkpoint, still walking a little stiffly as she approached.
"You sure you're alright?" Bart asked with concern in his eyes.
"Don't worry about me, I'll manage." She replied breathlessly, becoming a little annoyed with her brother's constant babying attitude. "Which building should we check first?"
Bart paused and thought back to his childhood, trying to recall how Bob operated. A cog turned.
"Well, if I know Bob, he's going to want somewhere special. I'd bet Homer's last doughnut he's somewhere in the building where Krusty filmed his show. Yea... maybe..."
Maggie shifted her attention from the empty complex in front of her to Bart as he trailed off.
"Maybe... what? Do you know where they are or don't you?"
"It sounds a little too easy, but it sort of makes sense. We should check it out, at least." Bart started walking but Maggie was lost.
"Where?" She asked firmly, forcing Bart to halt and turn to regard her as an equal.
"Oh, right. Krusty filmed his show on the largest set in the largest building. If I wanted to be sure I'd be alone, that'd be where I would hide. Krusty really liked his privacy... that's... another long story."
"Alright, that's a start." Maggie was nodding even before Bart finished speaking. A moment later they were walking again and she pulled her coat tightly around herself, shivering as the sun slowly dipped over the western wall in the distance.
Bart seemed not to notice while he tried to remember the way to the building. After several attempts, accompanied by excessive bouts of swearing and smashing of random glass objects, Bart was showing signs of desperation.
"Take it easy, Bart. Just slow down and think!" Maggie huffed, becoming more than a little frightened of the increasingly foreboding shadows. Bart stopped and rubbed his temples with a groan.
"This is taking too long!" He answered, on the edge of exasperation. "I need to find a landmark."
Bart spun in place and glanced at every building. In the gathering twilight each one looked the same as the next, save for the closest ones.
"Hmm... just over there, I think..." He walked around a corner and quickly turned back. "This is it!"
Maggie rounded the corner and nearly screamed as a gigantic effigy of the deceased clown gaped happily at her from its perch high up on the front of a huge building. In front of the wide grin sat an Oldsmobile that appeared to have been left there in a hurry. The driver's side door was flung wide open, not to mention the unlatched trunk.
"C'mon! I know the way now!" Bart exclaimed in a low voice. He semi-stooped and cautiously started running towards the large door that was located in the center of mural-Krusty's mouth, with Maggie close behind. The door protested loudly when Bart pushed it open, causing them to freeze in place.
"Last chance to turn back, you know..." Bart chanced a whisper to his panting sibling. She glared at him indignantly and firmly set her stance. He nodded appreciatively and patted her on the shoulder. "Okay, thanks... now quietly..."
Together they crept through a spacious entry-hall which was obviously in severe disrepair. "Just like I remember it!" Bart mused. Tiny movements from every shady corner made them jump until a six-legged monstrosity skittered across their path. Bart's grip on his bat tightened momentarily.
"Cock-a-roach..." Bart muttered, stepping heavily on top of it.
"Eww..." Maggie paled a little at the display and Bart let a faint grin play across his face at her squeamishness. "Like old times... " He thought bitterly.
"Down this way." He scraped the insect off on a dusty, plastic chair that sat nearby and continued deeper into the building. Bart opened a door near the back of the foyer, revealing a long hallway with several lights broken and more than a few flickering out of time with each other. Between the sporadic light changes, Maggie noticed dozens of doors set at regular intervals along the right-hand side of the hallway.
"These all lead to the center stage where Krusty worked his magic." Bart explained before tugging on the handle of the one nearest to them.
Behind the door lay a vast darkened room where row after row of child-sized seats were laid out in a descending fashion in either direction for as far as they could see. Down further, past the tiny silhouettes and stairs, sat the stage. It was only visible by the illumination of a single, cannon-shaped, spotlight overhead.
Near the edge of the light's radius sat a lone, slumped figure that Bart couldn't immediately recognize. He motioned for Maggie to keep quiet again and follow him as he carefully slid into the room and closed the door behind them. They made progress down to the stage as quickly as their rattled nerves would allow.
"Hello, Krusty." Sideshow Bob's deep voice reverberated throughout the room and Bart had to clamp a hand tightly over his mouth to keep from screaming bloody murder. The duo spotted a large prop near the bottom of the steps and both had the same thought. As they crouched behind it, Bob stirred and said something about mistakes out loud to himself.
"What's...he...doing?" Maggie mouthed to Bart after tugging on his sleeve. He simply shrugged and looked, if it were possible, even more concerned about the situation. Bob's strange behavior, coupled with the odd mention of his former colleague in clowning, set Maggie on edge like nothing ever had before. "He's lost it... Omigod... we're all gonna die!" She stifled the panic before it could grasp control and then started as Bob began shouting randomly.
"Stop! I've had enough of your preaching! What has to be done will be done, so..." Bob's last few words were lost as his hand appeared, holding a gun up to some perceived adversary, and he fired three times.
Bart and Maggie gaped at each other in shock as the erratic behavior Bob continued to exhibit faded with two more words.
"It's time." Bob stood slowly and disappeared towards the far side of the stage, beyond their ability to see. Several moments later they heard him yell sharply.
"Get up!" This was followed by a dull "thwump" and an evil cackle. Bart's eyes widened angrily as he heard a female voice cry out in pain and he started to shake with fury. Maggie swallowed her own feelings and put a hand on Bart's shoulder.
"Not yet... She pleaded when he turned to her, his eyes shooting daggers. In the distance they heard a soft, wet, smacking sound and Bob's voice echoed venomously after a brief pause.
"Hmm... what a charming little girl you are, Lisa." Bart tried to stand up abruptly but Maggie grabbed on with her other hand, torn between not wanting to be found out and a strong desire to let go of her brother and rush out with him.
A sharp, metallic ringing filled the air then and Bart would wait no longer. His decision made, he shook free of Maggie's death grip and called out as calmly as he could manage.
"Bob! Stop!" Bart hefted the bat in front of him and stepped into the circle of light as Maggie struggled with her aching leg and tried to catch up.
"Who's there?" Bob spun and took out the gun again. As he leveled the weapon at the intruder he moved closer, back into semi-illumination. "Bart Simpson? What a pleasant surprise! Are you one of "them"?"
Bart gasped at Bob's appearance and struggled to regain his composure before answering the insane question.
"What? "Them"? Just let my sister go, Sideshow Bob!" He tried to sound as confident as possible.
"I've become so sick of that "honorific" over the years! Why do you children mock me so?" Bob paused and then tilted his head in a curious fashion, back and to the right. "You can't possibly be standing here before me on the night of my penultimate triumph, can you? This seems too good to be true! Lies! Be gone, false vision!"
The scene around him froze as Bob licked his lips and pulled the trigger.
Maggie and Lisa shrieked in unison while Bart grunted, dropped his weapon and stared down at the rapidly expanding blot of red on his chest. He then turned his eyes back to Bob with a questioning look before collapsing to the ground in a jumbled heap.
"You... mean he was... real?" Bob answered of his own accord. He trembled and let out a long insidious laugh, born of the pits of Hell itself. "At last! Retribution!"
Maggie now found herself face to face with the man who shot her brother and a frightening center of focus overtook her senses. She moved into the radius of light and glared at him.
"What's this now? Little Lisa Simpson?" Bob said joyfully with a glance over his shoulder to where the larger Lisa still lay in stunned silence. "How wonderfully appropriate!" he began laughing again.
Maggie absorbed his words and added them to her collective rage. He hadn't moved or shot her yet, so she used it to her advantage.
"No? Well perhaps you know how I should take care of the "you" over there? I daresay that would make a fitting end to this ordeal."
Maggie's eyes narrowed into slits at the mention of that unthinkable deed. She reached into her coat and withdrew her mother's handgun slowly, letting Bob see every movement.
"I see... just like her brother, then? A sentimentalist's approach, you suppose?" Bob grinned madly and stroked the chamber of his own gun with the tenderness of a loving mother.
Maggie clicked off the safety and brought the weapon to bear on Bob, who was still preoccupied with his own firearm.
Finally coming out of his revere, Bob looked at "Lisa" again and noticed the twin streaks of crystal clear tears that ran the length of Maggie's face.
"Whatever is wrong, dear child?" Bob inquired.
Maggie sniffed and replied, her voice carrying an unnatural chill in it's deathly calm.
"My name is Maggie." She aimed carefully and squeezed the trigger.
"Ma..." Bob managed before his face imploded and he flew several feet backwards to the ground. Maggie was knocked from her feet by the force of the recoil but all she could think to do was desperately focus on making her numb fingers let go of the gun. After succeeding she struggled back up.
"Maggie!" Lisa cried from behind Bob's twitching body and the still-shaking girl ran around it to find her sister tied up on the ground. "He's got a knife! Hurry and cut me loose! Oh god, Bart! We have to help him Maggie!"
Lisa watched as Maggie turned, ran back to the corpse, and started searching it frantically.
"It's on his back!" She offered and moments later Maggie returned to cut Lisa's bonds. When she finished, Maggie threw the knife away into the gloom with a look of disgust and helped her older sister to her feet. They made their way to the crumpled body of their fallen brother.
"Oh my god..." Lisa moaned as she fell to her knees. Her eyes swam with grief for the shattered boy. "There's so much blood...!"
Maggie found the presence of mind to lay Bart out flat, and as she watched she saw his chest weakly rise and fall.
"He's still breathing! Lisa, take my coat and try to slow the bleeding. Help is on the way!" Maggie looked Lisa in the eye and they both understood what needed to happen. Maggie removed her jacket hastily and handed it to Lisa before turning to go find the police.
As Maggie ran from the room, Lisa looked at her brother's pale, clammy visage and wept bitterly while she held the coat firmly over his wound with one hand and gently stroked her hand through his hair with the other.
"Not like this! Please, god, not like this! Don't take him yet!"