* * *
"So you're back," Cecil welcomed Robert home. "So proud of you, big brother."
"And you may imagine the..." -- Bob shuddered lightly -- "...'warm, fuzzy feeling' I got hearing you say that." His
voice was icy with sarcasm, as usual, but more tired than always. "How sweet. Think I need a root canal."
Cecil just stared at him with an air of boredom. "Ah, hush up." He then looked away from Bob, and cocked his head
to one side.
"I see you've brought company..."
"What...?" The expression on Bob's face turned to one of puzzlement, then to concern, and once he looked behind
him, to annoyance; for Katherine stood there casually.
"Ta-dah." she simply stated.
"You followed me?!" Bob inquired rather loudly, his hands almost automatically landing on his hips in annoyance.
It was throughout that evening that Bob and Cecil would question her, as to who she was, where she lived, where her
parents were (since, after all, she was most likely no older than 18), and most importantly, why she followed him home
(since, after all, he wanted to haul her ass out of there before suppertime). She was a quiet girl, and rather irritable, so the
most the boys got out of her was her name, Katherine, and when she did not answer questions regarding parents or where
she lived, after much frustration, they assumed her as homeless or perhaps a trampy little streetwalker that escaped from
juvie, as Bob so eloquently put it.
"What's with all the questions, anyway?" the girl finally retorted. "I'm not gonna rob you or anything."
"We know that," Cecil said gently. "We just want to know who you are. Yes, we got the letter from our mother and father
about you coming to stay with us, but... frankly, we didn't even know we had a cousin, especially one so young."
"Mm," was her unimpressed reply, as she leaned back into the recliner she was sitting in, and crossed her legs and
clasped her hands in her lap in defiance. "Well. I'm here, now."
The elder Terwilliger, however, was at his limit. It had been hours and it was one mumbled, vague response after another
to question after question. What was she hiding?
"All right, Katherine, enough of this. We want answers. Who are you? How about telling us your full name,
where you live and where you came from? Who your parents are? For all we know, you might not even be related to us at
Katherine scowled. Bob continued his lashing out at her.
"Bob..." Cecil began.
The redhead's hands fell on the armrests of the chair and he powerfully came face to face with their new visitor.
"As delightful as it would be to have this little scrounger accompany me to prison someday based on relation, or
perhaps even an accessory to my crimes, I don't feel the need to throw some cheese to the mouse, as it were."
Her eyes became positively Antarctic, especially when Bob fixed his gaze onto hers.
"So. Are you going to give us some information... or not?"
A few moments of hard, tension-filled silence passed before Katherine gave her laconic response, her every word
separated by her stubborn resolve:
"I don't have to tell you anything."
It took a bit of time for Bob and Katherine's stony gazes to leave each other. He spoke placidly as if nothing had
His hand swept through the air and stopped in the general direction of the front door. "Very well-- cousin -- this Terwilliger
household, I'm afraid, does not welcome you. I wish you luck in finding one, or at least a house in general, that might.
You'll be right at home with the famous Shelbyville rats and other... wandering pests."
A mix of anger, insult, and, deep down in the abyss of Katherine's soul, pain appeared on the girl's face. Then, a non-
"Fine," was all she said as she stormed out of the apartment, shoving Bob out of the way as she passed.
Before the predicted slam of the door, she poked her head back in for a casual goodbye:
"Oh, and in case anyone finds my dead body lying in an alley somewhere, I'll be sure to give 'em an obvious reference."
And with a last meaningful glare at Bob, she finally left.
The air blowing in and out of Bob's nostrils felt more like fire as he stood still, his back to Cecil as he continued staring
at the doorway as if someone was still there -- or may return there.
"Harsh." Cecil critiqued as he picked a book out at random and started leafing through it. "She's pretty much a child,
Bob. Was that really neccessary?"
"She... was unneccessary." He pushed the door shut and, for some reason, did not leave it so quickly.
* * *
"...and I swear he's trying to kill me! I know you've heard this before, but--"
"And I have," Chief Wiggum of the Springfield Police Department stopped him. "Kid, lemme tell you that Sideshow Bob
has changed. When he was paroled he promised he wouldn't try to kill anyone. He even pinky promised! And you can't
Bart smacked his forehead. "Ugghhh... Chief. You can't possibly trust him. He was jailed for only 6 days for speeding! And
before that, he tried to kill me after helping my dad find someone who was trying to murder him, then ran off and disappeared
for a really long time!"
"We were only doing our duty. You can only drive so fast when you're trying to get away from a truck full of hillbilly hobos!
Their pitchforks can't reach THAT far..." Wiggum reasoned. Just at that moment, a pitchfork flew by the window.
Cletus Spuckler ran into the room. "Chief Wiggum, didja happen ta see a big ol' fork flyin' 'round here? The kind ya can use
to eat possums with? Brandine says I ain't allowed to use it, though."
Wiggum blinked. "Yeah, just outside." He then grinned at him. "Wow, it feels great to not be the only one whose wife doesn't
let their husband touch sharp objects. Man, thank God I'm not alone!" He then hid a fork in his pocket.
Cletus nodded sadly in agreement.
* * *
Downtown Springfield was always considered a dangerous sort of place. Maybe because it had a few slums here and there,
or perhaps Springfield's crime rate bloomed from there like a flower, but we all knew the real reason: the disco clubs.
Either way, it's a fact that even when you're in a quiet park outside of the hustle-and-bustle, in the late afternoon, you're
never really away from the heat of that metropolis. Bob knew this as he skulked along the narrow sidewalk on the grassy hill,
not too far away from the playground. He breathed in the cold air of the sunset, hands holding his upper arms. It'd been an
interesting day... he was surprised at himself, how relaxed he felt when he was with Katherine -- maybe it's the influence of
a young person around you -- but whatever it was, the nagging feeling was something he couldn't get his mind off of.
Until his train of thought was interrupted by a small, but heavy, foot stepping firmly over his.
"OW!" he yelled, and glanced down to find Bart Simpson staring at him angrily.
"You," the boy said, his single word accompanied by a finger pointed directly at Bob.
"Me?" Bob questioned, a hand modestly placed on his chest as if in surprise, but with a knowing, coy smile that said other-
"Is that all? And I was so accustomed to your old heartfelt greeting. Terrified, but heartfelt."
"Cut the crap, Bob, I know what you did." Bart's voice became more and more threatening. "Out of all the dirty tricks, and
lies, and marrying my aunt Selma for her money, and trying to kill Krusty, and trying to kill me... well, this was just
Robert chuckled. He sounded almost flattered. "Now, now," he encouraged, with a flick of his wrist. "I think I've bragged
about my record enough for the both of us. What exhilarating horror have I done to you now, Bart?"
Bart growled in frustration. "It's not me this time, it's that girl! Katherine! You kidnapped Katherine!"
The innocently curious expression on Bob's face was slowly, at Bart's every word, replaced with a scowl. Katherine... that
little scamp was the precise reason he was out strolling in the park at this hour. It was a busy afternoon, and he'd lost track
of her somewhere in between formulating a plan to stay out of prison for good (and seek a good, final revenge on Bart
Simpson), and... the fight with Katherine. It hit him all at once, it seemed, that she'd most likely not be returning to his and
Cecil's apartment, considering the... terrible... things he'd said to her. Questions started to cross Bob's mind, possibly very
important ones: what made Bart think Katherine was kidnapped? Did Bart know her? Had he seen her, was she safe?
The former homicidal maniac then shook his head, arriving back at the present moment. "Katherine? What are
"I know you did it! It was just waaay too easy for you, when you saw us hanging out and buying comics together, you knew
that if you made her disappear, I'd come looking for her and find you! And seriously, Bob, that's kinda lame, even for you."
So he did know her! Katherine wasn't exactly the prestigious sort of girl, but something about her hanging around Bart Simpson
made something flare up inside Bob. His ominous onyx eyes narrowed.
"For your information, child, even in my lowest, most uninspired moments, I could think of a thousand better ways of using your
simple mind to my advantage in luring you to your own death. And right now, you are, unbelievably, the least of my problems."
"Ha, I'll bet that's what you said when you were way too lazy to come up with any halfway-decent plan to get me," Bart jeered
through an obnoxious smirk. "Somehow, just potato'ing on the couch one afternoon and watching reruns of Krusty's Komedy
Kavalcade to get some ideas on how to cleverly 'lure me to my death' seemed soooo much easier, huh?..."
The camel's back must have been in pieces from that final straw. At least, in analogy to the deeply-insulted Bob --
at that last remark, fury filled his whole body. His face contorted into a snarl, his eyes were blazing and his voice no higher than a
vicious, low growl rumbling in his throat.
"How... dare you..."
And even before his expression had changed, his fingers were tangled in Bart's shirt collar, somewhere in between strangling
him and lifting him up off the ground to connect his furious gaze with the child's.
"I could've made this easy, Bart. You're right- I could've put more thought into it, but right now, making you pay for that little couch-
potatoing critique right here in this desolate park at sunset just seems so..."
Bob pinned Bart up against the trunk of an old oak tree by just one large hand on his tiny shoulder. Fear gripped the boy as he
tried desperately to wriggle free.
He pulled out a swiss army knife from his coat pocket, and put the blade to the boy's neck.
"Easier..." a quiet rage dripping from his every calmly whispered word.
Bart's eyes darted back and forth along the disappointing sight of the completely empty grassy hills and lonely picnic benches
and spacious parking lots. He swallowed hard, and as the lump in his throat moved higher, he felt his heart sink.
No one was around to save him now.
Bart Simpson, Sideshow Bob Terwilliger, and related characters © Matt Groening/FOX.
Katherine Terwilliger [fan-character], "Ma Vie, The Ruse" © Janna 'Janie' Correa [01.28.11]. DO NOT ALTER, STEAL, COPY OR POST WITHOUT PERMISSION.