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The Incredible Problem of Not Being

by on December 17, 2014

“So…” Madeline said to herself, “I haven’t been born.”  It was the only conclusion she could draw. It was exactly what had happened to Pamela Percy, and now it seemed she had suffered Pamela’s fate. It explained why her mother didn’t recognize her. Worse, this was the second time. Pamela was an interesting problem. Madeleine’s situation? This was a pattern. Somehow, people were getting erased from time. Madeleine decided not to think about the fact that she still existed even though she hadn’t been born. This was why she hated time things.

Her first task, though, was to find shelter. Being resurrected had tired her out considerably. Her room wasn’t an option. Her room didn’t exist anymore. This gave Madeleine a jolt. Her cat didn’t exist anymore. She had saved her cat from a supervillain’s attempt to level Las Vegas with the Kaboominator. She had also, incidentally, saved Las Vegas. Some other superhero had probably saved the city, but Madeleine was sure no one would’ve saved her cat. She closed her eyes for a moment. She couldn’t think of her cat. She had to get herself back in the timeline first.

Madeleine thought of her friends, but then she realized that would be pointless. If her mom didn’t know she existed, her friends wouldn’t know her either. So she decided to get a motel room. She would rest that night, then in the morning set out to find answers.

An hour later, she landed in the parking lot of a little dive on the outskirts of the city. The “Vacancy” sign blinked dull orange at her. Madeleine stepped into the dingy office and asked for a room. “Sure,” the manager said. “30 bucks.”

Madeleine checked her pockets. She didn’t have a debit card. She didn’t have cash. “Oh, crap,” she said. Then she looked back at the manager. “Look, here’s the deal. I haven’t been born. This is new for me. Problem is, since I don’t exist, my bank account doesn’t exist either. Also my savings, my piggy bank stash, my coupon for two free gas station hot dogs. Those are sketchy anyway, no loss there, but still. I’ve got zilch. But once I get born again, so to speak, I can pay you. I don’t suppose…”

The manager was not agreeable to her suggestion. Two minutes later, she was out in the parking lot again. Her stomach rumbled. Madeleine wondered how that worked. If she had never been born, had she ever really eaten? At any rate, how could she eat now? Food cost money. She had none. That was a problem.

She wondered if the George Bailey approach would work. Madeleine shrugged, and dropped to her knees in the parking lot. “God?” she asked tentatively. “Er, dear Father in heaven? I’m not really a praying superheroine….I was in a church once, two years ago, Christmas. Then the Villainous Vicar attacked, and I accidentally torched a nativity scene. Sorry about that. More to the point… I would like to live again. Okay? Please? Can I live again?”

There was a short pause. She heard sirens howling in the distance. They seemed to be growing louder. That meant a fire, or a chase, or possibly a supervillain. “Hold that thought,” she said to the heavens. Then she bounded up and blazed off into the sky. Even if she hadn’t been born, Gaseous Girl had work to do.

For previous episodes of the Gaseous Girl Mysteries, go here.

  1. Wow! I love it! Such creativity and imagination. What a great write!

  2. I would totally worry about my cat too, under those circumstances. Hopefully, I won’t find myself in those circumstances. Nice, seamless use of the prompts. And I’m glad Gaseous Girl has some work to keep herself distracted for a little while.

    • Yes; there’s nothing so helpful as a good distraction when one finds oneself not having been born.

  3. Haha! Gaseous Girl is awesome. I just love her stories. She’s so dedicated, halting a prayer for herself when someone else is in need. I do hope she’s rewarded for that. She may be in for her greatest challenge yet, surviving in a modern city without money. Great story!

    • She’s the hero the city deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So they’ll hunt her, because she can take it. She’s a silent (but deadly) guardian. A watchful protector. A dark knight.

  4. Wow – I love your comment to EagleAye above! And you know I love Gaseous Girl – nice to see her further adventures continue.

    • I like her as well, even given her current predicament of non-existence. Someday I hope she has a movie. 🙂

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