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The Birth of Hiccup Holly

by on January 14, 2015

A last big moment in a superhero’s life is when you get a nemesis. This is a signal that you have finally hit the big leagues. This is when the media starts to pay attention, and Facebook fan groups form, and people start to make T-shirts. After the first powering up, and the going public, getting a nemesis is the last step before you are properly recognized as a hero.

A nemesis is not, of course, an ordinary enemy. Random muggers demanding people’s valuables in dark alleyways don’t count. Policemen handle that easily enough. No, a true nemesis, worthy of a superhero, is out for world domination. Maniacal laughter, a fondness for calling other people fools, a complicated scheme with multiple parts and the potential to end life as we know it, and quite possibly sharks with lasers on their heads: all these things go into the making of a nemesis. The final element, of course, is that they have to have an intense and specific dislike of the hero. It can’t be just anyone’s nemesis; it has to be personal.

Madeleine was some time in getting an arch-enemy. Once she resigned herself to going public, she found she preferred fighting people who couldn’t shoot death rays back at her. Also, she was still trying to get through college, and having to save the world from collapsing into a hell-dimension played havoc with one’s study schedule. Then she graduated, and went into the private investigator business, as this seemed to fit her chosen vocation. A year later, she was behind on the rent for her office and her apartment, and in a bad financial way generally. Contrary to what she’d seen on television, the police hardly ever seemed to need her help solving crimes. Madeleine was beginning to wonder what to do.

Then, one night, everything changed. She was flying home late after a dismally minor case involving a lost cat.  It was raining, and she had a cold. As she came in over her neighborhood, Madeleine felt in her pocket for her handkerchief. She didn’t find one. What she found was a tissue. She sighed, blew her nose, and then committed a grave error, one she wouldn’t have done five years later. Rather than dispose of the tissue safely, she let it fall randomly over the street. Normally she tried not to litter, but she was tired, and frustrated with her lot, and she didn’t care.

The tissue, with Madeleine’s snot (and, worse, her super-powered DNA) in it, caught a stray breeze and flew out across the city. By pure chance, it wafted into a chemical factory. In a flagrant violation of state and federal safety standards, the factory had a vat of chemicals bubbling away right out in the open. The factory would be shut down by the government shortly after for exactly that reason, but too late.  There was a flash and a bang. Unfortunately, someone happened to be standing nearby in the path of the explosion.

Holly Donahue had a dead-end job that didn’t pay nearly enough. Unlike Madeleine, who muddled along the best she could, Holly had resorted to burglary to make ends meet. She had that day scored a very nice laptop computer, and had chosen the parking lot outside the factory as a secluded place to meet her fence. She was standing there in the drizzling rain when she heard the sound of the blast. Holly was so startled by the unexpected explosion that she hiccuped. She was in mid-hiccup, in fact, when the wall of chemicals, mixed with Gaseous Girl’s snot, hit her.

She woke up the next morning in the hospital. A nurse noticed she was awake and summoned the doctor. The doctor began to explain that she had changed in some undefinable way, and that they needed more tests. Holly started to protest. Instead, she hiccuped again. To her shock, the doctor went flying out into the hallway, right into a passing nurse with a food tray.

Some people, realizing that they had been gifted with hiccups of explosive power, might have resolved to use their power to do good works. Others might have been overwhelmed by the strangeness of it all. Holly faced the strangness somewhat different. Burglary would be so much easier now, she exulted. And why stop there? With her newfound power, she could do anything!  

And so, Madeleine’s nemesis was born, though Madeleine didn’t know about Hiccup Holly yet. She would soon.

This post is part of the series on Gaseous Girl, and was written for the Mutant 750 Challenge at Grammar Ghoul Press. Also, props to Lance, who back in May 2013 left a comment on this post leading to the creation of Hiccup Holly. Thanks for reading!

  1. I do love these super heroes!!

  2. Awesome. This is so true. A real hero always has a nemesis. That tells you you’ve really made it to the big-time. I love the way Holly Hiccup came to be. That’s some imaginative villain making. She’s a great one to live in opposition to Gaseous Girl. I’m looking forward to when they meet. 🙂

    • Well, the name was not my own creation, but it spoke to me somehow. And it fits with Gaseous Girl, to be sure.

  3. Excellent! No superhero story is complete without a real arch-nemesis. Can’t wait to see what happens when the two of them meet. 🙂

  4. Birthed out of super snot! Seriously, that’s awesome. Although I admit to being curious as to what exactly Hiccup Holly could do with her superpower in the name of good…demolition? clear seagulls out of a busy parking lot? These are questions that need answers!

    • If she could fine-tune her power musically, perhaps she could assist orchestras? The 1812 orchestra, for instance, in case they should lack cannons…. 🙂

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