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Empire of Dirt

by on February 26, 2015

There was nothing to do. She had the whole place to herself, and she was bored. Incredibly, wildly, out-of-her-mind bored. And she just hated being bored.

She thought about watching a movie. But then, she’d watched them all. Five times. She was out of popcorn, too. Time for another grocery store raid, she decided. She flew over to the nearest one, stepping through the shattered glass of the automatic door. Popcorn was near the soft drink aisle, she vaguely recalled. There was only one box left. “Crap,” she said, her voice muffled through her respirator mask. She’d have to fly to anther store soon. This one was about picked clean.

She left the store, and hovered above the crater that had been the parking lot, musing over her fate. She had popcorn, but what to do with it? She’d run through her movie list. Maybe there was a television show she hadn’t seen yet. Perhaps the library- then she laughed. She had almost forgotten that she’d torched the library a year back. She’d been bored back then, too.

Maybe something had survived? She flew over just to see. She had nothing else more pressing. Just as she remembered, though, the library was a wreck. A cockroach skittered out from beneath the shattered remnants of a wall. “Oh, hey!” she said. It was the first living thing she’d seen in… a while. Easy to lose track, these days. She gave the bug a friendly wave. It ignored her, going on about its roachy business. She was offended, and squished it. When it twitched, she flamed it with a white-hot blast that left nothing but a scorch mark in the dirt. That had been fun. Now she was bored again.

“Y’know…” she said. “This planet stinks. I need to leave.” It was an idea that had been growing in her mind for several months. One of the last scientists she’d seen had said something about other worlds. She’d flamed him shortly after that, down by the river. Or had it been the park? No, she remembered, she’d already vaporized the park before that. It had been the river, surely. All that steam and boil had been so fun. The scientist had turned red. She liked red.

Now that she’d settled on the idea, it took a while to get it moving. She had to find the military base again. The scientist had carried an ID badge from there. She hadn’t been to the military base since she’d lighted off the atmosphere. That, she figured, was probably why she was so bored now. There was no one else around anymore. Setting the planet on fire would do that. Oh, well, time for the next one.

She flew over the remains of the military base. The science part was beneath the largest crater. She had to dig through rubble for a bit, which proved an interesting if somewhat laborious distraction. And there it was, the portal thing the scientist had been blathering about. He’d had friends too, and they’d fought hard to save the portal. She giggled. Now that had been fun.

The portal beeped in the silence. Oh, good, she thought, it was still running! She would’ve hated to fly all this way across the burnt landscape for a portal that didn’t work. She spent the next two days eating popcorn and puzzling out the controls. There wasn’t an instruction manual. She’d probably torched it when she’d come before. Oops.

Finally, she figured out how it worked. If it went right, she’d find herself in another Earth, one she hadn’t wiped out. There might even be an alternate version of herself, one who saved people instead of flaming them. That didn’t seem fun. Maybe she’d have to flame the alternate. And then replace her! And the innocent civilians wouldn’t know the difference! Sweet.

With a push of the button, the portal fired up. She stepped through. As the burned-out old Earth faded out, and a shiny green new one faded in, Madeleine Smith laughed, high and cold. She wasn’t bored anymore.

This was written for the Grammar Ghoul Press Mutant 750 challenge. It’s also a bit dark, as you might have noticed. The mind of a supervillain is a scary place, let me tell you.

  1. Excellent story.. and now she can have all the popcorn she wants. 🙂

  2. Love this one. I hope Madeleine doesn’t get bored again for awhile. 🙂

  3. Ooh, an evil Gaseous Girl! The plot really did thicken. This is going to be fun. Great supervillain writing – you managed to make her totally twisted, but sort of likeable at the same time. 🙂

    • I’ve seen a lot of twisted but likeable supervillains lately; Loki, Harley Quinn, for instance. I’m glad Dark Madeleine came off as worthy to be in that company. 🙂

  4. It figures… everything is obliterated and a cockroach lives 🙂

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