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Ice, Ice, Maddie

by on March 26, 2015

Splat went Madeleine on the ice. She said a few choice words, words that wouldn’t have been appropriate had she still been at the gates of heaven. She wasn’t there anymore, unfortunately. Gaseous Girl had arrived in hell.

She had hoped to arrive in more dramatic fashion, kicking open a giant iron door, maybe blasting her way through a line of demons, that sort of thing. But St. Nicholas had merely shoved her through a hole in a cloud, and next thing she knew she had landed smack on her face in a vast icy plain. Madeleine had read her Dante. She knew where she was: Circle Nine, the lowest point of hell, a frozen lake in which traitors were eternally buried. The question was, why would Evil Madeleine be down there?

A standard supervillain could commit a lot of acts of theft, like smash-and-grab bank robberies, or stealing priceless diamonds to power one’s freeze ray. But thieves landed up in Circle Eight bitten by snakes and lizards, not Nine in the frozen lake. Madeleine wondered if she should try climbing up to Eight and looking for her alternate. But suppose she wasn’t there? Had she landed in Seven, the river of blood in which murderers were forever plunged? Madeleine shuddered to think that she might have been responsible for a murder. Given her flammable powers, whoever her evil self had killed had probably not died happily.

Then she heard a hollow voice call her name. “Hey…” the voice gasped. “Madeleine….help…”  She turned. There was her evil self, locked fast in the ice, her head just barely sticking up like the world’s creepiest potted plant.

“Ah,” Madeleine said. “Figures. Who’d you sell out?” She looked round, trying to estimate where in the lake they were. “Your head’s out, so you’re not a traitor to a benefactor, or a guest…so either you betrayed family, or your country. Bet it’s America, isn’t it? I stopped a terrorist group just last year. Got a medal for it. You probably helped them. You would. ”

“No…” Evil Madeleine whispered. “It’s not that. It’s probably Evan. That’s what the snake at the front said, anyway.”

The good Madeleine was confused. She hadn’t had a relationship with anyone named Evan. She hadn’t had a relationship with anyone, really. The closest she’d gotten had been her high school boyfriend Ben, and he had cheated on her with Lizzie Dern-

Suddenly she knew. Ben had been one of those people who went by their middle name. His full name? Evan Benjamin Wizowsky.

“Oh my God,” she said, ignoring the irony of using that exclamation in hell. “You cheated on him. Not the other way ’round.”

“Yep,” Evil Madeleine said, giggling faintly. “With Lizzie’s boyfriend. Kyle. Oh, Lizzie was so mad. Like, raging mad. Then I broke a Botticelli painting over her head. That was fun. Little pieces flying, fragmenting everywhere….the painting, not her head. Though her head wasn’t in too great a shape either.”

“So that’s it,” Good Madeleine said. “You betrayed your boyfriend, which is more or less like betraying family, boom, frozen lake.”

“Yep.” Evil Madeleine giggled again. “And then I cheated on Kyle with Will, and then on Will with Jordan, and then-”

The good Madeleine was half appalled, half envious. Evil Madeleine had a way more eventful love life than she did. On the other hand, who was in a frozen lake and who wasn’t? “Yeah, okay,” she cut in, “Let’s skip the recap and go to the finish. Thing is, I’m here to get you out.”

“You’re what?”

Madeleine sighed. She hated the explaining part. “Somehow you broke reality, made all the alternate versions of us come together, probably collapsed the universe. I’ve got to fix it, only I can’t do that if you’re stuck in hell.”  She wondered if she could just burn her evil self out of the ice. Then she glimpsed movement across the lake. All of a sudden Madeleine reflected that the current management of the place might not want to let Evil Madeleine go. “”Oh, joy,” she sighed. “This is going to be fun.”

This story was written for the Mutant 750 writing challenge by Grammar Ghoul Press, and is part of the Gaseous Girl Mysteries. Thanks for reading!

  1. I look forward to reading these!

  2. I love all the Gaseous Girl installments, but this one is off the hook. You had my eyeballs glued to the computer screen. The title is brilliant! It’s all brilliant. Thanks for the good read!

  3. Love the references to Dante. And all the rest, of course! Looking forward to the next instalment. 🙂

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