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I Wanna Drive the Zamboni

by on April 3, 2015

Sometimes Madeleine Prime hated her life. Especially now, when she wasn’t really sure it was her life. She was sort of dead, maybe non-existent, and she was in hell, trying to rescue her evil counterpart so that maybe she could undo whatever her evil self had done and get everything back to normal. Did other superheroes have to deal with this? Mr. Ecosystem sure didn’t. His last battle had been a mutant panda escaped from the zoo. “What I wouldn’t give to fight a mutant panda,” Madeleine exclaimed.

Evil Madeleine giggled. “I torched a panda once. When I burned down Asia.”

“You burned down a whole continent?”

“I was bored.”

Madeleine Prime, not for the last time, wished she could just leave her evil self in hell. She took a deep breath. She was going to have to blow-torch Evil Madeleine out of the frozen lake, a tricky job at best. And they weren’t alone. Across the lake she could see dark figures moving about ominously. She bent down, and began breathing hard on the ice. Slowly, painfully slowly, it began to melt.

“Didn’t know you could breath fire,” Evil Madeleine said.

Madeleine Prime winced. She’d just taught herself a new trick. “It’s not fire,” she said. “It’s technically superheated gas. We’re Gaseous Girl, you know, we can do that.”


“Shut up.” She went back to breathing, trying to do it more rapidly. She could hear something whirring towards them. It was getting closer.

The ice was turning to slush now. Madeleine Prime seized her counterpart’s arm and pulled. Evil Madeleine moved a few inches, then stuck fast. Before Madeleine Prime could try to melt more ice, the whirring something spun up behind them. Madeleine Prime spun to face it, ready for a fight. Then she paused.

A small goblin-like creature sat there, atop what looked suspiciously like a Zamboni ice resurfacer. It glared at the two of them. “‘Ere, what’s all this?”


“Blimey. I work all day, work me tail off, keepin’ the icy lake all shiny-like, and you two ‘ave to go and melt it!”

“I apologize,” Madeleine Prime said. “And who are you then?”

“Screwbolt,” he said. “Cocytus Maintenance. I’m a ‘onest goblin, I work hard for me living. I try to keep the ice clean, but ‘ow can I with people constantly trampin’ through ‘ere?”

“Really?” Madeleine said. “You get paid for this?”

Screwbolt sniffed. “Course I don’t get paid. I’m in ‘ell, missie. We ain’t exactly got labor laws down ‘ere. No, I do it for the joy.”

Much as Madeleine Prime was curious about the employment practices of the infernal regions, she noticed other shadows in the distance, and decided not all of them would be as relatively harmless or malleable as Screwbolt. “Well, I apologize again for melting the ice. I tell you what: let me just pull my friend out of here, and then if you could give us a ride back to Circle Eight, we’ll go away and never come back again. Deal?”

“Deal. Lemme ‘elp.” Screwbolt hopped down, and grabbed Evil Madeleine’s other arm. With a heave, the two of them pulled her free at last. They scrambled aboard the Zamboni and tore off down the frozen lake, Screwbolt as eager to get the interlopers out of his domain as the two Madeleines were to go. Madeleine Prime didn’t dare to look back to see what might be chasing them. She just wanted to get out of hell and away. Unfortunately, even though it looked like they’d get out of Circle Nine unscathed, they still had a long way to go.

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

  1. Another awesome installment of Gaseous Girl! Love it. 🙂

  2. Frozen hell and zambonis. It doesn’t get much better than that. Unless you add a cockney goblin to the mix. 😉 Nicely done, sir!

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