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Good Lord, Deliver Us

by on July 2, 2015

Madeleine Prime skimmed along the grassy fields of the first circle of Hell, and for once she was almost excited. She had fought her way through all nine circles. She had trudged through rain, battled windstorms and Nazi hell rebellions, confronted her dead ex-boyfriend Evan. Finally, finally, she was getting out.

Evil Madeleine sped along in her wake. Madeleine allowed herself to think, just for a moment, about what would happen after they busted out of hell. The whole point of her trip through the Infernal Regions had been to break out her evil self and try to undo the damage to reality that Evil Madeleine had caused. How was one supposed to fix reality? It wasn’t like she could stick some duct tape on it and walk away. Or could she?

She pondered the possibilities of reality-mending duct tape as she and her evil counterpart raced through Circle One. A high ridge rose up before them, a long slope of faded grass topped with a few spindly trees. Madeleine knew  somehow that the river Acheron just had to be beyond. One more river, and then she’d be out. She swooped up the ridge, shot past the trees, and –

Both Madeleines stopped dead in their tracks. The river Acheron lay before them, all right, with the traditional ferry crewed by Charon, a living skeleton in a cowl. But beyond the river, in rank upon rank, gathered the largest army that Madeleine had ever seen. Every horrific creature she could possibly imagine had gathered there, from giant verminous insects straight out of Kafka, to slimy tentacled things that could’ve been pals with Cthulhu. She saw people she recognized, too. Screwbolt, the goblin from Circle Nine, and a great many of his goblin friends. The centaurs from Circle Seven. A whole division of jackbooted Nazis from Circle Six. The assembled forces spanned the bank of the river for as far as she could see. It didn’t look at all like they intended to let her pass.

Calmly, Madeleine Prime walked down the far side of the ridge to the ferryman. “Hi there,” she said, trying heroically to ignore the massive army on the other side. “I’d like to get across, please. And my friend, too.”

No,” came the icy-cold voice from the skeleton. “No one crosses back over the river. No one escapes from-“

“Oh? Pity,” Madeleine said, and flame-blasted Charon so hard that the flames went right through him and exploded the ferry in a shower of steam and ash. Madeleine strode through the ash and glared at the forces assembled on the far bank. “Right, who’s next?”

She was acting braver than she felt. Inside, Madeleine wondered how she was supposed to fight all these guys. She was a flying brick, sure, but even flying bricks could be smashed; she’d read a few Superman comics to know that. Did she have anything else? There was her new utility belt. It had a screwdriver, a marker, and a pencil. Madeleine didn’t think she could defeat the armies of hell with a pencil. Could she?

Madeleine Prime pulled the pencil out of her utility belt as the enemy forces began to lurch towards her. “What say, little buddy? Any help here?”

The pencil gazed back at her in mute #2 incomprehension. “Maybe I could stick someone’s eye with you?” Madeleine asked. The pencil didn’t object. “Let’s see…” Madeleine said, looking over the crowd. “There’s ghosties…and ghoulies…how about that long-legged beastie over there?” she asked. The pencil seemed happy with the proposed target. Madeleine readied herself to throw the pencil, praying with all her might that the pencil really was sharper than the sword.

  1. Yowza! Things are looking really bad for Madeleine! I love the discussion with the pencil. That was really hilarious.

  2. Excellent use of personification! Here’s hoping our intrepid heroine leaves a mark on that army (with her #2 pencil). 😉

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