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Missed It By That Much

by on July 31, 2015

The advantage of fighting a hell-army that insanely outnumbers you is that you don’t have to think about it too much. Ordinarily, when Gaseous Girl was fighting Crudmuffin or Thunderdomestic, she had to take a little care that her flame blasts were aimed properly. She didn’t want to miss and burn down little Sally’s lemonade stand, for instance. Now, that didn’t matter. Enemies were everywhere. She could flame and burp explosive gas and snap-kick and punch to her heart’s content. It was almost automatic. And as Gaseous Girl threw herself into the fight, she had a moment to reflect. She realized she had time for one more flashback before the inevitable end.

She had seen superheroes die before. Her mother died quite frequently. Of course, Maria Smith promptly resurrected in seventeen seconds each time, so Madeleine wasn’t sure that counted. She’d meant to ask Father Milo about that. There had been other heroes who had died and then come back. Their consciousness had been transported to a new body, or maybe they’d been cloned, or the event that killed them had been erased by a time change. It happened a lot. Madeleine only knew one superhero who had died permanently.

She had been new to the cape. Madeleine had still been trying to figure out how to do it all: manage a secret identity, keep up a patrol of the city, stopping supervillains before they set off their missiles or robots or what have you. Then Captain Constantine arrived.

The Captain was the traditional protector of Edison City. He received his powers from some ancient amulet he had found in a country that ended in “stan”. He was incredibly strong, incredibly fast, and incredibly good at a budgeting spreadsheet. He also liked long walks on the beach. Madeleine was still on the rebound from Evan. She had fallen hard for the Captain. And he was nearly invulnerable, too.


It had been a Tuesday. He had agreed to meet her for a date, their first. On the way there, he had met the Red Mushroom, a minor villain on the order of the Rogue Jaywalker, who was in the act of robbing a bank. Captain Constantine, believing in the old adage about catching more flies with honey than vinegar, generously gave the Red Mushroom five full minutes to surrender. It was four minutes and fifty-two seconds too long. Somehow the Red Mushroom had gotten his hands on the Kaboominator. Against that, “nearly” invulnerable was… not quite invulnerable enough.

No one had known to call Madeleine. She found out from a Facebook post. Then she learned that the Red Mushroom had flown to Las Vegas and was threatening to level it. Madeleine didn’t hesitate. She flew there. She stopped him. Las Vegas gave her the key to the city. Millions of people owed her their lives. Β None of that changed the simple truth, the one that Gaseous Girl confronted now in what was probably her last battle. Nearly invulnerable was never invulnerable enough.

  1. I can NOT say enough fabulous words about your Gaseous Girl series! I just want to curl up in a blanket in a corner, surrounded by pillows, and read about her adventures for hours! Another superb bit, my friend! Well done!

    • Thanks! I do hope to have a book version of her adventures soon; that may be my NaNoWriMo 2015 project. πŸ™‚

      • Oh that would be so cool! Please keep me updated!

  2. Dang, that may be the first one of your stories I’ve read that made me feel sad! Geez, you killed someone and they’re staying dead…it’s like I don’t even know you 😜

    • And now you’ll never know whether my characters will be dead and stay dead. The worry will haunt you. Forever. #muwahahaha.

  3. This totally cracked me up: “She realized she had time for one more flashback before the inevitable end.” So practical, our Gaseous Girl. Also, I think your last line should become an idiom. πŸ™‚

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