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The Haunting of Gaseous Girl

by on August 28, 2015

All Gaseous Girl wanted was a quiet week. She couldn’t remember exactly why. The only thing of great importance that had happened recently was that Evan had turned up again. They were tentatively dating, nothing serious, low-key. Neither was quite sure where the other stood. They had not yet brought up the disastrous Christmas where Evan had cheated on her with Lizzie, which had ended their last relationship. Madeleine did not look forward to discussing that. On the other hand, Lizzie seemed to be entirely out of the picture now. This seemed a good sign.

Her patrols were quiet, no major crises or apocalypses. Her job as a police consultant/detective was sputtering along, as usual. It wasn’t nearly as eventful as television detective shows made it out to be. Still, Madeleine had felt oddly fatigued that whole week. It was as if she had gone on some great adventure, fighting off a massive hell-army and saving the universe, or something. She couldn’t remember doing that at all. Madeleine suspected that a time thing might have been involved. She just hated time things.

At any rate, it was a Wednesday night, and she was out on patrol. Madeleine had nothing else to do. Hiccup Holly, her nemesis, was in lock-up, though she would probably be escaping soon. Supervillains had an appallingly easy time escaping from jail or the asylum or wherever. Madeleine had once written an angry letter to the editor on that subject. Nothing had been done. Politics. She disliked politics almost as much as time things.

She made a turn onto Eleventh Street, which ran right by one of the city’s strip malls. It was past closing time, so there shouldn’t have been anyone around other than security people. Yet, as she walked past the knock-off outlets and small bookstores, she saw a dim white shade floating eerily towards the jewelry place. Madeleine sighed. The Baleful Burglar, again.

Madeleine powered up and flew towards him. “You there, stop,” she said, with something less than conviction. She still felt done in, for some reason. The ghost looked towards her and gave a prodigiously melancholy boo. She paused. It sounded different than the usual boos of the Baleful Burglar. “Do I know you?”

“Alas,” wailed the spirit, “No one alive knows me now. I am the most wretched of men, doomed to an eternity of obscurity…”

“Okay, so who were you then?” Madeleine said.

“I was Lord Weston Pembridge, tragically slain in a most lamentable boating accident. I was engaged to the loveliest of ladies, Emma Featherston-Cloud, but alas, I fear she died of a broken heart after my own demise..”

“You don’t know that,” Madeleine observed. “She probably married someone else. Life happens.”

The ghost looked at her frostily. “She died of a broken heart,” he insisted. “We were the most devoted of affianced couples.”

“Sure you were,” Madeleine said. “I thought the same thing. Then my boyfriend cheated on me at Christmas. Love’s fickle.”

“My Emma would never have dishonored our engagement in that manner!” Lord Weston said. “Especially not at Christmastime, the one time of the year when men and women open their shut-up hearts-”

“Okay, now you’re cribbing from Dickens,” Madeleine said. “Honestly, let’s get to the point, okay? What’re you doing here?”

The ghost of Lord Weston sighed. “Actually, I wished to engage your services. An associate of mine in this dread afterlife said that you were diligent in thwarting burglaries. I hoped that, if I attempted a burglary, you would appear.”

Madeleine’s stomach tightened. So much for her quiet week. “And you want me for….”

The ghost looked troubled. It moaned about for a long minute, before it finally spoke again. “I…would like to be sure that Lady Featherston-Cloud was, ah, faithful. I wish to know what happened to her. Alas, I can find no trace. If you could…that is…”

“Done,” Madeleine said. “I’ll look up what’s her face and get back to you. I do bill for expenses.” This last was a formality. She expected that it wouldn’t take much more than a few ancestry searches on the Internet. Still, a job was a job. At least, she thought, it wasn’t a time thing. Little did she know.

  1. Ohmigosh. I have a very strong feeling this is going to be a time thing, or maybe a political thing. Whatever it is, it’ll surely be something Madeleine hates. And that’s part of why GG stories are always so much fun! I enjoyed this one as always!

    • It could be a time-political thing too. Maybe Madeleine decides to run for President. Or her nemesis, Hiccup Holly does……

  2. Here we go again. 🙂 Personally, I think a political thing would be worse than a time thing. Unless the time thing was full of politicians. That might even be worse than trekking through Hell…

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