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The Return of Hiccup Holly

by on September 3, 2015

It is a common mistake of our time to assume that everything worth knowing can be found on the Internet. Madeleine Smith had this same assumption when she set about fulfilling her latest client’s request: look up Lady Emma Featherston-Cloud, and find out what had happened to her after the tragic death of her fiance, who happened to be Madeleine’s client. She thought she’d get by with a simple Google search. At worst, she might have to click through to the second page. She was not at all prepared to find nothing.

Her client, Lord Weston Pembridge, had vaguely insinuated that he had lived fairly recently. Since he spoke English, Madeleine naturally concluded that he had lived in England. But her searches for recently deceased British lords turned up nobody resembling her client. So she went back farther, and farther, and farther. Still nothing. Madeleine had a rising inclination to swear at her computer screen. She suppressed this feeling with difficulty.  Instead, she decided to go to the library.

The librarians were first helpful, than increasingly apologetic. A thorough search turned up a yellowing paper that indicated someone by the name of Featherston-Cloud had owned a vineyard in France. The date was smudged and lost to history. Madeleine hunted up an atlas of France and tried to find the place. She had to hunt up an even older atlas before she found it. The Featherston-Clouds went back a long way, apparently.

She thanked the librarians, left the building, and blasted off into the sky. She flew about two blocks before, without any warning, a thunderous clap of sound smacked her from the air like a Ping-Pong ball. Gaseous Girl flamed up the moment her boots touched the ground. It could only be her nemesis: Hiccup Holly.

Hiccup Holly unleashed a torrent of profanity that, loosely translated, meant, “I intend to inflict serious bodily injury upon your person.”  Gaseous Girl objected to this in the usual way, by burping a barrage of flame-blasts at her. They went upon hiccup-blasting and flame-blasting each other for a while, generally wrecking the street, until Gaseous Girl finally got around to asking, “So what’s your deal this time?”

“I just heard the mayor’s giving you the key to the city!” *hic* *kaboom*.

Gaseous Girl rolled her eyes. “That’s it? Really? Jealous much? They give the award to everyone who does anything remotely decent around here. There’s been zillions of them. You don’t even get an actual key!”

“Well, it’s still stupid!” Hiccup Holly retorted. “And you’re stupid!” *hic* *kaboom*

Gaseous Girl dodged behind a Post Office box, which was promptly smashed to metal fragments by Holly’s latest sound wave. “Am not!” she shouted back. She knew it was a childish response, but she really didn’t know what else to say. Hiccup Holly wasn’t exactly interested in a civilized debate anyway.

“You know what else is stupid?” Hiccup Holly observed. “Buses.”


Gaseous Girl whirled. Sure enough, right down the street came a yellow school bus. Worse, as it approached, she realized it was full of underprivileged children who were going on a field trip which would open their minds to the possibilities of education. One kid was waving a plush teddy bear out of a window. Hiccup Holly smiled balefully. Gaseous Girl sighed. “Don’t tell me. If I surrender, you won’t hurt the bus.”


“I could just flame-blast you.”

“Yeah,” Hiccup Holly said, “But is flame faster than sound?”

Gaseous Girl paused. “That…is a good question.” She rapidly considered it as the bus came on.

  1. Good question indeed. It would appear that Gaseous Girl has landed herself in the middle of another mystery. My money says it’s a time thing. 😉

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