Scent of a Superheroine


By Daphne Orgone


Bethany Chambers buried her face in her computer screen, trying not to stare at the collection of bizarre young women who sat waiting for an interview.

Ironically, she’d planted the seed of all this into her boss’s head, and now she was seriously hoping it wouldn’t cost him his job. This was going to be a serious problem if they didn’t get better applicants, especially since they’d made a publicity thing out of this latest and greatest search for a superheroine spokeswoman. All of the better ones were clearly already taken, and they’d milked the whole idea until it was virtually impossible to find a decent fit for most clients.

“Send in the next one,” said Jonathan’s voice in her earphone.

Bethany looked up and called out:

“ToadGirl!” she said, glancing at the short, round and slightly green complexioned woman with a swollen neck, “you’re next.”

ToadGirl looked about and nodded as she somewhat awkwardly walked on her bowed legs through the door.

“You’ve got to be kidding” said a slender silver haired young woman with glassy green eyes. “They’re gonna pay her to model their logo? She looks like a frog!”

“Aww shut up, Intoxia,” said a tall, big boned dark haired woman.

“And what are you going to do, if I don’t, Flatulgirl?” replied Intoxia, even as Bethany suddenly started to feel a bit dizzy and the words blurred on her screen.

“Stop that, now Tox,” said MongooseWoman, looking up from her magazine in disgust before turning back to Flatulogirl and adding.

“And you… don’t you even think about it. You think passing super-gas in the waiting room is the way to get a job?”

Bethany was starting to get a slightly green complexion, even as TunaTart stepped into the room and tapped her fingers on the desk.

“Bethany,” she said impatiently, “I need to see Jonathan right away…  NOW!”

Bethany looked up in alarm. TunaTart was their most successful placement, a ravishing young merwoman who’d virtually built the success of the advertising company thanks to her incredible looks, natural acting talent and perfect fit for Sunburst Tuna. On screen she was delightful, where you couldn’t smell her.  Unfortunately, in person, her odor was just as disagreeable as her personality.

“He’s busy, ma’am” Bethany said, “but it...”

“Shouldn’t take long with the toad,” said Metalligirl as she stepped out of her seat and approached TunaTart.

Bethany’s computer immediately started flickering and she grabbed the container of paperweights as it slid across her desk towards the newcomer.

“Sit.. please.. all of you...” Bethany said.

They did, although the tension was as thick as the scents coming from Intoxia, TunaTart and Flatulogirl.

A moment later, everyone in the room drew a deep breath and held in. The game was over and they all knew it.

The girl was a little thing, with long black hair and a silver streak running down the middle. She was dressed in black slacks and a tight black sweater, quite a contrast to some of the elaborate costumes. Despite her size, she walked with confidence towards Bethany and handed over her card.

“SkunkChick?” Bethany said, her mouth open.

Toadgirl burst out of the room and Jonathan came in a moment later, grinning.

“The rest of you can go home. I think that Glaive Air Freshener has just found its new superheroine spokeswoman."

He picked up a clothespin as he led her into the office.