Chapter 8: Ghostly Love
Mario and Luigi stood in dead silence in the center of the maze of hallways in the mansion. Their bodies may have identified them as the Mario Brothers, but this certainly was not the case. Mario's eyes glowed with a dark red, and his skin was quite pale. Luigi, on the other hand, now had soft, pure, purple eyes, and his skin was a faded green, as if he needed to be quarantined. Something was controlling their thoughts, movements, and words.
“Finally, a word with you, my princess,” Mario’s voice was deeper. It left a lingering chill in the room.
“What do you want with me?” Luigi’s voice was now high-pitched, like a female a couple years short of being a full-grown woman. They stared at each other for a few seconds. The eerie chill was growing and the room was getting colder. It seemed to get darker, in a sense. “WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME, I ASKED!” She was getting impatient.
“Now, now, my sweet,” Mario’s face was gentle, “No need to get testy.”
“You’re not answering my question!” Luigi’s face, on the other hand, was stern, eyebrows touching.
Mario’s hands clasped together behind his back, and he began to stroll down the hallway, “Your ignorance amuses me,” he chuckled. Luigi remained steady with the same expression, “Has it not occurred to you that I may be protecting you?”
“Protecting me?“ She was taken aback. “I do not need protection. I believe I can handle myself.”
Mario reached where Luigi was standing. “But you’re wrong.”
A crackling noise echoed through the silent hallway. Luigi pulled his hand away from Mario’s face, which had no expression at all, “Mario should be feeling that when he awakens.“ The male snickered.
“You’re lucky you’re a mere ghost.” She spat at him.
“But alas, my sweet, I am not.” Mario’s face was even gentler now, “I being a ghost and you being a ghost does not help the fact that I cannot be with you.”
“Be with me?” she asked suddenly. “You?”
“Even now we are parted by the bodies of brothers,” he told her calmly. “Even so, I’m still here protecting you, like I promised myself I would.”
“Because, my lady, they are near,” he told her. His voice was less sweet now. It was angered, in a way, “They want what you hold, and I will not let them take that away from you. No matter what it takes. Even if I am banished to the underworld, I know that my life as your ‘prince’ is fulfilled.“
The princess became speechless. Luigi’s body trembled in a jerking manner. His purple eyes faded back to a dark green, his pupils much wider now. The green in his skin discolored into the plumber’s usual pale white. Luigi’s face became faint as his eyes slowly closed and his body hit the ground with a thud.
“Her power is weak, as I suspected,” the male told himself. Mario dropped to the floor as well.
The rain came down so hard that it hurt to catch the drops with your bare hands. Toadette could barely see Goombella and Professor Frankly in front of her. Lightening crashed and thunder roared as they struggled through the massive downpour. “ARE WE THERE YET?”
“NEARLY!” Professor Frankly yelled back at Toadette. His umbrella had already been bent back by the wind and Goombella’s was already blown away.
Finally, the doorstep to the Rogueport three-star hotel was visible. I’s sandy, brick walls seemed like they could crumble at any moment. Toadette turned the doorknob and opened the door. Dust fluttered from the hardly-moved doorframe and some sheet rock fell from the ceiling, slamming against the hardwood floor.
“Oops,” Toadette said, stepping over the debris. Goombella and Frankly followed suit. “So what exactly are we doing?”
“Looking for any evidence at all,” Goombella said, skipping into the first room happily and throwing her raincoat on the counter.
“I think what she meant is that we are looking for some body samples. Anything that looks like it came from a body: blood, hair, skin… internal organs… I think you get the picture.”
Toadette cringed. “Yeah, I got it.”
Toadette entered the room closest to Goombella and began investigating. The room was old-fashioned. There were old fancy lamps on the side tables and the sheets were plain white. The two twin-sized beds sat on either end of the room. The carpet had weird red and purple swirls with an occasional blue speck. Toadette flipped on her flashlight and searched under the beds: nothing. The room was completely dull and empty. She wasn’t going to find anything in here.
Soft music began to play. Toadette spun quickly to find the source of the tiny dinging. It was a small music box. It was a little out of tune, and the cords seemed to ring with a minor chord. It was quite eerie.
“Whatcha find?” Goombella popped her head into the room. This gave Toadette quite a jump.
“Just this music box, but I don’t think it has any significance,” Toadette replied.
“Significance?” Goombella hopped in place, “What do you mean no significance?! That thing just turned itself on! Do you not find that creepy at all?”
“Um, no, not really,” Toadette lied.
“Well, then,” Goombella grinned, “it’s always the ignorant one to go first.” She winked and skipped back into the hallway.
A familiar sound caused a figure to dance around the room. Her graceful humming brought an essence of happiness to the room. Her face was light as she floated at least four feet above the ground. Her eyes were beady, but charming.
“Maaariooo?!” a voice shouted. “Mario?!”
The figure, opaque like fog, heard the voice. She disappeared, and the music box closed by itself. A small snickering came from the hallway. It was high-pitched such as that of a chipmunk.
Toad remained in Frankly’s small office, shivering in a small corner away from all windows. He was deathly afraid of bad weather, especially when he was by himself. The rain and wind against the window didn’t help the fact at all.
Something slammed against the door. Toad jumped to his feet and scrambled over behind a large pile of books, knocking over numerous piles of notes and documents in the process. It was silent for quite a while before Toad decided to get up and see what was going on. Quietly, he lifted himself from the ground and tiptoed over to the door.
The lightning must’ve struck a power line because the lights had gone out. Toad hadn’t moved a muscle, surprisingly. He reached for the doorknob and held his hand on it for a second, thinking of retreating back behind the pile of books. He decided against it, and jerked the door open. The rain beat his face, and the wind toppled him over. On the ground, though, was a pleasant surprise. “Yoshi!”
Yoshi lay there, unconscious. He was unable to move and speak, but he was breathing perfectly normal. Toad gathered up his strength and pulled Yoshi’s arm over his shoulder, then pulled him into Frankly’s office. Struggling, he set Yoshi on a bunch of papers, his wet skin smearing the ink. Toad put the remaining raincoat over Yoshi to keep him warm, sat down, and waited for his awakening.
To Be Continued...
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