CHAPTER XII: Kamella
Kamek embraced me gently and was kissing me on the lips. I kissed him back and leaned into the warmth of his body.
"I love you so much, Kamella," Kamek whispered softly in my ear. "You're all I've ever wanted and more." He caressed my back tenderly and brought me closer to him. I tucked my head into his chest. Here we were... together at last. Slowly we entwined... became one...
"Kamella?" Wendy's concerned voice made me awake with a start. Oh, why did Wendy have to interrupt such a good dream? For a moment, I had truly thought Kamek and I were back together again.
"Kamella?!" Wendy asked again, louder this time. Reluctantly, I opened my tired eyes and stared up into Wendy's concerned face. Her eyes were puffy from lack of sleep and her shiny, pink lips were turned down in a frown. Wendy had been caring for me after the fight with Mario and the duel with Kamek. She was my doctor... and my best friend.
"Yes?" I replied questioningly. I slowly sat up in my bed and tried moving my broken arm... it didn't hurt as much as before. Then I noticed the long, ugly crimson gash on my forearm. Kamek had given it to me during the duel. What had I ever done to him to make him so angry at me?
"Oh, thank God you're awake!" Wendy exclaimed, her frown quickly relaxing into a smile. "I thought you were dead for a moment! You wouldn't wake up!"
"I was... having a good dream," I answered,
blinking back the tears that had formed in my eyes at
the thought of Kamek.
Wendy quickly put her arms around me and gave me a long hug. "There, there Kamella. It'll be okay. Just don't think about Kamek, okay?"
Startled, I looked up at Wendy sharply. "How did you know I was thinking of Kamek?"
Wendy looked down awkwardly, then said, "Well... it's not exactly a secret that Kamek dumped you for Kammy."
"Oh." I blushed slightly and avoided Wendy's eye.
"I wish there was something I could do for you," Wendy told me sadly. "Kamek really doesn't deserve you, though. You're tons prettier than Kammy. Plus you're a lot nicer. You'll get through this. Someday you'll find a guy who truly deserves you. Until then... just try to forget about Kamek." I couldn't hold back the tears any more. They gushed down my cheeks and fell onto my lap. Wendy gave me another comforting hug until I calmed down.
"Now, no more tears, okay?" Wendy commanded me after ten minutes. "Tonight is the masquerade, remember? I've got it all prepared and set up in the ballroom. It's going to be a blast!" Slowly, I remembered Wendy's masquerade... I had agreed to go to it with Hammer Bro. I grimaced at the thought of a long night ahead of me trying to fake my affections for him.
"Why are you frowning?" Wendy demanded. "It will be fun! I had a dress and a mask made for you here." My eyes widened in surprise. I hadn't worn anything except my purple and black robes for years. I couldn't even remember wearing a dress.
"Umm... Wendy... I don't wear dresses," I started cautiously.
Wendy shot me a bad glance. "Yes, you are going to wear the dress, Kamella. I had it made specially for you. Besides, I want everyone's true identity to be a secret tonight. If you wear the dress and mask, nobody will know that you are Kamella." Wendy had a point there. It would be nice for people not to recognize me for once.
"Fine, I'll wear the dress," I agreed.
Wendy's flashed me a smile. "Good! Okay, now go get changed. I'll leave for a minute to get into my gown, and then we'll head to the ballroom." With a bounce in her step, Wendy flounced out of my room.
Slowly, cautiously I stepped out of bed, trying not to move my broken arm. I looked at the gown curiously. It was made of silver silk and black velvet. I replaced it with my black robes, then glanced at the mirror. I looked... different. I had never worn anything fancy like this before. I actually found that I liked the dress. The only thing that bugged me about it was that the neckline was dangerously low. Oh well... At least nobody would know that I was Kamella in this dress! I fastened the intricately designed mask around my face and pulled long white gloves over my arms.
Then a knock sounded on the door and Wendy burst in. She was dressed in a strapless black gown with a black and gold mask to match. "Wow...you look amazing!" Wendy commented, standing back to get a good look at me. "Nobody's going to know who you really are tonight. Let's head to the ballroom!"
I followed Wendy down the several flights of stairs and around several sharp turns until we reached a room that I had never seen before. The immense doors were at least twenty feet high. Wendy shoved the door open with some effort and then held the door open for me because of my broken arm. Quickly I walked through the entrance into the ballroom. It was simply... magnificent. A huge glass chandelier hung from the ceiling, candles were hung on the walls to create a bright atmosphere, and several marble statues of the Koopalings were placed around the room. The right side of the room contained a large dance floor where many couples were already gathered. The left side of the room was devoted solely to food. A huge feast was set on a large table and foods of all kinds were heaped on many platters.
"This is amazing, Wendy!" I told her in awe.
Wendy beamed, "I hope everyone likes it... Hey, I have to meet someone. So go find your date... You'll have fun!" With that said, Wendy turned and disappeared through the crowd. I smiled to myself inwardly, I would try to avoid Hammer Bro for a while. After all, since I was incognito, it would be nearly impossible for him to recognize me tonight.
Unsure of what to do, I found my feet carrying me towards the tables on the left half of the room. I sat down on a chair without touching or looking at the food... it was tempting though. I watched the door, spying for Kammy and Kamek. After all, they had agreed to go together tonight. I felt my heart contract painfully. A slow tear dripped down my cheek, thankfully it was concealed by my mask. Then suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder. I spun around to see a figure in a black cape with a white mask. I tried to identify the mysterious person, but it was nearly impossible with the mask. The figure held out a blood red rose to me. "May I have the honor of a dance, Angel?" I felt myself hesitate, but then I knew that deep in my heart I truly wanted to dance. There was only one problem though.
"Um... I don't dance," I replied sadly.
He laughed a low chuckle at me, then said in a calm voice, "Oh, you'll dance just fine with me. Let the music guide you." He held out a gloved hand to me. Not knowing how in the world I was going to dance, I took the hand and followed him to the dance floor. I felt myself attracted to this strange person... who was he? Gently he put a hand at the small of my back and took one of my hands. A shiver went through my body as he brought me close to him. Then we started to dance... and somehow I knew how to dance. It was as if a voice inside my head was telling me what move was next. And I wasn't clumsy... a big surprise. Every moment I spent with my mysterious partner, the more I felt myself attracted to him.
"Who are you?" I asked my partner, unable to hold back the question any longer. He was silent for a long moment, than said, "I am the voice inside your head... I am part of your soul... and I have stolen your heart forever." Suddenly, I wondered if he was Kamek. But no... Kamek was with Kammy.
We whirled by all the other partners on the dance floor. The dances got harder and harder, but somehow I was able to execute them perfectly. Everything was perfect for a moment... but then I felt as if I was being watched. A shiver went down my spine as I glanced suspiciously around the room. Then I noticed a small figure staring at me through a crimson-colored mask. Her stare was unwavering... it creeped me out. But then I recognized her small, gnarled hands... Kammy! I grit my teeth together angrily, why did she always have to ruin my perfect moments?
"What is it?" my cryptic partner questioned me curiously, sensing something was wrong.
"Oh nothing..." I began, not wanting to tell him about Kammy. We swirled by the edge of the dance floor, towards the dining area. Suddenly, I felt a splat on the back of my neck. I quickly put a hand to my neck to see what it was... a squished piece of ham that was still bloody. Yuck! I turned around sharply to find Kammy grinning at me. I narrowed my eyes at her... How dare she? Why couldn't she just dance with Kamek and leave me alone? I decided to try to ignore her.
The man I was dancing with tightened his grip on my waist and whispered in my ear, "I'd like to talk to you in... private."
"Okay," I agreed, hoping he would reveal his identity to me. I followed him to a secluded, darkened corner in the ballroom. He took both my hands in his and pulled me close to him. "I've been watching you... I knew from the moment I saw you that I loved you. But tell me, who are you in love with?"
I was taken aback by the question and hesitated before answering. "Well... at the moment... nobody... but you." The figure leaned close to me and moved my mask slightly to the side to expose my lips. I closed my eyes, waiting for a tender kiss... a kiss that never came.
"Hey Kamella! There you are! I've been looking all over for you!" My eyes popped open and I looked up to see Hammer Bro grinning at me happily. My partner quickly stepped back from me angrily and disappeared into the crowd of people in vividly colored costumes. I sighed frustratedly. Why did everything good in my life always have to be ruined?
"How did you find me?" I asked Hammer Bro. After all, I was still in my costume and I had thought nobody could recognize me.
Hammer Bro smiled. "I asked Wendy. She pointed you out for me. So who was the strange guy you were dancing with? I've never seen him before."
"I have no idea who he was," I replied irritably.
Hammer Bro shrugged. "Oh well... Who cares really? Shall we dance?" I nodded, remembering that I was supposed to be trying to make Kamek jealous. I tried to find Kammy... she was still sitting in the dining corner, watching me with an impenetrable stare. Suddenly, I had a great idea. I would make her sorry for all the things she had done to me! I pulled my wand out from a pocket inside my dress and gave it a little wave. A glass of purple fruit punch rose from the table Kammy was sitting at and magically dumped onto her head. Kammy turned bright red, hastily grabbed a napkin, and tried to wipe the punch out of her hair and face.
I smirked and followed Hammer Bro to the dance floor. He took my hand and started a dance. But this time, I couldn't dance! The voice inside my head telling me what dance steps were next was gone. I clumsily tried to copy Hammer Bro, but found myself awkwardly stepping on his feet instead. "Sorry. I really can't dance!" I told him after stepping on his toes for the fourth time in a row.
He smiled at me, "That's okay. I've always wanted to dance-" He never finished the sentence because at that moment, an ancient picture hanging on the wall next to us wobbled precariously, than smashed to the ground... two inches from Hammer Bro's head. I turned angrily in Kammy's direction... How dare she? But to my surprise, I saw Kammy was still trying to wipe the punch out of her eyes... She must not have made the picture drop. But who had then? It must have been a Magikoopa; only magic could make a picture fall from the wall... powerful magic.
Then I caught a glance of the mysterious cloaked figure stowing a wand in his black cape. Then I knew who it was without a doubt... Kamek. He had danced with me earlier... Did that mean he still loved me? Probably not as he probably couldn't tell who I was in my ornate costume. But he had just tried to kill me or at least hurt me by attempting to make the heavy picture fall on my head. I glared toward his direction. He had to stop playing these games with me. Now.
"Are you okay, Kamella?" Hammer Bro asked, looking a little shaken. "You look pale... and you're shaking." I looked down at my hands, surprised to find that they were trembling ever so slightly. I did feel rather faint... I hadn't eaten since breakfast yesterday. I was on my way to becoming skinny... so Kamek would love me again.
"I'm fine," I replied. "But some people are having issues!" I said loudly in Kamek's direction. Suddenly fury shot through me, how dare Kamek cause me this much pain? How dare he try to kill me?
I forgot about trying to conceal my identity, and whipped my wand out and pointed it at the candles that were hung on the wall. The one closest to Kamek tumbled to the floor. The hem of his cloak quickly caught on fire and started sizzling. Kamek's head shot up and he focused his gaze angrily on... Kammy?! At that moment, a big juicy tomato went flying into my face. I turned to see Kammy pointing her wand at me, fire blazing in her eyes. I pointed my wand at her, but never got a chance to fire a spell at her. The large chandelier above our heads was wobbling precariously... it would fall at any moment and mercilessly squish any victims unlucky enough to be caught beneath it. I gasped... Kamek had changed so much. He was actually willing to kill people?!
"Stop, stop, STOP!" a high-pitched voice cried frantically. "How DARE you Magikoopas try to ruin my masquerade? Yes, I know it is a Magikoopa because only Magikoopas have the power to make pictures and candles fly from the wall. Don't you dare knock that chandelier to the ground! Daddy will kill you for sure!" Wendy turned pink and was trembling with rage. The chandelier slowly stopped quivering. Everyone in the ballroom let out an audible sigh of relief.
"Who tried to knock that chandelier to the floor?" Bowser growled ominously in a deadly voice. I turned to see Kamek quickly shuffle to the door and silently pass through it. Bowser narrowed his blood red eyes into slits. "I'm waiting!" Nobody answered. An uncomfortable silence filled the room. "Fine then... I will find out who did this myself!" Bowser roared angrily. "Well... only powerful Magikoopas can move objects... so it was either Kamek or Kamella."
What?! Bowser thought I would try to kill innocent minions by making the chandelier fall on their heads? Hammer Bro wrapped an arm around my waist protectively. "It's okay, I won't let him hurt you." I trembled more violently now... What would Bowser do to me if he determined that I was the quarry?
"King Koopa, Kamella is right there," Kammy simpered in a tattle-tale voice and pointed a long, gnarled finger at me. My heart nearly stopped beating.
"Ah," Bowser's mouth curled into an evil smile. "Come here Kamella... NOW!" I shut my eyes tightly and hesitantly walked the short distance to where Bowser stood to hear my doom.
"Kamella Koopa, did you or did you not attempt mass murder by making a chandelier fall on top of my minions?" Bowser queried, grabbing my wrists in a tight grip. There was no escape.
"No... that wasn't m-me," I said in a shaky voice. My energy was leaving me... I was trembling violently now.
"Well then who did? Because unless you supply another suspect, I have reason to believe that you are the culprit." Bowser smiled wickedly and held my wrists tighter... cutting off my circulation.
Just then a figure appeared before Bowser and pointed his wand at Bowser's heart. "Release her... NOW!"
Nervously Bowser released my hands and took a step backward. "N-no harm done." Bowser was obviously afraid of magic. The figure took off his white mask to reveal his true identity... It was Kamek! Had he come to save me?
"I am guilty of the crime that you wrongly accuse Kamella of," Kamek said coldly to Bowser. "But that does not mean that I attempted mass murder! I was only attempting to relight a candle that had burned out."
Bowser nervously eyed the wand, still pointing at his heart. "Ah... of course. Sorry about the misconception, Kamek. Please forgive me." Kamek nodded and slowly brought his wand to his side. Without even a backward glance at me, he glided swiftly out of the room. Bowser eyed me awkwardly, then attempted a smile. "Well... now that that's been cleared up, we can get back to the masquerade!"
Slowly, couples resumed dancing and
eating. Hammer Bro walked towards me. I tried to take a step
towards him, but found I had no energy left. I stumbled to the ground
and all went black.
CHAPTER XIII: Kamek
I walked down two flights of stairs to my study room... with Kammy by my side. She would just not leave me alone! I was thinking about dancing with Kamella last night... how wonderful it had been to hold her body close to mine, and I had almost been able to kiss her soft lips again... curse Hammer Bro! How dare he steal Kamella away from me? All I could feel towards him was anger. That was why I had tried to hurt him last night... but I had gone too far. Again. I just could not seem to control my temper.
"What are you thinking about, Kamek?" Kammy asked me curiously, breaking a long silence. I started to answer when a loud voice echoed off loudspeakers on the wall.
"Mario has come with an immense army for Princess Peach. To arms, minions, quickly! I expect every one of you to fight. Except for the Joopalings. Now hurry!" Bowser's angry voice echoed throughout the whole castle.
So Mario had come. I had expected him any day now. After all, what kind of lover would not attempt to save his girl? Kammy and I whipped out our wands and ran for the door. We raced as fast as we could until we reached the massive land beyond the gate to the castle. What I saw took my breath away. Mario had such a large army! I squinted into the distance... I couldn't even see where the army stopped! Many Toads were gathered... and Donkey Kong had brought his army along with the Kremling army.
I looked behind me to see how big our army was compared to Mario’s. Several Dry Bones were gathered in the left half of the army, led by Dark Bones. Hammer Bro, Boomerang Bro, and Fire Bro were standing in the middle of the army. All the Magikoopas took their place towards the right. Blooper, Kammy, and I stood in front of the army with Bowser. But then a slight figure caught my eye. I turned quickly to see Kamella standing bravely at the far left of the army. What in the world was she doing here? She was in no position for battle! Her arm was still recovering and she looked much too pale. Something was wrong with her... I just couldn't figure out what it was. Kammy turned towards me and then saw me gazing at Kamella.
"Kamek, I love you... no matter what happens to us here," Kammy whispered in my ear. I forced myself to smile and her and ripped my eyes away from Kamella.
"Bowser, you know full well what I have come for," Mario spoke in a loud voice. "If you just hand Princess Peach over, there will be no fighting and many lives will be spared."
Bowser smiled grimly. "So you believe that I will just 'hand Princess Peach over'? Well, you are sadly mistaken. I have a brave group of minions here. We will fight to our deaths if necessary."
Mario frowned. "Ah... Well if it is your decision. Well, to arms, troops!"
Then the fighting commenced. I focused on the more powerful members of Mario's army. I would go after Luigi first. I appeared before him and drew my wand out. "Why... you're... Kamek!" Luigi said hesitantly. "I really have no desire to fight... my goal is just to rescue the princess, after all."
I smiled wickedly at him. "You don't have to fight me.... but I will fight you!" I swirled my wand around and sent several long flames at Luigi. He turned a pale white and ran towards the castle. "Oh no you don't!" I called after him. I cut my wand through the air in a straight line. A big rock landed in front of Luigi, barring his path. Luigi stopped, shocked, as I caught up to him. I pointed my wand at his heart and sent several red sparks flying at him. He fell over quickly, unconscious. I quickly turned away from his body to find my next target.
The scene before me was quite gruesome. Toads, Magikoopas, and Dry Bones were all fighting with all their strength to their deaths. I saw Hammer Bro smash his large hammer into a blue Toad's head. The Toad stumbled and then fell face down, dead. Many dead bodies littered the ground. I turned my head away from the scene before me, disgusted. I hated fighting to the death. I only knocked my victims out instead of kill them if I could. I searched the large crowd for Kamella. Where was she? I scanned the crowd frantically before my gaze fell on a black-robed figure with black lipstick... Kamella, no doubt about that. She was fighting a large brown alligator... a member of the Kremling army. She sent fireballs at him, which he avoided easily. I wanted to go to her... help her... but then I felt a heavy impact in my back.
I let out a screech and turned to find a small spear in my back. I ripped it out quickly before it could do much damage and pointed my wand at the Toad who had thrown the spear at me. Blue flames fired from my wand and surrounded the Toad. He screamed eerily as the flames consumed him. I turned away, seeing no point in watching him struggle. I saw Blooper squirting black ink at Daisy, who had been trying to make her way to the castle. I searched the crowd again for Kamella... but couldn't find her... where was she hiding? Then a pink Yoshi appeared before me, blocking my view. I turned angrily to the Yoshi and slashed my wand up and down seven times. The Yoshi slowly started shaking, than toppled over. I walked over his body with disgust and continued to look for Kamella. Where in the world could she be?
I was getting more and more anxious by the second. I forgot completely about the fighting, finding Kamella seemed to consume my mind. Then I heard a familiar shriek to my right. It was Kammy. She was fighting Birdo and a group of Yoshis. Birdo appeared to be spitting pink slime at Kammy. I hesitated in my search for Kamella. I had to find her... but Kammy needed my help. Even though Kammy could be annoying, she was my best friend. I had to help her. I couldn't let her be killed.
Quickly, I flew on my broomstick to Kammy's side. She smiled at me weakly. I noticed pink slime covered her left arm... what did it do? I took Kammy's arm in my hand to examine the substance. It was very sticky... but then a sudden feeling of fatigue hit me. All I wanted to do was close my eyes... lie down... stop fighting... NO! I couldn't let Birdo's pink slime lure me to sleep. I popped my eyelids open and scowled at Birdo's smiling face. Before the spell could take over my body, I sent fireballs spiraling at the unsuspecting Birdo. Her smile quickly turned into a painful scream. Before it was too late, I summoned water onto my arm to wash off the pink slime. Thankfully, the feeling of fatigue stopped, but I was left feeling weak. The wound in my back was rather painful now. T
Thud! Kammy hit the ground rather loudly. Oops... I had forgotten that she had the slime on her, too. Without delay I summoned water onto her contaminated arm. The slime quickly dissolved and disappeared, but Kammy did not get up. I kneeled next to her body and lifted up her glasses. Her eyes were shut. With panic filling my heart, I pressed my ear to her chest to listen for her heartbeat. Thankfully a weak pulsing reached my ears. She was still alive. I picked up her limp body and rushed her behind a large bush. Hopefully she would be safe there. Then I heard a loud roar... Bowser.
"How dare you kill more than half my minions?" Bowser growled at Mario, shaking with anger. "Take your precious princess and get out of my sight! NOW!"
I scanned the battlefield. It was true; many broken bodies of Magikoopas and Dry Bones littered the battlefield. Hammer Bro was lying on the ground with a gash in his head. Blooper even lost two of her tentacles. But where was Kamella? Dodging the corpses, I searched frantically for my love. Where could she be?
I was so busy searching for Kamella that I did not see Mario's army retreat from the field with Princess Peach. I felt a hand touch my back. I spun around to see Bowser staring at me sadly. "What are you looking for, Kamek?" Bowser asking, gazing at the gruesome scene before us.
"Kamella," I replied automatically, no longer trying to fake my affection for her.
Bowser stared at me awkwardly for a moment, than took my hand. "Come with me. I'll show you where she was last." Without hesitation, I eagerly followed Bowser through the maze of the dead until we reached a spot on the far left of the battlefield. Without speaking, Bowser gloomily pointed at a spot on the ground. I rushed forward to see what he was pointing at. Kamella's wand was lying there on the ground. It was broken in half and the crystal ball at the end of the wand was shattered into thousands of miniscule glass pieces. Three puddles of dark red blood swirled around the broken wand. A chunk of Kamella's black robe was lying adjacent to the puddles of blood. It couldn't be... Kamella couldn't be dead... could she?
"Where is she now?" I asked Bowser hysterically.
Bowser looked at me and said as if he were speaking to a rather stupid child, "Umm...Kamek? She's... well... gone from this world."
The impact of his words were like a sword slicing my heart into a million pieces. I let out a long, bloodcurdling scream. Kamella was dead. And I had never gotten the chance to tell her how much I loved her before she died. The love game I had been playing with Kammy suddenly seemed very stupid. Kamella had died thinking I hated her. Oh, this was all my fault. I should've been at her side and helped her fight. And now I would never see her again.
Tears flooded out of my eyes as I kneeled by Kamella's remains. How could I have let this happen? How could I have let her die, unloved and broken? I stared hard at the pools of blood through the tears. They would haunt me for the rest of my days.