Wendy's Warpaint

By Dakota Yoshi

“Hey Wendy”, shouted Ludwig at the top of his shrill voice, “I’ve invented some new makeup that’s guaranteed to make the user beautiful!”

“What?” scoffed Wendy. “Even more beautiful than I already am? Is that possible?” Wendy smiled at her reflection in her brand new pocket mirror, which cracked almost instantly, showering the floor in glass shards.

“See my point?” Ludwig grinned as Wendy angrily bent over to pick up the remains of her mirror. “Now will you try it?”

“Well it hasn’t exploded yet,” Wendy muttered darkly. “So I may as well give it a go”.

Wendy and Ludwig walked the length of the castle hallway to get to Ludwig’s room. That is, if you could call it a room, anyway. There were always several loud bangs coming from the place, and occasionally sparks would fly out from under the door. But today was slightly different. Ludwig seemed to have discarded several of his failed attempts rather than keep them like he usually did. But this didn’t seem to register to Wendy. Right in the middle of the room, omitting gentle puffs of purple smoke, was...

“The Beautificizer!” Ludwig grinned, making his single fang even more prominent than usual. ”Finished it a couple of hours ago!”

Ludwig handed Wendy a tube of pale gold lipstick from one of the slots in the machine. Wendy’s eyes lit up as she took the lipstick from Ludwig’s outstretched hand…

As soon as the lipstick touched Wendy’s lips she let out a piercing scream that could be heard from all corners of the castle. Then she went as stiff as a board and keeled over sideways, knocking over several test tubes and flasks as she went.

Then came the sound of many running feet, and a moment later the other 5 Koopalings and Clawdia came racing into the room. Clawdia screamed as she saw the lifeless form of her only daughter sprawled against the wall.

“W-Who could have done this terrible thing?” gasped the Koopaling whose hair had changed color four times.

“Someone has tampered with it!” Ludwig growled. ”It seems as though it was poisoned, for I tested it on a Goomba before I gave it to Wendy and it worked perfectly! Several small claw marks are on the back of the machine

“It must have been one of us Koopalings!” gasped the vegetarian Koopa.” Nobody else can get into our rooms!”

Ludwig was growing ever paler as he stared at his innocent-looking machine.

“It could have been YOU, genius!” exclaimed a third Koopa, whose primary color was blue in Super Mario World.

“Trust YOU to make accusations like that!” scoffed a fourth Koopa.

The fifth Koopa could only mumble indistinctly, because a large sock was in his mouth.

“Well, I will have to take testimony…” Ludwig growled. “Everyone against the wall NOW!”

The Koopalings lined up against the wall. Each one of them was very nervous.

The first Koopaling shakily stepped forwards. “I was in my room mixing a chemical for a project before the murder, and when I finished I went to the gym,” the Koopa stuttered. “About 10 minutes after that I heard the scream.”

The next Koopa shoved the first Koopa out of the way and spoke menacingly. “So you suspect me, do ya? Well I have PROOF that I was in the gym testing out a new punching bag.” With that the Koopa dragged the first Koopa from the shadows, where he had been hiding some nasty injuries.

“Next!” Ludwig ordered.

A third Koopa stepped forward and tried to speak, but couldn’t. “Take it out of your mouth…” Ludwig sighed and the object was pulled out by the second Koopa.

“The murderer had an accomplice and I know this because I heard them discussing it and one was going to make the stuff and the other was going to-“ This Koopa was interrupted when Larry shoved the sock back in the other Koopa’s mouth.

The fourth Koopa rolled up front and spoke quite clearly. “When I was going down the hall I saw Larry and Morton near Ludwig’s room. Larry was watering a plant with some foul-smelling liquid that didn’t agree with the plant, and it died. Morton was carrying a wedding cake down the hall. I also saw the first Koopa to give clues heading to the gym. What he says is true.” With that the Koopa rolled back in line, and the final Koopa stepped forwards. “I was in my room feeding all my plants and then I acquired a new substance. I tested half of it on a plant that was not mine, about 8 minutes before the murder.”All the Koopas had spoken, and Ludwig thought and thought about all the clues he had been given. Finally Clawdia, who had been very quiet for a while, shouted, “I GOT IT!”

Who was the murderer? Who was the accomplice?

And the answer is...

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