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The Last Life Is Blood Red | Story Inkorporated | 2020

The Last Life Is Blood Red By Dylanna Fisher For Story Inkorporated

I am Mario. I was a plumber, a hero on a grand noble adventure.

Not really. I lived in a different world, an endless galaxy. Everything was so simple. I knew what I had to do and how to do so. The mistakes I made never hurt me. Upon any level, I could try again.

I wondered intensely but rarely if there was something more. I quickly ignored my subconscious and soon found another distraction. I triumphed over levels, fights, and foes. I was unstoppable. With the help of a star, I was invincible.

I thought that my life was complete. Then I found a purpose; a gorgeous princess to rescue. The levels now meant nothing. Even though she wasn’t at the end of each level, I fought for her and her alone. The princess peach was the fruit to my Yoshi, my damsel in diamonds.

Rapunzel had nothing on the lovely locks of my dearly beloved. Ariel’s melody wavered to noise when the charm of my princess spoke but a word. And forget Snow White, the apple of my eye is and only is Princess Peach.

Oh, I should add that it wasn’t an apple that caused Snow White’s beauty to whither. It was a peach, my peach. The only princess that could even compare to mine was Cinderella—compared to her grace and elegance, Cinderella had nothing. Only in aloofness are they similar. Like my princess, Cinderella evaded her prince, taunted him, and left him wondering and yearning and swooning with nothing but a fleeting glimpse of her beauty fading away into the night.

This gave me hope that, eventually, the prince won her heart with the return of her shimmering glass slipper. He proved to her that he loves her because he fought not only to reach her but brought her that which she lost. She fell into his arms with such grace and admiration. I would lay at night dreaming about the moment. The moment that I would finally have Peach in my arms.

But I didn’t have a glass slipper.

Though I came to learn the contrast between us and them, between me and him, between a plumber and a prince. The fact that he was a grand prince, and I was a lowly plumber hit me like a grand piano from the fucking sky. It hit me and hit me hard.

Not to mention that all the wealth, stars, and powers I could muster would never amount to a glass slipper enchanted in the moonlight. Not only did the elegance of my offerings falter, but the romantic notions behind them. Those attempts combined almost killed me. No matter how hard I prayed or cried, how hard I forced myself, it was never good enough. I was never good enough. I sometimes felt as if she was toying with me.

I no longer celebrated a successful level at the end of every level. I was mourning another failed attempt to gain the love, nay even the warm acknowledgement of Princess Peach. The only times I would see her were the images of her going away. I knew she saw me. At first, I thought it was the timing of it all, as if the cosmos and their grand design would reward me for my patience.

But it wasn’t timing. Was it?

She saw me. She knew I was there. She knew everything. And she still left.

At least Cinderella had a curfew to explain her chase. What was Peach’s excuse?

I thought it wouldn’t get worse.

I pictured myself as a dying mouse and her a sadistic cat without mercy. She reached in and worsened my agony by gripping my heart. It stayed in her palm for a moment, sometimes hours, as she watched it pathetically attempt to circulate blood through a body lying two feet from it.

My princess didn’t even have the mercy to rip out the traitor organ away completely. She left it and placed it beside me on my sleeve. I bared my heart on my sleeve to her, and in a cruel twist of fate, she did the same.

She laughed as she walked away. As I watched her, my heart pumped blood into the ground. It poured out as my fingers went numb, and my eyes wept. This didn’t even end the pathetic suffering. No, I patched myself up and carried on.

After this, I tried once more. My mistress of misery, I owed it to my muse to try once more. I continued to the next castle, praying she would see how I care and love her. I’m begging that it’ll all change. I sobbed as I continued realizing that I couldn't save her. That was never how it was supposed to be. I realized that she could save me, but she never will.

I reach the castle.

I reached my princess.

But this time will be different.

This time I’m not going to save her. I’m going to save myself.

I arrive, and the door shuts behind me. There is no going back now, but I don’t think there ever was. I put up no resistance to the blows.

The first blow stung a bit.

Soon it all became numb. I

looked up pitifully as the giant fist crushed me for the last time.

Goodbye, my princess.

If I can’t have you, I will have nothing,

not even life.

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