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Author's note: These chapters will be flashfics – meaning they're intended to be short (under 1000 words).

I never did like heights.

Staring down into the black abyss, I could feel the sweat beading up on my forehead. I closed my eyes, taking a deep breath to steel myself before opening them once more. When I was finally able to keep myself from thinking about the distance between the extremely thin platform on which I stood and the ground … wherever that might possibly be. I certainly couldn't see any land.

Typical, I suppose, since I was having to traverse space.

I don't understand why that woman finds it necessary to get kidnapped off to the strangest of places. Bowser's castle was one thing. But now she was letting herself get taken to the ends of the known universe!

That, of course, was when it dawned on me that my eyes were open. I rolled them at my own stupidity before continuing forward. The rule around here seemed to be feed a luma, get a galaxy pass. So I had to go off on these weird side trips to find enough food for those allegedly helpful creatures.

The good news, so far, was that there were no Goombas in this particular place. I had always hated those critters. I always wanted to squeal like a girl when I landed on one. The guts would squish out under my boots, making the fur stick on the underside. The smell was nearly impossible to get out of the leather soles, too.

Unfortunately, there seemed to be a great many of these enormous, disgusting, four-legged horrors. Beady yellow eyes stared at me as I climbed up the massive platforms – how did these things just hover out here in space, anyway? – waiting for me to get close enough to pounce on me. Inwardly, I laughed at that. The idea that any insipid insect would be able to simply flatten me with how many times I had avoided thwomps and other horrors was hilarious.

Of course, that was the last thought that flashed in my mind as I fell off the side of the stone walkway and out into space. I hadn't noticed the nasty four-legged critter sneaking up behind me while I was focusing on the beady yellow eyes in front of me. Overconfidence is a horrible thing.

As I fell rapidly into the blackness, the cold air numbing my body as I rapidly descended into the abyss, the last thought that came through my mind before I felt myself succumb was that scuttlebugs came from hell.