This is scary, ya'll. Okay not EVERYONE will be scared (dorks 8p) but I'm a posting it anyway.
It's amazing how you can twist an urban legend into something darker. >8D Enjoy!
He stood outside the building for ten minutes, working up his courage to step inside. Finally, he took a deep breath and pushed open the door.
He hated hospitals.
But there wasn't much he could do now. He was already in the threshold and kept forcing his feet to take him where he did not wish to go.
…the children…they are…don't you see…?
The mushroom woman behind the fungi-sized desk recognized him before he could say a word. He didn't feel much like talking anyway. She got down from her perch and he followed her through the halls, growing tenser by the minute and wishing the unpleasant feeling in his stomach would go away.
…can't stop shaking…they want me…
It seemed like a full hour had passed after they reached the final door and heard the doctor's report. No touching, don't get too close, don't make loud noises or sudden movements…Mario felt like he was being taught how to tame a wild lion.
And then at once the door was opened. He hesitantly stepped inside, looking around cautiously at the bare, ugly room. A dilapidated old bed sat off to one side, the floor's carpet was stained and ragged, the walls were painted a sad hue of gray. A cracked, smudgy length mirror was centered within one wall, so that he could always be watched. You'd think they would have better resources for the Princess, Mario thought.
…they're always watching…
Finally his eyes settled on her huddled form, and he jumped when the door was dead bolted loudly behind him. For a moment he didn't recognize her. Her hair was mussed and short, uneven from when she had chopped it off with a knife. Her once perfect face was disrupted with cuts and scars as evidence of this.
…they told me to do it…
She was unfamiliar in her stark white hospital clothes that fit loosely around her starved frame. The doctor said they didn't need to restrain her with the jacket anymore, and Mario was glad. No jacket meant she was improving. Her blank, sunken eyes slowly looked up and noticed him, staring in disbelief. She got up quickly and started for him, arms outstretched.
She froze in her tracks when he backed a step, holding his hands out in front of him. To console her hurt he said, "They don't…they don't want me to touch you."
She stared into his eyes, suspicious and confused. "Who?" she whispered.
"The doctors," he answered. It was like speaking with a child.
Her eyes fell to the floor and her fingers entwined around each other, spirits crushed again. "Oh."
Right then he wanted nothing more than to hold her in his arms and tell her it would be okay and that he loved her. Then he thought of the red fingernail tracks on the length of his arm and remembered that love would not cure all things.
She stepped back slowly, meekly, until she sat on the creaky iron bed. Silence filled the room for a good minute until the Princess swallowed. "How…how is Luigi?"
"He's all right," Mario answered quietly. The truth was his little brother was not handling the news very well. He had, on one occasion, snatched the Princess back from a precarious perch high in her castle, almost tumbling down with her, and was waking up in a cold sweat ever since. He sent his love to her, though.
"He wanted me to tell you 'hi.'"
She nodded, biting her bottom lip then ceasing when she tasted blood.
"And…how are you?" she asked softly, not looking at him.
Mario nodded quickly, then stopped. No sudden movements. Remember what the doctor said…
"I'm good." He paused. "I'm…I'm worried about you."
She sniffled. "I'm sorry."
He shook his head fast, then stopped. "Don't be."
"Did they tell you?" she whispered bitterly, staring at a hole in the worn carpet.
"The doctors?" She nodded. "Tell me what?"
"How long I have to be here."
Mario shut his eyes. No, they had not told him. He meant to ask, but in all his anxiousness he had forgotten.
"They didn't say," he answered truthfully.
She gasped inwardly at this and cringed, shutting her eyes. "I hate it here. I want to go home. Can't you just take me home, Mario?" All at once she was like a child begging her mother not to leave her on the first day of kindergarten. Her fingers kept toying in her lap, but it was evident she was trying very hard to sit still. "I…I can't eat…I never sleep…I want to go home."
"You…we want you to get better, you can only do that in here," he said gently. "I want you to come home too…but I want you to get better first."
She stifled an angry sob. "Nothing is wrong with me," she whispered through clenched teeth, still staring at the hole.
Mario glanced at the mirror with his eyes, hoping they would know when it was time for him to leave.
He waited silently until she had grown calm again. Tears still lingered in her eyes.
"They…they think there's something wrong with me…think I'm crazy."
She had finally said it. Mario held his breath, waiting for her to breakdown. She lifted her eyes to finally meet his and she held his gaze.
"Do you think…d'you think I'm crazy, Mario?"
Looking at her he didn't think so. He only thought she was sad, lonely, and scared. She almost seemed like the Princess he once knew…before she started screaming about someone in the corner of her room, or before she started hurting herself. At the moment, she seemed rather sane, just simply distraught. He couldn't bring himself to answer though. He didn't know what to think anymore.
When he didn't speak, she swallowed again. "They…they don't believe me. About everything I saw…and heard. And I wouldn't lie!" she cried. "You believe me, don't you Mario?"
He nodded vigorously and halted once more. "I…I believe you, Peach. I don't believe you would lie."
"I don't make up stories to scare myself," she continued tearfully. "I'm a grown woman for goodness' sake!"
"I know," he consoled gently. "I know."
"You're all I have left! You're-" She looked away and controlled herself.
Silence again. Mario watched as she looked at him again, pitiful, red-eyed and frightened.
"Yes?" He realized how dry his mouth had become.
"Do you still love me?"
He nodded, slowly this time. "Of course, Peach. I'll always love you. I mean it," he added truthfully after her dubious look.
She nodded as well, still gazing at him. "You're all I have left," she repeated. "You're the only one who can save…" Her voice trailed off, and she tore her eyes away from him. Her pained expression transformed into sheer terror as she stared wide-eyed at the corner between him and the mirror.
"Shh!" she whispered harshly, staring unblinkingly. "…They're here."
Mario turned slowly to look all around him, and saw nothing. Fear coursed through his veins and he stole another quick glance at the mirror. Peach drew up her legs onto the bed and sat back, pressing herself as far into the wall behind her as she could. Her mouth was open and trembling, her whole body was, like she had grown cold. Her gasps were irregular and breathless like she was experiencing pain or her throat was constricted. Her sweaty hands grasped the sheets tightly on either side of her as if they alone could save her. Mario found himself looking at the definition of pure horror.
"Who is 'they,' Peach?" he asked urgently.
His Princess didn't answer. She was rigid in panic at a sight only she could see.
Princesse… One by one they spoke to her, and she heard them without understanding..
"Don't you see them?" Her vision was blurred by clouds of breath that rose like smoke in the now freezing room.
...nous vous avons dit de ne pas lui dire...we told you not to tell him...
"No…please…don't be angry." She shivered uncontrollably.
...maid vous n'avez pas ècoutè...but you didn't listen...
...La punition de pèchè est la mort…the punishment of sin is death...
Mario hardly realized he had backed into the door until he made contact with its cold, hard surface. The still terrified look on Peach's face scared him more than her conversation with someone who wasn't there.
Then all at once, she held her breath and froze. He watched her carefully, hoping to reach the calm after the storm. He whispered her name hoarsely, horrified as a trickle of blood ran from her mouth. Still staring with glazed eyes, she stiffly leaned forward and fell off her bed in a crumpled heap.
"Peach!" he shouted, running and kneeling next to her instinctively. He hardly heard the shouts and footfalls of the mushrooms as they unlocked the door behind him and entered. Hands fumbling, he rolled the Princess onto her back and stared at the wide, lifeless eyes that stared back at him.
He covered his mouth with his hand, stifling a whimpered "no" and watched in horror as the doctors check her wrist, her neck, her eyes, her heart…
But there was nothing left.
Mario's hand grasped his shirt now, over his heart, in devastation and disbelief, gritting his teeth in a vain attempt to hide his sobs. The doctors just exchanged confused glances and stared.
Through his cries of sorrow, Mario faintly heard the words, "...ils doivent mourir."
...Well, it scared me. And I guess thats all that matters. ^_^ Oh yeah, and "...ils doivent mourir" is french for "...they must die" for those of you who don't parlez frances.