The chains had never been so heavy before. True, they were always heavy, but not this heavy. He couldn't lift his arms anymore. And the rocks never warmed up from his skin. He remembered the first few (secondsdaysweeksmonthsyears) the rocks that made up the floor would be warm. He would lay on them, get up for some reason or other (eatdrinkrelivebeg) would come back and find the warm bed of rocks waiting for him.

But they didn't do that anymore. Instead they would stay the same, perpetually in a (wetcoldslimy) state. Maybe it was because he hardly ever left the spot. The marks on the wall, counting off the (secondsminuteshoursdaysweeksmonthsyears) were neglected… fading with time and moisture, unseen in the dark. He didn't know when he stopped, when the lights had been turned out, when he stopped (countingcaringhoping), waiting to be rescued.

Mario always saved him. Him, and Peach, and Daisy… and at times he would save Mario. They'd save… each other. They were brothers, they did that. But not this time. No, not this time. It had been too long. Mario wasn't coming, wasn't going to save him. And he had already given up trying to save himself. Funny, how losing so much made people give up.

No, not give up. If he had given up, he'd be dead. So, if he gave up, but was alive, he hadn't given up… what had he done then? He had been neglected, that was for sure. When was the last time he had (eatendrunkstoodsatsleptwokebreathed)? Too long ago, he couldn't remember. But, he couldn't remember much anyway. It was simple things he forgot, like (sunmoonstarswindwaterlightdarkhopefearlifename).

But what little he remembered was strong. So strong, they blocked each other out, chasing each other around and around that he didn't know if (painMariohungerthristweightcold) was at the fore-most, or something else. He wasn't the only one that was forgetful; apparently Mario and Bowser were too. Mario was supposed to take him out of here. Did Mario come? No, or he wouldn't be thinking this. And it had been a while since anyone had given him (hellfoodwaterpain) he was sure Bowser and his lackeys forgot him. Which was okay, but he was (hungrylightheadedthirstydying). But, maybe that was nothing new?

Perhaps they were just extending it again? Foggily, he recalled how they would be in his cell daily; sure it was (torturewaterfoodpainfearmock) but it was something. Then, when he still kept time, it was three, then two, then one time a week. The torches were left un-lit by this time; forcing him to live in darkness. The few times someone came in with their own torch (once a month by his guess) he would shy away, eyes pained by the heat and light.

What he wouldn't do right now for a crust of bread. That thought destroyed all other thoughts, all memories. His gut was dominate right now. It had been so long since he had eaten. Fifteen times. Fifteen times he had woken up; unaware that he had even slept in the ink that swirled (aroundinthrough) him. Fifteen times since he had felt any light. But, was that fifteen weeks? Days? Or was it just fifteen minutes? Seconds perhaps? In the perpetual night, there was no time frame. There was no time. Only the absence of light, only the pain, only the fear…

Only the loneliness.

All he could do was think. Suffer, and think, about what was around him. What had happened to him. But they were interrupted. The door opened, and light leaked through his eyelids. When had he closed his eyes? When had they ever been open? Everything was the same, eyes open or closed, so why did he hide from the darkness by creating his own? Seemed silly, but it didn't change the fact that his eyes were closed. Good thing too, now, as the torch was coming closer, brighter, making his eyes hurt and water at the small amount that was leaking through his skin. The footsteps stopped. Someone had been walking; he hadn't heard them until they stopped doing it. In his cell all sounds fell dead on the rocks, the stones eating everything (alivedeadrealfake).


His ears bled. He knew that name; he had to have known that name. Something told him that it was an important name. Something close to home. Home? What was that? It was a phrase, but, where did it come from? He didn't have a home that he knew of, if you could have a home. Maybe a home was something to eat? He'd like that, he was hungry. No, not hungry… starving. That was a phrase he knew. Unlike home. That was new.

"Luigi, it's okay." He knew that voice. It was a memory, tucked far away, safely in the back of his brain where it couldn't be touched, couldn't be hurt. But it was (familiardifferentstrangesafecomfortablewarm) to his ears. But it was something to his ears. And it hurt. He hadn't heard anything in so long. Even when the others would come in with their torches, bringing the pain of (chainsburnswhipsgashes), but no sound. They wouldn't speak, not anymore. Not since they stopped lighting the torches. The rocks didn't like sound, not at all. They would eat the clang of chains, the tearing of flesh. They ate it all, and spit out nothing.

"Luigi, wake up, you'll be okay now." It was different. It sparked the memories now. Red and green hats, gloves to keep their hands warm and dry. Where were those gloves? He'd like them now, his hands were (coldwetpainfulstuck) clamped hard in the over-big shackles. Bowser was afraid of the fire and lightning in his hands. So he shut them away. Fingers bent, curved as claws spread wide, they were put into moulds in iron. Then locked tight. He couldn't move them, couldn't slip his hand out without ripping fingers off.

There was a click, and they were gone. His hands were free. Hissing in pain he tried to curl tighter. The other person shushed him, though his body couldn't really move further. Blood rushed to dead tissue, tingling and hurting. Another click and he cried out for the first time in ages. His feet were liberated; the twinge of the iron falling away enough to almost send him back into the mind's darkness.

"Shh, it's alright. Calm down, it'll be over. You're okay, you're okay." He knew that voice! It was so frustrating, he knew it, but didn't know it. He couldn't place the damn voice. It was familiar, but different. Like it was missing something from it. One more click, and his neck was free. Small sobs escaped his cracked lips, making them bleed again. His ears were bleeding. They felt like they were bleeding. So, were they really? He didn't (knowcarethink) at the moment, he just made the observation.

His muscles were so weak; years of not being used had wasted them away and made them useless. He couldn't even lift his head. The neck lock had been huge. From chin to shoulders it was straight; he hadn't been able to move his head side to side, up or down, back or forth… it had been locked forward and up. His neck hadn't needed to hold his head. So it couldn't now. Nothing could be held up.

"Luigi, look at me, please?" His head was laying on something (softwarmcomfortable) and resting at the angle he could breathe in. Look at him? Look at whom? What was look? Oh, wait, that had to do with eyes, right? Right. But, could he do that. Hmm-ing just a bit, he cracked his eye-lids open. Or, tried to. They were glued together, stuck from being closed for so long. There were fingers on his forehead; gloved and dry. It was warm. Everything about this person was warm. It had been so long since he had had warmth, the (fingersvoicelapheart) of this person brought it back. He was grateful. Their fingers brushed his skin softly, stroking his hair which had gotten long.

But his eyes finally opened, snapping closed again as the light from the fire hit them. The person seemed to understand, and moved the harsh radiance behind him; dampening into a bit of darkness again. Orbs opened again, revealing blue to the world of night. He took in a silhouette, an edge of red. He knew (hatglovesredvoicelovecare). He knew what was different now. The accent was gone.

"Ma…m-ma…" His voice was too weak, too far gone. He couldn't say it.

"Yeah, it's me Luigi, it's Mario."