Author's Notes: Here it is! The story that everyone has been waiting for! The Legend of the Dream Keeper! Enjoy!

The Legend of the Dream Keeper

Part 1: The Dream Keeper

Book 1: The First Dream

Chapter 1: It all begins…

Look, I never asked to be the Dream Keeper. It's just one of those things that just happened without my permission. One minute, I'm a semi-normal 14 year old boy, and the next minute… BAM! I'm dragged into a war with the Nightmares. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning…

It all started with a dream. I know that sounds corny, but it's true. In fact, it quite literally started with a dream. Anyway, I was playing the original Paper Mario game on my Wii the previous night, so I wasn't surprised when I dreamed of just that. I only notice now how odd it was that the dream perfectly matched the opening sequence, but oh well.

"Mail call!" a voice came from outside. A Parrakay was hovering in front of the mailbox near the Mario Bros. House. After he announced this, he flew away.

Luigi stepped out of the house and checked the mail. He carried it back into the house.

"Hey, Mario!" he yelled to his big brother. "We got a letter from Princess Peach!"

Mario stepped out of the next room. I was sort of hovering over him, sort of like what happens in a dream.

"I'll read it to you, OK?" Luigi asked.

He opened the letter.

"All right," he said, "let's see…"

"I'm throwing a party at my castle today!" Luigi read. "Mario and Luigi, I would be honored if you both could attend. Many guests from distant towns are hoping to meet you. There will be tasty sweets and all kinds of entertainment! I hope to see you here soon! Sincerely, Peach."

We both left the house and dived into a green pipe. When we emerged, we were in toad town. We then walked through the town and to Peach's castle, passing a few Toads along the way.

"What a magnificent castle!" Luigi said when we reached the castle. "I never get used to this place. It looks like lots of guests are already here."

And they were. Not only Toads were there, but pretty much any creature from the mushroom Kingdom you can imagine.

It was then Mario walked through the doors and toward Princess Peach's room. I was just hovering around sort of, hanging in for the ride. You ever had it where you weren't doing anything in a dream, just watching it like a movie? That's what was happening to me.

Eventually, Mario reached Princess Peach.

"Oh, Mario!" she said. "You came to the party to see me! You're so sweet! Thank you!"

Mario walked closer to her.

"I was just resting a bit," Peach said. "It gets tiring, greeting all those guests out there! Nobody will bother us here. Shall we relax and chat, just the two of us?"

Mario nodded.

"It was a lovely day today," Peach said, "so I'm sure it's comfortable out on the balcony right now. Would you accompany me, Mario?"

Mario and Peach started to the balcony. Suddenly, the castle began to shake. They didn't know it, but it was being lifted into the air. The two of them were running back and forth. (Why they were, though, I'll never know.)

Eventually, the shaking stopped, and the two slowed down and stopped.

"Oh!" Peach shouted. (Have you ever noticed that's the first think the princess says after something strange happens?) "Are you all right, Mario? What in the world was that?"

She turned around and looked out the window. She jumped, and Mario turned around as well. Outside the window, stars filled the sky.

"Oh my!" Peach said. "Look, Mario!" It's still daytime, isn't it? …But I can see stars outside!" (Thank you, captain obvious.)

Suddenly, Bowser and an old hag crashed through the window.

"Guaa ha ha ha ha ha!" Bowser laughed. "Long time no see, Princess Peach!"

"…Bowser!" Peach said. "But this can't be! It was you who made the ground shake just now, wasn't it!? Whatever did you do?"

"Gwa ha ha ha!" Bowser laughed. (Honestly, why do villains get into a laughing fit? It never made sense to me.) "Yeah, that was me! I've lifted your castle up into the sky! It's sitting on my castle now! Weren't expecting that, huh? Ha! This castle's under my control now, my dear! Now you will obey ME!"

Mario jumped forward, getting in a fighting position.

"Huh!?" Bowser shouted. "What? It's… Mario!!! What a shock! Ha! Not really! I expected you to turn up, right on cue. You're just as annoying as ever. Unfortunately for you, there's nothing you can do this time."

"Haven't you learned your lesson by now, Bowser?" Peach asked. "You can never defeat Mario! Why don't you give up already?" (Because otherwise, the games wouldn't be fun.)

"True, true," Bowser said, getting in a strange laughing position with his hands above his head, "I have had my problems in the past… But this time is different! This time I'm gonna win!"

"Okay, tough guy!" Bowser shouted to Mario, getting into a battle position himself. "Let's go!"

"Mario, you can do it!" Peach said. (Of course she believes, otherwise she wouldn't have a body guard.)

Mario dashed forward and jumped on Bowser. Bowser retaliated by punching Mario. Mario got back up on his feet, and jumped on Bowser again. They continued this pattern for a few minutes. Truthfully, I was getting very bored very quickly.

"Good old Mario… always fighting," Bowser said eventually. "You're a thorn in my side. But today, your pathetic little attacks won't beat me!"

He then pulled out a rod with a star on it. I could feel its power. Mario could to, apparently, as he took a step back.

"Take a look at this!" Bowser bragged. "Look what I stole from the Star Haven! It's the Star Rod! This fine piece of work has the power to grant any wish in the whole wide world! And when I use the Star Rod to increase my strength, even you can't beat me, Mario!"

Light flashed from the Star Rod, and Bowser began to glow a rainbow color. I didn't know why, but I felt like I was being pushed away from him.

"Gwa ha ha ha ha ha!" Bowser laughed. "How do you like that, Mario!?"

Bowser than walked up to Mario and punched him again, causing a considerable amount of damage to him. Panting, Mario jumped on Bowser again. Unfortunatly, Bowser didn't even so much as flinch.

"Gwa ha ha ha ha ha!" Bowser laughed. "Is that all you got? How sad! You'd best take some vitamins, 'cause that didn't hurt at all!"

He hit Mario again. I could see that he was in danger now. Mario forced himself up and used all his energy to attack Bowser. (I have to give him props, he never gives up.) Unfortunately, it did the same amount of damage as it had last time.

"Yup, just as I expected," Bowser said. "Mario's no match for the new me. It's not even worth my time to toy with you anymore, Mario. It's time to end this! Here we go, Mario! Good night!"

Bowser than breathed a huge amount of fire at Mario. He couldn't take it, and was knocked out instantly.

"Oh no!" Peach shrieked. "Mario! Get up!"

Mario was completely out cold, however, and didn't even stir at Peach's words.

"Yes!" Bowser yelled, back in his laughing pose. "Oh, yeah! I did it! I finally did it! I beat my old rival Mario! Yessss!"

"Congratulations on your victory, Your Viciousness!" the old hag said to Bowser. "That's why you're the King!"

"As long as I have this Star Rod, everything I wish will come true!" Bowser said, holding the Star Rod over his head triumphantly. "No one can stop me now!"

"Well, well, well…" Bowser continued, tuning to Mario. "I guess I might as well get rid of Mario. He's no good to anyone now, that's for sure."

Bowser held up the Star Rod, and a bolt of lightning struck Mario, and blasted him out the now-broken window. Mario fell down toward the earth below. (Although how there was any gravity, let alone air up that far in space, I'll never know.)

"Oh, no!" Peach shrieked, looking out the window. "Mario------!!!"

Mario continued to fall through the air. He eventually reached a thick patch of clouds. The strange thing was, as he fell through the clouds, I was falling toward him. When he got through the clouds, I saw that I was looking through Mario's eyes. I was Mario. I was falling.

Then, I did what any other 14 year old boy would do in my situation.

I fainted.

Author's Note: Well, how was it? Please review! Oh, and part of what I'm loving about writing this story is that I have an excuse to replay Paper Mario! Horray!