Last chapter. Let's check in on Bowser Junior and Kamek one last time, just to see how they are feeling ^^
It was getting colder. The summer was almost over, and soon, snow would fruitlessly attempt to cover the volcano.
Bowser Jr. leapt up, grabbed a hold of his father's upper arm cuff and sat on his old man's shell. It was his last day of his vacation at Kastle Koopa, and even though he was looking forward to seeing Miss Reishi again, this summer had definitely been the most fun he'd ever have.
"I'll miss you, son." Bowser stroked his little son over his flaming red hair. "Don't forget to train all winter, because next summer I'll need you for my next plan."
"Don't grow up while you're gone," Bowser warned.
"I won't, King Dad."
The Koopa king made sure nobody were listening or watching before giving his son a hug, which he liked doing in secret. Junior was definitely rounder and softer around the belly than before, which his father also liked.
The Koopalings were also leaving. First to go was Larry, who had a bone to pick with the rest.
"Who kicked over my pet Spiny's cage? He almost ran off!"
"I did." Morton crossed his arms. "He called me fat!"
"Morton," Larry said grandly; "You are fat."
Everybody laughed and they caught up with Junior.
"We have a little present for you." Wendy O. said, and Lemmy came carrying the gift box; which was two times his size.
"A… present? But it's not my birthday." Junior opened the box, fearing a mean prank.
But it wasn't full of paper snakes or cherry Bob-Ombs. Instead it was a home-made quilt; soft, warm and beautifully detailed.
"Wow…" Junior lifted it up. It had embroidered Cheep Cheeps, Rip Van Fish and Bloopers as well as underwater flora. They had worked in Jr.'s emblem as well; over a cookie.
"For me?" He looked at his siblings who all nodded. "You made this? How?"
"We all watched our Mama when she made these blankets. At least Lemmy and I saw a lot of it. Isn't that right, geek face?" Roy elbowed his brother's Mohawk; said elbow being the highest point Lemmy could reach.
"That's right, fat head."
Junior hugged the quilt. It was soft and smelled like cookies. Lemmy couldn't resist the urge to hug Jr.; he had had never had any problems with showing affection. "We really like you, but we can't always be here for you. We live other places now."
"It's OK." Bowser Jr. was so infatuated with the quilt it didn't matter, because he knew he had friends. He had never had any friends before.
"It's time to go, young sir." Kamek showed up in the courtyard. His magic wasn't strong enough for him to fly a broomstick just yet, but at least he looked more like a living Koopa than the last time they had seen him.
Roy waited alongside him while Bowser ordered the Hammer Bros around. The wizard looked up at the Koopaling.
"You have done so many lovely things this summer."
"Yeah, yeah," Roy said dryly. "Next thing you know I'll have my own shrine and feast day." He observed a moment of silence. "Kamek, I'm so sorry about your sister."
Kamek smiled and shook his head. "That's the thing with family. They never die inside of us. My sister is in a better place; I can feel it in my shell, but she doesn't want me to join her there just yet."
Roy saw his wife and children for his inner eye. They were eating crabs they had caught themselves and boiled over an open fire. It was an image he often found himself going back to when things were difficult.
That night Kamek made himself a nice cup of his favorite tea and sat in his bed with a stack of books. He read about the ruins of the old Petalburg. According to history, the town was abandoned and rebuilt in another area after a famine, but that there supposedly was an ancient temple there, as well as a tomb containing Eudicot's body. The area was now considered holy ground and sealed off to most civilians, although no one could really understand why. The Gemini and the supposed origin of the Magikoopas were considered to be mere legends.
Kamek was one of two inhabitants of old Petalburg still alive. The other had a mushy brain and didn't remember anything. The Mario brothers and Princess Peach had destroyed the Geminitems some years prior. Kamek knew that meant he was no longer immortal, and that someday his life would end like everybody else's. And yet he had no fear. Actually, he was grateful.
He was feeling better every day, because better memories appeared to him. Eudicot teaching her students at the Petalburg Sickbay, his little son Kroop playing in the old Tanooki tree, and sweet Clove ending every other sentence with "repeat". There was one he hadn't shared with Roy; one he hadn't thought of for eons.
The Observatory's garden had trees which were perfect for climbing. Four year old Kamek was hiding from the others. Today Eudicot had made him jealous again, so he had taken off without telling anyone. He fumed and hid where the leaves were at their thickest.
And he sat there until everybody started looking for him. The Lumas never came here. However, Eudicot did. She paid more attention to her brother than he thought.
"I know you're there." She was hovering outside the foliage. "Don't ignore me, Kamek; I see your glasses!"
Of course Kamek got in trouble for running away without letting his mother know where he had gone. This only added to his sulking, so he decided to hide, but this time in the library where he could hear Rosalina if she called for him again.
He calmed himself down with a book; "Stories for Mean Little Koopas" and a cup of tea. But once again he was interrupted by wings flapping. Eudicot landed on the top of the bookshelf.
"How did you find me; this is my secret place!" Kamek said sullenly.
"Please." Eudicot sat down. "Everybody knows this is where you come to cry."
Excellent. The little Mageling frowned. "Leave me alone."
His sister made no sign of leaving. Instead she bent her head; trying to see the book's title. "What are you reading?"
"A book. Beat it!" Kamek was so full of jealousy and bitterness he pushed Eudicot down from the shelf. She landed on her back and her breath was knocked out of her. She looked up at her brother, and her face was astonished and frightened at the same time. Kamek immediately regretted what he had done and climbed down to help her up.
"I'm so sorry, Eudicot. I didn't mean it!"
He brushed some dust off her robes. She straightened her glasses. "I hate it when you're like this! You treat me so badly!"
"I know, and I apologize." Kamek wrapped his hands under his chin, which he always did when feeling awkward.
"Why do you have to be such a jerk all the time? What did I do to you?"
"Because I'm jealous, alright? You're perfect and everybody loves you because you can use magic. I'm just poor, ugly Kamek who can't do anything and everyone should feel sorry for him. There, I said it!"
Eudicot shook her head. "That's not true. You know things about the stars and comets that I don't, because you… You can read. I, uh, can't read."
Kamek frowned again. "You can't read?"
She squirmed. "No. Not well anyway." She picked up the book and gave it back to her brother. "I know there are a lot of different stories in this book because of the pictures. Please read me one."
Kamek climbed, and with a lot of effort he managed to reach the seat of the large, human-scale chair and helped his sister crawl up, as she was smaller than him. The world is so unfair to those who are tiny.
"Which one would you like to hear?" Kamek opened the book and rested it over their legs. Eudicot pointed at a picture of vegetables dancing on the edge of a giant steel pot. "That one."
He read the title. "The Heinous Chicken Soup. Nice choice. 'Have you ever wondered why dessert is so good and vegetables are so gross? Here's the answer…"
After he had finished reading the story, Kamek curled up in the right side of the armchair, while Eudicot snuggled up against the left side's throw pillow. She looked at him and smiled. "I don't think you're ugly or helpless, Kamek." She was too tired to say more, and soon dozed off.
Little Kamek wanted to read some more, but whenever one of the Star Children fell asleep, the other one followed immediately.
The adult Kamek held his tea in both hands and sighed. He wasn't immortal anymore. But he had no reason to think that the remainder of his life would be boring.
Thanks to all of you faithful readers! You make a very important difference in my life ^^