One Life


One pull. That's all it will take. Just one pull and this entire nightmare will be over. No more fighting the Mushroom Kingdom. No more hopelessly trying to obtain a girl he'll know that he will never get. No more worries. No more cares left.

Bowser was feeling happy as he sat on his bed, gun in hand. Not because things were going well, but because he had found a way out of his own Hell. He wouldn't have to worry about the financial and economical stress his kingdom was under. He had tried so many things to fix the problem: higher taxes to pay off the broken banks, transferring the money he made as a ruler towards the debt and a medical healthcare system to take care of the minions mercilessly beaten up by Mario.

Mario. That name stirring an unending rage inside Bowser's soul. Mario was always in the way of it all. He was what prevented him from trying to take the princess as her wife. Every time Bowser tried to capture her, Mario ALWAYS got in the way.

Steal the castle's power stars in hopes of eventually having Peach for his wife? Tried it, and Mario came and defeated him.

Take a vacation and get Mario blamed for a crime he didn't commit to obtain Peach? Tried it, and of course, it didn't work.

Get the power of the galaxies to finish off Mario once and for all? Tried it, and as always…

Bowser never did hurt Peach when she was in captivity. He always made sure Peach had very comfortable accommodations. He would always check in on her, making sure that she didn't need anything. Heck, Bowser even let Peach play with his kids.

Bowser treated her with such kindness. Such respect. Bowser even thought more highly of Princess Peach than himself.

And she was infinitely a better ruler. Peach had something… something about her that let her rule over her people with such ease. Everyone in the entire Mushroom Kingdom, and even a few in the Darklands, respected her. She passed the right laws. She said the right things. She was brought up the right way, with love, tolerance, and discipline, as a child should be. Bowser wanted the same for his own children. He had taught them in the best way that he could.

…He had already written out his entire will a week ago. Even with his young age, you can never write a will too early when you're a king.

Everything would be evenly split between all eight of his children. Bowser wanted equal treatment for all of them, even if he had a secret personal preference for Junior. He had taught them the right morals, and Bowser knew they could handle it. Kamek, his own advisor, would help point his children in the right direction.

Bowser looked at the gun in his left hand again. Bowser never really used firearms, but had kept it locked in a fire box underneath his bed. That and a bottle of his absolute favorite wine. 1976 Koopa - Il Sangue di Demoni. 'The Blood of Demons'. The wine itself was made with the finest and rarest grapes, and it had an absolutely unmatched taste. It regularly sold for a few million coins. Bowser had managed to obtain just one bottle at an auction. He saved this until he would be near-death… or until he chose to take his own life.

One last drink.

Bowser held out a cup, with he had also kept inside the fire box. But not just any ordinary cup. This cup was adorned with his insignia, imprinted on four sides of the circular cup. The cup was made of pure gold, with red outlining the top and bottom. It was more of a chalice, really.

He filled the chalice to the brim with the wine, and the gun lay next to him in the bed. Bowser knew that if he was going to go out, he might as well enjoy his liquid treasure.

It felt so wonderful going down. So flavorful, so outstanding, so perfect. No liquid he drank could ever compare to this slice of paradise. And all too soon, he found himself finished with the liquid. He held the half-empty bottle. He wasn't going to drink the rest of it. He might as well save a remainder for his own children to someday enjoy. He set the chalice and the bottle on the nightstand next to his bed. Slowly and hesitantly, yet surely, he picked up the gun lying on his bed.

His finger locked around the trigger. Finally, it would all be over. No more failures, no more Mario… no more worries in the world. He almost cried, but held it in. He was going to do this, and he was going to maintain his dignity doing it.

After what was an eternity, he finally had the gun next to his head. Slowly, he grasped the trigger, ready to end his life.

*KNOCK*

*KNOCK*

*KNOCK*

After hearing the knocking at his bedroom door, he sighed. He addressed the being that had interrupted him without lowering the gun.

"What is it, Kamek? I told you to leave me be in my private quarters."

"Sire, I'm sorry. I know you said not to bother you, but your son needed to talk to you."

"…My son?"

"Junior."

Bowser sighed, as he set the gun down. "…Tell him to come back later."

"…I would, sire. But he said it was urgent. He needs to speak with you immediately."

"…" Bowser thought for a moment. He didn't want his son to see the state he was in. But yet… part of him wanted to say goodbye. One last goodbye to his son.

Bowser hid the gun inside the nightstand's drawer and shoved his wine back into the fire box.

"Tell him he can come in."

"Yes, Sire."

The large ornate double doors to his room opened and a small spike-shelled Koopa stumbled inside. He walked slowly over to Bowser, as he had something he needed to confess.

"Daddy?" he asked.

"Yes, Junior?"

"Uh, well, it's dinnertime, and the chefs have prepared all of the food."

"OK, Junior. I'll be there in a few minutes." his father lied.

"But, that's not what I came here for." Junior crawled up his dad's bed and into his lap.

"It isn't?" Bowser muttered, absentmindedly rubbing his son's head.

"No. I wanted to talk to you. I know Mr. Kamek said not to bother you, but… it's really, REALLY important."

"…All right."

"I know you've been down lately. After… after we failed to get Mama Peach again, you've barely come out of your room."

Bowser chuckled a little bit at the mention of his son's 'mama'. "Junior, how many times do I have to tell you? She's not your mama."

"Papa, I know that!"

"Then why-"

"What I mean is, she often does act as our mama. I like having you as a daddy… but I'd like a mama, too."

Bowser sighed, disappointed in himself. "I know, Junior. I'm sorry I've let you down."

"…So that's why I had Mama Peach come over."

Bowser's eyes widened. "What?" he asked startled. "How-How in the Mushroom Kingdom's name did you get her here? How did you kidnap her?"

Junior looked into his father's eyes as he fiddled with his claws. "I didn't kidnap her. I asked her if she could come over. Without Mario. I told her that you hadn't come out of your room for weeks. She actually was concerned about you."

Bowser sighed. "Yeah, right." he remarked sarcastically.

"I'll prove it to you." Junior told his father. He ran over back to the entrance to Bowser's room and stepped out momentarily. Just a couple of seconds later, he came back in… with none other than the Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom behind him. Bowser was stunned, that Peach was here out of her own will.

"Princess?"

Peach walked across the room over to Bowser's bed. "Please," she said. "Just call me Peach. All of my friends do." Junior and Peach reached Bowser's bed. Junior crawled back up into Bowser's lap while Peach sat down next to him.

"Why did you come over here?" Bowser asked. "I thought you hated my guts. I thought you couldn't give a koopa's ass about me."

Peach sighed. "Your son told me about how you were. You had spent weeks in your room. Normally, he said, that you usually come up with another plan to kidnap me within a few days."

"But… why would you even care? I kidnap you on a semi-regular basis. I would assume that you hate my guts."

"Bowser, I know why you kidnap me." Peach confessed.

"You do?"

"You need help raising your kids. You want them to have a mother figure in their lives. And I'm the best thing that you have. Junior told me that."

Bowser looked down back into Junior's eyes. "Dad, I just wanted to help you!" he defended.

For the first time in nearly a month, Bowser smiled.

Peach continued. "I know you want me in your kids' lives. There's nothing wrong with that. But kidnapping is, let's just say, not the best way to go about doing that."

"How else can I talk to you? Everyone in your kingdom hated me even BEFORE I kidnapped you. Just because I'm of the Koopa race."

Peach sighed. "Old beliefs die hard, Bowser. I can't make them feel any different about you. If I tried to propose a compromise to legally let you back into my kingdom, I'd be punished and scolded even faster."

"I know you would. I'm not an idiot. But what am I supposed to do? You know my kingdom is in a huge economic crisis. I've tried everything I can think of, but I just can't fix it. What's the point of even living in this world?"

Peach sat there, thinking for a moment. "I've got an idea. One that will solve one of your problems, at least. But… it's not going to be easy."

Bowser turned to face Peach, and he looked her in the eyes. "…I'm listening."

"Well, I might be able to help you with one of your problems. I could sneak out of the Mushroom Kingdom to come visit you."

Bowser's eyes widened in surprised. Was Peach seriously going to visit him out of her own free will?

"But you know Toadsworth could catch you, right? How would you get past him?"

"Please, Bowser. I've gotten past him to sneak out to that club in Toad Town Harbor at night with Mario. And do you remember the time you raised my castle into space and tried to confine me in my room?"

Bowser chuckled. "Yes, I do. You CANNOT stay put. I'm impressed you could get out."

"Or the time you turned the tables and kidnapped Mario and I had to rescue him from you?"

Bowser smiled. "Yeah. I thought turning the tables would let me win that time. But you were a lot stronger than I gave you credit for."

"Of course." Peach smiled softly. "Point is, don't underestimate me. Getting past Toadsworth would be a piece of cake."

"…Let me get this straight. You'd LIE to Toadsworth, your own grandfather, to come visit me?"

"Well, if there's no other way around it, then yes, I would. I could help you take care of your kids. They really do need a mother figure in their life. After what happened with your first wife."

Bowser winced at the painful memory. His first wife, Clawdia. She had cheated behind Bowser's back with one of his own subjects. When Bowser confronted her, she filed for divorce, and tried to take custody of all eight of Bowser's children. The thought of losing all of his children terrified him to no end, and considered himself blessed when he won the case and got full custody.

It was just now that Bowser noticed that his son was missing. "Hey, where'd Junior go?"

Peach smiled. "He left. He wanted to give us some time alone to just talk."

"Oh. OK."

"…Bowser, I would really love to help you. I can't help you with your economical situation, however. The council would notice if their funds disappeared on them. I apologize, but there's nothing I can do about that."

Bowser shrugged. "It's not your fault. I just wish there was something I could do to get a hold of the situation."

"Well, economically, there's nothing I can do. But if you ever need any moral support…" Peach took out a pink notebook and wrote her cell phone number in it then handed the piece of paper to Bowser. "I'll be there for you."

Bowser took the sheet of paper. He felt… better. He thought that no one could help him or understand what was going on in his heart. And here the princess was, giving her phone number and offering emotional and moral support to the beast that regularly kidnapped her.

"I… still can't understand. You have no reason to help me. You have every right in the world to slap me in the face this second and march out the door. Why don't you?"

Peach set her arm on Bowser's shoulder. "We all just need a little bit of help sometimes."

Peach got off of the bed and walked towards the door. "How about tonight, we have dinner?"

Bowser seemed even more stunned. "But why?"

"Bowser, I will admit to you, that I do not love you romantically. But despite what you do… I like to think of you as a friend. So, let's just have dinner. As two good friends. I'll be in the dining room." Peach left the room, leaving Bowser by himself.

Bowser thought about what just transpired before him. Junior went to lengths to get Peach here. Peach lied to Toadsworth just to see and talk to him. Peach is willing to help Bowser. She even thinks of them as friends. Bowser opened the drawer that he hid the gun in earlier. He held the object, looking at it. He grabbed the gun and got out the fire box. He put the gun back inside, and locked it. And then, for the first time in several weeks, he walked out of his room smiling.


Super Mario Bros. © Nintendo

Yeah, this one-shot does seem a little out of the blue from me. But, something happened in my life to motivate me to write it. A girl in my neighborhood committed suicide just two weeks ago. I didn't even know her. Anyway, I wrote because I thought it would be important. And if you are considering suicide, please don't do it. There are too many people who love you. Life is too precious to waste. You only get one chance.