For a long while, I stared at the figure in front of me. Standing there was a young woman, dressed in a simple black cotton robe with red trimmings, tied at the neck with a wrought-silver clip. Her hair was brightest silver, almost white, and was worn down, allowing it to trail her back like a glistening waterfall. She was startlingly beautiful, slender and willowy, but her red, cat-like eyes held something alien. The tips of her toes were levitating slightly off the ground. Now I was sure she wasn't human.
She must have seen me tense up, because she emitted a gentle, innocent giggle.
"Don't be afraid. I'm your friend,"
"How can I be sure…?" I finally replied, my voice low.
"My name is Luna. You can trust me," The dark girl offered in a soft voice. I blinked. Her voice, it was the same voice as the voice in the Operation room, the voice that must have freed me, the voice that must have given the torch to me. Instantly I should be thanking her, but I was caught in too much confusion to begin thinking straight.
"What do you want?" was all I could say. She replied back, ever so gently.
"I want to help you. To escape. You're frightened, I know. Dr. Wario and Waluigi are looking for you,"
I had figured that out. But now I was certain she was helping me. This has to be my anonymous helper. I finally stood up from the ground, wiping my tears with the back of my hand and paused for a moment. I glanced at our feet and looked back into her hypnotic eyes.
"Luna…what has happened to the Mario Universe? Wasn't it supposed to be a bright and happy place?"
Her smile dropped sadly.
"It was supposed to be…but something happened a while ago. A curse broke out. When Midnight strikes, all dark and cruel awake. You, sadly, are stuck in the middle."
"Stuck?" I repeated. She nodded. "Then how can I escape?"
"You are in luck, actually." Luna smiled. "There is a blue pipe in the Asylum floor. If you find a way to get in, you'll be able to escape the hospital. The darkness, however, is something only you can stop,"
Asylum floor? I bit my lower lip. I cannot believe it. I have to return to the floor of hell to find a blue pipe that may be impossible to access. Not to mention this 'darkness'. If I even escape, does that mean Wario and Waluigi will forever follow me until I stop it somehow?
I sighed deeply and closed my eyes.
"You're scared…aren't you?" Luna observed gently, like a mother looking down at a child.
I opened my mouth to speak…but…he came.
An unearthly shrill of a chainsaw grew louder and louder, quickly, coming towards us. Oh shit! Waluigi has got his pet back. I felt my heart leapt to my throat. Luna gasped.
"Wario-Girl," Luna piped up. There it was again. How does everyone know my name? "When Waluigi opens the door, run past him."
"How?" I hissed back, horror running up inside me. Luna looked calm.
"I'll distract him," was all she said with a smirk, before the chainsaw's bloody blades bit through the door, throwing splitters of wood everywhere. The chainsaw destroyed the door-handle, dropping it on the floor and we heard Waluigi snicker to himself. I braced myself, my heart thudding hard.
Waluigi opened the door, and I only had a split-second to see his face until, quicker than an eye-blink, Luna dived past me, hissing and snarling at Waluigi. It seemed to have startled him, as he flailed his arms about, dropping his chainsaw onto the ground. Lightening speed, Luna was amazing in the moonlight. Taking Luna's word for it, I took this chance and ran past the commotion.
"Go!" I heard Luna cry out the moment I began to run. I got worried about Luna, but seeing someone diving in front of a person wielding a chainsaw, I admire her bravery. She was the type of girl I liked! I must thank her later when I see her again.
I hurried out; rushing up the stairs again, hearing Luna and Waluigi's fight fade away as I ran from them. By the time I reached the Asylum floor, the hospital was the deathly silence again. But I didn't feel any safer. I stood by the doorway that led the staircase to the hallway and listened.
Nothing. Silence. Not total silence though…no…I could faintly hear the sound of soft crying. It sounded too close to be in the Asylums themselves. I turned to look at the door that was nearly closed. From 'The Women's Locker' Room. The crying was coming from there. It sounded like a small girl crying.
I inched my way towards the crying noise. The door was slightly opened.
Slowly, carefully, I peered inside the room around the corner of the door frame.
In the far corner of the locker room was a little girl, her small form so close to the wall, she seemed to be almost a part of it.
My skin pinched at me. Why would a young girl be in a place like this?
My heart went on a rampage in my chest, thudding so violently I wouldn't be surprised to see it leap out and land on the floor at my feet. My hands, icy cold, shook as I grabbed the door and tried so hard to silently open it.
It creaked, startling the girl. Her head perked up and she stared at me for a long time, as if she were a deer caught in the glare of my gaze. Either the moon or deep emotion had drained her face of colour and her black hair looked silken.
I watched her eyes looking at me, and she seemed horrified to see my red and black overalls.
Then the girl, clutching onto a gothic-looking rabbit doll desperately, began to scream, standing up and pushing herself further to the wall.
"Get away!" She screamed. I began to panic, if anyone heard her scream…
But she saw my overalls. The poor soul must have thought I was part of Waluigi and Wario. Maybe she was a victim too?
"Shush! Shh!" I hushed, placing a finger over my lips. She didn't calm down. I walked in and closed the door behind me. That scared her even more.
"Leave me alone!" She screamed again, grabbing a metal tray and threw it towards me. I dodged it, and it clashed against the door behind me. I trembled. As I turned to face the little girl, a small red being appeared from under the girl's hair and darted towards me. I cried out at the red blur, and was suddenly face-to-face with a small impish devil, its black eyes glaring at me.
"Don't make me hurt you!" He growled in a small voice.
"Hey, hey, don't worry. You're safe," I decided to take a few more steps further, trying hard to find a way to calm the girl down. The little red devil imp snatched a clump of my hair and tried to pull me away, but it didn't stop me. I dropped onto my knees and grabbed her shuddering tiny arms and looked at her. Wow, she had such wide, innocent red eyes…
She seemed to have stopped screaming and flailing when she looked at me, her eyes locked with mine. She had calmed down quickly, and looked amazed.
"Y-You're eyes…" She said. I began to panic. What was wrong with my eyes? But to my surprise, she smiled lightly. "You have eyes like me…"
Like her? Does that mean my eyes were red too?
I ignored the comment for a time. By then, the red impish devil flew away from me, looking a little calmer than before and sat on the girl's shoulder, staring at me suspiciously.
"My name is Wario-Girl," I whispered gently. "What's your name?"
"Ashley…" Said the girl. She pointed at the little devil. ""And this is Red,"
"That's a pretty name,"
"Don't treat me like a child,"
I stuttered for a reply, suddenly seeing an eight-year old child turning into a teenager.
"W-What are you doing here?"
She paused, and shook her head.
"I-I don't know. Wario wanted my help to make games…b-but…than she turned up…"
"I don't know…she had a pretty voice…"
I paused, thinking. I knew Wario made Micro-Games at WarioWare, but why bring a child to a hell-hole like this? "Wario changed…" Ashley continued in a small voice, looking down. "And so did Waluigi…" She perked her head up at me. "It must be the curse,"
"The curse?" Yes, Luna mentioned it before. What was this curse about?
"Ei ju'ji ma'ta," Ashley replied in a foreign-tongue so fluidly it caught me by surprise. She giggled at my blank stare. "The Killer Bouquet," She added matter-of-factly.
"What does this 'Killer Bouquet' do?"
Ashley stopped and thought for a moment, but then Red shook his chibi-sized head.
"Ashley! You can't be talking to strangers," He cried out. Ashley faced him and nodded once.
"Red, it is okay. I can tell by her eyes that she is good,"
"I can just tell," She replied. I smiled gently. I was grateful she calmed down, and Red seemed to have settled down too.
"Forget everything I ask, we have to get out of here," I whispered.
"You know a way out?" Ashley looked up hopefully.
"Yes. Come on," I stood up, holding my hand out. Ashley looked at me, to Red and at my hand and back to Red. She trusted me the moment she placed her petit hand into mine and I helped her up. "It's still dangerous. Promise me this, if we bump into anything nasty, you'll run and hide again, okay?"
"Okay," She said slowly, as if uncertain.
After a time, we heard nothing and then we hurried out of the Women's Locker rooms and hurried towards the Asylum hallway. Only the sounds of Ashley's tiny feet and my boots were all we could hear. As we neared, we began to see a faded trail of blood smeared onto the floor, and realised that it was leading us to our destination.
As we turned around the corner, I jolted to see my room again, only this time, the door was hanging off its hinges. At the front, there was a large pool of blood and a body seemed to have been dragged out, as the streaks of blood ran from the room down the hall were we have been.
I can almost hear a high-pitch shrill of my blood rushing through my ears, scaring me. It didn't seem to scare Ashley, as she blankly looked at it. I frowned. It can't be this room. It must be the other three. As I turned to look at the doors, room 1 and room 2 had bloody writing on it.
Room 1 said:
ONE FOR SORROW
Room 2 said:
TWO FOR JOY
I paused, thinking. It reminded me of a horror game I played back years ago…I couldn't remember the title of it. But clues like this tend to give you the answer. I assumed Door 2 was the room with the blue pipe, as escape for Ashley, Red and me would be 'joy'.
I lunged towards the door and twisted the handle, only to feel my heart sink.
"It's locked…" I sighed.
"Wario must have the keys," Ashley piped up. "He always leaves his keys in his office," I looked at her. She worked with Wario, so it didn't surprise me she knew this sort of information.
"Where would that be?"
"In Wario's Office, duh!" Red said, as if it was obvious. I shook my head.
"I mean where is his office, numpy," I said at the impish devil, and Ashley giggled. It seemed relaxing hearing a young girl giggle.
"It would be on Floor 1," Ashley replied. "We can take the elevator,"
I swallowed. I didn't like the sound of that. Just opening a door to another hall or room was frightening enough, especially when I have that feeling tugging at my lungs and mind, a little voice constantly reminding me 'He could be there'…
"Follow me," Ashley beamed, and began to hurry. I hated it when she ran off like that, but I had no choice but to follow her. We ran down the hall for a while, my eyes straying over the doors, expecting to see someone.
It worried me even more to realise that Wario and Waluigi hasn't jumped out in front of us yet. Ashley and Red were already at the elevator by the time I got around the corner, and she had called it. As I walked towards them, the doors opened, startling me. "Come on," Ashley said, skipping inside. I stared at her. Why was she acting as if she was going to the Amusement Park? I shrugged to myself and joined them, eagerly closing the door. Ashley seemed to be a gothic little girl, but with a body of an eight-year old and a mind of an adult. This was most strange.
The door closed and I grabbed onto the metal bars and as the elevator dropped downwards, I frowned at the motion.
"Are you frightened of Elevators?" Red asked, his voice full of wonder. I smiled lightly and shook my head.
"Too many horror games," I smirked. "Bad things always happen in elevators…I just hope it doesn't happen…"
Thank the Gods, it didn't. The elevator dinged and the doors slowly opened, showing us the aisle, a tiny hallway with a tight corner. This was very strange to be the first floor. I took a deep breath, and felt Ashley grabbing my hand, pulling me out of the elevator. I felt lightened a little…but how funny, a child braver than an adult…what was wrong with me?
The narrow corridor, big enough for a crowd of adults to walk down single-file, was a long stretch, and it made me realise how it contradicted the entire hospital above us. Was this a secret floor?
Ashley seemed to know where she was going…
We finally made it to the end of the narrow hallway and was greeted by another door. WARIO'S OFFICE.
I took a deep breath and opened the door. The room seemed to be a very large operating room. Two hospital beds were lined up together, and I flinched to see body-bags lying on them. Poor sods.
Ashley tugged my hand and I followed her in, closing the door behind me.
"I don't like this place…" Red said, something distasteful in his voice.
"I agree," I muttered. Ashley took a deep sigh.
Suddenly, the three of us screamed when the two body-bags began to move, viciously, as if trying to escape. Ashley and Red screamed again, and I went to scream again, but beneath our screaming, I heard more screaming.
The bodies in the bags were alive.
"Get me out!"
"Show yourself, you coward!" Another voice called out.
"They're alive!" Red cried out.
"Unzip the bags!" I ordered, and hurried to one of them, grabbing the zip and pulling it down, revealing a startled beautiful face, her hair tied in two long, thick violet plaits that fell over her front. Her eyes, forest-green, stared at me in horror and she sat up, breathing in the damp air.
Ashley and Red took my order and rushed to the other body-bag, unzipping that too and another figure sat up, panting. I turned to the other body and stared at Princess Daisy, as she shook her head.
"What the hell is happening?" Daisy cried out, her tomboyish voice echoed in the room. She snapped an accusing glare at me. "What do you want?"
"Don't jump the gun, we have just saved you, I can tell you that," I replied bitterly, angry at the accusing finger that was pointed at me.
"Saved us?" The other girl spoke. I turned to her. She appeared to be a Princess too, but not a Princess I know.
"Yes," Ashley piped up. "This is Wario-Girl, she is here to save us," She beamed. I shuddered, suddenly realising that I was brought here to save people. I wondered how hard this was going to be, but I'm not going to leave these Princesses behind.
"Wario-Girl, hey?" Daisy said, hopping off the bed. "Aren't you working with Wario?"
"Then why do you bear his name?" She narrowed her eyes and I sighed heatedly.
It was from a fucking username of a site! I wanted to snap.
"Because I do," I replied slowly, biting my original reply back. "I want to get the fuck out of here, so if you wish to be free, follow me,"
"What's your name?" Red asked, looking at the other princess. The purple-haired princess jumped off the bed.
"I'm Princess Clawdia,"
"Why would Wario want two Princesses?" Red asked. Ashley shook her head.
"And where's Peach?"
"I didn't see her," Daisy replied. Clawdia shook her head.
"Neither have I," She said, and I noticed the bitterness in her voice. A rival?
"How can we get outta here?" Daisy asked, her knuckles on her hips. Ashley turned to her.
"Wario-Girl knows a way out,"
"Oh does she now?" Daisy said, folding her arms and looking at me. I didn't like the way she was looking at me.
"You don't trust me, do you?" Daisy said nothing. "Listen, if I was working with Wario, I'd have your head on a pike right now and be laughing like crazy as I smear your blood on that wall behind you like paint, but I am not, okay? So there,"
Daisy, Ashley, Clawdia and Red seemed horrified of the image I placed in their heads, but I was cold, tired, hungry and scared. I wanted out, and Daisy's accusations were not helping me. I turned away from the gazes, finally having enough and began to look around. Ashley began to talk to Clawdia and Daisy, asking for some answers and I weren't really listening. The room was lit up brightly, so it was almost painful to look for so long. I turned my head to a small table before the office window, and smiled to see a set of keys there. I walked towards them and picked them up, glancing at the label:
I smirked to myself. Now, time to head back.
I looked up from the keys and felt the blood drain from my face as I saw a frighteningly tall shadow behind the glass window before me, his lean hand placed against the glass almost longingly, his stare gleaming in the darkness of the office. My eyes looked up and saw his face. It didn't take long to realise what had happened.
"RUN!" I yelled.
I heard Ashley scream, and Daisy and Clawdia screamed too, instantly seeing what I have seen. Waluigi laughed behind the glass and jumped through the window; throwing countless sharp shards of glass everywhere. He was wielding that fucking chainsaw of his again. I scrambled from my spot, feeling pieces of sharp glass flicking and biting at my flesh. That was when Wario burst out through the office door, startling Ashley. I cried out again. Clawdia and Ashley were at the door already, swinging it open. Daisy followed them closely and I managed to squeeze myself through the door, slamming it shut.
It didn't lag them much, as we heard the door being kicked open the moment we turned around the sharp corner.
The fright of the chase crawled in my body, making my legs shudder violently, almost too difficult to run, but I forced myself to go, seeing the back of Daisy's once-beautiful dress and hair. The elevator doors were already open, thank god. Ashley and Clawdia dived inside, along with Daisy and I shot through too. Clawdia was hammering her index finger at the close button.
To our dismay, the elevator growled a buzzing noise.
"Too much weight!" Ashley squealed, her crimson eyes growing in panic.
"No! We must lose weight," Clawdia pointed out. Before I could even figure out what to do in the little time we had, I felt someone pushing me out of the elevator. To my rage, it was Daisy.
"Wario-Girl!" Ashley squealed, her voice shrilling.
"Waluigi wants you! You leave!" Daisy exclaimed. I shook violently. I gripped onto Daisy's shoulder, now angry, the elevator doors closing around us. It touched our arms, slightly pushing them together, but it stopped, confused to why there was bodies in the way. The chainsaw grew louder, and Waluigi and Wario shot towards us. The doors attempted to close again.
"Quickly!" Clawdia panicked. "Daisy, leave her alone! Don't do that!"
"No way I'm dying here," Daisy screamed, her eyes full of eagerness to win the fight between me and her. Then Ashley screamed again. At that moment, I saw Wario's massive hand clawing its way past under my arm and snatched at Daisy's bloodied dress. Daisy screamed, and Wario pulled her out of the elevator, pushing me past her. Daisy screamed in horror, eyes full of tears now. Despite her recent attitude with me, I couldn't just leave her.
"Daisy!" I cried out, reaching out and clutching onto her petit hands. She desperately gripped onto my wrists, her face drenched with tears.
"Wario-Girl!" Daisy's voice trembled. Then I looked up.
Waluigi was staring at me.
Wario laughed and Daisy screamed. Suddenly, with one more violent tug, her hands slipped past mine, and her last desperate scream echoed around me. The door closed, nearly cutting my arms and I was forced to pull back.
"Fuck!" I screamed again. "Noooo!"
Ashley screamed again, hiding her face into Clawdia's dress. Red hid under Ashley's black locks.
The elevator doors closed all the way. We heard another scream, sharply cut off by the roar of a chainsaw, and soon, that horrific sound of razor-sharp blades cutting through flesh filled the air, blood heavily slapping around the metal walls like falling mud. Tears stood heavy in my eyes, the last cry of terror ringing in my head, and I soon felt the elevator moving up turtle-slow. I pressed myself against the door, shocked, panting, unsure what has happened.
I was unable to protect her…
I slowly slumped against the wall, sliding down onto my knees, and I cried angrily.
I have failed to save another…