Hello Everyone... This story is more of a backstory to another Super Mario story I'm working on. It's more to introduce a character... Unfortunately this is proving to be more difficult to write than I thought it would be... I'm still working on Day 4... Ugh... So I'll try to write as often as I can but it maybe a while in between posts... Sorry if you decide you love it right off the bat... Please enjoy and any feedback good or bad is welcome...

Disclaimer... I don't own King Bowser Koopa, Paratroopa, or anyone in the world of Super Mario. All characters are owned/licensed through Nintendo... I think...

Day 1-

All started on an unseasonably warm February 14th. Ugh! Valentine's Day! I wore a light sweatshirt with a "T" shirt underneath, jeans, and a pair of sneakers and finally worked up the nerve to slip a card into Betty Whitman's locker. How was I suppose to know she started going out with the captain of the football team, Jerry Atkins, after 1st period?

Jerry decided to let me know during 4th period in a whisper just audible enough over his cracking knuckles.

"Betty's mine," he said throwing my Valentine back in my face. He added trying to scare me, "I'll teach you for hitting on my girl after school."

When the final bell rang, I rushed home as fast as I could but as I cut through the park I ran into a wall of people.

"Fight! Fight! Fight," they all chanted forming a circle around me cutting off my retreat. At the center of the mob, I found Jerry talking to his football buddies and knew this fight was unavoidable.

"So you think you can hit on my girl," Jerry smirked taking off his letterman jacket.

I tried apologizing. "I'm sorry Jerry. I didn't know you were going out with Betty."

"Excuses," Jerry laughed. He ran at me pulling his arm back. I didn't even have a chance to take off my backpack.

Ducking and dodging I managed to avoid his swings until there was an opening. I countered his attack with a rabbit punch to his nose. It drew blood instantly and made the jock stagger back in a daze.

After Jerry's fists dropped, I followed up with a left hook. "Thanks, mom," I whispered thinking to the boxing lessons she forced me to take when I was seven. Luckily, I kept up with the training since the accident.

Landing in his teammates' arms a collective silence settled over the crowd. The quiet allowed Jerry's command to be audible all the way to the back of the mob.

"Get him," Jerry ordered.

Suddenly the entire football squad descended upon me. I wish I could say I put up a good fight but I was only able to knock the wind from two of them. They pummeled me giving me a black eye, fat lip, and a dozen body bruises before knocking me to the ground.

Curling into the fetal position, I endured kick upon kick and stomp upon stomp. Thank goodness I didn't have time to remove my schoolbag. It protected my spine like a turtle's shell. When the kicks slowly died down, I surveyed the crowd finding a gap in their circle.

Without wasting a moment, I dove through the opening feeling several ribs break from swift kicks while my body dangled defenseless at full extension. I did my best to ignore the pain and powered past my assailants running onto a construction site.

Glancing behind me, I saw that I was a good distance from Jerry and his crew. I decided it would be best to hide somewhere. When I rounded a bend, I spotted a green pipe large enough and wide enough for me to hide in without being seen.

Protruding from the ground, I crawled into the seemingly bottomless cylindrical tube bracing my hands and feet against the walls to prevent myself from falling deeper into the shaft.

"I could have sworn he turned this way," I heard Jerry say as the group sounded like they all came to a stop. "Fan out and see if he's hiding."

Closing my eyes as footsteps approached the pipe, the adrenaline from the day's events begun wearing off despite my rapidly beating heart. It caused my muscles to tremble in pain from the day's stress. I knew I would not be able to maintain my position much longer. My sneaker squeaked as it started sliding along the shaft.

"Did you hear that," Jerry said walking closer toward the pipe. "Sounded like it came from over here."

Both my legs gave way and I found myself freefalling. As I started to scream, my voice was drowned out by a weird sound that I really cannot begin to describe. When I emerged from the pipe into daylight, my freefall continued and my eyes filled with terror as I fell hundreds of feet toward the ground.

Focused on the rapidly approaching scenery, a twist of fate sent a blue shelled flying turtle directly into the path of my descent. My face struck the shell knocking me out.

When I finally came to, I found my arms and legs bound while being carried over the blue shelled reptile's shoulder. I think… Do turtle's have shoulders?

Realizing that we were walking instead of flying, my head studied the wingless shell. It was really the only part of the reptile I could see. But every now and then I saw a little 4 or 5 inch yellow tail wag from underneath the shell. Its movement made me chuckle and wince a little.

"You're awake," the turtle said coldly sounding masculine.

"Yes. Thank you for saving my life," I responded. The reptile fell silent so my eyes returned to his shell. "What happened to your wings?"

The turtle paused a moment before answering. "I lost them when your block head hit me."

"When I hit you," I whispered before asking, "Are you okay," in a concerned tone. I don't think the reptile expected my sincerity. I decided to add, "We fell an awfully long way" trying to cover up his embarrassment.

The turtle remained silent until a couple of my teardrops splashed against his shell. "I'd cry too if I was going to be thrown at my king's feet."

"No, it's that," I tried wiping my eyes. "I'm sorry I hurt you."

That was another statement the reptile wasn't expecting and it finally elicited a response from it. "A scrawny maggot like you hurt me?" The creature laughed before explaining what happened. "After your hard head hit my shell stealing my wings, your hand hooked inside my collar.
"On our way to the ground, we just happened to land in a small tornado. It cushioned our impact enough that I only had the wind knocked out of me."

"Wow, turtles are tough," I commented.

"I am not a turtle. I am a paratroopa," he corrected. "And we are tough. Allot tougher than humans. I cannot believe the damage my shell did to you."

I sighed recalling Jerry and his goons. "You didn't cause my injuries. I had them before I ran into you. Either way," I smiled lifting my head. "Thank you for saving me," I said seeing nothing but desert in every direction.

The reptile went silent again. I couldn't figure out if he went quiet because he didn't want to talk or if he was uncomfortable with all the "thank yous". I decided I'd continue talking until I was told to stop.

I know I'm his prisoner since my appendages were tied together and that I should be trying to get away but it was a giant bipedal talking turtle. Wouldn't you want it to keep talking too?

"How long was I knocked out?"

"About 4 hours," he answered.

"Have you been carrying me the whole time," I asked. The turtle simply responded with an "Mm hmm" sound. "Thank you," I said as a reflex. "I really am lucky I met you. You've already saved me so many times today."

"Don't thank me" he replied adding, "Your fortune has not changed just yet. It's only been postponed. Your life is still in jeopardy."

My eyes fell upon the ropes bounding my arms. "Are you going to eat me?"

"Me? No," the paratroopa laughed. "As of now you are my prisoner and will be brought before my king. Depending on his mood, there is a real possibility he'll eat you."

"Is he as cool as you are," I asked making the reptile laugh even more.

"Flattery isn't going to get you nowhere," he responded making me chuckle. Pain shot from my cracked ribs, I tried ignoring it as the turtle continued excitedly, "But he is a lot cooler than me."

A whole race of talking bipedal turtles with a king, how cool is that? I decided regardless of what happens I must meet his king. Trembling with anticipation caused pain to shoot through my entire body and made me wince.

"I know these are going to sound like empty words but could you put me down and cut my leg restraints? I promise I won't run," I asked as genuinely as I could; preparing my argument for the answer I was expecting.

"No," the paratroopa answered flatly.

"You've been carrying me for a while and thought you could take a break," I tried making my case. "If you're worried about me running away, I promise I won't.
"Some of my ribs are broken so I wouldn't be able to outrun you and physically you're much stronger than me so there is no way I could fight you and win."

The turtle seemed to consider it a minute before responding. "It's not that I don't believe you, human," his arm squeezed around my torso. Luckily I was still wearing my backpack. It dulled but didn't eliminate the pain so I winced and cried out a little before his arm relaxed. "We have around another twenty miles to reach the desert's border before nightfall and your injuries are too severe for you to keep up with on your own.
"Once we find a place to camp, I'll think about untying your legs when we reach the jungle. So enjoy the ride and take the time to rest up; it maybe the last time you get to take it easy."

"So… You believe me," I said smiling.

"I didn't say that," the paratroopa tried backpedaling.

"Thank you," I laughed wincing.

"No more talking," he ordered trying to sound gruff.

I complied. I didn't want to ruin the level of trust between us. Albeit it was a low level of trust but it was something.