The world was a large place, and he should know, spending the last few days covering every inch of it. He had been forced to swim through underwater caverns, cross barren deserts, and even stumble his way through dark castles. And for what purpose? Love. Stupid, stupid love. His clothes were so tattered he had to scrounge together new outfits every day, usually something that would help him fit in with the locals. To that end, he usually found it best not to ask how they made it, but to just put it on and continue on his way.
He was exhausted, but after some good advice and a lucky shortcut, he was now standing just outside an oversized set of wooden doors. Nay, more like a wooden gate. He had no idea how he would get it open as he looked all around the room for a button or a lever that would help. As he approached the doors they began to swing open, welcoming him inside. He was more than happy to oblige, especially with the constant threat of ghosts sneaking up behind him.
He walked into the chamber to find himself standing on a rickety old bridge spanning the distance of the room. Below him, a pool of lava bubbling and churning, the heat causing the air in the room to shimmer. The bridge was narrow enough that he could reach out and touch both sides of the wooden planks. This could be a problem, considering the demon king was standing at the other side of the bridge, a litany of hammers at his waist, blocking the full width of the bridge with his large girth. He would only have one chance to get past the demon king, so he took off running straight towards him, ducking under a volley of hammers as he accelerated quickly.
He leaped into the air with all of his might, clearing the king’s massive head and landing on the ledge. There was a very large double-sided ax resting on the ground. Odd. He didn’t care, he knew what had to be done. He grabbed the ax and took a wide swing, cutting both of the supporting ropes to the bridge with one swipe. The demon king had barely turned to face him when the bridge fell out from under him, sending him into the lava below.
Mario turned away for the carnage, dropped the ax, and walked into the next room to find his princess waiting for him; she was finally safe.
This is part of a 30 day series of 2-3 minute short stories written for the 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 2011. You can view all the stories in the Short Story A Day category.