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Tales from The Mushroom Kingdom

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The Mario Bros & Friends Summer Vacation by Michelle Turley.


 

Chapter 1 - “Were all going on a summer holiday…”

It was another normal day in The Mushroom Kingdom for the Mario Brothers; eating pizza in their apartment in between jobs un clogging drains, as when they are not rescuing Princess Peach from the clutches of King Koopa, they have a day job to pay the bills!

In recent weeks The Mushroom Kingdom had been fairly quiet with no trouble, threats or kidnap from the infamous King Koopa. This of course was a good thing but it did make the place ever so slightly dull.

Just as Mario was tucking into another slice of Pizza, Princess Peach and Toad arrived. “Hey, save some for us”, Toad shouted at Mario, making him chuckle and hesitantly throw him his last slice of pizza. “I’m so bored, nothing exciting ever happens around this place”, Princess Peach ironically commented. “I know, lets order some more of mama’s favorite recipe pizza”, Mario added enthusiastically. At once they all rolled their eyes and sighed.

Just then Luigi piped up after being silently invisible in the corner of the room with his head buried in a holiday brochure, “Lets all get out of here and go on holiday!” They all looked confused as no one ever ventured far away from The Mushroom Kingdom unless they absolutely had too, usually to rescue and bring back who ever had been kidnapped!

I’m thinking beach, surfing and partying!” Luigi added energetically. “That actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea”, Princess Peach added, “but where would we go?”, Luigi turned the holiday brochure around that he has been absorbed in revealing crystal clear waters, chalk white sands, velvet deep pink hibiscus flowers and the trade mark rainbow colored hula skirt. “Anybody fancy a vacation to Hawaii?” Luigi beamed.

Before anyone else could comment Mario spoke up, “bro how will we even afford this?” he asked pacing the room scratching his head. “Already taken care of, 4 tickets booked we leave later today”, Luigi announced proudly. Princess Peach let out a squeak of excitement and skipped over to Luigi, throwing her arms around him for a huge hug.

Luigi looked slightly flushed from Princess Peach’s hug,” Well it’s been dull around here lately, we’ve been doing a lot of extra work with the business so we got some extra dough which ive been saving, stop you blowing it all on pizza!”, obviously aimed at Mario, “Thought a holiday would do us all good”. “Well you wont hear any complaints from me…they’ll be pizza in Hawaii right?” Mario asked genuinely concerned.

Toad finally finished his pizza, even though most of it was still smeared around his face, “Hey, what’s this talk of a holiday I hear?” They all let out a chuckle as Toad had obviously been more consumed in eating his pizza to notice what they had all been talking about.

Luigi held the brochure up again, “Hawaii here we come! Were going to the island of Kauai to a great idyllic and secluded spot on the north coast, Hideaways Beach”. They all gazed at this perfect image of bliss, almost feeling the heat from the sun on their faces and the tide gently crashing at their feet.

“Hideaways Beach…it sounds so magical and peaceful”, Princess Peach said in a dreamy voice, still staring at this perfect picture of tranquility. “Let’s pack our swim suits and snorkels and hit the beach guys”, Luigi said excitedly. With that they all cheered and began hurriedly getting ready for the holiday of their lifetimes!

Little did they know about the ancient history of Hideaways Beach, and unknown to them that they would be in for a great lesson!

They all skipped out of The Mario’s Bros apartment singing merrily, “Were all going on a summer holiday…”

Tune in next time… will The Mario Bros and friends have the beach break they desired, or will it be a history lesson they wish they would have skipped.

 


 

Chapter 2 - "Touch down at Hideaway's Beach"

 

The warm sun glistening on their faces, the sparkling of the tranquil clear blue sea, the stillness and quietness of their surrounding, a peaceful humming bird in the background... The Mario Bros, Princess Peach and Toad had touched down in Hawaii, Kauai Island at Hideaway’s Beach.

“Isn’t it beautiful” Princess Peach gushed, taken in by the beauty of the island as she skipped along the shore dipping her toes in the sea. The others were still in awe looking around at their surroundings. Mario finally snapped out of his day dream as his stomach rumbled with hunger, “we best find where were all staying and get some food!” he announced holding his stomach with the “apparent “ hunger pains. They all giggled at Mario’s over dramatic need for food.

They all walked up the Beach with it slowly being left behind them as they entered the surrounding forest in search of their “luxury hut”. Toad was climbing on everything possible he passed like huge rocks and hanging branches like a small playful child. Luigi was still gazing at the beauty around him – mainly Princess Peach who kept catching his eye and looking away obviously embarrassed. Mario claimed he was struggling to keep up because of the hunger. The sun was beginning to set now, with a slight chill in the air, making the tranquil setting they had arrived in earlier almost feel eerie.

They all stopped for a rest; “My feet hurt” Princess Peach complained as she sat on a log, taking her shoes off and wriggling her toes. “Ill carry you if you like Princess?!” Luigi said a little too quickly and enthusiastically. Mario and Toad smirked. “Its ok ill walk” she huffed, obviously embarrassed by Luigi’s growing crush on her.

“Come on guys, let’s get going!” Mario said, “It’s getting dark...and did I mention im starving?!” he sighed. “YES” they all shouted at once, obviously now annoyed at Mario’s constant complaining.

Just as they were all about to set off again there was a strange noise that alarmed them all. The crunching of branches and leaves on the ground, as though someone was walking towards them. They all sat frozen with blank expressions – fear! The trees shuffled and out loomed a dark figure… Princess Peach let out a piercing scream and grabbed onto Luigi.

“Hey guys, you okay? You looked lost?” announced the figure, which they could now all see was a man in khaki shorts and a sun hat. The group relaxed now as they could see he was no threatening creature. “We're looking for our hut, were on vacation”, Mario informed the stranger. “My names Kanunu, im the island ranger”, he introduced. Mario introduced himself and the group who now all felt completely at ease being in the capable arms of a ranger who would kindly guide them. Traditional names in Hawaii usually have a meaning; Kanunu meaning “The Strong One”, pronounced as “Kah-new-new”.

Luigi gave the ranger their holiday details so they could get directions. “You have been heading in the wrong direction”, Kanunu informed them. “My place is near here, let me take you guys back for some rest and food and I can take you at sunrise”. The group, especially Mario, were both pleased and relieved they could finally get some rest and something to eat.

As the door to the rangers hut was opened, the group were greeted with the warm blaze of the red fire, the delicious smell and flavours being cooked and a welcoming comfortable looking sofa. “Make yourselves at home” Kanuno said kindly. I hope your hungry, I have pasta and meat balls for supper. “One of my favourites!” Mario said excitedly. “Then hot chocolate and marshmallows for afters around the fire” Kanunu added. “Yummy” Princess Peach squealed delighted by the ranger’s hospitality. Toad was already curled up on the sofa snoring, and Luigi looking less at ease than the others for some reason.

“Ill dish up” Kanunu announced as he went into the kitchen to serve. He still had the holiday details Luigi had given him outside in the woods. He glanced at it once more before screwing it up and tossing it in the bin.

How strange for him to do this, surely he would need this in the morning so he could take the group of friends to their “luxury hut?” The group were oblivious and were happily content getting warm around the fire waiting for their delicious dinner and a good night’s sleep.

 


 

Chapter 3 - "New Dawn"

 

With the hazy early morning sunshine cracking gently through the gaps in the window and the peaceful humming of the birds rising, this was a perfect start to the morning. Mario and the gang were still sleeping, blissfully unaware of the day ahead.

Kanunu was sat in front of the fire, tossing in wood to keep the warm blaze going. The noise startled Princess Peach who sat bolt upright with a startled expression, but then relaxed and smiled when she seen Kanunu and sleepily said “Good Morning”.
“I hope you slept well Princess?” Kanunu asked politely. “Very well thank you after the yummy hot chocolate!” she exclaimed.

“What’s all this noise?” Toad suddenly asked sounding highly annoyed at having his sleep disturbed. “Rise and shine sleepy head” Peach giggled. With that Toad slouched back down the sofa with a childish sulking face. With the noise of the fire crackling and the hum of chatter – mainly Toad complaining, Mario and Luigi awoke.

“Let’s get this show on the road” Mario said energetically. “There is no rush Mario, I will guide you and your friends to your luxury hut shortly” Kanunu said kindly. Something in his voice however made Luigi shudder.

“I must collect some more wood from the nearby forest to keep the fire going. I will return soon” Kanunu informed them all. “Ill come and help!” Toad said excitedly. “No!” Kanunu snapped, “I mean…thankyou Toad but you stay and rest” he said sheepishly. With that he put on his rangers hat and headed out into the forest.

Since they had arrived last night at Kanunu’s hut Luigi’s expression finally relaxed and he sighed almost with relief. “Hey bro, what’s up?” Mario asked in a concerned voice”. Luigi began to pace the room, scratching his head as though he was in deep thought. “Something is not right here” Luigi answered, “don’t you think something seems odd about Kanunu? And how he seemed so keen for us all to come back last night? Now it seems as though he is delaying taking us to our luxury hut?” Luigi pointed out.

Princess Peach spoke up “shame on you Luigi” she tutted shaking her head and pointing her finger towards Luigi. “He is a kind hearted man who has taken us in and shown nothing but generosity towards us all” she huffed. “She does have a point bro, maybe you’re just tired and being paranoid” Mario added. “I don’t know guys I still have this sinking feeling that something bad is going to happen” Luigi continued, “I mean look at the way he just snapped at Toad when he offered to help!” he added.

The room fell silent as the gang watched Luigi continue to pace the room. Luigi came to an abrupt stop in the open kitchen and his face instantly became pale. “What is it?” Peach asked with a slight tremble in her voice. Luigi reached down slowly to the bin to reveal a screwed up piece of paper. He opened it up and revealed the crinkled piece of paper to the others…their holiday details and directions! “Wha-wha-what’s that doing in the trash?” Peach stammered. Mario and Toad now had worried looking expression on their faces.

Luigi finally spoke “Kanunu has thrown our details into the trash when he knows we will need them to guide us to our hut” he exclaimed. “Maybe he knows the way already” Peach said hopefully. “I think he’s right guys” Mario said, “I’m not sure exactly what but something definitely doesn’t seem right. We need to get out of here, let’s go!” They all jumped up grabbing what ever belongings they could and headed towards the door.

Suddenly the front door banged open, startling them all and stopping them in their tracks. Kanunu was back from collecting wood. “Er we were just coming to see if you needed any help carrying the wood” Mario quickly said so he didn’t make him suspicious. Mario then noticed that Kanunu wasn’t actually carrying any wood. “Thank you friend” Kanunu replied, but once I got out into the forest I remembered I had some stored in the cupboard” he said smiling as he replaced the large padlock on the door and placing the key deep within his pocket. Noticing Mario’s reaction he then added “Just to keep the warmth in my friend”.

The gang stood there for what felt like a long silence until Kanunu finally spoke again. I will make you all a hot drink…a traditional island speciality!” he said enthusiastically. He ushered the gang to sit back down on the sofa as he went towards the kitchen to make the gang this delicious local delicacy…

Tune in next time – Will the Mario Bros and friends discover the truth about Kanunu? Or is it already too late?

 


 

Chapter 4 - "Poison"

 

The Mario Bros and the gang sat awkwardly on the sofa for what felt like an eternity until Kanunu returned from the kitchen with a tray of steaming drinks. He placed the tray down in front of them and ushered for them all to take one. "Please, help yourselves" he smiled. "I'll be right back if you will excuse me for a moment" he said politely and went back through the kitchen.

Luigi spoke in a hushed whisper, "Guys...what are we going to do?!" he exclaimed. "Maybe we are being suspicious for no reason" Princess Peach replied. "I mean, so what if he threw the map away, he's the ranger, he will of course know the way!" she huffed. "I don't know Princess, something still doesn't seem right" Mario added. "I think Princess is right, lets just relax and enjoy our holiday" Toad pitched in.

With the group split on their thoughts on Kanunu they all went back to silence. The silence didn't last long as it was interrupted by Princess slurping the last drops of her delicious hot drink. "No Princess!" Luigi said louder than he should have. "See guys, I told you there was nothing to worry about I'm f-f-fine" she slurred as she fell to the floor. Luigi ran to her side, "Princess? Please...please wake up!". There was no movement as Princess Peach lay helpless on the floor.

"Right, we need to get going now!" Mario said taking charge. He lifted Peach up over his shoulder and instructed Toad to gather what he could of their belongings. "Luigi! Snap out of it, we need to find a plan out of here" Mario exclaimed. "I'll try the window" Luigi said running over to the corner of the room where there was a small round window. "It's open" he said excitedly, "lets go!" Luigi climbed out first as Mario gently passed out Princess Peach out into his arms, then jumped out himself with Toad hot on his heels.

They had all just escaped out into the fresh morning air, when they heard a booming voice, "Where have you all gone?!" roared Kanunu. The gang quickly scampered away with Princess Peach still unconscious and being carried again by Mario. They heard the heavy door bang open as they began running into the over-crowded forest. They needed to get back to shore so they could raise the alarm.

They all raced for their lives desperate to escape the clutches of Kanunu. They had no idea why this man, who had seemed so pleasant at first, was now their enemy and coming after them. "I c-c-cant breathe" gasped Toad, "lets just stop for a minute I think we lost him back there". The gang all huddled behind a large oak tree to keep themselves out of sight.

"We need a plan to get out of here so we can get Princess to safety" Mario announced. "Luigi, what do you remember about the map before Kananu threw it away?" he continued. Luigi scratched his head deep in thought, "I have no idea bro, we got lost with the map which is how we stumbled across Kanunu!" he sighed.

"Luigi, you said you paid for the holiday with our extra dough from the business? And the business has been doing that well to afford a luxury holiday?" Mario asked. "Yeah that right bro" Luigi replied. "Some guy in town stopped me and showed me those amazing pictures from the brochure and how he could do us a great deal..." Luigi trailed off his sentence. He had come to the same conclusion Mario had - this was a set up! They both gasped at the same time as they realised the terror unfolded even more.

The Mario Bros were in disagreement blaming one another; Mario blaming Luigi for being so naive and trusting a stranger and Luigi blaming Mario for only now questioning the cash that paid for the holiday. Their argument was disturbed as Princess Peach murmured as she began to come round. "Princess?" Luigi said as knelt at her side. Still groggy from the poisonous drink she could barely speak. In the distance they could hear a rustling movement, getting ever nearer to them. Luigi lifted up the weak Princess, "Ill get you to safety", he said softly to her. They were all on their feet and again on the run into the unknown distance.

Tune in next time - Will the Princess recover from the poison? Will the gang escape and discover who is behind the set-up?

 


 

Chapter 5 - "True identity"

 

Gasping for breath the Mario Bros and friends finally stopped running and took in their new surroundings. They were no longer in the misty forest and had reached a stretch of beautiful white sands. Princess Peach had luckily recovered from the poisonous drink Kananu had earlier given her. “Hey guys, this is the beach we arrived on I think?” Princess Peach asked inquisitively. “I think the Princess might be right” Luigi instantly followed.

Toad began jumping up and down with excitement.” This is great” he chirped, “now we can get the next boat out of here!” Mario had remained quite, looking deep in thought staring out at the sun setting over the glistening sea.

“Mario?” Princess asked with concern in her voice. “Sorry princess. You guys were saying…?” he finally answered snapping out of his day dream. “This is the same Beach bro that we arrived on. There must be a boat along soon that can get us off this strange island” Luigi added.

The gang waited and waited until the sun set and still no boat came along. “Maybe we were too late today, I’m sure another boat will be along in the morning” Peach said with hope in her voice. She shivered at her own words, blaming the cool night air. Luigi being the gentleman he is, and also his obvious crush on Peach, wrapped his jacket gently around her arms.

They all sat huddled together against a palm tree gazing out onto the open beach and now black sea. Again the same feeling from when they first arrived crept up. How could such a beautiful setting become so eerie and intimidating as night fell? Poor Toad was curled up next to Princess Peach, the chattering of his teeth getting faster and louder.

Mario all of a sudden jumped up startling the gang. “Hey look over there” Mario pointed through the palm trees. They all squinted, staring through the darkness until their gazes rested upon what Mario was smiling at – a cave! “We can set up a camp fire in there to keep warm and try and get some sleep until the boat comes in the morning” The gang had not wanted to light an open fire on the beach as it would draw attention to them. For all they knew Kananu could be near by waiting to catch them out.

They all carefully made their way to the cave, trying their best not to make any noise. On entering the cave the gang could not see a thing in the pitch blackness. Mario reached inside his bag and lit the lantern to help guide them through. Luigi and Toad were carrying the wood they had earlier gathered. The cave was surprisingly clear with no creepy crawlies lurking around. Perfect, the gang could set up their camp and get some rest.

They found a spot and settled down for the night in front of the fire. The warmth on their faces was bliss after being out in the cold night air, gently soothing them all to sleep. That was until Princess Peach suddenly woke with a fright, “Guys… the lantern and fire are out!” she gasped. “Don’t worry Peach they probably just burnt out” Mario answered from somewhere in the darkness. He then lit a match to relight the lantern and held it over the camp fire. “That’ strange” Mario said scratching his head, “it looks like the wood has hardly burnt at all”

Out of no where came an evil laugh echoing loudly around the cave. To their horror in the dimly lit cave they could see Kananu walking towards them menacingly. With no where to run the gang where cornered. “Don’t panic guys” Mario said encouragingly, there’s one of him and four of us! Its time we got to the bottom of this mystery and confront him! They all stood side by side ready to fight, gulping back their terror as Kananu approached them.

“Hello friends” Kananu greeted in a mocking tone. “I thought id find you hear, I made it especially for your arrival” he trailed off laughing. The cave had been a trap. He knew the Mario Bros and friends would go in there to keep warm. “Enough of this nonsense” Mario said, “Who are you and what do you want with us?” he demanded.

“My name is Kananu” he answered, “King Kananu” he smiled. You may know my Great Grandson - “King Koopa?” he finished as he pulled back his mask to reveal his true identity! Startled at the revelation the gang stood frozen.

Tune in next time – Will the Mario Bros and friends escape the clutches of King Kananu? Will they discover why they have been lured to Hideaways Beach?

 


 

Chapter 6 - "Reality"

 

It was as though time had stood still as they all stood there frozen. “Wh-wha-what shall we do?” stammered Princess Peach in a low whisper. Mario was still in shock with his jaw practically on the floor. Toad was cowering in between Luigi’s legs in a child like manner.

Luigi had no other choice – he had to take charge! “What do you want with us King Kananu” Luigi surprisingly boomed, snapping the others out of their trance. “Well, if it isn’t one of the famous Mario Brothers!” he said mockingly, as he inched slightly further forwards. Luigi instantly stepped in front of Princess Peach to shield her from this menacing creature. “You heard my bro scale face” Mario finally joined, “what do you want with us?”

“Well its quite simple my friends” Kananu said, “My Grandson you’re acquainted with, King Koopa, requires a wife” he finished. “So why trick us to the island and then come after us?” Mario asked, scratching his head. Then a feeling of dread washed over him as he realised why – Princess Peach was the required wife. As the reality of Kananu’s revelation dawned on them they began to panic as they were cornered in the cave.

Out of no where, Luigi suddenly punched the cave above him and out dropped a POWER BLOCK. He grabbed it and launched it at Kananu, which sent him flying out of the way. The gang took their opportunity and ran as fast as they could through the cave, finally reaching the outside air. It was pitch black, all that was visible was the glint of the moon over the black sea. They headed in the direction of the shore, still running as fast as they could.

“Ouchhhh!” Princess Peach gasped. “What is it Princess?” a concerned Luigi asked, squinting through the darkness to find her. “I’m okay, I just tripped on something big in the sand” she answered dusting herself off. Luigi looked closer and picked up the large object, a large plank of wood. “Stupid place to leave this” he said tutting. “This is perfect” Mario exclaimed, taking the plank of wood off Luigi. “We can use it as a raft and try and get to the next island to get help” he beamed. “Yay, lets go” Toad chirped, trying his best to try and help lift the raft.

There had been no sign of King Kananu since they left the cave. Mario knew he was out there somewhere, whether he was looking for them or watching them in the shadows right now. A shudder rain up his spine at the very thought. He quickly placed the raft onto the water, allowing Toad to jump on first and then helping Princess Peach on. Luigi was next, with his make shift rowers he had made out of palm tree leaves. They were all set to go. Mario got them going by pushing the raft out, until he was waist deep in the water and then hopped on himself.

They had no idea where they were heading, but they knew they were safe from King Kananu for now. Luigi cupped his hands round his eyes, struggling to see out into the distance. “I think I can see another island in the distance guys” he said uncertainly. “I mean its so dark, but every now and then I’m sure I can see a flash of light”. “Well let’s head that way then” Princess Peach said, “I mean we might as well check it out….beats floating around in the middle of no where!” she said sarcastically. Using all his strength, Luigi steered the raft around and headed to what they hoped was the answer to all their prayers. Princess Peach clung onto Mario to stop herself falling off the unsteady raft. Luigi rowed harder and faster, feeling slightly annoyed at his brother. If anyone should be holding Princess Peach it should be him. “Whoa, take it easy bro” Mario ordered, “your rocking the raft” he continued, as he held Princess Peach in closer to him. This just added to Luigi’s further annoyance as he became increasingly jealous!

Tune in next time – Will the Mario Bros and friends make it and find help? Will Mario and Luigi both be fighting for Princess Peach’s affections?