The sweat burned my eyes. Blinking hard I tried to focus. I needed to focus. Only a cold blooded creature could consider a castle full of lava as its home. My overalls felt like they weighed a ton. My movements were all in slow motion. Even my moustache was drenched through. As the heat pressed in from all sides I wanted to give up. From the glint in his red eyes I could tell that's what he was waiting for. If it was just me maybe it would have been O.K. to just curl up and die, but she was counting on me, her and the entire Mushroom Kingdom. If he had laid one hand upon her soft flaxen hair so help me I would
Damn. I had let my mind wander and he had seen it. A toothy grin spread across Bowser's face as he exhaled. The flaming expulsion from his bowels hurled towards me. He was gloating already that bastard. This was my chance. I summoned all the strength I had left and blindly leapt forward. With my eyes squeezed shut, I felt the intense heat of the fireball pass beneath my feet. I just might do it. I forced my eyes open. Seeing that look on Bowser's face invigorated me more than a thousand cold showers. He knew that death had finally come for him. I started to descend. My thick steel toed boots made contact with the vile lizard's skull. My full weight slammed his head into the stonework bridge. With a sickening crunch it was over. Bowser was dead. There was no time to celebrate or to consider how I was going to wash the reptile brains from my overalls, a crack had formed where we had landed and it was starting to splinter the walkway. I ran. The stones behind me fell away. I heard the sizzle from Bowser's corpse hitting the lava but I did not stop. I ran. I saw her face again. My princess. I jumped as the last piece of the bridge gave way.
My fingers clutched the shiny handle of an ax stuck into the ground at the edge of the precipice. My feet dangled over the remnants of the bridge sinking into the red hot lava. The sweat on my hands was already making my grip falter. I quickly pulled myself up. I pulled the ax out of its mount and carried it with me to the door that lay ahead. With one swing I splintered the lock and pushed the door open. I cool breeze escaped from the darkness with in the cell.
In the corner was a huddled mass. I approach delicately, becoming fully aware of my own stench and filth. I was just an plumber from Brooklyn. How could I even think she could love me? But no, the dirt that stained my clothes, that was from battling the tyrants that had enslaved her people. I reeked of a man fighting to free the woman heloved. She would understand. She always did. Just to touch that hair again. I reach forward. "Princess?" The figure gazed up at me with a thankful but saddened look. "Thank you Mario. But our princess is in another castle!"