Cackletta leaned back, resting against the wall as she sat on her prison bed. What a ridiculous jokeescaping the figurative prison of the afterlife, only to find herself imprisoned much more literally as soon as she got out. What luck. What awful, miserable luck.
Well, things werent all bad, at least. She looked down at her hands. Escaping the Underwhere had gained her a new physical body, just like the old one she used to have before the Mario Brothers came and before she became Bowletta. She would have preferred to receive, perhaps, a younger body, but anything was better than being a shayde.
but, then, Fawful was a shayde now too, wasnt he? Everyone had told her hed died. Hed tried to awaken the Dark Star, but was defeated and died. What could he have been thinking? Surely he should have known better than to toy with such things. She sighed. She tried to comfort herself, at first, by assuring herself that she hadnt seen Fawful in the Underwhere, that he might still be alive. It didnt take long for the grim realization to set in that the Underwhere was a vast, sprawling place, and it had innumerable entry points. Just because she hadnt seen him didnt mean he wasnt there. Surely right now, he was still there, looking for her, not knowing shed escaped. And hed just keep on looking for her, for years, all alone
The poor little thing. Part of Cackletta wondered if she should have even come back.
In the darkness down the hall, she could hear the sound of fingers snapping, followed by a weak magical blast. She cocked her head.
Hey, she called out, Clown. Hows your magic?
She heard the snapping again. Ahaha. Not so great, Im afraid.
Cackletta tried to conjure a fireball. The guard nearest her cell tensed up at the sight of her trying to cast anything, but he relaxed when she only managed to produce a spark. I guess its to be expected. These bodies of ours are new; were like babies, weak and magic-less. Itll take days, maybe weeks to absorb enough power from around us to cast anything of use. She sighed. Oh well. I guess it doesnt matter. If we cant break out for a few weeks, well wait it out. Weve got all the time in the world.
She didnt voice the other thing she was thinking: that it wasnt as though anyone was waiting for her anymore.
He didnt respond. She wondered if, unlike her, he did have some pressing matters to attend to.
Too bad for him, then.
Just then, she heard a loud blast in the direction of the entrance. The guards standing near her cell all stood at attention, peering down the hall at the cell blocks door. More noise came: laser shots, more explosions, shouting and screaming. A high, childish laugh was under it all
a familiar laugh. But he was dead, theyd said. It couldnt have been his. An alarm sounded, its shrill ringing resounding through the hall. The guards looked at each other, at Cackletta, and at each other again. They gripped their spears and charged down the hall and through the door. It wasnt long before she heard them, too, screaming in agony, and through the now-open door she heard the laugh again.
There was no mistaking it. Those signature chortles, his evil little Fu, ru, ru. Those stupid, lying Toads! She should have known not to trust them.
She ran to the bars of her cell and watched the door intently. It was dark down there, and smoke was slowly filtering into the cell block from the other room. She saw Dimentio also at his bars, watching. He didnt look quite as thrilled as she, but he certainly seemed intrigued.
Finally, after all the noise had died down, there was a dull humming sound and a platform emerged from the smoke, carrying a certain beanish boy. His glasses gleamed against the dim light, his manic smile was unmistakable. She never thought shed be so happy to see him. His platform advanced slowly and he looked back and forth at each cell, obviously trying to find her. She stuck an arm out of her cell and waved to get his attention. He perked up, gasped, and zoomed down to meet her. His smile took on a more relieved look.
O Great Cackletta! he said, It is really being you!
Yes, its me, she said. Good to see you didnt get yourself killed after all.
You really and truly, without lies or falseness, have returned to life! he said, trying to wrap his mind around the reality of the situation.
Yes. Yes I have, she motioned at the lock on the door. Now, could you get me out of here?
I say to you yes! he pulled out one of his lasers, and shot it at the doors lock, then at its hinges. The cell door fell to the ground with a loud CLUNK.
Cackletta stepped out of the cell. She looked up at Fawful, who was hovering high enough to be standing taller than she. He held out a hand, which she took, and he helped her up onto the platform. She noticed all at once how much hed changed. He was tanner and stood up straight. He no longer wore the tattered old red cloak shed given him so long ago. Even his Headgear looked to have been completely remodeled. He waswell, he wasnt taller. At least that hadnt changed.
Is the Great Cackletta of much okayness? he asked, noticing her thoughtful expression.
Of course, she said, nodding, Just tired, is all. Being dead takes it out of you. Lets go.
Have holding on, Fawful said.
Cackletta didnt see anything to hold on to, so she took her apprentices shoulder and braced herself. The platform hummed more loudly, as though preparing to zoom at full speed out of there, but then Dimentio spoke up.
Ah, it looks as though you still have friends in this world, like a clam returning to shore.
Fawful stopped the platform, cocking his head to the side. He slowly brought his platform to Dimentios cell. Dimentio smiled his empty smile up at the two of them.
Im almost jealous, he said.
Cackletta wondered, for a moment, if Fawful would help Dimentio out as well. Instead, Fawful slammed a fist into Dimentios face. The depowered master of dimensions fell over, slamming onto his backside painfully. His smile didnt waver in the slightest.
That, Fawful said, rubbing his now-sore fist, has originating from Mimi.
Fawful didnt waste one more second. They zoomed out of the cell block. As they left, Cackletta could feel Dimentios gaze burning into her. She could imagine him watching them go, still smiling
she tried not to shudder at the thought of it. As she emerged into the bright day, laughing in elation at her new life, her freedom, and being reunited with her henchman, part of her silently filed Dimentio away in her mind under people to be avoided.