Chapter Five: Key to the Heartbreak

by Victar (

GPS LOG: Keelhaul Key
Year 20XX, Day ?0
7:34 p.m.


LUIGI: Hello again, my secret diary. We have three boxes now.

The third box was on Keelhaul Key, that's an island far away from Rogueport. We didn't have to sail on a ship to reach it, because our map marked a warp pipe leading straight there. That's okey-dokey by me; I don't know how to keep a boat going in the right direction, and I don't think Daisy does either. I know Mario used to sail on a scary black ship to visit Keelhaul Key, I've seen that threatening ship docked in Rogueport, but it wasn't there when the sky turned dark.

The warp pipe led to a jungle at the outskirts of a beach. Or something that was once a beach.

The whole beach was turned to stone. Stone Toads, Bob-ombs, tents, and a store; the items inside the store were all stone too. There was even a stone Whacka Mole, frozen poking its head out of the stone ground.

Mario's black ship was by the beach. Kind of. It was mostly beneath the water, because it was turned to shiny black stone. I thought I saw a huge, hideous stone skull by the ship's wheel. I'm shuddering just thinking about it.

We explored a cave on the stone beach, but it was a dead end so I led the way into the jungle. It was a jungle full of zombie-monsters that served the Queen, even the Putrid Piranha Plants hissed "Serve the Queen!" when they tried to eat us! So I beat the hungry plants back with my hammer! I've been teaching Daisy how to use my spare hammer to defend herself. She's not very good with it yet, but she's learning.

We followed a path to a watery grotto, and this is where the monsters started getting mean. They were g-g-ghosts! Not just Boos, fiery ghosts that flickered and sizzled and tried to burn us! Daisy's getting pretty quick with her Heart Shield though. She's a lot faster with it than her hammer.

We searched and searched, past Bill Blasters and spikes and smashed up ships and pools of water filled with flesh-eating Nibbler fish... and getting the box wasn't as hard as I was afraid it would be. No huge, slobbering monsters were guarding it. It was tucked away in a half-sunk wreck of a ship, all by itself, nice and quiet. So that wasn't the bad part.

The bad part is I have to carry it!

Daisy has two boxes already, one in each pocket. She says I need to carry two also, so that their magic will protect me from the Shadow Queen. I know I can't rescue Mario if the Shadow Queen turns me to stone, but I... I...

I hate carrying this horrible thing!

It wants to eat me, I know it does! And not like a Piranha Plant, those want to eat me only because they're hungry. This box wants to eat me because it's bad, the Shadow Queen made it to punish good people, and that's what it wants to do more than anything! It wants me to open it - it wants me to - to-


I HATE these awful, evil, black magic traps! I'm never opening you, you wicked box! You're not going to turn me into a ghost and steal my soul! Never, never! You can't do it unless I say so and I'll never let you!

It's my turn to sleep, but I can't. I just can't. I-

PRINCESS DAISY: Luigi? Are you okay? I heard you cry out.

L: Uhh...

D: It's the box, isn't it.

L: You're carrying two of them - how can you stand it?

D: Just tune out the box. Think of other things. Anything.

L: Like what?


D: I've been thinking a lot about Pauline, lately.

[longer pause]

L: Polly?

D: Is that her nickname?

L: You never met her, did you? Why are you asking- aaack-

D: Don't look at the box. Don't think about the box.

Look at me. Think about - um, think about the first tennis tournament we played together. Remember that? You spent hours helping me refine my technique.

L: Aaah...

D: Don't think about the box.

Remember our first doubles match? We were competing against Mario and Jungle Land's senior representative, Mr. D. Kong-

L: The big ape? I just call him DK.

D: I noticed Mario and Kong were, well, they were getting along, but Mario was a little tense around him. I was concerned that their rivalry could affect relations between Jungle Land and the Mushroom Kingdom, so I asked you about it. Now do you remember?

L: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I remember you asking that.

D: You told me that a long time ago, in the Land of Brooks, Kong kidnapped Pauline and held her hostage...

L: DK isn't a bad ape. He never hurt Polly. He - well, this may sound funny, but I think he would carry her to the top of the tallest construction site he could find because... because that's what he thought giant apes were supposed to do. In movies and posters and TV shows, whenever you see a giant ape, you see it kidnapping a beautiful woman and carrying her to a really high place. It wasn't his fault.

I'm not sure the DK you know is the same DK who kidnapped Polly. Big apes all look alike to me. Anyway, it worked out okey-dokey. Mario rescued Polly just fine. And her umbrella. And her handbag. And her fancy hat-

D: Were Pauline and Mario in love?

L: Uhh, I guess they were sweet on each other.

Yeah, he liked her a lot. I think Mario wanted her to come live with us, but the place we rented - well, you know we didn't make a lot of money back then. He wanted our business to do better so we could live somewhere with room for her.

D: But Mario left her behind to come to the Mushroom Kingdom?

L: Well...


L: Okay. I don't think it's a secret, just Mario never talks about it. Never, ever.

Polly moved far away from Brooklyn, after Mario rescued her from DK. That's all I know for sure. Mario really doesn't like to talk about it. I got a nice holiday card from "Pauline and Stanley" once, after she moved. I don't know who Stanley is.


You know, this was right around when Mario... well, he's a good guy, but... I think he was mad at DK for a while. He would padlock DK in a tiny cage. It kind of bothered me, I wasn't sure we ought to keep the big ape in such a small space.

Then one day I found the cage open, and Mario had a black eye, and he never did tell me what happened. I guess DK escaped? Or maybe someone set him free, I don't know.

DK doesn't have any real problems with Mario anymore, I think. And Mario, well, he's more easygoing now than he used to be. Maybe that's because of Peach. She has a good effect on people, you know?


D: Luigi... I'm sure everyone knows that Mario and Peach like each other the best, but...

...but neither of them has considered living together, have they? Mario lives in a house with you-

L: [mumbled] I have my own mansion now, it's just that Mario needs help keeping his place tidy. I don't think he knows how to vacuum.

D: -and Peach lives in her castle, and if she gets kidnapped he rescues her. That's just how things are.

And now, you're telling me that Mario wanted Pauline to live with him...?

L: I'm just guessing, really. He did get a heart-shaped welcome mat and flowery pink curtains, stuff like that. I'm sure those were meant for her. He threw them away after she moved. Why are you asking so much about Polly?

[short pause]

L: Wait a minute. You're not going to repeat something from that bird again, are you? Don't do that.

D: Okay.

L: I mean it. If this has anything to do with anything that bird said-

D: We have one more black box to get. I'm rested if you are. We should start moving.

L: I hate that bird! We're going to wake Mario up and beat the Shadow Queen and free Peach and return the zombies and stone people to normal! We're not going to do what that bird told us to! You hear me, Daisy? Stop thinking about that bird! Now!

D: [almost inaudible] "Mutual love that remains perpetually pure and distant is allowed. But Immortals cannot share true love, and those who embrace Love must forsake their Immortality."

L: You think I can't hear that, don't you.