This is the final part of ‘The Perks of Being a WAHlflower’. I hope you enjoyed it! If you’re late to the party, you can read them in order starting from the beginning by clicking here: https://balladsandwords.wordpress.com/category/the-perks-of-being-a-wahlflower/?order=asc And now, the conclusion…
So it was that Waluigi sat in his house, having been discharged from the hospital because the doctors had forgotten about him, with several quite nasty injuries that hadn’t been bad enough to kill him and let him respawn.
He was at least left in peace. After the event, Slowpoke had been painted as the baddy (what had become of her afterwards was unknown), the Marios had got the plaudits as usual, and Waluigi had gone back to being utterly forgettable.
Which was okay. It was what he’d wanted when the Toads had been trashing his front ‘garden’ (mostly paving, partly cigarette butts), and he hadn’t forgotten that. It was just… somewhere in between would have been ideal. Somewhere where he wasn’t the centre of attention, but was occasionally memorable.
He supposed he should have been happy to be a footnote in the papers. ‘KNOCKED OUT! MARIO BROS. DEFEAT EVIL POKÉMON CONQUEROR, SAVE PRINCESS! (Pink hippo and purple stooge cause Marios to see red.)’
He supposed too that it wasn’t all bad. Wario was looking for him, although that might have been due to the whole ‘250 coins’ thing. More interestingly, he’d heard (eavesdropping was easier for Waluigi) there was somebody else looking for him. Some woman from another country, going around on roller-skates with a blue jackal thingy. Apparently he was a ‘person of scientific interest’.
She’d not been unattractive, the gym leader. And she’d remembered him. Maybe it would soon be time to roll out the Waluigi Smoulder™. Bring her flowers, buy her a drink, get her on the dance floor, and see where events took them…
His doorbell rang. This was odd for several reasons, chief one being that he didn’t have a doorbell. Still, it might have been her.
He twirled into the bathroom and put some concealer over his black eyes. He leapt into the bedroom and put on his spare purple sequined jacket. (He had several spares.) He frolicked into the hallway and plucked a rose to put between his teeth. Only then did he open the door.
There was nobody there. He felt a bit silly.
He looked down.
There was a small pink hippopotamus with tooth marks on her head. She looked bashed, broken, bruised, even burned. Waluigi felt like the picture of good health in comparison.
He folded his arms.
‘Look, I…’ Her thoughts were scrambled and rippling over each other. It sounded like white noise.
‘You tried to hi-jack my brain,’ he said.
‘You think “sorry” cuts it?’
‘No. I thought sitting outside the newspaper office, thinking about you until they remembered to put you in the article, might.’
Waluigi picked the rose from between his teeth and tucked it behind his ear. It was starting to cut into his gums.
‘It took a long time for me to walk here from there, without being seen. I can’t float any more.’
‘Why did you…?’ he began.
‘Partly because I found myself there after being beaten up. Partly because I need somewhere to go where I won’t be beaten up any more. And partly because you were a good trainer for a psychically sensitive…’
‘…if you like.’
They stood there for a while, looking at each other, man and ‘mon. It was the first time somebody had complimented him on anything, willingly, since Wario had needed someone to take the blame for robbing the Diamond City Diamond Museum of Diamonds.
‘You’d better come in then,’ he said begrudgingly.
A while later, somebody knocked on the door.
* * *
Addendum to the Ballad of Waluigi
So the tale of a man dressed in purple,
Is a tale we must not leave behind.
For the only threat greater
Than a psychic dictator
Is the threat of what lives in his mind.
So much joy to our man dressed in purple!
May he one day have riches and fame!
That his brain is contented
And its horrors not vented…
Now, who can remember his name?