Bowser watched from his throne with great excitement as Peach plummeted to the ground, practically roaring with laughter as the sound of her smashing into the dirt and snapping every bone in her royal body echoed through the room. Pauline, however, did not share Bowser's amusement, and cried out in horror.
"No, Peach! Get up!" She screamed out to her friend, but to no avail.
"She can't hear you, idiot. Besides, she's a splotch on the ground now, so she couldn't get up even if she could hear you!" Bowser mocked, getting up from his seat and stomping towards Pauline. "But now that she's gone, I have to wonder if you could do any better."
"W-what do you mean?" Pauline stammered, unsure if she wanted to know.
"I want you to jump for me, and not just once, but over and over again! Prove to me that what happened to Peach was just a fluke. Kamek!" Bowser shouted out for his servant.
"Yes, Master Bowser?" Kamek responded, getting his wand ready.
"Prepare the jump rope. You know the one." Bowser commanded, grinning wickedly.
"Yes sir!" Kamek said, casting a spell that lit up the area with colorful shapes. When the light had died down, the room indeed had a new jump rope in it, but it was no ordinary rope.
"It's a fire snake rope!" Pauline cried in alarm, beginning to sweat from the heat it was giving off.
"That's right!" Bowser said, nodding. "Watching Peach jump was fun, but I only got to see it once before she splattered, and it was so impersonal. I want to see you jump just for me as many times as you can. I'll let you live as long as you can amuse me, but if you trip over the rope, it will fry you and you'll become a cooked meal for me instead. Get it?" Bowser asked.
Pauline gulped. She got it, but she didn't like it. She knew no matter what happened, things wouldn't end well for her. Either she'd be Bowser's entertainment forever, or she'd trip up and be fried. But what else could she do?
"Well, go on! Get out there and show me your stuff, sugar!" Bowser demanded, opening up the cage for Pauline and pushing her toward the flaming rope. The girl could hear Kamek cackling behind her, and her eyes widened as the rope slowly animated itself over her head. As it swung around, she gathered all her energy and jumped up as high as she could, squeezing her eyes tight in fear.
"Very good! Now just do that a thousand more times, and you'll get a break for today!" Bowser said, clapping his hands for his new toy.
A thousand times? Pauline felt sick. She had just lost her best friend, and now this? The rope swung over her head again, but this time, the brunette eyed it with resignation. Perhaps becoming a roasted treat for the evil king would be the lesser of two evils. The rope came around again, and this time Pauline...