The Beginning

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The Beginning

William Hafferty

Mario had thrown his hood up for the final time and hovered in meditation before he committed himself to his fate one last time.

He knew once he made contact with the seat, there would be no turning back.

His palms were dry and ready,
Knees strong and sturdy and his arms felt light.

His hoodie was clean and fresh,

and in prep for this final mission his father had cooked him ziti.

He sits still confidently.

He had prepared long and hard for this journey. He knew it was not going to be easy but he was ready and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. What other choice did he have really?

Ever since “the incident” he had devoted himself to recovering what was rightfully his and his family was counting on him. His father could have joined him on such a monumental journey at the prime of his life but now he was old and frail; able only to provide advice and guidance.

The knowledge and skill set he provided, though was not to be overlooked. He was a master of his craft and long known to be the best in the business. Everyone had known him as the local plumber. The only one in town and the only one that the small town needed. What everyone didn’t know was that there was magic in all the pipes that he worked on. They were all interconnected and, when they were mastered, they could be used as a means of teleportation.

Mario’s father had worked the logistics of of the intricate piping system out his whole life. He had passed the knowledge on how to manipulate them only when he knew Mario was ready. He also woven a special lightweight knitting in the hoodie which allowed him to smash his head into any blocks that’d be mysteriously hovering along his path. You’d never have known but upon doing this, in the mysterious pipe world; you’d either be rewarded with money, OR a magic mushroom would emerge from the block. The magic mushroom would either make you feel like you were bigger and stronger, or it’d bestow the ability to blow fireballs at enemy mushrooms who would be trying to prevent Mario from completing his ultimate task.

You see, the king and queen had a young princess daughter about the same age as Mario. Unfortunately the king and queen also lacked any sort of creativity, so they named their new daughter after their favorite fruit, Peach.

Peach had none so sooner turned 18 when her creepy uncle stormed the castle and kidnapped Peach. He had devoured one too many of the aforementioned magic mushrooms and had suffered irreversible-lizard-like transformations. He could also breath fire and would see to it that Peach was his for the rest of his days.

They used the same toilet-entrance-pipeline that Mario was ever so steadfastly ready to enter. But before he let fate take him into the unknown, he sat hovering for a moment in meditation.


“... a little bit of nostalgia kicked in there.”

Interview by L. Valena

So first of all, can you please tell me what you responded to?

It looked like a guy hovering over the toilet. He was kinda translucent, and he had his hood up.

What was your initial reaction? You did the whole thing really fast, so it was probably mostly initial reaction.

Yeah, I didn't know which way to take it! I didn't know what he was trying to say here.

That's the point!

Right. And it seems like there were two ways to go about this- you could be serious about it, or you can just kinda just put a story behind it. I just kinda went with the first thing that came to my mind. It was one of those times where I just went with one idea and tried to see how far down the rabbit hole I could go.

Is that how you work normally?

Mostly yeah. I'm working on developing ideas a little more in-depth. I've only really been writing for a few years, and before that I had basically no writing experience or education, so I don't know really any of the normal processes. Mostly when I write I just kind of spew ideas onto the paper, and then see where it goes.

You said you've only been writing for a few years- were you doing another creative pursuit before that?

No. I just had a blog, and some folks kinda liked it, and I realized it was a good avenue to pursue. I enjoyed it, and more people gave me good feedback. I didn't really know that I liked writing until I started a few years back. If you were to tell me a few years before that- I mean I went to school for engineering! I kinda made a 180 switch. The first 29 years of my life, I considered myself more of an engineering brain, and then the past few years I've been wanting to go down the creative avenue a little bit more, I just don't really know how to yet.

Good for you! That's a big freaking deal!

I feel like I'm behind the eight ball a little bit, I wish I had known I was gonna get into it a few years ago. I feel like I'm a little behind.

No way. Even going to school for art doesn't mean you're necessarily going to be successful- just keep at it!

I appreciate that- I'm trying! There's so much, and I would love to make a living at it somehow, I'm working on it.

Is Mario a big part of your life?

No, not really. That's the first thing I thought of when I saw the piece. What would someone be doing 2 inches above a toilet, fully clothed? I haven't played any Mario in awhile- I'm not a huge video game person anymore. I don't know- a little bit of nostalgia kicked in there.

Do you have any advice for other people doing this project?

Not that there's a right way or a wrong way, but, usually I see a deadline two weeks out, and just say, "I can let that sit." But then I cracked open the email and got a look at the picture, and I just had to write. Go with your knee jerk reaction. Don't second guess your first impressions. I have a horrible habit of just throwing an entire idea away when it really maybe just needed a little more thought.

Call Number: M4VA | M7PP.haBe

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Billy Hafferty is usually found eating nachos. Pre and post nacho eating he might also be seen running trails, riding bikes, or writing about any and all combinations of the three. His life goal is to convince Lou Bega to release Mambo #6.