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The Master Poet of Toad Town sat in his normal spot in Club 64, with calm music playing in the midday lull while the bartender cleaned off all the Tasty Tonic glasses in relative silence. It had been a long weekend, but now the weekdays were upon them, and they could get some rest.

“I’m at a loss for words,” the Master Poet said, fiddling with a pencil and looking over an empty notebook. “I can usually do this, but... For some reason, I am coming up with nothing. I can’t even rhyme.”

The bartender looked at him, and then looked over to Chanterelle, the Master Poet’s muse. She hadn’t spoken lately, either. She was usually very soft in her words, and easily lost the will to talk, but what had been happening around the Mushroom Kingdom lately... it was no surprise that she hadn’t sung in a month, either. She hadn’t the willpower.

The bartender himself had been having business troubles lately. With his pro-Koopa, pro-Goomba stances on letting patrons of any creed, any background enter Club 64, many Toads had called for a boycott. It was hurting business and the weekdays often saw no patrons other than the regulars.

These three were a sad sack of mushrooms, it seemed like. Toad Town was a lot like that these days.

And then the front door swung open, with a Toad in pink and bright sunglasses bursting in. He sauntered over to the bar and shook the bartender’s hand. “Zip Toad, at your service,” he said. He was the award-winning actor behind such hits as The Night is Short, Walk on Toad, and The Toad Who Leapt Through Toad. What was he doing... here?

“Um, hello,” said the Bartender.

“I’m here to make Toad Town great again,” Zip Toad said. “By making a movie!”

“Uhh...”

“And I need your permission to shoot here,” he added. “It’s going to be a movie all about the wonders of Toads and how Toad pride is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing, despite what the K-- despite what some people may say. Toads matter too, you know? Everyone does!”

This certainly sounded a bit...

“I’ll rent out the entire club for three nights, and buy your entire drink stock. That sound okay? I’m my own producer, my own director, and surprisingly my own composer, believe it or not. You in?”

The Master Poet stopped. “Do you still need a writer?” he asked.

“Dude, you are welcome to give a rewrite a shot. I’ve got a draft ready but it definitely needs some punching up.” Zip Toad flashed a smile. “And this pretty lady over here...”

“She sings,” the bartender said.

“We can use her, for sure,” he said. “I’m so excited about this. We’re making this happen.”

“What’s the movie... called?” the bartender asked.

“Nothing official yet,” Zip Toad said. “But I like The Toad of a Nation.”

***

Dry Bones sat in a prison cell in a deep floor of the Koopa Bros fortress, just like he had for the past fifteen years. He was honestly thinking they might have forgotten he existed, that his prison sentence would be forever because they assumed a reanimated pile of bones was somehow dead just because it wasn’t moving anymore. No, you anti-undead bigots, Dry Boneses could survive without moving unlike you stupid fleshies... Oh, who was he kidding? He was never getting out of here. His sentence was supposed to be eight years

All he did was kidnap a Yoshi hatchling and try to sell it on the black market... three years was enough, surely.

But seeing as he was in basement floor thirty of a prison whose spaces hadn’t filled past floor twenty-three in years, he doubted anyone even remembered he existed. He just wished he could escape himself!

No need to eat, sleep, drink... just lay here until someone showed up.

Or... if something was rumbling deep beneath the ground...

A large drill emerged and there was a tank filled with Monty Mole soldiers hopping out and assuming positions. Dry Bones formed and bowed to the commander that stepped out, a Frog.

“Sir...”

“Are we in the Koopa Bros Prison?” the Frog asked. She looked at the Dry Bones with great interest.

“Yes, yes you are,” he said.

“Good. Then it is time for us to begin... a jail break.”

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About the author

Thedude3445

Bio: I like to watch movies.

Avatar art by Joi Massat https://www.instagram.com/jmassat/

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