As his brother lost his footing and fell before the face of the deadly creature, he nearly lost his own as well. His right foot came down upon the crown of the next and slipped, causing him to fall in that direction. Even as he felt his weight shift, he tucked his shoulder, put his chin to his chest, and rolled, coming back to his feet a safe distance away.
His heart thundered in his chest, fear replacing the exhilaration that had been there only moments before. As he kept a cautious eye on the advancing creatures, of which there were still too many, he desperately scanned the area he had last seen his brother.
“Ha-ha,” he yelled as he jumped once more into the air. It was an effective, if but a little gross, way of travel, but it was quicker then trying to dodge these malevolent things. One, two, three more were squished as he bounced from one to the next, the last closing the distance between him and Luigi.
The latter was crawling backwards, frantically crab-walking away from three of the bug-eyed mushrooms, with a terrified look in his eyes.
“M-m-m-Mario,” he yelled. The Goombas were nearly upon him. The foul smell they emitted, a cross between rotten vegetation and death, permeated his nostrils, choking out his next words. His legs trembled, and he had run out of room. Though he continued to scramble away from his approaching doom, something strong prevented him from continuing.
He suddenly found his breath, and what came next was one of the loudest screams to ever pass his lips. It was born of terror, and it passed through barriers that would normally prevent his vocal cords from climbing so high. His was a shriek, high and feminine, and for a brief moment, it gave his enemy pause. Just enough so that his brother, who was standing just behind him, could lift him to his feet, turn him around, and lay one across the side of his face.
The smack brought Luigi back to his senses, and though it stung, he was the opposite of upset. His brother, ever the level-headed of the two, pulled him towards a small clearing, a place in this meadow of death where the creatures had yet to unleash their deadly slime.
“Are you good,” Mario asked him, his hands on both of Luigi’s shoulders.
“I-I think so,” his brother answered. “But did you have to smack me?”
“No time for that now,” Mario answered. “We need to come up with a plan.”
He looked around somberly, and despite being as afraid of the creatures as his brother had so recently displayed, he fought to keep his feelings buried. He needed to stay focused if they were going to get out of this alive. Not only out of this situation, but he had to also find some way to rescue the girl.
He briefly scanned the creatures before them. While, at first, it had looked like they were hopelessly outnumbered, he was able to determine that only a dozen more remained. They were slow, but determined, and their advance had continued without pause. There were only moments before the two of them would be embattled once more.
“We have to finish them,” he said breathlessly.
“-can do this,” he finished for Luigi. “Focus, brother! There’s no way out of this, unless we work together!”