Hot Pink Umbrella

The heat from the blast furnace washed over Mario in pulsing
waves as he climbed toward the top girder. When he
reached the top level, he picked up Pauline’s umbrella and held it high in the air. She waved down at him.

Hot metal slammed into his torso, inflicting instant searing pain. He dropped to his knees and rolled onto his back as bouncing rivets whirled all around. Sensing Mario’s weakened resolve, the mighty ape began shaking the steel rafters. They reverberated against the scaffolding, causing Mario to lose his balance. Mario fell, coming to rest with a thud on a slow moving conveyor belt.

The 800 pound gorilla snarled and pounded his chest as if suddenly delirious. He swung down from the girders like an acrobat and stood over Mario’s motionless body. The slow moving conveyor belt carried him toward the blast furnace as Pauline began to scream. The ape looked up at her and then down again. It poked at Mario with a sidelong toe. He didn’t move.

The gorilla picked up Mario’s limp body and

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