The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
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"Majora's Mask", chapter 1

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

By: Æron

Chapter One

The ominous bell toll across the plains slowly echoed to the land around. Sunlight, as if on cue, began to peek through the spaces in the trees, showing signs of a beautiful day. Link arose from his dreary sleep. He slowly opened his eyes to the tree-lined path. Dark crevice-like areas spaced the trees, the short, dew-lit grass sparkling in the early morning. Shafts of light shimmered in off-trail clearings. He had been riding Epona, his horse, for all last afternoon and all night, from Hyrule, land of the Triforce. He tried to imagine where they where, for he couldn't see above the tree line. "Probably parallel with Death Mountain by now." He thought, looking for the huge volcano. He soon drifted off, thinking about the bell toll, and just at the wrong time...

Skull Kid had spotted the horse from afar, and Tatl informed him the boy was armed with a sword and looked like he was from the Kokori Forest, due to his clothes. Tatl and her brother Tael where whispering behind him. He hated it when they gossiped behind his back. Oh well, perhaps the boy's sword was worth something...

Tatl and Tael slid carefully behind trees, waiting for the right moment, when the boy looked away...

Link instantly awoke when Epona reared. It was too fast; he couldn't hold on, he fell off. Whump! He was out cold. Tael signaled to the Skull Kid, who was already hurrying over. He stooped over Link, flipped him over. Hmm, he didn't seem to- 

It was smooth, light blue ceramic, glinting in the first rays of early morning. Its feeling, as if it were sacred. It was beautiful. And it was so familiar; it reminded him of a song. The forest song. The one the fairy boy had taught him. All before, before the mask...

"What's that?" Tatl asked. The Skull Kid jumped out of his memory.

"Ah! Ah, what? Nothing..." He pressed the ocarina to his chest hiding it.

"Hey," Tael said, "Right here." He flew over Link's hand, were there was a dark spot. The Skull Kid reached out and flipped his hand over.  It was hard to see what it was, it looked like a symbol...

Suddenly, a cool breeze blew in, moving the trees slightly. The spaces in the leaves where light glowed softly shifted to reveal the symbol: Three linked triangles, one on top and two below it, their corners touching. Then, the Skull Kid felt a chilling feeling. The kind of feeling you get when your are in a dark room, and you imagine something is behind you, and so your heart pumps and adrenaline roars through you, telling you to run. And you run, all the while an icy coldness stays right on the back of your neck. The Skull Kid backed up hastily, stumbling. But the Skull Kid wasn't frightened. What he had become was.

"Let's get outta here." The Skull Kid said lowly and cautiously, almost so that Tatl and Tael didn't hear him. He stepped back further. "C'mon. Lets go...       

Link rose to consciousness hearing voices. "Yeah it's cool enough, maybe worth somthin'. Let's take it!" A small male voice said.

"What is it, anyway? And are we just going to leave the kid here?" Another small voice said, this time a strange, childish, squeaky voice, almost familiar.

"I-It's an, ah, ocarina, and yeah, let's just leave him, I don't feel like picking him up... and I don't think I could." It took Link a second or two to realize they where talking about him. 'Ocarina?' Huh? Oh, they had his ocarina, the Ocarina of Time! He opened his eyes, and jumped up. His head swam and his stomach churned, and, forgetting his sword, aimed a punch at the thing. It dodged back easily. It a lifted its head, revealing its face.

It was not a face at all. Nothing could have a face like that. It was a mask. It's dark, wild eyes pierced through Link. It was the most ghoulish thing he could think of.

It was heart-shaped, strangely enough. Each edge was lined with four yellow-iridescent color spikes; the two ridges each sported one. It had two, wide, mad eyes, with tiny pupils. It was mainly purple, with different colored lines and designs all around. It might not have seemed so dark, but it had a way of showing it's evil, like when you explain a nightmare to someone, it doesn't sound horrible. But you know it was, how terrifying your mind made it seem.

The Skull Kid looked up, and seeing Link, swiftly hid the ocarina behind his back, as if this were the guess-a-hand game. Link didn't think it was very funny. He dived at him, but the Skull Kid was fast. He dodged easily. The Skull Kid jumped up on Epona and yelled "Eiyaa!" Link only managed to grab on, but it wouldn't last long.

Link began to slide off Epona. Riding bareback on a terrified horse with raging fairies was not easy. No! Now he was gripping with his nails to hold on.

"Stop! Please..." He didn't want to be hit by Epona's hooves, so he had to voluntarily push himself off. Whump! It knocked the wind out of him, but adrenaline pushed him up.

Link groggily tried to follow, even though he knew he could not catch him. Epona darted  into a cave and Link, returning to full consciousness, followed. He was a few, maybe thirty seconds after Skull Kid. He dashed up a stairway of stumps, and ran into the cavern.

He couldn't stop himself. The ledge came to soon, and he fell. Fell through complete darkness. He spiraled down, flinching, expecting a fatal impact. Crunch. He landed. On a sponge? He couldn't tell. The shock had nearly killed him, and so he slumped off into sleep...

 When he came to, the first thing he did was look for a path, but all there seemed to be a door. Link had fallen asleep! How far had the Skull Kid gotten?! His heart raced madly. Well, there was a tunnel, and at the end it was projecting some light. And was Skull Kid floating over it! He didn't know Skull Kids could fly! Well he was, legs and arms crossed casually. But Epona was nowhere to be seen. "What did you do with Epona?!" Link demanded. Skull Kid looked down at him as if he hadn't noticed him before.

"Eh? The horse? Well, you see, after I found this wondrous little ocarina, you woke up and must've spooked the animal, 'cause it ran off. Well, that stupid animal wouldn't listen to a thing I said!  See, I did you a favor, I disposed of it, I didn't have any use for it." Link was shocked. No! 'Disposed of it?' How could someone say that, especially a humble Skull Kid, to a living animal?! Who, or what could have the power...

The mask. No it couldn't be, but something was telling him...

Link had only been able to ride Epona, at this age, at least, for a week or so. He remembered how Malon had taught him that song, and how Epona had come swiftly to his side when he played it, more like a helping friend than a pet or animal. But that was long ago...

Link, once again completely forgetting his sword, stormed at the Skull Kid and his malicious mask, only to stumble into a large puddle in front of him he hadn't noticed before.. "Ah ah ah.. no no, we won't be getting aggressive, will we?!" Skull Kid said this with no fear, he knew Link was unable to harm him. But he was able to send Link into total and inescapable despair... 

The mask quivered. Dark violet waves blasted forth from Skull Kid's body. Link fell, shaking, grabbing his head, pressing his forehead into the wet, strange flower he had landed on. Black void creeped in on him from all sides, surrounding him. Strange shapes that seemed so familiar danced around him for what seemed like an age, but it finally stopped.

He already knew something was wrong. He felt different, like he was holding himself differently. His face felt odd, gritty almost. His eyesight was worse. He still had his hat and shorts on, but it was definitely a different body. He slid off the glove he now wore to reveal a stubby, five-fingered, woodlike hand. He peered into the pool of water in front of him.  A round headed, bottle-mouthed face peered back. Yes, it was true. Link had become a Deku.

No. How could he?! Skull Kids had no power like this! Where the fairies doing it somehow? Maybe. He didn't understand. It was mad. It was an awful nightmare, from which he desperately hoped to awaken from.

Skull Kid was jeering at him. "Ho ho! How great you look now! Well, looks like you'll be staying here, looking like that forever!"

Forever? Forever was a long time...

Skull Kid was laughing so hard he had to 'paddle' himself through the door. Madness. The possible had become the impossible. The expected had become the unexpected. And yet is was like the Skull Kid was used to it, expecting everything, like this was normal. Anger powered Link. He dashed across the water. He knew that as impossible too. The yellow fairy turned and pelted him to keep him back, but it cost her too. "No!!" The door slid closed, leaving them both trapped in this insanity world forever.

"Skull Kid, wait, I'm still here!" The fairy screeched though the door. "Skull Kid!!" She yelled louder now. "Skull Kid you rat, come back!" But even the Skull Kid's hysterical laughter could not be heard. "Hey, you there!" Was the fairy talking to him? Link looked up. "Come on, couldn't you help a girl in trouble?" She said, waiting for something. Link realized he was still shaking. The door.

"Okay, okay, I'll open it.." He couldn't do much else. But could he open it? The Skull Kid may have been careless, but not entirely stupid. After all, he said they'd be here forever...

With a sinking feeling in his stomach, Link dug his fingers under the door. At first, it didn't budge, but then it flew up easily.

They walked down the hall, the fluorescent walls swirling like mixed paint. Link stared at it as he walked by. His stride was much smaller now, so he inspected things to cover his impatience. It looked so cool... he couldn't see the colors well, but it seemed mostly purple...

The hall ended into a vast cavern. The air swirled in a draft, making Link shiver. The cave floor fell a good six hundred feet into blackness, the only way across seemed to be the columns, but they too were separated by an impossible jump. The spongy flowers grew on the columns, one to each. There was also one in front of him. Link just stared, his mind growing more tired and sleepy, he just couldn't find some sort of cause and effect to get him across.

"Well, I can see you aren't used to your new Deku body, so listen up!" Tatl said like a lector. "Dekus can bury themselves in the flower you see in front of you, and by pushing out..." But Tatl had sparked Link's lethargic brain. He had seen Dekus use these as little houses, but he didn't know they could bounce out of them...

He stepped into the middle of the flower, his feet in the small hole, and pulled the flower over him like a pair of trousers. He dug in, tensed his body up and kicked his way out, not really knowing what to expect-

Boing! He bounced maybe four inches, rolled to the edge of the precipice, and lay there laughing. It felt good after the experience. It wasn't very funny, at least Tatl didn't think so, she seemed so impatient. "This will take awhile, I expect..."

Link attempted the Deku-Jump once again, this time he pushed out excess air. He didn't realize pushing out air would create a vacuum, so now he couldn't breathe. He felt around hastily for the two tiny vines inside as Tatl instructed. Link grabbed them and scrunched up to one side of the flower, aiming upwards, and as the chilly, dead air poured in, he shot out and up. The warm, woodlike bottom of the flower zoomed away, and so did the pillar. The two vines flipped into the air, and sprouted flower propellers.  His heart leaped. He was flying! He angled the props and hovered at a disappointing rate. But just as the excitement had started, it ended quickly. The props failed and the petals popped off. Link fell, only seeing the blackness of the cavern's dark vortex below, but luckily it was only his perspective and he landed to the right of the next flower. He continued the process relentlessly.

(He only stopped to open a chest, which contained some Deku Nuts, nuts that held a blinding light flash. Tatl told him he might be able to drop them as bombs while flying, so he spent time to try it out)

As Link made the last flight he noticed a small tree that looked like it was carved on the ledge. He dropped down and inspected it. It was indeed carved, interestingly enough, to look like a Deku Scrub, a juvenile. Like Link. It looked so sad and mournful, as if it might burst out weeping any moment. It almost made Link want to cry, it just reminded him of all the terror he had just been through. It made him feel stupid for laughing before. He couldn't look at it more. He waved to it and walked up to the large steel door. It seemed to have never been used, or not for a very long time. But Link knew the Skull Kid must have come though here.

"Slammed the door pretty hard, look at that crunch!" Ha, Tatl was actually talking to him, instead of lecturing him. Heh. Was that a good thing? He came out here to look for his friend, not a new fairy...

Link looked at the rusty lock. He reached up and smacked it, twice. Bits of corrosion fell off as a hollow ringing sound flowed through the canyon room. Sure enough the door slid open.

Link and Tatl walked in and looked around. The place was dimly lit, the walls supported wet dew and moss, giving the room a green hue. Giant paddlewheels creaked and turned in a small stream. The paddlewheels made large gears turn, which make more gears turn, and more still, up and up, forever, it seemed. The place had a lonely feeling, like a sad, remembering song played slowly. Link could almost see the dark trail left by the Skull Kid and his new mask. There was a glimmer of life, faint, here in the tower (For that is what it was). Link and Tatl walked up a walkway that circled the main camshaft. Finally at the top, Link and Tatl approached the giant wooden doors leading hopefully into the glorious, warm, soothing sunlight. Two steps away, a voice echoed in the damp tower. "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?"

Link's heart raced. He swiveled around on one foot to face the voice. The man was clad in a purple, gold-edged tailcoat. He wore a gigantic peddler's backpack, which was, as far as Link could see, covered in masks. He knew this man, he ran a store in Hyrule, a mask store. Link had borrowed masks to sell them around the land.

"I'm terribly sorry," The Happy Mask Man said, "But I have been following you for quite some time. It seems we both are in a troubled position. It seems that we have both lost a prized possession. The Skull Kid took your instrument?"

Link fumbled around with the idea before nodding. "I'm... Link." He said blankly.

The Mask Man replied, "Yes, well, I too was off to the land of Termina we stand in now. You seemed to know your way." Of course, Link didn't even know where he was, where Termina was. Hyrule was all he knew. So he stared blankly again. "Well, perhaps we can help each other." The Mask Man continued. "If you bring the sacred Ocarina of Time that was stolen from you, I can return you to your usual form." That woke Link from his half sleep. "But of course, there is a catch..." The Mask Man interjected. "You see, I've lost something precious also. I've lost... a mask."

Link was now fully awake. "That mask?!" Link didn't want to touch it! It was like an object pulled from a nightmare!

"It is called Majora's Mask. It was an ancient mask used for hexing rituals in an ancient tribe. But, it was sealed away because of its devastation power. I'm leaving here in three days, and if I don't get that mask back... horrible things will happen, if it's in the wrong hands. Hundreds... Thousands... perhaps millions, will die... Once three days have passed, the mask will assume total control of the host. Then, it may awaken Majora, the creature it will summon."

Link pondered awhile, thinking. The thing was pure evil, he was convinced. It shocked him that such a person like the Happy Mask Man would desperately want something with such devastation power. The power to destroy thousands and millions. Then again, he said it would do evil things in the wrong hands.... And he could be Hylian again...

"Okay, all right..." He answered, almost reluctantly.

"Oh, oh thank you, Link! You have no idea... go, go ahead, I see you need sleep. Link breathed deeply and put his head and hand against the door, waiting for all the things piling up in his head to stop. The Mask man said one last reminder as Link left;

"Remember, only seventy-two hours remain. But time is not eternal. Believe in your strengths, believe..."

Dawn of the First Day
~72 Hours Remain~

Link and Tatl walked around the place he had come to, Clock Town, for a while. It seemed they had been inside the Clock Tower, a vast time-telling machine. Link began to explore South Clock Town. Dogs attacked him. The only inn in the whole town thought he was a little kid, which technically he was. There seemed to be a posse of kids with numbered shirts and blue bandannas to match patrolling the town. Everyone was too busy to talk.

He took Tatl's advice and visited the Great Fairy in North Clock Town. She was broken into tiny stray fairy pieces that Link returned to her. She told him the Skull Kid had broken her and granted him magic power. It seemed good, but all Deku Link could do now was shoot bubbles. Afternoon time rolled around, and Link was lying on the grass in North Clock town. The only little police boy with a red bandanna, probably the leader, was spitting pebbles out of his wooden spit gun at a balloon.

Link saw how hard he was trying and lazily shot a bubble and burst the balloon. The kid jumped and looked around. "Hey, hey you!" Link craned his head, giggling inside himself silently.  "Didja bust my balloon?" Link nodded happily. "A Deku with magic... hey! You! Wanna join the Bombers?"

Link stood up. He might be getting somewhere. "Yeah, sure."

"All right, you seem good enough! We Bombers are the police league of Clock Town. We serve and protect." Link thought it was kinda dumb, but listened on: "You'll need to pass a test. What's your name?"

"Link." Link answered.

"Okay, er, Link, do you think you can do it?" He said. "Anyone who dares pop my balloon would..." He added menacingly. So he thought Link was brave to pop the balloon. Link nodded again. "Okay, then!" He whistled. "By the way, I'm Jim." He said. Soon, all the other Bombers were there, sporting their blue, numbered jackets. "Okay, all you gotta do is find and catch all of us by the end of the day, when the bell rings six. Spin him, 04!" The boy with '04' on his jacket grabbed Link and spun him dizzy. Not that it helped, he already was pretty dizzy from his experiences earlier. When he got the will to get up, they all were gone.

It took Link a while to find them, but he did, before six.

As the Bombers assembled themselves on the lawn in early evening of North Clock Town, the bell struck six. The grass glowed in a deep orange, bathed in sunlight, but Link still shivered in the breeze. Link was given the password to the secret Bomber base in East Clock Town, 53323, but they rejected him as a full member, seeing only humans could join. A Bomber with a tan cap guarded the base entrance. Link repeated the password, and walked down the narrow alley to a watery, but not slimy, sewer cavern. He used his Deku ability to hop across water like a trampoline (which, as Link has assumed before, was not a figment of his imagination.) Soon he reached a ladder, which he climbed up. The room was filled with pots. A caged Cukoo hung in one corner. And, in a small sandbox, was Pierre the scarecrow! Link had met this odd fellow at Lake Hylia.

"Hey hey hey, Link! How'd you get here, Link?"

Link, who was ready to drop (and kill the next person who asked why he was dressed funny) said, "Walked." Pierre had probably tunneled underground. Link then noticed the fluorescent-lighted stairway.

"Oh, don't worry, the Astral Observer lives up there. Go ahead, go see him!" Link didn't know why he should be worried, but strode up the fluorescent staircase (reluctantly, of course) and looked upon the telescope. It was the most massive telescope he'd ever seen! As thick as a train, and as long as two train cars, it must be able to see Hyrule! (he didn't have to worry about seeing the moon, he had noticed it was usually close, inside the atmosphere, and so was easily seen well, even though it was only was big as Clock Town.)

A short man with a long beard and blue robes stood staring into the telescope. He turned as Link approached. "Ah, a strange one has joined me today. Do you wish to gaze?" Of course! Link nodded as he ran up to the scope. He turned it around, slightly disappointed. He couldn't see Hyrule, nor could he see Death Mountain. He then realize how far he was from Clock Town as he scanned Termina Field. He moved it up to see the main part of the tower (which was emitting a searchlight) and gazed in wonder. How could some people build such a marvelous thing? 

Link zoomed in on the very top of the tower, hoping to get a close look at it, to see what was up there. There didn't seem like much, until a tiny flicker of light shimmered at the peak of the tower. There was something up there.

 Link turned another dial, which was the focus. Oops. He tried some more that didn't have much of an effect, but then he hit the right one and the lens switched to high power. Link's suspicions were confirmed, the Skull Kid sat atop the Clock Tower, his, or the Mask's eyes, focused somewhere in the sky. Every few moments the Mask twitched, and its malevolent eyes pulsed a fiery blaze.

Suddenly, so suddenly that Link nearly jumped after the few moments of hypnotizing stare, The Skull Kid paused, like he had seen something out of the corner of his (or the Mask's) eye. He slowly turned to face the general direction of the telescope. He stared. Link stared, tense. He couldn't see Link, he must be too far away, he was to far away! Without looking away, the Skull Kid raised a single finger into the sky, and brought in swishing down in an arc to face Link. Just then, a bolt of light streaked down from above and smashed in to the ground with a shuddering impact and a terrifying explosion.

 Link moved away from the scope in shock. Was this the awesome power of the Mask, to rain fiery rain from the heavens and destroy the earth?

Far away, the Skull Kid sat atop the revolving Tower. He could nearly read Link's expression, even from here. Oh, no, that was nothing. The wrath of the Mask was much worse, indeed! A day from tomorrow, he would crush this Fated Village, and the world of Termina would be burned, and nearly the rest of this planet under the terrible wrath of Majora's Mask.

Dawn of the Second Day
~48 Hours Remain~

Link tried to spend this day resting. After the long sleep in the Observatory, he felt slightly refreshed, besides the unwavering weight on his back of retrieving  that Mask. There was no way up to the top of the Tower, let alone the roof. He knew the minutes ticked by fast could never be regained. He wanted his ocarina back, so at least he had something to do. He was also afraid the Skull Kid would break it, as he did Epona.

On the second day it rained, a light, but soaking rain. As usual, everyone was busy.

The mayor was in a ferocious meeting with the head Guardsman. The inn was full. The game shop required a bow. Jim was always busy. South Clock Town was a bad place, talk of a missing child and the construction of a scaffolding underway the whole time. On top off all that, it was dominated by a Deku-eating dog.

So he spent the day on the center of the cul-de-sac in East Clock Town, a roof of a house on which one Bomber had lay with his Cukoo to hide from Link during the game. Link would lie there and look up at the moon, which looked oddly closer than yesterday, or he would sit on the small fence and stare at the general direction of Death Mountain, knowing his home lay on the other side. And there was no turning back. The iron door had sealed behind him, and the guards unwilling to let him out into Termina field, because of his poor defense to monsters. Link was trapped here, until the Mask Man, crestfallen, would lumber away to wherever, or the Mask reined whatever terror it had in store on Clock Town, and the rest of the world. Link had always proved himself. He had defeated Lord Ganondorf, King of Darkness, he had sealed him away into the Evil Realm.  He could not let The Mask Man down.

Tatl was another irritation. She kept blabbering useless ideas and pestering Link about the lost time. Finally, the sun began to set, and a uneventful and precious day was lost forever. Link sat in the Laundry Pool, an area off S. Clock Town, where a man slowly cranked 'The Song Of Storms' on his music machine. The notes were lost in the sunset as Link fretfully thought over Tatl's ides. None seemed to work. He didn't sleep nearly at all, just waiting for a lead. But finally the notes of the Song Of Storms reminded him of Hyrule, and he drifted off...

Dawn of The Final Day
~24 Hours Remain~

Link dodged past the scaffolding and right into the middle of S. Clock Town. He had slept in, it was early noon. The late night had given him time to think, and as he skid on the dusty ground, his heart pounding, he looked into the sky. He had to squint to see through the morning sunrays, but he saw what he needed to see easily. As his heart and his hope fell to the depths of his soul, his suspicions were confirmed. The moon loomed closer than ever. That was it. This was the wrath, the doom. The moon was going to fall from the heavens and destroy the world.

Link madly stormed across the town, grabbing his head and bouncing off of walls and people. How! He had let time slip away, like keeping water cupped in your hands.

Link ran all over town, darting here and there, like he was looking for something. He finally collapsed on a Deku Flower leading up to the other entrance to the inn. Tatl had been reading a crooked sign, posted hastily on a wall. She flew back to Link and informed him of what it said.

"The Festival Of Time begins tonight at midnight!" She yelled. Link breathed heavily and nodded. He hadn't heard this yet. But what did it matter? "At the festival, the Clock Tower opens to the public! We can get in!"

So they waited until nightfall. It was the most horrible wait Link had ever experienced. Armageddon. Something only ghost stories told about. Tremors shook the ground every few minutes. Link still waited. But then, the news came. The festival was to be held off. The town was evacuating due to the moon. There would be no way up.

Link begged the Deku Nut who occupied the flower near the Tower, but to no avail. The Deku Nut was unyielding. "No, I'm sorry, but this is my property! I'm staying here until the festival is over and I get my gift for my wife."

This was Link's lead. He ran up to the observatory and took the neon sapphire stone, a Moon's Tear, which the Skull Kid had fallen the night before. Link traded it for the property.