DISCLAIMER: Finally, another update for Nightmare. Well, readers and reviewers, this is the last installment of Kira's adventures in weird. Does she get her memories restored? Does she meet up with Drial Namtsea? Does she find out the truth about herself? Ah, maybe THAT should be the real question. Just for the record, I do not own anything resembling mutated turtles in tights. In fact, I don't think anyone owns them! Bwahahaha….okay, a little silly here. In short, I only own Kira, Alicia, Diane (who is she???) and the idea for this story.


CHAPTER 25 – A Nightmare in the Waking

As I found myself flying feet-first towards the melee at the mouth of the sewer, Mike saw my trajectory. He went wide-eyed for a second, but then quickly resumed the fight with frantic intensity. He immediately deflected a Foot ninja who had also noticed my incoming self. The soldier had been intending on dispatching me with a few shurikens. However, before he could launch them, Mike virtually smacked the weapons out of the ninja's hands with his nunchukus. In the next movement, my savoir executed what I had learned was a roundhouse and slammed his adversary hard against the tunnel wall. Yet, before the soldier could recover, Mike did a neat little kick into the man's midsection. If I remember what Father called it, I think it was a hurricane kick – or, was that tornado? Hmm…anyway, with the wind knocked out of him, this caused the hapless ninja to crumple over and onto to the concrete floor of the sewer. Now, he lay prone and still, out of action and certainly no longer a viable threat.

All of this happened in less than two seconds. Just the same, my mind seemed to be on other things…such as landing. Given my mental lapse in how I was supposed to do such a thing, my jump seemed awkward at best. Consequently, nearing the end of my 'flight' I was starting to become rather concerned.

Mike had taken care of two more ninja by the time I made landfall, or, was that sewer fall. Either way, I fell and not in the direction that I wanted to, either. Yet, before Mike could grab for me, I found myself landing on the very lip of the opening. Then, quickly losing my balance, I felt myself falling headlong towards the whirling abyss below.

After that, everything seemed to happen in slow motion.

I saw the torrent of water below me with its vortex a wild symphony of terror as I fell like a rock. I heard Mike cry out for me, but before I was able to understand what it was he had said, I hit the water hard. That was when I panicked. I knew how to swim and I had always considered myself a decent swimmer, but the whirlpool proved itself far too strong. No matter how hard I pulled and stroked, I was helpless within the murderous embrace of the swirling water. As soon as I could and before the eddy pulled me under, I grabbed a lungful of air. Then, in the next moment, I lost sight of Mike as I felt myself dragged beneath the surface.

In all honesty, I lost my sense of direction. Up became down and visa versa. The air I had gulped seemed plentiful at the time, even though I knew it would not last me forever. Still, as the seconds ticked away, I began to feel the burn in my lungs. The whirlpool kept me quite busy, as well, as it tossed me about, dragging me further down into the abyss of liquid death. Just when my air ran out and as I involuntarily inhaled a lungful of water, I found my self somewhere else entirely.

For one thing, I wasn't wet. The second fact that hit me really screwed my head up. I was in a bed with a white sheet pulled up close under my chin and with my arms lying on top of the covers. IV tubes were stuck into my arms and taped to my chest was a heart monitor patch. I heard a steady beep as said monitor sang out my heart and breathing rate, but oddly enough, I felt something else. Attached to my head and connecting me to yet another device, that other monitor seemed to be recording other functions pertaining to me. However, even though I could see and determine where I was, my mind was just unwilling to accept it. To make matters worse, I was unable to move – I couldn't even twitch my nose or purse my lips. Wasn't I just swimming for my life only a moment ago? Hadn't I nearly been darted by a slew of flying stars? Wasn't Michelangelo trying to save me? For that matter, where was he, why hasn't he rescued me?

Still, it seemed as if my eyes were adjusting a lot quicker than my mind was. Though I didn't move my head, or maybe I wasn't able to move my head – I really couldn't tell; just the same, it was plain to see that I was in a hospital room. In fact, as I began to make better sense of my surroundings, I recognized the room as the same hospital room that Alicia was in when I dreamt of her back in the lair.

Okay, when did everything change and what in hell was happening? Why was I now seemingly awake, yet feeling as if I should be somewhere else entirely? Before I could even entertain either thought, however, I quickly noticed a group of people standing off to one side near the back corner of the room. They were huddled together as if conversing quietly among themselves. Again, my head refused to move, no matter how loudly my mind told it to, so the best I could do was to let my eyes do the turning. I looked harder at the group and then, almost as if I were waking from a dream, I began to recognize them.

I recognized my mother and father right away - and neither of them seemed reptilian. They were as human as – I was! I glanced down at my exposed arms and saw immediately human skin, something I had not seen in days – or had that been weeks? I wasn't sure but regardless of the time factor, how could I be human when only moments ago I was a mutant turtle fighting for my life. Had Alicia traded places with me and without my knowledge? That had me worried. I felt myself panicking and as I did, I could hear a sudden increase in beeping from one of the monitors. The knot of people turned towards me, spreading out to reveal that there were actually five people in all. I had already recognized my parents but then the other three made themselves known as they faced my direction. There, next to my mom and dad were my two sisters and my younger brother. Still, overshadowing my recognition was their obvious concern on their faces, which – of course – only heightened my own. However, my inner turmoil seemed to influence the beep from one of the monitors because it now seemed deafening.

What exactly was happening?

Suddenly, a man wearing a white coat came rushing in, a clipboard in one hand and a pen in the other. He quickly bypassed the group of people, my family, and went over to the one monitor that had its tendrils of wires attached to my head. I moved my eyes to follow this person and as I did so, I heard someone gasp excitedly.

"She's moving her eyes! Did you see that, Alicia moved her eyes!"

Damn, she did switch places with me. That stupid bit…. Yet, before I could finish that thought, I heard the person in the white coat explain, "Involuntary movement; perfectly normal."

Involuntary? Perfectly normal? Who IS this guy? Who does he think he is, anyway, to say that I don't have control over things? Then again, as I thought about that, I really didn't have control for the moment. All I could move was my eyes and by all accounts and according to Mr. Expert, I was unable to control it. If that were so, then explain to me why I was able to follow him while he walked over to the stupid machines.

He stood there for what seemed like hours, writing down whatever it was he read from the monitor and then transferring that information onto the neat little clipboard he was holding. The most I could do was my 'involuntary' eye movement and my breathing. That was it. How incredibly frustrating it was, especially when only moments earlier I had been jumping through the air, trying to land into the mouth of a sewer opening. As I laid there wondering what had happened to my other life, another man came into the room. This one had a rather expensive looking suit on and walked in as if he was quite familiar with everyone. After a few minutes of pleasant conversation, he became more serious. It was then, as I listened, that a startling revelation came to me through what he began to say next to my family.

"As I've suspected and based on what I've talked with you earlier about, we've concurred from the CAT scans and MRI's that Alicia's frontal lobe, where her creativity is located, is exhibiting an increased level of activity, which explains why the IMC 3 brain monitor has been giving off such high readings. Yet, where Alicia's brain injury happened in the areas of her motor functions and her ability to sense things and to react, she will need constant care and monitoring. The meds we've been giving her have helped to stimulate other areas of her brain to some extent, based on my staff's observation, but for the most part, Alicia will remain comatose. She'll be able to breath on her own, but she'll have to be forced fed and will never be able to walk again. Basically, whatever is going on in her mind, if anything at all, seems to be keeping her alive. I doubt very much she will ever be aware of her surroundings."

In that moment, I heard my mother start to cry first and then my sisters, followed closely by my father and brother. As for me, I was stunned. This could not be my reality. There had to be some sort of mistake. Had Alicia truly switched places with me and I was now stuck in her body? Was she now enjoying my life down in the sewers of New York City as a mutant turtle? It was then, as I thought about it, that what I left her was a watery death. I considered it incredibly ironic, I really did. I lay there and contemplated how much I hated living in the sewers; how I hated the ninjitsu training; how very much I hated Raphael and how he treated me. Now, all of that I would gladly take back if only I could.

While I was playing pity party with myself, one of the technicians came in and handed the doctor another clipboard. He silently read it and then looked up at my mother and asked, "Who are Kira and Michelangelo?"

If I had been able, I would have raised my hand to identify myself and explain the other, but then as I thought about it, how would anyone know either of those names? Where had they heard them?

I saw my mother tearfully shake her head as if she were unfamiliar with them. I chuckled to myself, "No duh about that one." However, one of my sisters offered between her sobs.

"Alicia loved to write stories. She used to watch this cartoon show years ago called the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." I think I remember her name as being Diane and I think she was older than me, but my sister's breathing hitched once before she continued, "Anyway, she had been writing a lot of stories about them lately and putting them up on this website that lets other people read them. She's been letting me read them, too, and one of her main characters name is Kira." She looked at the doctor, "The other name belongs to one of the turtles. Why? Why do you ask?"

"Well, it seems that Alicia was heard saying those two words last night when everyone was gone. Just thought that maybe it had some significance to the family," the doctor replied.

Diane looked at me and seemed to have calmed down a little. Then, as she cocked her head she smiled faintly as she said, "Maybe Alicia is thinking about her stories and maybe that can account for all the brain activity." She looked at the doctor and asked, "Is it possible?" The rest of the family looked at me and seemed to be taking a great deal of consideration from Diane's words.

Finally, the doctor said, sighing and shaking his head as he, too, looked at me, "The human brain is our last frontier. No one really knows what goes on inside a comatose person's mind. Some have reawakened and have told of being somewhere else for a time, with little awareness for reality." He grew quiet for a moment and then turned back to my family, "If Alicia is indeed experiencing her stories as you implied, for that, you should all be grateful. It would be terrible if she were fully aware of her surroundings yet unable to communicate or do anything for herself."

With that, the doctor shook my father's hand, hugged my mother and my siblings, and excused himself, leaving them with the task of deciding what to do with me.

Hours later, I learned that my family would be moving me to a convalescence hospital where permanently brain damaged people such as me were taken care of. As much as my mother fought to have me brought home, the kind of care I would need would have taxed the family far beyond their ability to cope. My father's insurance covered most of my upkeep, so long as it was in a hospital-type facility. Reluctantly, she relinquished her desires for something more practical. As much as I would have wanted to go home as well, I had to silently agree with the medical advisor.

Giving much thought to my situation I was coming to realize that all I had experienced in my 'life' in the sewers, those few days that I endured going hungry, Raph's taunts and merciless training in the dojo, even Master Splinter's wise counsel, all of it had been only my imagination. I knew that Drial Namtsae would never be able to switch Alicia with me, because he was as unreal as everything else had been. Father, or Leonardo, was a figment of my fantasies and I wondered about that. Had he been my favorite turtle years ago, or did my father exhibit his attributes and I automatically saw Leo as a dad-figure? I really didn't have any answers to my questions and there certainly wasn't any way for me to voice them.

Yet, my only desire as I lay helpless and seemingly hopeless in that bed was how long it would be before my subconscious imagination kicked in once again? How long would I have to wait before I was transported back to my fantasy world of living in the sewers of New York City, learning ninjitsu, chasing and being chased by the Foot, and living a life that any fan fiction writer would dream of living.

Because for me, living in my real world had become a nightmare, a nightmare from which I would never wake up.

The End – or is it?


A/N – IT'S DONE! , well, for now anyway. Hee hee. This was the ending I had from the beginning. I'm so stoked I could resurrect it like this. I was very bummed how the story was going and that it was diverting away from my surrealistic finish. Yeah, I'm sure you're all just staring at the PCright now wonder'n what in blazes has happened! I'm certain that Kira/Alicia understands how y'all feel. Bwahahaha!

Thanks for reading – and reviewing. All of you have kept me going and for that, I appreciate your support. As for an epilogue, after careful consideration, I've decided to leave it as is.

Enough said, so…

Be Blessed.



LADY OF THE RINGS: Well, hey, thanks for reviewing!! Yes, it's been a while and it's because my story wasn't going where I had wanted it to. I had to take a break – a rather long one – to regroup my creativity for this story. I was waiting for the right idea, the right way to end this, and when it hit me, I knew my readers were going to want to! LOL Glad you love the story – it's one of my personal favs from what I've written. I'm very hard to please where it concerns my writing, just so you know. I'm my worse critic. Yes, the beginning was confusing, but I think the ending sort of justified it. Hope it leaves your mouth gaping! Thanks for reading and reviewing. Be blessed.

LIONESS GODDESS: Glad things started to make sense, but I just may have shoved you back to square one on that. Poor Kira indeed. Thanks for reading and reviewing. Be blessed.

KUROI NEKO KUN: One day, you're gonna have to tell me what your name means! LOL Anyway, sorry about your PC giving you fits. As far as things getting worse for Kira, I think they did. Thank goodness she still has her imagination. A little jab at all of us and our love for the fantasy world of the TMNT's! As for continuing, I think this is it…unless I get sequel ideas, but then we'll all know it's all in her head and isn't real, or is it? I'll never tell. Thanks for reading and reviewing. Be blessed.

PRETENDER FANATIC: Super Kira? Ah, wow, and she left her cape at home, too. Poor girl. Mike was being careless or was that Kira's idea of how Mikey pays attention? Hmm…this ending does sort of make you wonder, now, doesn't it? Bwahahaha! Yeah, Mike is so nonchalant about things, isn't he? Hee hee…again, is it real or not. Best left to your own imagination. Thanks for reading and reviewing. Be blessed.

RAMICA: Ah, when you have so many Foot soldiers coming at ya and your mind is on your niece and her obvious lack of skill for certain things. Yeah, 'distracted' is easy to do. As it turns out, I'm sure I've left you rather speechless so I guess there's not much left to say, other than thanks for reading and reviewing. Be blessed.