Darkness… nothing but darkness…
"What's going on? Why is it so dark?"
It was cold; too cold to move…
"I don't like this…someone help me…"
He shivered violently; curling up into a tight ball in order to keep warm. But that did not stop the cold…
He could feel something, something holding him, something crushing him…
"I-I can't breathe…" panting, "…I…I can't move…"
He screamed as he felt his bones crushing within him. It hurt too much; he could not do anything…
Darkness was all around him, no one here but him and darkness…
Blood began to pour and stream around him; his body being soaked in red warm blood…
"Wh-what's…happening to me!"
The blood poured endlessly; he could not move to stop it. His eyes grew in shock and horror as something began to form out of the pouring blood…
The figure grinned evilly as it stared at him with dark eyes. Fangs hung from the evil grin; mouth watering in hunger…
"No…no…don't eat…me…" he tried to move, but nothing worked.
The figure revealed itself as some kind of phantom; it stared at him with hunger as it raised a large clawed hand…
He squirmed in fear, "No! No!"
The phantom came closer, raising its arm to strike…
"Damnit Mikey! Wake up!"
"NO! SOMEONE HELP
"Come on, Mikey! Snap out of it!" Raphael shook his brother harder, desperately trying to wake him. He slapped him a few times, but received nothing. Raphael shook even harder, "Mikey! WAKE! UP!"
Suddenly in a large gasp, Michelangelo awoke in his room, his body drenched in sweat and shaking. He looked around frantically, finding his brothers and Sensei looking down at him with worry. The orange masked turtle tried to get up but was gently, yet forcefully placed into his brothers arms.
"Jeeze Mikey, calm down," Raphael said, trying to soothe his brother, "What's your hurry?"
Michelangelo took in a few gasping breaths, "I…I was being crushed…" he said, "I-I couldn't move…I couldn't breathe…and that thing…wanted to eat me!"
"Settle down my son," Master Splinter spoke up, "You were having a nightmare, so please try to relax Michelangelo."
Michelangelo looked around his room, seeing the worried faces of his family. He took a deep breath and allowed Raphael to cradle him for a while.
"I…I-I felt like I was being killed…" Michelangelo whispered, loud enough for the others to hear.
Master Splinter looked worriedly at his youngest son, "You have been receiving nightmares for days my son. Please tell us what is in your nightmare that frightens you?"
Michelangelo was taking in silent panting breaths as he looked up at Raphael; the red masked turtle nodded. Michelangelo looked back at his Sensei and took in a breath, "Okay," he said, "I'll tell you."
Master Splinter smiled and nodded, happy that his son was finally going to confess his fears. Leonardo and Donatello made themselves comfortable as they leaned against Michelangelo's highly elevated bed.
When everyone was settled, Michelangelo begun, "It always starts off when I'm in this dark place, like really, really dark. And no one is around but me; I'm all alone." He looked around, Master Splinter nodded for him to continue, "Then, all of the sudden it starts to get cold. And I can't move, I'm like frozen solid."
"Then I can't breathe, and I keep tightening myself in a ball on the ground. Then everything starts getting creepy; I start bleeding, I don't know from where, but I just keep bleeding. Suddenly, my blood turns into this…demon-monster looking…thing! And I still can't move to run!"
Michelangelo started to get hysterical, Raphael held him a bit closer so he could calm down. "Go on, Mikey," he said, reassuring his brother that he was safe.
Michelangelo nodded shakily, "And then…the bloody demon tries to EAT ME!" Raphael covered his brother's mouth to keep him from screaming any longer.
Master Splinter put a furry hand to his chin, "Hmm…I know that you have had these akumu for several days now my son," he said, "But how long exactly?"
"Um…" Michelangelo took a moment to think, "About…three weeks…I think?"
The old rat raised an eyebrow, "I have noticed from practice that you have been dozing-off during sessions," he said, "Which reminds me; we have a long drive to Mr. Jones's farmhouse tomorrow. We had best get some sleep." Master Splinter stepped down from the chair that he used to reach eye-level for the bed.
Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael followed suit when, "Um, Sensei…" Michelangelo called.
Master Splinter turned to his youngest in bed, "Yes, my son?"
"Can I…sleep with one of you guys tonight?" Michelangelo asked; a little embarrassed.
Master Splinter smiled, "If it makes you feel comfortable, Michelangelo," the old rat said, "You may sleep with me tonight."
Michelangelo smiled and jumped off his bed, not forgetting about his panda teddy bear, then proceeded downstairs with his family. Upon entering the downstairs, Master Splinter asked Raphael to help Michelangelo set up the extra futon in their Sensei's room.
"Sensei," Leonardo called, receiving his Master's attention, "What do you think? About Mikey's nightmares?"
Master Splinter looked at his eldest, then at his youngest who was helping with the futon. He sighed, "I do not know," he answered, "But something tells that we should keep an eye out for Michelangelo."
Leonardo stared at his Sensei, and then turned to his baby brother who was now carrying some extra pillows with Donatello carrying an extra blanket into Master Splinter's room. Even though he tried not to show it, Michelangelo was relieved that he was sleeping with his Sensei; and Leonardo saw this.
"Yeah," Leonardo said, "I guess we will."
Donatello yawned; he hated the long drives. It was 10:00 am on Tuesday, and the turtles along with their Sensei, April, and Casey were on their way to the farmhouse. It was a rough morning for all of them, especially Michelangelo.
After moving to Master Splinter's room to sleep more comfortably, the orange masked turtle had another nightmare. Luckily, Master Splinter was able to get Michelangelo asleep more quickly than the first time.
But what Donatello heard after Michelangelo awoke from the second nightmare that night, just made him feel even more concern.
A loud scream echoed through out the lair, awakening the purple masked turtle and definitely the rest of the household. Donatello sat up and looked towards his bedroom door. He soon heard the hurried footsteps emanating from his two older brothers rushing downstairs. Their voices echoed as they entered Master Splinter's room.
"Sensei! Is he all right?" the Brooklyn accent gave it away, Raphael was the first to speak.
"We heard him screaming again, Master Splinter," that was Leonardo's voice, "But it sounded wor-"
"Shhhhhhh…"the soft shushing that wasn't really soft, echoed through out the lair. That was Master Splinter talking, "Please, quiet down my sons," he said, "Michelangelo is in shock."
That is what made Donatello rush out of his room and into the hallway of the upstairs. He closely listened in to make sure that there wasn't anything else to be worried about.
There was a sigh, "Michelangelo has just received another nightmare," Master Splinter spoke. "But judging by his response from it, it seems to have frightened him further."
Soft mumbling and sobbing could be heard, followed by footsteps.
"Hey, Mikey," pause, "take it easy okay?" Raphael spoke in an unusually gentle matter. "It's gonna be okay, Mike. Don't worry; we're right here for ya."
More footsteps could be heard, "He's right Mikey," Leonardo spoke, "We're all right here- well not all of us, but we're here for you."
Donatello frowned, "Dick…"he mumbled, referring to his blue masked brother.
The sobbing and mumbling had died down, and another voice was heard, "I…I- I know…" that was Michelangelo, "But…you don't what this thing is…it wants to kill me! For REAL!"
Michelangelo's screams were soon cut off, Donatello assumed it was Raphael clamping his mouth shut.
Another sigh, "My sons," Master Splinter spoke, "go back to bed; I will put Michelangelo to sleep."
"Hai Sensei," were heard from the blue and red masked turtles as their footsteps slowly moved to the stairwell.
Donatello let out a breath, "Thank God, that's over," he whispered. He turned around and headed back to his bedroom. He took one last look outside before closing his bedroom door.
A slight moan brought Donatello out his gazing; he looked around the van, finding Michelangelo lightly thrashing around in his sleep while Leonardo was trying to wake him.
"Mikey!" he called, shaking his little brother.
In a gasp for air, Michelangelo awoke with shock, he panted quickly as sweat drenched his body. Leonardo patted him on the shell, "Take it easy Mikey," he said, helping his little brother lean back against the seat.
"Is everything okay back there, guys?" April asked from the front seat.
"Yeah, everything's okay," answered Leonardo, "We close to the farm yet?"
"Yeah, only another mile or two," April answered.
"Good," Leonardo sat back in his seat, then turn to Michelangelo, "Don't worry Mikey, we're almost there."
Michelangelo nodded shakily; Leonardo smiled as a sign of reassurance, but it did not seem to work as the orange masked turtle panted and slid down in his seat.
The van came to a halt after reaching the farmhouse; Casey and April got out first, making their way to the back of the van and opening the doors.
"Ah, finally," Raphael groaned, stepping out of the van, "Anymore of Casey's driving and I would of barfed."
"Ha-ha! Very funny," Casey frowned, grabbing his and April's bags.
Master Splinter stepped out of the van, followed by Donatello, Michelangelo, and then Leonardo. Leonardo kept Michelangelo close to make sure he wasn't going to faint. The orange masked turtle looked exhausted; sags under his red puffy eyes, and his skin looked a little pale He was shaking also, not out of the cold, but what seemed to be out of fear.
"Mikey, hang in there, okay?" Leonardo said, putting a hand on his little brother's shoulder.
Michelangelo nodded shakily, then turning his attention the other way. Leonardo sighed, knowing that his comforting wasn't really helping his little brother.
"Hey Leo! How 'bout some help ova here?" Raphael called from a distance.
Leonardo took to his brother's call, and went to help him with the luggage. Leaving Michelangelo alone.
Michelangelo stood silently and shakily on the farmhouse grounds. It was cold, mostly because it was fall and he wasn't wearing the right protection. He saw fog strangely moving in slowly. The air started to get colder, and the fog started to get thicker.
He turned around, "Leo?" he called, finding no one there but the roaming fog.
His heart began to pound faster, "Leo!" he called in panic, "Raph!"
Michelangelo started to pant as his heartbeat sped in fear. He looked around, finding nothing but fog. He backed up, looking around frantically, hoping that his brothers will come find him soon.
Suddenly, he stepped into something. Something wet, something cold. He lifted up his foot, and swiped whatever was on the bottom of his foot. He brought up his hand, and his eyes widened in fear; it was blood. He had stepped into blood.
He started to shake violently, looking around for his brothers, "Raph!" he shouted, "Don! Leo!" He made bloodied footprints as he walked around in a panic, looking for his brothers frantically.
A loud crack suddenly came to his attention, and he stopped cold in his tracks. His heart beating faster as fear welded up in his eyes. "R-raph?" he called quietly, "Leo?"
Nothing. No answer came. Only the sight of blood spewing on the ground, making its way towards Michelangelo. He wanted to scream, but he couldn't find his voice. He just stood there, cold and scared.
The sound of footsteps, wet footsteps. They were heading towards him. His eyes widened further with shock and horror as the footsteps revealed their owner.
The bloodied demon; its skeletal face drenched in blood stared down at Michelangelo with lifeless eyes. Its body was like a walking skeleton; no skin, no muscles, just bones. Its claws and fangs dripped with blood; the droplets making a puddle that moved so ever closer to Michelangelo.
He wanted to run, he wanted to scream and run for the safety of his family. But he couldn't move; his legs frozen on the ground, his voice was gone from the intense fear.
Suddenly something grabbed him, and he finally screamed.
"Mikey!" Leonardo shouted, trying to control his brother as his screamed and lashed out at him. "Mikey! Damnit! Calm down!" he shook his brother harder.
Michelangelo opened his eyes to see what was happening. He found Leonardo starring at him with concern, turning his attention to see his other brothers along with Casey running towards them. He was locked in his brother's grasp, but he was still able to get free. He looked around, finding nothing. No fog, no blood, no demon, no nothing, even the air was a little warmer.
Michelangelo turned around, finding Leonardo looking at with concern and question. Tears welded up in his eyes, and his body shook. All he could do was dive into Leonardo's arms, and hold as tight as he could.
Leonardo was at a state of confusion, but lightly put his arms around Michelangelo. He heard his brother sob into his plastron.
"I…I saw it…" Michelangelo sobbed.
"Saw what, Mikey?" Leonardo asked as Raphael, Donatello and Casey came up to them.
"I saw it…I saw the demon…" Michelangelo answered, "…I couldn't find you…I…I was all alone…"
"What happened?" Raphael finally spoke up.
Leonardo turned to his brother in red, "Mikey saw something," he answered, "and it scared him."
"What was it?"
Leonardo took a breath as Michelangelo continued to sob in his chest,
Raphael let out a breath of relief when entering his shared room. He found his little brother for the first time in weeks, soundly asleep and unmoving. His chest moved up and down with every breath; the red masked turtle couldn't help but smile to know that Michelangelo was sleeping peacefully.
But then his smile slowly turned into a frown when hearing a small whimper emanating from his brother in orange. He watched as Michelangelo's face was twisted into a grimace, and he started shaking. Raphael sighed, making his way over to Michelangelo and kneeling next to his bed.
"Mikey," he whispered, "it's okay. I'm here." He put his hand on Michelangelo's arm that clutched to the pillow.
Michelangelo whimpered again, his head digging into the pillow. Soon his shaking had died down when Raphael held his arm a little tighter. His whimpers softened and turned into silent breathing. Raphael smiled; his was fast into a deep sleep.
Footsteps along with the knocking of a cane came into the room. Raphael turned around to find Master Splinter standing at the edge of Michelangelo's bed.
He was holding Michelangelo's panda teddy bear, "I think Michelangelo will need this," he said. The old rat trudged over to his youngest son, Raphael stood up to let him by. Master Splinter placed the teddy bear in Michelangelo's arms, then covering him with the blanket.
Leonardo and Donatello watched from the hallway near the stairwell. Concern looks were planted on their faces.
Leonardo sighed, "What are we going to do?" he asked, leaning against the stair-rail.
"I don't know," Donatello answered, "He hasn't eaten or slept much in weeks. These nightmares are really taking a toll on him."
"We could force feed him," Leonardo implied.
Donatello shook his head, "No, that would be making it worse."
"Then what to suppose we do?"
"Well, we could sneak sleeping pills in his drink. That would solve his sleeping problem."
"Yeah, but what about the nightmares?"
The both of them sighed, and then turned their attention back to Michelangelo. They watched through the open bedroom door as Michelangelo slept soundly. Leonardo and Donatello felt smiles growing on their faces.
"Y'know," Donatello spoke up, "That's the most I've seen him sleep in weeks."
Leonardo nodded, "Yeah," he said, "Hopefully it will last long."
It was late afternoon, around 5:00pm; the sun was setting with marvelous colors of orange, red, blue, purple, and yellow. From Michelangelo's shared room, Master Splinter watched with pleasure; the bright colors made him peaceful and at home. However, he wished he could say the same thing for his son.
"S…Sensei…?" a voice called weakly.
Master Splinter turned around, finding Michelangelo looking up at him with tired eyes. "Michelangelo," he said, quickly making his way over to his son's side.
Michelangelo rubbed his eyes; slowly moving his hand up to his forehead, "Sensei…" he called again, "my head hurts…"
Master Splinter put his furry palm up to Michelangelo's forehead, "You are feeling a bit warm as well, my son." The old rat rubbed his son's temples a bit, "We should get you something to eat. Maybe that is why your head is hurting."
The orange masked turtle nodded, then tried to stand up soon knowing that he needed support from Master Splinter. "Do not rush, my son," he said, pulling Michelangelo's arm over his shoulder, "You must move slowly if you do not want your head to start spinning."
"Yes Sensei," Michelangelo answered groggily.
The old rat looked up to his son, "I must say, Michelangelo; I am very glad that you were able to sleep long enough not to receive a nightmare."
Michelangelo turned to Master Splinter, "Thank you, Sensei."
Upon entering the kitchen, Michelangelo was greeted with relieved faces from his brothers, April, and Casey. Master Splinter settled Michelangelo in a chair at the dinner table.
Raphael sat in the seat next to him, "Hey Mikey," he said, unusually cheerful, "Nice to know you slept a while. You've been sleeping ever since 10:30 in the morning."
Michelangelo turned to his red masked brother, "What time is it now?"
"About 5:10 in the afternoon," came Leonardo's voice.
Michelangelo felt a hand on his shoulder; he looked up and saw Leonardo starring down at him with a soft smile, "Hey Mike."
"H-hey Leo," Michelangelo answered tiredly.
Leonardo took a seat on the other side of Michelangelo, "Did you sleep okay, Mikey?"
"I guess so…" the orange masked turtle answered.
"Okay guys, dinner is ready," Donatello came over with a few plates in his hands.
The purple masked turtle set the plates of food on the table; one to Leonardo, one to Michelangelo, and one to Master Splinter who was sitting next to Leonardo.
"Eat up, Mikey," Donatello said, patting the back of his shell, "You need your strength."
Michelangelo watched his brother as he went back to April to retrieve a few more plates of food. He looked down at what he was eating; steak with mashed potatoes and gravy.
He didn't even noticed when Raphael placed a glass of water next to his plate. "Here ya go, Mikey," he said, but Michelangelo was not paying attention.
Michelangelo just stared down at his plate, watching the ooze of grease and gravy make its way around the plate. Everything around him was moving and making sounds; the plates being stacked on top of each other, the sounds of water hurdling into the sink. Raphael talking with Casey; Donatello walking over and bringing their food. Leonardo eating his dinner with Master Splinter, and April tapping the pots of food with her spoon.
All of these sounds were slowly fading away; all Michelangelo could hear was the beating of his own heart. The glass of water slowly started to turn red; the orange masked turtle did not notice at all.
With a swallow of thirst, Michelangelo picked up the glass of water. Not even taking a small glance at the glass of dark red liquid that used to be water. He took a sip and swallowed, grimacing at the taste.
The taste was strange, yet familiar. It did not taste like water, not even close to it. Michelangelo looked down at the glass; it was not water but…
"BLOOD!" Michelangelo screamed, quickly dropping his glass. The glass fell to the floor with a crash; the liquid turning back to plain simple water.
Michelangelo looked down at the plate of food; instead of gravy, it was more blood. The meat was what looked to be a human heart, and the mashed potatoes were really were slabs of flesh. Michelangelo gagged; he was on the verge of vomiting.
"Mikey?" Raphael called, rushing over to his brother's side.
Raphael came up to him, trying to get Michelangelo to face. But Michelangelo just pushed him away and ran out of the kitchen, making his way to the front door.
"Mikey!" Raphael cried, "Mikey! Wait!"
Michelangelo did not stop; he just kept running towards the forest. It scared him. It scared him so much; what was happening to him? Why were these horrible things happening to him?