Welcome one and all! This year, Stealthy Stories held it's First Challenge Fic Competition! I reveal to you my entry, which won Second Place!
The rule was we were to make a story revolving around the characters and an unusual object. So this is mine! So you may know, this is a chibi fic. The turtles are six years old.
And so you may know, there are a few parts that may be confusing here. As six year olds, the chibi turtles still can't pronounce every word. So I will show how they say it and then misspell the word from there on out as they would see it. For example, if they were to read the word 'furniture' as fur-nite-your, I would spell it as furniteyour from then on out. Confusing, I know, but it makes it more fun. But if they get it right, I'll spell it the correct way, of course.
Disclaimer: The TMNT don't belong to me. Every time I say they do, I get a lawsuit, so we aren't doing this again.
Getting down on his knees, the small turtle stuck his hands into the sewer water. He wasn't afraid to dirty them nor did he think about all of the sickening things that went through the water every day. He was, however, more cautious than the rest of his brothers when it came to these things. Leo knew all too well that one wrong step or a tiny shift in balance could send his little body into the underground stream and drag him along. Usually, he could climb right back out, but sometimes the situations were more dangerous.
"Do you got it?" Don asked from behind him. Leo wouldn't let his little brother fetch the object- he remembered the events of last year when Donny had tried to retrieve his toy car. They weren't going down that road again.
Grunting, Leo stretched his small fingers and lightly touched the corner of the item. "Almost…" He told his sibling, leaning just a little bit farther. There! His hand clasped around it and he brought it closer, easing his back up with it. "Got it!" He informed Donny. "Man, it stinks!"
Handing it over, Don took a whiff and wrinkled his beak in agreement. "So does everything else here. But who would throw this away?" He ran his hands over the cover of the book, his eyes filled with excitement. "It's so big!"
Leo agreed. The boy along with his brother enjoyed books, though he could only read so much. He'd gone through all of the short Mother Goose tales Splinter had found for him, along with a book called Green Eggs and Ham which was written by a funny doctor, but he wasn't old enough yet to read all of the stories that their father kept in his room. The words were too big for him to put together.
But Donny understood some of them. Not all of them, of course, but quite a bit. He was the one who'd helped Leo learn how to read in the first place, even before Splinter had started giving them lessons. And the stories the child in blue couldn't read, Don read for him late at night, when Mikey and Raph were in bed.
"What's it about?" Leo asked him. The pictures on the cover were strange; there were large statues and pictures of people. The only thing Leo recognized was the Statue of Liberty- but any kid raised in New York, even a mutant turtle one, would know that.
His brother placed his finger under the words and wrinkled his temple in concentration. "Wow, these words are big," He said.
Scooting closer, Leo tried to help him. He was the big brother, after all. Just because his younger sibling was smarter didn't mean he wasn't smart- nor that he couldn't help. He looked at the smaller one in the front. "W-or-eld?" He tried to guess.
Don tapped his fingers. "I thinks it makes the 'irl' sound, Leo. I've seen it before, I think. "W-irl…" His face lit up. "World! You now, like the planet?"
"Well what about the second word?" Leo asked. Looking at it now, it seemed easier. If he took out the first two letters, he had the word story, so the turtle figured he could make sense of the last sounds. And the first part was easy- it was a smaller word too. "His-story," He pronounced it. The word sounded like something Splinter would say sometimes. "History?" He asked.
Donny nodded. "I think so. World History. Neat!"
They flipped it open and their eyes opened wide. The print was so small! And if they thought the words on the cover had been tough, some of the ones in here were enough to make their heads spin. Leo looked at his sibling. "Don?" He had a blank expression. The ninja-in-training shoved him in the shoulder, gently shaking him. "Donny?"
The turtle blinked. "Whoa…" He finally said.
For the first two years of their lives, the turtles had shared the same room and the same bed. Donny still vaguely recalled those times, huddling with his siblings on the old mattress, the blankets strewn about. Most of the time he'd wake up with Raph's feet in his face, since his brother had had a tendency to sleep upside down.
It had been a hard process for Splinter to separate the four when they'd eventually cleared enough space to move out of his room. Even though they'd then shared a space with one brother at a time, on their own mattresses this time, it had been frightening for the two year olds. At first they'd all paraded back into Splinter's room. When he finally saw that they needed to stay in their own rooms and barricaded the door at night, two would go into Leo and Raph's room and share the tiny bed there, much to the rat's amusement. Soon, however, they managed to live without that- instead just climbing into bed with the other sibling when things got scary at night.
They'd finally learned to sleep in their own beds for a year when Splinter had cleared out enough space for them all to have their own individual rooms and they had to part ways again.
So for the first time in two years, Donny was crawling out of his own bed, his little feet pattering quietly into his eldest brother's room. He wasn't surprised to find Leo waiting for him, his bed still made as he sat on it. The turtle smiled seeing his sibling. Placing the heavy book on the bed, Don stretched his fingers and climbed up. "Did you figure anything out?" Leo asked him.
Flipping the book open, the child in purple took out a flashlight and shone it over the words. "Well some words are really, really easy. But some are so big," He said. "I'm glad there's pictures. They help me sometimes."
"How?" Leo whispered, looking at a picture of a giant dinosaur with big teeth. It looked scary.
Pointing to the word beneath it, with his other hand, Don showed his brother the same word somewhere else on the page. "It sounds like 'dinosaur'," He told him; "So I think that's what it is."
"Let's read this part first then," Leo said.
Don nodded. "'Kay. I'll try." He focused. "Dinosaurs walked the… earth a mil-lee-on… a million years ago…"
Until they had brought it home, the two had not realized the sad state of their new treasure. A good portion of it was water-damaged, so in some places, they could no longer make out story. It had been washed away. In other spots, the pages stuck together and they were unable to finish the page they'd been reading. And in many more spots, weird words had been written out in markers across the pages, obliterating their view. Sometimes their were numbers too. But they were never interested in those.
What really made them mad was when pages were missing. It seemed to be happening more frequently; they could see where the ends of the paper still remained near the spine, though the rest had been removed.
Leo pouted. "I wanted to find out about the meteor shower!" He said.
Looking at the book which had been switched over to his brother's hands long ago, Donny yawned. They often took turns while reading and it was Leo's now, though he would try to help him with the big words. "I wonder whats a meteor is…" He thought sleepily.
Frowning, the eldest drew his knees up to his plastron and rested the book against his legs, flipping through pages and trying to find more on dinosaurs. Instead there were pictures of people and old drawings. "Think it has anything to do with meat?" He asked.
The smaller boy shrugged. "I dunno. What's next?"
Leo looked at a picture of a man with white hair. "Something about a guy named… Wash-ing-ton. Oh- that one wasn't so hard," He muttered happily. "Look- it says he was in a war."
"I don't know," Leo answered, yawning as well. They'd stayed up for a very long time.
There was a little box in the corner. Sounding the words out under his breath, Don's eyes opened wide. "He had wooden teeth?"
The turtle in blue's eyes darted to the box. "Really? How?"
"It says he cut down a tree," Don said. "Maybe he made them out of those."
"What happened to his old teeth?"
"I dunno," Don told him, flipping the page for his sibling. His eyes hurt from reading the tiny words for so long. Now there was a picture of a man with a funny-looking hat. He tried to read the name underneath the image. "Lyn-cun."
"What do you think he kept in that hat?" Leo asked. "It's so tall."
"Maybe his hair?" Don suggested.
As they went further, the pictures got less strange. But eventually, he must have fallen asleep for he woke up with his head against Leo's pillow. Much to his horror, Raph and Mikey were staring in his face, the latter of the two giggling like crazy.
Raph also looked like he was having trouble keeping a straight face. "What's a matter, Donny?" He snickered. "Did ya have a nightmare?"
Don closed his eyes tight and wished for it all to be a bad dream. But it wasn't. Mikey started poking him; he was still giggling. "Master Splinter wanted us to come wake you and Leo up for breakfast," He started laughing harder. "Sleep good?"
Sitting up, Don crossed his arms. The movement stirred Leo, who had fallen asleep on the other side of the bed, his head resting in the book as his new pillow. "We were reading!" The younger one defended himself.
Groggily, Leonardo opened his eyes and sat up. "What's going on?" He asked.
Laughing again, Raph pointed. "Babies!"
Yawning, Leo didn't appear to take any offense to this. "We were reading, dummy," He restated his brother's words. "Ya know? Getting smarter. Now we knows lots of stuff."
Huffing, Raph crossed his arms over his chest. Mikey, however, looked at him curiously. "Like what?"
Leo lifted up the book. "We knows about the whole world now!"
The smallest turtle's eyes widened in amazement. "Really?"
Raph smacked him on the back of the head. "Un-uh! They're just being silly!"
"Are not!" Leo shouted back at him. "We can show you!"
Donny could already sense a little problem arising in this discussion. "Uh, Leo? I don't know if-"
Cutting him off with a laugh, Raph looked at him. "Okay! Prove it! Show us everything you knows!"
Leo lost a bit of his bravado there. "Uh… it took a long time to read this," He said, looking at the book.
Taking it from him, Donny nodded. The last time he'd tried to teach his brothers something, things hadn't gone well. "Yeah! It has really big words!"
"So?" Raph asked, rolling his eyes and sitting down. "Tell us anyways!" He grinned when they were silent. "Hey, Mikey- I betcha they don't know anything about the world."
Sitting down as well, Mikey giggled again.
Leo sat straight up, determined as ever. "Fine! We'll tell you!"
Grabbing his arm, Don pulled him back down onto his rear. "Leo!" He hissed. "We don't know everything in this book. I didn't get to read it all!"
Smiling at him, the eldest put his hand on Donny's shoulder. "I looked at it when you fell asleep. It's really weird. But don't worry- we know enough."
They did know quite a bit now. "But we don't know it all," He put in hesitantly.
"We don't need to know it all," Leo said. "Now come on! You wanna tell them or not?"
Don thought it over. It did sound like fun. And wouldn't Splinter be impressed when he saw how much they knew! "Okay," He relented.
"Great!" Leo said, turning back to their other brothers. "Okay. When the world started out, there was dinosaurs," He waited for his brother to turn to the page with the dinosaur picture. "They were always really hungry but they didn't always have enough food. So one day, they ordered a meteor shower- it had all sorts of meats that the dinosaurs really liked."
Mikey raised his hand, waving it around impatiently. "Yes, Mikey?" Donny asked.
"Was there any peoples?" Mike asked.
Remembering the picture he'd seen, Donny turned the pages. "Yes. Where the dinosaurs lived there was a guy named Mister Washington. I think he's the guy who invented soap."
Leo looked excited. "And he had wooden teeth!" He shouted.
"What?" Raph asked "No way!"
"It's true," Don told him, showing him the picture.
Michelangelo looked frightened. "What happened to his old teeth?"
"I don't think he liked them," Leo said. "So he cut down this cherry tree so he could make new teeth. But like I was saying, the dinosaurs ordered a meteor shower. But the meat was the bad, rotten kind so they all got sick and died."
The smallest turtle blinked. "But what happened to Mister Washington?"
Leo pointed to a picture that showed Washington in a boat crossing the Delaware. "He got out of there before he could eat the bad meat."
Peering at the picture, Raph cocked his head. "Who's those other guys?"
As Leo drew a blank, Don chose to speak. "Well, Mister Washington brought his son, Mister Lyncun," He pointed to a picture on another page.
"What about his wife?" Mikey asked.
"He brought her too," Leo assured him. "She's the one who made the boat. Her name was JoAnn of Arc- She used to be married to that Noah guy but then they got a divorce."
"Oh," Both Raph and Mikey said, as this clearly made sense. "But what about them?" Raph asked, pointing to the rest of the men.
"Those are the hippies," Leo said matter-of-factly. "They were his friends."
Don took over. "So then, Mister Washington rode his boat all the way to America. His wife JoAnn wanted a new necklace, so they stopped at Pearl Harbor. Then the hippies went to grow mushrooms and they stayed where they were. Turns out, there were lots of people already living in America- but Mister Washington was the guy who found it."
"Huh?" Mikey asked. "I thought it was that Columbus guy. I saw him on TV."
Don shook his head and turned to the scribbled page that showed Columus' picture. "Oh no. He came later. See, it says here he was only the guy who disco-veered it."
"What's that mean?" Raph questioned, confused.
"It means he brought that weird dance to America," Leo told them. "Now, Mister Washington and his family lived in Pearl Harbor for a long, long time. His wife made pretty necklaces and he had a big soap factory, and Mister Lyncun moved away to a house made out of trees and got himself a nice hat to cover all of his hair until hair-cutter people were invented. They had a good time until this man came. His name was…" The turtle took the book and turned the pages. "His name was Nap-ollie-yun. Napollieyun wanted to tear down Mister Washington's soap shop and build his ice cream factory-"
"Oh!" Mike shouted. "Is he the guy who made that ice cream with the different colors?"
"Yep," Leo responded.
Mikey brightened. "Ooh… I hope he wins," He told Raph.
"That's exactly what happened," Don said. According to the pages, it seemed right, anyways. "Napollieyun beat Mister Washington, tore down his soap factory, and became the King of America."
Perhaps it didn't say that in there, but by now, Donny was having too much fun.
Little to his boys' knowledge, Master Splinter stood in the doorway, completely flabbergasted. He'd come to see what had taken so long for the turtle tots to get to breakfast and had found two of them rewriting history.
Entering the room, he tried not to laugh. "My sons, I-"
"Shh!" Mikey hushed him, raising his little finger to his mouth. "Leo and Donny are tellin' us all abouts the world, Master Splinter!"
"I can see that," The old rat said, "However-"
"Sit down, Sensei!" Raph said. "Come listen!"
Chuckling, the old rat did just that. Grinning proudly, the two boys on the bed continued with their 'history lesson'.
Leonardo took up where Donatello had left off. "Napollieyun was King for lots of years until a guy called Ay-do-liff Hitler came to America. Aydoliff didn't like ice cream at all. He wanted to take over the world with his friend Mister Edison…"
Before Splinter knew it, history as he knew it had been replaced with Martin Luther King being the man who invented the marathon, and became the third King of America, and with John F. Kennedy as the man who had created the alphabet. Ghengis Khan, or rather- Janice Can- had invented the martial arts. But he was really bad at it, of course- Master Yoshi had clearly perfected it. Beethoven, or Beefoven, was the deaf pianist/cow killer who hated Mozart- Mostart, who was the guy who had created art and Crayola crayons after battling with Beefoven in the War of 1812.
And who could forget Leonardo da Vinci- the greatest man who ever lived, though that fact was disputed by Donatello.
For some reason, Splinter was unable to stop them. He could only sit on the floor, staring with his mouth open wide at the words that tumbled out of the children's' mouths.
"…And after the Indians helped make the pyramids," Donny said, "A pretty lady named Sa-cage-aw-ya made toilet paper. Then she-"
Splinter cleared his throat. "I believe that is enough history for one day, my sons," He said quickly.
Leo blinked, a look of sadness crossing his small features. "You don't like it, Sensei?"
"No, no," The rat assured him, "It was very entertaining my son. However, are you not all hungry for breakfast?"
In response, four little stomachs rumbled.
Don looked up. "A little bit," He said. "But we haven't even gotten to the part Mister Clark finds the volcano!"
"Perhaps we can touch on that another day," Splinter told him. In actuality, he had plans to hide that book as soon as possible in the hopes that the boys would forget about it.
Shrugging, they hopped off the bed. "Okay!" Leo shouted.
Raph stood. "Hey, Leo. I take back what I told you. You guys really do know everything about the world."
The two beamed. "Thanks," Leo said. "Last one to the table hatched from a rotten egg!"
As they took off running, Splinter sighed and picked up the book. Why he hadn't stopped them earlier on, he was unsure, but now he had twice as much work to do.
Sighing once more, he took the book with him. In a year or so, they would have to begin real history lessons. Then he'd have to change Jesse James from a train conductor and into a robber; astronauts into men instead of superheroes who flew up to the moon with their superpowers and defeated the aliens.
How he missed the days when all he had to do was turn birds and giants land masses back into letters and words.
Done! I don't think it's my best chibi fic, but it had my family laughing.
I hope you liked it!