A/N: Hey guys! I couldn't resist, I just had to start this. Another response to Connie Nervegas' challenge.

There are moments when, even to the sober eye of Reason, the world of our sad Humanity may assume the semblance of a Hell

- Edgar Allan Poe

Chapter One

Mikey pressed his face eagerly up against the window of the comic book store. He grinned, giddy with excitement. The next chapter in his new favourite series was out! Tomorrow, when the store was actually open, he'd be back. Although he'd spent all his money for the month on the latest video game, he knew where Raph's secret stash was. Surely his brother wouldn't miss a couple bucks …

He rubbed his hands together eagerly, backing away from the store. He had to get back soon, before anyone noticed he was missing. His brothers would tease him to no end if they found out that he liked to sneak out to just look at the comic book cover. They didn't get it; Leo had his mediation, Raph had his punching bag, and Donny had his tools.

Too each his own, Mikey thought, starting to jog in the direction of the lair. It was dark out, and a pretty chilly night, but it didn't bother him. Because of the weather, no one was out this late, so free to do pretty much whatever he felt like. And if he kept moving, he didn't get too cold.

He raced into the middle of the street and did a cartwheel, just for fun. It was nice to be out in the open air, able to stretch his legs somewhere that didn't smell of rotting garbage.

As he stood up and brushed off his hands, he heard running footsteps. He spun around, hands reaching for his nunchucks, but too late. Someone knocked him to the ground. His head cracked against the pavement, and everything went black.

Mikey slowly came to his senses, his head throbbing. He tried to sit up, but bashed his head on something. He groaned, slumping back onto his shell. What had happened? His eyes opened, and as soon as they focused, he knew something was wrong.

An eerie green light illuminated the small space he was in. It was a box of some kind—Plexiglas?—just barely big enough for him. Dread immediately swept over him; he hadn't figured out what was going on, but it was definitely not good. Small, creepy boxes never were. He craned his neck, trying to see what was going on. It was dark, despite the weird light, almost too dark to really see anything. He moved his hand, and his fingers brushed up against something.

A glowstick?

He fumbled around for anything else. He ended up with a few more glowsticks, a tape recorder, a walkie-talkie, and a small revolver. Interesting finds, for a creepy glass box. Why would someone give him a gun with—he checked the chamber—one bullet in it? Was he supposed to shoot his way out? Maybe the tape recorder would have some helpful instructions.

He pressed the play button, and listened for a moment. Static, at first, and then:

"Hey, freak. Wondering why you're here? Because nobody messes with the Purple Dragons and gets away with it. You're a warning, to your friends. So breathe quick, breathe slow, put the gun in your mouth and pull the trigger. Any way you like, you're gonna die down here."

More static, and the tape ended. Down here? Mikey grabbed the glowstick, unable to stop his hand from trembling. He raised it, pressed it against the Plexiglas roof. There was something pressing against the lid of his prison. He squinted, trying to make sense of the situation—and then it hit him.


He moved the glowstick, holding it up against the wall beside him. More dirt, packed tightly around his box, his coffin. He was buried, buried alive. No. This couldn't be right … this didn't happen in real life.

He began to hyperventilate.

Shit. Normally, he didn't swear—that was Raph's thing—but if there was every a time for it, now certainly was. "Shit. Shit, shit, shit."

This couldn't be happening. He closed his eyes and pinched himself, trying to wake up. He didn't; he could still feel the cold Plexiglas beneath him. His heart sped him. He couldn't move. This coffin was suffocatingly small, and it seemed to be getting smaller.

"Come on, dude," he breathed. "Calm down. You're just gonna use up the air in here. Think, there's gotta be some way out of here."

Involuntarily, his eyes flickered to the gun.

"No, not that way." He kicked it to the bottom of the box. "Out of sight, out of mind. Alright, let's think. Glowsticks aren't gonna help at all, neither is that. Can't shoot your way out. Tape recorder's useless unless you want to start a podcast or something … The walkie-talkie!"

He grabbed it, flicked it on, and held down the talk button. "Hello?"

Nothing. Only static.

"Hello?" he ventured again, more tentatively.

Still static. It filled the transparent coffin, poured into his body, wrapped him in a cold, hopeless fog. Static, and nothing else. No voice, no sound other than the static.

"Hello?" His voice cracked, and he choked back a sob.

Why had they done this? Offered him some small semblance of hope, of light, only to crush him? He couldn't fight the tears that began to stream down his face. You're going to die down here, the voice had said. It bounced off at first. Horrible things had happened to him, to his brothers, in the past, but nothing like this. This was death, the end, in the worst way imaginable. Slow, slow suffocation.

He grabbed the tape recorder and flung it, as best he could, to the end of the coffin. He kicked it against the wall, and heard it crack. He kicked it again, and again, and again, ignoring the jagged edges that cut into his flesh. He kicked it until it was scattered in a dozen pieces of stifled hope at the bottom of his casket.

He dropped the walkie-talkie, placed his hands over his eyes, and let out a long, ragged scream of anguish.

"You're gonna die down here."