"I smell violets, Donny..."
"Can you smell them?"
It is dark in here, there's no light. None at all. The air is thin, too. We've been here for hours, I think... we must be using up all of it. I can barely remember how this happened. Wait, I remember...
"What is it, Don?"
"Trouble, Leo... big trouble..."
"Think you can disarm it?"
"We'll know soon."
"Anything we can do?"
"Uh... yeah, Raph. Go get my tool kit, it should be in my room."
"I'll get Splinter out of the den."
"Good idea, Leo. Mike, c'mere..."
"Hold this wire."
"Yeah. Just like this. Don't touch the end."
"Okay. Got it."
"How did this get here?"
"Guess someone doesn't like us very much."
"Donny! I can't find your tools!"
"Check under the bed, Raph!"
"But how does anyone know where we live?"
"Got me, Mike..."
"Uh... what's it doing?"
"I know. Hold on.."
"Jesus... Mike, c'mon!"
"Get up! Run!"
The explosion. Damn, it was loud. My ears are still ringing. My eyes hurt, too. I was looking back at the bomb when it went off. That was dumb, I shouldn't have turned around. Well, at least we're both alive. I think Mikey got hurt worse than I did, the way he's talking. I don't know, though... I can't feel my legs. There's something on them. Oh, a block of concrete... big one. I'm not going to be able to pull it off my legs to get to Mikey. I wonder who left that bomb outside the den... the walls just collapsed around us. I'm surprised we weren't buried completely. I hope Leo and Raph and Splinter are okay. Maybe the explosion just collapsed the tunnel, maybe the den was spared...
"I swear, it's like they're right here."
"What's right here, Mikey?"
"The violets. It's like they're right here..."
I'm lying on my side. That damn concrete on my legs won't let me move, I can't see how bad off Mikey is. I reach out my hand to where I heard him talking. I think he's close. At least, that's the way it sounds. It feels small in here, maybe it is just his voice echoing off the walls, maybe it is making him sound closer than he is. I can't feel him as I'm reaching out, so I lay my hand on the floor. I feel something thick and slippery, fluid... I bring my hand to my face. It smells like blood. I slide my hand over the concrete and it passes through the puddle again. There is more than I thought, but it isn't mine. I'm not bleeding, it must be Mike... I hear him take a deep breath and he coughs.
"Mikey... hey, Mike... reach out towards my voice, okay?"
"I don't know if I can, Donny..."
"Just... just try. I need to know how close you are."
I hear him sliding across the debris. He's not close, not as close as I had hoped. He must be bleeding bad.
"Stop. Don't move, I don't want you to hurt yourself anymore."
"I'm not hurt, I'm okay..."
Something brushes against my outstretched fingers and I grab hold. It's Mikey's hand.
"I told you to stop moving."
He takes another breath and slides some more, closer to me. He lets go of my hand and touches my arm.
"Don't you ever listen?"
"No. Are you okay?"
I try to move my legs again, but I can't. They are still being held prisoner by the block.
His hand glides down my arm and then my leg until his touch hits against the concrete just above my knees.
He moves his hand back up my side then grasps my own hand and squeezes weakly. I feel something drip on my face and I reach up, wiping it away. More blood. I lift my hand and touch Mike's face, shifting my hand to the side of his head. He takes in a sharp breath when my fingers brush against a gash there. It is running with blood, but not enough to have caused the puddle.
"Mikey... give me your other hand."
Gone? He lost his hand in the explosion? Oh, my God... now I know why there was all that blood...
"Let me feel..."
"No... you don't have to..."
His arm slides along mine and I reach up, grabbing him by the elbow. I slide my hand down his forarm and suddenly I am not touching him anymore, my hand has gone beyond what is left of his limb. I reach out again, accidentally touching the raw, torn flesh and the sharp end of his broken bone. I squeeze his arm just above where his wrist used to be.
I pull on my belt until the leather straps snap, then I wrap it around his arm.
"What are you doing?"
"Making a tourniquet."
I pull it as tight as I can. I fear it isn't tight enough.
"I can still feel it."
"My hand. It's like it's still there. It doesn't hurt, though."
He grunts and I hear the gravel scrape as he slides over it. There is a hollow thump as he sits back, resting his shell against the concrete rubble.
"I've read about it... I think they call it a ghost limb or something like that... I didn't really believe it, though. I do now... I guess I have to... I'm tired, Donny..."
He shouldn't go to sleep now, I have to keep him awake. Keep him talking.
"Tell me about the violets."
"You said you could smell them."
"Yeah, they're pretty... do you remember that?"
"When me and you and Raph and Don... heh... I mean Leo..."
"Go on... when we what?"
"When we were little and Splinter took us to the park that night."
"I remember that."
"And he said he wished we could go there in the day so we could play in the sun and see the flowers when they were all opened..."
"You wanted to see those flowers. I remember how you kept asking Splinter if we could stay until morning."
Mike slides forward, I feel him lie down next to me. His face is a few inches from my own. I can feel him breathing. I wrap my arm over him. His skin feels cold.
"And he kept saying no... said it was too dangerous..."
"Do you remember that? I snuck out, uhm... out of the den just before morning an' I went to the park... Central Park..."
His voice is starting to slur. I shake him gently.
"What about Central Park, Mikey?"
"...Oh, I... uh... it's big. I went to the place by the, uh... you know. People don't go there much..."
"What did you do there?"
"I... I found a violet patch. They weren't open yet. I waited..."
"...For the sun to wake them."
"Mm-hmm... I got tired and fell asleep... right there in the patch. I woke, uh... I woke up and I could smell 'em before I opened my eyes. I never smelled them before..."
"Tell me more."
He's starting to shiver. I pull him closer, wrapping him up in my arms, sharing my body heat. His plastron is pressed to mine, his injured arm hangs motionless behind my shell.
"...I picked some and brought 'em home... Splinter caught me sneaking in.."
"Yeah, I remember. He grounded you for a week."
"Wouldn't let me watch TV."
"At least he let you keep the violets."
"I, uh... I put them on my bed stand. They wilted and I left 'em there an' they dried. They still smelled pretty..."
"That was a long time ago, wasn't it?"
"It still smells like 'em sometimes... my room, I mean... smells like the violets..."
"That sounds nice."
"I smell 'em best when I'm wakin' up or goin' t' sleep... y'know, when my eyes are shut..."
He's stopped talking and his breaths are far apart. I'm getting tired, too... the air in here has gotten much too thin.
"Can you smell them now, Mikey?"
"Can you smell the violets now?"
"...Yeah... they're right here. They're pretty... where's Leo and Raph..? Are they here yet..?"
"No, not yet. They'll be here soon."
I close my eyes and start to drift to sleep, but I hear something. Just outside the walls, the scraping of stone. I hear a crash...
"I found them! Leo! I found them!"
"Hold still, Mikey..."
"Yeah, kid... just hold on."
I open my eyes, I still can't see anything. I think that they must have flashlights or something, since they can see us. My eyes must have been burned pretty bad.
"Raph? You got 'em?"
"Yeah. Come on, Leo, Mike's hurt pretty bad. Let's get him over there so we can dig Donny out."
I move my head, I think I made a noise...
"Donny? Hey, are you awake?"
"Leo? Yeah. Yeah, I'm okay. I'm stuck, though..."
"I know. Just hang on for a second, we'll get this stuff off your legs."
"Is Mikey okay?"
"He'll be fine. Good job with the tourniquet."
"Raph! On three push this block. Ready? One... two... three!"
The concrete scrapes and falls to the floor with a thud.
"Leo... his legs..."
"I know! Use your belt, like he did for Mikey!
What's wrong with my legs? I can't feel anything wrong with them, they don't hurt...
"Tie it there! Now! No! Right there!"
"Jesus! The bleeding won't stop!"
"The block must have been keeping the arteries pinched off! We should have checked before we moved it!
"We can't stop it!"
"I am trying, Leo! They're gone, we can't block it all off!"
"Tie it tighter!"
My legs? Did he say they were gone..? That's why I couldn't feel them. It's getting cold in here. I'll close my eyes, I can't see out of them, anyway... maybe if I relax... that's better.
...I think I smell violets...
******** END ********