NOTE: This story takes place after "Turtles Forever" and is Book Four of a Ten-Book series. The other titles released so far include: "So Long, No Thanks For All The Fish", "My Seer, My Secretary", and "Raphael Counts 'Em All"

DISCLAIMER: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are trademarked by Nickelodeon, the 1987 cartoon characters are trademarked by Fred Wolf. All original characters are mine


Leonardo leaned back on the sofa in the main living area of his cosy sewer lair beneath Manhattan. He was getting his head around a good book and had just reached chapter five when action not restricted to the printed page demanded his attention. A small explosion could be heard from the vicinity of Donatello's laboratory. Leonardo sighed, shut the book, making sure to book-mark it first, and walked over to the source of the disruption.

Sure enough, inside the lab, Raphael and Donatello were squabbling over the latest mishap to occur with the inventive Turtle's unpredictable machines. "What happened Donny? I thought this would be deep fried, not deep sixed" Raphael said, looking at a piece of what appeared to be charcoaled pizza.

"I don't get it" Donatello said, scratching his head at the massive dent in his new high-tech deep frying device, "I set the temperature at 5.0, and the time for thirty seconds, why did it go to temperature fifty?".

He checked the numbers that made up the timer on the right side of the device and suddenly pinpointed his mistake, "Oh no", he said, "I forgot to add the decimal point when adding in the programme".

Raphael looked at the lamp hanging above, clenching his teeth and closing his eyes tightly so as to contain whatever scream of woe and frustration he could muster.

"Can't you guys cook up trouble somewhere else?" Leonardo said, pointing to his book."I'm trying to do some heavy duty reading here".

Raphael, interested, snatched the book from Leonardo, he read the title: "Lone Pup and Cubby" by Phillip Harris Wolfhammer. "A children's book? Come on Leo, you weren't even reading these when you WERE a kid" Raphael said.

Leonardo took the book back. "Master Splinter taught us to see the good in everything Raph, besides, the book was written by a world renowned psychic, so I like cherry-picking all the stuff that could come true in the world...everything is connected in life in some way, so what better way to pinpoint all the dots than in a work of fiction, where noone can judge you too harshly for pointing out the connections in a world which believes more in coincidence than destiny"

"Someone get him off Cloud Atlas let alone Cloud 9" Raphael remarked. Leonardo opened the pages of the book, and proceeded to read out a passage from page 32, "It was a real dilemma, dinner, the dog thought, as his master realized he had burnt his choice of meal again. He knew the man would probably go out for take-away again, even in light of the danger that was ever present, one person's urge to satisfy his basic stomach urges took greater priority over one's concerns for long-term health"

"Ok, ok, I was thinking of going out for take-away" Raphael said, "But that doesn't mean I'm doing it because some book points out a common cliché in life whenever something goes wrong with dinner plans". He walked out of the lab and headed for his room to take out a trench-coat, intending to go out and get some food. Leonardo twirled around, opening the book at the page he was on and deciding to pester Donatello with it while the Turtle tried working out the problems with the timer on his deep fryer.

"Oh you really should give this book a try Don, it's about inventiveness, loyalty, skill, and proves you don't have to be with a group to fend off overwhelming odds" Leonardo boasted. Donatello nodded lightly, barely interested, as he punched in a few buttons on the fryer's control panel. Leonardo detected the disinterest and opted to read another passage from the book, one that would push his brothers' buttons ever so slightly. "As Cubby sat on the porch trying to form a pattern to his problem, a thought occurred to him. he had depended too much on the reliance of numbers and not his own personal instinct. In this instance, he concluded, set timing wasn't necessarily everything"

Donatello's eyes lit up, as if a bulb had just shone brightly above his head. "You're right Leo, I should have been more diligent, and judged which moment was ideal to take the pizza out of the fryer, Master Splinter's always telling us to go with our natural sense of time, I've forgotten that over the years". Leonardo bowed,. "You're very welcome Don" he said.

"Say, can I get a loan of that book after you've finished with it?" Donatello asked. Leonardo declined, "I promised Mikey I'd give him a skim of it when I was done, it might help influence his creative juices" he said, in reference to Michelangelo's recent turn to creative writing.

"Where is Michelangelo anyway?" Donatello asked, lifting up the burnt Pizza and depositing it in the thrash can. "It's not like him to be A.W.O.L when Pizza's on the horizon".

"You remember that mother Turtle we rescued a few years ago? April caught sight of it down at the beach, Mikey was pretty attached to it so he's went down there with her to get a good glimpse of it". Leonardo said, suddenly getting a notion to flick through the early pages seeing if there was a passage in there that referenced to someone's similar longing for nostalgia, thinking it synched up perfectly with Michelangelo's ideas.

Finally, Raphael re-emerged from his room, dressed for an average night through the town on the hunt for a piping hot snack. "Right, anyone want anything with a pizza fried by professionals as well as some Chinese?" he said, taking a dig at Donatello.

"I might get something later when I go out" Leonardo said. Raphael was baffled, "How do you reckon?" Raphael said. Leonardo turned to page 42 of the book and began quoting, much to Raphael's annoyance.

"Late was the hour where the lone warrior and his charges went out into the night at a brisk pace, eager for life and adventure, unaware that they were in for the wildest of rides..."

"Oh I'll give you a wild ride. Us in a taxi at traffic after midnight" Raphael said, and, putting his hat on, walked out of the lair, grumbling loudly.

Leonardo looked a little concerned, "What's eating away at him? I thought he'd eat up something like life having precise moments of destiny"

"He's a bit of a realist Leonardo, he's just used to making light remarks at the sheer spontaneous aspects of life, if everything was predetermined, he wouldn't find nearly half of it fun" Donatello explained, Leonardo wasn't keen on listening to this.

"That may be the opinion of a cynic Donny, but I for one am too much in love with the notion of everything somehow making sense in the world" he said, and went back to reading the book.