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When Healthy Turtles Hunt Bears,
the first thing you should know is that it was a mistake. Because the whole point of this was to learn about hunting and being safe while doing so. A lot of people are looking forward to it too. But I’m not really sure what I mean when I say ‘a big, bad bear is coming for me’ because there is no such thing as a big, bad bear in real life. So yeah, there’s no reason to fear that. I just wanted to say something in my defense before anyone else did. Just thought this one out. Thanks!
First Rule of
“Hm?” He looked up at his brother’s worried face, having been deep in conversation with Raph. “What’s wrong?”
He shrugged, his eyes downcast but Mike could still see some worry hidden in them. “You were muttering weird stuff again.”
Mike blinked, wondering if his brother had actually heard him or simply guessed what he was saying. Probably a bit of both. And yet his mind was reeling from the conversation he’d had earlier about how dangerous it was for him to go alone in a town full of strangers. It wasn’t like he planned on going into a large crowd, which probably made it more likely that someone would come after him than anyone else. But if he ever felt unsafe and needed help, it was best to have backup. Especially since they’d decided their plan was to stay within walking distance of each other in order to keep an eye out for trouble, even if they were already pretty close to Mike’s house now. So far, the three of them had avoided getting caught by any bears and were currently heading back home with enough food for two meals, all according to the plan. But there was always that one chance things could go wrong, especially if one of them ended up lost. They didn’t want any of them to end up hurt, or worse…
But they all needed to stop thinking about that for now. It was time to eat before the last half of their trip and get home and take advantage of the opportunity to relax for a while.
“Alright, let’s head inside,” Mike said. The four of them started heading inside when they suddenly paused, noticing something amiss. The streetlights outside were flickering in an irregular pattern, casting eerie shadows across the ground and cars. Even the lights that had seemed to be working a moment ago were starting to flicker.
“Something’s happened!” Mike cried, panic rising in his voice. Something terrible must have happened! Maybe the power had gone out or a building got struck by lightning! No… no… he didn’t want that. But he knew they couldn’t just wait around. Not when lives could be potentially at stake here and now. If there was anything Mike knew, it was that nothing good came out of waiting around. So, without waiting another moment, he turned and bolted, Raph quickly right behind him and Donnie bringing up the rear. Their pace quickened as they ran towards the safety of Mike’s house.
It wasn’t long before they reached the front door, only slowing as Mike fumbled at his pocket for the keys. He finally found them, throwing them open with relief and pushing the door shut behind them as they ran inside and closed the locks. He dropped his backpack on the floor and hurried over to the kitchen, grabbing a handful of salt and shoving it into the cabinets next to where the oven sat, the rest of the salt packets tucked away elsewhere. He grabbed a bowl and filled it halfway with water, adding it to the mix before running back through the living room and straight up the stairs to his bedroom. He quickly pulled off his sweatshirt, revealing the T-shirt beneath before dropping it onto his bed before pulling a pair of sweatpants over his own legs. Then he turned and ran over to his nightstand, digging through his drawer until he found the small box he needed. After checking to make sure his mom hadn’t seen him rummaging, he opened the box and poured out every single item he held. One of those items happened to be his camera, the rest being his flashlight, and finally the extra SD card that contained their secret code. That done, he shoved everything into the bag along with the rest of the items before grabbing the bag and running downstairs. His brothers were waiting for him in the living room and he gave them all a relieved smile.
“Everything’s ready,” he assured them, “Now we just gotta wait.”
Everyone nodded their heads in understanding, Mike taking a seat in a chair while the others took spots on the couch. Mike leaned forward slightly, setting the camera on the coffee table in front of him before leaning back. There was nothing to do except wait, and although it would be easy for everyone else, it would be incredibly difficult for Mike. It didn’t matter that he could handle whatever happened; what he couldn’t handle, was the idea of having to explain himself. Especially when it involved being blamed for the deaths of innocent people and knowing there was little he could do about it. He might be strong enough and smart enough to avoid becoming a murderer, but that didn’t make him immune from being blamed, and as it turned out, it wouldn’t make him any less guilty.
The First Rule of
Was Never, Ever Go Hunting Alone
Afternoon sun fell across his skin as he strolled through the park, taking a break from his usual routine to spend some time enjoying nature with his friends and family. As usual, his father was out buying supplies and his mother was sitting in her favorite spot under a large tree. She was reading a book in anticipation of their return with dinner. Today’s activities would consist of cooking meat, which would also include making hamburgers from scratch with a side of homemade potato salad, and dessert: chocolate cake.
His stomach growled and she glanced up, giving him a warm smile. Mike smiled back, returning her hug with a quick squeeze before joining her underneath the tree. Once he was settled next to her, she set her book aside to give him a serious look.
“Is something wrong, dear? You’ve barely eaten this morning.”
He chuckled nervously, scratching his head. “I guess I got a little distracted.”
She arched a brow at him, waiting patiently for her son to continue.
“Well, you remember how I told you about the animal shelter I went to today?” He began hesitantly, unsure whether or not his parents would agree with his plans. It was true, though; his mother had suggested it years ago, before he could remember, and he was grateful for it. She had always encouraged him to volunteer, but he had never felt quite comfortable in situations such as these. It was always easier to tell a parent he was bored rather than that he was scared, after all. Still, he figured it was important for him to tell her in case he changed his mind later. “It was really nice! I met a boy there who was interested in learning about animals and he offered to show me around, and-“
“How nice of him!” She interrupted, obviously pleased by the prospect of him finding new friends. “Did he have kids your age? Was he nice?”
“He did,” Mike responded, “and I think it was kind of weird because we’re almost the same age.”
“That’s alright, sweetie,” Mrs Wheeler replied gently. “Just because you’re a few years older doesn’t make you a bad person. Now that you’re telling me that there are children your age around here, we need to start planning for you to take them out.”
“Oh, mom, it’s okay-” Mike tried, only to find his mother waving him off.
“No excuses, Mike. We’ll discuss it further tomorrow. Right now, you need to enjoy yourself and I need to focus on dinner.