This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
I know you and who you are;
A star, a constellation far above.
And I am just a traveler,
A gatherer of everything I love.
The sun is falling, fading out of sight
The fire inside will guide me through the night
-Whichever Way the Wind Blows, Gaelic Storm
Y'Gythgba made her way through the ship towards the holoroom. It was good to still be here, especially after everything that had happened on Dregg’s home world. Had the situation been reversed, she doubted that she could have been so forgiving.
But among their many other attributes, the turtles were remarkably magnanimous. And she was determined never to require their forgiveness, ever again. Having nearly lost it once, she would not risk that sacred bond of trust for anything. Besides, she suspected that with turtles as allies, no obstacle, enemy or hardship was insurmountable. She would place her faith in them above all else henceforth.
The war awaited and life must go on, but she was grateful for this brief respite, here on the Fugitoid’s ship. Although she had a reason other than that contributing to her reluctance to leave. One that currently had her tail cheerfully swishing behind her with each step, as though she were a nymph.
Commander G’throkka was on the bridge, speaking with Leonardo and the Fugitoid. And, as she strode through the recreation room, she could see the others watching a strange piece of audio-visual artwork on the tele-screen.
April O’Neil sat in the middle of the couch, holding a bowl of popped corn. Donatello and Casey Jones sat on either side of her. Casey Jones sprawled across his half of the couch, with one leg hanging over the armrest and an arm draped around April O’Neil’s shoulders. Donatello, sat straight and stiff on the other side, close enough that April O’Neil’s arm was tucked in against his shell while he poked around inside a piece of one of their spacesuits with tiny screwdrivers while casting her surreptitious glances.
Michelangelo lay splayed across floor in front of the couch, munching on a slice of pizza with eyes glazed over as he stared up at the screen. “Kwis Bwadfood’s so wame…” he snickered with a mouthful of pizza.
Shaking her head, she walked past them and into the holoroom. Drawing a sharp breath, she spun around, taking in the sights around her. Against a backdrop of steel and glass spires and columns, she was in a large open space, with shaggy, green ground and water blue sky, crowned by a golden sun. Brown stalks of wood jutted out from the land, capped with fluffy green tops. A stream of water trickled past with a red and white checkered cloth spread beside it.
She approached cautiously, examining the cloth, which, based on the arrangement, appeared to be the focal point of the scene.
“It’s my home.”
She spun around at the sound of Raphael’s voice. He was holding a steaming platter of pizza and a couple of cans she’d thought she’d once heard him refer to as soda pop.
“This is Central Park, in New York City, where I’m from. Or at least what I think it looks like during the day.”
She smiled. “Raphael. You asked me here, to show me your world?”
He sighed happily, before shaking himself out of it and spreading the pizza, spare plates and beverages out on top of the cloth. “Uh, yeah. And I thought, maybe we could, you know, hang out…without everyone else.” He plopped down on the cloth and looked up at her expectantly.
She could refuse him nothing and seated herself beside him. “That sounds like a wonderful idea. What is this ‘hanging out’ you spoke of?”
He shifted uncomfortably as he struggled to come up with words to describe what he thought should be self-evident. “Uh, it’s talking…and having fun, I guess.”
Fun. It had been a very long time, since she’d given any thought to having fun. The war had burned away the little joy and frivolity that had existed in her life. But as she reflected on it, the few opportunities she’d had to spend time with Raphael, outside of life-threatening peril, had been, if not fun, then deeply enjoyable.
She placed her hand on his. “I would gladly hang out with you anytime, noble Raphael.”
His cheeks reddened in a pleasing way that matched his mask. He looked away, shyly. “I know that my brothers and I need to save Earth and your people have their own troubles. I…just wanted to spend some time together…before you have to go back home and…I might not see you again…”
She could hear the touch of sorrow in his voice as he freed his hands and focused on dividing up the pizza onto plates for each of them. Colors faded and the light dimmed a bit as she considered his words. Meeting him had uplifted her entire existence, offering her hope and joy she had not before known. The thought of never being near her again was crushing.
She would not have it. This was the only thing she’d ever wanted for herself and she refused to relinquish it. Setting down the plate that Raphael had handed her, she looked up towards the sky. “I am honor-bound to serve my planet and my people, with the privilege of proving my worth in glorious battle. But, Salamandria is not my home.”
She glanced over to see his puzzled expression.
“It’s not? Then where are you from?”
“I am from Salamandria, although I have not been back there in a long time. My home is where my heart is…with you. And to it I shall always return, no matter how far I might travel. I love you, my Raphael.”
His eyes lit up like the stars of the cosmos and an easy smile spread across his face. He caught up her hands in his. “Mona…I love you too.”
Her tail encircled him, pulling him close, pressing her nose against his, sparking a pleasurable sensation throughout her body from her snout straight down to her tail, as the world around them faded away, only this moment real. He was her heart and her soul. Wherever she had to go and for however long she need be gone to satisfy the demands of honor to which she was bound, with him, she would always belong.
Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
RodRaglin: Sounds like an interesting story, LesAnne.Here are some things you might want to consider when you revise this draft."Show don't tell." You've probably hear this before and wondered what's the difference? Well, the difference is as a writer you're telling your reader what's happening rather than ...
LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
Animeviewer: It is one of the best stories I've ever read. This story will have you riding a roller coaster of emotions and nearly dying to know what happens next.You will get very attached to the characters and in my case I relate well with some of their very traumatic or emotional experiences, Just Juliet f...
Elizabeth Krohn: I really enjoy the story but the Dursley's hate for Harry to just disappear is not very realistic and does seem to OC for me. Dudley, i can see changing due to the dementor incident but the other two ... not so much.For breeding purposes Luna and severus should have kids to have another Hogwarts...
Jordan Young: *ALERT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Where to start? I don't know how to sum up this review, this story was absolutely sensational. Brilliant. Flawless. I loved every single bit of this story, it is truly amazing. I read this story in fifteen hours, it is magnificent. I loved everything about it, the p...
Silviu-Dan Mateescu: I was very, very impressed with this story. Great plot and pacing, likeable characters. very pleasant writing style. I think the author is very talented and hope this is the beginning of a series which I believe will be very successful. Some minor formatting errors, like missing words, but they d...
Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...
Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.
jaslynnash2015: I absolutely loved the story from beginning to end and I loved following each of the characters throughout their journey! Very captivating although there were a few grammar errors, but very captivating still! Can't wait for book 2!
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."