This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Donnie glared up from his mug of coffee as Mikey cheerfully plunked down in a seat at the kitchen table across from him. Placing Ice Cream Kitty on the table beside him, Mikey held the taxidermy-made iguana, complete with top hat and monocle, like a morbid ventriloquist dummy.
“Whatever you’re about to say don’t. It’s too early.”
Mikey rolled his eyes. “Early. I had breakfast like an hour ago.”
Donnie shook his head, blocking out the impulse to stuff Mikey like his iguana and instead determining how to brew his coffee stronger tomorrow. If he made a pot of espresso for himself, he should probably put a warning note on it just in case, though he was relatively certain that he was the only one in the family who had a taste for coffee. And by ‘a taste for coffee,’ he meant serious caffeine dependency.
“Why is Ice Cream Kitty out of the freezer? She’ll melt when we go to start training.”
Mikey thunked the portable cooler onto the table, causing Donnie’s mug to jump and him to quickly readjust it to catch the airborne beverage.
“Pshaw. There’s no training today. Me and Ice Cream Kitty are celebrating. We’re gonna paint the town green.” Ice Cream Kitty mrrowwed in agreement as Mikey settled her into the nest of ice packs he’d prepared.
“The phrase is ‘paint the town red.’ Wait did you say there’s no training today?” Donnie couldn’t keep the hope out of his voice as he posed the question.
Mikey licked the ice cream off his fingers from situating Ice Cream Kitty before answering. “Of course there’s no training today. It’s our holiday.”
Donnie blinked as his still not-quite-fully-awake mind worked to process what his little brother had said. “Holiday? We don’t have a holiday.”
Mikey sighed dramatically, as though disappointed in him. “Saint Patrick’s Day.”
Donnie’s brow furrowed as he struggled to make sense of that, eventually giving up. “I’m going to regret asking this, but why?”
“Because green is lucky. We’re green. So it’s a super-luck day for us. Only good stuff can happen and nothing can possibly go wrong.”
Donnie groaned and took a large gulp of his coffee, not caring that it was just a few degrees below scalding. “Mikey, that’s an Irish holiday.”
Mikey cocked his head to the side. “But this is New York?”
“Internationally celebrated as a result of Irish diaspora around the world, the United States has a particularly hedonistic variation that isn’t entirely flattering to its source culture.” Donnie clarified.
Upon seeing the expression on Mikey’s face, he knew exactly what was coming and interrupted before Mikey could finish opening his mouth. “Diaspora means a large scale geographic relocation of people from their homeland.” Mikey blinked uncomprehendingly and he sighed. “A lot of people moved away from home and live lots of other places around the world.”
Mikey’s eyes widened in understanding. “Oh. Why didn’t you just say so?”
Donnie massaged his temples. “I did…never mind. The point is, it’s not our holiday.”
Mikey frowned. “But what about all the green?”
Donnie took another swig of coffee, now cool enough that it didn’t burn, not that he could taste it. His last gulp had seared away all his taste buds. “The color green is associated with Ireland because of the rich vegetation there. That’s the reason it’s poetically nicknamed the Emerald Isle.”
Mikey thought it over for a minute. “Nah. I like my version better.”
Donnie’s hand clenched around his mug hard enough that tiny cracks began to spider web the ceramic. “If we were automatically lucky because we’re green, I’d be sitting here enjoying my coffee in peace instead of having this conversation.”
Mikey grinned as he shut the cooler, bounded over towards the turnstiles and used his foot to flip his skateboard into the arm holding the iguana. “Well, obviously you’re not lucky because you don’t believe in leprechauns. Geez, who do you think hands out all the luck?”
Donnie just gawped at his brother as Mikey took off down the tunnel, finally collecting himself enough to yell at the empty space where Mikey had once stood. “There’s no such thing as leprechauns!”
It then occurred to him that Mikey’s delusional theories on luck were the least of his problems. His crazy brother was going topside in the middle of the day. Crap! He had to tell Leo.
What a mess. This was a terrible day for them to miss training as they needed to be in top form for patrol tonight. March seventeenth was one of the days of the year when human behavior turned wildly inexplicable and they were sure to be in for a busy evening, most of which would probably be saving people from themselves.
And now they had to track down Mikey…the old fashioned way. Donnie had started out trying to track his phone, which they’d then discovered in the freezer. Right now their best lead was that he’d left with his skateboard, so they were systemically searching nearby skate parks. The last three had turned up nothing.
He came to a skidding halt on the roof of the building bordering a nearby park and looked down with a mixture of relief and dismay. They’d found Mikey, in one piece, and thankfully no one was around to witness his very public display of athleticism. The reason for his isolation was that it was freaking winter and no one in their right mind should be out skateboarding in these conditions. Although being out of one’s right mind was sort of a state of being for Mikey. Time to grab him and drag him home before he cracked his skull open.
Leo quickly navigated his way down the treacherous fire escape as speed was tempered by caution of the icy metal. After making it safely down, he darted across the street to the park and was nearly to cement half pipe when he heard Donnie cry out behind him.
As he spun back to look, his foot landed on an icy stretch of pavement. Hindered by his boots, his feet slid out from under him and for a brief moment while airborne, he had an excellent view of Donnie, falling from the second story of the fire escape, having lost his grip, to land shell-first atop someone’s car.
The breath was forced from his lungs as his own shell hit the cement and his earlier momentum kept him sliding along the slick surface until he splatted against the side of a ramp. Dazed and winded, he tilted himself upright to see Raph helping Don across the street towards him with an amused smirk. He wouldn’t be living this one down for a long time.
Behind him, he could hear Mikey grinding a rail with his board to Ice Cream Kitty’s wet but enthusiastic applause, his brother somehow still intact in the urban death trap. “That was my best run ever, Ice Cream Kitty. I knew today was lucky. Are you cold?” Ice Cream Kitty made an annoyed sound that Mikey completely ignored. “Yeah, me too. Let’s get some hot chocolate.”
No. He couldn’t be leaving. They’d just found him. Still slightly concussed, Leo couldn’t get his body to cooperate in time. When he finally made it to his feet, Mikey was gone.
“What now fearless leader?” Raph was still eyeing him in amusement as he supported Donnie.
“As soon as Don has his feet back, we need to spread out and look for coffee shops.”
Winter was a stupid season. It didn’t help that he was stuck on the side walk, dodging hordes of midday drunks, because he couldn’t look inside shops from the rooftops. Seriously, it was a weekday. Didn’t any of these people have jobs?
He glanced inside another Mikey-free café window. Although the absence of screaming patrons rushing the exit could have told him that. This was new level of stupid, even for Mikey.
He finally saw his little brother at a miraculously empty corner, perhaps there was somehow no bar there, purchasing a Styrofoam cup of something from an impossibly calm old man in sunglasses. The inebriation of the people around him was paying off as no one seemed to notice the human-sized turtle, wearing a scarf. How had even gotten that? He hadn’t had it at the skate park.
Barreling through the thinning crowd, he bee lined for Mikey who was quickly disappearing into an alley. Almost there, he passed one final trio of humans, two drunk men, supporting their equally drunk female companion.
“You can’t be done already. We’ve only hit three bars. We’ll never finish the pub crawl if you’re already smashed.” One of the men slurred to her.
Her response was to empty her stomach, just as Raph was moving past. Hearing the heaving sounds, he quickly dodged away without looking and thus slamming hard into the old man’s mobile coffee stand. Three insulated carafes tipped over, unfortunately unsealed as they dumped their scalding contents all over him.
“Aaaahhhh! Son of a…!”
“You’d better pay for that.”
Raph paused his hopping and batting of the hot liquid off his skin, to glare at the old man, who, with his sunglasses now dislodged, was looking at him with pale, sightless eyes. No wonder he hadn’t screamed when Mikey approached him.
Snatching his burning hat off his head, he squeezed the coffee out of it, adding his gloves to his list of drenched clothing that he couldn’t publicly remove, even if it hadn’t been freezing out. He noticed the drunk trio eyeing him without really understanding what they were seeing and slapped his soggy hat back onto his head.
Grabbing one of the men, he shoved them towards the cart. “Pay for that.” He demanded before turning down the alley Mikey had disappeared into.
He was now burning and shivering as the cold set into his wet clothing atop his scalded flesh. They weren’t bad burns, but he’d be tender for a few days, which Mikey would pay for dearly whenever he caught the little nutball. And if the smell and slightly thicker damp sensation soaking through his pants was any indication, he hadn’t completely escaped the woman’s projectile vomit. Fantastic.
To top it off. The alley was empty. Mikey wasn’t anywhere in sight. He started to explore deeper in when a flyer stuck to the bottom of his boot. Peeling it free, he noted that it was drenched in ice cream, Neapolitan like Ice Cream Kitty, and was advertising for a holiday dance party. No way. Mikey wouldn’t. Who was he kidding? Of course he would.
Raph yanked out his phone and speed-dialed Leo. “We’ve got a problem.”
And he’d discovered the most awesome party ever, where everyone absolutely loved his costume, even though it was only a scarf, and puppets, though he only had one top hat iguana. And now he was busting out his best moves in the center of a circle of cheering humans to the booming beat that filled the room. Ice Cream Kitty was rocking out on his shoulder and he’d tied top hat iguana to his scarf to free up his hands for dancing. This was the best time ever.
“You are finished freak!”
Mikey paused mid-shaking it up, to see Hun flanked by Fong, Tsoi and Sid on the catwalk above the edge of the dance floor. Uh oh. He was way greener, so he should be luckier, right?
Aside from the music, the room fell silent as Hun jumped down, landing in a forward roll that became an attacking sprint, directed towards Mikey. Or at least it was until he hit a puddle, left by Ice Cream Kitty, and slid, pin wheeling into one of the massive speakers behind Mikey.
He flinched away from the shower of sparks raining out of Hun and the speaker and watched in stunned amazement as the singed and smoking gang leader toppled backwards onto the floor with a groan. Yes! His lucky day was still in effect.
He looked back towards the other Dragons, who’d opted to take the steps down. Well this was going to be simple, even if he had forgotten his chucks at home. “Let’s do this Ice Cream Kitty.”
The mutant cat leapt from his shoulder, straight into Tsoi’s face, scrabbling fiercely as he tried to pull her off of him.
“Classy Iguana, I choose you!” Mikey unwound his scarf and used it to launch top hat iguana towards Sid, who caught it, got a good look at it and screamed the way Raph did whenever he saw a cockroach, before turning and fleeing the club.
Fong pulled out a switchblade and angrily shook it in frustration as the blade refused to pop out.
“So, should I wait or what?”
Fong looked up to see Sid gone and Tsoi on the ground under a victorious Ice Cream Kitty. He tossed the uncooperative weapon aside and ran in with his fists.
Mikey gracefully flipped and dodged every strike, while keeping time with the music and bopping Fong with his makeshift, iguana-scarf weapon. The crowd began chanting again as Mikey reached the finale, dropping into the splits and spinning to take Fong’s legs out from under him before pushing up to a handstand and flipping back to his feet to take a well-deserved bow. Behind him, Fong was clawing his way off the dance floor, gasping for breath.
“This place has the most awesome shows!” One of the human spectators called out and Mikey began looking around to find what he was talking about, not wanting to miss it.
Instead he noticed that Ice Cream Kitty was getting especially melty. Better get her outside quick.
Scooping her up, he hurried to the back door and slipped out into the alley behind the club, surprised to find it almost ankle deep with rapidly dissipating water. Before him stood his three brothers drenched and shivering. “Whoa, what happened to you guys?”
“Metal fatigue in the water tower. Must’ve given out under the stress of the rapidly changing temperatures lately.” Donnie answered through chattering teeth as Leo pointed up.
His eyes followed the gesture to the modest metal water tower at the top of the building opposite him. One side near the bottom was bent outward, creating a gaping hole positioned just over his brothers.
Mikey held up a hand to cut Raph off. “Whatever it is, it can wait. You guys don’t look so good. I’d better get you home.”
“There’s no such thing as…aaachhoo!” Donnie’s assertion was cut off by a sneeze. Snuffling, he accepted the bowl from Mikey, who affectionately readjusted his blanket.
Mikey darted back off into the kitchen, popping into the freezer to give Ice Cream Kitty an affectionate pat, before pouring the steaming pot of hot chocolate into the mismatched mugs arranged on a platter.
He didn’t know why they were all so bent out of shape. So they got a little wet. Otherwise the day was total amazeballs. Besides, he was taking care of them. This was the third round of soup and warm drinks he’d made since getting them home.
Even though it was late, he was still riding high on the excitement of the holiday. Returning to the pit, with a bounce in his step, somehow managing not to spill any of the beverages, he passed out the mugs before curling up in a bean bag chair with his own drink.
“I’m telling you guys, today was the luckiest day ever.”
“Well, it’s over now, thank goodness.” Donnie held out his phone, showing the time at a minute past midnight.
Raph rolled his eyes. “Not soon enough.”
Leo picked up the remote and Raph glared at him. “If you put on Space Heroes, so help me, I’ll…”
“I’m catching up on the news.” Leo cut him off.
Raph raised an eye ridge questioningly. “News? It’s the middle of the night.”
Leo shrugged. “I recorded it.”
Raph snorted out a laugh. “Donnie builds us a DVR and you use it to record the news?”
Leo didn’t even look at him as he set the recording to play. “It’s interesting to compare their presentation of events with other sources.”
Raph shook his head. “Just when I think you can’t get any dorkier…”
“And tonight we have some phone footage of a party that got a little too crazy…” The screen filled with an amateur video of Mikey’s dance-off with the Purple Dragons.
“Boys!” The all jumped at the sound of Splinter’s voice behind them.
Uh oh. It looked like his lucky day was over.
Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...
Warchief: The biggest problem with the Harry Potter series is that it's all from his point of view. So we never really get to see or understand events from other peoples perspective. I think that they would be more than a few people that want to know what happened at Hogwarts during that last year.As far a...
Tiffany Thomson: This story is not something I would normally pick up and read but I'm so glad I did, I wasn't able to put it down and my husband was yelling at me at 3am to put it down and go to bed (just waited for him to doze back off before picking it back up) I really hope Natalie brings out another book eit...
JulieJeanette: I'm only on chapter nine, but so far I am loving this story!. I am on pins and needles hoping that they find good men in their lives by the end. I am American and so the British tone and lingo ('knickers,' 'sod it' ) of the book is very appealing. I had to find out how much '12 stone' was by goog...
DennisT: This is an excellent story by an author who writes very well. the only problem areas that I see relate to proofreading and editing. All of the stories by Vanessa are excellent, and I have read them all more than once. I had hoped that they would be better edited and proofread on this site, but it...
Alex Rushmer: I just want to say that the writing in this is amazing! I read the first couple chapters and was absolutely drawn in by it, The way you use first person in this story is extremely engaging and does wonders with your character development. I immediately had a picture of the characters and plotline...
CurlyRed: I read this entire book in just under 4 hours I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! i found myself emotionally attached to the characters and making personal connections that i had never experienced before while reading a book! I was constantly wanting to read more, every chapter left me on a cliff hanger tha...
Madison O'Neal: Although the book may be good the grammar is horrid and it's hard to concentrate on the story when having to correct the mistakes of the author I suggest the author go back and correct things to improve the enjoyment of the book overall and the app should proof read things before they are publish...
Beloved Q Medina: At first I figured it was another genre fiction book and didn't have any expectations, but by the first few chapters I found myself engrossed in Sid's journey. Some say that genre fiction is predictable, or not as substantial as literary fiction, but this novel was anything but that. I found myse...
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."