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The Aftermath: Part 17"Guys! We need to get this place protected! There are Kraang looking for our lair!"
Raph runs down the steps and almost collapses on a sofa.
"Raph?! What do you mean?!"
"In... the caverns... we heard Kraang... looking for us..."
"Where's RJ?" Mikey asks.
"She's f-following... them..."
"Ok, Donnie?" I say.
"What about that cloaking device you have? Could we use it?"
"Well... I guess... for a little while. The Kraang should fall fo rit."
"Good. Get it up and running. We have to hide right in the deepest part of the lair."
"Where?" Emma asks.
"You should know! Right in the very back room of Donnie's lab."
Donnie looks slightly agitated now.
But we have no choice.
"Go on, Donnie." I urge, keeping him on track.
"Ok." He says, rushing to his workshop.
We'll be fine.
A DiscoveryA baby?
Why would a baby be out here?
I know I'm only 8, but I know that babies can't be kept in an alleyway.
I walk closer and then leap back.
The baby cries louder.
It has... a tail?
And very thick orange hair.
The man did tell me to find something of value...
I pick up the... child and take it back through the streets to the building.
"Master was expecting you back hours ago." One of the people says.
"I'm sorry. I was distracted." I say, holding the child for them to see.
They let me in and I walk down the halls to his chamber.
The new guards there let me in immediatly.
I walk up and bow.
"Xever... you have kept me waiting long enough."
"What have you brought me?"
"A... child..." I say.
The Aftermath: Part 16"Raph?" I ask cautiously, peeking into the cavern.
This is where my tracker says he is, soo...
"AHHH!" I yell, turning towards the noise.
"Ha. You'll give yerself whiplash one o' these days."
"Raph, I told you not to do that!"
He chuckles and hugs me from behind, making me jump again.
"Yeesh, sorry. I thought you knew where I was."
"I didn't. The noise echos in here."
This is awkward.
Raph keeps his arms round me and nuzzles.
"Why did you get me here, Raph?"
"Look, you. I know that you may not like showing affection in public-"
"But do you really want the guys to be wondering what we're up to?"
"I see what ya mean..."
"I'm sensing a 'but' here."
"BUT, I don't really care."
He kisses me quite roughly, and I only half-respond, trying to keep him under control.
"Raph..." I say.
"What?" He asks, kissing me again.
"Raph, you have to be careful."
"Why?" He goes to kiss me again, but I stop him.
"Look, Raph. I love you, I really do, but you need to slo
Stormy SeasStorm in my mind.
Crashing waves of thought.
My heart is in turmoil.
Threatening to sink.
Off the starboard bow,
is my fleet of love.
Off the port bow,
is his fleet of drowning
I don't want,
To let my ships go.
I have to do,
what the waves say.
The waves say,
a good captain,
doesn't always go down with her ship.
Teenage TaoismGiving birth is the closest I’d ever felt to dying.
Before that, my near death experiences had consisted only of my silent announcement of pregnancy—silent, being that my social media accounts were all deleted almost simultaneously and I never returned to school in the fall, saying without really saying that I had caught the malicious disease of “teenage pregnancy”. I’m sure the whisper spread in the hallways like the Bubonic Plague. That September, sitting at home on what would have been the first day of my senior year, I imagined friends I’d never talk to again saying “she was only seventeen, and so full of life!” at my absence in the cafeteria tables, as if they were attending my funeral instead of talking about me behind my back.
"Full of life," I had snorted then, folding a never ending stream of what had once been my own baby clothes. "Literally."
I walked around like a zombie for the months of my pregnancy, deciding t
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