[Promt: Write a dark and gritty remake of your favorite kids show. Wait as long as possible to reveal what show you’re referencing ]
The city streets of my home smelled sour today, and it wasn’t just the trash that currently cluttered the alley I stood in, but because something had made its foul presence known on my turf. Something, some unknown creature, had crawled its way out of whatever hellish dimension it came from and was tearing down my city one wall at a time. Or, more literally, it was melting the walls off of buildings.
I stood beside one of the holes now, trying not to stare at it in awe. From what I could glean together from the panicked ramblings of witnesses, the creature had spit on the walls and within mere seconds the brick, mortar, drywall, studs, steel beams, whatever what in its way, had disintegrated. I expected the stench of the scene to flood my senses and make my stomach want to turn itself inside out. But whatever the creature had expelled from the depths of its twisted body smell faintly of toasted cheese and my stomach rumbled longingly for the lunch I had abandoned in haste to tend to the escalating situation. At least there were no casualties. Not yet.
Sirens from the street was my cue to get lost. I turned up the collar of my brown trench to hide my features as I stepped onto the sidewalk and merged with a passing group of citizens. I loved my city, but I knew its faults, such as the ignorance of its people. It was too easy to slip into a crowd without drawing a single glance from those around me. Their lack of attention worked in my favor as I disappeared into the underground subway system.
I had been tracking the unearthly beast for a few city blocks and the best I could glean from its movements was that it was trying to run away. It hadn’t openly attacked anyone (a statistic I hoped to keep in place as long as the boys in blue stayed out of my way) and it seemed to be seeking some sort of safe refuge from the constant bustle of the city.
I might not draw a second glance from people on the streets, but an alien creature was sure to earn a reaction in the guise of people screaming their heads off and officials over-reacting to the threat. The last thing I needed was for tanks to start rolling down the streets to engage in an open war between monsters and men. The people of the city might not realize it, but they’ve been involved in an ongoing war for years. I’ve been part of the fight ever since I was young and I knew how to get ahead of a situation to keep it from steamrolling into a flat out catastrophe.
The only place I could think of where a man, or monster in this case, could find solace was beneath the city. The tunnels used by the subways were dark with a constant, musty smell. I’ve traveled these dark ways before to avoid detection from law enforcement. It didn’t take long before I detected the odor or cooked cheese, the same smell I had noticed at the strange hole in the side of a building. I found similar acidic destruction nearby which supported my assumption of the monster’s destination. It had dropped down from the street above, fallen into the subway tunnel, then had retreated into the sewers.
Beneath my long coat I touched the hilt of my weapon to keep my nerve as I dropped down into the sewer in pursuit. I had confidence in my skills, but past lessons had taught me not to let my ego get ahead of me. I’ve been in a lot of bad situations that at first glance looked like a ‘no win’ scenario, but I have always prevailed. As long as I didn’t give in to despair and was prepared to seize every opportunity that came my way I would continue to come out on top.
Movement to my left caught my attention. A pair of rats were trying to climb on to the walkway, their paws scratched frantically at the cement. Their back feet and tail lashed at the water until they gained solid ground. They didn’t even seem to notice me as they darted over my feet and around the corner. They were scared of something more threatening than me.
My eyes turned back to the murky water just as the beast lunged at me from below. I dropped low and rolled away on pure instinct due to years of constant training. The creature’s claws gouged the cement where I had once stood. It screamed in frustration and flashed its long, sharp teeth at me. It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be considering the size of the holes it had crawled through to escape me. It resembled the monster from the movie Alien, but this one was orange and didn’t have the extra little mouth (at least I hope it didn’t).
It clambered awkwardly out of the water and rushed me like an angry bull. I jumped over it, catching it in the back with both feet as I used it as a springboard to further my jump. When I landed, I quickly turned to keep my foe in sight. I sensed, more than I saw, my brother arrive and stand ready next to me.
“You need to stop running off on your own.”
“I got this,” I growled at him.
“We’re suppose to be a team.”
“Not my fault you guys are too slow,” I pulled off my hat and coat to free up my movements.
From the far end of the tunnel, another one of my brothers appeared, “Does anyone else think it smells like pizza?”
“I was thinking it was more like cheese curds,” Said the last of my three brothers as he joined.
We weren’t the only one gaining ranks. As the monster sized the four of us up, it was join by two other alien monstrosities that could only come from dimension X. I was willing to place a bet that Shredder wasn’t too far around the corner, chasing after Kane’s latest contribution to the war on Earth.
“Enough,” I said. “Let’s do this!”
Pulling my Sai free, I rushed the monster and gave my turtle brothers no choice but to join me in the fight.
[1987 TMNT Cartoon. Season 2, Episode 6: “The Case of the Killer Pizzas”]