A SHARK HORSE SPIN-OFF
by Jeffrey Kieviet and Casey Moriarty
“My name is Walter Hartwell White. I live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 87104. To all law enforcement entities, this is not an admission of guilt. I am speaking to my family now… Skyler, you are the love of my life, I hope you know that. Walter junior, you’re my big man. There are… there are going to be some things, things that you’ll come to learn about me in the next few days. I just want you to know that, no matter how it may look, I only had you in my heart. Goodbye.”
– Walter White, Breaking Bad
“I too once had a family, Danny. Many years ago I lived in Japan: a pet of my master Yoshi, mimicking his movements from my cage and learning the mysterious art of Jinjitsu, for Yoshi was one of Japan’s finest shadow warriors. His only rival was a man named Oroko Saki, and they competed in all things, but in nothing more fiercely than for the love of a woman, Thang Shin. Shin’s love was only for my master and rather than see him fight Saki for her hand, she persuaded Yoshi to flee with me to America. But Saki vowed vengeance. I remember it well, as my master returned home to find his beloved Shin lying on the floor, and then he saw her killer. Saki wasted no words, and during the struggle, my cage was broken. I leapt to Saki’s face, biting and clawing, but he threw me to the floor and took one swipe with his Katana, slicing my ear. Then he was gone, and I was alone.”
– Master Splinter, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
A little while ago…
“Yes,” the anthropomorphic rat replied. “I have Ratatouille. Inoperable. I’ve got less than two years to live.”
“Okay, good. A lot of people don’t take this news seriously because of that stupid Disney movie.”
The doctor began to shuffle papers on his desk. “As long as you understand you’ll be dead really soon, that’ll be ten thousand dollars. Now get out of my office.”
Master Splinter walked through the sewers and arrived home just as night was falling. He entered his dwelling, flipped on the light, and was taken aback with a loud “Surprise!”
All his friends and ‘family’ popped out from their hiding places and welcomed him with, bright smiling facings.
“Happy 3rd birthday!!! Y’know, because rats don’t live that long.” Mike added cheerfully.
“Damn it, Mikey. This is why people think you’re retarded!” Shark Horse’s voice echoed from behind the crowd. Splinter sighed. His simple ward had no idea how truly short he was for this world. April emerged with a glowing birthday cake. “Make a wish, baby,” she cooed to Master Splinter. “Shark Horse was kind enough to look the other way when we bought this sugary, fattening cake. You know, because Mayor Michael Bloomberg has put so many restrictions on junk food throughout the city.”
Splinter had only one wish: the safety and security of his family after he was gone. Faking a smile, he blew out the cake.
As the party began to die down, Shark Horse approached Splinter and threw a hoof around his shoulder. “Hey buddy! Now don’t you tell anyone about that cake, Bloomberg will have my ass.”
“Not to worry,” said Splinter with a heavy heart.
“I was on this bust the other day, this illicit pizza place, they were cooking dozens of slices, even a couple calzones. We got the whole crew, and you’ll never believe this, we found ten million dollars hidden under the floorboards! The illegal junk food business is getting out hand.” Shark Horse threw back the remainder of his beer. “Hey, you know what I was thinking, why don’t you come on a ride along tomorrow? You’ll have to bring your own saddle though. I don’t actually own one, because, well, I don’t ride myself.”
Splinter considered his chimera-brother’s offer. Ten million dollars? He thought. “Yes, sounds like fun,” he agreed.
While galloping through the streets of New York, Shark Horse paused to indicate all the closed pizza places. “The health food laws have really decimated the economy here. I mean, you can’t even try to make healthy pizza without getting thrown in the slammer. And to think, it all started with the Big-Gulp.”
“Fascinating,” Splinter said. He wasn’t really paying attention.
Suddenly, Shark Horse’s sharkie-talkie beeped. “Calling all units, calling all units. Pizza bust in progress down on the corner of 7th & Broadway!”
“Hold on to my reins.” Shark Horse commanded with glee & excitement. And with that, they took off towards time square.
Despite Shark Horse’s ludicrous speed, by the time they arrived on the scene, everything was under control. “Wait here,” ordered Shark Horse. “I’ll go see what help the police need.”
Shark Horse approached the group of blues and scared the shit out of the ones who didn’t know he existed. While he was talking them down, Splinter noticed a suspicious figure climbing into the sewer grate nearest the pizza building. Was that Raphael, my former pupil? It’s hard to tell, they all look the same, but I am certain that was Raph.
“Hey, Shark Horse! I think that’s enough for the day,” Splinter was shouting across the street, sending new waves of horror across the faces of the rookies. I mean, how often do you see a rat man? “I’m just going to walk home!” Shark Horse gave him a nod, and with that, Splinter disappeared into the sewers to follow his former student.
Quickly picking up Raph’s scent, Splinter followed him through the twisting maze of underground plumbing. Eventually, he lost the scent, he had trained the turtle well and Splinter sensed Raph had purposefully avoided him. Suddenly, from out of the darkness, Raphael sprang on the unsuspecting rat.
“What are you doing following me, bitch?”
Ah, the old familiarity of one of his beloved pupils sent a small smile to the ratlike corner’s of Splinters lips. “I’m here for you, Raph. I want you to cook with me.”
“What, pizza?” Raphael was incredulous.
“Yes.” Splinter was focused and calm.
“How, are we going to go back and cook at your place?”
“No, it must be somewhere mobile. Shark Horse can never find us, I cannot have the law get involved. Here, take my life savings. Buy us an RV. We’ll cook there.” Splinter handed Raph a crumpled wad of cash that he always kept on his person because people freak out when giant rats go into banks.
“An RV? This is New York! We’ll be stuck in traffic all day, cooking pizza and smelling up the whole city.” Raph was pacing.
“What do you recommend?” inquired Splinter.
“Remember the Rat King? He had that weird water boat that he could drive all through the sewers. Like an air boat or something, that’s where we should cook.” A smile of pride crept into Raph’s face.
“Fine. Just get it done.”
The next day, Splinter met Raph below Central Park, the air boat was waiting, stocked to the bows with cooking supplies. “All of it: cheese, flower, tomatoes, pepperonis. Sardines?” Splinter asked skeptically.
“Sardines are kind of my trademark.” Raph was getting too cocky.
“We’re not going to use that shit. Only pure, high quality pizza. If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this my way.” Spinter got right into Raphael’s face. Then turned back to the supplies. “Now stand back. If I mix the wrong amount of flour and sugar, this could turn into deadly mustard gas.”
“You can do that with flour and sugar?” Raph couldn’t believe it.
“I can. I am a culinary genius.” Splinter was in no mood for humility.
“Yeah, cuisine, bitch!” Raph was excited.
“Do you have any tighty whities?”
“Why do you need—“
“I will not cook in these clothes, this karate uniform I always wear, going home to my family smelling of sauce and dough! Do you have any tighty whities?”
TO BE CONTINUED…