Tis the Season for painting pumpkins!
This tutorial was from The Art Sherpa’s 13 Days of Halloween event from…last year? The year before? I dunno. For those of my readers who may also be painters, this year’s 13 Days event has been subtitled The Boys Are Back In Town, and includes Halloween hunks like Pennywise, Dr. Frank N. Furter, and Jareth the Goblin King. Just think, in a month’s time, you could have a gallery of Scare Kings decking your halls with bloody murder. Fa lalala la la, lala la la!
Also, for those of my readers who are, you know, readers, The Last Hour of Gann has joined Land of the Beautiful Dead in being made available in paperback on Amazon! The price is heavily influenced by the page count, so…heh…it’s an investment, but hey, good news! If you would like a chance to win a FREE, SIGNED COPY of either LHoG or LotBD, listen up!
Some of you may know that I have a fan group on Facebook (man, there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write). They try to meet up once a month or so to discuss one of my books and generally sigh dreamily at the thought of lizardmen or aliens or whatever the heck Azrael is. The next book up for discussion is the first installment of my FNAF fanfic, Everything Is All Right, Part I: Girl on the Edge of Nowhere. How does this relate to winning a copy of Gann or Beautiful Dead? Simple! First, you have to join the Facebook group. Don’t worry, we’re a fun bunch of people. Second, you have to show up for the Live Chat on September 26th, beginning at 9 pm PST, and LEAVE A COMMENT UNDER THE CHECK-IN THREAD with the hashtag #SWAG. At midnight, I will be drawing ONE LUCKY WINNER at random from my Freddy Fazbear unofficial top hat!
So, to recap, September 26th, from 9pm PST to midnight, find the CHECK-IN thread under the LIVE CHAT discussion (it’s usually the first one), and leave a comment that includes #SWAG. One lucky winner gets a free paperback copy of The Last Hour of Gann or Land of the Beautiful Dead, signed by yours truly, shipped to your door. Hope to see you then!
In the meantime, please enjoy the next chapter of EIAR, Part IV: New Faces, Old Bones, available to read now at archiveofourown.org or fanfiction.net, whichever is your fanfic platform of choice! Do I have a snippet? I sure do!
The bed still smelled of sawdust. The sheets smelled of the plastic they’d been wrapped in. Everything was too new to really be comfortable, but it was hers.
As she lay there, facedown and fully-dressed, too tired to even take off her boots, she savored her body’s exhaustion. This had always been the best part of her days—this imperfect blend of pain and the pride of work done well, seasoned this time with the rare pleasure that came from knowing this was her place, her things. Sure, she was trespassing, but only in the sense that the building and everything in it belonged to Fazbear Entertainment in the person of Fred Faust, condemned by the township of Mammon and off-limits to all. In another sense, the truer sense, this was Freddy’s house, and he had brought her in and given her a place, and it was a good place and all her own.
Mostly her own, she silently amended as she heard the door creak open. Had to oil that, she thought drowsily, listening to Freddy’s distinctive footsteps shuffle-drag across the floor. The curtain rustled. The light of his eyes came on, showing red behind Ana’s heavy eyelids. Too tired to speak, not even to say goodnight or ask if he couldn’t read the no-bears part of the sign posted on her bedroom door, she simply lay still with her eyes closed and listened to the whine-grind-hiss, whine-grind-hiss of his cooling system breathing for him.
After a short while, he let the curtain drop and limped away. She thought he was leaving until she heard decayed padding wheeze and old metal groan. He wasn’t leaving; he was coming closer, climbing the three short stairs onto the party room stage.
Ana sighed, but she didn’t sit up and tell him to turn his plastic ass around and push on so she could sleep. He probably thought she was already out and if he thought he had a reason to wake her up, he’d have done it by now. No, he didn’t want to wake her, he just wanted to look around and find a reason for her to keep wasting time in here instead of getting to the real work in the rest of the building. Hell, he’d probably have a list waiting for her tomorrow morning. Fresh coat of paint, which meant replacing the walls. New carpet, which meant resurfacing the floor and rebuilding the stage. New ceiling, which meant—
Freddy stopped there, right next to the bed, close enough that she could feel the heat venting through his joints as he bent over her. She had time enough to wonder what the hell he was doing, but not enough energy to ask him…and then his fingers slipped carefully around her left ankle.
He lifted her foot a few inches, plucked at the laces, and pulled her boot gently off. Then her sock. Then her right boot and its sock, arranging her legs one over the other, so that all he had to do after that was nudge at her arm just a little and she just sort of naturally rolled over. He pulled the blanket up and folded her in its clean-sheet smell, and when she was all covered up, he smoothed back her hair and let his hand rest just for a moment on her head. A heavy hand, cracked and pitted and none too sweet-smelling, but gentle. His thumb moved once, stroking along the lie of the first knot in her braid. Then he turned around and limped away, leaving Ana smiling in the dark.
She fell asleep, sore but safe, and dreamed she woke up to a nightmarish re-enactment of that moment, only this time it was the Puppet tucking her in, its long black claws combing through her hair in horrific mockery of tenderness. She had dreamed this so many times in the last few weeks up at Aunt Easter’s house, but it had always been in shadow before, illuminated by nothing by the moon peeking through the window. Here in Freddy’s, with the curtain pulled back and the camera on, she could finally see it clearly. There were flakes of older color beneath this layer of paint. There were chips and cracks in the porcelain face, and a large divot in the top of its head where, long ago, someone had split it open with an axe. Its throat had been ripped open, leaving a crater from which wires protruded; when it leaned over to press its painted lips to her sweating cheek, she could feel them tickling at her skin.