I’m working on the last few chapters of the second part of my FNAFiction, Everything Is All Right, and “inspiring” myself to write the bleakest and most awful scenes by checking out Horrible Review’s tribute to the most disturbing movies ever made and watching those few I haven’t already seen. Many of them are…how do I put this nicely? “Arty?” You know. Meaningful and symbolic. As opposed to good. However, there are some real gems on that list, and even in some of the stinkburgers, there’s a pickle of interesting character or mustard blob of dialogue. So it was worth doing, but my God, is it depressing.
Anyhoo, Saturday snuck up on me again, so I got to pull my head out of Part Two and post the next chapter of Part One! So if you’re reading along, scoot on over to Fanfiction.net or Archiveofourown.org and check it out. Here’s an aperatif to get those juices flowing!
The Kellar job went much more smoothly after that, in part because no one ever forgot to close the door again, in further part because Jack’s friends rediscovered whatever lost motivation they’d had for embarking on a career in home renovations and became moderately helpful, and in final part because Ana made the conscious decision to get the fuck clear of Mason even if it meant sleeping with him. It did not, which was more unnerving than the alternative, because he was far from oblivious to her presence and if his constant staring and shadowing didn’t have anything to do with sex, then it had to do with his missing cook, whose disappearance appeared to have gone unnoticed in this tiny town where everyone noticed everything. But then, Mammon had a long history of not noticing when people went missing.
It was a bad situation, made tolerable because she could tell herself she could get out of it anytime she wanted with one phone call. And it might have been true, at least in the beginning, but that ended the day she came home and found two official papers stapled to her aunt’s front door. The first was her written notice informing her that a representative of the city’s health and welfare department would be by on this day between those hours to determine whether the property was safe to inhabit. The second was a citation, because evidence of habitation was already present—meaning her clothesline and camp stove, no doubt—and she had fourteen days to pay the attached fine. A handwritten note at the bottom of this paper added that if she persisted in taking up “unlawful residence” in her own damn house, she could be arrested for trespassing.
Tempting as it was to call these assholes up and demand to know how the hell she was expected to clean and repair the property without setting foot on it, Ana restrained herself. She already knew the answer anyway. They didn’t expect her to fix the house; they expected to tear it down.
Hopeless as the situation seemed, Ana was determined not to give them the satisfaction of an easy victory. After each full day working on Mrs. Kellar’s house, no matter how late or how exhausted she was, she went to work on her own. With a little chemical augmentation, she made steady progress in both places, but had to use more to maintain her momentum, resigning herself to the mounting paranoia and insomnia as acceptable risks.
But with each passing day, the lines of her perceived reality blurred out further beyond their former clear boundaries. She heard things—every whisper of wind across the grass outside the truck where she lay awake sounded like footsteps. She saw things—dreaming or awake, those lines were blurring, too. She began to feel, as the debt guy whose name she could no longer remember had told her, not alone in the house where she had always felt welcome and safe. She grew more and more disconnected from herself and the consequences of her actions, even as other obscure connections crept in from the borderlands and insisted upon themselves: The dump trailer in Mrs. Kellar’s driveway seemed to be stuck at half-full, no matter how much broken sheetrock or old sinks she threw in it, while the dump trailer in her own driveway was always either empty or full and she couldn’t keep the damn cover from blowing off it to save her life. This was important, somehow. This was absolutely life and death shit. Within the invisible threads binding those two dump trailers to each other and to her were found the secrets of the universe. How could anyone be expected to sleep with mysteries of that magnitude unveiling themselves right before her eyes?
A part of her was dimly aware that this was a bad situation and she was making it worse, but it was a quiet voice and easily silenced.
Until she moved the grandfather clock.