Here we go again, boils and ghouls! Time for another chapter of my FNAFiction, Everything Is All Right, Part One: Girl on the Edge of Nowhere! Only a few more chapters left…and then I kick off Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night, which is about halfway through its beta read, by the way. My father, who has joined the ranks of my beta readers, still thinks that name is an homage to him (Mical F. Smith), although he is not yet decided whether that’s an honor or not.
Ana’s headache woke her from a dreamless sleep, but into such perfect darkness that when she finally gained the capacity to think beyond a reptilian perception of pain, she thought she had gone blind. The thought, as abstractly alarming as it was, could not quite penetrate the headache, however. She could not panic, only accept the terrifying new circumstances of her existence and go back to sleep.
She was still blind when she woke again. It was a testament to her somewhat improved state of being that this disturbed her. She touched her eyelids to make sure they were open. They were. She also still had the headache. It swelled as she sat up and again as she turned her head left to right, seeking and failing to find even a trace of light in her surroundings.
Where was she? The air felt close around her, hot and damp and too heavy on her skin. There were layers of unwholesome smells: dried mildew, rotten sheetrock, the sick mineral stink of old blood—a smell any woman who had ever lost a pair of panties behind the hamper at the wrong time of the month knew well—but they combined in some indefinable way to form a soothing whole. Somewhere behind the headache, she knew where she was; she chose to trust that instinct and was not afraid.
Of further comfort to her was the familiar feel and musky smell of her sleeping bag. Not just a sleeping bag. Hers. She lay on it, but not in the bed of her truck where she’d last slept. The floor beneath her was just that—a floor. It had a carpet, not very thick, but padded somehow so that even the sound of her patting at it was muffled and difficult to hear. The walls were also padded, covered over in a canvas-like material, stiff and grungy, unpleasant to feel.
Holy shit, was she in a padded cell? Had she gone full-on crazypants down the streets of Mammon and been locked up in the nearest lunatic asylum? They still had those, right? Or, by the smell of it, had they opened one up again just for her?
But no…no, why would they lock her up with her own sleeping bag? Or, for that matter, her boots? She touched them to be sure, but already knew just by the feel of them on her feet that the laces were still tied. Ana herself had never been arrested, but plenty of other horses in Rider’s stables had and from them she knew if one went crazypants enough to warrant a padded cell, one did not go in it shoelaces intact. She was also wearing her belt, the buckle of which had a blade in the back. She could not possibly be locked up.
So where was she? And why did it feel so familiar?