I was going to make a special St. Valentine’s Day post, but then, you know, I didn’t. By now, faithful followers of this blog should know that, given the choice between doing a thing and not doing a thing, I will not do the hell out of that thing nine times out of ten. And I will only do it the tenth time if the thing involves going to the zoo, watching bad horror movies, or buying a new hat. And if I can wear that hat to the zoo on the day the animals decide they’ve enough of humanity’s shit and go all Hitchcock’s The Birds on our collective asses, THAT is a great day!
But I digress. I was going to write this terrifically insightful post about the various romantic pairings in my various books, but I didn’t, so let’s just take a moment to appreciate all the hard work I could have put into it instead of noodling around on Tuber Simulator all day decorating a room for the Valentine’s Event that didn’t even frigging rank for the third time in a row.
But I digress again. It’s Friday n–uh, Saturday morning! And that means I’ve got another chapter of my Five Night’s At Freddy’s fanfiction up on fanfiction.net and again over at archiveofourown.org. It’d be nice if there was something romantic about this chapter, but…yeah, no. Part Two is almost finished now and you know what they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn.
The hall bent to the left not long after Ana and Mike passed the restrooms (someone had spraypainted a monstrous Freddy, big enough to cover both doors, with a dead little boy in one clawed hand and a dead little girl in the other), and right where it bent, there was a door. No gold star and top hat insignia here, just a few stark signs reading Employees Only, No admittance beyond this point, and Parts and Services. It had been locked at one point, but someone had kicked it in. Nevertheless, Mike stood in the hall a long time, searching every inch, every dark corner, and especially the air vents in the ceiling before he took his first steps inside.
“The Toybox opened in 1981, under Erik Metzger’s management,” he said. The walls caught his voice, made it echo unpleasantly, muted and distorted, as if some Other were slyly mocking him with his own words. “The kid wanted nothing to do with the place. At first, it was assumed it had to do with some legal trouble he was in—the whole Fredbear and Friends thing—but even after—”
“What Fredbear and Friends thing?”
“Not relevant. We’ve got a lot to cover tonight, can we just—”
“You brought it up,” she pointed out.
Mike looked at her, then sighed a little and said, “Fine. Bare bones, no questions. Remember I said when the Flagship opened, it opened as Fazbear Entertainment, Inc? Well, when the kid was securing all his intellectual property, he forgot to include Fredbear’s Family Diner. With the roaring success of Freddy’s, it was inevitable some gold-digging asshat should come along. In ’78, that asshat arrived in the form of a man named, honest to God, Malice McGee.”
“No fucking way is that a real name.”
“I know, right? Sounds like a Bond villain. Anyway, McGee opened a themed diner called Fredbear’s in Salt Lake City, using animatronics on stage and people in suits on the floor, and from what I’ve seen, they were substandard even for the time. He modeled his animatronics after the Flagship group, with some slight color changes, and even claimed to be a ‘sister site’ to the pizzeria. He probably thought the kid would never hear about it, but he did and he sued the everloving shit out of everyone involved. McGee retaliated by adding a bunch more animatronics and suits, using other animals and color schemes, and argued that the kid didn’t have a monopoly on the concept of a singing animal band. Since the kid had failed to trademark Fredbear’s, McGee went ahead and did that too, although he did ultimately add ‘and Friends’ to further distance himself from the name he was obviously trying to cash in on.”
Mike paused to check his watch, visibly reined his reporter’s instinct under control, and went on, “After years of lawsuits back and forth, suddenly, one afternoon in 1983, a real prize of a kid and his prize friends grab said kid’s little brother at the little brother’s own birthday party, and haul this terrified, crying child up to the main stage to give Fredbear a kiss. Right as they lift him up, Fredbear throws back his head for a laugh, then snaps forward and somehow catches the kid’s head between his jaws.”
“But he’s not one of Faust’s animatronics. He’s just a machine and that machine keeps going with its program. It takes six minutes to shut it down and in the meantime, it’s singing, it’s telling jokes, and with every word, it’s crunching away on that poor kid’s skull. Kid was in a coma about a week on life-support before he finally died, and McGee got hit not only with the family’s suits, but a class-action suit from every other family that had been there—and probably a few that hadn’t—claiming emotional damages. Understandably desperate, McGee offered to sell the legal rights to the name Fredbear back to the kid, but the kid wouldn’t buy. His reputation and finances in ruins, McGee struggled through six more months in legal battles before eating a bullet. Rumor has it, he climbed into one of his totally-not-a-Freddy-Fazbear costumes before he put the gun in his mouth, but I don’t know. That sounds a little too poetic, even for a guy named Malice…”