Welp, time to summon the Betas, because ready or not (I’m not ready), I need to get the editing phase underway for Part 3 before Part 2 concludes. Two more chapters. That’s it. That’s all there is.
Huh. I was just about to ask aloud why this book suddenly turned into such a grindfest and then I realized that with the conclusion of Part 3, I will have written 1000 pages in the last year. I joked that this would be the case, way back in the beginning, but then, I joked that all FIVE parts would add up to 1000 pages, not just the first three. This book is a monster.
And every monster bites now and then, I guess.
Anyhoo, if you couldn’t tell by the above bitchin’, the latest chapter of my FNAFiction, Everything Is All Right, Part 2: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night, is up on fanfiction.net and also on archiveofourown.org, so if you’re reading along, head on over and get yer fix. (Damn laptop keys are crapping out on my. Half the time, I get nothing when I hit the F-key, and the other half, I get three, four or six Fs. Some of my favorite words begin with F.)
I have a pretty good recall for my books, which is to say that if you ask me a question about one of them, I can usually think of the answer without looking it up. I still know most of the character’s names off-the-cuff (or offfff-the-cu, as my frigging laptop would say if I wasn’t paying attention) and I don’t often get tripped up by forgetting hair and eye color mid-way through the book, but I tend not to remember my books by their titles, plots or heroes. I remember them by the hardest scenes I had to write. And this scene, in this chapter…this is how I will remember this book. This is the scene that made me think, for the first time in my writing career, ‘I need a trigger warning on this thing.’ So yeah. You have been warned.
The video was in black and white, shot from a high angle downward to a table with two chairs. Mike was in one of them, smoking his third cigarette, by the looks of the ashtray between them. “You sure you’re okay with this?” Mike asked. The audio was bad, tinny.
The other man shrugged. He was not a young man, but there was something about him, something more than just his too-thin build and hunched way of sitting, that gave that impression. Not of youth exactly, but of age cut off, stunted, and it wasn’t in his body, but his face. His eyes, mostly. Those staring eyes, looking out a thousand yards away to watch some other time play and replay and play again, never really over.
Ana’s finger twitched, wanting to find the pause button and end this before it ever started. She was not the least bit curious what this man had to say. She believed it, whatever it was. She didn’t need to hear it to believe it, and she didn’t want to. Whatever had destroyed this man…it could still hurt.
“Tell me your name,” Mike said.
“Yeah. Right. Okay.” The man looked directly at the camera and said, slowly and clearly, “Nathan Donahue. Nate. In 1987, when it happened, I was fifteen. I’d have to look up the date, I don’t remember it. But it wasn’t long after their big re-opening. After, you know…you heard about the Bite?”
“Yeah, I heard.”
“Yeah, so the place was closed for a while after the Bite, but then it opened up again, and it really wasn’t very long after that. I get the feeling it was cold, so maybe…winter? I don’t know. Weather in that town is weird. Anyway, it had to have been a weekend, because I was staying over at my best friend Robert’s house and he and his big brother, Steve, and Steve’s girlfriend, Tessa, all got the idea to sneak into Freddy’s. The one off Mulholland, the one with all the plastic toys. And the puppet in a box.”
That was all he said for a few seconds.
“You okay?” Mike asked.
“Yeah. Yeah, quit asking. Let me just say it. You’d think it’d get easier, but it doesn’t,” he added and laughed. It was an awful laugh.