I’m going to break with my half-assed tradition and begin this post by talking about my father instead of my WIP (they’re connected, so that’s not really breaking tradition as much as bending it. I do pretty much everything half-assed). Faithful readers of this blog will remember that he had an extremely mild medical issue a short while ago. Last week, on a follow-up examination, it was discovered that his gall bladder is chock-full of stones, so he’s got an appointment next week to have that removed before it blossoms forth into a beautiful emergency.
All of us are happy about this except my father, who says he has only just begun to feel like himself again, pain-free and mentally-focused. He’s been moping around for a few days, beard and eyebrows drooping, loudly bemoaning his tormented state of mind during a recovery process for a surgery that is literally still a week away. Like, move over, angsty teens, and watch a true master at work.
Anyway, as part of his preparation for going under the knife, my father has been slumping around, despondently enjoying all those things he won’t be able to do post-surgery, and one of the things at the top of his list is work on his novel. The combination of pain and pain meds following his last procedure left him unable to either sit in a chair, concentrate on a monitor, or just, you know, think whole thoughts.
However, even my father occasionally hits a rut and today, he found himself just not in the mood to write. He procrastinated in all the usual ways–making tea, drinking tea, researching the history of tea on the internet, locating an online purveyor of tea, ordering tea, reheating his tea which had gone cold. You know, as one does. When he ran out of tea, he discovered he still had plenty of procrastination left in him, so he sat down and read the first three books of Everything Is All Right.
Yeah, I know. I was surprised, too. He’s got half my books on his hard drive and, heck, I’m right upstairs. I’d have sent him the rest. He hasn’t even read Olivia or The Scholomance. But no, he read my FNAF fanfiction because, quote, “I need this book in my life right now,” end quote.
Remember this is, at its core, a book about abused, abducted and murdered children. Dad, seriously, no one needs this book in their life.
Anyhoo, once he’d finished Part III (yeah, he’s got the whole thing, in it’s beta-form), he came upstairs to bounce some theories off me and found me working on Part IV with some ‘inspiration’ on the TV, namely Markiplier’s playthrough of the first game. Now, my dad knew he’d been reading fanfiction of a video game, but he’d never seen it. He’d never even seen me play it. This was the very first time he’d seen the characters I’d been writing about.
“What are we watching?” he asked, walking into the room and looking at the TV and before I could say one word, he said, “Good heavens, that’s Bonnie.”
He sat down and we watched Mark play. When the first game was over, it was getting late, but I queued up the next one, just long enough for him to meet the Toys, Mangle, and the Puppet. This was…a strange experience for me, hearing my Dad refer to characters and locations by the names I had given them. Not to be too much of an ego-maniac or anything, but it made me feel weirdly like I was part of the creative team and not just the community.
So…sorry, Scott, for hitching a ride on your wagon, but also sort of not-sorry either, because that was a hell of a good feeling.
Anyway, as you may have gleaned from all this self-congratulatory rambling, the next chapter is up over at fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org, so if you’re reading along, be sure to check it out. If you’re not, yes, I’m still going to slap you in the virtual face with excerpts until you give in.
A lifetime of temporary living situations had made it so that Ana rarely found it difficult to fall asleep, no matter where she was. And she was by nature a deep sleeper, even sober; with a beer or two in her, she usually slept like a snoring stone. If it was true that the infrequent shriek/bang of fireworks and Freddy’s regular stopovers kept her from really achieving that perfect black-out state of suspended animation, at least it was also true that she couldn’t get too upset either, not with Bonnie’s arms around her and the steady rhythms of his systems thrumming under his skin.
However, even if the constant disturbances to her sleep did not upset her, they were still disorientating. She dreamed and woke, dreamed and woke, until a dozen dreams seemed to seamlessly meld with her beer-blurred recollections of the night before to create an uninterrupted and entirely false memory, one in which she talked about the Independence Day spirit and how Freddy didn’t like her and he talked about the girl who’d broken his face in with a bat and that the Bunny Patch bunnies were all named after real rabbit breeds. And while she was pretty sure all of this had actually happened, sprinkled throughout were nuggets of pure nonsense, like the false fact that at one point, there had been deer grazing on the show stage, or that David had run through the room trying to write his name in the air with a sparkler, or that Bonnie had talked about watching the fireworks in the parking lot at Circle Drive when he was no older than this building.
She felt no real urge to sort out fact from fiction. As far as she was concerned, it could all be a dream as long as this part—the part where she woke in the night and heard Bonnie ‘breathing’—was real. And it was, so fuck the rest.
As the night wore on, the fireworks petered out, but Freddy’s patrols remained as consistent as ever. She woke each time he passed through, if only long enough to identify the slow scrape-thud of his footfalls before letting Bonnie’s presence lull her back to sleep. So when yet another fragment of dream blew unexpectedly apart, she did not startle up in alarm. She listened and sure enough, plastic crinkled as Freddy came into the dining area.
Bonnie didn’t move as the footsteps drew nearer, but Ana heard the distinctive sound of his eyes turning and focusing, watching Freddy come.
Freddy’s footsteps stopped right in front of them. A pause. Then, with a smile he could not make but which Ana could all but see: “IT’S. NOT. WHAT. IT. LOOKS. LIKE. RIGHT.”
“I wish,” said Bonnie, as quietly as he could. His jaw didn’t move. Trying not to wake her. “You’re an ass, by the way. Remind me to t-t-tell you why.”
Freddy grunted affably and mechanisms whirred as he made some unseen gesture. “IS. SHE. SLEEPING.”
“No, I’m not,” Ana mumbled. “What time is it?”
“Christ, I slept in.”
“You d-d-don’t have to get up yet.”
“Yeah, I do,” she sighed. “Not enough hours, my man. Every one of them counts.” Ana stirred, drawing in her legs and stretching them out again, opening her eyes. She saw a field of pale, dingy purple first—Bonnie, lit up by Freddy’s eyes—and then her arm, which had slipped sometime in the night from resting on his chest to cupping the Ken-doll-smooth front of his groin.
Ana looked at that for a while, sleepily amused, then raised her head to find Bonnie looking back at her.
“Looks like I want to start the day with a bang,” she said in her fresh-from-sleep throaty purr. “You up for it, my man?”
His ears snapped up. “Really? I mean, yeah! YOU BET! D-D-Damn it. Freddy, sc-scram. I mean, are you serious? B-B-Because if you’re not, that’s c-c-cool, but if you are, um, we may need-d-d to work a few th-things out first. Freddy, for real, get-t-t lost.”