Welp, the 100-Day 100k Author’s Challenge ended yesterday, and as we all can see, I failed to the tune of 39,396 words. And that, folks, is a long, slow, sad tune indeed. I’m told by the Challenge Director that I did not fail, because not only do these blog posts count as words, but editing also counts in some fashion. Whatevs, we play hardcore in the Smomestead. No wild cards, no mulligans, no rerolls when you drop your dice and no cop-out edits that count as words. No sir. We FAIL in this house, and when we fail, we get back up and keep writing.
Anyway, don’t let my rampant apathy discourage any of my writing readers from meeting their NaNoWriMo goals this year. If you are presently rising to the National Novel Writer’s Month challenge, I would love to hear about it!
As usual, I’ll be using NaNoWriMo to finally finish the project I’d be working on anyway, which this year is my 5-Part Five Nights at Freddy’s fanfiction series, Everything Is All Right. And, it being Saturday, the latest chapter of Part III: Children of Mammon, just went up on fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org, so if you are following the series, head on over and check it out. If you’re still not reading it after all this time, one more snippet probably won’t lure you in, but I’ll give it a shot anyway. It’s a really good chapter this week (and I’m not just saying that because I wrote it. I mean, yeah, that’s a factor, but it’s not the only reason). And if you’re waiting for the whole thing to be finished so you can binge-read it, well, maybe this will be the temptation that breaks your willpower! #damnyouRLeeSmith
At 9:45, Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Kellar left their respective houses and drove to the church. By the time the congregation had finished their greetings and were ready for the opening hymn, Bats was already on his way to Mason’s house with a plastic bag and Riley trotting sleepily along behind him. It was a long walk in the hot summer rain. They did not arrive until almost eleven, when Freddy went back to Pirate Cove to check on Ana and override Foxy’s program so he could stay with her in the ball pit instead of being forced to the stage. Foxy took it well, suffering only short spasms for a few seconds, but it was enough to bring Ana out of sleep, although not quite all the way to wakefulness.
Watching her resettle in her fitful, mumbling way, Freddy was reminded of Bonnie’s own restless twitches. Putting Ana and Bonnie together in a quiet place might help them both calm down or it might crank them both up. For the moment, it seemed safer to do nothing. He’d look in on them again when the first set ended, Freddy decided, and bring Bonnie with him so he could see her for himself and maybe carry her to the party room if she wasn’t all the way back on her feet. But not yet. For everyone’s sake, he needed this day to pass peacefully.
At nearly the same instant Freddy had this thought, five miles away in Mason Kellar’s backyard, Bats was telling the whole damn world who broke his nose.
Mason listened with a puckered brow and half a smile. He was not yet so far gone that he hadn’t noticed four of his boys had gotten bruised up on the same night, but if he’d thought about it at all, he’d merely thought they’d gotten into a squabble amongst themselves, and if Trigger-Man and Dentist didn’t want him to know about it, then it meant Bats and Riley, of all fucking people, had beat them. Mason had been content to let their various stupid stories stand as fact all week, even if it meant letting them think they’d all fooled him—even Riley—because it just too fucking hot to bitch anyone out. Especially for in-fighting, which was a hard thing for Mason to give two shits about in the first place. And besides, it was funny as fuck when you thought about it. He’d even taken to calling Dentist ‘Dentures’ and the name was starting to stick.
Hearing the truth, that it was Rider’s big-mouthed little bitch who had actually done it was even funnier at first. If four of his guys together could not take one girl down between them, he kind of felt like he ought to be more mad at them than her. So it might have all ended there, except that in the course of his story, Bats let a minor detail slip that it had all gone down at Freddy’s. What his guys and Jack’s were doing together at Freddy’s was one good question. An even better one was, what the hell was Ana Stark doing there when she had that huge house up on Coldslip to rattle around in?
I don’t know, was the communal answer, but upon further prying, Trig added the information that she was building something.
And there, Mason Kellar quit smiling. Because to his way of thinking, there was only one thing Ana Stark could be building at some abandoned restaurant out in the desert and one person she’d be building it for, and if Rider wasn’t going to let his best fucking friend from forever ago come down to fucking California and co-chair the company, he sure as fuck wasn’t going to send his cum-guzzling fucktoy into Mason’s backyard to open up a new storefront.
In three minutes, he had the whole story out of all four involved parties (or three of them anyway. Riley was already stoned and earnestly insisting he had been ambushed by ninjas). He took some time to think, about another three minutes, then took out his phone and dialed Rider. The largely one-sided conversation that followed lasted ten minutes, consisted mainly of threats and profanity, and ended with Rider hanging up on him. He made many phone calls after that, each one lasting only as long as it took to say, “Get over here.”
Roughly four hundred miles away, Rider was also making phone calls, but as Ana’s phone had been off its charger since Friday night and Freddy hadn’t even thought to turn it off, its battery was bone-dry and he could do nothing but leave messages she would not get until it was far too late.
At 11:43, in Mammon, Utah, sixteen men spread themselves out over eight motorcycles and one powder blue Crown Victoria and took Cawthon Road out of town. At the Valhalla Racing Stables in Bakersfield, California, Rider sat in silence for almost a full minute, then shut his phone off and got back to what he called work. And at the Edge of Nowhere, Ana slept…