Serial Saturday Updates in the (Swollen) Face of Adversity!

Yes, I am updating again, despite the fact that I had a tooth extracted earlier and my head has that unique dentisty blend that is sort of numb, sort of throbbing and all prescription painkillers, baby.

Timmy the Toothache says, “Codeine makes everything A-OK!”

I very nearly let tonight’s upload slide by, even though I super-promised not to forget again. And in fairness to me, I didn’t almost let it slide because I forgot, I just didn’t wanna do it. So I could sort of justify it to myself as I sprawled swollishly across the living room cough drooling down my shirt while I stared glazedly at the TV, but ultimately, I decided that I should really TRY to keep my promise, so here I am and here is my post, and here and here is the newest chapter of my Five Nights at Freddy’s fanfic, Everything Is All Right, Part IV: New Faces, Old Bones. It may not be the most polished chapter I’ve turned out, but by God it’s there, and I think we can all be a little proud of me for that.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to eat some pudding and finish this newspaper boat so I can sneak out to the neighbor’s koi pond and give my tooth a proper Viking funeral.

It must be fun to live next door to me.

Advertisements

Still Alive

Hello again! And yes, I’m aware that the new year has started and I’ve failed to resume regular updates as promised. Nothing like starting off the year with a broken promise, or as I like to call them, an “R Lee Promise”.

Hmmm, my New Year’s Resolution was to have a more positive mental attitude, so let’s try that again with more positivity.

Thank you, dear readers, for letting me take a month off to enjoy the holidays. I had a great time, although it was weirdly stressful to NOT work in the beginning. Unfortunately, as often happens, Life made a few demands on me and I’ve been busy digging myself out from under them. I hope to be back on track by next week. Actually, I’d hoped to be back on track by this week, but whatever. The important thing is, I still have hope.

Serial Saturday…Does Not Update

The holidays are upon us, dear readers, and this year, just for the novelty of it, I think I’d like to enjoy them. You know, do some shopping…bake ninjabread men…decorate a tree…visit friends and be visited by family. And actually DO these things for a change, instead of be in the vicinity of these things while working on a book. I mean, I’ve got a brother flying in that I haven’t seen in ten years, and in our latest conversation, he laughingly said he wouldn’t recognize me if I wasn’t behind a laptop. Sure, it was a joke…but it was kind of hard to laugh at it.

I know I’ve missed some updates in recent months as I’ve been struggling with this stubborn case of the flu and I feel guilty taking more time off, but to be honest with you all, although I love the books I write and I love the world-building and the story-telling, I don’t have a lot of fond memories of me typing. I DO have fond memories of my family enjoying various holidays. So in the Great Book of Guilt, I have to imagine that missing out on spending time with my family is going to leave a blacker stain than missing a few updates. So with your permission, or if not that, your forgiveness, and if not that, at least your acknowledgement, I would like to suspend updates to Everything Is All Right. Yeah, I know, I left it at kind of a cliff-hanger, but most of the chapters are cliff-hangers from this point on. There’s a lot going on in this book. Five Nights At Springtrap’s is going to be a breeze by comparison.

Did you feel that? It felt like famous last words…

Anyway, no update tonight, nor will there be next week or any week of December, but updates WILL resume before midnight of the first Saturday in January and hopefully be a bit more regular. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement, and I hope you all enjoy your holiday season.

Serial Saturday Update

As some of you may have noticed, there was no update last week, because I decided to sit under a blanket all weekend with MST3K on the TV, hot tea in my hand, and my dog in my lap. Time well spent. I nearly gave this week’s upload a miss too, because it was our Thanksgiving. The Smith Family has a long tradition of doing whatever it takes to have a less stressful holiday, and we noticed a long time ago that just postponing it for a more convenient day or time makes a world of difference. Hence last Thursday’s MST3K marathon with Dobby. On Black Friday, my father decided he wanted to go to town and ‘just look’ at laptops. It was pretty late in the day and we figured the doorbusters were all gone and the mobs had moved on, so we dropped him off and went to the grocery store, where we bought a 25lb turkey for a little over six bucks.

Boy, you know you’re an old fart when you flex on the price of turkey.

After picking up my father (and his new laptop…his new 70″ TV and his new surround-sound system), we went home to begin our leisurely preparations for the Smith Family Thanksgiving. This included another Smith Family tradition: The Pink Stuff. This is basically an ambrosia fruit salad, although I loyally maintain it’s the best ambrosia in the world, and quite a few of our friends agree and have asked for the recipe, unaware that there is no ‘recipe’.

But there is now. Yes, friends, I wrote down the process of Pink Stuff’s creation and I will share it here with you, because I always leave blogging for the last minute and now that I’m all stuffed with food, my brain does not want to come up with anything interesting to talk about in this post.

Understand that in all the years the Smiths have made Pink Stuff, we have never used a recipe, nor have we made the same Pink Stuff twice. Come to think of it, there might be a connection there…but whatever. Only by experimenting will you find the true form of the Pink Stuff you seek. There will be successes. There will be tasty failures. There will be fifty shades of pink in-between. So don’t sweat the sweet stuff. The fun comes from making it with your family. That way, even if you don’t manage to make Pink Stuff, you’ll still have the memories.

Okay, enough cheese! On with the recipe!
First, the fruits. Be aware that fruits with high acid contents are going to make it more difficult when it comes time to set the stuff. Not impossible! But definitely more difficult. So if you want to make things easier on yourself, avoid those fruits, especially oranges and pineapple.
This year’s Pink Stuff started with:
Three large bananas, sliced into wheels.
Seedless grapes, sliced in half (yes, grapes are pretty acidic, but we have always used them and always will. Note that our Pink Stuff doesn’t always set up either. Again, there might be a connection, but if soupy Stuff is the price we pay for that grapey goodness, so be it).
Maraschino cherries, sliced in half (reserve juice, if any)
One can of pears in syrup, drained (reserve syrup) and cut into bite-size chunks
One can of peaches in syrup, drained (reserve syrup) and cut into bite-size chunks
Strawberries, sliced
Could we  have used fresh pears and peaches instead of canned? Sure, but it’s off-season and it was hard to find fruit that tasted good, and we already had the cans, plus it gave us the gift of syrup, so what the hell.
We put all the chunked fruit into a bowl and set it aside in the fridge. Then we eyeballed our reserved syrup/fruit juice and decided we had about a pint. We wanted about a quart, so we poured an entire bottle of grenadine into the bowl and stirred it up. Now, if you’re not totally sold on the Pink Stuff idea, here is where you can just add a bottle of vodka, turn on The Hobbit trilogy and drink the disappointment away.

Just kidding, kids. Always watch the Hobbit movies responsibly. By which I mean, don’t watch them. At all.

 

But let’s pretend you’d rather have Pink Stuff. Give your mixed syrup/fruit juice a taste. If it’s too sweet, you can cut that sweetness with a splash of juice. If it’s not sweet enough, don’t doctor the juice, but do add sugar later to the whipped cream. Either way, these are good things to know now. We decided our juice was just right. Time to thicken it.
Get out your box of unflavored gelatin and listen to Dad mutter uncharitably about why it’s in envelopes instead of in a can that he can measure out with a spoon. Then listen to his engaging lecture on “Cooking Is Chemistry”. Learn how to neutralize acids. Become distracted. Compare Bloodborne and Dark Souls. Become nostalgic about graphics from games when you were a kid. Feel old. Remember you are making Pink Stuff. Feel happy. If you were paying attention to Dad’s lecture, you know what to do. If not, surreptitiously read the instructions on the box of gelatin and learn that, generally speaking, you want one envelope of gelatin to every cup of liquid. Eyeball your reserved liquids and get four envelopes. Dip a large coffee cup into the liquid and dissolve your four envelopes of gelatin into it, stirring to hopefully prevent any lumps from forming, because once cooked, those lumps will be like little tasteless chunks of rubber.
Heat up the gelatin mixture. You CAN do this on the stove, sure you can. We used a microwave, because you can do that too. Either way you do it, you need to watch that stuff like a hawk. It will first bubble, then foam, then suddenly explode all over into a huge mess that is so impossible to clean up that once we just bought a new microwave. There were other reasons, of course…but that was definitely the last pink straw. Anyway, watch it close and when it is JUST beginning to boil, pull that puppy and pour it into the rest of your juice, stirring to mix (we strained ours through a fine sieve to remove the lumps that we couldn’t prevent), and then IMMEDIATELY wash the cup you boiled it in, because that stuff will turn into a pink rubbery skin so fast, you have no idea. With the liquid all gel-ified, it’s time to put that bad boy into the fridge, where it will set as it chills.
This is where it gets a little fussy, because you don’t want it to set up ALL the way. What you want to see is the gelatin mixture just beginning to stick to the sides of the bowl, but if you wiggle the bowl back and forth, the contents in the middle slosh around freely. If you drag a spoon through it, it will coat the spoon thickly and leave a ‘trail’, but not chunks. Basically, you want it to set up to a point right before you’d call it ‘set.’ This took us about two and a half hours, but your mileage may vary, so check on it every half hour or so.
When you have achieved the desired consistency, pour your fruit into the gelatin and stir to coat all the fruit, then put it back in the fridge while you whip the cream. Can you just use Cool Whip or some other kind of premade whipped topping? No. Why not? Because Dad said so and that’s good enough for me. Get out your hand mixer and whip the cream. We used a quart of cream. We probably didn’t have to use that much, and God knows our arteries begged us not to, but what are we going to do with three-quarters of a cup of cream? We’d never use it. We try to eat healthy in this house.

We also lie a lot in this house, in between bites of delicious unhealthy food.

So we just dumped it all in there and whipped it up, adding a good dollop of vanilla extract halfway through the whip, and then another dollop, because Dad accused me of being stingy with the vanilla and just to prove I never stinged on the vanilla in my damn life, I put yet another dollop in there, plus a splash. We had the vanillaingest whipped cream you ever met. Beat that cream until it cries, or at least until it forms stiff peaks, but don’t let it become ‘mashed potatoes’ consistency. Fold the cream into the gelatin-fruit and stir just enough to achieve an even pink color. Add half a bag of mini marshmallows if you want (we wanted), and stir just enough to mix them in. Return the Pink Stuff to the fridge and let it finish setting. Probably only takes half an hour or so, but we left it two hours to watch TV. Garnish the top of your Pink Stuff with maraschino cherries or the prettiest strawberries or whatever you like. I was going to cover the entire top with cherries, but I’d been snacking on them during much of the process, so when we got to the garnishing stage, I only had enough to do kind of a starburst or an asterisk? I dunno. Nobody cares about garnishes.
Bear in mind that this made a monstrous amount of Pink Stuff. Like, we started with a big bowl, moved up to a bigger bowl, and ended up in a five-gallon canning pot. Pink Stuff for days!

Followed by the other Smith Family Tradition, the New Year’s Get Fit Resolution

And oh, before I slip all the way into a food coma, yes, I do have a new chapter of my FNAF fanfiction, Everything Is All Right, Part IV: New Faces, Old Bones, uploaded to fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org, so if you’re reading along with those, click your preferred link and check it out. If you still aren’t decided whether or not you want to invest your time reading five MASSIVE books about an abandoned pizza parlor inhabited by animal-shaped robots with a very dark past and one young woman who is determined to uncover it, then perhaps this snippet will encourage you to give it a try! …or chase you off for good.

 

* * *

 

She drove up Coldslip Mountain to the castle of her childhood. The front door was unlocked. The air inside was muggy and stank of old sour food, old sour sweat, and old sour dreams. When she turned on the light, she saw a mess, as it was always a mess, no matter how much she cleaned. She shut the light off and climbed the stairs in the dark. When she reached the second floor, she turned and there was Plushtrap, sitting on his chair under the window at the far end of the hall, next to the attic stairs.

They looked at each other for a long time in silence.

“Who are you?” Ana asked.

Plushtrap heard, but did not answer. Dingy stuffing bled through the tears in his satin skin. His glass eyes gleamed. His metal teeth grinned.

“Come here,” said Ana.

Plushtrap mockingly did not move.

“Come here,” she said again, beckoning. “It’s okay. You can live here, I don’t care. You don’t have to hide it. Just…come here. We’ll watch a movie. I’ll let you pick. You can sleep in my room with me, if you want. You don’t have to be alone, just…stop trying to scare me. I’m not scared. I’m not scared, I’m…tired. I’m too tired for this. Come here.”

Plushtrap did nothing. Elsewhere in the house, boards creaked, drafts whispered, pipes knocked, but Plushtrap lied and did nothing.

Ana turned away and went to David’s room. She sat on his little-boy bed with the superhero sheets and Foxy’s sword hanging from the post of the headboard and looked at the toys strewn across the floor. For the first time, she thought about cleaning it and the thought was surprisingly painless. David was alive. Faust had told her so, and she hadn’t thought he’d lied, but she hadn’t really believed it. Now she did. Now she had to. David had been taken away after all, not by his father, Erik Metzger, who’d been dead by then anyway, but by CPS, who had found him a father who presumably didn’t kill people and a mother who didn’t take naked pictures of her son for the father’s private enjoyment. He’d grown up somewhere far away. He’d maybe gotten married, maybe had kids, maybe forgot all about Ana and maybe not, but wherever he was, he was alive.

Aunt Easter might be alive out there somewhere too, and maybe she’d even gotten some rehab and some self-respect and had made herself at least a shadow of the person Ana had once thought she was. Maybe not. But at least she wasn’t a question mark anymore, whatever else she was. And Ana was never going to find her crumpled and forgotten behind one of the boxes in the basement, not here and not at Freddy’s.

She thought she would sit awake all night, thinking about that, but what else was there to think about, really? It was over. There were no more mysteries left to solve. Ana lay down on David’s musty sheets and slept, and it was a good sleep, restful and dreamless and so deep, she never heard the door creak open.

The man in the purple uniform stood for a short while in the doorway of this forbidden place, watching her, but it was late and he was tired, too. He crept over to the bed, bent and pressed a Mama-kiss on Ana’s cheek, shyly whispering, “I love you.”

Ana, still sleeping, stirred and mumbled, “Love you too. G’night.”

The man smiled and kissed her again, a Daddy-kiss, right on the lips. Ana rolled over (grimacing without waking at the taste of his breath) and the man in the purple uniform left her and went yawning downstairs and through the clock to his own bed, taking Plushtrap with him.

Serial Saturday Update

Yup, still sick. I almost gave this week’s upload a miss, but at the last minute, I mustered all my strength to check my bag of damns and found one left to give. It was small and fragile as a soap bubble, but it got me through the editing and formatting so that you all can have one more chapter of my FNAF Fanfiction, Everything Is All Right, Part IV: New Faces, Old Bones. It’s also over 10k words long, about twice the length of a normal person’s average chapter (I think my average runs about 7k), so I hope you all enjoy it, because I may sleep through the entirety of next week.

As further indication of just how sick I am, I only just yesterday realized that we are halfway through November, which is National Novel Writer’s Month, or NaNoWriMo, and although I have been diligently applying myself to the time-honored challenge of writing an entire novel, or 50k words on an existing one (can I just take a moment to say that’s cute that so many people think 50k is a novel’s worth of words?), I have completely forgotten to post my progress here on this blog. Having a place to post stuff like that was one of the reasons I even made a blog. So I apologize for that and I’ll get that progress bar up there changed as soon as I publish this post.

But while we’re on the subject, is anyone out there participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What are you working on? How’s your progress? Does having a communal goal like NaNoWriMo motivate you to write more or, like me, does it feel like a stressful deadline you will inevitably fail year after year after year after year? And if anyone out there has always wanted to turn that idea that’s been rattling around int he back of your head into a book, but you just need that one more push, allow me to issue a personal challenge! Since the month is half over, we’ll trim the goal down to just 25k words. That’s less than 2k words a day, which is less than half an average-length chapter. If you jump in, be sure to check back in and let me know how you did!

And in the meantime, keep reading along with EIAR p IV: NF,OB (for some reason, I thought an acronym would be easier than typing it all out again, but now that I’m looking at it, it’s just ridiculous) over at fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org, whichever platform you prefer. If you’re not reading this yet, either because you’re not sure what it’s about or you’re waiting for the whole thing to be complete before you start, I’ll just leave you with a teaser from the latest chapter, and I’ll see you all next week!

 

The security camera followed her into the hall and went ahead of her into the dining room, lighting up the show stage where Bonnie sat playing his guitar. Her day pack was next to him. He picked it up before she even asked and showed her the tablet inside before zipping it up—she could feel the sound inside her goddamn sinuses—and holding it out. She went to get it and even though the camera was aimed right the hell at him and she had a hell of a long walk on a hot desert road ahead of her, she sat down beside him. Closing her eyes against the camera’s painful stare, she let the weight of the world push her into Bonnie until her aching head came to rest on his shoulder.

“Sorry about last night,” she whispered, because she had to say it. That was the one thing that could not wait.

He nodded, servos whining like mosquitoes in her skull, and did his best to match her whisper, not very successfully. “You okay?”

“Hangover. I deserve it. I’ll live. But listen…listen…” Intensely aware of Freddy looming just off to one side, Ana carefully said, “I’m sorry for what I did…but I’m not sorry I came. You were just what I needed. Thanks for being here.”

“I kind of have to be here. I can’t leave.” His arm twitched and eased around her. “But for once, I’m glad I was. You coming back tonight?”

She nodded, managing a dry smile. “I have an appointment for Freddy to yell at me.”

Freddy vented his cooling system.

“I can’t stay, but I’ll be back this weekend and we can catch a movie then,” she concluded and gave her pack, and the tablet within it, a pat. “Hopefully a better movie. How did It Follows end?”

“As far as I know, it’s still following.”

“Yeah, I figured. Sorry I fell asleep on you.”

“Hey, don’t be sorry. If I could have, I would have too.”

Her hangover faded enough to allow a small, soundless laugh. “I guess I don’t have to ask what you thought of it.”

Bonnie shrugged. “I’m not cerebral enough, I guess. What’d you think of it?”

“I only saw the first bit, so maybe I’m missing something…but that was a physical entity, right? Like, that was the whole deal, that it doesn’t walk through walls or teleport, it has to physically come after you?”

“Right, but it’s a demon, so I don’t think it can be killed.”

“Yeah, okay, but you don’t have to kill it,” said Ana. “Just stop it.”

“Wasn’t that the point? That even if you have sex with someone else, it’ll eventually get them and come back for you?” Bonnie must have caught a reaction from Freddy, because he glanced over and added, “Yeah, that was literally the movie. And it won awards.” To Ana, he asked, “How do you stop something that can’t die? Just lock it in the basement?”

Freddy grunted sharply.

“No,” said Ana. “That’s how you get sequels, Bon. Some doped-up dumbass always opens the door. So what you do is, you dig a hole, put an open oil drum at the bottom, cover it over with a towel or some shit, then stand there and be bait until the stupid thing walks over the top of it and falls in. You drop the lid on the oil drum, clamp it down, drill a few holes in the lid, and fill the thing with concrete. That shit will set up even underwater and it only gets stronger with age. At this point, you can bury it or you can drop it in a lake or whatever you want to do with it, and as long as no one sees you and gets curious about what you’re dumping, odds are good that thing is going to stay lost.”

“But the demon isn’t going to die.”

“It isn’t going to get out, either. By the time the barrel rusts out, that concrete will be set so hard, Superman with a jackhammer couldn’t break it apart. And even if he could, everyone alive when that demon was last moseying around will be dead. It’s got nobody to follow. It can sit down there until the end of time thinking about all the teenagers having sweaty teenaged sex without him. Problem fucking solved.”

The camera made a small noise, adjusting its focus.

Bonnie looked at it, then looked at Ana and said, “What if it doesn’t fit in an oil drum?”

Freddy grunted again, his most severe knock-it-off grunt.

“Everybody fits in an oil drum,” said Ana, climbing to her feet and dragging her pack onto her shoulder. “I could fit two people in an oil drum. Hell, I could fit you in an oil drum, if I’ve got the time and a few power tools handy.”

Serial Saturday Update

I’m still sick, so it’s going to be another quick post, but I’d like to start with a big Thank You to everyone who wished me Happy Birthday and Get Well Soon and all that feel-good jazz last week. It helps, you know. Maybe not in any scientific, observable sense, but as the person who sits around feeling like the scum scraped off a cave troll’s teeth and wiped on the wall, only to be licked off by another cave troll because cave trolls are disgusting, it helps just to know that the whole damn world is not made up of how rotten you feel right now. So thank you. I want to think I’m over the worst of it, but I take a long, long time to recover from anything. My immune system likes to work out it self-esteem issues like one of Those People on Facebook who posts a check-in from the ER and then follows up with a dozen posts saying everything sucks and they don’t want to talk about it. Like, you’re sort of concerned but also sort of annoyed and the more they do it, the harder it is to take it seriously, but unlike actual people on Facebook, you can’t just block posts from your immune system or you’ll wake up one day with a massive bronchial infection.

But I digress. It’s Family Game Night here at the Smomestead and they let me pick the game!

It was Withered Freddy with the Freddy Mask in Party Room 1, if you were curious.

It’s been a long time since I’ve even played the regular Clue and I have to admit that, even though I won, mostly the game just made me want to watch the movie, which if you’ve never seen it, is one of the funniest movies of all time. Admittedly, I have something of a soft spot for Tim Curry (I even liked Congo), so your mileage may vary. I vividly remember legit falling off the couch and lying insensible on the living room floor, just holding my stomach and laughing until I nearly wet ’em the first time I saw this movie. It maybe helps that I was 12, but it still gets some giggles out of me after all these years and hundreds of rewatches.

But I digress. The whole point of tonight’s post is to let everyone know that the latest chapter of my FNAF fanfiction, Everything Is All Right, Part IV: New Faces, Old Bones is up and ready to read over at fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org, so if you’re reading along, head on over and check it out. If you’re still undecided and think a excerpt might help you make up your mind about whether or not to invest your time in a five-book series based on Scott Cawthon’s horror-game breakout hit, Five Nights at Freddy’s, then you’re in luck!

See you next week!

“What’s crawled up Bon’s tailpipe now, do ye reckon?” Foxy asked, when the silence got too heavy to hold.

“Someone Ana works with has been giving her trouble,” Freddy growled, moving over to peer into the spotlight in the East Hall. The camera there promptly shut off and didn’t come on again anywhere obvious.

“What kind o’ trouble?”

“Bad enough that she told me about it.” Freddy grunted, now heading for the West Hall door. “Not bad enough to do anything about it. Not then, anyway, but it would seem he has since stepped up his game…He’s in the Party Room. He’s watching her.”

“Ye surprised?” Foxy asked, overwhelmingly unconcerned. “Pretty girl, more’n half-insensible. Just his type.”

Freddy grunted.

“What do ye mean, ‘stepped up’?” Foxy asked, watching him from the corner of his so-casual eye. “Push n’ shove? Sticks n’ stones? Pitching a bloke in the quarry under cover o’ darkness?”

“One can only hope, but I doubt it. She’s afraid she’ll lose her job. Then again, she’s lost it before. Once she sobers up, she’ll take it in stride, but Bonnie will probably run hot the rest of the night, so no matter what he says when he comes back, you mind your manners and don’t make a bad situation worse.”

Foxy placed his good hand over the spot where humans kept their hearts, his eyes innocent-wide. “Ye wound me, man!”

“Don’t. It’s not funny.” Freddy shut the door and came back to the stage to pick up the bottle—Bon’s bottle. He grunted and carried it away to the kitchen, calling back, “Bonnie goes black too easily these days. With Ana out of the room, he won’t try as hard to control himself. He’s right on the edge already. Don’t push him.”

Foxy nodded like he was listening, although he couldn’t rightly see Ana being so tore up by losing her grass-cutting privileges as to come all the way out here to cry in her beer over it. Or cry on Bon’s shoulder. Not that she needed much of a reason to snuggle up on Bonnie in the past, but that was before the two of them had split, if they even had. Foxy had never been with a woman long enough to split from one, but even he knew that when one turns up after midnight to ‘watch a movie’ in a bloke’s lap, she was demonstrating a certain willingness to reconcile, if only for the night.

And what had he done about it, the long-eared git? Nothing, that’s what. Hell, if she’d boldly asked him for a screw, old Bon would have gone politely off to fetch one from her toolbox. Idiot.

“Foxy.”

“Mm?”

Freddy appeared sternly in the kitchen doorway. “I said don’t push him.”

“I heard ye. I’ll be on me best behavior, I promise.” Foxy walked over to the stage and picked up Ana’s tablet, still spitting colors and noise. He’d asked her that night, the night she may or may not remember, what might have been if only she’d met him before Bonnie. Well, doubtless there’d be many differences, but one thing was for damn sure: she wouldn’t have spent the night watching movies if she’d come knocking on Foxy’s cabin door.

Serial Saturday Update and Still Sick

This flu is kicking my ass. However, I didn’t let it stop me from voting in the early election and I won’t let it stop me from uploading the latest chapter of my Five Nights at Freddy’s fanfiction, Everything Is All Right, Part IV: New Faces, Old Bones. I WILL let it stop me from blogging, though. So in lieu of any actual content, please enjoy this picture of my furry assistant editor, Dobby, who sucks her thumb when she’s sleepy.

 

 

She is freaking adorable, isn’t she?

Is that enough content? Probably not. Okay, here’s a painting I did, following The Art Sherpa’s excellent Beholder tutorial. If you paint, or if you’ve ever wanted to paint, I encourage you all to follow that link, grab some brushes and take a whack at it. Cinnamon has a way of breaking even the most intimidating projects down into manageable bites.

I think he’s very handsome, but then, beauty IS in the eye of the Beholder.

That seems like enough content for a blog post. Okay, here is my snippet for the latest chapter, which you can find over at fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org. Enjoy, while I celebrate with a shot of Nyquil and go back to bed.

 

“There’s this guy at work,” Ana began haltingly.

“Same guy from the other day or a different one?”

“Same guy. So you know we got into it a bit. And by ‘we’, I mean ‘he’, and by ‘got into it’, I mean ‘called me a whore’, and by ‘a bit’, I mean ‘a lot’. After I got called out, he stayed there alone and threw a snit. When Shelly and the crew got back, the front office was trashed. And here’s where things start to get confused. It’s literally all anyone is talking about, but damned if I can find two people who can agree on exactly what went down. But the sheriff told me some of it and I guess I can trust what he’s got to say, and Hageman’s sister’s cousin’s girlfriend typed up the coroner’s notes, so I guess we can trust that angle too, and when it comes right down to it, the rest is all flavor text.”

“You’re losing me, baby girl. Why don’t we forget about who did the talking and just focus on what they were saying? The guy left the office and…and you said ‘coroner’, so now he’s dead? Is that what you’re saying?”

She nodded.

“Okay,” said Bonnie after a puzzled moment. “Call me an asshole, but so what? He was a jerk. Why do you care?”

“I don’t care that he died, I care how he died.”

Bonnie couldn’t see how that made any difference unless she’d been the one to do it, and clearly she hadn’t, but he went along with it. “Don’t keep me in suspense, baby girl. How did he die?”

“He got his head bashed in. All the way in.” She looked at him, her eyes troubled and sunk in shadows. “I heard the words ‘bone pudding’ today. All my years of living with Rider, and I have never heard a thing like that before. Someone broke Big Paulie’s head down into bone pudding.”