Serial Saturday Update

Soooooo I’m sick.

Yes, again.

It started with a sore throat last week, which got progressively worse until I lost my voice entirely and my tonsils–which never gave me a lick of trouble until I moved out of my native state of Washington–ballooned up to the point that they were rubbing together and making it incredibly difficult not only to suppress my gag reflex, but just to breathe. Add to this a constant sense of low-key nausea (admittedly, not as bad as enthusiastically hurling in all directions) and dizziness, the latter almost certainly related to the former, and an intermittent fever, and you’ll have some idea of what the last five or six days has been like.

Today, I felt halfway human, so I dragged out my computer and attempted to get some work done. I won’t say it was the greatest writing I’ve ever written, but I will say that if I don’t get back on this horse and ride like the Devil of Deadlines was after me, I will run out of Part Three before Part Four is finished. I came damn close with the last part and I do not need that kind of stress in my life again. To all of you who work with deadlines as a matter of course, damn, I salute you. How the hell do you do it?

Anyway, I did some writing and, just as importantly, I uploaded the next chapter of my FNAF fanfiction, Everything Is All Right, Part Three: Children of Mammon over on fanfiction.net and again at archiveofourown.org, so for those of you who are reading along, check it out. For the rest of you still reading my blog in spite of the fact that the only thing I’ve blogged about apart from this silly fanfic series and me being constantly sick for, like, a year now, please enjoy this excerpt!

The first thing Ana did when she got home was take her keys from the truck’s ignition and clip them to the belt loop at the small of her back. Once she was as high as she intended to get, that would be as good as strapping them into a rocket and launching them into space, while ensuring they’d be easily found after she sobered up. That done, before she even got out of the truck, she opened her day pack, took one Vicodan, one Xanax and the last of her Lexotan and washed them down with two swallows of Fireball. It had been a long time since she’d last drank anything stronger than beer. The flavors of cinnamon and whiskey were stronger than she remembered, burning all the way down to her empty belly. It was going to hit her head even harder, she knew, and pretty damn quick at that.

She left the pills in the truck with her day pack, but took the bottle with her for courage as she approached the massive wooden doors. Unlocked, as they always were. They had been castle doors in her childhood, welcoming when they were open, protective when they were closed. Now she saw dungeon doors and she was afraid she always would.

She went inside.

It was Aunt Easter’s house, stripped of all its photos and furnishings, broken by neglect and hoarding. It was Erik Metzger’s house, emptied of terror and death, filled in again with a little girl’s only good memories. It was Ana’s house, unfamiliar and unloved.

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been here, but she knew it had been to grab a quick shower before work, so it was that long ago at least. And there was a smell wafting down the hall that told her she should have taken the garbage out before she left.

Before the pills and booze took effect, Ana took care of that, as well as the dishes she’d apparently left in the sink. Her head was starting to swim a bit by the time she finished cleaning out the fridge, but she helped it along with another swallow of Fireball before she headed upstairs.

Plushtrap’s chair at the end of the hall to her left was still empty, although the door to the attic stairwell was open; he was probably up there, lying in wait for her. She’d deal with him later. For now, she had bigger problems than a stupid stuffed rabbit. She took a drink and started walking in the other direction, past David’s room and Aunt Easter’s room, to the door at the end of the hall. To the room with hunter green walls.

It was a man’s room, or had been once. The wainscoting was dark and the fixtures had a masculine flair to their flourishes. Not a bedroom—no closet—but a home office or a smoking room or whatever they called man caves before the phrase ‘man cave’ had been invented. A trophy room, Ana had thought. The paper, deceptively plain from a distance, had a pattern of battling stags with their antlers interlocked when you got right up close. When she’d first discovered it, she had assumed those blocky pale patterns all along the walls marked the places where big game heads had once been mounted and she’d kept half an eye open for them as she’d cleared the hoard, but never found them.

She’d never found doll heads either, she reminded herself, and she was dead sure she would have noticed them, if the Puppet’s design was any indication of how the rest of them looked.

How long Ana stood in the doorway staring at the empty walls, she didn’t know, although she felt Time’s passage keenly. Without the distinction of seconds or minutes, perhaps, but keenly. A weight, a knife. Some external force pressing on her, wanting her to feel it before it struck the killing blow.

She had the feeling the drugs might be kicking in already.

Serial Saturday Updates

Being an adult in the real world sucks sometimes. This thought creeps up on me from time to time (like a kitten) and every now and then, unprovoked, it pounces (also like a kitten) and gnaws my toenails.

I just must be terrible at time-management, because there are so many more things on my list of things to do than there are hours in the day to do them in. Every day, I add the leftovers to the next day’s list, so I have the satisfaction that comes from accomplishing less and less and less. Today, I spent six hours working on a chapter (still incomplete), cleaned the bathroom (except for scrubbing the shower), made breakfast (but not dinner) and fed the cats (they inform me I did not feed them enough). And as I collapse into my bed at the end of a long unproductive day and settle myself in for a few hours of terrible horror movie watching, I realize it’s Friday…no, it’s Saturday, and I need to upload the next chapter of my FNAFiction, Everything Is All Right, Part 3: Children of Mammon. So I have to get up and put on at least enough clothes that none of my family members wandering in or out of the bathroom or kitchen will be uncomfortably exposed to my gender credentials, so that I can come into my office and fulfill my obligations to you, my loyal readers. I’m sure you all appreciate it.

I’m equally certain my loyal readers are adding ‘gender credentials’ to their list of phrases to slip into casual conversation.

The upshot of this bitchy missive is that the next chapter is up at archiveofourown.org and also over at fanfiction.net, depending upon your personal fanfic site preference. And do I have an excerpt? I sure do!

***

Much later, as Ana lay in the Purple Man’s arms, drowsing toward an unhappy sleep, her hazy thoughts would return again and again to all the moments that had to align just so to put her on Wendy Rutter’s doorstep. They twinkled in her mind, like stars, forming pictures across her inner sky: If she’d never posted that ad on Craigslist. If Mike Schmidt had never seen it. If she’d never gone to meet him. If she’d gone home and dropped pills and booze until she forgot him. These were the brightest lights, but that was just the beginning. Why had she even gone to the library in the first place? What had compelled her to stop on her way out to chat up the locals? Why was there still a public pay phone outside the supermarket in the smart-phone-riddled year of 2015 and what were the odds the town directory would still be more or less intact? What was a town commissioner doing listed in the white pages like any common slob? And above all else, why, when Ana knocked on her door, did Wendy Rutter let her in?

It was a relatively nice house, for Mammon. Red brick ranch-style with flowers in the front garden, veggies in the back, and herbs growing in the windowboxes. The grass was freshly-cut. The mat before the door said Welcome. So it was pleasant enough, but it was small.

Mammon was not a wealthy town and its homes tended toward the small, but Rutter was a town commissioner. On each of their previous encounters, she had been smartly dressed and immaculately styled. Ana was not one of those women who got wet at the thought of shoes, but she had lived in SoCal long enough to know the difference between the kind that cost twenty bucks and the kind that put you in the hospital when your man found out where you spent the mortgage money. Mrs. Rutter obviously enjoyed living the life of…how did Chad put it that one time? A small-town big fish. A two-bedroom brick in a cul-de-sac of identical homes seemed inconsistent with her chosen lifestyle.

But Ana couldn’t just sit out at the curb all night staring at it, so after rehearsing a few excuses for knocking on the wrong door and startling some strange Mormon family during the dinner hour, Ana got out of her truck and walked up the drive.

She could hear a television going on the other side, and whoever was watching it could hear her boots clump across the pleasant porch because the sound muted even before Ana knocked.

Ana had, by this time, been awake nearly two days straight, with only that one short lapse in the library and another even shorter nap at Freddy’s before this whole nightmare began. She had long ago passed the point of exhaustion and had reached that dream-like stage where nothing seemed to matter as much as, or connect to, the immediate idea in her head. It was like being high in its own way, except more dangerous, since Ana always knew when she was high and even during the most dramatic trips, had always been able to keep herself more or less tethered to reality by reminding herself of that fact. She knew she was tired now, but she had failed to appreciate just how that might be affecting her until she knocked on Wendy Rutter’s door.

Then, and only then, did the cloud of exhaustion lift, allowing the piercing clarity of a single thought through, like a ray of light directly in her eyes: ‘I am making a huge mistake.’ She put a hand on her heart, feeling it pound with fingers that trembled, and looked up again as the door opened.

Even at home and plainly not expecting company, Mrs. Rutter dressed well. The room behind her was clean and tasteful. She wore no shoes; she’d had a recent pedicure. Her toenails were painted a playful, glittery shade of pink—a secret not to be shared with the likes of Ana. She still wore her wedding ring.

Mrs. Rutter spoke first, without emotion but with the faintest hint of relief. It was a voice Ana knew well, the voice of a woman who has been expecting the worst for so long, she’s almost grateful to finally receive it. “You found it.”

It made no sense to Ana and she didn’t think it was just her lack of sleep.

Before she could think of a response, Wendy lifted her chin and coolly inquired, “Is this blackmail?”

“What? No! What are you talking about?”

The other woman’s mouth thinned as she continued to stare Ana down and continued not to see whatever it was she was looking for. The animosity in her eyes did not soften, but confusion gradually eclipsed it and at last, she said, “What do you want?”

Ana stood there, trying desperately to think of some way to hammer her thoughts into words and words into questions. ‘I shouldn’t have come here,’ she thought, too late, and said, “My…aunt.”

Mrs. Rutter’s mouth made a smile while her eyes grew fangs. “What about her?”

Ana’s boots scuffed on the welcome mat, trying to back away without her. She looked at them, then up again, summoning the last of her failing nerve to say, “Who was she?”

Mrs. Rutter’s head tipped back, as if she had to study that from a better distance. She laughed once, dry as paper—missing persons posters, maybe—and stepped back. “Come in.”

Children of Mammon Premieres

The third part of my 5-part Five Nights at Freddy’s Fanfic just went up over at fanfiction.net and again over at archiveofourown.org! For the tens and tens of you waiting with bated breath since Part Two concluded, go check it out, but be warned! With each new installment of the series, the book as a whole gets darker and my mental high-water mark (or low limbo bar) for twisted scenes to include in a book keeps moving. I’ve barely begun working on Part Four and I’ve already started working out some of the more crazy-violent and upsetting scenes I’ve slated for Part Five and frankly, I’m left thinking I just might go ahead and open The Bull of Minos with the Pasiphae/Bull sex scene after all. Yeah, not so excited to see me get back to the ‘real’ books now, are ya?

Those of you still nodding should be ashamed of yourselves.

Those of you nodding excitedly should remember how the Minotaur was conceived.

For all those who asked, my dad is doing great and quite tickled by all the well-wishing from my readers, some of whom are also his readers! Anyway, we all know the drill by now. Here is an excerpt from the new chapter. Let’s just pretend I did all the bitching and moaning about how I need to blog more about other stuff besides my FNAFiction (I do, and I will, but not this week. Next week doesn’t look good either).

It was hot in the closet from the start and with winter clothes pressing down from above and heavy blankets heaped to one side, the heat became almost an animal thing, panting its used breath into Ana’s face as she lay huddled and crawling with sweat atop a pillow of mismatched shoes. She slept closet-sleep, oppressive and unrestful, but deep enough that she never heard footsteps on the kitchen linoleum until the door rattled and opened, hitting Ana with the twin slaps of fresher air and bright light. She raised her head groggily, seeing only a formless black mass against the light.

“Get dressed,” her mother told her. “We’re going out.”

Ana unfolded her body and made it work, gaining her feet and walking to her room on legs that somehow were both shaky and stiff. There was still a little fire shining off the dirty clouds outside her window, proof that she had been in the closet only a few hours this time. It had felt like much longer since she’d come home from school and walked stupidly into the eye of her mother’s storm. She had no idea what she’d done this time and had learned not to ask. She was beginning to learn to be grateful for the closet, which, hot and dark and suffocating as it was, was still a barrier between Ana and her mother’s fists.

Ana opened the broken suitcase where she kept all her clothes, shifting the neat piles of tops and bottoms until she found the too-tight top and too-small shorts that were her ‘going out’ clothes. She took a quick shower, brushed her wet hair, then dressed without looking at herself in the mirror. A little tinted lip gloss was all the make-up she was allowed to wear and applying it took all the time she had left to waste. Her mother was already waiting for her in the car.

It was a twenty minute drive to Rider’s place. Neither spoke.

 

Serial Saturday Update

So how was my week, you ask? Well, it began with the heater going out on Sunday, as we are in (hopefully) the last cold snap of the season. Nothing to compare with some of the winter storms going on in other parts of the country, but it’s still been around freezing at night, so yeah, kinda wanted some heat. However, I’m a mature adult, so I put on my Godzilla onesie and just tucked a kitten in each bootie to keep my feet warm.

Then on Monday, my father began to complain of stomach pains. One humorous 80’s style montage later, he was admitted to the hospital, where he ended up staying until today. Nothing too serious, except in the sense that any five-day stay at the hospital for your 70-year old father is serious, and let me repeat, he’s home now and all better, so we can all laugh over the times when the nurse gave him his pain meds and he proceeded to, as the kids say, “trip balls”. It probably doesn’t help that right before all this happened, he and I were watching Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital, so unsurprisingly, whilst hallucinating for three or four hours, he ended up wandering a nightmare version of our local hospital and talking to demonic dopplegangers of the nurses. The doctor who spoke to us the next day said they were going to be talking about that one for years to come.

So I lost a lot of this week to visits and general fretting. Also painting. You all remember when I mentioned I was teaching myself to paint? Well, when The Beard was on his bed of pain, we asked if we could bring him something from home to keep his spirits up and he said, “Snails.” Now, he was possibly joking and definitely high as hell, but my sister and I went home and painted the man some snails. Here is mine:

I remind the reader that I am neither a professional painter, nor a photographer.

On a subsequent visit, when we asked again if there was anything he’d like, he said, “A dangerous platypus.”

You have to look closely to see the platypus.

And so the week passed in this manner. Now that he’s home, I finally got around to asking what the hey was up with those weird requests, or if he even remembered making them. He said of course he remembered. He’d been trying in his own weird way to reassure us by showing that his sense of humor was intact, and it threw him slightly that no matter what he said, we just took it in stride. I think by the end, he was wondering if maybe we were high.

Anyway, all’s well that ends at home, so back to my regularly scheduled blog.

Today, the second part of my 5-part Five Nights At Freddy’s fanfiction series, Everything Is All Right concludes with the last chapter of Mike Schmidt and the Long Night, which you can find up at fanfiction.net and again over at archiveofourown.org. And next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-websites, the first chapter of Part Three: Children of Mammon, will premiere. If you’ve stuck with me this long, why not tag along a little longer?

Oh crap, I just realized I have one week to write a blurb.

FFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU–

Serial Saturday Update

So…remember last week (and the week before that and possibly the week before that) when I said this week would be see the last chapter of the second book in my FNAFiction series uploaded? Yeah, well, I failed to take into consideration the fact that the last chapter was thirty pages long. So I split it into two, which means that this is still the penultimate chapter and NEXT week will be the last chapter of the second book in my 5-part series. I swear. For realsies this time.

I want to thank everyone who has commented here or messaged me privately concerning last week’s blog post, by the way. I want to respond individually, but with the deadline I’ve been under, have just not been able to allocate the time. I do appreciate it, however. I read each and every one of your messages and am always grateful for your feedback and encouragement.

Since blog whenever and about whatever seems to be the consensus, I guess I’ll improvise for a while and see where it gets me. At the moment, as I say, I’m really rushing to get this last run of edits done, but as soon as I’m out from under that particular onus, I will start making two posts a week–one wip update, and one actual effort to blog.

So yeah, the new chapter’s up over at fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org. Good news, it’s up super-early, because I’ve been up since yesterday and I have every intention of sleeping until Sunday. Not as good news (or even better news, depending on your personal philosophy), it’s not the last one. One more (always one more), and then we’ll say goodbye to Everything Is All Right, Part 2: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night, and say hello to Part 3: Children of Mammon. …crap, I need to write a blurb…. oh well. Here’s an excerpt for you to enjoy while I try to figure out how to tell a 300 page story in 140 words or less.

Mike waited until they were in the car and on the road before he took up the story again. “Faust broke ground on the last Fazbear’s, the one I call the Trap, on September 10th of 1999. It opened January 1st, 2000, and you, of all people, ought to know how impossible it is to throw up a place like that in that amount of time. Like Metzger, he had crews going around the clock, shuffling labor around, hiring and firing so fast, hardly anyone even knew what they were building.”

“Why do you call it the Trap?” Ana interrupted. “Weren’t they all traps, according to you?”

“To me, huh?” He snorted, then shrugged. “I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.”

“Faust’s perspective, you mean?”

“Do I?”

“You are if you’re saying he was the one setting the trap,” Ana said. “What was he trying to catch?”

Mike drove in silence one minute, two, three…and then pulled the car over to the shoulder so suddenly, Ana knocked her head on the window. Mike braked—the tires squealed a protest—and then just sat while the engine idled and time passed.

“Look,” he said at length. “I have been talking all night and if I’ve still got to spell this shit out, I guess there’s no point in going on. So I’m going to ask and I need you to answer me…What was going on at Fazbear’s? What’s the connection between all those missing kids and those fucking animatronics? I’ve got a bullshit theory, but I want you to tell me what it is.”

She wanted to tell him she didn’t know. Because she didn’t. Oh, she knew what he wanted her to say, but that…that was pure Hollywood horror movie. Not even Hollywood. That was straight-to-the-dollar-bin-DVD horror. That was a Syfy Original Picture. It couldn’t be true. It couldn’t be real.

“I don’t believe it,” she said at last. “I can’t believe it.”

“I’m not asking you to believe it. I’m asking you to say it. So say it. Tell me what I believe, if that helps, but you say it out loud.”

She couldn’t. After everything she’d seen tonight…the one thing she kept seeing now was her pizzeria, her Freddy, her Chica and Foxy. Her Bonnie. They weren’t killers. They weren’t monsters. They just weren’t.

Serial Saturday Update

The bell has rung, the candle’s lit and book is being read. Next week, the last chapter of my FNAFiction, Everything Is All Right, Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night goes up and the week after that, Part Three: Children of Mammon premieres. Faithful followers of this blog should know by now that I have been scrambling like mad to get this third installment completed “on-time.” I’m not used to working under a deadline, and it’s already nerve-wracking to me to have to publish some parts of an epic work before all of it is written. It doesn’t help that the last, oh, fifty pages of Part Three were actually the fourth or fifth segment I wrote for the whole series, well before I had really hashed out my protagonist’s personality, so it ALL has to be smoothed out with extensive rewriting.

What I’m saying is, this last leg of the book is actually work and has been for a couple of months now. And yeah, I know, EVERY book turns into work sooner or later, and it should, frankly. I’m not one of those people who insists that everyone should do unpleasant things because they ‘build character,’ but let’s face it: we do not grow in heart or mind solely from experiencing only those things that make us feel good. I have never put out a perfect book. I have always found something that could have used more work–typos, continuity errors, rough spots, missed opportunities…God, the list of my common errors is longer than any of my books and my books are stupid long.

So while I was up here editing and trying to think how best to blog about the trials and tribulations of editing without sounding like a whiny bitch (did I do it? I didn’t do it, did I?), I tapped over to Facebook for a second and there before my eyes is a post my father made on that self-same subject. I told him I was going to steal it for my blog because it said everything I wanted to say, only much, much better, and here it is:

My father, aka The Beard of Wisdom

My father, aka The Beard of Wisdom

I write for pleasure as, I suspect, most folks do who choose to give tangible form to the visions that take shape in our imaginations. My daughters—who have been doing this much longer and more successfully than I, and who have been endlessly encouraging—warned me that even so pleasurable an activity as I find this can become very like work from time to time… hard work even.

But that was for them. They work hard at their craft. Me? I anticipated no reward beyond the exercise of my brain and the liberation of my imagination. For me it would be all larks and daisies! Hah!

There is the story, I have discovered; and the tale demands that I tell it well. True, nobody knows the actors more intimately than I; but do the dialogue and behaviors I have related both revealed their character to the reader and precluded interpretations that make them into something they’re not? Does their world flow naturally and consistently from the themes and threads of their actions, or is it contrived and forced. And is it consistent throughout? Can the tendrils of the final resolution be traced (if only retrospectively) throughout. And lastly, have all the fun-to-write but superfluous digressions been scrupulously culled, dumped unmercifully into an odds and end notes file, bits-and-pieces for future stories that I’m probably never going to write? That I discover is where the work comes in.

And that is where I find myself: tidying up the grand resolution to an epic fantasy trilogy. And I must tell you, friends: this is work!

Buy my dad's book!

Click here to see my dad’s first book on Amazon!

Support a growing beard!

Click here to find my dad’s second book on Amazon!

 

So thanks, Dad. And on the subject of things that are work, faithful followers may also have noticed that I’ve pretty much done nothing BUT blog about chapter updates for months now. Believe it or not, that’s really disappointing to me. I want to blog more. Well, okay, ‘want’ is a strong word, but I realize that I should be blogging more and saying more than just, “Yo, next chapter’s up, go read it.”

I’ve been struggling with this for some time, wanting to get more blogging in but, frankly, unsure what to write about that anyone would want to read. In the past, I’ve done what I think of as ‘seminars’, a long-running series with a focus in some way or another on the craft of writing. Should I be doing more of that? I could talk forever about how a character’s name influences his or her personality or how to write tentacles into sex scenes or the fine line between possible and plausible in a fantasy setting or…Or should I be doing LESS of that?

I hesitate to write too much about my personal life. Most of the time, I don’t do anything apart from writing or talking to other writers about writing anyway. But is that what readers want to know about? Should I do a series on my favorite movies? If I go on a road trip, do you really want to hear about it? Last week, I went to Build-A-Bear with my sisters. Want to see a photo of my kickass battle-mammoth? Would you like to see pictures of the two kittens we got stuck with after rescuing them around Halloween? Would you like to adopt the two kittens we got stuck with after rescuing them around Halloween? For the love of God and Gann, won’t SOMEONE take a kitten? Do you want to know how long I cried after getting a wheelchair for a Christmas present, not because I didn’t want it, but because I knew I needed it? For serious now, what do YOU want me to blog about? Because I want to do it more often, but I want to do it for YOU. If  you left it up to me, I’d never blog at all. Contradiction in terms as it may be, I am an outrageous introvert when left to my own devices. There are things I don’t want to talk about, things I will not talk about, but mostly it’s just a question of not knowing what to say.

For tonight, I have only this to say: The next-to-last chapter of my Five Nights at Freddy’s fanfiction is up on fanfiction.net and again over at archiveofourown.org, so go check it out and enjoy this excerpt.

Everything Is Alright Part 2

Ana watched the world outside the window, all black trees and black hills on a black sky. Her stomach growled once, indifferent to human suffering. She never had gotten her dinner.

Mike turned off on Circle Drive, the heart of downtown Mammon, and that was something too, wasn’t it? Of all the pizzerias, this was the only one that wasn’t set down in the middle of nowhere. George W.M. Reynolds Elementary, where Ana and David had gone, was just five blocks east; Elizabeth Gaskell Middle School and Blackwood High, ten blocks south. Once upon a time, it had been surrounded by the sorts of shops that catered to kids, but they were all gone now, leaving nothing but their empty shells and signboards without letters. She could see the ghosts of Pop-In Video and the Book Bin (New & Used!), victims of the changing times and their own outdated media, perhaps, but she could also see what had once been a Gamer’s Paradise, a Comic Corner, a Maybe’s Candies, and even the hulking remains of a Toy Barn, also dead and gone. And right in the middle, alone now in a vast, cracked ocean of asphalt, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, just the way she remembered it, except…

“It’s smaller,” Ana said unthinkingly as Mike pulled up and parked. Smaller than she remembered, she meant. It had seemed huge to her that day—a castle, a fortress, a kingdom unto itself. Now it was just a building. One she had only ever put one foot inside.

But Mike couldn’t hear her thoughts. He said, “That it is. Less than half the size of the Toybox. What’s that tell you?”

“Bigger isn’t always better?”

“Yeah, my wife used to say that before she met me,” said Mike with a rare smile. “But funnily enough, bigger is usually better when it comes to the restaurant biz. More seats means more paying customers, after all. So it is odd that Faust would have scaled back, especially since the Toybox’s success proved he could handle a business twice this size.” He cocked an eye at her. “Thoughts?”

“It wasn’t about the money for him.”

“I agree.”

“You don’t sound like you like it, though.”

“If it’s not about the money, what’s that leave? And I don’t believe that either.” Mike shoved a hand through his hair and looked at the building—a frustrated, baffled, beaten-down stare. “Even after everything I’ve seen and heard…and done…I just don’t have a handle on that kid. That kid,” he repeated with a self-deprecating laugh. “He was fifty when the Stockyard opened. Hell, he’s over seventy now and I still see him in my head as that grinning little kid with the fucking mouse-ears on. Naw, it’s not about the money. Partly because he’s so fucking rich, he could shit out a failing restaurant every year for the rest of his life and still make money, but mostly because it was never about the money when it came to Freddy Fazbear. I honestly believe he thought of this place as his last chance to do what he only ever really wanted…entertain people with the best animatronics in the world.”

“His last chance? But this wasn’t the last Fazbear’s.”

“No. But that’s getting ahead of the story. Christ, this is a long story.”

 

 

Serial Saturday Update

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.

Appropriately enough.

Appropriately enough.

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.

Everything Is Alright Part 2

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.