I walked down the long, dark hallway as quickly as I could with my injured ankle. I had been able to move on it well enough throughout the day, but walking in a wooden splint was gradually feeling more like torture. On top of that, my head was beginning to pound- I figured it was a remnant of my fall, or otherwise due to stress. Ever since my talk with Mr. Fazbear, it had gotten worse- and that was to say nothing of the vicelike pressure of my anxiety. Every fiber in my body was screaming at me to find somewhere to rest, but I knew that it wasn't going to happen. After all, it was nearly midnight.
Pressing forward, I finally reached the soft glow of my office doorway and leaned against the wall to collect myself. My breathing was unusually labored- as though the building around me was being drained of its oxygen- and a thin mask of sweat clung to my face. I lifted a hand in front of my eyes and grimaced as it shook violently in front of me, despite my best attempts to keep it still. I tried to groan but my throat felt dry and foreign.
What's happening to me?
I looked around the room in front of me, which was familiar only for a fleeting moment before becoming completely alien. I rubbed my eyes and looked it over; a fancy chair was sitting against a wall facing a desk. On the desk a small fan was buzzing away while a glowing tablet rested beside it. I reached out for the device, but a sudden jolt shot through my head, causing my body to faulter and tremble. My hands shot up to my temples and clenched at my head until the waves of pain had subsided.
Nothing made sense anymore. It was as though my mind was breaking down and taking my body with it. I was swimming in my thoughts, my ears ringing, my vision blurry- that was, until I noticed a poster. It was hung on the wall behind the table, slightly crooked and peeling at the corners. On its face, three colorful animals… A bear, a rabbit, and a chicken.
I swallowed hard. I knew those faces… the jeering grins of my tormentors. Robotic abominations that hunted me through my nights and haunted my days. All at once they seemed to animate, their eyes shifting toward my own and melting into black orbs. Their features became more rigid and imposing as they grew on the laminated paper, stretching out toward me.
I gasped and backed away until my foot collided with one of the rolling legs of the chair. Next thing I knew, I was on the floor with my back against the wall, the chair on its side next to me. Still, I stared at the faces of the animatronics as they encroached on my world, crawling from the frame of the poster and toward me.
"No!" I cried, driving my back tighter to the wall. "Get back! Leave me alone!"
Still, they progressed, laughing beyond the piercing ringing in my ears. Were they laughing at me? At my pain?
I lunged for the chair and flung it toward them with all my might- it crashed into the table hard enough for the tablet to fall off, the device shattering on the ground. Still, the ringing grew louder, and the faces came nearer. I clenched my eyes shut and clutched at my hair, wanting desperately for it all to stop.
"I hate you!" I roared over the screaming silence, bashing the back of my head against the wall. "Why are you doing this to me?"
Images were beginning to flash behind my eyelids now, pictures with no discernable meaning behind them. One of a little boy coloring on the floor. The next, a small girl crying outside of a restaurant. A car pulled up behind her and…
I cried out and opened my eyes. The world was swirling around me, and the edges of my vision blurred with black static. All I could make out in the room anymore were the faces of the animatronics and the shattered glass that surrounded the tablet.
More images- this time an entire group of kids, all happily following a big golden b-
Tears blurred everything further as I crawled over to the tablet and grabbed a rhombus-shaped shard of glass. There was a distant pain in my palm, but that was only an inconvenience when compared to everything else. It was all the fault of those animatronics- those monstrosities were behind it all. Even the images that still paraded around my mind; images of children who were laughing, screaming, crying, and finally falling silent.
I was sobbing loudly now, tears running with sweat onto the fresh blood coming from my hand. I shakily got onto my feet, wobbling as I walked through the swirling room. Even so, I could still see those faces- those horrible, ugly faces. They watched me as I stumbled toward them, the shard clenched in my hand.
IT'S ME. IT'S ME. IT'S ME. IT'S ME.
I was hyperventilating and coughing as I started to tear at the poster with my knife of glass, slicing and ripping the abominations as well as twisting the edge into their faces. I didn't stop until I was standing over the shredded remains of the poster. I felt trapped, I felt hopeless, and at the same time… I felt guilty. As I looked down at the remaining scraps of the Freddy poster a sense of self-loathing shook me. It had to be done, though… They couldn't see me anymore. I was safe.
I let that thought repeat until I finally felt some semblance of peace. I grinned at what I had done… reveled in it, even.
That laugh hadn't come from me.
My grin melted as the sounds of my breakdown were replaced with an eerie silence. Slowly, reluctantly, I turned around- all despite the tingle in my spine and the pounding of my heart. My vision was still blurry, even as I uncovered the source of the laughter. From here it looked like a yellow blob, sitting motionless against the wall. I squinted at it, slowly piecing together what I was looking at.
"You're… Wait, what?"
The image slowly came into focus, faded back out, then returned before completely clearing. The result made my heart drop from my chest.
It was Freddy… but something was wrong. The color was off and it looked hollow, with sunken holes for eyes and a mere pinprick of light in the depths of each. Its arms rested lazily on the ground beside it as it rested limply against the back wall, its mouth hanging open. Despite its dead appearance, however, it stared at my face unwaveringly. Once again I felt dizzy- the room swam around the thing as it watched me. I swayed as I felt my sense of balance crumble. Meanwhile it merely sat there, its head slowly moving to follow my movements while otherwise remaining completely still. I felt my grip loosen on the glass before hearing a distant 'tink'. That was the last thing that happened before I fell, my head bouncing off the tiled floor and then…
Bell chimes. They were far away but unmistakable, ringing slowly in the distance. I tried to open my eyes but everything around me was dim and fuzzy. There was a light on somewhere above me but it didn't matter. Nothing really mattered right now, except-
"Mmm… I need sleep…"
I tried to roll over, but something sharp beneath me prevented me from doing so. My eyes shot open as the thing dug into my back, causing me to spring upward. The movement was quickly met with a cutting headache-like pain, so I groaned and rubbed my forehead in response.
"Where am I?"
I was on the floor, I knew that much. I tried to look around at my blurry surroundings but none of it made sense to me. I scratched my head and instead examined the object I had rolled onto. It was a large shard of broken glass… but what was it doing here? I reached out with my right hand to grab it, but pulled back with a hiss when my palm made contact. Looking down I could see a fine line of dark blood across my skin. By some miracle it was shallow, and had missed my stitches, but it still hurt like crazy.
Now my vision was returning and I began making sense of my situation. There was a large rolling chair on its side next to a desk, a silenced fan on the floor beneath it. On top of the desk were a mess of paper scraps and blood, all illuminated by a single buzzing light bulb hanging from the ceiling.
Wait… Am I at Freddy's?
I looked around once more for confirmation, but it was unmistakable- this was my office. I hummed before getting to my feet. I felt dizzy, but I had no idea why. The last thing I could remember was leaving Mr. Fazbear's office after our talk- had I fallen asleep?
"No, that doesn't make any sense…" I examined the room once more. It was wreck. No unconscious person could have done this, even if they were sleepwalking through a terrible nightmare.
I strained my mind to remember something- anything- about what had taken place. After several moments a memory began to assemble.
My eyes snapped wide. There was something in the room with me before, something that wasn't here when I came in. The more I thought of it, the more an image would slowly fade into focus… A pair of hollow eyes… A yellow exterior… A head that slowly followed me, no matter where I moved.
Before long I had pieced together the entire creature, though the rest of my memory remained foggy if not completely blank. I turned my gaze to the spot it had been sitting and stared.
"What was that thing?" I asked the empty room. It was no animatronic I had ever seen- if I could even call it that. Honestly it looked more like a suit…
And that's when it hit me.
Mr. Fazbear had mentioned how the company had two animatronics that doubled as mascot outfits. One was in storage and the other was-
"Oh my God…" I heard myself whisper. It was impossible yet completely viable to my sleep-deprived mind. The missing suit was just here, and it had been watching me.
My breathing grew light and rapid as I looked around for it. As far as I knew it could still be here somewhere, staring at me with those empty eyes. However, there was still no sign of the thing anywhere. As lifeless as it had seemed, it must have left the room somehow.
It was bizarre, for sure, but it hadn't hurt me. That was good, right? Or was it just waiting for another time to do so?
"You're paranoid." I growled at myself as I flipped the chair upright. "Just focus on getting through the night."
To say that the realization hit me like a sack of bricks would be a severe understatement. Within an instant I was rushing around the room and getting everything back in order for my shift. Once the chair was back in its usual place and the fan was again buzzing soundly, I found the tablet facedown under the desk. I pulled it out but groaned when I flipped it over and saw the shattered screen.
That must be where all of the glass came from, I thought as I turned the device on. To my grateful surprise the screen still flickered to life, displaying a dim 12:10. I breathed a silent prayer of thanks for not sleeping for too long, then tentatively prodded at the cracked screen; as damaged as it was, most of the remaining glass was where I needed it to be. Shards like the one I had slept on had chipped off the edges of the device, leaving the rest cracked but functional. I took advantage of that fact by flipping over to the security feed to assess my situation.
To my relief all three of the animatronics were still on the stage, staring forward into the darkness. I took the opportunity to check the other feeds, making sure that I could still see each room well despite the shattered screen. Once I was content, I flipped back to the Show Stage and yelped at the sight. Bonnie and Chica were still there, though now they were glaring at the camera through the dark. Their eyes were inky black, and as terrifying as that was, it wasn't the worst part.
Freddy was gone.
With a frantic stream of "Oh, God!"s and "Where is he?"s, I cycled through each camera without so much as a glimpse of the bear. Panic stricken, I lunged for the right door light and mashed the button. The light buzzed and flickered to life- however, he wasn't there. I then tried the left side, but found the same result. No Freddy.
"It's like he's nowhere," I breathed as I cycled through the cameras again. Surprisingly, Bonnie and Chica still hadn't moved an inch. I lowered the tablet in confusion.
Where is he?
I spent several seconds pondering how to handle my predicament. How can you protect yourself from something you can't see? As I thought, I let my eyes wander around the office until they rested on a small red dot, blinking on the back corner of the desk in front of me.
The phone! Maybe my employee assistance calls can tell me what's going on.
I rolled the chair forward toward the desk and read the small screen on the phone's base. It indicated that there were two recorded messages, one from last night and the other from when I was unconscious earlier. It was a miracle that nothing had happened to the phone given that the rest of the room was trashed when I woke up, but I didn't have the time to celebrate. Instead, I quickly selected the older message then clicked the speaker button, so I could focus on monitoring the cameras while I listened. An automated voice quickly filled the silence of the room.
"Welcome to Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, a magical place for kids and grown-ups alike. If you are hearing this message, please verify that you're a night watchman under the employ of Fazbear Entertainment by pressing '1' now."
I groaned and mashed the button. I really didn't have time for this right now.
"Great! The following is a pre-recorded message purposed to assist you on your second night inside the building. But first, please verify that you have heard the 'Day 1' message by pressing '1' now."
"Really?" I groaned, pressing the button then checking the door lights.
"Wonderful. Remember, Fazbear Entertainment is not responsible for damage to property or person. By signing our Employment Release Form, you have agreed to the terms that keep Fazbear Entertainment free from liability. Stay safe, and remember to smile! You are the face of Fazbear Entertainment!"
I shot a large grin at the phone before returning to the camera feeds with a scowl. A moment of silence ensued before a familiar voice followed. It was the same nervous speaker that had given me my "Introductory Greeting" from the company on my first night. I checked the Show Stage to ensure that the two female animatronics hadn't moved before returning to my bear hunt.
"Hello, Hello? Uh, well, if you're hearing this and you made it to day two, uh, congrats! I won't talk quite as long this time since Freddy and his friends tend to become more active as the week progresses-"
"Like I hadn't noticed." I sighed and fast-forwarded through his introduction.
"Uh, interestingly enough, Freddy himself doesn't come off stage very often. I heard he becomes a lot more active in the dark though, so hey, I guess that's one more reason not to run out of power right?"
"Oh, good." I muttered as I checked the lights again. It was just after one o'clock now, and I had about 80% power left- not bad for checking the cameras as often as I had been.
"I-I also want to emphasize the importance of using your door lights… Uh, there are blind spots in your camera views, and those blind spots happen to be… right outside of your doors."
"You can't afford more cameras? Really?"
"So i-if you can't find something… or someone, on your cameras, be sure to check the door lights."
He went on about that for a minute without any other pointers, so I ended the recording and took a moment to process what he had said.
"Ok, so Freddy likes the dark." I muttered while instinctively checking the door lights again. "And there are also blind spots on the cameras? Isn't that nice."
I sighed and went back to the cameras. By this point it was easy to piece together what was going on: Freddy was sticking to the dark spots in the camera's blind spots. That left me with a conflict- how do I respond if I don't even know where he is? For all I knew, he could be right outside my-
A nearby laugh cut that thought short- a deep, familiar laugh that froze the blood in my veins. Moving as slowly as I could manage, I flipped the security feed to the camera right outside of my right door. The image looked completely normal…
I gasped in late realization as I turned and hit the light button on my right, but the hall didn't illuminate.
That's because something was already in the doorway, blocking it.
I couldn't help but scream. The massive bipedal bear was standing right there, giving me the same venomous smile that I had seen just yesterday. His eyes flashed quickly as he reached out for my arm, his jaw dropping to let out the same screech that I was all too familiar with. My head pounded against the shrill noise, and I flinched away from him. I felt his large, cold fingers scrape my arm, missing his mark by just inches as I turned and bolted from my seat, exiting the left door at a run. There was a loud shuffling behind me as he gave chase. As a last-minute thought I slammed my hand against the door button as I rounded the turn, moving just quickly enough to clear the heavy steel door as it crashed down between me and my pursuer. I didn't wait to see if he would open it again- I was already tearing down the hallway with no regard for my injured ankle. Luckily I had managed to hold onto the tablet through my escape, and soon ducked into an empty room to check it.
"Alright, Dustin, think!" I whispered to myself as I cycled through the feeds. I knew that the tablet likely wouldn't help me with locating Freddy, but maybe I could use it to plot my next step in avoiding him.
"Just last until six... Right."
I focused on formulating a plan. Ideally, I could get back to the office and lock myself in like I had the previous night… Though I had left the door closed behind me. Assuming Freddy hadn't opened it again, I was losing power with each passing moment. After doing some mental math and guesswork I decided that I should stay out of the office for now, both to avoid the temptation of using more power and the chance for Freddy to ambush me. After all, he would know that the office was the safest place for me, so naturally I'd be coming back.
"Damn it." I shook my head. Given his size, Freddy was probably slower than Bonnie or Chica, but I was also slowed due to my ankle. It was also safe to assume that if he caught me I was done for, since I doubted I could do anything to loosen his mechanical grip. That ran me out of all my tricks. I had to play it smart if I wanted to get through this.
With a deep breath I ran back out of the room, moving quickly and quietly. I couldn't stay in one spot too long or I would risk him cornering me in a room.
I repeated this process of keep-away for a while, moving from room to room without forming a pattern or taking breaks. Every time I would hear a noise, distant or otherwise, I would serpentine from room to room as to throw off any possible trail I was giving. Once or twice I considered ducking into Pirate's Cove, but was only put into the position to get there safely once and decided against it. Despite how much I wanted to hide out with Foxy for the night, I was afraid that Freddy would follow me inside and hurt her too.
In the end it didn't matter, as the remaining hours gradually passed. Eventually I decided that enough time had passed to return to the office, and within minutes I was on my way back. All the while I kept an ear sharp, as Freddy tended to give his position away by laughing in different parts of the building. Much to my unease, however, he was being uncharacteristically quiet now.
Assuming that the door on the right was still closed, I circled around the other way as stealthily as I could manage. Finally, I could see the faint glow of the office. I felt a sense of relief so great that I wanted to laugh aloud, but held it in as I moved into the last room between me and safety. I couldn't believe it, but I had survived.
With a huge grin I ran toward the door to my salvation, but quickly froze. Something was wrong.
The door was closed. The light I had seen was coming through the window, but there was no way for me to actually get in.
In other words, I was locked out.
He locked me out.
I was just recovering from the shock of seeing my plan fall apart when I heard a loud laugh from the hall behind me. I whipped around and stared down the long passageway. I didn't see anything, but another laugh followed, this time closer than the previous. I was at a dead-end, and Freddy was coming for me.
I looked down at the tablet- 5:35. It wouldn't take him twenty-five minutes to reach me. I was a dead man.
"No… It can't end like this!" I cried, met only by another laugh even closer than the previous. I looked at the firmly closed door, then at my tablet and groaned. There was no way out.
I was about ready to give up when I noticed the power meter on the tablet, reading that only 10% power remained. Having both doors closed had severely drained the remaining power, and my heart leaped as another idea formed from the old one- I had one last chance to make it out alive.
Turning to the door, I slammed my fist against the steel with all the power I had. It sent a loud bang echoing down the halls, but the door barely budged. I looked down at the tablet- 9%.
I growled and tried again, bashing my bare fists against the door repeatedly. Each hit sent off flashes of red-hot pain in my hand, but that wasn't important right now. I checked again- 7%.
Another laugh echoed from behind me, and I knew that he was only a couple of rooms away now and gaining fast.
"Come on!" I yelled, hitting the door again. My bare fists weren't enough.
I looked at the tablet again, and knew what had to be done. Grabbing the device in both hands, I swung wildly at the door, sending glass shrapnel flying in all directions with each impact. The door trembled each time, but the laughing was getting closer. I continued to beat the door until a familiar sound echoed from mere feet behind me.
"Huruh, huh, huh!"
This was it, I was out of time. I had to gamble on my efforts bringing the power down enough to save me, but it was going to be close. I turned around and faced the bear, who was standing just outside of the closest doorway, watching me. His flashing eyes lit up his menacing scowl as he eyed me for a second. Then, ready for the kill, he began to lurch forward. From my point of view, it was as though I was a man standing in the way of a barreling train. I was so puny in comparison that there was no hope of stopping it.
I backed against the door and clenched my eyes shut as the bear's steps thundered toward me.
"Come on! Please!"
That was when a loud sound flooded the hall, similar to that of an engine dying. When my eyes shot open, they were met by complete darkness. All at once the surface that I was leaning against suddenly disappeared and I stumbled backward into the office.
Despite this extra time I bought, the piercing screech of the approaching bear reminded me that I was still in danger. With my heart hammering I sprinted through the opposite door and down the hallway. I just had to run out the clock- another fifteen minutes, I guessed. For a while Freddy's massive footsteps followed me, and the time seemed to stretch at an excruciatingly slow pace. I stumbled occasionally and each time thought I might die right there, but I always managed to keep moving. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, I stopped hearing the heavy footsteps behind me. I slowed a bit but didn't dare to stop moving. I kept going until I collapsed from against a wall, clenching my chest as I battled to regain my breath.
And then I heard a beautiful sound. At midnight it was the most horrible noise imaginable, promising pain and death… But now it meant safety. It meant an end to all of the world's troubles.
The clock at the entrance struck 6 O'clock.
Through my coughing and wheezing in the hall I stammered toward the sound, following the hallway to the entrance as music began to play nearby. Mr. Fazbear was just unlocking the front doors when I reached the large entry room, and gave me a warm smile as he entered.
When I didn't answer his look changed to one of concern.
"Are you alright? You look like you've seen a ghost."
In response I only stopped in front of him, still panting as I held up the destroyed remains of the security tablet. Without another word I handed the mess of glass and wires to him, then walked out of the building and to my car. I drove in silence until I reached my apartment, and even then stumbled up to my door without making a sound. I let myself in, crossed to my mattress, and collapsed.