Nighttime had begun to take its rightful place in the sky. The darkness worked in attempt to remove any trace of day that was left. The sun was but a shimmer in the distance, as it retired below the horizon.
Bernard knew of this, of course, and that only motivated him to look more quickly. The entryway wasn't a very big room, nor was it difficult to examine.
However, it came to a point in his search that there were no more crevices to check and then double-check, so after a good handful of minutes the boy gave into giving up.
The entryway was as lifeless as could be. A cemetery was less dead than this place was.
And that very fact surged Bernard with terror.
Pazi and Vixen were not anywhere he looked. The hope he had forced himself to feel shattered into a million pieces, as he tore himself from the entrance and made his way into the dining hall. His mind raced with thoughts and fears alike. He had finished his half of the hunt, yet he had come up completely empty-handed. He bore not a single clue to where they could be.
Though Bernard recalled Leveret's advice, the concept of "giving benefit of the doubt." Perhaps the girls had been hiding in the hallways, and his buddy was bringing them into the light at this very moment.
Except as Bernard waited in said light...
And continued to wait...
And thought perhaps to wait a little longer...
His beneficial doubtfulness slowly dwindled.
"Lev?" he called, expecting to hear his friend in response, perhaps along with two familiar feminine voices. But Bernard didn't receive any voice at all, only an unsettling silence.
Maybe Leveret hadn't heard him; he did have a habit of zoning people out.
"Hey, Lev!" Bernard tried a bit more loudly, creeping near to the hallways. "Dude, c'mon! Answer me!"
Although nothing was to be heard.
The boy felt a sudden ping in his chest, a strange seed that had implanted itself.
"Lev, this isn't funny!" he said, as he entered the darkness his friend had assigned himself to search. "Like, this really isn't funny!"
Although he would have hated him if this turned out to be a joke, Bernard prayed so hard that it was.
Down the dim corridor he walked, past the various posters and drawings that had congregated on the wall over the years. He kept a watchful eye out for someone in the shadows, anyone at all.
When he finally reached the end of the hall, he noticed an opening to his left. Bernard turned his head to see, and found that it led into an entire room. Upon further inspection he discovered it to be a security headquarters, complete with monitor, telephone, and electric fan. Being as dark as it was, the child wasn't able to deduce much more from the sundry items in the room. Only the fact that not a soul was in there.
He didn't even feel afraid, of someone or something jumping out to scare him, as any Average-Joe would have felt in such an eerie setting.
"Leveret?" he spoke again, but yet again no one responded. The mysterious seed that had embedded itself before began to grow, choking and strangling its host. Bernard lifted his hands to his face, and inhaled and exhaled with vim and vigor.
Had he...lost Leveret too?
"Leveret!" he shouted, exiting the security room by the right doorway. Once through he viewed the dining hall at the end of the hallway, and realized that this room connected those two halls. But that information was of no use to him; it wasn't helpful in the slightest.
"Vixen?!" he commenced, as he sprinted down the mirror-image hall.
Bernard came into the light, and felt it envelope his being. He whipped his body around and scoured the place, however finding no one at all. No customer, no employee, no animatronic. Not Leveret, nor Vixen, nor Pazi.
He...he was alone.
"Where are you?!" he screamed, not caring whether the tears fell or not.
They were gone; they were all gone. Vixen, Leveret, Pazi: none of them were to be found. Bernard had left for five minutes, a mere five minutes, and Leveret seemed to have vanished into thin air, just as the girls had. Something had happened to his friends and sister. There was no question now. They had disappeared without a trace, and he was all alone.
Was it only a matter of time, before he vanished too?
Bernard found it difficult to stand, and the world around him blurred. Before he could topple to the ground his hand grasped a nearby table, although he nearly fell atop that as well. His head pulsed to a steady beat like a drum, and his heart throbbed in pain. A terrible brew of fear and confusion drowned his mind. Accurately so, the boy could barely keep a breath, without his lungs promptly declining the offer.
"No no no no..." he mumbled, for that seemed the only word he could say. "No no no no no..."
This couldn't be happening to him. This had to be a dream, a horrible nightmare. They couldn't be gone; they had to still be there. Bernard wouldn't allow himself to believe it. His mind was not going to accept it. They had to be alright. Perhaps he would wake up to find himself in his bed, and feel the relief that it was all fake. That his friends were certainly fine, and his sister was only sound sleep in the room adjacent.
Bernard wished for it to be so. He wanted it all to be false.
So as he slumped beside the tabletop, he waited for the release of awakening.
Only to be most disappointed. The child stayed in that very spot and stared down at the ground.
So lost in his mind he was that even if he had looked up, he might not have noticed the man running toward him.
"Whoa, kid!" he exclaimed, as he reached the weak and faint Bernard. "You alright?"
He grasped the boy's shoulder, and shook it in attempt to bring him back into reality.
"Kid!" he shouted again.
Bernard jerked his gaze up at the word, and spotted the man beside him.
A man in a—very normal outfit.
A worn pair of jeans, scuffed-up black Converse. And a golden badge, upon his purple shirt.
"They—th—they—" Bernard spewed, not sure of how to tell of his dilemma. The man seemed to be trying very hard to understand, but there wasn't much he could make of "they".
"Hey, calm down a bit," he recommended, placing a hand atop the boy's back. "Take deep breaths, okay?"
Anyone could have missed Bernard's ever so slight nod, but even so he surely took the advice.
A few times he carried out the process, and after a minute he found himself able to think, if only the tiniest bit.
"M—my friends," he breathed, "and my sister, th—they're gone."
He wasn't paying close attention to the purple-shirted man, so he didn't notice his immediate frown. Nor did he see his directly following grin. Not the cheery type however, but the kind worn when one plans and conspires.
"So, you lost your sister and friends?" he reiterated.
Bernard still didn't look up, but nodded once again. "I—I think something bad h—happened to them," he stuttered. "Th—they just disappeared."
His throat suddenly clenched, and finally he allowed himself to cry. "I'm so scared!" he whimpered, tears trickling down his face. "I don't know what to do!"
As the little boy sobbed beside him, the purple man rubbed his opposite shoulder. He looked at him tenderly, to show that he cared, and that he wanted to help him.
That was what he made himself to look like.
Truly, he was very good at what he did.
"Alright, buddy," he solaced, as softly as a mother's lullaby. "How about we call your parents, okay?"
Bernard opposed the idea right away. Firstly, how would he explain to his mom that he had lost Pazi?
"My mom's not home," he said, wiping his nose simultaneously. "She's working late."
Perhaps Bernard should have been more attentive to the man's facial reactions, like the mischievous grin that had just returned. Then he would have known better than to confide in him.
"Alright, then we'll call the police," the purple man suggested. "I'm sure they can find them."
The one thing Bernard hated to do was cause a commotion; that was the sort of situation he tended to avoid. But this was quite different than simply pointing out someone's mistake, or freaking out over a spider-sighting.
His friends and little sister were missing. This deserved the most attention he could draw. He wanted more than ever for them to be found, and to be safe and sound when they were. The police were his—or rather "their"—best option. Well, in his mind Bernard wanted to call the FBI, or perhaps the CIA. But as he didn't now how to contact either, the police force would suffice.
The child finally gazed up at the purple man. "Okay," he breathed.
And the man still smiled. "Alright," he said, gently pushing on the boy's back, goading him to move forward.
So Bernard did follow, the man's hand guiding him across the dining hall.
And toward the restrooms area.
Though he thought nothing of it, but honestly he wasn't thinking much of his surroundings at all. The child's mind buzzed with anxious scenarios of what could have happened to his friends and sister. And thinking to himself how grateful he was to find someone that wanted to help.
Maybe everything would be okay, he thought. Maybe Leveret was right. There was always hope.
And so as the two made their way to the restrooms, they did so with their intentions in mind.
Except, theirs were quite conflictive.
No no no!
He can't go in there!
The little boy panicked, as he hugged his knees to his chest. He wanted so badly to call out for Bernard, to warn him of the danger, to tell him that it was suicide.
But little Albert didn't. He was much too afraid.
Underneath the far table Albert sat, hidden by the plastic tablecloth that draped over it. There he had stationed for the past hour, watching as his friends entered that cursed room, and never returned. First Pazi, then Vixen, and now Leveret.
Albert saw that boy go into the restrooms area, and could just barely hear a dialogue following. He couldn't make out the conversation, nor was he able to see much past the other two rows of tables in his way. But all he needed to know was that after that, Leveret didn't come back. And thus the cycle had repeated itself, claiming yet another victim.
And now, it was going to happen again.
Albert didn't want it to happen. He needed to help Bernard. He was walking straight toward his doom, and there the little boy sat enjoying sweet safety. But he didn't call out for him, nor did he do anything to stop him from leaving.
Ever since he learned to speak, Albert had had a slight issue with talking to others—yes, his parents were aware of the irony. At least, trouble speaking with those he didn't know well. And along with that problem presented the reluctance of taking risks, going out of his comfort zone, and overall doing anything at all that might bring attention to himself. What the cause of it was, no one could figure, but the boy was only six years old. He had his entire life ahead of him to fix this little tweak.
But as of now, the tweak was far from repaired. So Albert stayed below the table, weighing out his options, and accounting for his own safety.
By the time Bernard and the man were out of his view, his mind was made up. Although his heart pounded through his chest, and his breath wavered as it came, he crawled out from under the table, the cheaply-made white sheet brushing against his brown hair. The little boy rose to his feet for the first time in about an hour. He slowly crept across the dining hall, constantly making sure he was out of both Bernard's and the purple guy's line of sight.
And eventually Albert found himself in that damned area, standing before the slightly ajar closet door.
Through that sliver of vision, Albert would see something that no child should ever have to see
Or anyone for that matter.
The man closed the door behind him.
Well, sort of.
He found no point in using caution anymore. There wasn't anybody left in the pizzeria anyway.
Bernard stood in the dim light cast by a bulb on the ceiling. If flickered as if the flame of a candle. Yet despite, the boy examined the storage room.
And realized that it wasn't at all. At least, not in the way he had thought.
This place hadn't been set aside to hide away party supplies and extra tables and chairs.
It was storage for the animatronics.
There they all were, staggered about the room at random. They made no movement, nor even a sound. Each metal being kept itself rigid and poised. They were retired for the night, reduced to but statues until morning.
Bernard knew every single one of them, as well as their names by heart:
Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Chicken, Foxy the Pirate, and finally, Freddy Fazbear.
Pazi had elected herself the role of teacher, and had made sure that her big brother knew all of the characters' names.
Although in the corner of the room, to the right of three out-of-order arcade cabinets, sat a few others that she had never spoken of. One seeming to be an identical Freddy suit, but instead colored a bright yellow; and the other he guessed to be a yellow and red version of Bonnie. Why it bore such a strange color scheme he wasn't sure. In fact, if Bernard hadn't known better, he would have said that the suit appeared to be bleeding.
But since he was over the age of five, and certainly knew better than to think that animatronics could bleed, he was able to let the abnormality slide.
So he glanced around the epileptic room and past the numerous robotic animals, looking for a telephone that he could use, as the purple man had suggested. However as thoroughly as he inspected, he spotted none, which brought an unsettlement upon him. If there wasn't a phone in this room, then why had the man brought him here? And if Bernard was wrong, and the device really was hidden with the utmost care, couldn't they have just as easily used the telephone in that security room?
But Bernard soon realized, they most certainly could have. In fact, it would have been much quicker and easier to have used the security phone. Yet here they were, jammed into the flickering crypt where the entertainers rested for the night, frozen in time.
With the four animatronics he knew to be standing quite still, and the two others slumped to his left, a few more figures caught his eye. The bulb's random flashes cast upon the entities, throwing their shadows this way and that. Bernard craned his neck to see past the immobile Freddy, to get a better look at these unknown animatronics.
They weren't animatronics.
He knew what they were.
Or rather, who they were.
But before Bernard could utter any fearful sound, or dash away from the scene, or maybe even toward it, the boy couldn't speak. Something prevented him from forming a word, and from making any sort of movement. His back and chest felt a sensation they had never experienced before.
The boy gasped in pain, his eyes peering down upon his place of discomfort. What he found was a tip of silver, protruding from his front.
And he understood. He had been tricked.
Bernard once again grew faint, but in a much different way than before. He could feel the life drain out of him, in the rose red blood that ran down his shirt. The same rosy color of the yellow Bonnie in the corner, and the same color as the three figures sitting against the wall.
The bodies of his friends and sister.
None of the them moving, none of them breathing. Not a blink to be seen. Covered in their precious source of life, that had been spilled from a single spot on their chests. A lone tear made in each, just as Bernard. For he was meant to become like them.
Suddenly the blade ripped out of him, and the boy allowed his body to fall to the ground. He willed to scream in agony, the pain too much for him to bear. But he needed breath to scream, and air he found difficult to acquire.
His heart ached, but not as before. Bernard had been stabbed, that much was true. Though the pain he had felt when his friends had gone missing had disappeared, for he had found them.
And now, his heart throbbed for that very reason. He was too late.
He had been right: they were gone.
They were dead.
"It's sad, isn't it?" the purple man spoke from above, as his latest victim gasped for air. "So much innocent life, lost so quickly. And so easily."
Bernard gazed up at the man, eyeing the knife that dangled from his fingers, its shiny blade painted from his work for the day.
"It feels wrong to you, doesn't it?" the man commenced. "You think that it's not right to take a life. To end someone's existence."
He turned back to Bernard.
"That's what you all think," he stated. "Every single one of you. It's all about equality to you. 'An eye for an eye' you always say."
Bernard's tears formed puddles on the dusty tile, yet his life created a pond under his stomach. And he could feel it, the warm liquid soak into his shirt.
"Y—you—" he squeaked, not able to say any more.
It seemed his killer wasn't listening to him anyway. The man stood before the Foxy the Pirate animatronic. He only stared at it, as if he found it strangely alluring.
"But you're wrong," he uttered, no compassion to be heard in his voice. "You are all wrong. You're foolish. And so blind!"
His face contorted with a sudden rage, and his fist tightened around the bloody weapon.
"You have lost the meaning of humanity," he spoke. "The power that we have, that we can take hold of, to make our own. And yet no one cares. We make rules to retain what we are truly capable of, and we value it as morality. But it doesn't deserve such respect; it's a disgrace to human nature."
He turned to the crying child, owing no pity to that fact.
"And now, you'll see." The man looked back up at the robotic fox. "You all will see. That the dominion over life isn't just something we can consider. Just barely dangling out of our reach, but never to be attained. Reserved only for the most powerful, the wisest, or the most popular."
Suddenly the purple man grasped the animatronic's felt suit and pulled it upward. It revealed the various and miscellaneous contents that made the robot run and work. The rusted gears meshed at the teeth, pistons pushed in and out, jagged pieces of metal to create the animal figure. It was all there, and somehow it all worked together to make a single animatronic.
The man stroked the inner mechanism, brushing each intricate part at his fingertips. "But until they realize my justice," he pondered, as if he were dozing off into space, "I can't let anyone discover it."
Justice? What about his was just in any way? The death of three children upon his shoulders, and one more soon to be added. This instance was the very embodiment of unjust. This man, whatever he thought he was doing, was insane. Out of his ever-living mind! His words were nothing more than nonsense; he spoke like a psychopath.
And Bernard knew that fully, even as life slipped from his mortal grasp.
He watched in terror as the purple man walked over to his bloody stash and stood before what was once Vixen. Her light blue sweatshirt stained in crimson blotches, and her eyes gawking down at nothing at all.
"Pity, really," he uttered. "If I may say, I actually kinda liked her." He fell to his knees. "She was sweet and polite, even until she was gone." The man reached out his arms and took hold of the corpse. He rose from the ground slowly, and turned to walk back to the exposed Foxy.
"Well, what's done is done," he said with a sigh, and he put out one hand toward the animatronic. A few parts and sections of the mechanism he could push away or swing to the side, to create a clear space inside the robot. A compartment perhaps just big enough to fit a few knickknacks, hide a possession or two. Maybe even store a body.
Bernard felt he had run out of tears to shed, yet he cried all the more. His best friend for years, the one person he knew who could bring order out of complete chaos, create peace in strife with the raise of her finger. Her life she had lived for nearly twelve years, wasted by a lunatic that she didn't even know, given a terrible fate that she hadn't deserved. Vixen was dead, and her body put to rest in not a grave, but the one thing on the planet that scared her half to death. Of all things, an animatronic was her memorial. One that no one would come to see, and no one would know to see.
The purple man lifted her body into the metal coffin, and continued to push and shove into the blade-like mechanisms to make sure she fit. Bernard couldn't bring himself to watch; he felt the pain she was missing out on just from looking. But he was glad that she could't feel it. That one thing, he was thankful for.
The contraptions were swung and put back in place, and the purple man grabbed the felt suit once again. He pulled it down over the animatronic's middle, and over the bloody body.
And there Vixen went, and there she would stay. Never to be found again.
"Now, this guy," the purple man said, turning back to his previous victims, "he almost got me."
Bernard could barely lift his head to see, but he assumed that the man stood before his other friend.
"He saw a blood-stain on my suit. A tiny little spot, I tell ya!"
He laughed as he related, as if he found his close-encounter humorous. Just as before, he knelt down to the still child's height.
"That girl managed to get blood all over that suit, and I swear it took half an hour to get it clean." He stood up from the tile floor, with Leveret in his arms—or, what used to be Leveret. Although the blood he had contained once before was quite difficult to spot, as it blended in the redness of his sister's Letterman jacket.
"And wouldn't you know it, this guy happens to find the one spot I missed! Man, he must've been watching too many crime shows or something."
The man lumbered over to yet another animatronic, one that the educated Bernard identified as Bonnie the Bunny. He lifted the felt outside and rearranged the mobile parts to his liking.
"But thankfully," he continued, "I was able to stop him before he could cause a ruckus."
Bernard found it nearly impossible to breathe, much less speak. However in himself he mustered the will, and drew in a precious amount of air.
"Why?" was all he said, but that was the only thing he wanted to say.
The purple man turned from his current objective. "I already said why, kid," he nonchalantly reminded, looking back at the robot before him. "Weren't you listening?"
But Bernard continued, as much as it hurt.
"W—w—we didn't—d—do anything."
This time, the man didn't even bother to lend his eyes.
"Sometimes," he huffed, thrusting the lifeless shell inside the animatronic, exactly as before, "sacrifices have to be made."
He replaced the gears and whatnot he had set aside, and brought the suit over the body, cramped and crumpled like a paper ball.
Poor Leveret had indeed met the same fate as his friends, in the same wretched way they had ended. The pretty-boy that had once roamed the neighborhood and school grounds—well, he was not so pretty now. He was gone, and hidden where nobody would find him, or even think to look for him.
Leveret had been doing so well too. He had abandoned his previous bully ways, and had ended up becoming acquaintances with the "lesser crowd". The reason being—and he would always put it this way—that his "friends" prior were barely that, and weren't concerned with his feelings or wellness in the slightest. But when he had met timid Bernard and outspoken Vixen, he discovered that what he desired, as cheesy as it sounded, was to be loved.
Not in a romantic sort of way however, although it soon started to take that route in the end.
He had never been able to confess his true feelings to Vixen, and he never would find the chance ever again.
"All four of you," the purple man spoke, now finished with his second task, "were in quite the wrong place at the wrong time. I bet you're wishing you guys had eaten somewhere else, am I right?"
Bernard froze where he was—although to be fair, he hadn't really been moving a lot.
He had brought his friends here. He was the one that had invited them to come. If he had chosen not to dial their numbers, Vixen and Leveret would be safe in their homes, alive and well.
He had taken Pazi with him to Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, and walked with her through those front doors. Bernard had basically escorted her to the gallows, by way of piggy-back ride.
The boy didn't stop weeping, nor would he try. This was his fault, all of it. To him, this purple guy wasn't the one to blame; it was himself. Bernard was the reason his friends were dead, and his little sister was no more.
And he was going to pay for his horrid mistake.
With his life.
The purple man stood up as he had done twice so far, this being his third time. In his hands however rested a body much smaller than the others.
A blonde little girl so still and limp that it boggled his mind.
Clad in a yellow dress, which stained a vivid crimson.
Bernard extended a weary hand, as if his arm could reach the girl.
"Pazi..." he called, as weak as ensnared game.
The man stopped in his tracks. He had heard the faint voice.
"So you're the famous Bernard?" he guessed, and his victim was quite taken aback by this. Though he wasn't able to make his shock very blatant.
"She talked about you," he continued. "You made her really mad."
The boy lowered his head, without the will to keep it up. He added to the puddles more tears than before, increasing its capacity by and by.
"So sad she had to pass like that," the purple man said. "Before you could make it up."
Bernard wasn't listening to him; he didn't want to hear his taunts anymore. He wanted to be lost in his mind, the only place he could go and feel a sort of freedom. Where he mulled over what had occurred, all that had taken place. Where anxieties and realizations alike spiraled like a hurricane.
It was a better place to be than here.
The last thought Pazi had had of Bernard was of anger; she had passed on holding onto that petty grudge. Before he could have told her how sorry he was, and try to make things right. Before he could begin to explain why her mommy worked so much, but in a way she could understand.
He had planned to do all of this, once she had emerged from her hiding place. He had meticulously planned his course of action, every word he would say, every point he would acknowledge. It was all set up and ready to go, waiting for his little sister to come back.
But Pazi had never returned, and so Bernard's intentions remained nothing more than that. His careful words were a waste, for he would never get to speak them.
And now she would never know. How sorry he was, how much he wished to take back his words. How much he loved her.
Without much strain or strife, the young girl was set amongst the metal rods and prongs, inside the stomach of what Bernard knew to be Chica the Chicken.
There she was hidden by the furry suit, and behind the bib that eerily read "Let's Eat!".
Bernard went numb. Suddenly he couldn't feel. He ceased his vain weeping and stared up at the yellow animatronic that bore his sister. What was the reason? He wasn't exactly sure. Perhaps, it was a level of grief that few are able to attain. The place beyond sheer agony, a realm past utter despair. Where he felt such deep sorrow that he perceived nothing at all.
Or maybe, it was the vast amount of blood he had lost, the ocean of red that surrounded his body, that was slowly causing his brain to shut down. Perhaps, it was a combination of the two, or none at all. Either or, it didn't pertain. Even through his clouded mind, Bernard knew that.
The purple man had a stash no more. His horde of death was gone; hidden away, yet in plain sight.
So he didn't return to that blood-stained wall, but pivoted around to stand face-to-face with another figure.
The final figure.
"Well," he uttered, that very word chilling to the bone. "There's one more..."
The expression of joy, a smile that lit up the pizzeria. The face that struck excitement into children and grown-ups alike.
But now, the most terrifying monstrosity Bernard had ever seen.
The purple man turned toward the sentient child, although he was just barely so. And it was then, as he smirked with the most cruel of grins, that Bernard remembered.
That he was as much a component of his stash as the other three.
Freddy Fazbear, the mascot of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. That was where he was going.
Bernard shuttered in fear—or was it in response to the chill? He could feel his body vibrate involuntarily, though he knew not why. He had figured that he was simply afraid beyond comprehension, but he soon noticed how cold he felt, and wondered if that was the reason.
The man strode near to the boy and knelt beside him. He stared down into Bernard's eyes, as he meekly gazed back into his. The purple-shirted man continued to smile, and chuckled softly under his breath.
"Don't be afraid," he assured, in a voice that nearly soothed the child. "You're going to be part of something. Something powerful."
Bernard felt his head grow heavy, and lost the strength to hold it up. Though before it could droop down to the ground, the man's fingers settled underneath his chin.
"Kid, something big is starting," he said with all sincerity. "And you are going to help. Isn't that exciting?"
Bernard wasn't able to carry out the action, but in his mind he sobbed inexplicably.
He wasn't able to run away. He couldn't defend himself. He couldn't move, nor could he cry.
It was over for him. He was finished.
But he was still alive—
Under his chest he sensed a rough hand, and beneath his legs he felt another grasp. The dank scenery around him was but a watered painting, but he could feel his body rise into the air. Bernard was positioned as he was airborne, so that instead of the checkered tile he viewed the candlelight bulb. His head fell with the pull of gravity, and his neck gave way. He found himself instead looking to his right, opposite to their path of travel.
He was not able to see the watercolor image of the animatronic, but the door that led back into the restrooms area. It hung slightly ajar, only a sliver of vision to be seen beyond the doorway.
But it was enough to notice a figure.
As his perception was shutting down as he viewed, Bernard couldn't tell who, or what, it was. Though whether or not the being could see him, or was a living entity, or even existed beyond his imagination, the child knew there was only one more thing he could try.
The only thing he had left.
"Help," he whispered, not sure of what was receiving his plea. "Please. Help."
But the figure didn't react, nor make any movement. It stayed put where it stood.
"Kid, there's nobody that can help you," his captor answered. "The restaurant is closed. We're the only ones here."
But Bernard still needed to try. For it truly was all he could do.
"Help me." he spoke bolder than before, though barely. "Please help."
And he continued to repeat, as the animatronic's suit was lifted.
"Help me. Please help."
As the parts were moved and rearranged.
"Help me. Please."
Until he was finally set inside, and he still uttered those three words.
"Please, help me."
As his body was stuffed into the machine, and sliced by the sharp metal.
When the parts were put back in their places, and the suit was pulled over him.
Left in his own little darkness, slowly to die.
The room was quiet, Bernard had just only noticed. His mind before had been tumbling with fear, but now he found...was it relief? No, no that couldn't be it. His arms and legs screamed in pain, and his sides poured through open wounds. He couldn't move anything more than a finger, and that only an inch or so. He had absentmindedly tested this theory, only to find that he was indeed correct. And in his experimentation his fingertip brushed against a thin rod, one that moved with a mere touch.
But that didn't matter. He didn't care.
What mattered was that if Bernard felt anything, it couldn't have been relief.
What then was it? Was it a peace? Letdown? A wave of calm?
An understanding that there was nothing more to do. No more left to try.
That he was doomed to sit there and rot, in his own metal sarcophagus. Where he would pass on like his friends and sister had. Vixen, Leveret, Pazi—this very thing had happened to them, but they hadn't been forced to witness it. Not anything they had seen could have compared to what Bernard had just watched.
Maybe he was wrong; maybe this wash over him was indeed relief. Comfort that he didn't need to discover any more secrets, find another dead body, see a corpse being stuffed inside one more animatronic.
There would be no more pain for him. What he felt now would be the last he would feel.
So yes, Bernard found relief. An assurance that this would be over shortly. And all he needed do was wait.
It would come. Swift as a gust of wind. Quickly and without delay.
It would come.
Alas, perhaps Bernard's relief was futile.
So to say, pointless.
A violent whirring sounded in his ears, and the clicking of gears played all around him. Outside the robotic grave he heard a cry.
"No no!" came the familiar voice, the grief of his killer.
Bernard didn't understand what was happening, as his life was but a few moments from release anyway.
Though he was soon to discover exactly what was happening, and it began with a crack. A crack that he most certainly felt.
Freddy Fazbear was working. He had turned on.
He was moving.
The mechanisms inside the suit spun and pumped according to purpose. Pistons rose and fell, gears turned every which way. The hinges swung to the movement of the animatronic, and plus many other parts with uses that one couldn't know for sure.
Bernard knew this was happening, in the pitch dark he was imprisoned inside.
He wasn't able to see, but he surely knew.
Once again, he felt it all.
Bernard couldn't explain the feeling. The sensation of every part of one's body being crushed. Like a fire perhaps, but not hot to the touch. Yes, an inextinguishable blaze that he could not escape, like the flames of hell caressing his mortal being. Bones snapped, and muscles tore. It was too much. It was just too much!
Yet through the torment that he could bare no longer, he found it in himself. The will to portray his emotions, what he experienced in that torture chamber.
He drew in a breath, and screamed.
A wail that embodied the essence of agony in and of itself. The scream of a truly tortured soul, one that couldn't hold on much longer.
One by one the boy lost the feel of his appendages, and splattered what blood was left in him about the contraption, and let it trickle down the intricate web.
Bernard was still alive, but he wished in that moment to die.
He wasn't listening to anything past his pain and suffering. Not the successive curses of the purple man, nor the equally loud scream from out the door.
However the employee heard it, and whipped his head around to see. In the back of the room he discovered what he had been positive wouldn't be there.
Standing in the doorway he spotted a witness.
A terrified little boy.
His eyes squinted tensely, and his mouth wide open, as if unhinged. The little thing created a sound like the ringing of a tornado alarm, in both pitch and volume.
The purple man held his palms to his ears for dear life, the piercing tones of two sirens blasting his eardrums. He couldn't react to the fact that someone knew what he had done, if he desired to retain his sense of hearing.
Though in time one scream ceased, and the other's sound decreased, as if it were moving farther and farther away. Then the purple man opened his eyes, and saw that the boy in the doorway was gone.
His witness had escaped.
So immediately he left the safety of his backroom, bloodstained arms and all. Past the restrooms and through the dining hall he sprinted, faster than he had ever felt himself run. Yet when he reached the entryway and swung open the doors, that little boy was but a speck in the scenery. The man couldn't chase after him now, not in his crimson attire.
So eventually he retreated from the entrance, and made his way back to his refuge.
What he felt was not joy, nor was it anger. And certainly not sorrow of any kind. If one needed to put a name to it, the closest word would be pride. Indeed, as he walked across the checkered tile, a smirk plastered itself upon his face. His plan was complete, and his intentions were quite a success. What wasn't there to be proud of? And to top it all off, his cover would remain secure. He would not be found out.
Suddenly though his clouded senses he heard the clatter of plastic upon the floor. He awoke from his self-centered thoughts to look toward the sound.
The little object's bright colors contrasted against the black and white tile, and the purple man walked over to grasp it in his hand. He looked it over to assess completely. It was a Rubix Cube, quite obviously. He had seen these things before. A little gadget that had been placed on the shelves of toy stores for little kids, but soon repealed to be for the minds of mathematicians and philosophers, perhaps a nice challenge for the common sage.
The man clutched the column to the right and turned, and then rotated the cube and twisted the other side. In a blur he seemed to be repeating and following suit at random, but in his mind every move was intentional.
In a minute, a mere sixty seconds, it was finished. With the final rotation he glanced about every side of the toy. Each color with its kin, all six faces of their own kind.
"A piece of cake if you ask me," he said to no one at all.
And with that the man shoved the smudged Rubix Cube into his jean pocket, and he continued on his way.
Where was he? Oh yes...
He wasn't worried one bit. He could tell people from a glance, could find their hidden secrets if given a few seconds. He knew people, even better than they knew themselves
He knew he was fine. That boy wouldn't tell.
That he was sure of.
He was but an essence. He truly felt nothing.
His parts scattered and stretched, crushed and cracked, bloody and broken.
But he was still there. He still existed. Though only a little.
He felt his life hanging from a thread. He dangled at the mercy of chance.
Would it break finally?
Would he live on disembodied?
Bernard wasn't sure.
But nevertheless he waited.
And continued to wait.
And thought to wait some more.
Indeed he had grown quite tired of waiting.
But what else could he do?
This would be his greatest challenge.
To stay in complete silence, until his questions were answered. Whether he would pass on or somehow continue.
Honestly, he desired to pass.
Bernard was finished with this world, for he was no more. His body was but a mangled mess, yet he still lived. It hurt certainly, but he didn't acknowledge it. He had become quite accustomed to the pain.
He didn't want to feel anymore. He wanted to leave. Why must he be threatened with an end, only to be left hanging from the edge? The darkness that enveloped him was pitch, no light to guide his vision. Though perhaps his vision might have been absent altogether. This place Bernard was in was a torture all on its own. The very anticipation of the end.
Would it be now?
How about now?
Was it now?
Perhaps a moment longer...
How long would he be forced to wait? The suspense was killing him. Why couldn't he just—
And just like that,
He was gone.