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Withered Birthday

Aug 8th, 2016
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  1. Written for the Five Nights at Freddy's General Discussion Thread at /vg/. Thanks to Systemeth for proofreading and editing.
  2.  
  3. ---
  4.  
  5. In spite of our miserable state I can't help but be in good spirits. Ordinarily we're offline, rotting away in our decrepit tomb of a storage closet but today -- today's special.
  6.  
  7. "Look at that new Bonnie go," Foxy whistles from off to the side as we peer through the crack in the door. "I never seen anything so quick."
  8.  
  9. Raising both eyebrows, Freddy grins at him. "That says a lot coming from you."
  10.  
  11. "Little bastard does get around, doesn't he."
  12.  
  13. Without missing a beat, Freddy swipes at Chica's rear and the result is a resounding clang as his hand smacks against her metal hide.
  14.  
  15. "Language!" Freddy wags his finger admonishingly at our sister. "And yes, Chica, he's quite the efficient model. Management spared no expense with our new bodies."
  16.  
  17. "If they're our new bodies, Freddy, then why aren't we in 'em?" Chica retorts, rubbing her wounded pride with the bouquet of cables that used to be her hand. "You got an explanation for that?"
  18.  
  19. "I've got an explanation for everything." Ever the eager teacher, Freddy enters his patented lecture mode. "Obviously this animatronic series is in beta testing. Once the testing phase is concluded, we'll be uploaded or downloaded or whatever the term is. They'll take the necessary parts out of us and drop them in the new bodies. Obviously they can't risk damaging valuable company property such as ourselves until they know whether or not the new costumes are safe for us to use yet."
  20.  
  21. Lowering his eyepatch, Foxy evokes a sigh. "I wish I had yer optimism, Freddy," he moans. "I hope they get this beta testin' or whatever done right soon, otherwise I ain't gonna have a body to be uploaded to."
  22.  
  23. "They'll rebuild yours or get you a new one, Foxy," Freddy says, but I hear the doubt in his voice. "They'll have to. That thing's a mess of parts and wires and crossbeams. Imagine the pinch points. Imagine the lawsuits."
  24.  
  25. "Imagine the fact that I'm forgotten while that slut's out there tarnishing my good name with her floozy outfit. For cryin' out loud, she's got on panties and a halter top!"
  26.  
  27. "Well, you're naked all except for a bib," Foxy notes. "Don't that mean she's at least better dressed?"
  28.  
  29. Chica rolls her eyes as she forces herself upright. "If they hadn't given her all those curves, yeah, maybe. When I get my hands on that suit -- wait, no. First I need to get hands, and THEN I need to get my hands on that suit so I can put a proper skirt on them hips. Don't want them rowdy teenagers lookin' at my rump and getting ideas."
  30.  
  31. "Bonnie, you're awful quiet over there," Freddy says. "Anything to say?"
  32.  
  33. I tap my mouth in reply -- what's left of it, and Freddy instantly turns away in embarrassment.
  34.  
  35. "I'm sorry. I forgot they took away your voice box," he mumbles, taking his hat off and holding it over his chest.
  36.  
  37. Patting his leg with my only arm, I try to let him know I'm not bothered by it. It's not his fault we're in the condition we're in; he's doing the best he can to keep everyone going.
  38.  
  39. He shouldn't be blamed for Fredbear's mistake.
  40.  
  41. "So you know what today is, gang?" Freddy's artifically modulating his pitch to sound more chipper.
  42.  
  43. I know what it is. I'd never forget -- I remember every birthday of every child that's ever come through our doors. Calvin, Stacey, Brian, all seventeen Mackenzies, Douglas... I could go on, point is, how could I forget the most important one of all?
  44.  
  45. In a house where every day is a celebration, today's a day worth remembering. In a place where parties are pedestrian, we've got a reason to cut loose and cheer. In a world where cake is more plentiful than bread and soda pop flows like water, we've got a reason to gorge ourselves on the good stuff. Today's a special day.
  46.  
  47. Today's OUR special day.
  48.  
  49. Chica runs a quick scan of her internal calendar before nodding excitedly. "It's our birthday, right?"
  50.  
  51. "That's right," Freddy beams. "November 1st, 1977. The day Fredbear's Family Diner opened up and we were introduced to the--"
  52.  
  53. "Don't say that name." Foxy's growling, teeth bared as he cuts Freddy off. "Don't ever say that name again."
  54.  
  55. "Foxy!" Chica squeezes between Freddy and Foxy while I grab at him to calm him down, only to remember that there's no longer an arm in that socket. I settle for stomping my foot on the floor to get his attention. It's a tense several seconds before Foxy closes his maw and reluctantly slinks over to the corner.
  56.  
  57. "I'm takin' a nap," he grumbles, clearly furious. "Wake me when there's somethin' worth talkin' about."
  58.  
  59. Slumping over dejectedly, Freddy closes his eyes.
  60.  
  61. "I... suppose we'll save the celebrating for later, then."
  62.  
  63. Now that my siblings have moved away from the door to return to their designated places in the parts room, I scoot forward a little to watch the goings on outside. We're not supposed to be active during the daytime -- or ever -- but I'm going to bend the rules just a bit. I think I'm allowed that much on my own birthday.
  64.  
  65.  
  66.  
  67. "I don't like them."
  68.  
  69. "Well, ma'am, I'm not really sure what to tell you," Trip says, rubbing the back of his head. "We replaced our characters when we opened the new store."
  70.  
  71. "That's not Freddy, though," Mrs. Williams replies. "I know what Freddy looks like and that's not him."
  72.  
  73. "He's the new and improved Freddy. He's been outfitted with all kinds of new safety--"
  74.  
  75. Snorting, the mother taps Toy Freddy's nose, frowning. "Safety! His nose doesn't even honk!"
  76.  
  77. Toy Freddy folds his arms, tilting his head as he formulates what he believes to be the best answer to the situation.
  78.  
  79. "Of course my nose doesn't honk," he insists as if this is the most obvious thing in the world. "The original Freddy Fazbear's honking nose was deemed a safety hazard so they provided me with a suitable replacement. Instead, my bowtie plays a soothing song." He presses one of the buttons on his chest, causing a music box jingle to begin to chime while his eyes light up.
  80.  
  81. "Look. Trevor isn't even interested," Mrs. Williams replies, pointing to the birthday boy at the end of the table who seems more entranced by Freddy Krueger than Freddy Fazbear if his macabre collection of birthday gifts is anything to go by. "I visited this place for my sweet sixteen back when you guys were off of 3rd and Rose. Freddy took me all over the restaurant, brought me cake, we rode rides together. I don't know who this plastic guy is, but he's not Freddy."
  82.  
  83. "Listen here--" Toy Freddy begins only for Trip to grab him by his shoulders. Sensing that the candy-coated bear's temper is about to rear its ugly head, the frazzled shift manager hastily sends him on his way to Party Room 3.
  84.  
  85. "And don't get me started on that lewd chicken," Mrs. Williams huffs as she tugs her tube top over her cleavage. "I don't want that thing anywhere near him, giving him 'thoughts'. He's not old enough for that kind of display. Besides, what was wrong with the old Helen Henny, anyway?"
  86.  
  87. Narrowing his eyes, Trip gazes at the ceiling as if asking for a special provision of mercy from above. "I believe you're thinking of our competitor. Anyway, I'll be honest with you," he stage-whispers as he doffs his cap. "We do still have the old ones, but they're in awful shape."
  88.  
  89. "I don't care. Trevor's a shut-in -- you can tell just by looking at him. It was everything I could do to get him out of the house," she replies with the time-tested blend of aggravated desperation every soccer mom learns to employ against low-level retail workers. "I talked up Freddy Fazbear's all the way over here. I want the real Freddy, not his dumpy plastic cousin. Go spit shine them or whatever, but if you've got them bring the real ones out here. I booked this party room for two hundred bucks and I want my money's worth."
  90.  
  91. "Your funeral, lady," Trip mutters as he stalks down the hall towards Parts and Service.
  92.  
  93.  
  94.  
  95. My good ear twitches. Footsteps are coming down the hallway. Someone's coming for us. It's been an hour since Foxy's outburst and the others have all fallen asleep again. Not good -- they might be coming to take more parts from me and I don't have much left to give. Chica's nearest me, so I shake her to get her to come out of standby. When she doesn't respond, I give her a rough whack hoping the jolt overloads her pressure sensors enough to force-boot her.
  96.  
  97. "Ow!" Chica yelps, dragging herself over to me. "Why you too, Bonnie?! I didn't even say any swears this time!"
  98.  
  99. I point towards the door, flashing the lights in my empty eyesockets. She recognizes the signal and proceeds to wake Freddy.
  100.  
  101. "Freddy! Someone's coming!" she hisses, rousing him. The bear's on his feet in an instant, slumping over as he hobbles towards the door.
  102.  
  103. "Hide," he instructs us. "I'll make the sacrifice this time."
  104.  
  105. "Freddy, no! You're the star of the show," Chica argues, trying to wedge herself between him and the door. "We need you in good condition! I'm sure I've still got some spare parts I don't need."
  106.  
  107. "Look at it as I'm just making an investment in our future," Freddy says as he pushes her back. "If our new bodies outside need a loan of parts from us, what of it as long as we end up in them?"
  108.  
  109. The door clicks open. I recognize Trip. He's one of the new hires that's still trying to kind of work his way up in the company. He's a nice kid. I remember him from when he was just a little bitty guy -- if I remember right, he'd come to see Foxy every Saturday at our original location.
  110.  
  111. "Hey guys," he says as he shuts the door behind himself. "You're, uh, you're not gonna believe this. And honestly, I don't blame you if you don't."
  112.  
  113. Freddy tips his hat to the lithe, wiry human. "I'd be inclined to believe a lot of things. Foxy, wake up, we have a guest."
  114.  
  115. Our baby brother rouses from his sleep but doesn't move from his spot in the corner. The only indication he's awake is the dull glow in his eyes.
  116.  
  117. "So I've got a problem. We've got an irate customer outside," Trip begins awkwardly. "I've never seen anything like it. She's not happy with the Toys, says they're ruining her son's birthday party. Won't even let Toy Chica into the room."
  118.  
  119. "That's a shame. Offer her a partial refund and send her out with the standard apology package as compensation. That's the procedure, is it not?" Freddy asks.
  120.  
  121. "She's got a different idea in mind, actually. She, uh, she wants the original characters."
  122.  
  123. Freddy looks down at himself, then the rest of us. "That is a problem," he says. "These are the only costumes we have, and they're not exactly..."
  124.  
  125. "Yeah, I know." Trip gently brushes his hand against the top of what's left of my head, and my ears twitch in response. "But she feels like her two Benjamins gives her the right to lay claim to whatever she wants."
  126.  
  127. "Ask a manager to intervene?" Chica suggests.
  128.  
  129. "About that..." Trip taps the name tag on his chest, and Freddy stoops to inspect it before smiling.
  130.  
  131. "Congratulations on the promotion."
  132.  
  133. "Thanks. It's a two dollar an hour bump. Unfortunately that also means I'm the manager, and you know I have a hard time putting my foot down. I know I have no right to ask you guys this, but would you be willing to perform, Freddy?"
  134.  
  135. Foxy jumps to his feet. I wince as the support struts in his legs creak under the sudden weight, but he doesn't seem to notice.
  136.  
  137. "Absolutely," he says, intervening on Freddy's behalf. "Go on, Freddy. Get on out there and show them rascals how it's done."
  138.  
  139. Freddy shakes his head. "I can't go, Foxy. I'm out of order. In the condition I'm in with all of the exposed parts, I could severely impact the customer experience in a negative way."
  140.  
  141. "Y'know, just this once I wouldn't mind seeing that happen," Trip grumbles.
  142.  
  143. "Trip!" Chica gasps. "You know you can't say something like that!"
  144.  
  145. Raising his hands in surrender, Trip backs up a foot, cracking a smile the entire time.
  146.  
  147. "I'm just saying, you haven't seen this chick. She's kind of got it coming."
  148.  
  149. "Chick?! What's that supposed to mean?" she clucks, batting at him with her cables out of frustration.
  150.  
  151. "Look, Freddy," Trip pleads. "You're not in as bad of shape as you think. Duck out to Party Room 1, put in a showing, cut the cake. Then make up some excuse about how you have to return to Freddyland or whatever and bail out. It'll be just like old times and I'll be right there beside you."
  152.  
  153. Sighing, Freddy looks at the rest of us before glumly collecting his microphone from the ground.
  154.  
  155. "What's the matter, buddy? I thought you'd be elated to perform again," Trip asks as our leader trudges towards the door, looking like he's heading off to the firing squad.
  156.  
  157. "Me too."
  158.  
  159. The door to Parts/Service swings open underneath the bear's gentle push, and Trip curses under his breath upon seeing an adult woman and her wheelchair-bound son waiting directly outside. Realizing I'm in full view, I try to scoot out of the way so that he doesn't have to look at me, but the damage is already done -- his eyes are wide as dinner plates upon seeing my twisted body. Freddy tries to react, quickly closing the door behind himself, but he's not fast enough.
  160.  
  161. "Holy shit," the mother gasps, covering her mouth. "You weren't kidding about them being in--"
  162.  
  163. A shrill whoop erupts over the background noise and din of the outside pizzeria, and instinctively Chica and I nearly fall over ourselves in a panic.
  164.  
  165. "AWESOME!!" the boy shrieks, rolling his wheelchair forward. "Robot zombies!"
  166.  
  167. Freddy looks appalled as he barges into the Parts room for a better look. "Oh man! It's a creepy dungeon full of robot zombies -- they're so many of them! Mom, this is so cool!"
  168.  
  169. The mother looks at all of us with mixed emotions -- terror and elation in her face all at once. I don't know if I blame her -- but we are, in a way, zombies. It's not an unfair comment to make.
  170.  
  171. Cat's out of the bag at this point. Grabbing Chica by her wires, we shamble out into the main hall to stand judgment before the party, and all of the kids race over in excitement.
  172.  
  173. "Ewww! Oh, they're so gross and slimy!" one of them, a girl about seven or eight laughs as she runs her hands through my grimy fur.
  174.  
  175. "The red one'th a raccoon, right?" another boy lisps between the four of his remaining baby teeth.
  176.  
  177. "Pirate fox," Foxy indignantly responds. "Fiercest sailor of the seven seas. You've probably heard of me."
  178.  
  179. "A pirate foxth raccoon," he repeats in awe. "That'th tho cool."
  180.  
  181. "They think we're zombies," Freddy murmurs, his facade cracking ever so slightly. "They -- they're not afraid, and yet...?"
  182.  
  183. "Then I say we give 'em what they want," Chica whispers back as we walk towards the party room. "If that creepy stuff's what's popular with the kids, who are we to stop 'em?"
  184.  
  185. Foxy charges out in front of all of us, grinning as he thrusts his rusted hook into the air. "Works for me!" Drawing his head back, he opens his mouth wide and roars loud enough that I can see sparks shooting out of his voice box.
  186.  
  187. Every child in the room freezes. Both the mother of the child and Trip stare wide-eyed, and it's obvious to all of us that Foxy's gone too far. This is it -- I can already see the reporters writing articles about another "bite", movers coming in with boxes and rolls of tape in my mind to pack everything up and relocate us under yet another new name. Maybe they'll change lead characters again and the next one can be something like "Chica's Party World". I'm sure she's due for her turn.
  188.  
  189. Foxy looks around, realizing his mistake as he catches a glare from Freddy and Chica. Before he can say or do anything though, the children erupt into cheers.
  190.  
  191. "Scary!"
  192.  
  193. "That was so cool! Do it again!"
  194.  
  195. "A demon pirate foxth raccoon! Thith day keepth getting better and better!"
  196.  
  197. "Sweet birthday, Trev! It was worth every bit of the twenty bucks your mom charged us!"
  198.  
  199. Turning back to me, Freddy takes my hand and Chica's stump in his own paw.
  200.  
  201. "Even though it was yesterday, we might as well do our old halloween routine then," he chuckles softly. "Who'd have thought kids these days would be so obsessed with a scary animal band."
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