Finally, the last Saturday of the month rolled around. It was once again game night for Teryl, Jasper, and Natalia. Jasper and Natalia had long given up on trying to escape the inevitable that was Teryl and his stubbornness.
The sun was setting over the town of Pirathon, and for the trio who lived down in the forest, it was already plenty dark enough. Teryl’s master plan for his infamous monthly game night was shifting perfectly into place.
Teryl was hunched over his laptop, making sure the game he chose was running as smoothly as it possibly could. He took no short-cuts; he made sure the volume was high enough, he made sure to have the controls scribbled down on a loose sheet of paper for his two friends. As Teryl hit the 'save' button in the game's settings, he stood up straight with a bright grin gracing his face. "All set!" He said to himself before spinning on his heels to go to the living room where his friends (begrudgingly) waited. "Jasper! Natalia!" He sang cheerfully as he poked his head into the room. "Everything's ready!"
The dark-skinned woman let out a sigh. "Let's just get this over with." Both she and Jasper stood up and followed the excited blond to the next room.
"So this game's actually pretty old, but it's really fun!" Teryl grinned as he dramatically gestured to the laptop's screen.
The title of the game was written in big, white letters: Five Nights at Freddy's. The screen showed a picture of a brown animatronic bear, covered by effects meant to look something similar to a low quality video tape.
Both Jasper and Natalia were silent as they just stared at the staticy main screen.
The three of them were quiet, the only sounds came from a pair of headphones resting beside the mouse. "Teryl." Natalia said curtly.
With a mischievous smile, the blond man tilted his head slightly. "Yes, Nat? “Is there a problem?”
“What the Hell am I looking at?”
“It’s one of the most famous horror games that was first released in 2014.”
“FNAF is timeless!”
Jasper’s eyes narrowed. “What… What did you just say? Those weren’t even words.”
“FNAF! Fuh-nah-f!! F-N-A-F!! ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’!!” Teryl exclaimed, flailing his hands for emphasis.
Jasper pinched the bridge of his nose. “Whatever. Let’s just get this shit out of the way.”
“Nat! Go first!” Teryl turned his attention to the young woman glaring daggers at him.
“Why don’t you?” She retorted.
“What’s wrong~? Is the big, fuzzy bear too scary for ya~?” The blond man baited with a wide smirk.
Natalia’s red eyes darkened with anger and frustration. “Shut up and tell me the dumb controls.” She snapped as she picked up the headphones.
Without missing a beat, Teryl handed Natalia the paper with the controls written on it. It was a point-and-click game, so Teryl only wrote down where exactly to click for the different things: opening the camera, checking the door lights, and closing the doors.
“You… prepared this?” Natalia asked with a slight tilt of the head, her eyebrows furrowed.
“Why of course!” Teryl replied.
With a sigh of resignation, Natalia gingerly took hold of the mouse and clicked ‘new game’.
The game opened with a shot looking at an article about how the player was hired as a security guard to work the night shift at a place called ‘Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. A few seconds passed before it faded to black, and then ‘Night 1’ flashed on the screen before the screen faded to what appeared to be a messy office desk with a landline phone on the left side, a grey desk fan on the right side of the desk, and several posters of the famous animatronics. The phone rang several times before being automatically answered and some guy started talking on the other side of the line, explaining the basic outlines of what the player’s job was.
“Simple enough…” Natalia muttered as she started to get familiar with the game. She clicked around the rooms in the pizzeria before clicking on the main stage. On the stage stood two animatronics–Freddy Fazbear himself and Chica the chicken. She raised an eyebrow before gesturing to Teryl to come closer. “Weren’t there supposed to be 3 on-stage?”
Teryl nodded. “Yeeeep. Looks like our bunny friend has come out to play.”
Natalia grimaced. “Don’t like that.” She began to quickly click around the cameras before finding the animatronic in the ‘Parts and Services’ room. The large purple rabbit was staring directly into the camera. She proceeded to close the cameras. The time read at 2 A.M. and her power was at 63%. With a frown, she pulled the cameras up again to find that Bonnie the bunny had left the room he was formerly in. She clicked between the different rooms, before stopping on ‘Pirate’s Cove’. “What’s with this curtain? Why’s it say ‘out of order’?”
“I dunno~” Teryl shrugged, a smile of false innocence on his face.
Jasper merely watched as Natalia bounced between the different cameras. As she switched over to the left hall, he caught sight of the rabbit. With a curious tilt of the head, he remained silent as the screen suddenly cut out.
As Natalia closed the cameras, she clicked on the door light, just to be met with Bonnie peeking inside. “What the–?!” As quick as she could, she closed the left door.
After a few seconds, she opened the door again, and the animatronic was gone. “Uh… okay?” She mumbled to herself before opening up the cameras. She clicked through the various rooms. “Where’d that thing go?” She had a frown on her face as she carefully analyzed the different screens.
After some time of being completely silent, Natalia glanced at the in-game clock. “It ends at 6 A.M., right?”
“That’s right.” Teryl confirmed. “It’s 5 right now, so you’re almost done, but your power… is pretty low.”
Natalia’s red eyes drifted over to look at how much power she still had. 5%. “What happens when I run out?” She asked before briefly flipping up the cameras to poke around to find Bonnie.
“Keep that camera up and you’ll find out.” Teryl answered.
Once Natalia put the camera down, she saw she had 3% power. “6 A.M. cannot come soon enough.” She poked at the door lights once more and opened the camera one last time, scanning a few of the rooms. “I think I should keep it down now…?” She thought to herself as she bit her lip. As she closed the cameras, she stared intensely at how she only had 1% power left.
Then the power cut out and the office went dark. “Okay…?” Natalia muttered as she looked around the office.
Then a lullaby started and that’s when Freddy’s face lit up and was flickering just outside the left doorway. The lullaby was nothing special, but the fact it was paired with a supposedly murderous animatronic face peeking into the security office made it so much creepier. The lullaby continued for about 20 seconds before Freddy’s face disappeared.
Raising an eyebrow, Natalia moved the mouse slowly towards the other side of the screen, as if she expected to find Freddy there. However everything was dead quiet. Natalia opened her mouth as if to say something, but that’s when the titular character, Freddy Fazbear, suddenly popped up on the screen and flung himself at the player with an ear-splitting shriek. In that moment, Natalia hissed at the screen as she tore off the headphones. “What the Hell, Teryl?!”
The blond man failed to hold back a snicker. “It seems you were stuffed inside a Fazbear suit.” He said as he pointed at the surprisingly grim ‘game over’ screen.
Natalia narrowed her eyes at Teryl. “This game’s stupid.” She pouted.
“Yeahyeahyeah, you’re just mad you died.” Teryl dismissed with a wave of his hand. Then he turned to look at the suit-wearing man. “Your turn!”
Jasper twirled a lock of his black hair around his finger. “You’re serious?”
Teryl nodded eagerly. “Your turn!” He repeated as he handed the headphones to a vaguely annoyed Jasper. “Let’s see if you can do better!”
Natalia let out a ‘hmph’ as she got up from the chair. “It’s a stupid game.” She mumbled underneath her breath.
With a sigh, Jasper took the headphones and slipped them on his head before sitting down in front of the monitor. With a few clicks, he entered the first night and stole a glance at the paper with the controls. He tuned out his friends–even if they weren’t talking–in order to listen closely to the guy on the phone. Things seemed simple enough.
Unlike Natalia, Jasper didn’t rely on the cameras as much. He was more focused on the sounds. Every so often, he’d lift up the cameras. He didn’t bother looking at any of the rooms except for the main stage where the 3 animatronics stood. His eyes darted around the screen. For a moment, he paused and a hint of curiosity flashed in his eyes. He dragged the mouse over to the poster with the trio of Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica on it. He clicked on the poster in various places, and when he ended up clicking on Freddy’s nose, he heard a bizarre sound: it was a sort of honk. “...Excuse me?” He questioned aloud before clicking it again.
Natalia leaned closer. “What?”
“It makes a sound. Like some weird honk.”
“I agree.” With that, Jasper went silent again. He pulled up the camera that was still focused on the main stage. Bonnie was gone. He closed the cameras and went back into the groove he made for himself.
As time passed, Jasper went from checking the main stage camera, then the left hall camera, then ending with the left hall corner camera before closing the cameras.
“Jasper, you’re taking this surprisingly seriously.” Teryl noted with a smug smile on his face.
With a roll of the eyes, Jasper brushed off his friend’s comment. “4 A.M., and 57% power… Not bad.”
“That’s true! Much better than Nat.” Teryl nodded in agreement.
Natalia said nothing, but her glare said more than enough.
Jasper fell silent again as he flipped up the cameras, checking the rooms in the same pattern as before. He heard an unusual sound from the left side of the headphones. He clicked on the door light to be greeted with Bonnie peeking in the door. Without hesitation, he closed it. He brought up the camera once more just to see that Chica had also left the stage. “Oh great.” He huffed. He checked the left door light and saw Bonnie’s shadow still there. He checked the right door light, and thankfully nothing was there. He glanced at his power: 30% at 5 A.M.
Just then the screen faded to black and a chorus of bells played from the game as a simple transition showed a clock change from 5 A.M. to 6 A.M. It was followed by the sound of kids cheering. Without missing a beat, the game went into the second night. Jasper hit the ‘esc’ on the keyboard and went to the main menu. “I’m done. I did it. I survived one night.”
With a pout, Teryl crossed his arms. “Fine. At least you guys played it.”
Natalia sighed. “What’s even the point of that game? It seems meaningless.”
“Well, there’s actually a pretty dark story to it, but you really only see it if you look close enough at the backgrounds, and even then it’s a rare chance you see the bits of lore.”
“So, excluding that, it’s just a game where animatronics try to kill you?” Jasper asked.
“Yeah! Crazy, right?” Teryl replied. “It’s so spooky!”
“Teryl, I know I say this a lot but… I worry about you.” The dark-haired man sighed as he crossed his arms.
“Next month, pick a better game.” Natalia hissed.
“You’re just huffy cause you’re bad at FNAF~” Teryl teased. His comment earned himself another crimson red glare fixed on him, which he threw back his trademark smug smile at Natalia in response. “Fiiine~ I’ll pick a game more suited to your tastes next time~” The blond man turned to look at Jasper. “You seemed pretty absorbed in that game! How’d you like it?”
Jasper shrugged. “It’s a video game that exists. It relies on audio cues heavily, so if you don’t focus on the sounds, you’re more likely to die. Using the camera also apparently uses power so it only made sense to focus on the sounds and not the cameras.”
“Sounds like you like it.”
“I don’t care for it.”
“Why are you like this?”
With a tired sigh, Jasper left the room. “Goodnight, Teryl.” That was all he said.
The blond man couldn’t help but laugh to himself as he watched the other leave the room, followed by Natalia. “They love my game nights and they know it.”