An Easy Job
Mike Schmidt glanced from the faded newspaper clipping in his hand to the glamorously decorated building before him, and back again. Yep, this was definitely the place.
The building itself was a relatively large pizzeria, its outer walls coated in sickly purple paint and glittery stars, with the words "Freddy's Fazbear's Pizzeria" in bright neon lights hovering above the door. Through the large glass windows and doors coated with stickers promising "Closing sale – 30% off all pizzas!", Mike could see children occasionally flit past, probably causing havoc inside. It was the sort of place children would notice immediately from the street, yelling and screaming until their parents agreed to take them. That's the scary power of clever advertising.
As he pushed through the doors he wasn't sure what assaulted his senses first, the overpowering stench of pizza, or the screams and laughter of children as they pushed past him. The whole restaurant seemed to be alive with chaos, with parents and staff the only ones maintaining order in an otherwise lawless place.
Judging by the rows and rows of tables filling the room this was the dining hall, with cash registers to the far right where exhausted-looking staff took the orders from parents. On the left-side of the room massive curtains concealed what Mike assumed to be the stage, where the restaurant's mascots probably resided. Judging by the signs, the toilets were across the room. To the right of the entrance was another set of purple curtains drawn closed, with an Out of Order sign sticking out in front. That whole part of the room seemed ominous compared to the liveliness of the rest of the restaurant, what the hell could possibly malfunction in a restaurant anyway?
Mike nearly jumped out of his skin as a heavy hand came down on his shoulder, forcing him to look up in alarm at the person beside him. It was a large, balding man in a blue uniform, with the words "security" emblazoned on his cap. He looked awfully tough for someone guarding somewhere like a kids restaurant, who the hell did they think was going to break into here?
"Sir, if you don't have any children accompanying you I'm going to have to ask you to leave. Company policy." He grunted, making no effort to remove his tight grip from the smaller man's shoulders.
"Uh, I'm here to apply for the night shift job. Who can I talk to?" He replied timidly. The guard took his hand away immediately, but his glare went from being stern to… relieved, almost mournful. He stood there silently for a moment, before nodding with his head towards a hallway on their right.
"Hpmh, so you're the new one. Come with me then." Without another word the guard crossed the room and went down the hallway at a brisk pace as Mike struggled to keep up, ignoring the children that whisked past them. The hallway was brightly coloured like the rest of the building, and poster after poster of poorly drawn children and animals adorned the walls. Thankfully the emptiness of the hallway was a break from the chaos of the dining hall; he had been there for only a minute, but the sheer activity of so many kids felt as though it were draining his own energy.
At the end of the hallway was a large metal door that seemed more at home in a bank than at a kid's restaurant, and beside it was a glass window that would make such a door redundant. Why the hell would anyone bother with the door when they can just get in through the window?
"Boss? The new security guard is here. He wants to see you." The guard called out to the door, before it opened with a whirr and a thunk. A youthful man with cropped, slick hair came out and greeted him with an almost devious smile. The kind of smile a door-to-door salesman has when they've roped in a customer.
"Ah, you're finally here! Welcome to Fazbear's, I'm Henry Phelps, the owner of this restaurant." He held out his hand, shaking it enthusiastically as Mike held out his in turn. "And you are?"
"I'm, uh, Michael Schmidt, but you can just call me Mike. Nice to meet you." Mike withdrew his hand prematurely from the handshake, they never really were his thing. They were a sign of trust too, and he certainly didn't trust this guy.
"Nice to meet you too, Mike! Here, step inside here for a bit." With a forceful tug Henry pulled him into the room and waved his hand around the cramped office they were in. There was barely enough room for the chair and desk within the office, not that it mattered. The desk was home to a fan and a few nondescript monitors, covered in trash and screwed up paper. Cords hung from the ceiling and the room was exceptionally dirty and drab compared to the rest of the building.
"During the day this is my office, but at night-time it's yours. I hope you like it, because it's where you'll be spending the night for the next five weeks. Now, since you've obviously seen the ad we put in the paper, I'm sure you have no problem with the salary?" The businessman sat down in the chair and folded his arms, looking up at his future employee. Even though he was looking down on him, Mike still felt as though he were the vulnerable one in this situation.
"Yeah, it's fine. I'm, uh, having some money troubles right now, so I'm willing to work for any amount of money." Mike kicked at his own feet, ashamed of having to admit he had to stoop this low.
"Mmh, mmh, I know how you feel. This restaurant's fallen on hard times too, which is why we have to pay you so little. It may seem lively out there now, but profits have been declining over the years and this place is closing down in five weeks' time because we can't afford to keep it open any longer. A damn shame." Henry went silent for a moment, as if he were reflecting on his own current plight. "Well, anyway, you're hired! You can start work from next Monday, that fine with you, son?"
"Sure, but, don't you want to do an interview or see a CV? Just to make sure I'm legit or something like that?" Mike replied, honestly shocked that he had landed the job. It was a good thing of course, but it was disturbing that his employer had made no effort to screen him at all. In response Henry scoffed and leaned forward, an almost mocking look on his face.
"Tell me, how many people do you think are willing to spend each and every week night guarding a kid's pizzeria for 4 dollars an hour?"
"That's right, fuck all. This place has been unguarded at night for at least a week until you came along, and while few people would rob a place like this, we still need someone to keep an eye on things, yeah? Would be a shame if Freddy and his friends waltzed on out the door while no one was looking, huh? Ahahaha!" Henry burst into laughter at his own 'joke', prompting Mike to join him.
"Alright, let's get down to business." Henry's face returned to being serious as he took a tablet out from one of the desk drawers. "At 9PM the restaurant closes and the cleaner comes in at around 10. By 12 the cleaner should be gone and that's also when your shift starts. During the day up and until then the cameras record and store all footage they see so there's no need for anyone to watch them, but due to budget cuts they stop recording at 12, thus we need you to watch the restaurant for us with this." He held the tablet out to Mike, showing him the current footage. He flitted from one camera looking down on the chaotic dining hall, to the toilets where a mother waited patiently outside a stall, to the hallway Mike had entered the office from.
"At 6AM the cameras come back on and your shift ends, and at 7 the restaurant opens back up." He quickly tossed Mike a set of keys, which he struggled to catch. "Since you're an employee, you're welcome to come and go from the restaurant outside your shift, but we won't pay you extra." Henry put the tablet away again and stood up, guiding Mike into the hallway. Echoes of children having fun called out to them down the long room.
"Oh! One last thing. Thanks again to these budget cuts, we have a limited power supply during the night. If you use it all up, everything, and I mean everything, switches off until morning. You really don't want that to happen, so I suggest you manage power as resourcefully as you can. Leave the lights off, doors open, and only check the cameras every now and then. I can assure you that being stuck in the dark is unpleasant."
Damn right it is, Mike thought to himself. He remembered when he went on holiday with his parents and there was a blackout in the hotel, and he had to sit on the pitch-black stairwell as his parents went to buy candles. No way in hell would he go through something like that again. "I know a thing or two about conserving resources, so I should be fine." Mike muttered half-assuredly.
"Good! Well, that's all I need to tell you. I think there's a recorded message by one of the other guards in the office that has more info, you should check that on your first shift." As they reached the end of the hallway, he had only a glimpse of the rows of children sitting obediently on their seats looking keenly ahead before all the lights in the dining room went out, causing the entire room to descend into pitch-black darkness.
"Uwoah!" Mike cried out in fear and took a step back at the unexpected turn of events, but Henry began clapping enthusiastically.
"Oh, what good timing! It looks like your new friends want to welcome you!" He pointed to the curtains, now illuminated by a spotlight. As they drew back they revealed the restaurant's namesake and his two companions, a rabbit and a… chicken? Duck? Whatever it was it was creepy.
"Hello! It's me! Freddy Fazbear! Welcome to my restaurant!" The animatronic bears' voice boomed across the room, causing the children to burst out into cheer and applause. "Boy, we sure do have a lot of awesome boys and girls here today, don't we Bonnie!"
"We sure do!" The rabbit piped up, as he gave a friendly wave to his audience. "And to make sure you have fun at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, we have lots of fun games to play, and fun songs to sing!"
"And lots of yummy yummy food to eat!" The chicken chimed in, waving her irrelevant cupcake around.
"Ahahaha! That's right! My pizza is the yummiest pizza around, Chica!" Freddy interjected. "So while you dig into your food, we wanna sing you a fun song! But, uh-oh! Watch out for-" The bear's voice box suddenly cut off half-way through its sentence as it pointed accusingly at the other set of curtains by the entrance, the ones with the sign. It seems as though something were scripted to happen, but the curtains remained closed. Parents and children looked back and forward in confusion.
"He sure is a sneaky pirate!" Bonnie cried in agreement.
"Dammit… I thought they removed that audio clip… stupid fucking technician…" Henry muttered to himself. He seemed to be frowning, but the in dim light it seemed as though he were glaring hatefully.
In an instant Freddy's head snapped up and looked right at Mike, as though he could see him in the darkness of the hallway, a shiver running down Mike's spine as those two plastic eyes burned into his.
"We hope you enjoy yourself here… and that you stay for a long, long time." The bear's maw widened for a moment as if the snap at the startled human, before bursting out into song.
"Whaddya think, son?" Henry patted him on the back. "120 dollars to keep an eye on my friends over there for 6 hours. It's an easy job, the easiest job in the world."
Mike wasn't so sure.
A/N: 'First horror story' and 'Lame horror story' have the same definition, I think. For me at least. Thankfully, this story is more intended to develop and explain the lore behind the mystery of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza than it is to spook my readers, which I don't think I can do.
FNaF doesn't have its own section yet, so I doubt this story will get much coverage unless people are actively googling for FNaF fanfiction. Considering the hype this little indie game has gotten, it's possible.
The first issue I encountered upon starting this story was the fact that, due to a design oversight made by the game's creator, there's no logical place for the entrance to fit! In the end I had to insert it between the backstage and Pirate's Cove as there is literally nowhere else it could go.
Whether or not this story scares you, I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.