You couldn’t help but take a deep sigh of relief as you stepped into the lift for what would be the last time, smiling at Boris.
Angel had you running all over her area of the studio, being her little errand girl for the day, as her last errand boy had mysteriously disappeared. Part of you thought it was just a rouse as her list of to-do’s seemed scattered, random almost. But you had never seen an angel, let alone an angel made of ink, so it was possible that she needed the ink for herself, to keep her decaying body in one piece. The gears and power charges were confusing to you, why would a creature such as her want with them? And those hearts… your hands itched thinking about the feel of them in your hands. The slime and the texture. Perhaps it was your imagination but one had faintly pulsed in your hand when you had picked it up. No, you were glad that that was over with. When you finally got out of here you were going to take the longest, hottest shower you could stand, scrubbing the ink from your pores till not a stain remained. To do that, you needed to get out of this damned place first. As Angel pondered about heaven and how she had always imagined it, you let your mind wander.
Her last errand boy… Angel had mentioned an errand boy before you… one that hadn’t returned to her chambers.
It was no accident that you were in the old, deserted studio. You had come here looking for your father, Henry. He had worked here, once upon a time, about thirty years ago he had said. Before Joey had completely taken it over he had been one of the head animators, in charge of drawing out repetitive drawings for their cartoon, Bendy the Dancing Demon. Thirty years ago, Henry and Joey had a disagreement and Henry had turned his back on the staff and crew, vowing never to set foot in there again. And he hadn’t. He had gotten a new job, married, and then had you. A few days ago Joey had sent him a frantic message, telling him that he needed to show him something and he had left, promising you and your mother that he would be home in time for supper.
Supper had come and gone, and there was no sign of your father.
You had urged your mom to call the cops but she had refused. She had wondered if he and Joey had gotten distracted, catching up over dinner and drinks, and then your father had neglected to call home and let everyone else know of his change in plans. That excuse didn’t excuse the second day, nor did it explain the third…
You had tried calling the police yourself and they had promised to check it out. When they got around to it. Curse this town and it’s small crew of officers. Oversight on the council’s part to cut funding for the officers. ‘Nothing happens here, do we need a full taskforce?’ one had dared ask.
These thoughts were interrupted when the elevator stopped and shuddered. That’s when you heard Angel’s maniacal laughter. You knew that she was unhinged, slightly deranged but that crazy? She was a cartoon character, you chided yourself, anything was possible with them.
Boris looked at you, the pupils of his eyes possibly round with fear, you couldn’t quite tell with him.
The lift dropped like a stone. Boris covered his head, shaking like a leaf. You left to grip to the sides of elevator, praying that the cable would catch, that you would be safe, that you would survive this fall.
But with old style elevators, they just don’t have the same safety mechanisms as modern day ones.
As Angel screamed about taking Boris, you somehow moved closer to him. You wouldn’t allow that monster to take him. Boris had shown you nothing but kindness. He had walked you through the twists and turns of the tunnels, opened the locked doors, and had even shown you the safe rooms. No, he would be protected. Boris would not meet the same fate as those other Borises in her little experimentation and torture room.
Before you could promise Boris anything, the elevator finally crashed. The momentum causing you to hit your head on the metal bars, before falling to the ground. The last vision you saw before the world turned dark was one of your father, smiling down at you.
When you finally came to, Boris was shaking you gently, trying to wake you. Your head throbbed, and your vision swam. Why was it so hard to concentrate? Where were you?
Boris still shook you gently, mutely pleading for you to wake, get up, and continue your journey. That’s when the shadow started to approach the two of you, slowly, stealthy, as if they didn’t want to be seen or heard.
You tried to say something, but your traitorous body was too weak to do anything. Your mouth gaped like a fish, no words escaping, and your eyes still swam with darkness and stars.
When you were next aware, Boris was reaching out to you, almost pleadingly, as Angel jerked him back. Down to her cave of horrors… of death.
You tried to rise again but, instead you succumbed to the darkness, completely helpless.
Many hours passed before your eyes opened again. Your body was completely battered and bruised, your clothes coated in ink. Your skull throbbed in tune with your heartbeat and your back was stiff.
Where… where was Boris? He had been in front of you, shaking you. Or was he in the elevator? Waiting for you to finish your errands and return to him?
Piece by piece your memories and anger slowly returned. Angel, heh someone had a cruel sense of humour in naming her that… you remembered seeing the evil angel behind him now, jerking him off his feet and away from you.
No time for rest. Both Boris and your father needed you.
As quick as you could you pulled yourself to your feet, forcing yourself up and preparing to move. You swayed, your injuries still very much affecting you and your sense of balance, causing you to grip the wall and handrail in the search for relief. You pushed onward. Eventually your body became used to the pain and the abuse, and you were able to ignore the stars and impending darkness in your peripheral vision.
In all her glory, Angel had not considered her ‘heavenly’ footprints on the hardwood floor, nor had she thought of the long smears caused by Boris, probably where he had struggled to get free. A perfect trail, waiting for you to follow.
A sense of justice filled you and you started to follow the tracks down to her cavern again. It became a mantra in your mind. “Boris will not end up like them. Boris will not end up like them. BORIS WILL NOT END UP LIKE THEM.” So deep in your thoughts you didn’t realize when the room around you began to darken, the lights dampening, and the living ink began to infiltrate the room. The very wood of the walls and roof, was saturated to the point of ink dripping through the sodden boards, the blackness slowly becoming absolute, but you still didn’t notice, your mind consumed with the thought of your father and Boris.
It wasn’t until you heard the scream behind you that you slowly turned around.
The Demon Bendy, coming straight for you, an ugly snarl on its face, and two arms outstretched to grab.
You screamed before running off, ink splashing up and around your shoes. How could you be so careless? But there was no time for that. “Hide, hide, hide…” you muttered as you ran through endless hallways, cutting corners and running down and up stairs, desperately trying to lose him.
As if someone was looking out for you, there was a safe zone around the next corner.
You almost threw yourself inside the little house, clicking the door shut behind you. There was a narrow slot where you could see through, and luckily all you could see was the expense of the hallway, and one of those Bendy cut outs. You must have managed to get some distance between you and the demon but you already knew that it wasn’t enough… it was never enough. You clamped your hand around your mouth to stifle the sounds of your breathing as you tried to stop your body from shaking so much. Your knees were shaking, teeth were chattering and your spine, had it not been aching from the fall, it too would have been swaying like a reed in a storm.
As you watched the lumbering giant walked slowly up the hallway. You just realized that ink seemed to be flowing into his eyes, blinding him. For a moment you felt a peak of elation – a weak point! – but you already knew that he could hear you, and possibly feel the vibrations of the studio. How else could he had found you so fast so many times before?
Bendy approached the little house, he was whispering something. “Come on out little treat… I know you’re there…. don’t you want to dance with a demon?” A shiver ran up your spine. He sounded exactly like the Bendy on the cartoons. This Bendy was a lot larger, even making Boris look like a lap dog.
He was still speaking, singing. “Don’t you want to play with me? All this chasing… I thought you liked tag!” He laughed, in a low, rumbling tone, reminding you of a truck’s breaks.
“Do you like my cut outs little one? Angel doesn’t, that’s why she had you destroy them. I bet she never told you why though. I’ll let you on a little secret~” he had turned towards the safe house suddenly, the grin becoming wider, the teeth turning from rectangles to jagged triangles.
“She doesn’t like it that I have a set of eyes, everywhere you turn.”
The door to the safe house was thrown open and a dark, dripping hand grasped your throat before you had a chance to scream or beg. He lifted you effortlessly from the house, grinning as your hands fruitlessly pounded on his large one. Tears already were dripping down your face…
Was this how you were going to die? At the hands of the cartoon character?
“There you are little treat~ Let’s have some fun, hmm?” he asked you.