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Sleep never came easy.

Most nights, Like clockwork, his body tended to stir around 3 AM.


Like an old phantom pain, a restless itch forcing him off the couch to list around the apartment in a daze.

Even if he managed to sleep through the night, the nightmares would do the job of waking him up.


But really, when was the last time he had a good night’s sleep anyways?


Was it seven… maybe eight years? If he blamed the scooping, at least.

But he knew the nightmares happened long before then:


the endless nights spent sobbing so hard to the point of losing his voice in the weeks after the funeral…


other nights fighting the amalgamations of his grieving mind, influenced with whatever that bastard tested on him…


The animatronics, chasing him down... trying to stuff him into another suit...


and the occasional insomnia instilled from years of trying to stay on guard in case said monster drank himself to the point of tearing the door down to get his hands around his neck...



Michael jerked, wincing as his joints popped, a current of sharp pain shooting up his left arm as the bones in his wrist groaned in protest.

A reminder of what little remained. Of skin and bone and little else in a pair of borrowed, ratty pajamas.

He knew at some point, maybe this week, maybe years later, his body was going to give out all together.

He knew, in some vague sense, that he wasn’t entirely human anymore. It wasn’t possible, with the gaping hole of his stomach and his eyes glowing eerily in the moonlight.

That no human could survive being scooped and then emptied.


But even still- his bones would crack. Muscles withered and atrophied to the point of nonexistence. His skin falling to pieces, abscesses, scabs, rotting blackness and all.


But he was going to make sure he returned the favor to his father before then.