The Missing Innocence

Samantha Oyler

 

            I watched as every last officer exited through those glass doors. The sheriff spoke into a device similar to a walkie-talkie then stood silent, waiting for a response. A noise filled with radio interference came through. The sheriff nodded then looked at me as if my expression showed no care when, in all honesty, I was very concerned. She walked over and sighed before looking straight at me.

            “Nothin’. Being the boss, you should focus on trying to keep good business after this. We’ve got the forensics department in next week, but for now, the doors stay closed,” she spoke, pointing a finger at me as she said “closed”.

            “Yes ma’am,” was all I replied with.

            She sighed and nodded a bit. “Ya’ know, my kids loved it here, but then there was that one incident a while back. Bless his heart that poor boy.”

            I nodded. She just walked back to her car and drove off, the 3 other cars following her. I turned and looked at the still aglow sign: “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza”. The luminescent eyes of the cartoon bear looked down, knowing somehow what had happened to those 5 missing children. I stepped into my car and took a last look at the police tape before driving away.

            Being the owner of a children’s pizzeria with singing animatronics and obnoxious games may seem silly, but I find it as a high responsibility. Therefore, I feel as if I must drive back for evidence. Someone needed to be put behind bars for this.

One window of 16 blacked out ones was openable. I fell in with a thump and felt a bit sick. Chairs had been knocked over in attempt to flee from the building and I watch as dust particles float under the lights as eerie silence engulfs me.

            I make my way to the back, passing the stage. I stopped to see the animatronics almost staring at me, practically as if ashamed at the occurrence. The office occupied by the night guard is open and his maintenance tools lay out on his desk. An extra 50 dollars get added to his pay check when he fixes the animatronics. As I looked closer, though, I noticed they lay on top of kids’ drawings: unfinished drawings. The officers didn’t have to look two feet in front of them to find this.

 

 

The parents of the missing children are all listed by phone numbers on my “Complaints to Manager” sheet. When I went to visit them all and ask questions, they all had, honestly, little to no information important to this case.

            “She was a big fan of your pizzeria.”

            “He was always a good boy.”

            “I really can’t imagine them running off.”

            Out of all the miserable rambles, only one really helped.

            “His brother had been lost there, too,” she spoke softly.

            “He was? When?” I asked, finally curious.

            Tears dared to spill from her eyes. “There was a party for my older boy’s birthday. They…they were just playing around.”

            “Ma’am, are you referring to-,”

            “Yes, the ‘Bite of ‘87’,” she nearly shouted through her choked throat.

            “So…now his brother is gone, too?” I questioned.

            “After my little boy’s head was just…unfixable, the older one admitted that his friends had thrown him up there. Now…he’s gone, too.”

            I sat and thought this over, trying to find a perfect explanation. The little brother had fallen into a coma and passed on after the older brother and his friends threw him into the mouth of our faultiest animatronic. Now, the elder was gone. Coincidence?

            “Thanks, ma’am,” I said. She smiled a small smile and nodded.

I headed to the house of my worker, Mike. He wasn’t the first worker here, but after this, he certainly won’t be the last. His house looked dark and sinister, looming over me as I parked by the curb and stepped out. After knocking and being greeted, if you can even call it that, I walked in and sat with him on an old, fallen apart couch.

            “Mike, what do you know?” I asked.

            “Always to the point. Some kids went missing, that’s all,” he said, crossing his hands.

            “Why were there incomplete drawings on your desk, Mr. Schmidt?” I question sternly, a hint of anger and annoyance in my voice.

            He looked confused. “What drawings?”

            “The ones buried under your tools.”

            He froze, looking as if he is contemplating something. “Oh, yeah, those. They were just unfinished ones kids gave me. No big deal.”

            “No big deal? This is huge, Mike!” I exclaimed.

            “Look, I know another bad thing happened, especially for the mom of the brothers, but-,”

            “How did you know another brother was murdered?”

            He froze again, eyes wide as he looked down. I saw a bit of fear in them.

            “I just do. The, um, the mom passed by me on the way out. She was crying, saying, ‘not another boy,’ so yeah.”

            I just looked at him for a minute. “Alright, Schmidt, you’re done. See you when we get back.”

            The next week, a forensics team did come to the pizzeria to investigate. It was about an hour long wait outside before one man finally came out of the now unblocked doors.

            “After walking around and collecting some evidence, there was a scent of what we assume is blood and mucus on or…in the animatronics, sir,” he reported.

            My eyes widened. In the animatronics? Only one person knew how to properly care for parts inside of the animatronics.

            “I think I know who it is,” I said.

            “We still need to run fingerpr-,”

            “No, no, I have enough evidence now,” I spoke quietly with a hint of grimace.

            I sped to the police station and told them everything I had gathered. They nodded in agreement and thanked me. Mr. Mike Schmidt wouldn’t be able to get out of this one.

            I love how they asked me for my name. Those who truly know me, though they never last long, know that the only name they needed to know was the “Purple Guy”. I actually got the name from one of my funniest false cases.

            I’ve not lied this whole time. When I said I was concerned, I never said that I was concerned with finding a scapegoat. Same when I said that someone would be behind bars for this. Mike’s tools were there, of course, but only after I put them back there. After years of this, no one ever thought that I, owner of their happiest childhood memories, could be the “Purple Guy”. Could you blame me? Those brats deserved it for what they did to that boy, and the mother’s explanation only confirmed it. I’ve never been the blame, but maybe if they’d just saw the way the animatronics’ eyes gave me a shameful glare, they’d realize that I should be behind bars. People are just too naïve to look in front of them.