Long Beach Grand Prix: Info for first-time attendees from a long time race fan
EDIT: My initial post had some technical errors. My apologies for the multiple edits.
There was some interest in a post with general tips and info for the Long Beach Grand Prix. Here is my attempt at covering the basics and giving my recommendations at how to best enjoy the weekend if it's your first time. There is a lot of information. Please use CTRL+F to find some specific info or drop a comment if it's not covered
General info & FAQs
First off, I’ll be referring to these items multiple times in both posts. If you plan on attending you should print or download/screenshot these ASAP and put them in a convenient location on your phone. Weekend Schedule Course Map
Note: There are bridges that allow you to walk over the track. I will be referring to them by the sponsor that covers them. Should you go?
Absolutely! The LBGP is a staple of the city and the most iconic street circuit in North America. It offers a diverse field of automotive races rarely seen elsewhere. It’s an excellent opportunity to see if auto racing is a new hobby you want to dive into. You don’t have to spend a dime if you plan ahead. Where can I get tickets?
Tickets can be purchased here
. Every year Friday is free and you can find more ticket info in my previous post here
. Which tickets should I buy?
If this is your first time I highly recommend attending Free Friday to see if this is your thing. Auto racing can be mind numbingly boring for some and incredible for others. That being said, Saturday is the best day to attend
since the track is busy, there are races, the crowds are fewer, and most grandstands are open seating.
Sunday has the IndyCar race (the big show) but all grandstands require a more expensive ticket to get a seat. What should I bring?
-Water: I can’t stress this enough. Hydrate early and often.
-Sunblock: You’re going to bake multiple times. Take care of your skin.
-Good shoes: Experiencing everything is going to take a lot traveling.
-Snacks: Food is expensive. Have a big breakfast and bring a ton of munchies.
-Binoculars: There are sights everywhere. Get a little closer with a basic pair.
-Towel: The grandstands aren’t comfy and they can get real hot. Use it as a seat, shade, and wipe.
-Portable battery: Keep your phone juiced.
-Ear plugs: Protect your ears!! The cars sound great but don’t risk hearing loss. Just because it doesn’t hurt doesn’t mean your ears aren’t being damaged. Race starts are brutally loud and children should get over-the-ear muffs for maximum protection. Ear plugs can be purchased for $1-2 at most merchandise grandstands. Seriously, you need them. You don’t look cool or tough standing track side and saying “It’s not that loud.” No one ever brags about having tinnitus. How do I get there? How’s parking? By car
: parking is available throughout downtown at an elevated cost. You may get lucky with street parking but most residents will be staying home to avoid giving up an already valuable spot. Pre-paid parking can be purchased on the website with directions. I recommend the Pike Parking Structure. Enter off Chestnut and prepare to pay with cash. Last time I paid $20 on Friday. The exit keeps you away from traffic and provides easy access to the 710-N. Public transport
: Most bus routes end at the 1st street depot near Long Beach Blvd. The Blue Line also has a station nearby. Walking distance isn’t too bad and you can enter near the concert venue. UbeLyft
: Get your driver to drop you off a few blocks away from the circuit. You’ll be walking a lot anyway, save yourself some money due to surge pricing and walk an extra block or two. Get dropped off at VON’s in case you left your food and water at home. Basic overview of the sites:
-The Lifestyle Expo
: This place is hit or miss. There are some cool stands and some car garages located inside. Stroll through at least once to get some shade. If you have kids there is some fun entertainment in the Arena portion such as skateboarding demos, obstacle courses, and slot cars. The drift car paddock is located inside allowing close viewing and great photo opportunites when not on track.
: Great place to pick up ear plugs and a souvenir program. The program itself isn’t a necessary item since most of the info is available online.
: There is a go-kart track on top of the parking structure that you can visit although you may have to pay. From the Welcome Plaza to the Firestone Bridge there are plenty of food options and merchandise stands.
-NTT IndyCar Series Paddock
: You have to pay for a pass to get inside. I do not recommend getting a pass unless you are an avid IndyCar fan.
-IMSA WeatherTech Paddock
: Completely free and accessible by the Firestone Bridge. Get up and close to the various cars, drivers, and mechanics. The IMSA series is incredibly fan friendly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, take pics, or ask to get up close to the cars.
: Great places to eat but nothing really changes during the Grand Prix except that it’s more crowded than usual.
: Another hit or miss location. There are some cool little stalls but I’ve never found a reason to go out of my way to hang out there.
: If you plan to see any of the free concerts on Friday or Saturday get there an hour early to get a good spot. Standing room only.
I’ll be walking you through the corners and how best to view the action. I've linked some sample views from past events to give you an idea of what you'll be looking at. The Main Straight
: Long and with a bend, Shoreline Drive is home to various grandstands that allow you see cars going flat out. If you plan on attending Sunday get there early to grab a spot next to the fence. View from the grandstand My favorite spot
: Stand underneath the the King Taco bridge see the cars at their fastest (180+ mph). The echo off the bridge will rattle your chest and pound your ears. Pit exit is just down the way. A great place to see cars floor it and merge into traffic. Experience it yourself Turn 1
: Home to hard braking and gutsy passes. If drama is going to happen, it’ll be here. This place has limited standing room. Saturday attendees should get high in grandstand #6 or #36 to get a view of Turn 1 and Turn 6. Corner overview Grandstand #36 view Grandstand #5 view Turns 2-3
: A scenic corner in which cars whip around the Aquarium fountain. Unfortunately they plaster this corner with billboards and it’s difficult to see the action. Keep walking past the Bubba Bridge to get there. No grandstands. Great photo spot for the dedicated. My shot last year Turns 4-5
: Inaccessible to the public. If you park at the Pike you may be able to see Turn 5 before you walk to the elevators. Turn 6
: Another hard braking point coming off a small straight away. A fantastic photo spot on either side of the LiUNA! bridge. Saturday attendees should get high in grandstand #6 or #36 to get a view of Turn 1 and Turn 6. View 1 (standing room) View 2 (grandstand #7) Pine Ave & Turn 7
: A very crowded spot where people post on the steps leading up to the convention center. A view from the steps Turn 8
: Right hander to the back straight. Viewable at ground level. Best way to see things is up high by edging up to the guard rails on the Convention Center entrance level by the Auto Club bridge. Sample view The Back Straightaway (between turns 8 & 9)
: Mainly inaccessible. Small views from the Welcome Plaza. Turns 9-10
: My absolute favorite part of the track. A fantastic corner complex where some passes can occur and you see the drivers fighting the car to get it around the bend. Saturday attendees are limited to standing room. My friday view last year of turns 10 & 11
(Turn 9 not shown) Turn 11
: The slowest and tightest corner on the track. Saturday attendees should get to Grandstand #24 to see cars at their slowest before flooring it back to the main straight. A fantastic photo spot at ground level or up high. Sample view
Here is basic overview of what each series is, must see events, and where to watch it. I’ve also linked last year’s races so you can get a good idea of what to expect. IndyCar
: The big show and the fastest cars on the circuit. Find a spot in Grandstand #24 during Saturday qualifying to see fast corner speeds through Turns 9-10-11. A big-screen TV is nearby to watch all the action. If you plan to attend Sunday find a standing spot early near the start/finish line to view all of the festivities up close. I recommended getting to Turn 1 to see the most action. Last year’s race highlights IMSA SportsCar
: Mixed class racing featuring prototypes and highly modified sports cars. Plenty of on-track passing anywhere you go. Get to Grandstand #30 on Saturday to experience a race start unlike any other. Last year’s race Historic IMSA GTO
: A throwback event featuring cars from the 1980s & 1990s. These events are very short (20 min) and easily miss able. A rare opportunity to view classic cars going fast. Sample race Pirelli GT4 America
: A series full of various types of sports cars not seen elsewhere. Last year’s race Super Drift Challenge
: A stylish event where drivers slide their cars around every corner. Expect a very smoky and loud atmosphere at any corner. High likelihood of crashes and contact between drivers. Best views are Turns 9-10-11. Preview Super Stadium Trucks
: A fan favorite in which modified trucks roar around the track and hit ramps to get some serious air. Expect crazy slides and bumper to bumper action. Grab a spot near a ramp location to get the best action.
Ramp locations: -Pine Avenue after Turn 6 -Firestone bridge after Turn 9 -Main straightaway before the start/finish line. Last year’s race
submitted by Type_Rex
Bendy and the Ink Machine story write up Chapter 4
So here's the context. I've been writing the chapters of Bendy and the Ink Machine as if it was a novelisation of the game. I've posted all my work on Reddit, having gone through chapters one, two and three already. I will leave links to my posts at the end of this one and will add the one to chapter five when it's done. I am not much of a writer but I've enjoyed writing this and would be happy to know that I've created something for others to enjoy. If you have any feedback feel free to write in the comments but if there is any criticisms please only be constructive.
Here is chapter four.
Chapter Four: Colossal Wonders
They say all it takes for man to go mad is one bad day. What if that day never ended? Somehow I was dreaming again. I was home. Linda and I were at the table again. She was talking. But now there was another person. Boris sat next to me. Enjoying the breakfast that Linda had made for him. This was only right for him. He’d been through so much. Linda heard the mailman arriving and got up to check the mailbox.
“You two just stay right there. I’ll be back in just a moment.”
After she left, the lights went out. I turned to look at Boris but he was gone. A grotesque figure had dragged Boris into the darkness.
I woke up. Everything hurt. It took just a few seconds before I remembered what had happened. Boris was gone. Alice had him. I groaned and slowly pushed myself up. I checked myself and somehow nothing was broken. Well that was a relief. I wobbled a bit as I got to my feet but I was essentially OK. I was in a room similar to the kinds I had been travelling through in the previous days. Alice’s tasks had taken a toll on me, but I had no choice but to keep going. Boris had been there for me when I was in trouble and now it was my turn to help him. It didn’t take too much imagination as to what Alice would do to him. She’d extract his heart and use it to complete herself, just like what she’d done to all the others. Well not on my watch.
The elevator was truly busted. It was a wreck of twisted metal and splintered wood. How the hell did I survive that. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to be alive, but it didn’t make sense. Never mind that. A sign on the wall told me I was on Level S. How could I be deeper than The Projectionist? I thought Alice said he was the lowest point. Or was he the lowest in the territory she considered to be her own? Anyway, no time to waste. I had to catch up. I had no idea how long I’d been out, but all I knew was that it might have been too long. There was a musty old looking corridor ahead of me which for once had no ink in it. Not a drop was on the walls or floor. Just cobwebs and dust. A sign at the end told me that I was close to accounting and finance. As nice as seeing Grant’s old stomping grounds, I thought it was probably best to avoid seeing any more old friends, given my current track record with Sammy, Susie and Norman. To my left was the archives. I didn’t even know we had archives. But then again I knew there was a lot I didn’t know about this place. There was a door down there but it looked like a handle of some kind was missing from it. There was no other way to go, so I decided to head to accounting and finance, specifically to Grant’s office. I felt an overwhelming urge to knock. Force of habit I suppose. The door creaked open as I pushed it and I looked in awe at the room in front of me.
Ink writing was all over the walls. The room itself was almost completely covered. The wooden wall and floor was hardly visible through it all. Looking closely at it, they were saying stuff like "TIME IS MONEY", "WHAT WILL JOEY SAY?", "STOP THE WASTERS!!", "DOESN'T ADD UP", and "SHORT". Best guess was that Grant had suffered some sort of mental breakdown. The stress of what happened, what Joey put him through must have broken him. This was confirmed by an audio log I found on his desk.
Image of Unknown audio tape
A mix of screams and whimpering could be heard on the tape. I couldn’t make out a voice. There was the sound of something breaking. Grant must have been turned into something, but a part of his old self kept him working and, like Sammy in his inky state, he was still able to use the tapes. It ended with a sudden silence and then a low growl and a splashing noise. There was a huge hole in the wall that had exposed a pipe. Below it was a wheel. This would certainly work on the door. I headed back. I didn’t realise at first, but there was earth and stone exposed on the ground. I don’t know how far underground I was, but it seemed like the studio was incomplete at this point. Like they ran out of cash for it. The wheel connected perfectly with the door, and it squealed as it turned. The door opened and I saw a large circular room. Bookshelves were built into the walls, but the main focus was on the centre. A Bendy statue, identical to all those seen around the studio was raised on a platform. A homemade sign was above it with the inky letters “HE WILL SET US FREE.” Perhaps Sammy had been down here at some point. He was the only thing who seemed to worship Bendy. At the feet of the statue were more figures. Inky bodies stood below him, looking as if they were praising him. They looked like statues themselves and they weren’t moving. Sammy must have put them there at some point if he’d been here. Another circular room was behind that. This had similar walls but instead had another circular bookshelf in the centre with a small workspace inside that one. A table in the centre had an audio log on it.
Image of Susie's audio tape
It seemed that, as I expected, Susie had finally seen Joey’s true colours. He’d done something to upset her and her mental state seemed to have been damaged by the experience. She sounded disturbingly calm, yet spiteful at the same time. This must have been her transitional phase, something that led to her conversion into Alice. A door was labelled as private on the other side of the room. It had five lights above it. All were turned off. Joey seemed to have liked puzzles to open his doors so this didn’t surprise me. I noticed a book next to it that was sticking out slightly. I gave it a push and one of the lights came on.
“So that’s how it works.”
I looked around, trying to find the other four books. On the third one, something happened. A flash of light, and then my vision went cloudy, foggy, almost like static from a projector. The chandelier above the desk was rocking violently side to side. I pressed myself against the shelf. Was something attacking me? But after a few seconds, it stopped. There was another flash and then it was all normal again. I must be losing my mind. I just kept going on my journey and looked for the books. The last one must have been in the previous room. I started looking until something caught my eye. Or rather, something didn’t catch my eye. The inky statues were gone. All of them. How strange. I eventually found the final book and I heard the door unlock. I pushed it open but I had to stop myself before I moved too far forward. There was a huge chasm below me. I was in a cave of some kind. Wooden planks seemed to have been hastily placed along the walls of the chasm to allow someone to walk around it, but they didn’t look safe. Cages were suspended from chains hanging from the ceiling, wherever the ceiling was. It was so high up that I couldn't see it in the darkness. Ink oozed from pipes and fell into the darkness below. Was this a studio or a mine at this point? A mechanism with some kind of wooden crate stood at the edge of the pit. It had a rope that led to the other side. It looked like a transport system. Joey seriously expected people to use this? No wonder Grant went nuts. Joey was terrible at saving money, but this was a cut that was far too dangerous. There appeared to be a gear missing so I went looking for it. A strange printing press looking device was behind it. It had weird settings that gave suggestions of what it could print. Perhaps this would give me a gear? All I needed was something to put in the press. A passageway to the left led to a huge pipe coming from the ceiling. It had candles around it, as if somebody had been worshipping it. Sammy popped into my head again but this seemed unlike him. I found a lever and decided to give it a pull. The pipe slowly began to rise and a pool of ink was uncovered. It was bubbling, as if something was in there. A valve next to it suddenly rattled. I gave it a turn and watched. To my horror, a hand emerged from the ink. A searcher rose from the pool. I backed up, painfully aware that I didn’t have a weapon to defend myself. It had its back to me. Something was off about this one. There was a more solid looking lump of ink on its back. I slowly approached and reached out for it. I gave it a tug and it came free, the searcher sinking back into the ink. The blob was firmer than other types of ink. I took it back to the press and inserted it. I put the setting to a picture of a gear and gave the handle a turn. It shook for a few seconds and then spat out a puddle of ink. Well great. The thing was busted. I watched it and then recoiled. The ink was moving. The puddle moved upwards, taking a shape and suddenly solidified into a gear. I picked it up. It felt like metal. Was heavy enough too. I moved to the machine and placed the gear into place. I pulled the lever and the crate moved across the line towards my side.
I gingerly placed my foot on the floor of the crate. It seemed sturdy. After all I’d done so far I was not in the mood to fall again. I sat down and it slowly began moving me across the gap. I tried not to look over the edge. I’m afraid of heights you see and this was a nightmare for me. About half way across it suddenly stopped. The gears had jammed and the whole mechanism was shaking violently. I put one hand on the rope and the other on the crate. If it was gonna fall, I’d at least be able to hold on to something. The shaking gradually stopped and the crate kept moving. I kept my hands firmly on the crate and rope until I had reached the other side. I almost felt like kissing the ground at this point, but I decided against it. There was another passage way ahead of me and the door was ajar. Someone must have used the crate and sabotaged the machine. Alice! I went in and saw a cramped corridor. The walls were full of holes and were mouldy. I moved through it slowly trying not to breathe too much through my nose. It stank like crazy. Then, another flash and more static like vision. Hands were reaching through the walls trying to grab at me, but not like a searcher. These were thinner and had more of a pleading motion. They wanted my help. This lasted a lot longer but like the previous vision it was gone in a flash. The passageway door had broken open and I once again saw a huge mass ahead of me sinking slowly downwards. The Machine! I sprinted forward, seeing another pit. This one was a little more completed, with stairs and proper walkways around it. I’d just missed the machine as it was already out of view for me. Chains were moving up and down. That meant that directly above me was a hole that led straight to the surface. I made a mental note to come back here if I could.
“I see you there, my little errand boy.”
Alice was talking through more speakers.
“Your angel is always watching. What is it that keeps you going?”
I honestly didn’t know myself at this point.
“Is it the thrill of the hunt? The thirst for your freedom?” Or perhaps… You’re just looking for a little, friendly, wolf…”
She laughed at that. I sped up the stairs, eager to make it to her in time.
“Better hurry errand boy. Boris is having trouble staying in one piece.”
Could there still be time? I just went for it. Not caring for personal safety. I needed Boris back.
At the top of the stairs appeared to be living quarters of some kind. There was a coach and a chair set up in a comfortable looking little room. A small walkway was above a door behind the furniture. A Miracle Station stood in the corner of the room. I was about to pass through the door when something moved on the walkway above. A thin inky figure walked out. It was painfully slender to look at. Ink dripped from its mouth. Bright, glowing yellow eyes peered through the darkness at me. It spoke in a normal sounding voice.
“H-He’s going to find me! He always finds me! Oh no! I just want to go home. When do we go home? When do we go home?!”
This last part was yelled. So much sorrow and despair in its voice, my heart broke. This must have been one of the employees reanimated by the ink. There was obviously enough of them left for them to speak of home. The poor thing. It walked back into the darkness and I didn’t see it again. I moved towards the door, but it swung open of its own accord. There were many of these Lost Ones all standing there, staring at me. I stood still, hand still outstretched as I was about to grab the handle. I debated going to the Miracle Station, but these things didn’t seem aggressive. Some were standing, hunched over. Some were on the floor, either sitting or kneeling. Some were crying while others just looked numb. On the wall behind them were the words “NO ANGELS” and “HE WILL SET US FREE,”. These were the same things at that statue in the archives. They’d written all of those words. Had they done all of the others? They obviously knew of Alice and were hiding from her. They seemed to know what I was looking for and pointed towards a vent in the wall that was big enough for me to climb through. Had they just provided me with a shortcut? I thanked them and grabbed a flashlight that was already waiting there for me. I climbed inside and looked forward. This was likely going to be a maze. I turned back, intending to ask them something, but they had all gathered by the vent and were blocking me from leaving. They wanted me to deal with Alice for them. OK. I guess I’m doing this.
The vent had a grate ahead of me that I intended to exit through. A desk and a Bendy cutout were in the room. I prepared to lick the vent open, when Bendy Jumped out of the shadows of the room and lunged at the vent. He rattled at the grate but seemed unable to open it. His grin leered at me through the grate. The inky shadows filled the grate, but there was very little he was able to do to me with those. It only scared the ink creatures. I instead started backing up and crawled through the maze of vents. I passed many grates, seeing more Lost Ones. I eventually came to one without a grate attached and crawled out. There was a large storage warehouse entrance to my left. Unsurprisingly, it was locked. There was writing saying “COME UP AND SEE ME”. Alice must have left me. I went up the stairs and saw “ALMOST THERE”. She was toying with me again. I was so close. I’m coming Boris. There was a huge wooden Bendy head, its mouth wide open that allowed somebody to enter. If I didn’t know any better I’d think that this was a gate or entrance to something big. There was a table and sketches of buildings and rides across the walls. A map was spread out on the table with high rise towers on it. These were plans for an amusement park. An audio log was on the table.
Image of Bertram's audio tape
Bertram Piedmont. That name was famous. The creator of many of the greatest amusement parks that the world had ever seen. I had no idea Joey had hired him for a job. By the sounds of it Bertram, like everyone else, had his ideas and designs stolen by Joey, only he wasn’t going to just sit there and take it. By the sounds of it, he was a rather vein man. You’d have to be if you wanted to outshine Joey. This must have been the big project that lost them their money. The thing that made Grant lose his mind. This must have been one of the key factors in the downfall of the studio. There was a lever that led to the door down the stairs. I pulled it and headed to the warehouse. Storage 9 was pitch black at first. But as I stepped in the lights suddenly flickered on. Rides, stalls and all manner of merchandise was scattered across the room. There was a huge sign hanging from the ceiling next to some cages, some of which having Lost Ones in them. The sign had once read “BENDY LAND” with a large picture of Bendy’s face in the centre, but somebody had painted over it so it now read “BENDY HELL”. Alice must be in here somewhere. Going down the steps I saw several cables that led to new doorways and passages. I didn't even bother trying to open them as by now I knew that I had to flip some kind of switch if I was going to get in them. Moving through I found one of the rides in that seemed to lead onward through the studio further. It was a haunted house. There was a control board that the wires led too but that in itself was also lacking power.
“Hang in there Boris. I’m coming.”
I looked at the equipment and found a new log by the stalls. This one was from Wally again.
Image of Wally's audio tape
So let me get this straight. I had to use the fairground games to open the doors that would in turn allow me to get to a power switch that would allow me to get the haunted house and open up more doors that would let me get to the other switches. Why can’t anything ever be simple in this place? I played all the games. I might have enjoyed myself had I not had the impending doom of my only friend down here on my mind. The first door opened. It was a peaceful place. Dim and dirty, but nothing dangerous. There were a few creepy looking puppets of Bendy but it was pretty nice to know that not everything in this place was trying to kill me. I just wish I could say the same about the other doors. I flipped the lever and then pulled the switch by the haunted house. Upon flipping that switch a door labelled “research and design.”
There was a balcony that looked down onto a den of some kind. There were two doorways. Between them was a trash can with a fire burning in it. Around the fire were copies of the twisted Butcher Gang. All three had faced the flames, using it for warmth. There was no way I could just sneak past them so I needed to come up with a new plan. Leaning over to get a good look, I accidentally knocked an empty soup can into their den. I backed away as Piper looked towards it. He began walking towards it. The other two followed him. The gang were a strange type of creature. They seemed to have a hive mind of some kind that was stronger when they travelled in groups. They were either alone or in threes, always being one of each type per group. If I could throw the cans and get the attention of one of them, then the others would go with them. I grabbed a handful of cans and headed down. I headed towards the left door and chucked a can. Fisher spotted it and the three headed to investigate. I’m lucky they’re not too smart. There was a release catch on the wall that would allow a power lever to work. I gave it a tug and began heading back, but something caught my eye. A metallic figure lay on the worktable. It appeared to be a machine. A robot of some kind. It was painted black and white. Half of its head was covered by a plastic plate, painted to look like Bendy. The other plate was on the table next to it. Its torso was disconnected from its waist and it was missing its left hand. I wonder where that went? Next to it was a new audio log.
Image of Lacie's audio tape
Lacie Benton was one of Bertram’s workers. So Joey wanted these things to wonder around Bendy land. The cost would have been too much. I wondered what his new plan would have been. I backed out, threw another can and headed for the next door. I flipped the lever and headed once more to the stairs, throwing another can. They headed for it, but Striker glanced back and saw me. He let out a roar and the others turned on me. I decided to run. Striker was the fastest of them and he tried to cut me off. I threw a can and it smacked him in his pupiled eye. He fell backwards and I kept going. Fisher cast his line and it wrapped around my leg. I fell and the three were on me. They all smacked me a few times until I was able to get an unopened can. I must have picked it up by accident. I cracked it open and threw it. The three smelled the soup and Piper headed for it. Despite their hive mind, they always seemed to follow Piper’s example more than they did the others. Like in the cartoon, he seemed to be their leader. I took the opportunity to get out of there. I got to the door and pulled the second lever, opening a new door.
I made it to “Attraction Storage” and found what looked like a fully functioning ride. It was a strange looking ride. Four mechanical arms were attached to a central column that appeared as if it could rotate. On the end of each arm were three seats. There was a workbench right in front of it. The switch was on the other side of the room but I saw an audio log on the workbench. I’d listened to them all so far. It’d be a shame to miss this one. I pressed the button, but instead of coming from the recorder, it was wired to the speakers.
“The biggest park ever built, a centrefold of attractions. Each one, more grand than the one before it. It makes my eyes come to tears at the thought.”
It was Bertram, but what was he getting at?
“But then… oh Mister Drew. For all your talk of dreams, you are the true architect behind so many nightmares.”
It was strange. This was left for Joey. But why? And What nightmares could he have been talking about during the time of recording?
“I built this park. It was to be a masterpiece! My masterpiece! Now you think you can just throw me out? Trample me to the dust and forget me?”
At that something moved. Machinery began working. The rides lights began lighting up.
“No! This is my park! My glory!”
I looked at the tape and realised that it was not on. This was a trap set for Joey. Bertram was speaking live.
“You may think I’ve gone…”
The arms on the ride began moving, starting up and flexing, creaking as it did, preparing for movement. Where was he?
“But I’M STILL HERE!”
A couple of panels opened up on the ride and I gasped. A face was visible through the panels. It was human. Or it used to be. The head was the size of a boulder. It was black and white with a small moustache on its upper lip. It’s eyes were demented. It could see me, but I think it couldn’t tell who I was. A single small stream of ink trickled out of his mouth. I had seen that face in the paper. It was Bertram. He’d been mutated by the ink and had fused himself with his own ride. The whole mechanism rotated and an arm rose into the air. I rolled backwards just in time as the arm smashed the workbench to splinters. It began rotating violently fast. It was fixed to the ground but it had enough power to bring the whole room, maybe even the whole studio down on us both. I had to stop it.
I ducked under the ride's arms as it spun, the doors on the centre snapping open and shut. Bertram was rotating independently to the rest of it, always keeping his eyes on me, aiming for me. How was I supposed to stop this. It smashed a wall display and sent broken planks my way, one hitting me in the head. I sprawled on the floor, rolling again to dodge the arms. Scurrying around, I saw that after he’d destroyed the workbench, he’d revealed an axe that was hidden beneath it. I grabbed it and held it close, ready to strike when I needed to. He brought an arm around for a powerful strike, missing me by inches. His arm was stuck in the uneven ground and I began hacking at the joints. The arm eventually broke off and thudded to the ground. He screamed in rage and began rotating rapidly again. It was a simple repeat tactic. The axe was far too useful to me so far. I was able to hack away at the limbs until all had been detached. I had a couple of close calls, having to get close enough to his face for a second, leaping over the beams as he spun. After all arms were detached he gave a cry. It had seemed as if he had only intended to kill Joey with it and in doing so had used up his power, the only thing keeping him functional and alive. He seemed to cry out, but his speakers were knocked out and the doors closed as his head lulled to the side, dead. Ink began dripping out through the closed doors as Bertram's remains dissolved. This was disgusting to watch. I’d caused death and mutilation to so many innocents who have no choice in what they’re doing after Joey’s machine changed them. But I put that out of my mind. Boris had to be my main focus. I headed out and pulled the third switch.
The final room was marked as maintenance. I entered and saw writing on the wall, “CHOO CHOO CHOO CHOO,”. What the hell did that mean? Whoever was writing this was clearly insane, if it wasn’t as obvious at this point. A poster read “Buddy Boris Railway”. Oh. Right. Alice must have done that to taunt me. It was right next to a Miracle Station and a couple of plants that had grown through gaps in the floor. The floor was flooded with ink in the maintenance room. I was about to head down there, when a familiar looking light was seen coming from the room. I backed up and watched as The Projectionist lumbered past me. How was he here? I barely survived the last encounter, and I had my pipe that time. Shoot, I should have checked the elevator wreckage for it. Could this be a different one? But how could there be any more than one? Oh well. My best chance was to sneak past him. Two trains stood in the room. They were huge and could be useful to hide from him. There was a lift blocking the staircase to the switch, but there was a lever handy on the bottom floor. I crept past him and pulled it down. He heard the lift moving and knew where I was. He roared and started chasing. I ran for the stairs, the light from his eye casting a shadow at my feet. I sprinted up and made a move towards the switch. My best bet would be to pull it and then circle back to the stairs and to the Miracle Station. I made a break for the switch. He was right behind me. Oh god. I pulled it and all of the lights went out, including his own light. There was silence in the room. I turned and he was nowhere to be seen. I considered myself lucky and headed back towards the door. On the way I found a new log. This one was from Joey again.
Image of Joey's audio tape
The stress must have been causing Joey to crack. I’d never heard him yell like that. Sure he could be unpleasant when he was angry, but he was reaching a whole new level of arrogance at this point. I also finally knew that he never wrote any of his speeches in the later days. He probably came up with a formula and expected the writers to do this for him. I was almost smug. Joey had wronged me too many times. I’d seen him lose his temper before, but never like this.
I was going back towards where I’d seen the Miracle Station when a sudden burst of light and a roar from behind me startled me. Somehow, The Projectionist had come back. I ran into the station and slammed the door shut. I saw through the peephole that he was looking straight at me. He crouched and stared through the peephole back at me before he tiptoed closer and reached out, as if about to open the door. I held my hand over my mouth. These things have worked so far, please don’t let it stop now. Another flash, and another vision of static. The Projectionist turned and roared as something else had caught his attention. I looked and was surprised to see Bendy pound The Projectionist in the side of the head with his huge left hand. The two fought, trading blows like a boxing match. The Projectionist smacked Bendy square in the face and Bendy lifted him up by his head. The peephole was too small but I saw The Projectionist’s arms and legs flailing as Bendy lifted him. There was a tearing sound of flesh and metal and The Projectionist went limp. My sight returned to normal. Was it all an illusion like the others? No. Bendy put the lifeless body down, it’s head missing. Bendy had ripped the projector off. He then looked at it for a split moment, before throwing it at the Miracle Station, at me! It thudded against it. Ink flew in at the same time. I cleared my eyes and looked up again before jumping further into the station. Bendy was staring right at me. He lolled his head to the right and stared for a moment. I couldn’t see his eyes under the ink flow, but I knew for sure that our eyes were locked. He roared again, lifted the body of The Projectionist, and dragged it away. The inky shadows disappeared as Bendy shrunk back into the studio walls where he’d emerged. I exited to find a long trail of ink leading to the wall. The projector lay, battered and beaten on the ground. Had Bendy just saved me? But he’s been trying to kill me. What was going on?
I made it back to the Haunted House once more and pulled the final switch. There was a loud clunk and the lever next to them unlocked. I pulled it and a loud thumping filled the warehouse. The door slid open slowly. The ride was designed to look like a manor house. Two windows were on the top floor with the shutters open, showing the iconic Bendy eyes. Above the porch were large fake fangs hanging down. A couple of wooden tombstones stood in the front. It was corny as hell. I wandered in and saw a line up of carts on a track.They all had the Bendy grin and eyes on the front. It was all in no way scary, but Alice was in there, and that face… Bendy’s face… something that the creatures down here tried to avoid at all costs. Written on the wall were the words “TURN BACK.” I’d come this far. I was not leaving here without Boris. A strange sound echoed throughout the tunnel. It sounded like something was cackling. This could possibly be the only haunted house that was actually scary.
I sat in the front cart and the bar in the front lowered onto my legs, locking me into place. I was stuck. The cart began creaking forwards towards a set of double doors with a skull which was pushed open when the cart pressed against them.
“And now, the ride truly begins, Henry.”
Alice. I knew she was held up in here somewhere. And hopefully with Boris. He’d better be OK.
“Come in, and pretend it’s all just a bad dream.”
A long tunnel curved off to the right. It looked like it was covered in bricks, some missing with different coloured sets of eyes. There were more fake tombstones on the sides of the track. One had a wooden ghost prop extend from behind it. This was a pathetic ride.
“It’s a funny thing. How so much can fall apart so fast.”
A skeleton came out from behind the next stone. I was unimpressed to say the least.
“We never really had control at the studio. Either it was you in someone’s pocket, or you were putting someone into yours.”
What? Did she blame me for what happened? No. I did nothing wrong. Right?
“I just wanted what was promised to me. I just wanted to be beautiful.”
A shadow was cast on the wall. BORIS! I was about to yell, when I saw it was a plushy in front of a flashlight. She was sick. I had to find him.
“Henry… Why are you here? We’re all dying to find out.”
I thought she said she knew.
“Do you just enjoy the terror of the drop into hell? Because if that’s the case… Hang on tight. I’ve got a surprise.”
I passed through another skeleton door. This one took me to a new part of the house entirely. It looked like a large dining room. Peeling wallpaper hung down in lines, exposing the boards of the wall behind them. Paintings were scattered across the walls with eyes that lit up and flashed, making it look as if they were alive. It was a poor imitation. Furniture was in the centre of the room, some still in boxes and crates. A printing machine was in the corner, exactly like the one I’d used to make a gear. An organ was against one of the walls. I saw all this as I went along the track along the outside of the room. I rode towards an identical door that led out of the room. This one opened before I got there. I couldn’t see through the darkness and thought I’d keep going, when something grabbed the front of the cart.
Two huge hands emerged from the darkness and grabbed the cart by the front. Leaned forwards and I gasped. A hulking figure stood before me. It wore a large set of dungarees, having its upper torso and arms bare. Pipes and machinery stuck out. Its ribs were exposed through a hole in its chest. Its heart was missing and it was being run on some kind of machinery that pumped its blood through its body. It had a strange brace around its head as if it was meant to hold it in place. I looked at its head, and my heart broke.
“Boris!! No, no… What has she done to you?!”
Boris’ head lulled. His eyes were Xs just like all the ones in Alice’s lair. He gagged in a strange hiccuping sound. He lifted the cart I was in and threw it into the room. It blew apart on impact and I was thrown onto my back. Alice laughed on the intercom.
“Meet the new and improved Boris! I took what I wanted, and in return, I gave him so much more! And this time , there’s no Ink Demon, no escape.”
Boris roared again and looked straight at me. He prepared himself.
“Boris, tear him apart! Leave nothing!!”
Boris charged. I ducked out of the way.
I dodged and weaved through the furniture and crates. He grabbed my cover and smashed them to pieces. Splinters flew through the air. One got lodged in my ankle. I screamed and rolled out of the way again. He growled at me and sprinted towards me, backhanding crates as he ran. He hit me and I flew across the room, hitting the wall. Alice laughed again. She was enjoying this. I looked at Boris. The wound in his chest began to leak. The device sprung a leak and he heaved, gasping for breath. A large lump of ink hit the ground. It looked solid enough. I looked at the printer.
“I’m sorry buddy.”
I limped towards him and grabbed the ink. Boris was still heaving, but the device stopped leaking and he was recovering. I hobbled towards the printer and looked at the options. A Gent pipe. Perfect. I let it print and grabbed the pipe when it formed. Boris came in for another attack but this time I was ready. I dodged his attacks. It seemed all I had to do was wait for him to tire out. He charged again, but I sidestepped him at the last second and he collided head on into the wall. He began leaking more ink and I rammed the pipe into his chest. It jammed in the device and was ground up by the cogs. He reared back in pain. I grabbed another globual that he’d shed and headed back for the printer. Boris roared again and this time leapt towards me, crashing down onto the ground. There was a small tremor and I twisted my ankle on my wounded leg. I was almost blinded by the pain, but I saw ink leaking again. Boris had sprung another leak. I grabbed the new pipe and aimed for his chest again. Boris shuddered as sparks flew this time. One more hit should do it. I headed for the printer again with more ink as Boris backed up. A cart came through the doors and stopped right by Boris. Alice had control of the ride. She must be helping him. He lifted the cart above his head and threw it at me. I ducked under it, keeping my distance as another kart headed towards him. This next one I was able to avoid it hitting my head, but it landed on my leg again. I was trapped beneath it. Boris grabbed one more, lifting it. I prepared for the final blow, but the effort of lifting the heavy cart was too much for Boris. His ink pump burst once more. More ink than ever spewed from his chest. I wriggled myself free and half ran, half fall across the floor towards him, raising the pipe in my hand. I looked Boris in his dead eyes. Despite the expressionless nature of his new form, I could see he was afraid and in pain. I could always read him.
I plunged the pipe into his chest and the machine broke. Ink spilling over my hands. Boris fell forwards onto his knees, coughing and spluttering as ink filled his lungs. He was overflowing with it. Over the speakers Alice screamed.
“No!!! No! No! No!... Why can’t you ever just die?!”
Boris collapsed onto his back. I fell to my knees and shuffled beside him. He looked at me with his X’d eyes, and I saw relief in them. His body began dissolving, like the searchers and Butcher Gang members I’d killed. I placed my hand on one of his giant gloves. He was almost smiling as he disappeared into the ink. Tears were in my eyes. He was at peace. The nightmare was over for him. He was free. Ink stained the floor and slowly began seeping through the floor.
Behind me I head a scream. I turned and stood to see Alice lunging towards me arms outstretched as if she were about to claw my eyes out. I thought I was done for. I braced for the attack when something rapidly emerged from the shadows behind Alice. She stopped, as a metal blade point emerged from her chest, ripping through her skin like it was nothing. Her eye was wide with surprise as she looked down at the blade protruding from her. She groaned quietly as it was retracted as quickly as it had entered her. Her left hand went to her wound as she looked up at me, fear in her eye, her mouth agape in shock and horror. Her eyes closed and she collapsed to the floor, dead. I stared at her body the look she gave me. That was no longer the monster Alice, but instead the scared gaze of Susie. In that one moment, it was like she was back. I felt pity. Despite what she’d done, she was turned into a monster against her will.
I slowly looked up at the two figures standing before me. To my left was a woman. She had a short black skirt and a dress, more sensible than Alice’s. She wore black trousers beneath it and had a belt going around her waste with tools and weapons hanging of of it. A rope was wrapped around her shoulder. She had a small bow tie on her dress. Her face was shrouded slightly by her black hair in front of her face. Her flowing dark hair was tied into a ponytail. Two horns protruding from her head. Her face was unfamiliar but it was normal. Well, it was the closest thing to human that I’d seen down here. She held a blade in her right hand. She’d killed Alice. To my right was a man. Well actually, it was Boris. But a different one. He wore the signature dungarees and had a white glove on his right hand. His left hand however was replaced by a mechanical hand that I recognised as being the missing limb from the animatronic I’d seen earlier. He had a harness of some kind on his shoulder that held it onto his arm. His face was identical to Boris, but his ears seemed to be at a different angle and he looked at me with mistrust, missing the kind and jolly gaze that Boris had given me. He held a Gent pipe in his right hand and tapped it in he metal palm, almost threateningly. I stared at the two until they both raised their weapons and pointed them at me.
With no other option, I raised my hands in surrender.
End of Chapter Four
This one was a lot of fun to write about. the different enemies and settings were a treat to describe. My writing felt as if it was going in circles more than anything else with the first three, but this was something better in my opinion. Thank you if you've reached this far and I hope that you are willing t check out the other chapters and Chapter Five when I'm finally done with it. (LINKS in comments)
submitted by Jimmy-Mac-471