“YOU CAN’T IMPRISON HIM HIS ENTIRE LIFE!!”
“OH FOR THE LOVE OF- I’m not imprisoning him, I’m PROTECTING him!”
This was simply normal noise in the Sillyvision workshop as every employee had become accustomed and numb to the constant, vicious arguing of the two creators. Sillyvison was a strange company, cranking out simple yet entertaining cartoons despite having a total of 19 people involved, and that was including things like the single janitor who was payed minimum wage to keep the entire four story building at least somewhat sanitary. The owner of the building, Joey Drew, was a strange man to say the least, an eccentric entrepreneur who seemed to have a new idea every hour. Nonetheless the cartoons produced brought joy to adults and children alike all over the isle, the world had never really seen animation the way Sillyvision did it at the time, and you can bet they knew that. The oddest of Joey‘s creations however weren’t the cartoons, the upcoming theme park or even the strange machine that groaned in the walls of the studio, but something far more important.
Joey Drew had created life. The animation studio was simply a coverup, a way to finance his true passions. About 6 years ago Joey had finally made the impossible possible: he created a being out of seemingly nothing but ink. And this creation wasn’t some mindless, moving blob of ink. It... he, was intelligent, emotional, and almost humanlike. Joey was a man obsessed with perfection, so naturally his magnum opus would have to be perfect. The only real problem in the studio was how much the two men disagreed, specifically about the creation.
“He’s just a kid, Joey. He needs to have experiences . He needs to live!”
The man in the wheelchair huffed, running a hand through his dark hair. “Will you please listen to reason!? You know good and well what would happen to him if he so much as took a single step outside these doors!”
“No, I don’t. And YOU don’t either! For all you know, nothing could happen!“
“... do you really think something like him would survive for a minute out there? It’s bad enough that... wolf kid comes in here and fills his head with these ideas,” he grumbled, utterly disgusted that he even mentioned him, “You don’t need to be a bad influence too you know. The wolf kid, Bertie and Wally fill that role enough already.”
“Don’t even start with that. Your prejudices are going to ruin this child.”
“Oh, don’t give me that!” Joey snarled, “with that new foundation searching for ‘anomalies’ or whatever the hell they call it running around, he’s nowhere near safe out there! He’s not going out there. Period. I’m the head of this company and what I say is final.”
The small boy looked up at Wally Franks, his cartoony smile wider than ever as the Janitor stifled a laugh.
“Bendy- Bendy you’re not supposed to yell out whatcha got! ... wait do you really have a Full house?” He raised an eyebrow.
The little demon nodded, revealing his hand which did in fact have said cards.
“Wow... Three times in a row, either I’m losing my touch or you’re just the king of poker!” Wally laughed, handing Bendy a lollipop that was in the center of the game. “Well, you win! Enjoy, pal.”
Bendy giggled, grabbing the lollipop and immediately shoving the entire thing in his mouth, leaving only the stick poking out of his full mouth. He attempted to say ‘Thank you’ but all that came out were muffled noises. Lollipops were one of the demon’s favorite candies, he always pretended the stick part was one his father’s cigars. He grabbed a wooden crutch that rested beside him and used a nearby desk to stand up. Joey did his best to create a perfect being, but unfortunately the demon was formed with one lower leg missing. He never let it get him down however, and he simply got around as best he could. Besides, he had no reason to be upset, his friend was coming today. Every Saturday a little wolf boy would bring the newspaper and since the studio was his last stop, he’d always stay a bit and play with the demon, much to Joey’s dismay.
Bendy carefully walked down the many hallways before bumping into someone and falling over.
“Oof! Golly, I-I’m sorry!!” He looked up to see who the person he hit was. A beautiful face greeted him, the woman offering a hand to help the boy up.
“Bendy, are you okay!?” A sweet voice asked, it belonging to a woman named Allison. Bendy didn’t know much about Allison, he only knew she was a good friend of Joey’s. Like Bendy, she had a character based off of her in the cartoons named Alice Angel. Bendy always found it odd that she was named Alice and not Allison but he didn’t really care, he was far more concerned with figuring out what Allison even was. Everyone called her an Angel, and she did have a halo, but she also sported two short devil horns. Bendy had asked her a few times, but she always just brushed it off or said she was only an Angel.
“Oh, I’m okay ma’am!! I-I’m Sorry-“ Bendy staggered to his feet, his little crutch wobbling.
“It’s alright little buddy!” She smiled, making sure the boy was alright before continuing on her way. Bendy did the same, finally making it to his room, where his friend was already waiting for him.
“Bendy, Bendy!” The Wolf ran up to the demon, his little tail wagging, “There you are!” He motioned for Bendy to sit down next to him.
“Hey Boris!” He smiled, “I missed you! I hope papa wasn’t grumpy this time...”
“Oh, he didn’t! I didn’t really see him, but I heard him yelling at Henry.”
Boris didn’t look much older than Bendy, but like most children in Inkwell he was a bit more mature than others his age due to having to earn enough money to eat everyday. He was more well off than most of the other newsboys, as Henry would give him a few gold coins every week. He claimed that it was his pay for having a character in the cartoons (much to Joey’s dismay) but in reality Henry simply wanted to help the boy. Bendy had begged and begged Joey to give Boris a character until he finally give in and made an anthropomorphic wolf based off him.
“I saw a spider man today!” Boris chirped up, eats perky, “Im one of the only tr-to-“ Boris always had trouble pronouncing his species name. “-‘Tonicans’ in Inkwell, I didn’t even know we could be spiders!”
“Wow... neat..” Bendy frowned, looking down.
“Oh... sorry. Hey, I’m sure Joey will let you go outside one day..! And when you do, I have enough money to go eat at the diner!” Boris patted the smaller boys back gently. Boris had always been obsessed with food, and was always overjoyed when Wally would give him a free hot dinner whenever he came to visit.
The two talked for a few hours and had dinner before Boris had to leave, the little wolf waved goodbye to the demon before scampering off to the orphanage he called home.
Henry had heard everything. Oh how badly he wanted to take Bendy away from this place, away from Joey. Joey had the world convinced he was a kind and wondrous man, and Bendy was by far his biggest fan. But Henry knew the truth; Joey Drew was a monster. Blinded by his disturbing greed and his lust for fame, Joey had aged into a bitter man obsessed with perfection and superiority. Henry often wondered how he got himself into this mess, where it all started. He recalled when he first met him, almost ten years ago. He seemed so different back then, or maybe Henry was just naive.
Wally tapped Henry on the shoulder, causing him to gasp and jump a little before relaxing.
“Ha! You look like you’ve seen the devil!” Wally laughed.
“Heh... you scared me there.”
“Anyway... A letter came for you. And as always, I have to deliver the mail because SOMEONE is too cheap to hire someone else to do it!” He rolled his eyes, handing Henry a white, official-looking envelope, “I swear, if Joey doesn’t hire some more helping hands, I’m outta here!” Wally yelled as he walked away, returning to his janitorial duties.
Henry’s eyes widened as he read the logo on the envelope. This was the mysterious new ‘Foundation’ Joey had been fretting over for the last month. Henry had only heard varying rumors about what they did, but one thing was at least a little clear. They contained and protected various... anomalies, anything that seemed strange or dangerously abnormal. He knew it was government funded and highly secured, but that was about it. He slowly opened the envelope, taking out two pieces of paper- one being a simple letter, and the other some kind of contract.
Hours later, after reading and rereading the letter and contract, he took out a simple fountain pen. He sat at his desk, eyes narrowed as he stared down at the contract. He held the boy’s future in his hands, if this was the wrong decision, it could very well result in his death, or worse. On the other hand, if he made the right choice, Bendy could go on to have a wonderful, semi-normal life eventually.
He breathed deeply as he slowly put the pen to paper.