His eyes blinked…..heart racing as he shot up in the bed, drenched in a cold sweat. His breathing labored, he looked around wildly…..the angry flames that had once enveloped him were gone.
“You had another one, didn’t you? Another vision?” Brian’s voice appeared in the shadows. Nick tapped the light switch and saw him sitting up in the bunk across from his, watching him intently. Nick ran a hand through his sweaty hair and exhaled, feeling a chill up his spine. The visions were coming more frequently now, he knew it was a bad omen.
“This one was so realistic, I could feel the fire on me….it seemed so real….” Nick whispered, his eyes glistening in the darkness that penetrated the back of the tour bus.
“Nicky, it was just a dream like the other ones. Take a breather….you’re not going to die. I promise my life on it.” Brian said, his hand resting on his friend’s knee.
“I’m telling you, it is a mistake to perform at this venue. Something is going to happen….something bad…” Nick began but a pillow hit him in the face in reply.
“Shut the fuck up, I’m trying to get some sleep.”
“AJ, we aren’t being loud. He had a nightmare.” Brian whispered.
“Aww, poor baby.” AJ snapped angrily.
“Don’t you know the first rule?” Nick snickered, feeling calmer now.
“Never fire the first shot in a pillow fight!” Nick said, tossing it back at him. AJ climbed out of his bunk, wearing a tank top and boxers.
“You little shit, I’m gonna fucking kill you…”
“What’s going on back here?” Kevin asked, the lights coming on as the other boys saw him in the doorway, his arms crossed and eyes narrowed.
“Uh oh. He’s giving us the angry brows.” Brian joked, shoving Nick playfully as they giggled.
“It is 3 in the morning. I suggest going back to bed and acting your ages. We aren’t children anymore.” Kevin admonished. Nick shook his head as he watched Kevin, what had happened to him? Over the last year or two he just got more distant….he seemed to hate him. Nick shook this off, Brian watching him again.
“I will be fine.” Nick whispered, turning off the light as his head hit the pillow, throbbing slightly from the impending headache coming his way.
Nick had a tiring day. He hadn’t gotten any sleep after Kevin told them to turn the lights out. It was about an hour before showtime and Nick wandered around backstage, looking for some asprin for his migrane. He felt horrible, yet a sense of fear was also present. What did it mean? All Nick could think about was the dream….there was so much fire…
“Hey! What are you doing?” Nick yelled suddenly to a strange man that was near their pyrotechnical equipment.
The man in the red jacket smirked at him and ran away, his baseball cap covering his face. Nick started to chase but Marcus grabbed him by the shoulder.
“You gotta get to the dressing room, kiddo. Time to get ready.” he said. Looking disappointed, Nick followed him to their dressing area backstage.
Nick walked in to see his bandmates getting ready for the show, they were playing a small arena in New Jersey, in East Rutherford.
“Where’s the fire, Kaos?”
“Nick, you okay?” Brian asked when he saw the fear in his friend’s eyes as he ignored AJ.
“We have to cancel the show. Something bad is going to happen.”
All of them laughed at him but Brian’s expression didn’t change.
“What do you mean?” he asked, but Kevin interrupted.
“We can’t cancel the show. Everyone’s here and Dave would hand my head to me if I did that so close to show time. The answer is no.” he snapped angrily, brushing past Nick in annoyance.
“Nick, don’t get your panties in a bunch. Nothing is going to happen, you’re being paranoid….AGAIN.” AJ teased. Nick felt his heart racing as fire flashed in front of his eyes, screams enveloping his ears. He closed his eyes as he tried to block them out.
“Maybe he’s telling the truth,” Brian reasoned.
“What did you see? Why would we be in danger?” Kevin said, looking Nick in the eye.
“I saw someone messing with our electrical equipment. He was wearing a red jacket…..I called to him but he ran off. Please trust me, Kevin, I wouldn’t lie about something like this.”
Did Nick dare to see Kevin’s eyes falter? He thought for a second that maybe it would be all right….nobody would die tonight….but he was wrong.
“Why do you have to act so immature, making up stories? We are getting a little old for your pranks.”
“Yeah, Nick….you always make us look stupid. Why can’t you be more serious?” Howie agreed as Nick silently cursed him.
“Brian, you believe me, don’t you?” Nick pleaded once more, holding Brian’s shoulders. Brian opened his mouth to speak but saw everyone staring at him.
“I’m afraid they are right, Nick. We only have your word to go on. And you could stand to grow up a little, you tend to prank us a lot.” he reasoned. Nick shook his head in disbelief, his eyes watering as he heard screams echoing again.
“Nick, wait-” Brian said, but Nick had run into the bathroom….shutting it behind him as they banged on the door in vain. He didn’t understand why the other guys treated him like this, like he was some stupid kid. He was 18 years old…..not the scrawny 12 year old he once was. He slid down the length of the door and held his knees, wrapping his long arms around them as he let the tears fall.
“They will be sorry before the night’s over….they’ll be sorry….”