Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Nick Carter right now?
Because I do.
I honestly don’t know why I let that blonde menace drag me into these situations…but I digress. I should have known better when he asked me to go camping with him. I should have asked Howie or Brian to go with him instead….but for some god forsaken reason he chose me. He could have picked AJ….or one of his siblings…but noooooo. He had to pick me. Why does he always pick me?
It all started innocently enough. He wanted to go camping…like we did one time when he was young. Sure, he’s not a kid anymore and could easily have asked Lauren to go…but he kept saying how much he wanted to hang with his big brother.
Okay, so I am a softie when it comes to Nick….I will admit it. Nick and I traveled to New Jersey…..it was the end of summer and the leaves were starting to fall as I drove to the Pine Barrens. Then I had no idea why he wanted to camp in New Jersey.
“Kev, are we almost there?” Nick asks me with the excitement of his twelve year old self. He’s 31 now and I am proud of how he has grown up….he has finally taken charge of his life.
“Almost there, kiddo.” I said, grinning. He was holding a magazine, Weird New Jersey was written on the cover.
“Why do you still call me kiddo?” he asked.
“You’ll always be the baby of the group to me, Nick. So why Pine Barrens? What’s so special about this place?” I asked as he leafed through the magazine while we drove to the campground.
“Just wait, you will see.” Nick said with a devilish grin. Now this made me worry…..if Nick Carter has that grin on his face, I know he’s up to some kind of mischief.
We got to the campground without much difficulty and had everything set up including the tent by nightfall.
“What is that you keep reading, Nick?” I asked, noticing the magazine he was reading by the firelight. The fire crackled in front of us as we roasted marshmallows that we bought on the way up.
“Oh….this is why I wanted to come here.” Nick said as he held up the magazine for me to see. It was the strangest looking thing I had ever laid eyes on….it had wings like a dragon….hooves like a goat, a head like a horse and a kangaroo’s body.
“What in the hell is that?”
“The Jersey Devil. It’s supposed to live around here and I want to try and find it…”
“Nick do you understand how insane that is? It doesn’t exist…people make this stuff up to scare other people.” I explained matter of factly.
“I love this kind of stuff….I thought you would like to explore with me. That’s why I asked you to come….and I miss you, I have missed you a lot lately since you…well…” he said, trailing off before falling silent.
“So what is the that thing anyway?” I asked, trying to humor him.
“A long time ago this lady got pregnant for the thirteenth time.” Nick said, trying to sound like the Crypt Keeper.
“Save the theatrics, kiddo.”
“Okay, well anyways….this lady was pregnant and her husband was a drunken bastard. He didn’t help her with any of the twelve kids they had already.”
“Is that in the book or did you get that from Jerry Springer?” I teased. He glared at me and didn’t answer.
“So when the chick found out she was pregnant AGAIN….she was hella pissed off and yelled ‘Let this one be the Devil!!!'” he explained in the way one would expect Nick to tell a story.
“A few months later she went into labor. Everything was fine until the baby transformed into a monster. It killed its mother and everyone in the room before escaping to this forest.” he finished, closing the book.
“Good story, but how do you know it exists?”
“Kevin…..trust me. By the end of this trip you will believe in it too.” he said as he popped a marshmallow in his mouth before disappearing into the tent.
He and I didn’t talk much else that first night in the woods….but I was woken up by sticks cracking outside. It sounded like something walking around but it was too heavy to be any normal kind of forest animal.
I looked over at Nick, sleeping on his back…..his arms folded across his chest like he’s in a coffin. The sounds outside got louder.
“Nick….” I whispered, rocking him gently. He didn’t move.
I heard some weird grunting noise next and then a shadow appeared outside of our tent. I called Nick again but he did not wake up.
How the fuck can he sleep at a time like this?
“Mom I don’t wanna go…”
I rolled my eyes, he is impossible. I finally shoved him and he woke up, his eyes slightly open as he rubbed the sleep from them. The noises outside of the tent had stopped.
“Dude, why the fuck did you wake me up? God is not even up this early.” he mumbled sleepily.
“Never mind that, something is outside scratching around.” I whispered in an angry tone. Nick stretched and was quiet for a moment….then we heard a twig snap in half.
“The fuck? Kevin stop messing with me….who is out there?” he asked, now alert. Whatever it was grunted some more.
“You go out and check.” he said, reminding me of that little boy I met so many years ago.
I laughed but on the inside I was afraid to go. What if Nick’s story was true?
I don’t believe in a monster in the woods. I don’t…..
“Nick, this was your idea. You go and look. It’s probably just a raccoon or something.” I told him calmly. Even though he had put on such a front earlier, Nick was probably more afraid than I was at that moment when we heard a low growl outside of the tent. I pushed him out and things went quiet before I heard him scream. It was a horrible sound….he sounded like death was upon him.
“NICK!!!!” I screamed, running outside. There was no blood, no dead body. Nick was fine…..now I feel like killing him myself.
“Don’t fucking scare me like that!” I said, glaring at him. Nick backed away, smiling shakily.
“I thought I saw something.” he said finally, holding up his flashlight. Nick wandered away from me, stopping near the trees. The ground was muddy near our tent and we saw footprints….
“Maybe we shouldn’t be here…” I whispered when I heard the noises again.
I whirled around as Nick screamed again. Something was dragging him off into the woods….I couldn’t see, it was too dark.
“Nick!!!” I shouted. I heard his voice leaving our campsite, there had to be something I could do. I stood in the dark for the longest time, listening to Nick’s frightened screams echo through the trees, unable to figure out where he went to.
I fucking hate him right now.