t was the summer of 2005 and Nick was taking some time off from BSB, spending a vacation in the Florida Keys with his brother and some of his close friends. Nick was having a good time, finally able to relax from the hard work he’d been putting into the group.
He felt like he was on top of the world even though his solo album had flopped, but he blamed that on bad promotion from Jive. None of this was on his mind as he hung out and partied with his friend Chris until the wee hours of the morning, before sleeping most of the day.
“Morning, Nick.” Chris said, walking into the kitchen of the beach house. They’d opted to stay in the night before, hearing about a storm coming through. Nick was on the phone with his brother, who’d left a day earlier.
“Aaron, I will be fine. This storm isn’t gonna be that bad……I want to see it.” he said calmly. Things weren’t too bad yet but Nick wanted to shoot a video for the fans on the hurricane. Hurricane Dennis was to make landfall in Key West that day, so Nick and Chris made their way out to the Mayor’s office. Nick was cheerful, using a makeshift poncho made out of garbage bags over his grey T-shirt.
“I got a bad feeling about this.” Chris said once they got into the car and headed out.
“Nothing is gonna happen. Don’t go all Star Wars on me, bro. It’ll be great.” Nick grinned, taking out his video camera.
Once the commissioner had picked Nick and Chris up, they began heading into town. It was quiet and eerie, not raining hard but a bit gusty. Nick was having a hard time getting his footing in some spots, but he perched himself near the pole….this pole was special because it was the most southern point in the US. The poncho was being blown around, Nick almost falling before the camera began to roll.
“We are right now at the southernmost point in Key West, Florida. As you can see, the storm has not arrived yet. See this? This says 90 miles to Cuba. Right now the hurricane is in Cuba.” Nick said, pointing at the darkening sky.
“I still don’t think we should be out here.” Chris said, the camera not picking his voice up. Nick ignored him and continued his report.
“The waves…..they’re a little choppy….HOLY SHIT.” he exclaimed. The waves were a little choppier than he’d expected, the storm was picking up. A wave crashed against the pier, nearly washing Nick out.
“You could have died there, bro.” Chris commented as they ran (Nick hobbled on his broken toe) to the car.
“I’m just lucky, I guess. Let’s get the fuck out of here.” Nick said shakily. The two of them went back to the house, not thinking anything of it being by the water. Nick figured as long as they weren’t by the ocean, they were safe.
Well, he was wrong.
As the night went on, the power went out at the house. Nick turned on the camera, holding up a flashlight for an effect. He filmed himself pretending to be scared, but in reality he was freaking out. He wished he hadn’t stayed for the hurricane, which was a Category 3 storm. They could hear the wind picking up outside, things crashing as the roof got torn apart.
“What the fuck is that noise?” Nick asked. It sounded like a freight train. They heard a tornado siren but it was cut off by the loud noise.
“That’s a fucking tornado.” Chris said. The two of them scrambled for what they thought was a bathroom, but it was a recording booth. Nick closed the door behind them and they huddled in the corner, wondering why it was damp there. It was too dark to see anything. As they sat there, the tornado seemed to move on, but now there was a bigger problem, the water was still rising.
“Nick, I told you this was a bad idea.” Chris said angrily. Nick moved to open the door but the handle wouldn’t budge.
“It’s stuck.” he whispered. A large piece of furniture had lodged itself against the door, trapping them as the water continued to rise.
“Where is this fucking water coming from?!” Nick screamed, immediately regretting his mistake. They frantically attempted to open the recording booth door, each one unsuccessful. All they could do now was sit and wait for their demise.
Nobody could get to Nick’s house because of the debris clogging the street, but when they found the two bodies in the flooded basement…..Nick and his friend Chris were declared among the deceased. Part of his home had been blown away, fallen like a house of cards. Nick’s body was carried out in a body bag and laid to rest on the sidewalk as the rest of the house was inspected, the sound of the rain falling on the plastic interrupting the silence.
*note – some dialogue was taken from episode six of Nick’s Corner on youtube.*