October 31th, 1997
“Well that was an interesting show.” Howie said as he climbed into the back of a van.
Nick looked at the Grimm reaper costume in his hands and added, “It was awesome!”
“You’re such a dork Nick.” AJ laughed.
“Shut up. This cloak is cool. It’s like authentic or something.”
“Yeah, I’m sure it’s the Grimm Reapers actual cape.”
Nick frowned at AJ and Brian came to the defense of his best friend. “Aw, come on AJ, admit it, its kind of creepy looking.”
“The only thing creepy about it was the way that chick was looking at Nick when she gave it to him.”
“Haha real funny Howie.” Nick said with a flip of his middle finger. “You’re just jealous because she gave it to me and not you.”
“Yeah Nicky, that’s it. I’m also jealous that Brian got picked to be hypnotized and I didn’t.”
“Hey,” Kevin argued, “That was pretty cool though.”
“Its too bad it didn’t work though.” Brian shrugged.
All of Brian’s band mates snickered to themselves as they pictured their friend up on the stage dancing in nothing but his boxers. Brian glanced curiously at his friends, but they each carried their best poker faces, knowing that the video would make for a great prank at their next show.
The van pulled up to a small motel and as the boys piled out Kevin looked up at the building with a huge smile on his face. He stretched and yawned and then laughed proudly. “Well guys, you all have fun sharing rooms with each other.”
“Man,” Howie whined, “When are we gonna be able to each get our own rooms? No offense AJ, but you snore.”
“When we stop playing gigs at state fairs and start filling arena’s” Kevin joked as AJ pouted.
“Would you rather room with frick and frack?” AJ whined.
Howie looked over at Brian and Nick who were taking turns scaring each other with Nick’s new Halloween costume. “Eh, you’re right.”
The boys walked down the hall to the three rooms that were all side-by-side and Kevin was the first to stop. “Night fellas.” He smirked. “Don’t freak yourselves out watching scary movies, and try to keep the noise down tonight huh?”
“You’re such a party pooper.” AJ muttered as he opened the door next to Kevin’s.
AJ looked to Brian and Nick as they reached the last door. “Nightmare On Elm Street in half an hour. You guys commin’?”
“Yeah man, we’ll be there.”
The guys all disappeared into their separate rooms and Nick beat Brian to the shower so he flipped on the TV while he waited his turn. He found some random old monster movie and laughed at the cheesy special effects.
Two doors down, Kevin didn’t bother with a shower. He pulled back the covers on the king size bed and fell to the fluffy white pillows without even shedding his jacket. A small smile spread across his lips as he enjoyed the peace and quiet of having his own room for once.
Twenty minutes later Brian climbed out of the shower, anxious to begin the all night scare-fest with his buddies in honor of one of his favorite holidays. He picked up his clothes to get dressed and drew back in horror at the bloodstains he found on his sleeves. He looked around confused, but nothing else seemed out of order and he wondered where the blood had come from. He walked out of the bathroom and laughed at the feeling of relief he got when he saw Nick curled up on the couch sleeping soundly, for a moment he’d actually been scared for him.
Brian looked at the cheesy monster movie on the TV laughed at the younger man who had planned to spend all night watching movies his mother had forbidden him to watch. He turned off the TV and went to put a blanket over Nick but when he got closer he realized that there was something not quite right about the way Nick looked. His face was pale and his hands blue-ish. “Nick?” Brian whispered.
When Brian shook him, Nick’s lifeless body slumped forward revealing the knife in his back and then blood soaked cushions beneath him. “Nick?” He gasped in panic.
Brian shook Nick more fiercely as tears poured from his face, but all it did was cover Brian in his best friends blood. He looked down at the red stains on his hands and then felt the walls of the room start to close in around him. His breathing increased and then everything around him faded to black.
Just then, the phone began to ring in his room. Across the wall AJ waited patiently for Nick or Brian to answer the phone. “Let’s just start without them.” Howie said as he sat down on the floor against the couch with a bowl of popcorn.
Before AJ could hang up the phone, there was a knock at the door. He put down the receiver and went to open the door assuming it would be his friends. He jumped at first when he saw the long dark robe but then he rolled his eyes. “You’re such a dork.” He repeated. “Did you bring the soda?”
AJ left the cloaked man standing in the doorway and headed across the room. “I gotta take a leak first.” He announced and then disappeared into the bathroom.
The man dressed as the Grimm reaper looked at Howie sitting helplessly on the floor and pulled a large knife from behind his back. Howie saw the knife and laughed. “You really are a dork. Nice fake blood though, it almost looks real.”
The man held the knife up and slowly waked toward Howie, breathing heavily. Howie glanced at him curiously and then rolled his eyes. He pretended to chew on his fingers and stared wide-eyed as if he were terrified. The man turned off the lights and continued to move toward Howie. “OOOOhh I’m really scared Nick.” He laughed, but the figure kept moving closer.
“OK, you can put the knife away now.” Howie said becoming nervous, but it was too late. The man attacked Howie, thrusting the knife into his gut and then removing it in order to stab him repeatedly. AJ nearly splashed his own urine on himself when he heard the screams of his best friend. His heart stopped and he cracked the bathroom door open.
The room was dark and all he could see was the shadow of a man and a blade that sparkled every time it moved into the light from the bathroom. AJ looked around but the bathroom had no window. There was nowhere to hide. He turned off the bathroom light and tried to creep as quietly as he could toward the door. He felt sick to his stomach when his friend stopped calling out for help. He squinted through the darkness at the motionless body for a moment and then dropped behind the couch.
The intruder heard the sound of AJ’s jewelry clanking on itself as he fell to the floor and he rose to his feet, pulling the blade from Howie’s corpse. AJ froze in terror, knowing deep down in the pit of his stomach that his hiding place was not nearly good enough. The man cast his eyes about the room and then flipped on the light.
AJ looked at the door and tried to tell his body to make a run for it, but before he could listen to himself the murder was behind him. He rolled over, trying to ward off his attacker and screamed for help as the man thrust the blade into his body over and over.
On the other side of the wall Kevin heard the screams and rolled his eyes, none the wiser of what was really going on. He then heard the pounding against the wall as AJ wrestled with his attacker behind the couch. Kevin’s temper flared and he removed his shoe and threw it at the wall as he yelled at the guys to keep it down. The interruption surprised the killer and he quickly dashed from the room leaving behind the bodies of two dead Backstreet Boys.
Brian finally came to, feeling a little confused, and then noticed for the second time that he was covered in blood. He saw the dead blonde and dashed next door for help. When he arrived in AJ and Howie’s room he instantly screamed when he took in the horrific sight. Kevin heard the screaming again and this time felt the need to make an appearance, hoping he could scare them into being quiet.
The images were haunting and the stench was enough to make Brian wretch.
Once he was done vomiting, he quickly rushed to his friend, but Howie’s body was already starting to turn cold. Tears filled Brian’s eyes and then he noticed AJ behind the couch and he couldn’t help but scream again. His friends were dead and whoever it was, was not going to just let him live.
That’s when he heard someone stomping toward the room. He slammed the door shut and tried to use the phone to call for help, but the cord had been pulled from the wall during AJ’s struggle.
Brian looked around the room and his eyes quickly spotted the window. He looked down at the ten foot drop below him and thanked the Lord that they weren’t big enough stars to be put up in a penthouse suite somewhere. He took a deep breath as he heard the door start to open and he leapt from the window just as Kevin entered the room.
Kevin gasped at the sight and instinct took over as a way of pushing the horror to the back of his mind. His heart filled with rage and he rushed the open window. He got there just in time to see a man round the corner behind the motel.
Kevin jumped out the window and ran after the man. He came around the corner and found himself in a dark ally behind the motel. He heard footsteps running along pavement, splashing lightly through water and he looked down at a nearby canal. He quietly snuck over to the ditch and his heart jumped at what he saw. Beneath a bridge, Brian was wading through piles discarded junk trying to find a way into a dark hiding place.
Brian stopped when he heard Kevin gasp his name. He turned to face him stepping out of the shadows and walked toward his cousin. “Thank God you’re alive!” Kevin breathed as he ran up to him. “Are you hurt? What happened? Where’s Nick?”
The questions kept coming, but Brian didn’t answer them, He simply walked slowly toward Kevin with a glazed over expression. Kevin finally reached him, wrapping his arms tightly around the smaller man, finally letting tears spill down his face.
Brian slowly wrapped his arms around Kevin, pulling a knife from behind his back and as Kevin cried over the loss of his friends and the safety of his cousin, Brian pushed the blade deep into his back.
Kevin gasped for breath from the shock and blood began pouring from mouth. As the life force drained from his body he looked into the cold blue eyes of the man he called family and let one last tear roll down his face. “Why?” he coughed. It was the last word he ever spoke.
Brian watched him die in his arms, void of all emotion and when his body went limp he fell to the ground with it, the world around him fading to black once again. He awoke a few minutes later in a daze and jumped back when he found his cousin dead in his lap. Blood covered him from head to toe and the knife still lay, clasped tightly in his own hand. He looked down, realizing finally all that he and done and Screamed “No!” for as long and as loud as he could.
He couldn’t bare the guilt of murdering his brothers, even if he hadn’t been in control of himself and the thought of having to live a life without them was too painful, so he took a deep breath and then slit his wrists. “I’ll be with you soon” he cried as the world around him faded to black, permanently.
Back at the state fair where the Backstreet Boys had headlined just hours before, the resident hypnotist, minus one Grimm Reaper costume, sat back in her chair cackling wickedly as she gazed into a mystical glass ball. So satisfied with herself, she opened the doors to a cupboard that housed a secret shrine to the up and coming boy band known as N*SYNC. She smiled at all the faces and then kissed the picture of the youngest member. “Tomorrow’s a new day.”