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not real, made up, purely intended for entertainment

Strange Brew

by Jacie

It was years ago when Lance was wandering around the Mississippi State Fair with his friend Darren that they heard other fairgoers murmuring about the fortune teller. Apparently she had once made predictions that almost always came true, but now she was becoming more eccentric in her old age. Darren smiled and grabbed Lance’s arm, leading him across the fairgrounds.

“We have got to go see her!” he insisted.

“I don’t know. We have to meet our parents soon.”


“No, just. I don’t want to be late. And I don’t have much money left.”

Digging into the pockets of his blue jeans, Darren pulled out a ten dollar bill and waved it in front of Lance’s face. “Come on, Lance! I’ll pay! Let’s go!”

Lance’s eyes wandered toward the area where they were supposed to meet their parents in a few minutes. He didn’t want to disappoint his parents, or Darren. “Okay. As long as the line is short.”

Darren waved his arm, indicating the way to the Fortune Teller’s booth. “Then let’s hurry.”

The boys were surprised when they saw that the line for Madame Ayana wasn’t long at all. They waited only ten minutes before she welcomed them into the tent.

Staring into her crystal ball, she chanted and waved her hands as if clearing away the obstacles so she could see into their future.

“One of you is fascinating by the things above, the sky and space beyond. You have dream of flying and fly you will. One day.”

Lance’s eyes grew large as Madame Ayana smiled and met his eyes. He watched as she turned around and prepared a cup of tea, then handed it to him.

“You must drink this,” she said, “if you want to fly.”

Lance anxiously drank the entire cup of tea quickly, ignoring the words Madame Ayana had for Darren.


A few years later, Lance joined NSync and took his first plane ride to Florida. Darren teased him that he had finally flown just as Madame Ayana had promised he would.

“That’s not what she meant,” said Lance.

A few months later, his mother, Diane, accompanied him to Germany. At first Lance shared a room with his mother while his band mate, Justin, shared a room with his mother, Lynn. It wasn’t long before the young boys were begging to change roommates and only slightly longer before Diane and Lynn agreed to share one room while Lance and Justin shared the other.

“Make sure he doesn’t eat anything after midnight,” Diane warned the boys in the group.

Chris raised an eyebrow and asked, “Why? Does he turn into a Gremlin or something?”

“Oh, no. Not at all. It’s a health thing. It upsets his stomach. That’s all.”

The moment they were out of Diane’s sight, Chris turned to JC and teased, “She means he’ll wet the bed.”

“She said he shouldn’t eat after midnight. Not that he shouldn’t drink.”

Chris put an arm around JC’s shoulder. “You have to learn to read between the lines, C.”


With another show out of the way, the boys hurried back to their rooms. JC, Joey and Chris were going to change clothes before heading out to a bar, while Lance and Justin would be allowed to stay up only if they wanted to study.

“You guys are so lucky,” whined Justin. “I can’t wait until I’m old enough to go out and party all night.

JC patted Justin’s shoulder, “It’ll happen soon enough. Until then, rest up because there’s no time to sleep for the partiers.”

“I’m starving,” said Joey. “It seems like forever since we’ve eaten anything.”

“Only almost forever,” replied Chris.

JC adjusted the belt on his tight leather pants. “I can’t believe they barely fed us anything then sent us on two interviews and then the show.”

“And no food afterwards!” Joey pouted as his stomach grumbled.

Chris smiled broadly. “I know a wonderful place that’s still open. How about dinner first, then clubs after?”

“You’re on!” Joey grinned as he headed to the elevator that led to the lobby.

Justin and Lance stayed behind, watching the others leave.

“It so sucks being the youngest,” said Justin.

Almost two hours later, Chris snuck quietly into Justin and Lance’s room. “You guys still up?” he asked.

Justin sat up with a stretch and a yawn, then inhaled deeply. “Food! You brought us food! I love you!”

In a flash, Justin had leapt out of bed, hugging Chris as hard as he could as Chris held the bag of food as high as he could so Justin wouldn’t smash it against him.

“Shh, don’t wake your moms up. You know how Diane is about Lance eating late,” Chris reminded them.

Lance growled softly and folded his arms across his chest. “I didn’t say anything.”

Chris tousled Lance’s hair. “I know. You’re the good one. It’s Justin that’s bouncing around, yapping like a puppy.”

Justin quickly snatched the bag from Chris’ grasp. “Shut up, old man.”

“This old man made sure you boys got fed tonight. I’d go easy on the insults if I were you, Baby Sync.”

Justin narrowed his eyes and thought about retaliation, but knew Chris was right. He’d done them a huge favor by bringing them dinner. With a mischievous grin, Justin rubbed his head against Chris’ arm. “I do love you, you know? Always taking care of me. Kind of like a father figure and all.”

Chris shoved Justin hard enough that he fell onto his bed, then cackled softly as he ran back into the hallway and disappearing into the darkness of the night as he headed out to regroup with JC and Joey for a few more drinks.

Hours later, Chris tossed and turned in his bed, soon realizing that he wasn’t alone. As he attempted to squirm away, he yelled, “Lights! Lights!”

Joey tossed a pillow in Chris’ direction. “Dude, shut up and go back to sleep.”

“There’s something in bed with me. It’s heavy, man. It’s got me pinned down.”

“Either a fan or barmaid followed you home or you’re dreaming again,” Joey said as he rolled over, trying to get comfortable.

“Turn on the damn lights. It’s not a person. I don’t think. It feels different. Like a snake or something.”

“JC’s inflatable doll?”

“Fuck you both,” said JC as he climbed from bed and flicked the light switch.

With the lights on, the three of them all stared at the figure in Chris’ bed. It was apparently still asleep, definitely not human. It was cuddled up around Chris, preventing him from moving.

“What the hell is that?” asked Joey, stepping closer.

JC walked over to the creature and placed his hand against it. The skin was slightly cool and felt almost leathery like an alligator in some places and smooth like a snake in others. In color, it was mostly an ivory color that faded into green around it’s back, wings and legs.

“Maybe we’re all having the same dream?” offered JC.

Panic flared in Chris’ dark eyes. “Just get it off of me!”

JC attempted to move the creature, but wasn’t having much luck. “Joey, come help me.”

“What if it’s dangerous?”

“Then it would have eaten Chris before we woke up. It hasn’t hurt him. I think it just wanted a place to sleep.”

Joey’s eyes wandered to their open window. “I wonder where it came from?”

After the barest of knocks against their door, they saw Justin walk in, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “Have you guys seen Lance? I woke up and he was gone.”

Suddenly awakened, the dragon jumped from Chris’ bed and fluttered it’s wings as it eyed the boys. Seeing it’s chance, it ran from their room into the hallway.

“Let’s follow it!” said JC as he headed down the hallway.

Following so closely behind the dragon, JC saw its tail disappearing into Justin and Lance’s room, so he pushed in after it. And there was Lance, standing near the dresser, adjusting the necklace and pendant he’d just put on.

“Justin shut the window on me,” he said.

Justin pushed his way into the room, returning to his bed and slipping under the covers. “I got cold. So sue me.”

Chris pointed at Lance, keeping a few feet between them. “That was you? You turn into a dragon after midnight?”

“Only when I eat. It’s so I can fly. I like to fly at night, especially after a show when the air is cool.”

“You’re cursed?” asked Joey.

“Not a curse. I love to fly. It’s just the first time Justin closed the window on me. I had to find somewhere to go.”

“Well, next time, be a person when I wake up,” demanded Chris.

“This pendant, it changes me back. I couldn’t get to it until Justin opened the window or the door. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“Last time I bring them dinner after midnight,” grumbled Chris as he headed back to his room.

But it wasn’t. It wasn’t the last time he awoke with Lance cuddled in his arms either.


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