nsync in black and white

Fiction by Pen . . . . . not real, made up, purely intended for entertainment



Consciousness came slowly and painfully, through the noisy pulse of his blood thumping in his temples and the taste of whatever crawled into his mouth last night and died there. AJ wrestled the pillow over his head, and groaned when the thundering didn't go away.

After a few minutes he fell sideways onto the floor, got to his knees, caught his breath. Raised himself painfully to upright, and staggered across to the minibar. Was a bottle of Jack in there last night.

Not this morning. Was an empty bottle of Jack on the table.

Had to be something here to drink. He scrabbled through the array of miniatures, and swept them onto the floor in frustration, all empty, what the fuck.

Okay. Nothing to drink. Call room service. In a minute. His head felt like it was about to burst, blood and brains all over the room, eyeballs, everything. AJ groped his way to his open suitcase and felt for the Tylenol. His hand closed around the little bottle. But when he lifted it out, he couldn't see it.

Couldn't see his hand.

AJ stared at where his hand ought to be, where it was, because he dropped the bottle of Tylenol and his hand was touching the rumpled T-shirt he hadn't bothered to unpack, but it wasn't there, and what the fuck was happening? He lifted his hand, waved it, in front of his face, but it wasn't there, where did his hand go?

Maybe his hand was really somewhere else, AJ decided. He was just looking in the wrong place. He tried to bring his index finger in to touch his nose—ow! eye!—and frowned, puzzled, because his finger was there, finally, and he could feel it but no matter how he squinted, he could not see it.

He crawled across the room to the mirror, and he wasn't there.

Shaking with terror, AJ whimpered.

He was vibrating so hard his teeth rattled inside his skull, and he clung desperately to the big comfortable chair, trying to keep his bones together, his invisible bones, and he pushed his face against the cushion, snuffling and snotty and wet with tears, and tried to gulp down the sobs of terror.

Did he die? Did he finally go too far and break his body completely and now he was nothing but air? He was almost too scared to look around, back to the bed, but no, there was no corpse lying on the sordid sheets, and did spirits get headaches? Because his eyes were throbbing now, pulsing molto allegro as his heart raced, and if his heart was racing he couldn't be dead, could he?

"Help me," he moaned. Somebody, please? Somebody, would somebody come?

AJ screamed.


"AJ? Where are you?"

He had to hide, stay out of sight, or they would see that he wasn't there. Crouching behind the big chair, AJ sobbed and couldn't see his own fingers.

Faces appeared above him, Kevin's white with reined fury, Howie's dark with worry.

"I'm not here anymore," AJ whispered. "Help me. Please help me."

They knelt, and he saw himself reflected in their eyes.

"It's going to be all right."



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