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                 An Enchanted Lunch

 “Okay, I am sick of always being the one to decide this guys, where are we stopping to eat?”  Brian yelled at the top of his lungs to the rest of the guys on the bus.

 “Mc---” Nick started to speak but was cut off by Brian.

 “No! No McDonald’s, I am so sick of McDonalds!” Brian shot back at Nick.

 “Okay, this billboard looks interesting,” AJ observed out the window on the bus.  “Hey! Take the next exit and turn left.” He called out to the bus driver.

 “Okay, sure thing.”  The bus driver shouted over his shoulder.

 “What’s the name of the place, AJ, Arby’s?”  Howie asked sarcastically.

 Kevin was sitting in his seat, his eyes never left the book he was reading.

 “It’s called Enchantra’s House of Delights.”  AJ replied proudly.

 Nick laughed.  “It sounds like a porn store, figures you would notice that sign, AJ.”

 “Hey, let’s give it a try, it said good food.”  AJ shrugged his shoulders.

 As the bus pulled into the parking lot, Nick, AJ and Brian looked out the windows on the left side to see the so-called good food restaurant.  It was a small white building with dark green shudders.  Flowers surrounded the bottom of the building and along the walkway.  It did look like an enchanted house from a story.

 As the bus came to a halt, Nick jumped up out of his seat and grabbed his jacket.  “Good, I am starving.”

 “Nick, you are always starving.”  Brian laughed as he followed his friend off the bus towards the front door.

 “I think you guys should go take-out, we are already behind schedule as it is.”  The bus driver advised.

 Howie and AJ waived back at the bus driver without turning around.

 As they entered the dark restaurant, their noses were filled with scents that brought back memories for each of them, pleasant memories.

 “I think I like this place already.”  AJ said as he rubbed his hands together.

 Brian grabbed the menu that was at the counter next to the cash register.  Scanning down the list of dinner items, he noticed they all had exotic names, and below each description there were words that were Latin or some type of weird language.  All of the guys took their turns looking at the menu.

 “Could we order our food to go?”  Howie asked the cashier.

 “Certainly, you may want to have a seat in a booth though, it will take about 5 minutes to package up, okay?” The waitress with the nameplate that read “Trisha” smiled at AJ.

 The waitress followed the guys to the booth.  All but Nick ordered the same items off of the menu.  Nick ordered a platter that was intended for two people and Brian and AJ immediately gave Nick a dirty look.

 “Hey, back off, I said I was hungry!” Nick growled at them.

 After waiting for ten minutes, their order was completed and they took the bags and got back onto the bus.  Nick grabbed his bag and went to his bunk on the bus to be alone and eat in peace and quiet as he told them when he walked away.

______________________________________________________

 The bus roared to a stop outside of the auditorium where the concert was scheduled.  Crowds of people were surrounding the building and the guys knew that they would have to make a run from the bus to the back stage door or be mobbed by the fans.

 Once inside the building, each of them went into their assigned dressing rooms and got their clothes changed for the first number of the concert.  They joked around after they were dressed and politely took care off all of the people with backstage passes.

 “Five minutes, guys.”  A promoter walked past them with his hand held up.

 Nick, Brian, AJ, Howie and Kevin walked to the stage in the darkness and took their places for the grand entrance. The music was cued up and the smoke started billowing out of the machines.

 The guys burst through the smoke, the girls started screaming wildly.  Brian sang his part of the song to perfection and they moved gracefully to the choreographed dance steps.

 When Nick’s turn to sang came up, everything seemed to come to a screeching halt. Nick opened his mouth to sing, but it wasn’t his voice that came out, it was a young girl’s voice, almost a 10 year old girls voice.  Puzzled, Nick cleared his throat and tried again.  It was still a
young girl’s voice, a voice that couldn’t carry a note, either.

 Nick tore his headset off and ran offstage.  The music had already stopped and the crowd had grown quiet.  Brian followed Nick offstage to see if his friend was okay.  He found Nick pacing back and forth clearing his throat.

 “Hey buddy, what’s wrong?”  Brian asked as he put his hand on Nick’s shoulder.

 “Hem,” Nick tried to clear his throat and it was high pitched.  “I don’t know!”  Nick replied, his voice sounding like a little girl’s.

 “What can we do?”  Brian was starting to panic, they had an auditorium full of 30,000 screaming girls and Nick couldn’t sing.

 “Go on without me.”  Nick said.  His hand was up to his throat.

 Reluctantly, Brian ran back out onto the stage and told the rest of the guys what was going on and that Nick wouldn’t be able to perform tonight.

 Nick walked slowly back to the bus, his head down.  He was thinking over and over in his head what would cause his voice to do what it was doing.

 Once inside the bus, Nick decided to go lay down in his bunk thinking that maybe he would start to feel better.  He brushed aside all of the gamely cartridges, comic books, food wrappers so he could lay back.

 Looking at the litter that was surrounding him, his eyes fell on the flyer from the “Enchanter’s House of Delights.”  Nick picked the paper up and read it.  He looked at the description of what he had eaten and bolted up and struck his head when he came to one part in particular.

 Clutching the paper, Nick ran as fast as he could to the stage, the group was performing The Perfect Fan.  Nick ran onstage and interrupted the entire show.  When he appeared onstage, the crowd burst into applause and  screams. Nick looked at the crowd, gave a faint smile and shoved the paper at Brian.

 “Read this.”  Nick’s voice was still not the same.

 Brian looked at Nick as if he was ill.

 “Come on, read!”  Nick shoved the paper at him insistantly.

 Brian read the paragraph outloud. “Adrenialiena, a spicy combination of meats and cheeses guaranteed to alter your voice or appearance.  The only cure is to kiss a member of the opposite sex a tender and long loving kiss.”

 “That’s what I had!  I have to kiss someone.”  Nick looked out desperately at the crowd.

 “Whoa, wait a second, what did us guys eat then?” Brian was starting to panic.  His eyes skimmed the page for their food item.  Relieved, Brian read that their food only induced a long, peaceful sleep lasting 12 hours.  He failed to finish the part that read, this will occur in 5
hours after it is eaten.  Nick pointed that part out to them and
told Brian that there were only going to be awake for about
10 more minutes.

 “Man! I had some of that too!”  Nick sputtered.  Yanking on Brian’s headset and pulling it off of his head, Nick spoke into it.  “Um, I need a kiss.”  That immediately brought a response of screams.

 Nick walked down the steps in front of the stage, he walked up to a young girl and looking tenderly into her eyes with his dazzling blue eyes, he bent forward and kissed her very passionately.

 It was a good thing that Nick had been holding onto her waist, because the girl fainted from his kiss.  Nick smiled at her friends and softly said, “Thank you.”

 Turning and running back onto the stage, the group hastily performed one last song and then ran off the stage as fast as they could to the bus.

 When the driver got onto the bus, he found Kevin, Brian, AJ, Howie and Nick fast asleep in their seats, Nick holding onto his gameboy and Brian snoring loudly. Looking at the piece of paper in Brian’s hand, he laughed softly to himself and shook his head.  “Enchantra’s House of
Delights. These guys will never learn.”

THE END


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