“I’ll show those guys I can fix this......wait til they see this!” Nick Carter
exclaimed. Licking his lips as he bent over the car engine; instruction booklet was off to
the side. He held wires in each hand.
“O-o-o-okay, according to this book thing, the blue wire crosses over the
green wire and then the red wire goes in here,” Nick stated out loud as he started to cross the
wires. Suddenly there was a blinding blue flash of light and Nick felt his
body fly up into the air.
When the blonde opened his eyes, he found himself standing in a line, a paper
clutched in his hand. He tapped the person on the shoulder that was standing
ahead of him in the line.
“Excuse me, sir, can you tell me what’s going on?” Nick asked quietly.
“I don’t know for sure,” an elderly man dressed in pajamas replied.
“How long have you been waiting?” Nick asked.
“Not sure, seems like forever, this line moves kind of slow,” the old man
answered wth a smirk.
“This is crazy! I have no idea why I’m standing in this line, I’m not waiting,
I’m gonna find out what’s going on,” Nick sputtered as he stepped out of the line..
Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Nick turned around to see Brian
standing before him, dressed in a dazzling white shirt and pants.
“Bri, am I glad to see you, what the hell is going on here?” Nick asked
“Hello Nickolas, my name is Bruce,” the Brian look alike replied, smiling.
“Ha, ha, Brian, really funny. Seriously, what’s going on?” Nick asked again.
“I am serious, my name is Bruce,” the look alike insisted.
A frown formed on Nick’s face. He couldn’t understand why Brian was playing
“Come on, Rok, joke’s over!” .
"Like I just told you a moment ago, my name is Bruce and we don't joke around here."
Nick looked around where he stood. It was a brillant white and it looked like they were standing on fluffy clouds. “Um where exactly is here?”
“Here...." Bruce replied as he opened his arms and swept his surroundings in a gentle gesture, "here is Eternity!”
“Eternity? You can’t be serious. Come on Brian, what gives?” Nick persisted.
“Eternity young Nickolas, meaning the beginnning of the end,” Bruce stated. "The Alpha and the Omega."
“Would you quit talking in riddles, dammit!” Nick was getting irritated with the way this Bruce person was avoiding a direct answer to his question.
“Please follow me this way to the first station.”
Nick had no other alternative than to follow the Brian look alike to a light blue door with
the number one written over the top of a cloud. Upon entering the room, he
discovered that it was just an ordinary room containing a wooden desk, couple of
chairs and a lamp. The man took the seat behind the desk and motioned for Nick
to be seated across the table.
The man gestured at Nick with his pointer finger. “Let me see your paper, Nickolas.” .
Nick forgot that he had been holding onto the slip of paper. He handed it over to the man. “Brian, I don’t like this weirdo game you’re playing, where’s the other guys,
huh? Where’s AJ.....Howie....Kevin?” Nick said as he looked around the room.
“It’s no joke Nickolas---”
“Would you stop calling me Nickolas, dammit!” Nick interrupted.
Brian shifted in his seat and cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, we just call
everyone here by their Christian names. Okay, Nick, what’s the last thing you
“Well, I was working on my car engine cause you guys are always teasing me
and saying I’m not mechanical and stuff,” Nick recalled.
“Go on,” Bruce encouraged, leaning forward in his seat.
“I crossed some wires and then there was this flash of blue light......” Nick
looked up and his eyes locked with the man's, “.....and I was thrown and then I
was standing in line......holy shit, am I dead?”
Bruce nodded solemnly.
“HOLY SHIT I’M DEAD!” Nick jumped up out of the chair and paced back
and forth, trying to grasp the reality of the situation. He stopped in mid
pace and turned and looked at 'Brian,' his eyes narrowed. “But if I’m dead, how
come you’re here, you’re not dead!”
“I told you the first time, I am not Brian, my name is Bruce,” the man softly
Nick stood up, holding his hands palms out in a defensive gesture. "Whoa hold on I-I still don’t understand any of this!” Nick stuttered.
“I am the exact image of your friend, Brian, in fact we are all mirrors of
someone on earth,” Bruce stated.
“Really? So where’s my duplicate, I bet he’s sitting at the right hand of
God!” Nick proudly exclaimed.
Bruce smiled and shook his head no. “Nick, that's, um, well, that's reserved for Christ, no
your exact image is, um, shall we say in a lower capcity.”
“Where? Is he a janitor or a sanitation worker?” Nick asked, cocking his head as he tried to read the
ledger that was laid out in front of Bruce.
“He’s one of Satan’s disciples and his name is Nathan,” Bruce replied.
Nick’s mouth dropped open. “Okay.....okay....but I can bet AJ’s double is Satan’s
right hand man,” Nick stated.
“No, actually, AJ’s exact is one of the workers in the Heavenly Choir and his
name is Andrew. The same goes for your other friends, they all have highly
Nick looked puzzled. “Then why am I in hell?”
“No, not you Nickolas, just your mirror image, it has nothing to do with you,”
Bruce tried to reassure Nick.
“So, um, where am I gonna wind up at?” Nick hesitated, looking past Bruce for a door leading out of the room.
Bruce opened the paper Nick had and pulled a dark green ledger from a
drawer. “Let’s see here, hmmm....Carter, Nickolas Gene. Oh, no, this isn’t good,
not good at all.”
Nick swallowed hard. “You mean I’m going down?”
Bruce shut the book hastily. “No, it’s not that.”
“Then what is it, you’re hiding something from me!” Nick cried.
“A mistake’s been made, you’re not supposed to be dead yet,” Bruce quietly
stated as he reached for the black telephone on the desk.
“Oh this is just great,” Nick sputtered as he sat back down into the chair.
“David....this is Bruce down in service, I need you to look up Carter, Nickolas
Gene....yes, that’s what I have too.....031852...cardiac arrest....I don’t know for
sure.....yes, see if Claude can arrange that....thank you.”
Nick’s eyes narrowed as he heard the date and the cause of death. He then
realized that he wasn’t supposed to be dead until he turned 72 and it was
from cardiac arrest.
“You guys messed up! Put me back, now!” Nick insisted.
“Well,” Bruce nervously fiddled with the papers on his desk, “it might not be
Nick grabbed Bruce by the shirt. “What do you mean, not that simple, you
guys messed up and I need to go back, now! We have a show tonight at 8.”
“Calm down, Nick, there’s a slight problem and I have to figure out how to
fix it,” Bruce said as he pried Nick’s hands off his chest.
Nick’s eyes narrowed. “Slight problem?”
“Well, it’s easy to put the deceased back into their body as long as they
haven’t been discovered by the living,” Bruce began as he pulled out a globe
and sat it on the desk. As the filmy cloud of smoke disappeared from the center, Nick saw an image of himself laying on the grass with Brian kneeling
“It seems your friend Brian has found you,” Bruce replied softly.
“Just put me back, hell, Brian believes in resurrections, I can come back to
life,” Nick pleaded.
Bruce sighed. “I wish it were that simple, Nickolas.”
“But I have a life, I have friends and family,” Nick begged, tears welling up
in his eyes.
Bruce thumbed through an index of cards on his desk. “I have a female
from China, age 17 or a male from Norfolk, age 32.”
Nick slammed his hand down on the desk, causing Bruce to jump. “Dammit!
You are not listening to me! I want back into Nick Carter’s body, not a girl’s
from China or some guy from Southfork---”
“It’s Norfolk,” Bruce interrupted.
“I don’t give a rats ass where he’s from, figure this out and put me back
NOW!” Nick hissed.
“Nick, I assure you, this is only going to be temporary until I can speak with
God. God can fix this,” Bruce replied in a calming voice.
Nick turned and walked towards the door. “Then let’s talk to the Big Guy
“Can’t,” Bruce answered.
Nick stopped in mid-stride. “What do you mean, can’t?”
“I mean can’t. He’s on vacation fishing in Alaska,” Bruce replied.
“ON VACATION, oh for christsake,” Nick shouted.
A clap of thunder rumbled.
“I prefer you refrain from talking like that around here. Hey God gets
stressed every now and then. He’s only gone for a week,” Bruce said as he
looked up from the index cards. “Nick, you have to make your decision in two
minutes or we will have to pick another person. It’s only for a few days,
“Just a few days? And by then, what, my body will either be embalmed or
cremated, no dice, put me back, NOW,” Nick demanded.
“Okay, Nick, what God can do for you is do a reverse in the time frame
continuem. I can’t do it, so you are going to have to wait for God to get back
from vacation. He will reverse time and we will be back to when you were
working on your car and you will have no recollection of this event at all and
neither will your friend Brian or anyone. So, please, make your choice now,
the girl or the man.”
Nick debated his choices. He realized that he hated Chinese food with a passion. Closing his eyes tightly, he took a deep breath in before he muttered, “I’ll take the Southfork dude.”
Nick didn’t feel anything happen but once he opened his eyes, he saw a nurse
standing in front of him.
“Doctor, are you alright?”
Nick looked around the room for the person she was addressing. His heart
skipped a beat when he realized she was talking to him.
Nick cleared his throat, “Um.....yeah. I guesso.”
He was surprised at the tone of the voice that came from him. It was deep
and thick sounding with a hint of a southern accent.
“Are you okay to see the next patient?” the nurse asked Nick.
“No..no, I-I...um.....close up, I’m not feeling well,” Nick stammered. He spied
the door to the doctor’s private office and made a quick dash for the room
and slammed the door behind him. Breathing heavily, Nick looked about the
sparsely decorated room. His eyes fell onto a full length mirror. He was met
face to face of the person whose body he had inhabited temporarily.
The man was heavyset, sweaty looking with dark skin and dark hair. Nick saw
that a pack of cigarettes laid on the desk next to an ashtray brimming with
cigarette butts. He soon reasoned that this man would be dying of a heart
attack - he remembered Bruce saying something about that before the
transfer was made.
As he made his way to the desk to sit down, Nick felt uncomfortable in the
body and wished Bruce would hurry up and get God. His eyes fell onto a
picture in a frame on the desk. It was of the this doctor and a woman, which
Nick assumed to be his wife and a baby girl. “God, he’s so young and he will
leave a young family,” Nick thought out loud as he looked at the photograph.
A sharp knock on the door brought Nick back into reality.
“Doctor Culton, are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just going to lay down for awhile, just send all the
patients home and just get messages on any calls,” Nick directed.
“Will you be alright for rounds tonight and remember you have the shift for
the ER this evening at Community General Hospital,” the nurse reminded.
“Shit,” Nick mumbled as he ran a hand over his sweaty face. “Find a replacement, I am not up to this at all!” Catching his reflection in the mirror. "I'm not feeling like myself right now.".
“You have to at least do the rounds and Maxine has a call she needs to put in
from your wife,” the nurse stated from the other side of the door.
“Oh great,” Nick mumbled. “Put her through.” He was mentally cursing the
nurse because she didn’t say the woman’s name. With a stroke of genius,
Nick called out, “Hey what’s that cute name you always call her?”
“Ann? That’s it doctor, no cute names,” the nurse replied crisply.
'Ann' Nick mocked the woman. He caught the phone on the second ring “Hello?” Nick said as he answered the phone. He was immediately hit with a
woman’s shrill voice on the other end with a baby crying in the background.
“Listen here, Dave, I am sick and tired of your bullshit you fatass. I know
you’ve been screwing Marcy. I want out of this marriage and I am taking
Emily and I am taking everything you have!”
“Ann, calm down,” Nick could feel his chest tightening up. ‘No this isn’t
suppose to happen, I am not supposed to die in this guy’s body.’ Nick thought
The woman kept yelling, delivering a non-stop barrage of insults and
comments at Nick. Nick started feeling pains in his chest and arm. He
slammed the phone down and started yelling for Bruce.
“BRUCE, GET BACK HERE, DAMMIT.” Nick stood up to get to the door. He
felt like he couldn’t breathe. The pains were getting stronger. Suddenly, he collapsed to the floor.
When Nick opened his eyes he found he was face to face with Bruce. He looked down and
realized that he was still inside the doctor’s body.
“NO! I'm not supposed to be dead in this guy’s body, you're messing up!” Nick cried, screwing his eyes shut.
Before Bruce spoke, Nick opened his eyes, finding himself in a hospital bed, with
monitors hooked up to him and a tube down his throat. An image of Bruce
appeared at his bedside.
“This is only temporary, Nickolas, you will be out before anything happens.”
Nick was too weak in this man’s body to protest. He just closed his eyes.
“Yeah.... um, Nick, if you cross those wires, you’ll be blown to pieces,” Brian
laughed as he watched Nick concentrate on the wiring.
Nick jumped when he heard Brian’s voice behind him. He suddenly realized
that Bruce put him back where he belonged and forgot to erase the
memories of what had happened.
Nick rushed over to Brian and wrapped his arms around him, relieved to be
back to normal and back in his own body.
Brian let out a dry cough as Nick was squeezing the air out of his lungs.
“Easy Nick, it was just a suggestion."