Road Service

The road was rough and winding.  Brian and Nick were given keys to a
cabin in the woods in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, a place to go
and escape all of the commotion of fans bothering them, they both
needed a well deserved rest after the tour had ended.

Brian cringed as he heard a familiar sound of a tire popping and the
sickening thud, thud, thud as the flat tire moved along on the road.
He glanced over at Nick to see if he was realizing the same thing
happening only to see Nick laying back in his seat, sleeping with his
mouth hanging open.

Brian stopped the dark green durango and slammed it into park.  The
jerk of the vehicle coming to a sudden stop woke Nick up.  He looked
around dazed.

“Oh, this is just great!” Brian exclaimed out loud as he looked at the
flat front tire.  He pulled out his cell phone only to find that there
wasn’t a signal.  “Oh, this is even better!”  Exasperated, Brian flung
the cell phone through the driver’s side window onto the front seat,
nearly hitting Nick before it came to rest on the seat.

“Are we having problems, Bri?”  Nick asked hesitantly.  He opened his
door and walked over towards Brian.

“Oh, yeah, flat tire.”  Brian replied as he walked towards the rear of
the durango.  When he opened the hatch, he discovered that the
spare tire was flat also.  “Oh, just lovely, this is unbelievable.  Nick,
don’t you know that you should check the air in your spare every
month? It’s called maintenance!”  Brian shouted.

Nick took a step back from the durango. “Geeze, Brian! calm down!
Don’t go postal on me, what did I do?”

“Nevermind, no cell phone, in the middle of nowhere, I guess we walk.”  Brian suggested angrily.

Nick reached into the car for his Walkman and gameboy.

“Ah, Nick, do you honestly think you need that?”  Brian looked at Nick
with disapproval.

“Well, I could get bored.”  Nick answered defensively.

Brian pointed back at the durango.  “Put it back, NOW.”

Nick tossed the Walkman and the gameboy onto the seat. “Geeze,
what a hothead,” Nick muttered under his breath.

“I heard that!”  Brian shouted back over his shoulder.  He was already
walking back from the direction they traveled in.  “I think I remember
a store a few miles back this way.”

“I hope they have something to eat in there, I am hungry.”  Nick
yelled at Brian trying to catch up with him.

“Nick, is that all you ever think about is your stomach?” Brian shot

“Ah, well, yeah.”  Nick replied.

After three hours of walking, Nick was starting to question Brian’s
judgment of a store being in the distance.  Brian didn’t answer Nick,
he continued to walk.  Pretty soon, they saw lights in the distance and
both picked up their pace to get to the store before it closed.

Walking into the small convenience store, Brian approached the cashier while Nick went directly down the snack aisle.

“I need to call a road service, our vehicle had a flat tire about three
miles north of here and our spare tire is flat too.”  Brian asked the
elderly woman.

“You boys are out of your element, ain’t ya?”  The elderly woman
looked Brian up and down.  She knew he wasn’t local, and determined
he was from out of state by his accent.

“No, we were going up to a cabin in a place called Newberry, I think,
but anyway, our car has a flat tire and we need road service, is there
a phone I can use?”  Brian asked her impatiently.

“Well, ain’t no road service this time of the night, Floyd is in for the
day.”  The woman countered.

Brian glanced at his watch.  “It’s only 8:45 p.m., what do you mean
no road service?”

“That’s what I said, no road service, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow
at 9.  You might as well get a room for the night.”  The woman stated
as she pulled a registration booklet out from under the counter.

Nick approached the counter with bags of chips and candy bars.  As
he set his purchases down, Brian glared at him.

“I told you I was starving.”  Nick defended his purchases.

“We have to get a room here for the night, Floyd doesn’t go out after
eight, I guess.”  Brian said as he tossed his credit card down on the

“Ah, sorry, we don’t take credit cards, only cash.”  The old woman
said as she saw the credit card hit the countertop.

Brian looked flustered when she said cash.  Nick rescued Brian by
placing $75 on the counter. Nick signed the registration book and took
the key.  The cashier rang up Nick’s purchases, thanked the boys and
told them check out time was 9 am.

As they were walking to their room, Brian told Nick that he thought
this place was creepy looking.

“I don’t care if it looks creepy, I got my munchies, a bed and a TV set,
that’s all I care about.”  Nick answered as Brian unlocked the door.
Once inside, Nick turned on the television, only to see that it didn’t
work.  “I got my munchies and a bed, I don’t need a TV, I guess.”

“I’m going to sleep, this nightmare will be over with tomorrow.”  Brian
replied as he cautiously looked under the blankets for spiders.

Tossing and turning, Brian heard a noise that made him sit straight up
in his bed.  Standing at the foot of the bed was a shadow of what
appeared to be three young boys with long blond hair. Brian rubbed
his eyes.

“Hi, were Hanson.”  The figures stated in unison.

“What the........” Brian blinked trying to clear his eyes up.

“Don’t be afraid, we are trying to help you.”  The taller of the three
said in a calm voice.

“Let me guess, car trouble?”  The middle blond haired boy asked.

Brian was still confused. “Um, yeah, hey didn’t you guys just drop out
of the public eye suddenly or something?”

“We had car trouble one day too.  Remember New Kids on the Block?”
the youngest Hanson asked Brian.

“Yeah.”  Brian replied.

“Car trouble.”  The three answered in unison.  “You must leave if you
want The Backstreet Boys to continue, run, now!”  The Hanson brothers exclaimed before they vanished into thin air.

Brian looked over at Nick.  He was asleep, sprawled out across the
bed surrounded by opened bags of chips and wrappers.

“NICK, NICK, GET UP NOW, WE GOTTA LEAVE.” Brian shouted at Nick.

“Huh, what?”  Confused, Nick rolled over.

Brian tossed Nick’s wallet at him and held the door open.  “Come-on,
now before it’s too late.”

Nick could tell that Brian was upset and sweating.  He reluctantly
followed Brian out of the hotel room and onto the road walking back
towards where they left their vehicle.

“What in the world scared you?”  Nick asked, still confused.

“I saw Hanson, remember them?”   Brian was still agitated.

“Oh, now I understand, I would be scared too.”  Nick laughed.

Brian jumped when he heard tapping on glass.  He jumped and realized that he was sitting in the durango.  Nick was sleeping in the passenger seat.  Running his hand through his hair, he woke up and pushed the lever to lower the window.  It was a Michigan State Trooper.

“Here you go, Mr. Littrell, and next time when you feel tired, it is best
to stop at a hotel or a rest area and get some rest, okay, we don’t
need you to get hurt.”  The trooper handed Brian back his Florida
driver’s license and a ticket. Brian looked at what the officer had
written for the citation and it simply said, failure to keep vehicle
under control.

Brian then realized that it was all a bad dream, or was it?