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The storm has blown over by the time Frank finds his way back to the hotel and the rain has eased into a warm wet drizzle that makes everything sticky and damp. Trudging gloomily across the little lobby in his wet clothes, he spots Brian sitting in a chair by the elevators and immediately feels eight years old again, about to be told off by his parents for playing out past his bedtime.

Brian is holding a newspaper and talking quietly on his phone but when he sees Frank he hangs up straight away and jumps to his feet. Feeling sick and stupid, Frank shuffles slowly towards him with his hands in his pockets and wet hair falling into his eyes and Brian smiles reassuringly at him but the manager's posture is tense, as if he expects Frank to run off at any moment and is ready to chase after him. “Hey Frankie. Are you okay?”
Frank sighs and opens his mouth to answer in the negative but his words are blasted away by a loud sneezing fit that comes bursting painfully out of his throat and blocks up his ears, making his eyes water. Ugh. He definitely caught a cold or something last night from being out in the snow.
Brian frowns worriedly and puts a hand on Frank’s shoulder, nudging him towards the waiting elevators. The doors slide shut with a soft click and Frank sniffles and wipes his nose on his wet shirt, leaning wearily against the elevator wall as it rises through the building. Brian clears his throat nervously. “Er, Frankie I think I should warn you that Gerard and the others are waiting for you upstairs in your room. They wanna talk to you.”
Frank glances up in annoyance and shakes his head. The last thing he needs right now is some kind of misguided intervention! “Are you kidding me?” Brian sighs, “Look Frank, I don’t know what happened earlier today but whatever’s going on I think we need to get it sorted, right? For the good of the band and especially for you. Just talk to them for five minutes, okay?”
Frank sneezes again, his headache from earlier growing into a painful migraine behind his blurry eyes. “Fine,” he mumbles, “Five minutes.”
Brian nods with relief and the elevator doors ping open onto a carpeted corridor. Frank braces himself and plods reluctantly towards his room, wanting nothing else but to get out of his wet clothes and swallow some painkillers. Brian calls after him, “If you need anything, just come to my room afterwards or call my cell okay? Whatever happens.”
Frank sighs and nods over his shoulder, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other as the corridor swims and sways around his aching head. His immune system has always been shitty and he is regularly knocked for six by attacks of colds and flu but this feels like a really bad one. His hotel room door is ajar and he waits outside for a moment, not sure whether he should knock or just walk in. Then he remembers that he’s not supposed to know about the ambush waiting for him inside and shoves the door wide open.

The first person he sees is Ray. The frizzy-haired guitarist is perched on the edge of the bed with his elbows resting on his knees and his chin in his hands and he shoots Frank a worried glance when he enters but says nothing, obviously expecting somebody else to speak first. Bob is sitting further down the mattress playing idly with a pair of drumsticks and he gives Frank the smallest of uncertain smiles before glancing pointedly across the room to where the two Way brothers are standing: Mikey leaning against the wall with his hands in his pockets and Gerard with his arms folded and a dark look on his face.

With a nervous stomachache and a lump in his throat, Frank shuts the door behind him and in the uneasy silence the noise is deafening. His rapid heartbeat starts throbbing in his ears. He’s still wet from the rain and his nose is running so he can't stop sniffing. Ray kindly passes him one of the fluffy white towels the maid has left folded on the bed and Frank gratefully rubs his face and hair with it before wrapping it around his shivering shoulders like a cloak.
“Where have you been?” Gerard asks in a low voice, his expression grave.
“At a diner,” Frank mumbles, “I...went for coffee.”
Gerard narrows his eyes, “We were IN a coffee shop when you ran away from us, Frankie. So what you're saying is that without telling anyone where you were going and just after you'd had some kind of panic attack or seizure in the street, you ran AWAY from the coffee shop we were already in to go and get some more coffee? What the fuck man, that's not even a good excuse! And look at yourself, you're soaked and your arm is wrecked. You're gonna need new bandages and… are your legs bleeding? Jesus! What are we supposed to think, Frankie? You're fucking destroying yourself!”
Frank swallows nervously and clutches his towel. His eyes and throat feel hot and swollen and he realizes now how stupidly he's been acting. It’s true he wouldn’t have gotten lost or burned or hurt or sick if he hadn’t spent hours running away from his friends and chasing visions through the streets.

“You can’t keep running off alone to god knows where in cities you don’t know without telling anyone!” Gerard yells, his hazel eyes frustrated and fearful, “You’re acting crazy right now, man. Anything could have happened to you. I...we were so worried.”
Frank lowers his gaze to the floor and cringes at the familiar heat of fresh tears behind his eyes. He never used to cry this often, he‘s turning into a total freak. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, “I don‘t know what else to say.”
“Shit,” Gerard sighs, moving closer and lifting his arms a little like he doesn't know whether to hug Frank or hit him, “I hate worrying about you. ”

After a painful silence, Mikey walks over and adds “Don’t be sorry, Frank, just be you again. I hate seeing you like this, we all do. Will you let us get you some help?”
“Help?” Frank asks in a small voice, stubbornly holding his tears back. They can’t make him cry.
“You need to see a doctor,” Ray says, speaking for the first time since Frank entered the room, “About all these things you’ve been seeing and what happened in the street today. Just in case there’s something, y'know...wrong.”
“With my brain,” Frank finishes numbly. It’s not really something he’s considered but maybe that’s what all of this boils down to. The “premonitions” and seizures or whatever they are could just be the symptoms of a brain tumor or some kind of disease. Lorna probably doesn’t even exist; she's just a hallucination too. But no wait, her phone number is still scrawled on his hand... and what about the car accident? Dozens of people saw that, not just him, and he told Gerard about it in the coffee shop before it even happened! That was real. This is real!

“There’s nothing wrong with my head,” he says slowly, trying to make them understand, “I’m not ill, guys, I’m just…like, different or something, I dunno. I know it sounds like something out of bad sci-fi but my nightmares and the stuff I see are about the future. I saw that car accident before it happened, and the girl and the fire in Chicago and the other girl I met today. I saw it all in my mind days ago! It hurts and it sucks and I hate it but it is REAL I swear!”
“Oh Frankie,” Ray sighs, obviously not believing a word of it.
“No, no, listen!” Frank persists desperately, “You’re my best friends, you have to believe me! The girl on the bike sees the future too, she told me so! She said-”
“Who is this girl?” Gerard interrupts suspiciously, “It sounds like she's messing with your head.”
“No she’s not! Please guys, I need you to have a little faith. I do need help yes, but not from a doctor or from pills. I need you to understand what's happening to me and help me deal with it. Can you do that? Can you just believe me, please?”
His band-mates silently stare at him with varying degrees of pity and disbelief and even Bob’s earlier support has obviously turned into fear for his friend‘s sanity. With a sharp stab of despair Frank realizes that none of them believe a word he‘s saying. They all think he’s crossed the line into crazytown and why shouldn’t they. All they can see is him falling apart. With flooded eyes, Frank turns away from their pitying looks and pulls open the door. “Wait, where are you going now?” Gerard cries, “This is YOUR room!”
Brian answers his door on the first knock and finds Frank standing outside looking like his whole world just came crashing down around him. The young guitarist is so upset he can’t even speak and he's biting the clenched knuckles of his right hand so hard he’s nearly drawing blood. Brian ushers him in without a word and shuts the door. “It’s gonna be okay, Frankie,” the manager says anxiously, watching his younger friend pace back and forth in distress across the room with his hands balled into trembling fists and his eyes hidden behind his hair, “Just sit down and take it easy. I’ll talk to them. We’ll sort everything out, I promise.”
“NO!” Frank cries, stopping his angry march and sitting down on the bed with his head in his hands. “You can't fix this, Brian! No one can fucking fix this! It's too much and it's just...I can't handle it! No one can. This shit isn't meant to happen in real life!” Brian opens his mouth to respond but before he can get a word out Frank shocks him by bursting into tears, crying so hard he's gagging on sobs as shivers shake his injured body.
Stunned and deeply worried, Brian pulls up a chair by the bed with his phone on standby to call for help, and waits patiently for Frank to cry out his fear and pain. After a few minutes he fetches a blanket to stop his friend shivering and some kleenex so he can mop his wet face. Still weeping, Frank lies down on the bed and curls up under the blanket with his face buried in the sheets, groaning and sobbing uncontrollably as misery, terror and exhaustion blind him with tears. Brian stays with him until the sun sets outside and the room grows gloomy and dark and eventually Frank’s pained sobs fade into exhausted sniffles and hiccups and then into quivering breaths that grow heavier and deeper until Brian is sure he has cried himself to sleep.

Moving quietly in the dimness, the tour manager lays another blanket on top of Frank’s sleeping body and sneaks out of the room, shutting the door behind him. As soon as he’s outside he calls the band's guitar technician and tells him to cover for Frank in the show tonight, then rounds up the rest of the band and crew and gives them strict orders to leave Frank alone and let him get some rest. Finally he sits down with the tour medic and the two men talk long into the night about what might have to be done if Frank can't let go of these crazy ideas. The future is not looking good for anyone and Brian hopes that he can hold everything together until the band pulls through this latest crisis... if they can pull through it.

Deep in a nightmare sleep, Frank finds himself onstage in a massive hall packed to the rafters with screaming fans fighting to get closer to the stage. The booming sound system is thunderous and the atmosphere is electric but Frank is sweating and uncomfortable in his dark stage clothes, playing on a strange red guitar with clumsy fingers as his head throbs with sharp crippling pain, pounding louder than the music. The audience is a distant blurry mass beyond blinding spotlights and his thoughts tumble back into the darkness of his mind where grisly terrors lurk: Lorna’s face, torn up and bloodied and screaming in agony for him to help her, save her, do something, make the pain stop!

Trapped in his dream, Frank shakes his head and tries to push the blood-drenched images aside but he can't and his hands are motionless on the red guitar. Blinking through a veil of blood, he looks around and sees Gerard staring at him…Or maybe it’s Mikey. It’s hard to tell when everything’s so blurry...
A violent wash of nausea hits his guts and he stumbles to his knees, panting and dizzy, as the stage pitches violently to one side. His guitar send a squeal of feedback exploding from the amps and the screaming crowd falls silent. The stage lights are spinning crazily up and down around him and his head hurts so much he can’t think straight. He’s dripping with sweat but freezing cold.
“Frank are you okay?” Gerard asks into the mic.
“N-No…fuck,” Frank whimpers, collapsing on his back as his legs give out completely and the pain in his head intensifies until he's crying with agony. Gerard runs over and kneels down next to him, laying a warm hand on his forehead, and suddenly a crowd of people are standing around them. Frank glimpses the bright yellow coat of a concert Medic before everything spins dizzily again and black shadows pour into his eyes as his whole body goes mercifully numb.

The stage disappears, followed by Gerard and everyone else until only a single figure remains standing over him in the dark. It is the ghostly form of a woman, pale and shimmering like winter sunlight on a frosty window-pane. She is a new face, a forlorn stranger, and ice-cold drafts seep from her pale skin, chilling the air until Frank can see his breath. The rest of the world falls away and he and this woman are alone in the darkness. Her skin is ashen, her lips curled and black and her wide blue eyes are empty and so very dead. Tears of silver glass fall from her cheeks as she drifts closer to him, her arms outstretched, a dying light in a shroud of endless night. Paralysed with fear, Frank has no choice but to lie there shaking as the dead girl puts her frozen fingers on his face and presses her dry, dead lips firmly against his. A shot of icy fire cripples his body and two words explode like fireworks in his mind: ANNA FLETCHER.
With a cry of terror, Frank wakes up for real on Brian’s bed and falls off the narrow mattress onto the hard floor, swamped in layers of sweaty blankets and tissues. The room is dark and quiet and Brian isn’t here. He has no idea what time it is or even what day. Gasping for breath and trembling with chills, he sits up and tries to get his bearings, wiping his soaking eyes on the sheets and groaning softly on the verge of crying again. His aching head feels like it's split open with pain and his hair is matted to his sweaty cheeks and forehead. His chest feels hot and stuffy and choked with mucus and stifled coughs and he can't catch his breath.

Getting slowly to his feet, he wanders unsteadily into Brian’s bathroom to get a glass of water and screams when he sees the mirror hanging over the sink. His reflection is gone, replaced by the hollow gray face of the ghostly woman, her black lips parted in a silent shriek as the words ‘ANNA FLETCHER’ splatter across the mirror in blood! Still screaming he stumbles away from the sink and hits the wall, sliding down it to the floor with his eyes screwed shut against the horror. It's not real, it's not real, it can’t be real this time! He’s AWAKE for fuck's sake!

Sure enough, when he dares to look again, the woman and the blood are gone and the mirror is back to normal. Getting slowly and shakily to his feet, he gulps a few deep breaths, trying to calm down, but his heart is in his throat and he’s shivering and sweating with hot and cold chills. Why would he see a vision of someone who is already dead? And who the fuck is Anna Fletcher?


((Again, sorry for the wait my lovelies, I try to write whenever I have time, thanks for sticking with me. xx))


Absolutely stoked for this!

IAmAMonster IAmAMonster

That's honestly one of the nicest comments I have ever got! Thank you huni, I will be adding a new chapter to my story Just Sleep very soon and I have a gory horror story idea too that might become something new...
Watch this space :) xx

Pinchetta Pinchetta

I did! I read them all! They're so good! Everyone of them had me on the edge of my seat on the verge of tears. I can't wait to see what else you post, I know they're gonna be great!

IAmAMonster IAmAMonster

Thank you! Please check out my other stories if you like. :) xx

Pinchetta Pinchetta

This was so good! One of the best fics I've ever read!

IAmAMonster IAmAMonster