Waking Up

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Awsten woke with a start. He hadn't been sleeping very well, but it still took him a moment to remember where he was. It always did.

Sleeping next to him in a queen size hotel bed was Travis, still in his jeans for some reason. He was making small movements and cute little noises in his sleep, like a dog chasing a rabbit.

Awsten sat up as memories of the night flashed before his eyes. He had played a particularly good set at a local club and got some deadly spicy wings afterwards with Travis, who happened to be in town. They hung out in their hotel room and watched scary movies, laughing and joking until they all fell asleep. It had been a truly wonderful night.

Awsten felt the toilet calling him so he got up silently and crept toward the bathroom. Geoff was asleep on the couch, his boxers peeking out playfully beneath his shirt. Awsten found himself reaching a pearlescent hand out towards Geoff's package without really thinking about it but stopped himself.

Their relationship had grown naturally over the years, and their deep love for each other was something everyone in the band saw, even if no one said anything. Honestly there wasn't any reason to. The stolen glances during shows while Awsten sang lyrics about Geoff that only they understood were enough.

As Awsten drifted past Geoff he saw Otto and Jawn in the other bed. Otto had all his shit neatly organized on the bedside table, Jawn the opposite. His camera and clothes were laying haphazardly on the floor.

Awsten noticed the glowing numbers casting a pale light on Jawn's face. It was kind of a beautiful tableau; the dim red numbers complimented Jawn's hair nicely. Awsten smiled at the thought of maybe taking a picture of Jawn for once, but he kept going.

As Awsten approached the bathroom he reached out to push open the door, but his hand found no purchase. He did a double take as he watched his hand go right through the door. He looked around disoriented, wondering if he was in a dream. He raced back over to his bed, realizing as he passed the table that he should have tripped over it but didn't.

Then he saw himself. Looking peacefully asleep in bed, except that there was no rhythmic rise and fall of his chest like his friends. It was then that it all fell into place. He was dead. He looked down at his ghostly form as the existential dread of his sudden death filled him.

As he looked around the room panicked, he thought about how he could wake up his friends - maybe he could be saved and get back into his body.

As he watched them all sleep his anxiety started to fade. He didn't know much about this new ethereal existence, but it seemed very unlikely that he would be able to return to his body. If he had to go, this wasn't really a bad night for it. He had played a good show, had good food and time with his best friends. Could you really ask for much more?

He took one last look around the room, beaming at his friends. He'd miss hanging out with Jawn and Otto on tour. He'd miss the tender moments with Geoff. He'd miss his good good buddy Travis. But who knew what kind of new adventures awaited him.

As he started to accept that he had shuffled off his mortal coil, he felt his soul begin to be sucked into the inky blackness of the afterlife. As he took one last look around the room, Travis began to stir. Awsten fought against the pull, wanting in spite of himself to see Travis discover him.

Travis rolled over and gasped.

"Oh god, Awsten! You shat the bed!"

Awsten's spectral form shook with laughter as he floated upward towards the stars.

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