The first bolt of lightning struck Erkan directly in the chest. Electricity coursed through him, causing him to convulse. The dark sky was filled with even darker clouds, but not a drop of rain fell from the sky. Once again, lightning struck. It pierced into his chest. Again and again. A total of seven times. Each time there was a great booming sound.
Erkan could no longer stand, and collapsed onto his back. Wind whipped through the bare streets, stealing away any warmth he felt. Death was coming… until the witch appeared. Her wrinkled face and twisted teeth showed a morose grin. “You’re not allowed to die like this.” Her hand traced runic patterns on his chest, patterns of magic. He knew this, even though he could not even turn his head or eyes. She was a witch, after all.
Thunder rang in his ears as lightning struck him once again.
Erkan sat bolt upright in bed, his chest aching and his ears ringing from the thunder outside. Thunder? Wasn’t that from the dream? He got up to go look out the window, but on the way he clearly heard the booming of thunder above the rain. It really was a thunderstorm… in San Francisco, no less. They only happened every few years at most. Erkan didn’t mind the rain- or the thunder, usually. Right now, however, it was unpleasant.
His chest ached in response every time the booming noise rang through his ears. He knew there was no danger- either from the lightning or even getting shot again. However, his body didn’t care about that. His heart raced and his chest ached with greater intensity with every moment.
Once he was fully awake things were a bit better. He stuck his head under a pillow, dulling the sounds. His heart started to calm… and after an hour or so the storm did as well.
What a pain. Erkan hadn’t had a nightmare he remembered since… well, since he was much younger. At least, not one that affected him except the very instant after waking. Certainly no longer than a minute.
Statistically speaking, he had a greater chance of getting hit by a car than being struck by lightning- even if he lived somewhere that actually had lightning regularly. Heck, he had a higher chance of getting shot.
Even if he hadn’t been shot, and he had. Thinking about that… brought back unpleasant memories. However, that was it. He hadn’t really been able to be afraid at the time, and afterwards he was in the hospital. The real experience hadn’t been quite as terrifying as the dream, though it had hurt more.
“That’s awful!” Savina said emphatically as she sat across the table from Erkan, “The dream, I mean. Making you think about when you… you know.”
“Got shot?” Erkan finished. “You can say it, you know. I was just commenting on how weird dreams- or nightmares- can be. I mean, it would have made more sense if it was just getting shot again. Even though it wasn’t that frightening. Not that I’m saying I wouldn’t mind getting shot at again any time soon. Or ever. Because I definitely don’t want to.”
“Speaking of which… did they ever catch the guy who did it?”
“What? Oh… right. Not exactly. But… well, he’s dead. Probably. At least, some guy who looked pretty much like the same guy was found dead a day later, torn apart in an alley. Which is pretty horrible, I guess, but kind of a relief. Except that it means there are more crazy killings happening around here. First some guy gets this throat ripped out, then someone gets turned into a pile of meat, and then this guy they could only recognize the head. Actually I guess the second one was worse then… the head wasn’t even whole there.”
“You saw the second one… right? Do you think that was why… you got shot?”
Erkan frowned, “That doesn’t make any sense. I didn’t see the murderer and he seems to rip people apart, not shoot them.”
“… Right.” Savina sighed, “Do you think the rain will let up?”
“Hmm. I’m not sure. It probably won’t last through the movie, but if it does I guess we’ll have to cut out the park portion of the date.”
Somehow, the rain continued for several more hours. That meant time at the park was out, because even if it was open at night that didn’t mean they wanted to go there in the rain. The two of them sat in front of Savina’s apartment.
“Soo…” Savina tilted her head, “Want to come in?”
Erkan thought for a few moments, “I… probably shouldn’t. You live alone, right?”
“Yeah. Oh! I didn’t mean…” Savina blushed, “Not that I don’t like you but… I mean, umm… I just didn’t want the date to end yet. I thought we could talk some more… I should go.”
“Wait!” Erkan stopped her before she opened the door. “Ah. We can just talk here. The rain should end soon… so you can avoid getting more wet.”
In the end, they continued talking until well after the rain stopped. Savina talked more about her family. Apparently she actually had more family in the area… but things were bad enough they didn’t even usually acknowledge each other. It was pretty much the opposite for Erkan. Not only did his close family get along pretty well, even his extended and extended-extended and people who most wouldn’t consider family at least didn’t mind getting together for parties.
Erkan enjoyed talking. He would also admit he was interested in more… but getting into a deeper relationship too quickly was a terrible idea. The potential to mess up one or two people’s lives was too great to be careless. It wasn’t just about sex, either- though Erkan was also at least nominally Christian- but rushing into any sort of deeper emotional connection without a solid foundation was asking for trouble. Maybe such a methodical approach would make him seem like a robot, but even though he was looking for some change in his life… he didn’t really want too much at once. Hanging out and watching movies was fine too.