Part Four: Thunderstruck
“Nick, knock it off!” Another laugh and skid through a puddle sent water flying every which way, and Kierra threw her boyfriend an exasperated look as she ran alongside him, carefully distanced to avoid the sheets of water.
A sudden yell of shock was the trigger Nick needed to suddenly dash away, and a soaked blur of blue jeans, brown hoodie, and a ponytail was after him, roaring.
“You bastard! Nick!”
“Sorry, Khue, Nick’s being a turd right now!” Kierra called after her.
“What else is new?” she yelled back. “And hi, Kierra!” She vanished behind a corner, furiously sprinting after her friend, and Kierra sighed.
“Hi, Kierra!” Tina jogged up alongside her, slowing to a stop. Suddenly the cackling laughter on the other side of the classrooms turned to cries of pain.
“Ow! Owowowowow! Khue, not the hair, dammit!”
“Don’t ask.” Kierra cut Tina off with a shake of her head. “It’s a long story.”
“Okay…” Tina raised an eyebrow as the protests morphed right back into jeering chortles, followed by the telltale sound of something sliding on metal. Kierra rolled her eyes.
“Nick, get back here and stop it already! Do you have a death wish or something?”
“But it’s fun!”
Nick and Khue stopped running, and started back towards the other two girls. Nick gave Khue a backwards glance. Bitch, he mouthed, laughing.
Neko-chan, she sneered back.
He glared. I am no kitty!
“We’re coming, we’re coming!” he called back.
“Cute when you’re in love, aren’t you?” Khue added quickly, smiling slyly when he attempted to burn a hole through her with his glare.
“Shut up.” And they ran.
That night, Tina found herself chasing after a shadow once more. Only this time, Johnny was by her side.
And there’d been no bodies yet. She prayed it would stay that way.
But this was like a cat chasing its own tail. There was no evidence, no trace, only the glimpses of darkness slipping away like sand through fingers, before it was gone. Completely.
“Damn, it’s raining again,” Tina cursed fervently.
“Why is it always raining whenever I go out at night?” Johnny bit out.
Tina looked at him in astonishment. “You’ve gone out before?”
“…yes?” he grinned nervously. Tina groaned.
“I thought… if I didn’t get to him first… then he might hurt you.”
Speechless for a moment, Tina sighed before smiling and grabbing his hand. “There’s two of us, now. Nothing can touch either one of us.”
They stood for a moment, basking in the presence of the other, forgetting the reason why they were out in the first place, ignoring the rain that drenched them, when a scream tore through the air like a dull axe.
“Shit!” The pair dashed off, already of one mind, dashing through the alleys and streets, strangely empty of people. And like that dreaded night and so many others before it, lightning flashed.
Spots danced before Tina’s vision when a particularly bright flash ripped through the skies, and she felt something tingle in the air. That couldn’t be natural…
She had barely regained her vision when lightning struck again, and on one of the towers, the silhouette of a girl, arm raised to attack, fist clenched, was burned into her retinas.
“Get down!” And Johnny dived forward, Tina in his arms, and suddenly Tina felt a tingle go up her spine, through her whole body, paralyzing her. They both landed haphazardly on the ground, and Tina saw the last vestiges of electricity in the air, darting from raindrop to raindrop before fading.
A faint splash, not too far away, indicated someone landing, and Tina struggled to move as footsteps came closer, pinpricks traveling up her arms as her circulation moved sluggishly through her freezing body. This couldn’t be where it ends, just couldn’t –
“Tina? Johnny? What are you guys doing here?” Tina started at the sound of the voice, and suddenly a familiar face came into view as she knelt down beside them, brown hair in wet braids, sparks still crackling around her hand.
“Kimberly? You – are you - ?” Kimberly seemed to realize what Tina meant, and she helped pull the taller girl to her feet.
“It’s not me, Tina.” Cinnamon brown eyes glanced back at darker brown, before Tina helped Johnny stand up as well.
“And how do we know that?” Tina asked, voice flat. “I saw you, I saw-“
“That’s not possible!”
“Because I'm hunting for the same person you are,” Kimberly snapped.