Rosario watched the sunset with a quiet mind for the first time in five years. There was no one in view to distract her with timers counting down above her head; there was not another human around for miles. She would know.
Five years ago, she woke up with a pounding head and disturbing images of all her loved ones dying. Rosario wondered if she went crazy, then dismissed the question because she was lucid enough to ask it. She spent a long six months in a psychiatric hospital but eventually learned how to make sense of it all. It helped that two of the deaths she foresaw happened while she was being treated.
Over the years Rosario improved at ignoring things that weren’t relevant to her. The clocks counting down to stranger’s deaths were easy to ignore; the screaming, crying chaos that filled her ears was not.
“GET DOWN!” An unknown woman shouted in Rosarios’ mind, then she sighed. She was no longer alone. Somewhere, someone walked into Rosario’s perception. From testing, Rosario guessed the stranger was still two miles away; the edges of her power. However, experience suggested the stranger was much closer. Her voice was crystal clear and loud.
“Hi,” the same voice said, from behind Rosario. The shouting in her mind did not make her flinch; but, the quiet, unexpected, greeting caused Rosario to jump to her feet and spin around. A short, young lady with a black bowl cut giggled but took a step back. She put her hands up with her palms out. “Sorry, sorry, didn’t mean to scare you,” she said.
“Hi,” Rosario was surprised more than anything. The woman’s voice echoed in her head again, ‘GET DOWN!’, just as loud as moments before. Rosario suddenly doubted all the things she thought she learned about her powers. Either they didn’t work the way she thought, or this woman appeared from nowhere right behind her.
“I’m Penga,” she smiled at Rosario and offered her hand in greeting. Rosario hesitated, but only for a moment. She’d spent the last four years refusing to make new friends. And, she learned that if she pushed someone out of her life far enough, their deaths would disappear from her vision. But, something wasn’t right. Either with Rosario herself, or maybe Penga. It was that curiosity that encouraged Rosario to make the new connection.
“Rosario,” she shook Penga’s hand. The vision came immediately, and she did not understand it. She saw herself standing next to Penga, shaking hands. Just like they were now, at Rosario’s camp spot.
“What?” Rosario heard and watched herself ask. ‘What what?’ Penga replied in her vision. Then, Penga looked up suddenly and yelled, “GET DOWN!” A pressurized jet of water shot out of Penga’s hands
and shoved Rosario onto her back. Then, Rosario spotted a pure white, winged unicorn with a glowing golden horn in the air. It seemed to be charging down toward her, then changed direction when Penga intervened. The beast landed on the ground long enough to impale Penga, then it flew up again to carry off her corpse. The vision faded.
It was so confusing, she repeated it out loud. “What?” she asked no one.
“What what?” Penga asked. A blur of action later, Rosario watched the unicorn fly off into the sunset with her mind quiet again. She was too stunned to panic. Part of her wanted to report something to someone, but she did not have anything substantial to say that wouldn’t get her laughed at. She was already laughing at herself.
“I don’t even believe me,” she giggled to herself.
“That was nothing. Watch this,” Unexpectedly, a new vision played out before Rosario’s eyes. She was with Penga again, but didn’t understand. They were somewhere she’d never seen before; an endless amber wheat field beneath a purple sky.
“Man, that was something,” Penga said, suddenly, next to Rosario. “You okay?” she asked. Rosario began nodding her head, but after several up and down motions, it began to angle. After a moment she was shaking her head, ‘no’.
“I think I’m crazy,” Rosario said.
“HAhahaaha,” Penga laughed heartily. “Why do you say that?”
“I just saw you die,” Rosario replied. Penga nodded.
“Yeah, I did. That thing’s almost impossible to solo.” Rosario tilted her head in confusion at Penga, and the young woman noticed.
“Wait…,” she said. “What class are you?” Penga asked.
“Class?” Rosario asked with a shrug.
“No wayyy….,” Penga grinned and took a step forward. “What’s your favorite number?!” she asked with more eagerness.
“52,” Rosario answered. It seemed like an odd question considering everything else that was happening, but it stood out to her. Five years ago a tattoo artist laughed his head off at the fact that she liked a number so much she wanted it on her. Now a complete stranger was interested in her favorite number.
“NO WAY!” Penga jumped up and down. She closed the gap between them and grabbed her shoulders excitedly.
“You saw me die? Before I died?” she asked quickly. Rosario gave her an uneasy nod.
“YESSSS!! THANK YOU!” she cheered, but had enough common sense to scream away from Rosario’s ears.
“You’re dead,” Rosario said. “I’m crazy. I might be dead too…,” she wondered. Penga shook her head frantically; her bangs trembled with the motion.
“No, this is great, sorry,” Penga immediately calmed down and let go of Rosario’s shoulders. “Have you seen my next death?” she asked. Rosario nodded.
“Are we in danger?” she asked. Rosario shook her head. “Okay, first of all, we’re best friends now,” Penga said. “Second of all, best friends communicate. I’m not good at explaining things, we can put you in touch with Mundo later. But, in the meantime, I can try to answer any immediate questions you have. So, shoot.”
“You died?” Rosario asked. “And… came back?”
“I died,” Penga nodded, and smiled. “Then, I respawned.”