People scream and run across the sidewalk in front of the hotel. Flashing and twinkling casino signs illuminate the night. A man with a gun turns and flees the scene. A cop car approaches, its sirens and lights further adding to the chaos.
Hazen runs to a woman lying on the ground. He kneels beside her. She's covered in blood from a gunshot to her chest.
The cop car pulls up.
"That way!" Hazen shouts as he points up the sidewalk. "The shooter went that way!"
One cop sprints off down the sidewalk, and his partner returns to the car to radio for backup.
The woman grabs Haven's shirtsleeve. "Win..." She gasps for breath, but a second later her head drops and she's still.
An ambulance arrives, but Hazen knows it's too late.
"I'm so sorry," he says to the dead woman. "I'm so, so sorry."
Hazen woke and looked around to place himself. He was on the bed of his hotel room. He'd only meant to rest his eyes, but he'd fallen asleep.
Oh, no, he thought. Does this nightmare happen tonight? Tomorrow night? Shit...
He stood from the bed, winced from pain in his arm, and grabbed the tube of cream off his nightstand. While he rubbed cream into his healing Mark tattoo, he walked to his window.
It was still bright afternoon. He'd been to Vegas during his 'misspent youth' period, his floundering college years. As he looked out his high hotel window now, he saw everything along the strip looked much the same as he remembered. A few old casinos had been demolished and replaced by newer, grander buildings. But the general ambiance was the same.
Should I tell Renny my nightmare? he thought.
While flying to Vegas on his private jet, Hazen and Renny had discussed every vision they could remember. Many of Hazen's nightmares had correlated with Renny's dreams. But there were also events only Hazen had envisioned, and Renny had never known these things Hazen hadn't been able to change. Also, Renny sometimes had dreams of Hazen that he didn't envision at all – such as his blind date with Maghen. If she ever had another dream about him, she promised to tell him.
After tossing his tube of cream back on the nightstand, Hazen walked to the door connecting their adjoining rooms. He knocked. A second later, Renny opened the door. She wore the same jeans and T-shirt she'd traveled in. Since she hadn't yet changed for the show they were going to, Hazen guessed he hadn't napped that long.
Renny saw his face and furrowed her brow. "What's wrong?"
"I had a nightmare."
Why now? he thought. Can't I have one day to tend to my own life?
Renny stepped into his room and sat in a chair facing his bed. Hazen took the hint and sat on the bed, facing her. Then he told her every detail he could remember of the nightmare.
He took a shaky breath before he dared ask, "Did you dream?"
With a sad look, Renny shook her head. "No, I'm sorry. I took a nap too, but...nothing."
"Great." He frowned. "So this nightmare's going to happen no matter what."
"Did you know the woman?"
"Never seen her. And you're the only person I know in Vegas right now. But..."
Renny made a face. "But maybe it's one of the other vision-seers we're here to meet. Lhamo said one is a woman."
YOU ARE READING
The ProphetScience Fiction
Mind your own dystopia. Hazen Stephenson grew up pampered, and he knows it. But he's never had it easy. Hazen's nightmares aren't merely products of his imagination, and he wrestles daily with guilt, responsibility, and questions of fate. Setting...