A thunderstorm has developed over Tampa again. We seem to get the most severe weather here. What’s
worse is the lightning strikes. More people have been struck by lightning here than any other place in the USA. The ones that don’t die seem different.

I’m not worried. I’ve lived here long enough to know how to avoid the storms, but Joe, my friend, wasn’t so bright. He has been struck at least four different times now and has been acting extremely odd.

I’ve visited him as many times as possible, and he always has this strange smile on his face. He’s always speaking prophetically about some group of people.

“They’re going to save the world, Jack! If you’re chosen, you’ll be lucky!” he would say.

I’ve asked him countless times to elaborate, but he never goes any further than that. I would just give him food and shrug off his nonsense about his imaginary friends.

I chuckled and dressed for work. I picked up my keys and headed to my car. The storm had picked up in intensity and lightning was flashing continuously. I reached to unlock my car.

Suddenly a bright, white light enveloped me. I saw nothing but white for many moments. Then visions came to me, visions of me, but older.

I saw myself old and hunched over. I was alone in a terrifying storm of grand proportions. Lightning flashed everywhere and struck me along with others. I saw numbers with slashes. A date maybe? 1/1/2014. Then I convulsed. A burning sensation filled my entire being.

I then felt very light. I began to rise as I was burning. I rose steadily for a while. I then stopped and fell onto something metallic. Everything was still white and fog enveloped the area. I caught a glimpse of a being out of the corner of my eye.

I flipped to look at it, but it was gone. I stood, testing the ground. After I was sure of myself, I charged in the direction of the being. Then I caught another glimpse to my left. I stopped and charged again, faster this time. Then I fell.

I fell and I fell until I began levitating again. The burning feeling enveloped me again. Defenseless, disoriented, and alone I fought for some sort of control. Then I saw it. The creature who had been taunting me came into full view. It was tall and gray with a human-like stature. Something was off. Its head was completely void of any features except for two holes in the sides, probably ears, and two glowing lights where eyes would be; they glowed a deep red.

The head itself was cone-like, ending at a rough stub. He wore some sort of chin stub that was metallic in nature. It gleamed like gold in the light. His body was lean and strong with two arms that had two hands with three fingers each. His back was arched and had tall spines that overlapped each other. His legs were long and powerful, with two toes in front and one behind. He began to speak telepathically, which caught me off guard as my mind was assaulted with his deep, booming, echoing voice.

“You have been chosen to be saved from your own damnation. On your New Year’s Day of your Earth year 2014, a massive storm will descend upon your town. That will be my brothers and I transporting you to our world. The lightning will be your gateway. Heed my warning, if you ever divulge our existence, you will be left to die on your world. Your friend Joe will know this hell.”

And I woke up in a hospital; alone and in the dark. I rose from my bed and looked out the window. It was snowing. I had been out in that dream for some time. The instruments were still hooked up to me. I disabled them and walked out of the room. A nurse was out there.

“Oh my, you’re awake! You need to rest!” she said.

“No, I-I have to go.” I replied.

“Sir, please!”

“No!” I exclaimed. I ran from the hospital; I had to get home and check on Joe.

Since the hospital wasn’t far from his home, I was able to get there with no trouble. Upon reaching his home, I saw his door broken down. I walked carefully into his house.

Lights were broken, furniture was destroyed, and it looked like someone his spilled red wine all over his living room. I caught something moving to the left of me. I moved to see it but nothing was there, save a lone light down the hall to Joe’s bedroom.

“Joe? You all right?” I yelled.

The sounds of movement from his room assured me he was okay. I moved through the damage carefully to see what state he was in. More wine on the floor. I walked into the room.

Joe jumped on me and grabbed my shirt. He was covered in blood, not wine.

“Don’t… do… what I did. Never… tell… secret…” Joe gasped for breath and fell to the ground. I trembled backwards. Then I bumped into someone. I turned slowly to see the same figure that was in my dream.

“The tongue that is severed tells no tales. He who speaks secrets is the first to die. Let this be a lesson to you.” Then, he raised one hand. I suddenly convulsed to the floor and contorted to different and strange positions. Pain racked my body. Colors flooded my vision. Then, blackness consumed me. I awoke in my bed, with words above my head written in blood red.

“Salvation to the silent.”