I had been treating her for ten months when I realized whatever was in her, was mocking me. It was never obvious. It never went out of its way to do this. It just demonstrated through conversation that it was entertaining itself with me. I was simply a sparring partner, never a threat.

She was 11 years old when I began treating her on the day after her birthday. Head injury, Catatonic Stupor. All pretty standard. 

Four months in, I realized she was still conscious somewhere in that still body (back when I thought there was a her). Five months and I had my first successes with hypnosis. Eight months and I was certain I was on my way towards something significant, maybe a new type of treatment. And then, I realized, all at once, that what was in her was not her. This girl was gone. There was something else.

Now, when we talk, it is an interrogation.

"When will you tell me who you are?"


"Tell me something. Prove to me you are from somewhere else, like you say you are."

"The city of New York is a ruin, filled with corpses."

"No, no, it's not."

Then, that smile. The smile again. The one you should never see on a child's face.


Four weeks before it told me to invest in gold, and I had. I don't know why, but I did. I had made a lot of money. A great deal of money. I wiped my lips, trying not to show my fear.

"What's your name?"

"Abdullah Alha Zred"