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Chapter 1


“Mr. Framer?”

He opened his eyes and blinked. He found himself lying on a leather sofa, his long legs crossed over each other. The person calling his name was an elderly woman with grey hair and glasses. She sat on a chair directly opposite him. The nametag on her white coat read ‘Dr. Emily Roberts’. The only thing that separated them was a small glass table. On it was a black tape recorder.

“Patrick, are you still with me?” she asked.

“Yes, or am I not?”

“That depends on you; I was asking you some questions, but it seems your mind drifted to another place.”


She adjusted her spectacles to look at him. “Yes, ‘drifted’ is the word I’d prefer to use.”

“I thought I was with you, Doctor. How could I have drifted?”

“In your condition, it is expected.”

“Yes, I know. But when is it going to end?”

“Isn’t that why you’ve been coming to these sessions?”

“But is it working? Are we making any progress?”

“Yes, of course we’re making progress.”

“But it’s still happening. And how appropriate for it to happen during therapy.”

“That is not something to worry about, Mr. Framer. It’s good that it occurred here—that way I can review your experience. So, can you tell me what  you saw and where you went?”

“This one wasn’t as severe as the ones I used to have at home or at work, I doubt it’d be helpful.”

“Leave me to judge whether it’s a helpful experience or not, okay?”

“Okay. Well, I was just sitting here—”

“In this office?”

“Yes. I wasn’t lying down the way I am now, but I was still on this very sofa of yours. You were sitting in the same place. And then there was a knock on the door.”

“Someone knocked on this door?”

“Yes, the same door. I could tell because you went to answer it, asking the person to come in.”

“Who was it that came in?”

“It was me, Doctor. I saw myself walk into your office.”

“Okay. So you saw yourself come in through the door. What did you do then?”

“I stood up in confusion, then watched the other man come in and lie down on this sofa.”

“In other words, you were watching yourself?”

“Yes, myself. You, too. I was listening to everything you were saying to me.”

Dr. Roberts pulled off her glasses to look at him. “You heard everything I said?”

“Yes, Doctor, everything. Then when you began to call my name, I turned to look at myself on the sofa. I realised that I must have been paralysed again, so I walked up to the sofa and began to shake myself.”

“You shook yourself to wake up?”

“Yes, I kept shaking till it worked. That’s when I finally opened my eyes to look at you.”

The doctor nodded and put her glasses back on. “Thank you, Mr. Framer. I appreciate these details.”

“Is that normal, Doctor? To see myself like that?”

“There are people who have seen themselves in similar situations to the one you experienced. Others have recounted situations that were more dangerous, like when they were driving or operating heavy machinery. Yours was much less worrying.”

He slung his feet off the sofa but remained seated. “I think my body is already getting used to this sleep paralysis. I have battled with it for so many years. Now I can barely tell the difference between what is real and what is not. Do you know that there was a time when I used to wake up before it took a hold of me?”

“But that was a long time ago.”

“Yeah, I think that stopped after Katherine left me.”

“Your ex-girlfriend?”


“Do you still miss her?”

“Of course I do. But I wasn’t ready to settle down, and she wasn’t ready to wait for me to be ready to settle down—you know the story.”

The doctor nodded. “You allowed her to move on.”

“That was the best thing I could do. Before I met her, I thought that my condition was unique. She was the one who opened my eyes.”

“And that was another reason why you were attracted to her, right?”

“Yes, she made me feel normal. It’s a shame we couldn’t stay together.”

“It’s alright, Mr. Framer. You don’t have to regret letting her go. What you did was the right thing,” Dr. Roberts said with a soft smiled. “Now, regarding your treatment, I’d recommend that you try to sleep earlier than you are doing right now. If you can be home before seven, I’m sure you should be able to start unwinding before nine.”

“And no television and no drinks?”

“Yes, just water or non-alcoholic drinks.”

“Okay, Doctor. Thank you. I really appreciate it.”

“Please keep me updated on whatever experiences, dreams or thoughts you have.”

“I will. Thank you again.”

Patrick walked out of her office briskly. In the car park, he got into his car and looked around. He remembered what Dr. Roberts had said, about people experiencing sleep paralysis while they were driving. He shook his head. That was never going to be his lot, he thought to himself.

Before he drove out of the hospital, he checked the calendar on his phone for upcoming appointments that day. It was not yet two in the afternoon. He hoped he could make it to two or more clients before the evening. Working as a salesman for a furniture company meant that he had to keep a close eye on his clients. He didn’t want them to consider other options outside of his company.

Soon, he drove into the parking lot of a bank. He walked up to the receptionist. “I’m here to meet with the regional manager, Mr. Smith.”

“Your name, please?” she asked.

“Framer, Patrick Framer from Elegant Pieces.”

She made a call and looked up at him. “You may go in now, Mr. Framer. Mr. Smith will see you right away.”

Inside the office, a burly looking man in a black two-piece suit was swirling in a leather chair. He smiled as Patrick came into his office.

“Well, Mr. Framer. It’s a good thing you were able to make it on time.”

“On time? I don’t understand.”

“Don’t tell me you didn’t bring them with you?”

“Bring what with me?” Patrick repeated with a quizzical expression on his face.

“But I sent you SMS messages earlier.”

“You did?” Patrick asked, bringing out his smartphone.

“Is this a joke or what?”

“I don’t recall any messages from you,” Patrick stuttered as he flipped through his phone.

Mr. Smith sighed. “Then why did you reply that it wouldn’t be a problem?”

“I did?”

Mr. Smith shook his head disbelievingly, then brought out his phone and began to read from it. “I sent those messages at eight this morning. I told you that the Board was meeting today at three PM, and I wanted you to send us some samples of your executive desks. You replied that it would not be a problem. Don’t tell me you’re here without the samples?”

Patrick was now breathing heavily. He was still scrolling through his phone, searching for the messages. “Your board is meeting at three PM?”

“I don’t understand. Why the hell are you in my office then?”

“I …I actually came to see you, sir. We had an appointment today.”

“And what was the appointment about?”

Patrick scratched his head. “I think we were discussing replacing all of your bank’s furniture.”

“You think? Mr. Framer, may I remind you that we have already gone past discussing drafts? You already submitted your proposals and we are now on the verge of deciding. But we wanted to see some samples, and that’s why I asked you to be here today—with the samples.”

“Of course you’d need the samples! I just… left them back in my office.”

“I don’t believe this. Are you sure you want to do business with my bank?”

Patrick nodded hastily. “Of course I do, sir. Let me quickly dash back and get the samples.”

Mr. Smith glanced at his wristwatch. “When? Now? At ten minutes to three?”

“I can make it. Let me go.”

“Sure, you can make it to your office and back in less than ten minutes right? You must be a serious joker.”

“No, I mean it. Let me go—”

Mr. Smith waved his hand dismissively. “Please leave now. Just go and sort yourself out.”

“Sir, please—”

“Good day, Mr. Framer,” he said flatly.

Patrick stood there. He couldn’t believe what had just happened. He had rushed all the way to the bank without the samples. He glanced at his phone again, as if finding the messages was going to help salvage the situation he was in.

“I said you need to leave, Mr. Framer. Or do you want me to call security?”

Patrick shook his head. He turned and walked out of the office.



Chapter 2


In his car, he opened his phone again. Now, he could see the messages, all marked as read. He had even made a note on his calendar.

He took a deep breath and sighed. Damn. What a loss.

This professional relationship had been cultivated for several months now. If he had closed this bank’s deal, it would have enabled him to meet his target for the quarter. Now he had to start from scratch, looking for another prospective client.

But first thing’s first, he reminded himself.

He picked up his phone and dialled a number. It was his second client for the day, a bookstore.

“Hello,” Patrick said, as the caller picked up the line. “It’s Patrick Framer from Elegant Pieces.”

“Hello, Patrick. How are you doing?”

“I’m fine, thank you. I just called to confirm our appointment for today.”

“Today? But I’m out of town right now.”

“You’re out of town?”

“Yes. Didn’t you get the email I sent three days ago?”

“Sorry, no I don’t recall getting any emails from you.”

“Patrick, I did send you an email three days ago. I cancelled today’s appointment because I was going to be traveling.”

“Is that so?” Patrick asked, as he ran his hand through his hair. “I really don’t recall getting any emails from you.”

“But you confirmed that it was fine to cancel.”

He began to blink rapidly. “I did?”

“Yes, Patrick. We even rescheduled our meeting to next Wednesday.”

He opened his emails and did a quick search. Then he found her email and his written response. “Yes, yes, you’re absolutely right. I’m really sorry for this.”

“No, that’s alright. Was there anything else?”

“What time do you want to meet on Wednesday?”

“Let’s make it eleven.”

“Okay. Eleven AM next Wednesday,” he confirmed, setting a reminder on his phone. “I’ll see you then. Do have a wonderful trip.”

“Thank you, Patrick.”

When he hung up, he glanced around. He was still in the parking lot of the bank. He checked his phone again just to make sure that he had noted down the appointment properly. He nodded to himself, then drove off.

As he headed home, he reflected on what had happened that day. He shrugged. You can’t always win, he mused.

When he got home, he had a bath to relax. Then he went to the kitchen and took out a bottle of red wine and a glass from the cupboard, and went to his bedroom.

Patrick turned on the TV and settled in bed with his glass of wine. He recognised the programme that was showing—it was one of his favourite series. He glanced at the wall clock. It was only eight o’clock. He figured that he could do a bit of work when the programme was over in an hour’s time.

He was wrong.

Soon he was fast asleep.

He suddenly woke up with a start. He was sweating profusely, lying in the dark, completely covered by his blanket. But he could hear the programme he had been watching still playing in the background.

He closed his eyes as he took a couple of deep breaths. Thank goodness, he thought, opening his eyes again. He hadn’t slept as much as he thought. But his blanket wasn’t only making him sweat; it was making it extremely difficult for him to breathe.

Patrick reached up to pull down the blanket. Suddenly, he realised that something was awfully wrong. No matter how many times he tried, he was unable to pull the blanket off his face. Each time he tried, his hands would simply pass through the blanket.

Patrick felt his heart begin to beat out of rhythm. Terrified, he jumped out of his bed. As he did, he felt a wave of dizziness flood his brain. He could not deny it, he was feeling very dizzy.

Is it a heart attack? Or a stroke?

Now Patrick could feel himself seriously panicking. He had to do something quickly.

Then an idea struck him—he could rush to his neighbour’s apartment. He could ask them to call an ambulance or maybe drive him to the hospital themselves.

That’s a good idea, Patrick thought as he raced for his apartment’s door. But as he reached for the door handle, his hand simply passed through it as if it wasn’t there in the first place.

He blinked and looked at his hands. He tried several times to grab the door handle and each time his hand passed straight through, just like it had with his blanket.

Panicking, he tried to beat down on his door. He hoped that the noise would alert someone in the next apartment, and someone would come to check on him. But again, his hands just passed through the door as if it wasn’t there.

At this point, he began to freak out. Am I dead? When did I die? How could I be dead? Just like that, without any warning?

Patrick could now feel himself hyperventilating. He began to cry. “God, no! Please help me! I can’t die like this!”

There was a flash of light, then he heard a zap.

Patrick found himself lying down on his bed. He was no longer standing in front of his apartment’s door. He was in his bed, just like before. The blanket was still over his sweaty face. But this time, he was able to reach up, grasp the blanket and pull it off him.

As soon as the blanket was off his face, Patrick jumped out of bed and ran out of his room. He stopped in his living room, panting heavily. He stood there for a while, trying to catch his breath. Afterwards, Patrick began pacing around the room, occasionally casting a furtive glance in the direction of his bedroom.

Finally, he sat down on his sofa, exhausted. Even though he was tired, he knew that there was no way he was going back into that room to sleep.

He lay there on the sofa until he fell asleep.




In the morning, he snatched up his smartphone to call Dr. Roberts. He quickly described his most recent episode.

“Well, that sounds perfectly normal,” Dr. Roberts reassured him.

“Normal? Doctor, I’ve never experienced something like that before. It felt like… like I was a ghost or something!”

“Yes, I understand, but that’s normal. Scientific research has shown that a very high percentage of patients suffering from sleep paralysis usually suffer out-of-body experiences like the one you mentioned.”

“Out of body? What?”

“An out-of-body experience. That is what happened to you last night. It is perfectly normal.”

“I can’t see how feeling like a ghost is normal, Doctor.”

“It is, especially with your present condition. It goes hand in hand with sleep paralysis. Most times though, it should be triggered.”


“You mentioned being upset about losing your contract with the bank, right?”

Patrick ran his fingers through his hair. “Yes, I did.”

“And then you fell back into bad habits.”

“Okay yes, I drank wine and watched TV. But I was stressed, Doctor! That contract would have made a huge difference to me had I won it.”

“I understand. Just cheer up! Once you’re fit and healthy again, you can win new contracts to make up for that temporary loss. But you need to be focused; you need to be strong and healthy.”

“You’re right. I need to focus.”

“So, you’re going to go out today with that commitment in your heart and mind, Mr. Framer.”

“Yes, I’ll work on getting strong and healthy.”

After speaking with Dr. Roberts, he called his mother.

“Are you sure you weren’t just having a nightmare?” she asked, after he recounted his ordeal.

“No, Mum. It was an out-of-body experience.”

“A what experience?”

“An out-of-body experience,” Patrick repeated. “That’s what my sleep therapist called it.”

“I see. So, you shouldn’t be worried. Since she told you what it was, then you should take it as it is.”

“Yes Mum, I will.”

“And whenever you can squeeze out time from that work of yours, can you do me a favour?”

“Of course, what is it?”

“Find yourself a girl and settle down.”

Patrick chuckled. “Mum... Not this again.”

“Don’t ‘mum’ me, young man! You need to get yourself a girl and settle down. I’m sure if you were already settled with someone, none of this out-of-mind or out-of-body stuff would be happening!”

“Alright, alright. Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve got to run off now.”

“Yes, you keep running, but I’m telling you—the best solution to all these sleep problems of yours is to get yourself a good girl to take care of you.”

“Okay, Mum. I love you.”




Chapter 3


The following weeks were uneventful for Patrick. He did not experience any out-of-body experiences and his sleep paralysis seemed to have been improving.

At work, he had made some progress with new leads and was closing a lot of sales. He could already picture himself winning one of his company’s many awards for excellence.

Three months later, Patrick arrived home feeling upbeat and excited. Yes, he was tired from an exhausting day, but he was happy about how business was moving for him and his company.

He had finished earlier than usual because he had a conference to attend in the evening.

Once he had showered and dressed, Patrick sat down in his living room. He checked his watch and saw that he still had a couple of hours before the conference was scheduled to begin. He unbuttoned his shirt, kicked off his shoes, then lay down on his sofa.

Just a little power nap before I head out, he thought. He recalled what Dr. Roberts had recommended—whenever he could, he should strive to have a brief nap during the day. This would help his body to grow accustomed to sleep. He had to admit that her advice was working so far.

As he was starting to drift off, his smartphone rang.

Patrick sighed. He really didn’t want to pick up any calls that moment, because he was almost asleep. He reluctantly reached for his phone and sat up to hold it to his ear more easily.

“Hello?” Patrick answered, without looking at the caller ID.

There was no response.

“Hello?” he repeated.

Still, no response.

Cursing, he dropped the phone into his pocket and stood up. He was feeling irritated and angry. His nap had been cut short by a missed call.

Missed call?

He glanced at the screen of his phone. The call was still engaged, he raised it to his ear again, but he couldn’t hear anything but static.

“Hello?” a voice finally said.

“Yes, hello?” Patrick repeated. “Who is this?”

There was more static.

“Hello? I can’t hear you. You’re breaking up,” Patrick said.

“Let me in,” the caller screamed in a harsh, deep, demonic growl.

Patrick was jarred and shocked to his marrow at the sudden and dramatic change in the mysterious caller’s voice.

Out of fear, he threw his phone away and stepped backward. As his phone hit the wall, it shattered into several pieces. Just as he was about to catch his breath, his house began to shake and shudder. It was as if there was a massive earthquake.

This can’t be happening, Patrick thought. In all the time I have lived in this city, there had never been an earthquake. If there was going to be one, the entire city would have been alerted, but there had been no news. So why now?

Patrick noticed that his vision was becoming blurred. Everything around him began to morph. His door mutated from a rectangular shape to a hole filled with kaleidoscope lights. The furniture began to slowly merge together until there was just one huge lump. His television set started to grow until it filled the entire wall. The floor was rising, and he found himself losing his balance and sliding downwards. He reached for the furniture to prevent himself from slipping away, but there were no edges or corners to hold.

He waved his hands around, bewildered and completely freaked out. He closed his eyes. God, please help me, he prayed frantically as everything began to spin, turning all the objects that were around him into a whirling pool of confusion.

Patrick’s eyes popped open. He looked around and was startled to discover that he was lying on his sofa. Abruptly, he sat up and checked the side table. His smartphone was still on it. He reached for it with quivering hands. The phone was still intact.

He looked slowly around his living room. Everything was still in order—the furniture, his television, even the door. Everything was in place.

He remembered what had led to all this in the first place. He quickly scanned his call history. He could feel his heart racing with apprehension. No call had come in since he had left the office.

That’s impossible, Patrick thought. He scanned the call history again. Still there was nothing.

He sighed and held his head in his hands. He couldn’t understand it. He remembered that harsh and demonic voice.

He checked his phone and the wall clock. It had been barely few minutes since his attempted nap. There was still plenty of time before his conference.

Patrick shook his head. That did not make sense at all. How long had he napped? How long had the experience lasted?

He picked up his phone again. He called Dr. Roberts and explained what had just happened.

She listened to him attentively. Afterwards, she asked him to come to the clinic.

“You mean today?”

“Yes, Mr. Framer. If you can make it, I’d like to see you today. We’re open late, if that helps.”

He glanced at his wall clock. “I have a conference at 5 PM, but as soon as it’s over, I’ll come to see you.”

“I’ll be expecting you.”

After dropping the call, he drove straight to the conference venue. They were just starting when he arrived. He found a seat somewhere in the middle and settled down. As the first speaker mounted the podium, Patrick’s phone began to ring.

He checked the number. It was unfamiliar. His mind flashed back to the incident earlier that day. He did not want a repeat of it, so he ignored the call.

But the caller was persistent and would not stop. Feeling infuriated, Patrick pulled out the phone and put it on silent.

“Why not answer the call?” someone asked. Patrick turned to see a young woman sitting next to him.

“No, I don’t need to,” he smiled.

“But it might be important,” she suggested.

Patrick shook his head. “No, trust me, it’s not, ” he smiled. Then he lowered his voice. “I’m just going to ignore it so I can enjoy the conference.”

The young woman nodded and looked away. “Sure, no problem. I only wanted you to let me in.”

The last statement caught Patrick’s attention. He looked at her sharply, but she had already turned away. “Excuse me. What did you just say?”

But she did not respond, or even turn to face him.

Patrick could feel his curiosity growing. He reached out his hand to tap her shoulder. “Excuse me,” he repeated, slightly louder. “What did you just say?”

She spun around to look at him. When she did, he was taken aback. Instead of the young woman’s face he had seen before, he saw the face of a hideous creature. It had several eyes and an upturned nose with three nostrils; its mouth was a wide slit with several teeth sticking out.

“I said let me in.”

Patrick screamed and jumped backwards. As he did, he tumbled over an attendee sitting on the other side. In the process, he crashed over another attendee and then another. Soon, there was a large commotion as Patrick struggled to regain his balance.

The presenter on stage was distracted by what was happening and had to pause. Security personnel hurried over to where Patrick was.

“I’m telling you, there was a monster right here next to me!”

“Excuse me, sir. This is a serious business conference that you are interrupting,” said one of the security officers.

“I know that, but there’s a monster here!” Patrick insisted. “Doesn’t that mean anything to any of you?”

“A monster? Where?”

Patrick pointed to the chair, expecting to see the same beast. But it was not. Instead, he saw the same young woman that he’d spoken with earlier. She was staring at him just like everyone else, with a bemused expression on her face.

“You seem to be hallucinating, sir,” the officer commented, unimpressed.

“No, no, no, I’m sure of what I saw!”

The officer nodded. “Please, would you mind leaving this conference?”

Patrick stood his ground. “I’m not leaving. I want to stay.”

“But you are causing a distraction,” another officer said.

“That’s because you people can’t see what I’m talking about,” Patrick shouted. “There was a monster, a beast, sitting right there!”

“Please sir,” the first officer said, gripping his arm. “You have to leave.”

Patrick struggled to get free from them, but their grip was vice-like as they led him outside. After he had been kicked out, the doors were closed behind him. Patrick stood and glared at the door. Outside were some more security officers. He walked up to them. One of them raised his hand. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“You have to let me back in,” Patrick said. “I am supposed to be inside.”

One of the security officers nodded. “But you were just thrown out. You can’t go back in.”

“You don’t understand,” Patrick wailed. “It wasn’t my fault! You have to let me back in.”

There was a sudden zap and a flash of light.

Patrick blinked and shook his head, as he felt everything around him spinning uncontrollably. He struggled to grab onto something. He began to wave his hands around desperately, hoping he would grasp onto something, or someone.

Patrick blinked again. He was holding his smartphone and looking at the screen as it rang. He shook his head and turned to look around, trying to understand where he was now.

He was back inside the conference hall. At the podium, the guest speaker was still talking, uninterrupted, and the audience was listening with rapt attention.

“Excuse me, what was that?”

Patrick looked around and saw the same young woman sitting next to him. She was frowning slightly with a quizzical expression on her face.

“I’m sorry, what was what?” Patrick asked, completely disorientated.

“You just asked me to leave you alone?”

“Did I?” Patrick asked. His phone was in silent mode but kept buzzing audibly in his hand.

“Yes, but I only asked if you were going to answer that call.”

“No, no, I didn’t mean you,” Patrick lied. “I meant my phone, the person calling me.”

“Oh. I see.”

As she turned back to concentrate on the speaker, Patrick could feel his heart pounding again. He knew what had just happened—it was another out-of-body experience.

He stared at the buzzing phone in his hand. He knew what he had to do.

Excusing himself, he briskly exited the hall. Once he was outside, he raised the phone to his ear. “What? What is it? Just leave me alone?”

“Patrick?” a familiar voice asked.

He pulled the phone away from his ear to read the screen. The unknown number was gone. It now said his mother had been calling this whole time. He put the phone back to his ear, perplexed.

“Patrick, is everything alright?”

“I’m sorry, Mum, yes, everything’s fine. I thought it was someone else.”

“Someone else?”

“Yes, Mum. Someone’s been pestering me on the phone.”

“Really? A friend of yours?”

“No, Mum. Not a friend. It’s… sort of complicated.”

“Okay. I see.”

“What did you call me for, anyway?”

“I wanted to remind you about what we discussed earlier.”

“What did we discuss earlier?” he wondered. “Oh, wait, I remember!”

“You do? What was it?”

“What else? It was about me getting married, settling down, finding a girl of my own. Well, maybe not in that order, but you get the gist, don’t you?”

He heard his mother sigh. “I don’t get any gist, Patrick. And that’s not what I was calling you about either.”

“It wasn’t?”

“No, of course it wasn’t. You can settle down whenever you want, for all I care. But there is a more important issue I want to talk to you about.”

“Really? And what is that?”

“Let me in,” she said in a deep and raspy voice.

Patrick was so taken aback that he held away his phone in horror. Then something came over him. He did not want to smash his phone like he did during his earlier experience. He was tired of running away in fear.

“Mum?” he asked, bracing himself for what might happen next.

“I am not your mother, Patrick,” the same demonic voice replied.

“Who are you?”

“You must let me in,” the demonic voice continued.

“Yes, I know; but I have to know who exactly I’m letting in, and where am I letting you into?”

There was a pause. “I’ll be seeing you soon, Patrick.”

Then the line went dead.

Panicking, Patrick raced to his car. He drove quickly out of the conference venue, heading for Dr. Robert’s office. He had to get to her as quickly as possible.

Once he arrived, he rushed into her office. She was shocked to see him barge in. There were two other patients with her, a young couple.

“I’m sorry, Doctor,” Patrick panted. “But I have to see you urgently.”

“I was not expecting you yet, Mr. Framer. Weren’t you attending a conference?”

“I was but you have to listen to this,” Patrick said.

She turned to the couple. “I apologise for the intrusion. You’ll both have to excuse us for a moment, please.”

Patrick shook his head. “No, no, let them stay. It’ll be good for them to hear what’s happening. Something is wrong with me, I know. I can tell. And it’s beyond sleep paralysis or any out-of-body experience of any kind.” He then told her everything that happened to him that day, while the two other patients listened in disbelief.

Dr. Roberts was gawking at him when he was through. “Did all this seriously happen?”

“Of course, Doctor. Look, I know it was a long story but it’s absolutely true.” He turned to the other patients. “I wanted to share this with you two so that hopefully you or maybe someone you tell my tale to might have an explanation for what these events really are. I have every confidence in the ability of Dr. Roberts here, but I believe that the things happening to me are beyond her expertise, knowledge and power.

“This is not just the usual sleep paralysis or out-of-body experiences; this is far weirder, more intense than anything I have ever felt.” He turned back to Dr. Roberts. “You knew me before these incidents started. I used to have dreams and nightmares, but they were never this intense or vivid. And now they are happening when I am awake. I wasn’t asleep at the conference. I know I’m freaking out, but I can’t help it, Doctor. I need help. I need help, Doctor.”

The doctor nodded and waved at the two other patients. “Sorry, but could you please excuse us?”

The couple left hurriedly. The doctor walked around from her seat and sat down next to Patrick on the sofa. She looked at him. He was feeling dejected and had his head in his hands. “Mr. Framer, can I ask you something?”

Patrick sighed. He did not look up. “Yes, go ahead, Doctor. What is it?”

“Let me in.”

Patrick gasped when he heard that deep, demonic voice again. He raised his head from his hands to see the doctor transforming to the hideous monster he had encountered earlier. It reached for his face with hands that had long, sharp fingernails. As it buried its teeth into his flesh, Patrick let out a blood-curdling scream.

Outside the doctor’s office, the other patients in the reception heard nothing. They were patiently waiting for their turn to see Dr. Roberts.



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