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First pages

Chapter 1

Audio Transcript from the Files of Dr. Leslie Theissen

Patient No: 2028-4

Age: 35

Modality: Individual Session

Session # 121

 

Dr: Good morning, Nina. I wanted to begin today’s session with a little well-being assessment, just to see how you’re progressing and healing. Can you tell me how you’re feeling today? The usual ten point scale system, with a one being the worst and a ten being the best you’ve ever felt in your life.

 

Nina: I…to be honest with you, I’m probably a one right now.

 

Dr: You feel the worst you’ve ever felt in your life? I thought the last time we spoke you were doing a bit better? Want to tell me what’s going on?

 

Nina: The thing is, I haven’t been completely truthful with you lately.

 

Dr: Oh? How so?

 

Nina: First of all, before we get into it, what are the laws? I mean, if I tell you something, I’m protected right? Under the Patient-Physician Privilege Act?

 

Dr: Are you about to divulge something you’ve done that’s unlawful? Nina, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I want you to think carefully before you…

 

Nina: Leslie, you’ve known me since I was twelve years old. I’m telling you this as a friend. I just need you to help me work this out. I really think I might be going crazy here and who better to confess that to than your psychiatrist, right?

 

Dr: Yes. Well, I am here for you. You know that. I want to help you, that’s always been my goal, but there are certain things I can’t protect you from. Certain people…

 

Nina: What does that mean?

 

Dr: Just that there are probably some things that are better keep out of this office.

 

Nina: I thought I could bring anything to you. Wasn’t that the agreement?

 

Dr: But really, Nina… Have you been? You said yourself you haven’t been holding up your end of the deal.

 

Nina: Well, no. But now I think I’m ready.

 

Dr: Why now?

 

Nina: Because I’m not sure where else to turn.

 

Dr: What about your brother?

 

Nina: Adam has been pretty focused on his work right now. Besides, I’m not sure I can trust him.

 

Dr: You’re not sure if you can trust your own brother?

 

Nina: I know that sounds awful, but…

 

Dr: From everything you’ve told me, your brother has always been there for you. Why the sudden doubt?

 

Nina: You said it yourself. There are certain people you can’t protect me from. I think you’re right about that. I… think I was being following last week.

 

Dr: This paranoia is likely caused by your high level of stress, your lack of sleep, everything you’ve gone through.

 

Nina: I don’t think so.

 

Dr: What makes you think someone was following you?

 

Nina: I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with what I think I may have done.

 

Dr: Again, I don’t think this is a good…

 

Nina: It doesn’t matter at this point if I tell you. I either did it or I didn’t. If I did, it’s only a matter of time. They’ll have surveillance footage, or someone else will have picked it up on their device. Either way, they’ll know. And if I did it they’ll come for me, just like they came for Tom.

 

Dr: Tom?

 

Nina: The man who bombed the plaza.

 

Dr: What does he have to do with all of this?

 

Nina: Everything. He and I… we have a lot in common.

 

Dr: Surely you’re in a fragile state, as it to be expected given what you’ve gone through, but…

 

Nina: It’s more than that! I’ve been experiencing things, just like Tom.

 

Dr: Okay. Why don’t we take a few deep breaths and calm down a little.

 

Nina: …

 

Dr: It pains me to say this to you, but you may be starting to display some early signs, like your mother, but I doubt…

 

Nina: No, it’s not that.

 

Dr: Nina, you’ve always known the odds of getting early onset were very high.

 

Nina: I’m telling you. It’s not that!

 

Dr: What do you think it is?

 

Nina: I don’t know. Something else. Something worse. And now, I think I’ve done something. Something terrible. But…

 

Dr: But, what?

 

Nina: I can’t remember.

 

Dr: You can’t remember?

 

Nina: I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

***

Midwest Regional Newsfeed

Wednesday, August 17

 

A 5’ 7” Caucasian female with light brown hair is wanted in connection with the sniper-based attack that took place in the Central Transit Hub on Monday, Aug 15. At least fourteen people are dead and twenty-six more injured. The atrocity happened at approximately 5:25 p.m.

 

According to several witnesses at the scene, the woman was wearing dark jeans and a black t-shirt. She had a blue pack strapped to her back as she fired into the busy station during rush hour from somewhere near a side exit. She was last seen getting on a Subzone 4 train. If anybody has information about this individual, they are asked to contact the Terror Hotline.

 

This comes in the wake of a series of similar attacks that have taken place over the last few months all around the Midwest Region. The motive behind these crimes is still unknown as authorities say at this point no international or homegrown terror group has come forward to claim responsibility. The investigation is ongoing.

***

Nina wanted nothing more than to forget; conversely, she remembered it all with stark clarity.

 

It had been a regular Saturday morning. She sat at her work console situated in the middle of her living room, trying to wake up. The screen in front of her reflected back her current situation: coffee mug topped off with extra cream swaddled between her hands like a warm sleeping baby, comfy clothes draped her body, and her hair was stacked up on top of her head in a messy bun. Words churned in her brain as she struggled to spit them out of her mouth into the speaker.

 

She wanted to blame it on the fact that it was still early, but her attempt at composing a quick and easy feel-good piece for the local newsfeed about the grand opening of a pet boutique on Main Street wasn’t coming together as well as she’d hoped. The new shop was handing out free doggie bags for the first fifty customers that included gourmet canine cookies and a line of fancy feline beverages contained in sweet little glass jugs with bows on them.

 

It was a slow news week, and as a freelance police reporter living in a small Midwest community she often had to supplement. She didn’t always mind the lighter fare–after all, it allowed her to stay at home with her daughter–but this piece was way outside of her element. Growing up, she didn’t have a pet. Her daughter was allergic, so they didn’t have one now. Although Nina had never been a pet owner, that wasn’t really the problem. She needed to work some heart into the story. That was hard for her to do. Crime reporting suited her strange brain better. Facts. Stats. Hard numbers. Dates and times. She didn’t do puppies and kitties as easily. They involved adjectives like fluffy and adorable and those weren’t typically the first things to pop into her head. She wasn’t callous, but the very unusual trait she possessed made for a different style of writing–a more methodical and calculated one.

 

She’d gone to talk with the storeowners the night before. They were a fun, young couple driven by their love of animals. Nina replayed the conversation in her head verbatim, grasping for the right tone for the story. She distinctly recalled deleting the last paragraph and reworking it again before she got up and went to the window. She opened it, breathing in spring. After a string of rainy days, the clouds had finally lifted and brought the first bit of warm sun. To a Midwesterner that was everything.

 

It was under these conditions that her husband and daughter had ventured out for some Saturday morning daddy/daughter time. They left the house at 7:42 a.m. for a walk and to grab some pastries at their favorite cafe.

 

Even if Nina had been invited along, she wouldn’t have gone. She knew how special daddy/daughter time was, and she also needed that time for herself. She had to finish up this draft. At 8:17 the conclusion of the piece came to her after a bit of a struggle, but she sat back down and knocked it out. Adding a few final touches to what she knew was still a somewhat lackluster story, she was ready to get it off of her plate, so she submitted it to her editor at 8:22.

 

Hearing sirens begin to wail outside, Nina remembered wondering briefly if the sound was an indication of a more exciting story coming down the pipeline. This was how police reporters thought. It was how she’d thought for a good majority of her days, right up until that minute. 8:28 a.m. was the last time she would get excited about hearing emergency vehicles.

 

She sent her husband a quick message, just to be safe. She told herself she was overreacting and distracted herself by reading some of the newsfeed as she waited for his reply. She tried to relax and take advantage of what she assumed would be the last few minutes of her quiet morning. As soon as Ben and Tessa returned, she’d be back in the thick of mommy mode. She had to get her nine year old to dance class along with a million other chores on her list. It was going to be a busy Saturday.

 

She got up to get herself a third cup of coffee. From the kitchen, she heard her console ping. She assumed it was Ben finally getting back to her. Mug in hand, she walked back into the living room that also doubled as her workspace.

 

“Answer,” she demanded loudly of the console over the increasing overture of sirens outside.

 

“Hey, Nina,” her friend and agent Shannon said. “I was just out for a morning jog. There was a huge boom. Some kind of a blast.”

 

“A blast?”

 

“An explosion of some sort.”

 

“Is that why I’m hearing an absurd amount of sirens?”

 

“Probably. I couldn’t see much, but I also didn’t wait around too long. I thought you might want to get over there to cover it.”

 

“Where?”

 

“Main Street.”

 

At 8:47 Nina dropped her mug where she stood and ran out the front door, not because her work called, but because her husband had not and Elmer’s Cafe was located on Main.

 

In the several blocks she ran, she searched the intersections and the cross roads, hoping beyond hope to catch a glimpse of her family returning from their morning jaunt. She did not.

 

When she arrived at the plaza, the small business district on Main, she was out of breath. She checked her device again for a message from Ben. She took giant gulps of air and looked around at the commotion. What she saw wasn’t the memory that replayed in her head afterward. Possibly because her vision was starting to blur. The thing she remembered most, that she played back later with succinct recall, was the noise.

 

Normally, this small community was incredibly quiet, so the hefty flutter of the security chopper already circling overhead, the emergency vehicles screeching onto the scene with sirens whining, the voices of men shouting, a woman letting out a sobering shriek–these sounds more than anything remained ever present in Nina’s mind.

 

Once she regained a bit of composure, she took in the scene. It was so surreal, it seemed imaginary. A massive hole had erupted in the dead center of the stretch of popular businesses along Main Street, including the pet boutique Nina had just written about for the newsfeed. Small fires crackled from various piles of brick. Voices of the emergency crews barking instruction began to soften in Nina’s head. The throng of people rushing around in front of her, it all began to morph into one big, swirling ball of chaos. In the middle of it all was Elmer’s Cafe. Once shiny and new, the sparkling facade now appeared before Nina as a breathing dragon. Smoke puffed and billowed from the gaping hole in the brick and mortar. Ash and debris floated around in the air and Nina sucked it all in as she inhaled and exhaled, trying to stay upright.

 

A young policeman with a buzz cut began stretching yellow tape around the open wound like a band aid, only it wasn’t going to fix this injury. Instead it functioned only to clear a path for the EMTs who disappeared into the dragon.

 

Nina moved just to the edge of the tape, feeling outside of her body as she watched, dizzy with coffee acid rising in the pit of her otherwise empty stomach. This was a familiar scene to her in some ways. As a police reporter, she’d covered this story a dozen times or so now. Random strikes of terrorism had become an all too common occurrences in a world full of malcontent, displaced rage. Movie theaters, airports, shopping malls, a school. Each time the motive was slightly different: A homegrown terrorist, a jilted lover, a disgruntled co-worker, a sociopath. She’d reported on them all while working in the city, but never had it affected her on this level. Never had it occurred in her quaint little gated community.

 

When the local news crew arrived, they started setting up the equipment around her like it was just another day at the office. She stood numb as they worked around her. These were all people she knew, her friends and colleagues. Tony, the first AC, asked her a question. She usually had very specific answers, but today she did not. He asked her again. “How long ago did this happen?” When she didn’t respond a second time, he said, “You okay, Nina?” This time, in response, she mumbled something to him about Ben and Tessa being in there. She pointed toward the fire-breathing dragon.

 

She recalled another person appearing by her side at that point, a hand placed on her shoulder. Nina’s vision was a narrow swath. She had no idea who stood next to her, nor did she bother trying to figure it out. She heard, felt, and saw nothing in those moments, except the mouth of the beast. It breathed in and out in a way she was incapable of doing. The minutes elongated into what might have been a suspension of time all together, until finally stretchers started to emerge from the wreckage one by one, wedged between burly blue uniforms.

 

Nina’s tunnel vision focused in on one particular stretcher moving toward the set of ambulances in the wait. A white sheet covered a small figure, creating nothing more than an anthill of a bulge. She knew what that meant, the fact that the slight mound was being concealed from view entirely. No oxygen was being administered; no machines were attached to monitor a tiny heartbeat. The entity that lay under that sheet was absolutely and utterly still.

 

She wanted to run to that stretcher but she was stuck in place–frozen for fear of what she might find when she got there. Maybe if she remained in place none of it would be real. She couldn’t dare look for fear that it was; and above all, if it truly was real she didn’t want that memory to be etched in her brain.

 

Even with someone there holding her up, Nina’s knees began to wobble as two men hoisted the stretcher into the vehicle. In the tussle of the lift, something broke loose from the sheet. A small lifeless bit of flesh poked out and dangled off the side of the stretcher. Her sneaker and sock were gone, the skin a darkened char. Nina couldn’t see anything but the foot, maybe an inch or two of ankle, but it was enough. She didn’t need to see the little socks with pink and yellow hearts to know to whom that appendage belonged. A mother always knew.

 

Her mind gave way to the magnitude, her body buckled under it, and she sank to the pavement.

 

***

MwRg Local Newsfeed

Sunday, May 22

 

It has been determined that a half dozen small paper bags left inside of three businesses on Main Street in the Evergreen Community yesterday were filled with explosives that killed six people including a nine year old girl and her father. The other victims were a couple in their twenties, a 57 year old retired female and a city worker, age 32. Two cafe employees who were stationed behind the counter of Elmer’s were both injured, along with a fireman who was hurt when a partial collapse of the brick wall occurred while he was trying to get the remaining injured and trapped victims out of the building. The fireman and baristas are expected to recover from their non-life threatening injuries.

 

As to why the bombs were left, it’s still unclear at this time. No terrorist organizations have come forward to take responsibility. Because of this, authorities believe at this time it was likely an individual act of random violence.

 

Surveillance footage from inside and outside of the area are being examined and an investigation is ongoing. If any witnesses saw anything unusual, they are being asked to contact the Terror Hotline.

***

Nina wanted nothing more than to forget; only she could not, because she had a condition called hyperthymesia. She remembered every second of every minute of every day of her life.

***

Excerpt from Wikipedia:

 

American neurobiologists Elizabeth Parker, Larry Cahill, and James McGaugh identified two defining characteristics of hyperthymesia: spending an excessive amount of time thinking about one's past, and displaying an extraordinary ability to recall specific events from one's past.[1] The word "hyperthymesia" derives from Ancient Greek: hyper- ("excessive") and thymesis ("remembering").

***

The way Nina saw it, she was cursed with a blessing, or perhaps blessed with a curse. Her super memory, on the one hand, allowed her to recall all of the amazing details of her life exactly how she’d experienced them. Her reality, the events that shaped her and the world around her–everything she took in visually–worked like a rolling filmstrip in her head. She could virtually rewind and fast forward to days as if they were a permanent pictorial Rolodex. She had no idea how or why it worked like this–it just did and had since she was a very young girl. She hadn’t trained her brain, nor had she experienced any sort of traumatic head injury as a kid. She wasn’t abused. She had no mental illnesses. Her childhood and upbringing were incredibly normal for the most part. There wasn’t anything exceptional about Nina Rogers, except for the fact that she remembered everything.

Chapter 2

Chronology. The understanding of when things happened, the order in which life presented itself, this was and always had been the driving force in Nina’s life. Maybe it was all tied to the hyperthymesia; she wasn’t sure, but for her, there was a desire–no, it was a very real need–for linear organization. A massive sense of satisfaction came from being able to place events into a very specific chronological continuum and keep them there. This special talent helped Nina make heads or tails of life. She liked being able to lined up the individual pieces of her life in a neat and tidy row. Memories for the average person were very loose things. They had gaps and often felt fuzzy around the edges. This was not the case for Nina. She had the power and ability to keep her memories sorted in a perfect sequential timetable.

 

The curse of her gift was that recounting, recording, filing–the simple act of existing in every minute of every day–was a lot of work and often felt mentally taxing.

 

She kept it under wraps. Up until about five years ago she didn’t even know of another living soul who possessed the same abilities. Then one day, out of the blue, a global pop sensation, a woman named Anna Macken, went public in one of her many interviews explaining her gift of perfect memory. Maybe it was because she was already such a public figure, used to the incessant tabloid reports and paparazzi invading her personal life, or maybe she was simply just trying to show another side of herself, that she was more than just a great body with an amazing voice. How could she know revealing a secret like this would kill her?

 

Having never heard of the condition before, most people didn’t believe Macken, discredited it as a publicity stunt, a cry for attention. It was a hard concept for the general population, even her fans, to wrap their brains around and because of that, they demanded proof, which was impossible to provide.

 

Even the doctors who had created the term in the very early part of the century had no hard evidence of the rare phenomenon. There had been some accounts of people claiming to recall more than the average person, but even after setting up online tests and gathering a handful of cases to study, the results were highly disputed even among the medical and scientific communities because of the lack of consistent data. It had all been highly disputed and besides the term defining the condition, no further studies or research was conducted. Until Anna.

 

Pressure mounted as Anna was completely degraded by the media and angry mobs that hounded her in public. She eventually cracked and agreed to a battery of medical tests and procedures. She was scanned, x-rayed, prodded, biopsied, and scanned again, but teams of doctors were unable to draw any concrete conclusion as to whether or not she was telling the truth and if she was, why she was in possession of a memory in such contrast to the current medical scenario in which cases of dementia were steeply on the rise.

***

Excerpt from the World Health Organization:

 

A new case of dementia is diagnosed every 3 seconds.
The number of people with dementia is expected to increase from 75 million worldwide in 2030 to 132 million in 2050.

***

Some theorized that Anna Macken was obsessed with herself, a narcissist of the highest order; so much so in fact, it was the very reason why she was able to remember the tiniest, trivial details of her life. Everything about her day was of the utmost importance to her and therefore her brain prioritized it all as worthy of long-term storage.

 

Nina didn’t believe this to be the cause, as she certainly didn’t consider herself to be special in any way. She did, however, know Anna was telling the truth, but didn’t think anything she said or did would have changed her predicament. Just because she also possessed hyperthymesia didn’t mean Nina knew what caused the phenomenon to occur. In fact, Nina’s super memory didn’t even work exactly like Anna’s. She’d watched and read the many interviews in which Anna stated that she saw her life in a sort of grid, a series of color and line patterns. Several of the interviewers quizzed her on news events from the past and Anna was able to recall the date and even the day of the week each historical event took place. In addition, she knew what she’d eaten for breakfast that day, as well as what the weather was like outside.

 

This perfect recall didn’t change the outcome. Though she answered all the questions correctly, being able to produce dates and meteorological stats off the top of her head didn’t fix her career and it slowly tanked. She was never able to regain a sense of normalcy and she took her own life a few years later. Nina read the news of Anna’s passing one morning while eating a bagel with blueberries for breakfast. It was a Thursday in October–partly cloudy, but later turned blustery with some light drizzle in the evening.

 

Nina took to the pen. It was one of her coping mechanisms. When she began the draft, it was merely an attempt to sort it all out, to try to make sense of all the loss. As it took shape, she realized what it really was: a piece for the newsfeed on hyperthymesia.

 

She’d wanted to produce something just after Anna Macken passed, but she hadn’t been able to work up the courage to tackle it then. It was too personal. Now, it felt more like a force that possessed her. She still didn’t want to do it, but she was being driven to keep writing it, for whatever reason. Besides, she couldn’t possibly investigate or work up another crime story. Just the idea of it was vulgar. Yet, she needed to keep working. Ben had a small life insurance policy, but it would only hold her over for so long. The money wasn’t necessarily the main objective; Nina had some ulterior motives in producing the piece. She was hoping to have others come forward. She needed another case to study to compile more information to see if there were more links. She needed to know if what she was going through wasn’t just a manifestation of her grief, but actually somehow also connected to the hyperthymesia.

 

While researching online, Nina stumbled upon some interesting information. In response to one question in an interview in Time Magazine, Anna explained that she recorded all of her memories on paper. The reporter asked several follow up questions about this.

***

Excerpt from Time Magazine

July ‘26

 

Q: What is the purpose of writing down all of this information if you are able to keep it stored in your brain?

 

A: There is no purpose that I’m aware of. It’s just something I do.

 

Q: Do you think that maybe you are able to remember it better because you write it all down? For example, when I was in college, my method for memorizing stuff was to write it out five times in a row. Does that somehow help you remember things?

 

A: No. I don’t think so. I never look at the papers again after I write things down.

 

Q: What do you do with them?

 

A: Just filed them away.

 

Q: That’s very curious. Wouldn’t you agree?

 

A: No. It’s just me. It feels very normal to me.

***

This made Nina feel a kinship with Anna she hadn’t previously felt. She may not have experienced things exactly like Anna, but they shared something very special. Nina knew that jotting down every minute of her life was not normal, yet here was someone else saying it felt normal to her. Nina only wished Anna were still here so she could talk to her about it. She did the next best thing she could think of–she sent Anna’s sister, Laura, a message.

 

Dear Miss Macken-Werster,

 

Foremost, I’d like to express my condolences over the loss of your sister. I’m a journalist writing an article about hyperthymesia. I’ve been studying this condition for a long time and I have acquired quite a bit of knowledge on the subject. My goal is not to discredit your sister in anyway, but to disseminate truths about hyperthymesia. I was wondering if you might be willing to help me out. Could we arrange a videoconference? I very much look forward to hearing back from you.

 

Sincerely,

 

N. A. Rogers

***

Although Nina now kept her hyperthymesia secret, she hadn’t initially. When she was a little girl, she enjoyed casually correcting people, adding bits of detail to her father’s stories at a dinner party that had been left out, or reminding her mother of the items on the grocery list accidentally left on the kitchen counter. She started writing a journal at a pretty young age, creating it to replicate a news format. She didn’t do it because she was necessarily focused on the details of her life, rather it bemused her to have such a strong recall. She’d seen news reporters deliver their daily quips and figured she just had a similar passion for the details, the capacity to recall days, dates, facts, and figures with ease. Reflecting, she wondered if it was actually more of an attempt to purge the large amount of information circulating inside her head. And there were times it did bog her down, especially in her adolescent years. It was around this time that her mother began bringing her to see a psychiatrist.

 

“It’s just to see what she thinks about your capacity for all of these finite details,” her mother said. She was a librarian who used language that did little to comfort a girl of twelve who was being told she was different.

 

It was the first time Nina realized her brain didn’t work like everyone else’s did. She saw Dr. Theissen on a Wednesday in early December. The morning had started off bright and sunny and then gave way to sleet and by the time her mother picked her up from school a half an hour early, as they walked to the transit station together the snow was coming down in fistfuls of wet clumps. Nina shivered the entire ride to the clinic, unsure if it was the dampness or her nerves. She looked out the window of the train intently, watching the giant flakes splatter as they made contact with the pavement, turning everything white. She wondered how many of the other commuters were going to see a “talking doctor.” That was how her mother explained it to her. She only wanted to talk. Nina found it funny. She wasn’t the one in her family with a problem talking.

 

It was a short ride, but it felt significant. Nina remembered her mother’s hand on her knee, an attempt to soothe her anxiety with some gentle strokes. Her mother’s soft physical presence was usually a huge comfort to Nina, but not this time. When her mother saw that it wasn’t doing the trick, she tried to use words. Her mother’s problem with words was not in speaking them. They just were never the right ones for Nina. They never seemed to help make her feel any better. Perhaps they were never the ones she wanted to hear. They often left her more confused than before her mother started speaking them. Now, for example, her mother said, “Don’t look at this as a bad thing. On the contrary, sweetie. You are like the snowflakes falling. Each one is different and unique, yet they are all beautiful. Embrace that.”

 

Nina didn’t see the snowflakes in the same way. She thought they were cold and sloppy. She had a hard time finding beauty in them.

 

Her father briefly weighed in the night before the appointment. He told her he thought she was gifted. That was the term he used, and it was all he said about the matter. She knew that wasn’t true either. She was a decent student in school, but as a whole knew she was not gifted. She had a propensity with facts and dates with some sort of personal relevance or connective threat. Those things came easily, obviously. Practical application of her vast memory was hard and she struggled with staying in the present, as she could get lost and often had a difficult time finding her way out of the past. Sometimes she missed subtle social cues because of her over stimulated mind. It wasn’t that she was introverted, not like others in her family. She just had a hard time connecting, being grounded in the here and now. She herself didn’t see it as a problem necessarily. She honestly didn’t mind being friendless, but teachers and school counselors thought differently.

 

She found the young therapist’s office to be a rather comforting space to be in, or maybe she was just happy to be out of the wet and cold. The decor was soft and beige, with some framed color photographs of birds that Nina found compelling. Captured by a macro-lens, the birds were flying above fields, over open water, across vast and varied landscapes. Something about the images settled Nina’s busy mind, made her feel grounded.

 

The doctor herself was also able to transfer that basic emotion to Nina. She was patient and kind and always ready to listen. What happened behind the closed door, Nina found, was similar to the form of purging she’d already been doing with the journaling. After each session, Nina came away feeling lighter and even perhaps a bit happier. She relaxed in small ways and that reflected back on the overall way in which she carried herself. It allowed her to come out of her social shell one small crack at a time, making her appear more accessible to her peers. She began to focus on the present if ever so slightly, and as a result started getting invited to more parties, mentioning a new friend at school now and again. This pleased her mother and led her to continue to pay for the twice-monthly sessions with the therapist.

 

Her perfunctory desire to record and report daily facts and figures did not diminish however. When Nina went on to college, she studied journalism and eventually became a news reporter. Though she considered seeing Dr. Theissen a positive experience as a whole, subconsciously, it had made her aware that this thing, this bizarre ability she possessed, made her different from everyone else and perhaps not entirely normal. She stopped verbalizing the intricate details she harbored inside her brain on that first trip to see the therapist. This, she found, also pleased her mother.

 

In adulthood, besides her family, only her husband knew about her hyperthymesia. She didn’t divulge it until they’d been seeing one another for almost six months. He wasn’t very bothered by it, saying everyone had something they were hiding. He joked that she was like a superhero, walking around with powers unknown to the likes of mere mortals. He was a comic book nerd, so this response seemed appropriate for Ben, though not what she’d been expecting.

 

She wasn’t hiding it as much as she just wasn’t interested in being singled out. She wanted to be taken seriously as a reporter, and had no desire to be put under a microscope. When Anna Macken came out, Nina watched with interest, but was relieved, especially afterward, about the decision she’d made to keep her own abilities to herself.

 

There was no reason to go around announcing it to the world. Until now.


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

Jody Wenner started writing for her high school newspaper and was hooked when one of her op eds made it to the local gazette, prompting a response from the editor. She is a Twin Cities native. When not spending time being a wife and mother, you will find her crafting up a storm.

Q. Where can readers find out more about you?
A.
https://www.facebook.com/authorjodywenner/
Q. What is the inspiration for the story?
A.
I came up with the idea for this story while pondering the theme of memory. There are varying degrees in which people recall and I wanted to play with that in the context of a futuristic landscape.
Q. This book is part of a series, tell us about your series.
A.
Book 2 in the series is a continuation of the overall plot, but also gives some answers as to why Nina's memory is failing her.

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Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Trailer In The Woods
Children's nightmares in the Adirondacks
Who Killed Becky Thatcher?
Revenge and murder in America's hometown
Extraction
The world’s not going to save itself.