Chapter Fifteen: Under Pressure, Part 2

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I giggled evilly.

"Oh, HyPN0se... je bent een genie."

What now?! What fate could there possibly be for Nimja that was worse than death?! My mind couldn't bear to think about the possibilities. What was she thinking of doing to him? Hypnotizing him? Making him evil? Sending him to the deepest reaches of Tartarus?

But no.

It was worse.

Much worse.

I heard the words echoing in my head and coming out of my own mouth.

I couldn't believe I was saying them.

"Als ik hem niet kan doden ... dan zal ik hem gewoon in diskrediet brengen!"

Discredit Nimja?!

No... it couldn't be...!

Nimja was real! Hypnosis was real! It had scientific basis to it! I'd heard it in the files!

And yet...

This kind of thing was to be expected from my mother. Unlike me, she wasn't a believer in hypnosis. In fact, she hated hypnosis. She believed that it was fake and occult, and that anyone who practiced it was the spawn of the Devil, or something like that. I have no idea how she got that way, but she did.

Somehow.

But still... just the thought of discrediting Nimja's existence was absolutely horrifying!

I had to say something...

So I did.

"Maar..." I whispered, "hij is echt..."

And I knew it, too.

The minute those words came out of my mouth, I wanted to disappear. Fade from existence entirely. I prayed to myself that she hadn't heard.

But she had.

And I felt her taking control again.

"Hij is niet echt, jij idioot!"

She was right. I was an idiot. What was I thinking?

"Wat hij doet heeft geen wetenschap achter de rug!"

But hypnosis did have science behind it!

A ton of science! I had seen the articles! Oxford University did a research paper on it!

She just didn't understand that...

And all of a sudden I made a terrible mistake.

I let a single, solitary word of that barbaric language slip through my mouth:

"But—"

I regretted the word as soon as I had said it. She instantly came back, now more enraged than ever.

And I knew I deserved it.

"Maar niets! En spreek in geen geval die barbaarse taal!"

I gulped.

I couldn't even nod in agreement.

I simply looked down in shame. This berating was the least I deserved for what I had just done.

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