For her 13th birthday, Becca Stone knows what she doesn't want. She doesn't want her movie star parents to throw her another fancy party where a bunch of kids whisper about how she's that awkward redheaded girl. She doesn't want another lace handkerchief from Grandmama because “a lady always carries one.” And she doesn't want her kid brother Hitch to give her another comic book, like Rise of the Zombie Sewer Rats, that he really wants for himself.
The good news? She doesn’t get any of those things. The bad news? She gets something much worse: a small wooden container, carved with tiny screaming figures and studded with nails. Not realizing that opening the box releases a curse, Becca does just that, revealing an ancient, crumbling scroll, four words crawling across the paper like insects: You have seven days.
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When people share their stories with me, the mechanism of healing is empathy. And empathy exists because I have felt the things they feel. Sometimes not in the same way, or to the same degree. But I use all my experience of feeling to understand how they feel, and I do my best to imagine into the gaps what it must be like for them. As both a psychotherapist, and a student of Buddhism, I believe in interdependence, the idea that we are all intricately interconnected. I maintain careful therapeutic boundaries because it is skillful and helpful to do so. But I keep interdependence in mind. We are all in this together.