Locked-In Syndrome

David’s in my face, then Ricky. Please not Ricky, my heart racing.

“Worst crash they’ve ever had on I-70.”

I can’t move.

David, I beg with my eyes. Trying to blink.

“Crippled. Can’t hear us, she’s a vegetable.”

But I can, I can hear you.

I’m here, my David. See me. Help me.

David, in his doctor voice, “I’ll be back for rounds.”

David—Don’t leave…Ricky…fight…chasing me…car crash…god…

Ricky seals an envelope. “Just about to send your alimony check. Enjoy it now, eh honey?”

Ricky comes at my face with a pillow.

I can’t scream.


Susan Hatters Friedman, MD recently returned from living and working in New Zealand to America, where she is a professor of forensic psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University. She is also pursuing a Master’s in Crime and Thriller Writing at the University of Cambridge. She recently served as editor of the academic volume “Family Murder: Pathologies of Love and Hate”.