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Jeneil ducks inside and curses the Cairo heat. She came here for answers, but all she’s found is sand fleas and dead ends. If only she’d never touched that hateful monkey’s paw!

In the bathroom, she splashes her face and then opens her loose robe to look: seven hands now, infantile and old, all sprouting from her body. Every few days she finds an itchy red bump, which means she’s growing another. Sometimes they twitch.

Jeneil’s not ready to take a knife to any of them, not yet. But there’s a spot on her cheek that might not be a pimple.