A six-year-old girl’s behaviour gradually begins to changes. She grows quiet, reserved, and shies away from other children. One day she starts talking to an imaginary playmate. She calls him Tom.
Her parents are told that the imaginary friend is a positive sign, but they remain worried. Their daughter speaks of a stern pretend-friend who acts in aggressive and frightening ways. Soon he also begins to tell her what to do, and the small family’s life really begins to fall apart. They are being dragged towards a world devoid of all but fear.
In parallel, another story plays out that seems to be gravitating towards the same void. It begins with a strange phenomenon one autumn evening in Bodø in 1902: Darkness falls, but it doesn’t get dark. A stonemason fills his pockets with stone and wades out into Vågøy lake. A psychiatrist begins using Jung’s methods and is forced to leave his job at the asylum and move to Bergen. Two generations later, his grandson has isolated himself in the cellar of the psychiatrist’s villa and is making preparations to face up to the consequences of an innovative ideological belief.