September 1

“But you don’t know?”
“I don’t know,” she says. “I’ll go get the doctor.” She mumbles something as she leaves, but I can’t quite make it out.
As the door closes again, I glance at the door across the hall. It’s open, and the exam room is empty. I’m not really sure what I expected to find there, really. But deep down, the girl in the other room worries me. Maybe she’s Maris. Or a friend of Maris’s.
A few minutes later the doctor comes in and goes over pretty much all of the tests Amy put me through. “Well,” he says.
“I’m sick,” I offer weakly.
“Yeah, no kidding.” The doctor grimaces. “I’m going to prescribe you an antiviral, and I’d like you to come back in a day or so with a stool sample.”
“You want… my poo,” I say.
“And that will help you determine what I have?”
“Possibly,” the doctor shrugs.
I pause for a moment, suppressing a sneeze. “How about chicken entrails? You want a side of those, too?”
“Just go out into the lobby and make an appointment,” the doctor says, rolling his eyes. “I’ll have the prescription for you in a bit.”
I trudge back into the waiting area to find the blonde girl from before sitting and reading an ancient copy of Highlights for Children. She looks bored. That in and of itself is not surprising, given that it’s a clinic waiting room and that Highlights was never really all that interesting to begin with, but there’s something about how this girl is bored that goes beyond ordinary boredom. She looks like she has an active contempt for the magazine.

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