Steve sits down, looks at his watch. He's early for his noon appointment at his new doctor. It's not like he didn't like his old one, he just lived across town now . . .

The watch says in bright digital: 11:38. It's not even quarter to noon yet. Fuck. He looks at his watch again, the date, this time. January 25, 2000. He sees a free issue of Time magazine, and, though he prefers Newsweek, there isn't one around. One of the little kids is laying down, playing in the corner with Duplo, building something abstract. From this angle, it looks strangely like a bust of George Bush.

Steve shakes his head, looks at the Table of Contents.


The child is now on the floor, and he's the only other person in the room. An Aloe plant is shattered on the ground, the child's head is bleeding, a lot, especially so quickly. Steve gets up, bangs on the window to the receptionist, who stands up, looks out the window at where Steve is pointing. She reaches for the phone and dials 911.

Steve yells something about a Doctor, "Perhaps one that owns the practice?" He looks around the room for something he can maybe push against the wound to help stop the bleeding, and the only thing he can find was the Time. He runs to the child, who is not awake, and presses the glossy magazine paper against the child's head. The scalp bleeds a lot. he remembers from Boy Scouts. The pressure seems to be quite a bit much on the scalp of the child. He feels bone scrape against bone. His bowels loosen. He can feel them liquify. He can almost feel his sphincter opening to release the payload.

Trying to avoid staring at the kid and to find new place to give attention, he looks around quickly, looking for more paperish type things. He spots the Aloe plant looking dry. That isn't right. Another plant, a spider plant over on the other side of the room is yellow. A cactus is in the corner, withered. The only thing alive in the room besides Steve is a small Venus Flytrap sitting on the windowsill--its leaves are closed.

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