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Maurice

“Okay, well, bad news first.  The sample did come back positive for antibodies to AD36,” says the doctor in her lilting Northern inflection.

Maurice feels as if someone has stepped on his viscera.  “I’m a carrier.”

“Most people are asymptomatic.  Even if you do begin displaying infectobesity, proper diet and exercise–”

“You don’t understand, he says.  I’m American.”

“Oh.”  She gets it.  “The Healthy Kids Act.”

He swallows.  “I’m a teacher.  If I get selected for testing next year–the camps–”

“You can claim asylum here, Mr. Langham.  I’ll give you an address.”

But Maurice is picturing his fifth-graders, apple-cheeked, innocent, doomed.

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