“Can you save him?”
Dr. Albert did not answer. The room was silent except for the soft rhythmic cycling of a respirator and the slow pulsing beep of Nick Jr.’s heart monitor.
“Prepare little Nick for transfer, Dr. Albert.”
The older man nodded and left the room. Nick watched him go, and as the door slid open and closed, he became aware of the pain in his palms. He looked down and unclenched his fists.
A whisper like the rustle of dry leaves said, “Dad?”
He stepped closer to the containment chamber and leaned over it, resting both hands upon the cool surface. It gently vibrated beneath his fingers.
Little Nick’s eyes were half-open. His long lashes blinked once, twice, slowly. Azure light rippled beneath him as if he were floating upon a sunlit pool.
“How you doing, little man?” Nick said. Despite the flood of anxiolytics surging through his system, Nick felt as if his heart would burst.
“Am . . . am I gonna die, Dad?”
Nick waited until the constriction in his throat eased and then said, “No. You cannot die. You are going to live forever.”Robert B Finegold, MD is a radiologist living in Maine. He has an undergraduate degree in English (Creative Writing and British Literature), has been a university newspaper cartoonist, and served as a Major in the U.S. Army during the first Gulf War. He is a two-time Writers of the Future Contest Finalist whose work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, GigaNotoSaurus, Straeon 2, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, and the anthologies Robotica: The Real Relationships of Artificial Lifeforms,1st & Starlight, and 2nd & Starlight. On Facebook, find him at Robert B Finegold’s Kvells and Kvetchings www.facebook.com/robertbfinegold.
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