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Mortality

“Mr. Kline,” the young woman said from behind the counter.

George didn’t move, except for the mild tremor in his head and hands.

In a louder voice, the young woman said, “Mr. Kline.”

George turned his head towards the voice, his eyebrows raising.

“The Doctor will see you now,” the young woman said with a blazing white smile. George grunted and pushed to his feet, lifting a palsied hand to the woman behind the counter.

With shuffling steps, George walked through the archway and into the hall. “Mr. Kline.” A man wearing scrubs stood next to a door. “This way.” The man opened the door and waited. George shuffled down the hallway.

Upon reaching the door, he turned into the small room. “Do I need to take off my shirt?” George’s voice warbled as he looked at the man in scrubs.

“No,” the man said, holding a hand up with a small smile. “This is the follow-up. Doc Vance will be in shortly to talk to you. Have a seat here.” The man in scrubs pointed to a chair against a wall.

Turning his backside to the chair, George stepped backward until his legs connected with the soft covering. The man in scrubs reached out a hand, letting George use it to brace against. George lowered himself into the chair and released the man in scrubs.

“Thank you, young man,” George smiled at the man in scrubs.

“You’re welcome, Mr. Kline,” the man in scrubs said as he opened the door and left.

The popular smell of antiseptic greeted George as he ran his eyes over the pictures and posters on the wall. They showed different organs or systems of the body and what ailments might befall them. “They need to change the decor in here,” he said. George waited.

The door opened in a smooth fashion and a middle-aged man stepped in. “George!” he said with a smile and held out a hand. “Nice to see you.”

George looked at the man and shook his hand. “Doc,” George said. “So, will I live?” George raised his bushy eyebrows and laughed at his own joke.

“Yes,” Doc Vance said with a small laugh. “Keep doing whatever it is you’re doing and you should be with us for a while longer. Is there anything that concerns you?”

“Oh, you know. The normal stuff, I guess,” George said. “Tired a lot. The shakes. Eating soft food.”

“Yeah, well,” Doc Vance said. “At your age, George, there’s lots of things that happen. Being ninety-five is quite an accomplishment.”

“I guess,” George said, hiding a smile. “Those charts still say I’m fit?”

“They do,” Doc Vance said. “You have the health of a seventy-year-old.”

“Don’t feel like it,” George said and rolled his eyes.

“We can’t all be Wonder Lad,” Doc Vance said. “That kid seems to defy everything. Been around since the 30’s”

“Yeah,” George said. “I saw the newspapers when he debuted.”

“I bet you did,” Doc Vance said. “I, on the other hand, didn’t. But I have seen his more recent stuff. If he ever grows up, I think we are in trouble.”

“We’ll have to fend for ourselves,” George said, his head tilting as he spoke. “If there’s nothing else, I’ll get on home.”

“Alright, George,” Doc Vance said and held out a hand to help George to his feet. “You be safe and careful out there.”

“So far,” George said with a smirk. “That’s what I been doing.”

Doc Vance held the door open as George shuffled out. “See you in six months.”

George waved as he walked towards the exit. He reached the waiting room and waved to the young woman behind the counter. Reaching the door, George chuckled to himself. Outside, he glanced around the open area. There were cars in the parking lot, but he didn’t see anyone. Shuffling for the wheelchair ramp, George stepped onto the asphalt. “Let’s go home, kid.”

The gray hair on George’s head turned jet black and shifted to the swept back state. Age spots and wrinkles disappeared and his eyes cleared. The sags around his body tightened and his stride lengthened. George’s clothes shifted to dark blue and blood red of Wonder Lad’s costume. No mask appeared as he laughed. “Sure thing, old man.” Leaping into the air, Wonder Lad flew away.

Published inshort storySuper ShortsSuperhero

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