An Abundance of Reality

The doctors pressed their faces against the glass like children crowding a pet store window.

Jack’s chubby-cheeked daughter sat on the exam table, paper crinkling whenever she shifted to examine a toy.

“She’s doing it again. Watch.” A flurry of clicking pens and excited murmurs.

Regina picked up a rag doll and ran her fingers through its blue-yarn hair. She traced the stitches in its nose, touched her own.

“Here it comes.” They held a collective breath.

Jack hated them.

The doll began… fading. It started at the edges and worked in, growing more and more indistinct until there was nothing left. Regina looked at her empty hands and began to cry.

“We’ll run some tests, draw blood, and…” They eyed one another and fell silent. What if the girl turned her attention on one of them? They’d already lost two nurses.

And her mother.

Jack shoved past them, into the room. Regina sniffled as he held her.

“Daddy’s here.”

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