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Élan Vital by K. Tempest Bradford is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at escapepod.org.
By K. Tempest Bradford
The few minutes I had to spend in the Institute’s waiting room were my least favorite part of coming up to visit my mother. It felt more like a dialysis room, the visitors sunk into the overly-soft couches and not speaking, just drinking orange juice and recovering. There were no magazines and no television, just cold air blowing from the vents and generic music flowing with it. I’d finished my juice and was beginning to brood on my dislike for overly air-conditioned buildings when my mother arrived attended by a nurse.
I kissed and hugged her, automatically asking how she was, mouthing the answer she always gave as she gave it again.
“I’m fine, same as always.”
It wasn’t strictly true, but true enough.