Jeffrey Giligan stumbled into the nurse’s office looking like he could barely stand. His nose was red and his face flushed. He almost constantly either sneezed or coughed, wiping his nose with his sleeve as he sniffled pitifully.

The nurse, a tall man with a surgical mask and blue rubber gloves, stood over him. “Vat seems to be zee problem, Herr Schtudent?”

“I seem to be vewy sick,” Jeffrey said, looking up at the nurse uncertainly. He glanced around the room at the other children lying in beds, coughing and wheezing like they were at death’s door.

The nurse grabbed the end of his rubber glove with two fingers and stretched it until it snapped back against his wrist. “I see. Zen vee must haf a look at you.” He stretched his other glove, and it popped ominously.

“What do you mean?” Jeffrey asked nervously. “I’m sick, so that means I can go home, wight? Look, my nose is even wed!”

“Vee must infestigate you, to see if you really are sick,” the nurse said in an even, deep voice. “If you are, zen vee can perhaps send you home.” He gestured over to an empty bed in a corner.

Reluctantly Jeffrey did as he was asked. Right now he was far from sure about this plan, but he would do whatever was necessary to get away so he could find the people who might actually listen to him.

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