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“I have an appointment for Dr. Jackson at 5.” I say to the hospital receptionist.

“Are you Mr. Larry Harrison?” the receptionist asks in response.

“Yes ma’am,” I validate, “I’m here for my checkup.”

“Ok, please have a seat and Dr. Jackson will be right with you.”

I turn around and head for one of the waiting room seats and sit down, its memory foam sinking under my weight. I look around. Apart from myself, there are other people waiting, too. A woman in her mid-thirties sits in a chair, watching her little boy playing with toys that the hospital puts out for the kids. An old man sits alone in the corner, his raspy breathing drowned out by the kid’s movie playing on the TV in the corner. I pick up a magazine and start to read, hearing the clock on the wall tick away the seconds as I wait.

Tick tock, tick tock.

I look up to see what time it is. The clock reads 4:40. I feel like something has changed in the room as I look around. The old man in the corner is gone, and the only people left are a man who looks like he’s in his mid-twenties, wearing clothes that are way too small for him, playing with the kiddie toys, and an old woman staring at him with wide eyes. She looks at her hands in panic; I look back down at my magazine and continue to read, turning the pages with my wrinkled hands.

Tick tock, tick tock.

I once again return my gaze to the clock on the wall. It reads 4:50. Once more, I glance around the room. I notice the woman is now gone, and the chair she was sat on is covered in dust. The only other person in the room is another old man. His skinny, wrinkled, naked body lays on shreds of clothing on the floor, and his breath is gravelly, though I can barely hear it over the TV in the corner of the room. I once again return my gaze to the magazine, as I use my bony fingers to turn the page.

Tick tock, tick tock.

My fingers turn to dust, causing me to drop the magazine. I stand up in a panic as I look around. Everyone in the room is gone; only the receptionist remains. She looks at me with a young smile. “You're next,” she says, as she gestures to the door. I watch as it opens, revealing a man. A devious grin appears on his on his face as he speaks. "Time's up." I try to scream, but nothing comes out. I look down and notice my body slowly turning to dust as I lay on the ground. The last thing I hear is the clock counting my last seconds.

Tick tock, tick tock…

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