No one I knew had ever called in sick. No one I knew had ever known anyone who had been sick. Yet, I stared at Shel's blotchy face and too-bright eyes on the telecam. She glowed strangely, almost wetly. I touched the screen. "You look terrible!"
"I know!" She smiled. "It's amazing, isn't it?"
"What is it?"
"Measles," she told me, leaning in so I could get a better look. "Everybody's getting it 'round here. Haven't you had it?"
"Er...no," I admitted. "Does it hurt?"
"Not exactly. It's a weird feeling. I had a high fever yesterday." She touched her inflamed skin.
I cringed, but realized I was intrigued. "Where did you get it?"
A few days later, I found myself on Corporation Road looking for a supposedly thriving office among the unmarked warehouses, dodgy repair shops, and fences topped by barbed wire. I spied Central Station, all the windows broken, and, on the other side of the street, the old terraced hotels fashionable back when the railways operated. Then, I saw the grubby plate on Number 59:
D McCabe, MD
Catering to all kinds of sickness
® Restorin Registered
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