Albany, Oregon - A nine-year-old boy complaining about popping sounds in his ear, then pain before his mom rushed him to the doctor. There the doctor flushed out two spiders - one still alive. The boy fully recovered without injury and took the surviving spider home in a bottle as his new pet.
"It has begun," whispered the doctor beneath his breath.
"He just doesn't realized the significance, or the responsibly," continued the attending physician. "The boy doesn't know how special he is and it's not up to me to tell him. No. I couldn't do that to him, too."
Few know the significance of the spiders found in the boy's ear, except those in the superhero community. But the boy is among the few chosen by Spiderman, and other superheroes, to undergo special training so he can one day replace him, carrying on the crime-fighting tradition of Spiderman.
"The kid will be allowed to grow up living the normal life of a nine-year-old boy, for now that is," said the doctor as he was shutting off the lights in his office, heading home for the night. "But one day, not today or tomorrow, but one day he will hear a little arachnid voice in his head, calling him to Spiderman."
"Let's just hope this superhero replacement goes better than Captain America's choice, Miss 'Captain' America," somberly reflected the doctor from his car window in the multi-level parking structure of his medical office before driving away, flickering break lights fading in the distance.