I recently finished the first draft of my latest short story for my creative writing class. It’s set in a lone spaceship transporting cargo from one planet to another. I still revising but I figured that I can share excerpt so everyone can get a taste.
“What do you mean something bit you?”
“I mean something fell on me from the ceiling and bit my neck!” My brother, John, seemed to be in a hysterical mood. He barged into the clinic, sweating like a pig. Something probably happened to him, but he was most likely blowing it out of proportion.
“Do you know what it was?”
“Um…” My brother hesitated. “No, I didn’t get a good look. I was listening to some music when it happened, so I wasn’t really paying attention to my surroundings.”
“Alright. Let me see what all the fuss is about.”
I moved his hand off his neck to take a better look at the mark he had. It was a tiny little scratch, hardly noticeable.
“It’s nothing to worry about,” I assured him. “Most likely, some sort of bug or rat that fell from a vent.”
“No, no, no, no. Whatever it was, it was too big to be a rat.
“I thought you said you didn’t get a good look?”
“I didn’t, but I felt how big it was when it landed on me. It was big and slimy.”
“What? Like a slug?”
His face scrunched up. I could hear the gears in his head turning as he thought it over.
At that moment, the door to the examination room cracked open. Dr. Carlson peeked his head out, an angry glare plastered on his bulbous, wrinkled head.
“Excuse me, Ms. Watson. I’m sorry to bother you but I am about to finish Jeremy’s physical examination, something that you should be helping me with.”
I turned my head slightly away so he wouldn’t see me roll my eyes. “I’m sorry, Doctor, but if a crewmate reports some kind of injury, we have to make sure its not life threatening.”
Dr. Carlson fully opened the door and let out a deep sigh. “What happened?”
“A cockroach bit him.”
“Hey,” my brother objected. “I told you that it was definitely bigger than a cockroach!”
At this point, Jeremy walked out of the exam room, past Carlson. “Thanks doc. Talk to you next month.”
“Goodbye, Jeremy. Try to be more careful of what you eat in the future, ok? Despite the no gravity, you seemed to have put on a little weight.”
He tried not to look irritated by what the doc said. “Ok doc. Bye.”
As soon as he left, Carlson dropped his “nice” demeanor. “What are you standing around for? We have another examination in ten minutes.”
I point to my brother. “What about him?”
“Just take him back to his room. If he doesn’t drop dead on the way there, then we can assume the bite isn’t fatal.”
“Should I prescribe him something for the pain and any possible infections?”
“No, he doesn’t need it.” And with that, he walked back into the exam room and shut the door, like the caring physician he is.
“Prick,” I said under my breath. “Come on, get up. I’ll walk you to your room.” I went over to one the cabinets and grabbed a small bottle of Tylenol. As we walked out, I handed it to my brother.
“What…” he stuttered. “Didn’t the doc just say no to this?”
“It’s fine.” I assured him. “He’s not the one that takes inventory so he’s never going to find out.”
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