"You're not going to believe this but for the longest time I thought you were one of them."

Shifting around on the only hospital bed in the tiny sterile room, I ignored the twin unfriendly stares of the doctor and nurse looming over me. "You know you can never be too sure Doc," I jutted a chin towards the nurse shrouded in a blue face mask, "what with those masks they wear all the time."

"Miss Rawson," the tired voice of the ship's doctor addressed me, "you know that according to the UN Health Treaty of ..."

"Blah, blah, yadda yadda." I chattered over him, "I know damn well what I signed." Irritation dripped from my voice as I slid further away from the vaccination shot he held.

"Well then you know that all flight passengers must have regular check ups for the flights duration, including" he paused as he waved the needle in front of me, "vaccines, fitness assessments..."

I barked out a laugh, the sound reverberating around the room. "Passengers? That's what you're calling us now?" I flopped my head back and stared up at the plain white ceiling, briefly wondering where all the bright light in this room came from. "I can't get a flu shot today, Doc. Or ever in fact." I turned my head to give the nurse a hard look but continued to speak to the doctor. "You will not turn me into one of them."

"Miss Rawson," I rotated my head to catch him rolling his eyes at me. "This flu shot will not turn you into an alien. Besides," his eyes grew anxious as he flitted them at the nurse opposite, "you were given a choice and you choose this assignment. We made it very clear to you at the time that ..."

The doctor startled back as I yanked at the ties binding me to the bed, hauling myself up as close to him as I could, baring my teeth as my voice burned with anger. "How the hell do I know that shot won't change my DNA? I've heard the rumours back on earth." I pulled harder at my binds, but the iron-like grip of the nurse reached out and pinned my shoulders down. At her touch I completely lost it. "You people can't just go injecting us with all kinds of Alien DNA!" I shouted in a panic, "I'm not a criminal. I shouldn't be here!"

"We mean humanity no harm." The nurse spoke with a soothing alto, her voice cutting me off mid-rant as I caught my breath. Releasing my shoulders as I began to still, she reached up and pulled down her face mask. The smooth expanse of skin, where a mouth should have been, was unsettling. It felt surreal to watch the alien being speak, yet see no clear outlet for the sound reaching my ears. "The Sentinels only want what is best for humanity. We have offered you advancements in medicine and in return your people have offered us labour."

"Offered?" Incredulous I shook my bindings in frustration. "Does this look like I offered to go up in this damn spaceship!?"

I turned away in disgust, the fight draining from me as I addressed no-one in particular, "And that's why I can't get a flu shot today."


Writers Digest Story Prompt : You're at the doctor's office for a regular check up when the doctor suggests you get a flu shot as well. You hate shots, so you come up with the most outlandish excuse as to why you can't get one. Start your story with "You're not going to believe this, but … " and end it with "And that's why I can't get a flu shot today." (500 words or fewer)

Authors Note : A bit of sci-fi this week. The setting for this story grew out of an idea my sister gave me. I mentioned that I had no ideas for a unique story twist on doctors visits. And she suggested 'why not write a story about a cricket team on a spaceship'. Nope, I have no idea where that came from either. However, I did like the spaceship part. :)