Writing Prompt 1:  Why I Can’t Get A Flu Shot

Writing Prompt 1: Why I Can’t Get A Flu Shot

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Now, I do so very love Writer’s Digest — really, I do — but they really know how to deflate a gal when she’s on a writing high.

After spending two excitable hours yesterday deciding whether or not to answer a writing prompt that they posted on their site, I finally took the entry I finished and pasted it into the appropriate comment box.

Twenty-four hours later, it’s still “awaiting moderation.”

Very odd, considering all of the posts around mine are happily printed online and receiving replies.

I can only deduce two ideas for this discrepancy:

  • My story is so good, the WD staff is scrambling around trying to find a loophole with which to pay me billions of trillions of dollars for my immaculate writing style, or

  • There’s a glitch in their computer system.

To keep myself from sobbing in a corner at the first story that I’ve posted to the public in nearly a year (and, since there’s no noticeable rule that I can’t post my entry twice) being stuck in internet limbo, I’ve decided to list it here.The prompt is as follows:  I am at a doctor’s appointment when he suggests that I get my annual flu shot.  Terrified of needles, I must write a piece that begins with “You’re not going to believe this, but … ” and ends with “And that’s why I can’t get a flu shot today.”  And it must be under 500 words.So, here we go.  Read and (I hope) enjoy!  Any criticism as you see fit is always appreciated!

You’re not going to believe this, but I got a dog yesterday.

I know.  What does that have to do with my flu shot?

Well, the dog is a rare breed of canis amphibia – which means, in 16


century Feudal Japan, it got mixed-bred with a salamander and can shapeshift at will.

The lizard or the mythical creature?  Both.

Well, the dog bit me this morning and started foaming at the mouth.  And so did my arm, so I thought, “Okay, I need to get this dog to a vet, cuz I paid eight hundred dollars—cash—and the aborigine man who sold it to me burst into flames, so—I can’t even get my deposit back. ”  And since I already made my appointment this afternoon with you, Doc, I thought it best just to wait until I got here for you to look at my arm.

I know it looks fine.  I’m getting to that.

So, I took my dog to the vet, and the vet looked him over and said, “Well, this dog’s got rabies.  We’ll have to put him to sleep immediately.”  So he went to get the sleeper shot, but he didn’t know that the canis amphibia understands English fluently.  By the time he came back in, my dog jumped on his face and knocked him out cold.

Just then, a team of ninja gangsters — yeah, “ninjangsters” — broke into the office.  They were sent on behalf of their dark lord to collect the dog in return for a debt that the aborigine man owed him.

By the way, I named the dog Muffler.

Anyway, Muffler put the leash in my hand and pulled me through the window, where we climbed down the fire escape and raced away.  I don’t have the best cardio, so Muffler hauled us into a coffee shop, and we hid with a bunch of furiously debating poetry students until the ninjangsters had gone.  It was at this time I noticed that something weird was happening to the arm that Muffler had bit.  It wasn’t foaming anymore—in fact, it wasn’t doing much of anything.  It had turned completely black, like a piece of Christmas coal.  One of the college students went to touch it, and it just dissolved right there and fell on the floor.

It sucked.  I was gonna have to clean that crap up.

Before I could do anything, Muffler pulled me outside and got me alone in a nearby alley.  Using an intricate level of telepathy, he told me he’d been contracted by a galactic government to observe human behavior, and the best way to do it was to put himself where he could get the best vantage point.  Hence, biting my arm off.

I thought, “Well, it would give him the best view,” and told him to go for it.

And so my dog is now my arm.  And my dog, he hates shots.

And that is why I can’t get a flu shot today.


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