A doctor on an alien planet has only three tools in her medical kit, and they are all living snakes. Using a kind of biotechnology in her own body, she's able to synthesize tailor-made drugs from the snakes' venom after exposing them to people who are ill. Leading a nomadic life, she moves from town to town on an alien world, trying to help out people who are often as afraid of her as they are anxious for her services. Some of you may recognize this as the plot of Vonda N. McIntyre's dreamy, beautiful short story "Of Mist, Grass, and Sand," now available for free on the author's website. If you're looking for a little late-afternoon or bedtime reading, try this one out. (And if you like it, McIntyre has a "writer appreciation button" that lets you tip her via Paypal.) ["Of Mist, Grass, and Sand"]
"I know this is hard for you to believe, but I'm from outer space and I can cure what ails you. Here, just let me let this snake bite you and you'll be fine."
"...That looks like a Cobra."
"It's okay, trust me."
"I feel woozy."
"... You do...? That's not... uhm, wrong snake."