By Patrick Gillespie
Authors Note: This is based on a dream I had. I woke up just glad to still have my teeth. After thinking a bit, I decided to make it into a story, so here it is, enjoy...
Sweat slowly drizzled from the pours on his forehead. Soon he would be holding the hand of the girl he loved. Soon he would be telling her jokes and watching her face joyously break out into a fit out laughter. Soon he would be holding her after a long night of passion; but soon could not come soon enough.
Ever since he had been a little boy, Joe Harvey had feared the dentist. It had been a shameful secret that he had held within himself, one that had always pecked at him from the back of his mind. For how could he, the college's football hero, the tough bio major who got all the girls, be afraid of a man in a white coat? Out of guilt and fear, he had never let anyone in on his secret. It would threaten his reputation and manhood. It was something he could never let anyone know about, something that he would have to push deep down inside himself. It would have to be a secret that remained a secret.
That's why he had agreed to get his teeth checked. It had been a long time since his last dental appointment, ten years to be exact. He had always been able to weasel his way out of it. Something would come up or something would happen to him that would stop him from going, but not this time. This time things had been different. His roommate Steven, who had long wondered why Joe never went to see the dentist, had confronted him and he had challenged him. Not only had he challenged him about his fear, but he had also done it in front of a group of his friends.
Of course Joe had blown the whole idea off as ridiculous, something only a sissy would be afraid of, but in his heart he knew now that he would have to see a dentist. There was no turning away. If he had found a way out this time, he knew the idea would have been pursued, and his fear would have been discovered. Steven had a motive to spread such a secret too. He wanted Joe out of his dorm room. Out so he would no longer have to put up with his crap. If Steven found out, Joe knew it would be the end of his days living on campus. Joe would force him out and it would take a year of waiting on the hold list to get back in, and by that time he would have already graduated.
"So uh, this isn't gonna take long, right doc?" Joe said trying to ease his stress before the doctor began his work.
"We'll just have to wait and see now, wont we?" the doctor replied in a strong Russian accent, giving a brief and somewhat forced smile.
His old face then became quite serious as he took out his black bag of equipment and went to work checking Joe's teeth. The sharp instrument the doctor was using poked and scraped around Joe's sensitive gums, wearing the young man's nerves thin. All he wanted was for it to be over, for the doctor to say everything was fine so he could get up and go get ready for his date. Steven and his friends would surely welcome him back with a few laughs and apologies, feeling stupid they had ever questioned him about something as silly as being afraid of dentists. He had made sure none of them came with him though, just in case he cracked, just in case he did something he was not proud of. No one would have to know. It would only be between him and the doctor, and he could surely pay the doctor off.
The doctor finally pulled the cold sharp metal instrument out of Joe's mouth and began writing something on a piece of paper he had next to his equipment. Joe's lips blushed with pain. He could still feel the doctor's rubbery fingers holding them open.
"Heh, that wasn't so bad. I can get out of here now, right? I've got some, uh, business to attend to," Joe managed to spit out, feeling a wave of relief now that it all seemed to be wrapping up.
"I'm afraid you wont be leaving any time soon," the doctor replied in a very serious and dark tone.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Joe said, worried at what was coming.
"You have several cavities, it will take at least another 30 minutes to fix everything up."
Joe took a deep breath and tried to keep his mind off of what lay before him, another 30 minutes of agonizing, silent torture. The dentist quickly went back to work, picking up another metal instrument, this time much thicker and with a long black wire attached to the back end. The menacing tube went down into the lower cabinet of the doctor's desk. With a hefty grunt, he bent down and flipped on the power switch. The strange buzzing sound was sharp and intimidating as it lit up Joe's ears. He had never seen a dentist use such a tool; but then again, he had not been to a dentist in years.
His eyelids clutched tightly together in anxiety. His fears were getting to him. Trying to rationalize, he quickly reassured himself that everything was going to be all right. Steven had set up the appointment, and he definitely would have made sure to only hire the best, nothing else would do, it was just the way Steven was.
Several minutes went by as the doctor maneuvered the thick metal instrument around the insides of Joe's mouth. It felt like it was spraying something hot and gooey, but at the same time it was propelling in a fast stream of hot air. As Joe felt his gums began to bleed, he finally decided he had had enough. Reaching up with his right hand, he violently ripped the tool from the doctor's grasp.
"Excuse me, that's an expensive piece of equipment!" the doctor barked, appalled that Joe would take such an act against a professional.
Joe sat up and began spitting out all that was in his month. It felt like something had just exploded inside of it, his teeth pulsed with an incredible amount of pain. His slightly numb tongue then did a quick inspection to see if everything was in working order, and to his horror, it was not. A thick layer of plastic covered the outer layer of most of his teeth. Biting down, he tried to see some logic in its place on his teeth, but he could not get the correct sensation. It felt like he now had a month full of rubber.
"What the hell did you do to me!?"
"I was performing a cavity prevention procedure. Steven said to perform such an operation if I felt necessary. He was very worried that you were letting your teeth decay beyond hope. I was only doing what I saw fit."
"Now you listen to me ass hole, I've got a big date in a few hours, and I sure as hell can't go out with a mouth full of rubber. You've got to take this shit off!"
After a short pause, the doctor replied, "That is not a problem, lay back in the chair, it will only take about 20 minutes."
Joe reluctantly lied back in the dental chair. God, this is my nightmare come true! he thought to himself. After hiding for so many years, what he had been running from had finally caught up with him. At least it was finally going to be over though, and maybe it would make him stronger. Yeah, I'll be a stronger and more pumped up super player. he thought to himself.
"Because the removal operation involves a great deal of pain, it is recommended that you be unconscious," the doctor said sternly, looking firmly into Joe's eyes.
"Uh, sure okay," Joe replied, feeling somewhat uncomfortable about the foretold pain, but glad to know he would be asleep.
A small mask was then slipped over his noise. It smelled funny, and he began to feel himself falling. Falling downward and downward, at a steady pace that was not too fast or too slow but just right. The calmness and quite beauty of it all quickly lulled him gently to sleep.
His dreams carried him to strange places. He felt lost and confused, dizzy and distraught. In some strange way his subconscious knew that something was not right. It knew he was in danger. After what seemed like forever his eyes quietly cracked reopened. Everything was blurry. He could see, however, what appeared to be several men above him working, working on him. He slowly turned his head to try to wrestle himself awake. He used his tongue and felt around inside of his month. A bolt of fear shot into his brain, he was missing some teeth, several teeth in fact. He tried to open his month to say something, to shout out about what was going on, but he could not. His mouth had been wired shut. The men around him did not take notice of his consciousness. They continued to work vigorously.
Joe continued to move his head around and blink his eyes, slowing regaining his vision. He could see better now. There were four people working around him, all dressed in white coats, the doctor, his roommate Steven, and two of Steven's friends. He tried to reach out and nudge one of them, to ask what was going on, but he could not. Looking down at his right arm he realized it had been decapitated from the shoulder on down. The end had been wrapped shabbily in some kind of medical bandage. Fear and a permanent sense of loss echoed inside of him. After a few seconds, he moved his head back and tried to let out of horrific scream, a scream for help, something that would alert the outside world as to what were happening, but nothing would come out. He could not even scream in pain.
Upon noticing the newfound movement in Joe, the men moved quickly to put his gas mask back on.
"Now we can't have you waking up, at least not just yet," the doctor said in a dark and fiendish manner.
The mask was then gently slipped back onto Joe's face. He looked over and saw they were doing something to his stomach, some kind of surgery. He would never know the final result of the doctor's operation though. He would never again wake up.