“Who are you?” her mother asked.
“I’m your daughter, Alice.”
“I know that. But I mean, who are you?” Her mother’s eyes locked onto hers; she was clutching Alice’s eyes. What... [+]
I threw back the covers. Mom had forgotten all about school and left me at home alone! I threw open my door, stormed down my stairs, and burst into the kitchen to find Mom look at me. Maybe she hadn’t seen me yet, and I could just creep back to bed before she remembers school...
“Oh, good, David! I was about to come wake you up.” Mom said through a mouthful of blueberry muffin.
“Hi, Mom...” I couldn’t seem to find the right words. Of course, it’d be impossible to express my disappointment. “Did you forget to wake me up?” I wondered aloud.
Mom laughed at the thought of that. “No, Bud, you’re just going to school late today. You have a dentist appointment.”
Five minutes later, there we were in the back of the car. “Mom, please!” I begged twisting my entire body against the seat belts.
“For the last time, Jacob, it’s just the dentist!” Mom groaned and rolled her eyes.
“Mom, they hurt me!” I cried out pleading with her as she buckled my seatbelt and slammed the car door shut.
She must’ve ignored that last claim all together, because she didn’t respond to it. I ended up sitting still, laying my head back, and trying to wipe my mind of the visions filling my brain. This car was driving to my doom. My mother was quite literally going to be the death of me. I looked around as the car around me seemed to shimmer and shift. Suddenly, I was no longer in my mom’s white minivan. I could hear crowds just outside of the wooden wagon taunting and screaming at me. “Murderer!” A woman yelled clear as day as the wagon took me that much closer to my execution.
My eyes burned brightly as I stared forward. The gallows was approaching fast, and I was shaking with fear. I could feel tears pushing at my eyes beginning to claw their way out. “But I didn’t do anything.” I reminded my tormentors.
Mom pulled me out of the car. “Mom, Mom, I’ll brush my teeth; I swear! I’ll floss; I won’t ever get cavities!” I attempted to cut a deal as my mother dragged me into those nightmare offices.
The door swung open with the jingle of a bell. “You can go play with the letters of the alphabet while I sign you in.” Mom told me which got its very own unhappy glare.
I didn’t grumble or complain—this time—as I walked over and sat down in the corner of the room. Big bold cardboard letters sat on the floor. Like, “A” for “Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!!” which is either my scream of pain at the dentist or anger with my mom for forcing this on me. Oh, and there’s also “B” for “I want to get out of here ‘Badly’.” You know what they say; “C” is for “Crap, this is gonna go poorly.” My personal favorite is “D” for “Dentist: The Destroyer of All Happiness.”
“Jacob Taylors?” a voice came from across the room. No, no, they couldn’t be ready yet... unless they were waiting for me! The thought struck a particular cord of fear in my heart. I marched in silent protest as I followed them back into the room. I had to keep my mouth shut from yelling at them as they walked me to a chair. Leather squeaked and squealed, and I was already squeamish.
Suddenly, there were restraints were around my arms. “I’m gonna need you to sit still, Jake.” My torturer murmured leaning in close. What kind of torturer wore a white mask anyway? Didn’t they know it was supposed to be black? “Sit still; it’ll make this hurt less.”
Those last few words caught my attention, and I went perfectly stiff and still. My eyes were wide with fear as the torturer pulled out a hook. “Open your mouth.” What were they doing to me? Pulling my teeth out? Scratching my tongue?
I opened my mouth hesitantly. “Wider!” my torturer commanded of me. My jaw hung fully open now completely exposing me to the world. The torturer set to work instantly scraping every inch of my pearly whites. I nearly whimpered as my fingers tensed up on the arms of my seat.
I seemed to drag out for hours. “I will be back in a few minutes for your X-rays.” The torturer announced vanishing out of my sight.
X-rays! What had they done to me? Could it be repaired or was it too late for me? I was nearly making myself pass out as I sat there breathing in and out too quickly. Look at the fish, look at the fish, I forced myself. I looked over at the tank while my chest continued to heave.
There were some smaller orange fish, and a toy scuba diver in the tank. There was even a shark in the back of the tank! The world around me was flooded with water, sand, and even some coral. I looked around amazed at what I was seeing.
I took a deep breath in from my scuba tank and then breathed it out into the water. I heard something behind me, and my adventurous nature forced me to look. I turned to see a shark swimming up behind me baring its teeth at me as it approached rapidly. I went to push off the rock I had been relaxing on and swim away when a tentacle snagged around my chest. The tentacle fixed around my chest and pushed me back into the rock forcing me to stay still.
“It’ll be alright, Jake. He’s not going to hurt you.” The octopus rumbled with a voice low enough to ripple the water around it. My eyes widened as I glanced back at the great white shark approaching me.
The octopus wrapped a weight around my chest as I sat in the rocks forcing me to stay down. The great white stopped right in front of me and stared into my soul. “Had anything to eat today?” the great white boomed with a laugh and a chilling grin. “I haven’t, and I’m starving so let’s make this quick, Jake.”
The great white sucked in a deep breath. “Aah, I love that smell.” The grin grew bigger.
The octopus began forcing me to bite down on different kinds of things. I couldn’t figure this out, until I realized they were trying to see how healthy I was through testing my teeth. Nobody would want to eat a spoiled meal, right? After each test, they’d shoot an invisible laser into my mouth to make sure my teeth were staying strong and healthy.
“I’ll be back soon with your results.” The great shark rumbled and vanished out of my sight. I didn’t even realize that the octopus had gone too.
“Jacob!” Mom called. My head snapped clear of water at the familiar voice. I got up and sprinted to her before they could take me away again. I hugged closely to her leg. It would be better if couldn’t run if I needed to get a head start.
“You are all cavity clear, My Friend!” the dentist said with a big smile. “Here’s your celebratory reward, and your gift package.” He handed me a sucker and a small baggy.
“Thank you!” Mom said. I put on a fake smile and slowly backed up. Mom opened the door, and I ran out of there faster than I’d ever run.