August 4

At the Dentist’s Office (Part 2)

[..continued from August 3 entry…]


The dentist’s office was unlocked.  Victor stepped inside, letting the door close behind him.

Nobody sat behind the receptionist’s desk, but at least the desk was still here.  Although the windowless waiting area was dark, sunlight shone through the mini-blind slats in each of the exam rooms.

He’d spent many an unpleasant visit here in the past, his teeth scraped for what seemed like hours, an occasional filling pressed into a numb drilled tooth.  The one time he’d looked forward to a dentist visit was when he was in such excruciating pain already, that the dentist could hardly have made him feel worse.

That’s the kind of pain he was in now.

Before he did anything, Victor’s first hope was to find the numbing drugs.  They wouldn’t be in any of the three exam rooms:  the more likely spot would be in Dr. Whitaker’s office.

He found that room, and noticed that the wooden door frame had been split — probably by a crowbar.  Victor walked carefully inside, in case an intruder was still present.

Nobody there.  A lock-cabinet fastened to the wall was open…and emptied of any medicines.  A few large Novocain syringes remained in a lower compartment, but without the drug to fill it, the needles were useless.

He backed into the hallway and chose the nearest exam room.  A large cushioned chair sat in the middle, with a dormant lighting crane positioned above it.  The chair back was pushed down, in the position where a patient hung almost upside down as the dentist invaded a reluctant mouth with cotton swabs and sharp metal prods, curved mirrors and whirring drills.

Victor tried to resign himself to the awful fact that he’d have to be dentist and patient for this office visit.  Without electricity, the drills would be no help at all.  Unmedicated, Victor would somehow find some way to manipulate clamps and pliers to ease the pressure on his sore gums and throbbing tooth.

He looked at the tray attached beside the chair, to find his selection of dental instruments. Slats of sunlight reflected off the metal tray, flashed from small blades and sharp silver points.

Parts of the tray didn’t reflect in the proper pattern, with the metal dulled in strange sections like…droplets.  A dark crusted liquid had plashed over the tray and the instruments alike.

Ugh.  The tools wouldn’t be sanitary.  Perhaps he’d find a better set in the adjoining examination room.

Another strange detail caught his attention.  On the corner of the tray, what he’d thought were small pieces of cotton had been collected in a pile.  The cotton was rolled into tight shapes, and bits of dried blood painted each of them.  A few of them had a patch of silver on the flat end…like a dental filling.

Teeth.  A full set of teeth pulled bloody from a person’s mouth.

The door to the examination room shut quietly behind him.  Victor was afraid to turn around, but he heard an excited series of short breaths, like someone trying to stifle a laugh.

Then he heard a buzzing sound:  a human voice attempting to imitate the electric whirr of a dentist’s drill.