Friday, May 17, 2013

FFF: A Dental Specialist

Every week, Kurt posts a new bit of flash fiction. This week...

A Dental Specialist
Word Count: 600

Dr. Stephenson wore blue hospital scrubs and a silver crucifix. He smiled broadly. “Do come in, Mr. Haversham,” he said to his patient.

Haversham was short and trim. He wore a tan suit jacket over a colorful shirt along with white pants and a straw fedora. Despite his pallor, he looked as though he’d just returned from the Caribbean—which was, of course, ridiculous. “Thank you,” he said as he crossed the threshold. He sniffed. “Garlic?”

“It’s an unfortunate but necessary precaution,” said Dr. Stephenson. “Have you eaten tonight?”

“I had a nip just before two,” said Haversham.

“Excellent,” said Stephenson, relieved. It was dangerous to work on the hungry ones. He guided his patient to the chair where his assistant, Tracy, stood. She wore purple scrubs and a mask. She also carried—discreetly—a vial of holy water.

Haversham reclined in the dentist’s chair and looked up at Tracy. “O-positive?” he asked with a glimmer in his eyes. If he was tense at all, he didn’t show it.

“That’s an awfully personal question,” she said, smiling. “I think you’d have to buy me a drink first.”

“Alright, Mr. Haversham, let’s see it,” said Stephenson.

Haversham took a breath and slowly extended his fangs.

Stephenson peered into the vampire’s mouth. The right incisor was broken in half. “How’d you manage this?”

“I’m an eager eater,” said Haversham. “I didn’t notice the silver chain on her neck until it was too late. Speaking of, doctor, would you be so kind?”

Stephenson looked down to see his own silver necklace dangling perilously close to his patient’s chest. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he said, stuffing it safely inside his scrubs. “Any pain?”

“Tremendous amounts at first,” said Haversham. “But not anymore, no.”

“Sensitivity to cold?” asked Stephenson.

“I don’t eat anything cold, doctor,” said Haversham.

“Boy, you really banged the hell out of this, didn’t you?” said Stephenson. “I’m surprised it didn’t do more damage.”

“Oh, it did,” said Haversham. “I had a nasty hairlip for a few hours. The flesh healed and the other teeth grew back, but fangs are special.”

“Tracy,” said Stephenson. “We’ve got a fracture on eleven. We’ll need a crown.”

“Silver?” asked Tracy.

Haversham inhaled sharply.

“That’s the just the color,” said Stephenson.

Haversham relaxed. “It’s amazing what you never get used to. Samantha always wore silver—she hates the way gold clashes with her skin tone. And it looks even worse now that’s she’s turned and lost all the color in her cheeks. So now everything has to be platinum.”

“Sounds like she has expensive taste,” said Stephenson. “Speaking of which, this is going to be a custom job, so it will be on the pricey side.”

“And me without insurance,” said Haversham. “You have payment plans?”

“We’ll work out something,” said Stephenson.

“How long will it take?” asked Haversham. “Sunup is in three hours, after all.”

“Well, we’ll do a mold tonight and get you on your way. Give me a few days to prep the crown. Can you come back Thursday night?”

“Thursday is Bingo,” said Haversham, “but I suppose they won’t miss me this once.”

“I’ll put it on the calendar. Now, I saw a little build-up in there. How often are you flossing?”

Haversham hissed and lurched forward in the chair. Tracy pulled her vial out and Stephenson stepped back with his cross held in front of him. For a moment they stared at each other in breathless silence.

“Sorry,” said Stephenson. “Nobody likes that question.”

Haversham sat back. “The fault is mine,” he said. “You’re just doing your job. So, Thursday?”

Edited by Carolyn "Bingo For Eternity" Abram.

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