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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #882512
A story about Brett and his unfortunate visit to a dentist.
Brett hated weekends, and the only thing he hated worse than weekends was Saturday. Weekends were very slow and monotonous time periods forcibly laid out in between productive work days. Saturdays were worse than Sundays because there was nothing to look forward to on Saturdays; at least Sundays had the privilege of being a short distance away from Monday and work bliss. He hated to feel this way as weekends were the only time he had with his wife and two-year-old daughter Christine, but he could not help it. Brett was a cyber detective, which is a job that almost nobody understood or respected. Brett was in charge of tracking down and uncovering internet criminals such as crackers or hackers, and on this day he would have liked to be involved in any number of monotonous tasks that would take him away from his current duty. Brett had to visit the dentist.

Marina, Brett’s wife, had after months of pushing and pleading convinced Brett to finally go to the dentist. Brett was as paranoid as usual about seeing a stranger, especially one that will soon have his hands inside his mouth. As he walked into the office waiting room he noticed that there were no other patients waiting around. This struck him as odd but he did not dwell on it long as the dull throbbing pain returned in the bottom left of his mouth. He winced as he spoke to the nurse/receptionist sitting behind a small opening in the wall. She gave him multiple forms and a pen and waved him off to the right to sit and fill them out. Brett filled out all the fields on the form as best as he could and returned it to the nurse who again gestured for him to sit and wait. Even though there were no other patients in the waiting room it still was a good half hour before the door opened and his name was called aloud.

Brett whined to the nurse about the length of the wait as she escorted him to the torture room; more commonly know as the X-Ray room. He was asked to sit and hard sharp plastic was inserted into either sides of his mouth. The doctor whisked into the room and without a word to Brett brought the X-Ray machine over and stuck it to the side of his mouth. “Hold Still”, said the dentist in a stiff voice with the slightest hint of an accent Brett could not place. The procedure was repeated on the other side and within seconds the doctor rushed out of the room without a word.

After what seemed like 10 minutes the doctor returned again but this time he had a smile on his face and his disposition seemed much brighter. He was an aging man in his early 60’s, if Brett had to guess. He had a wrinkled but sharp face with a long thin nose. His nose extended so far beyond his face Brett wondered how the man could wear a surgical mask that could cover his entire face. Brett noticed the eyes immediately and could not for a second take his gaze away from them; they were a soft hazy blue and seemed to be very gentle and kind eyes. The doctor looked at the X-Ray films in his hand and then over to Brett. He gently said, “It appears that you have a shadow on one of your teeth”. He then motioned to what appeared to be a dark spot on the film in his hand, he then spoke again. “You will need a root canal right away, but do not worry it will not hurt one bit.”

Brett was the complete opposite of copasetic at the end of that last sentence, he began to dart his eyes around quickly and began to take labored breaths. This was the worst possible thing that could have happened. It took some time for the nurse and the doctor to assure him that all would be well and for him to sign off on the proper liability forms. He was then showed into the surgery room where he was placed in a larger chair and surgical tools were laid out in front of him. The doctor came in and began to prepare a gas mask and to check the Nitrous-Oxide tanks. Brett felt a wave of panic start to come over him as he saw the doctor’s hand move closer and closer to his face. He wanted to scream out and tell them to stop but before he could get himself to say anything the mask was securely on his face and he quickly began to feel sleepy. He heard the doctor’s voice talking to him, calming him. He heard the nurse begin to talk to the doctor and he noticed while just on the edge of consciousness that she was not speaking English. He then remembered how the doctor had a slight accent and as he finally fell asleep he was able to place it as a German accent.

Brett drove home cursing under his breath at the doctor and the nurse; they had told him he would feel no pain. They had lied. He was now perfectly awake as the gas had worn off at least an hour before he left the doctors office. Brett spent the next day eating and drinking soup through a straw. His wife was very amused at the situation and very smug as she had warned him for months about what might happen if he neglected his teeth. Brett would get back at her someday, he was sure of that.

Monday morning. Brett woke merrily and as he showered he ran through a mental list of all the things he had to do that day. The pain in his tooth was gone and the bleeding had stopped as well. As he stood in front of the TV putting on his tie he was going over a new algorithm for tracing net connections when a news story caught his attention. The man they were showing on the news looked an awful lot like the dentist he had gone to. What was his name he thought to himself, Schrader came to mind and was confirmed correct by the news anchor. He was pleased to have remembered the name, he was however very unpleased to hear the rest of the news story.

“… thought to have died 10 years after the fall of the German Nazi Regime. Gerhard Schrader was a dentists apprentice in the SS who did horrible experiments on the Jews. Schrader was tracked down earlier this week by the self titled group Der Jager, a militant group that search for escaped Nazi officers. Schrader, who had a dental practice, escaped with his nurse and all records of his patients. Police and FBI are investigating and all persons having any information on the case are urged to call…”

Marina came into the bedroom to call Brett for breakfast, as she walked through the door she was taken aback by the grim expression on her husbands face. Brett looked at her and for a few seconds he could only stare through her and smack his quickly drying lips. “What’s the matter, honey?” Marina asked with a sullen tone half expecting Brett to start gripping his chest any second in the panic like expression of having a heart attack. It took Brett another few seconds to compose the thoughts in his head, and by this time Marina had walked over to grip him by the shoulders. She shook him slightly trying to look into his now drooping eyes and began to ask in a more panicked voice, “Tell me what is wro…” She was cut off as Brett began to speak in a dry husky voice, “The Doctor… I mean Dentist, he was… he was on the news.” Brett paused and swiveled his head back to the TV making sure that it was on and that he had heard correctly. Without turning his head back towards her he spoke again, “The Dentist, he was just on the news. They said he was some kind of… of a Nazi. Some kind of an escaped Nazi officer. They raided his office. He was, I mean they were looking for him about some war time atrocities. Maybe he had done experiments. You know on people, maybe.”

Marina inhaled a gasp and brought a hand up to cup over her mouth. Her eyes grew larger and she also looked over to the TV trying to understand and absorb what her husband had told her. As Brett began to speak of his visit to the dentist’s office her mind raced back to two weeks ago, she pictured the waiting room of the dentist’s office and her daughter Christine, sitting quietly in her stroller waiting for her appointment. She clearly saw the face of the dentist as he leaned down and looked into the mouth of her daughter, at a tooth that was loose and paining her. She was startled back to the present as the most recent words from her terror filled husband resounded insider her head, “What if he did something to me, while I was under?”

Brett raced to the bathroom mirror and turned on the overhead lights. He stared into his own mouth, at the clenched teeth that a criminal had touched. He saw nothing wrong and he felt like he should brush his teeth, his tongue and anything else he could reach. He turned the tap on and hastily splattered toothpaste onto the brush. As his head swung back up and he moved the brush towards his open mouth, he stopped. He had noticed something, something dark almost like a shadow on the back of a tooth on the bottom row. He moved his head closer to the large mirror and angled his head to allow more light into his mouth.

If he could have screamed with his mouth open he would have, but nothing came out other than short gasps of breath. On the back of one of his lower teeth was a symbol. A symbol carved into the tooth itself. The brush tumbled head-over-stem from his hand and landed in the center of the sink splattering globs of the toothpaste all over the sink. A column of steam began to wisp up from the sink. Slowly the mirror in front of his face began to cloud up and the horrific image it depicted disappeared into a fuzzy haze.
© Copyright 2004 Sunny Rajpal (srajpal at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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