Is it safe?


The victim was thrust into the chamber, his fate already sealed. Through horrified eyes he glimpsed the instruments of torture – the needles, the picks, the elastic tubing. Strange machines hummed threateningly, watching him with unfeeling eyes as he was forced into the chair.

Then the Dentist walked in.

He was annoyed, and I realized the gravity of my situation. I had made the critical mistake of being (involuntary gasp here) the last patient of the day.

Never, EVER do this.

Nobody likes it when liberty is threatened. But not everyone has sharp instruments at his disposal, and not everyone has intimate knowlege of how to inflict pain without leaving a scar.

Strategically placed at eye level were all the tools that could be employed to hurt me, a thinly-veiled admonition to “behave.” They attached a bizarre medieval-looking device over my mouth, somewhat resembling the mask of Hannibal Lecter. It used wires and rubber to force my mouth open in such a way that any fluid generated during the procedure would be directed straight into my lungs.

Then he began. He thrust a giant needle into my gums. He drilled. He prodded. He stuck a vacuum down my throat. It was a scene right out of “Marathon Man“, but instead of asking, “Is it safe?”, he asked, “You’re Navy?” (poke) MMHMPH. “Where are you from?” (stab) MPOMPH! The man had no soul.

After he had satiated his appetite for cruelty, he just…stopped. The mask was removed, the table was swung away. In a flash I realized they had forgotten to guard the door and I made a run for it, a trail of saliva following me as I made for the exit.

The Dentist never moved. He didn’t have to. His final words chilled me then, and haunt me still today: “The repair won’t last forever – you’ll need to have it fixed again someday.”

The man had no soul.

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