Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week the key word is “teeth.”
Today’s contribution comes from Cathy MacKenzie. She is currently working on a short e-book, Creepy Crazy Christmas, Volume 2. (More stories of the weird and wacky Grimes Family; publication date in November.) For now, check out her most recent book of 18 short stories, Between These Pages. Only $2.99 for the e-book. Available on Amazon and Smashwords: and
Next week’s post will come from Deborah Dera, who traditionally ghostwrites articles and web content and is currently mentoring other freelancers. She hopes to put together her first eBook for publication in early 2014.
Not With My Teeth You Don’t!
Rita stood before a mirror and stared at the foreign face leering back at her.
Who are you? I don’t know you. Do you know me? “I didn’t think so,” she muttered.
She combed her fingers through her sparse hair, wanting to pull out every limp strand. She might as well be totally bald, since there wasn’t much hair left. A shiny, hairless head would be the perfect complement to a toothless grin.
After waving goodbye to the image in the mirror, she grabbed her purse and headed to the dental school, where she’d have to pay only a token amount for dental work. Students at the local college clamored for guinea pigs. She had seen the ad on the soup kitchen bulletin board and had attended for a consultation just the previous week.
“You need all your teeth pulled,” the student had told her. “You have gum disease and there’s no saving your teeth. They’ll soon cause you untold grief. Better to get rid of them now, while the services here are free. Administration will be raising prices next semester, which will make our fees almost as high as the dentists.”
Rita had hesitantly agreed. She didn’t have extra money to fritter away on dental work, not on her meagre government pension.
While sitting alone in the waiting room awaiting her appointment, she pondered her unfortunate fate. She may have bad teeth and thinning hair, but her hearing was intact. She knew that, because she had attended at the audiology clinic the day previous, when they offered hearing tests for seniors. She only went because the test was free, not because thought she had a problem. Besides, it gave her something to do and someone to converse with. Of course, the audiologist had an ulterior motive to sell hearing aids, whether a patient needed one or not, but that stunt wouldn’t succeed on Rita, although they had tried. She had been told she was hard of hearing—almost deaf in her left ear—but she knew all that to be hogwash. Her left ear was her phone ear, and she could hear perfectly. She didn’t have any friends, so she often telephoned businesses and listened to their recordings for hours. To prolong the experience, she’d punch in this extension or that extension, not that prolonging the calls were hard feats, since it was almost impossible to reach a live human on the telephone nowadays and, if one were successful, one had to attempt to converse with a foreigner from India or China or another such place. No, her hearing was perfectly fine. The world strived to take advantage of seniors.
She watched the young woman behind the desk and, when the phone rang, decided to eavesdrop, if nothing else to prove she wasn’t yet ready to kick the bucket. Despite the receptionist keeping her voice low, as if purposely concealing her words, Rita couldn’t help but overhear snippets of the conversation.
“Don’t worry…told you I’d get them…one patient here now…at least twenty-four…they may be rotten…nothing a bit of white paint won’t fix…Miranda’s tooth fairy…tonight for sure…yes…
Positive her teeth were as flawless as her hearing, Rita didn’t need to hear any more. Heck, she couldn’t remember the last time she had had trouble with her teeth. She had only gone to the dental consultation because it was free and she wanted someone to talk to.
No, siree, no one’s going to pull my teeth needlessly. “Never underestimate the hearing of a senior,” she muttered. She let the door slam behind her.
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