I watched his face turn into meat; red, moist, and full of steam; the child screamed and thrashed and wiggled, the restraints just getting tighter and tighter. I grabbed his jaw: I held it still...
I shoved a needle into his mouth.
The boy screamed ever more with fresh horror, as the children under similiar restraints looked on in prayer. The child shrieked as I advanced; I straddled his reclined chair and unzipped his pants. Nurses gasped. Children whimpered. Mothers in the waiting area panicked behind glass like lizards watching an approaching fire.
I leaned in close; I sat down hard. He cringed away, but we both felt one another's wood. His blue eyes opened; I saw a flicker of a smile. Despite all his fear, deep down I knew I was someone he admired. I may hurt him with my tools of savagery, my tight leather straps, and my novacaine, but he still was thankful of me because I made his teeth beautiful and cavity-free.
I was his dentist, after all.
Now? I serve cold soup in the jail's cafeteria.
I'm not allowed to be near forks.
Sometimes I catch myself staring at my teeth in a mirror, feeling the space between them, worried about a gap.
Then I think of the boy and get hard again.