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Dentistry circa 1616.

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[LEFT][I]Author's Note: so I wrote this up in about an hour for a class assignment, shakespeare's julius caeser. something about dentistry, kind of stupid. we were only required to write one paragraph but the writing well was dry so I just went with it. Im not a premium member and EditRed screwed me over so I don't have anywhere to put this. Need constructive criticism. don't comment saying it's fine, good, etc., just be honest and tell me what's wrong so I can take some notes.[/I]


It began like this: a fortnight ago, a dream. It began like they always do, in darkness: I was standing in my room, only it wasn’t my room; and it was daytime, except it wasn’t. A woman came through the door and left through another. Outside, a slow rain. A persistent ringing invaded every corner of the room. Everything was in a muted state of panic. Then, my mouth began to hurt and blood began to seep out the corners. I opened my mouth and something hard came out and fell to the floor with a silent thud. My hands picked up the object; it was covered in blood and bile and was a pearly white. It took me a few moments before I came to recognize what the ball was made up of: teeth. My teeth. And something violent seized me and I was covering my mouth and trying not to scream, but why?

And then, I was awake; and that sick, ache followed me into consciousness, only it was concentrated in the lower left hemisphere of my jaw. I fetched a candle and lit it. In a mirror, even in the dim light I could see where the soreness came from: my lower left canine, the gums below it were a dark red.

Again, this was a fortnight ago and a fortnight since I have been fighting an endless succession of pulsating stings, like a hole has been carved through and a freezing breeze drifts freely through, sending a painful shiver through my body. And the gums around the tooth grew darker, then blacker. I needed to see a doctor, but I hadn’t enough money. An acquaintance told me about a man who drinks down at the tavern, he use to be a man of medicine before he became a drunk. For a few coins and a pint he would listen to your complaints and tell you what you needed and make it for you or perform some kind of operation for a couple more coins. So, when the pain became unbearable, I went.

The owner lit only a few candles as to save money, so it was quite dim. The light illuminated only the outlines of chairs and patrons. All the fine details were left in black. Drunks congregated and passed out in the darkest corners. At the bar, my acquaintance chatted up a young man. He looked at me and nodded towards the other side, where another duo of conversed.

He was an old man, gray but sturdy. His fingers were long and thin like spiders legs. They crawled across the bar top and entangled themselves around a mug such as an eight legged fiend would do to its prey. The other looked like me, but he’s not part of the story. He just looked so much like myself.

They both looked at me looking at them and grew quiet. My doppelganger, seeing my pain, said goodbye and made his way towards the front. The old man, the Surgeon as my acquaintance called him, turned his attention away from me and to his tankard. He downed the last remnants of his drink, then said to me, without looking up, “You got pain in you?”

I nodded.

He sighed, then said, “Well, first another ale.”

I bought him another drink and waited, my foot tapping the ground in an irregular beat. My eyes kept looking to the bartender, then the front door. When he finished, he asked what was wrong and I showed him my gums and tooth; the contusions having spread, gave my mouth a grotesque appearance of disease. The bottom of the tooth had begun to bruise as well. He looked only a few moments and to this, this rotting orifice in need of treatment, he could only say, “Eww.“ He told me that that tooth would have to come out, and he held out his hand, which begged to be filled. I obliged.

The Surgeon lead me through the taverns backrooms, each gloomier then the one before it. In the last room, he motioned for me to sit down in a chair that stood alone in a corner. I did. Then he reached into his coat and produced a few lengths of rope. “I’m gonna have to tie you down,” he said, searching my face for any sign of fear. “its so you wont fidget around, could get messy if you do”

I only nodded and his hands tied my wrists to the arms of the chair, the legs of his spiders weaving intricate knots. The thought that maybe I had walked right into his web crossed my mind more then once. Could I trust this man? Whose hands look like a pair of venomous arachnids?

He finished at my wrists and worked my ankles into the rope. His hands were steady, they didn’t shake the least bit. When he finished, he took out a roll of blue velvet from his coat and laid it down upon the floor and began to unroll it. I became quite uneasy, for each roll of the cloth brought with it a new instrument. First, what appeared to be a rusted butter knife. Then other knives and picks of various lengths and degrees of rust. And last, a jagged rock.

The Surgeon picked out one of the smaller, less corroded knives. Then a long piece of wood, which he put in my mouth, keeping it open. The knife he began to lodge under my tooth, the intrusion sending waves of fire through it; dull scorches of lighting from the black sky laying siege to my one little tooth, that never did no god no harm. The Surgeon looked into my eyes a moment, seeking some kind signal from within me to give him the go ahead. My other teeth biting down into the wood, moaning in agony, I told him to do it, do whatever he had to do, just stop it! But since there was something in my mouth, the words came out as muddled and thoroughly salivated baby-talk. He took this as a “yes.”

And he held the knife where it was.

And with his free hand he picked up the rock.

And brought it above and over his head.

And slammed it down upon the knife.[/LEFT]