The Procedure

My world went white as my eyes were probed by a burning light, radiating from some unseen apparatus suspended above me. It was no natural glow, for it was as sharp as razors and as sterile as the void. Agonizingly it cleansed my vision, reducing my world to but a haze. Instinctively I screwed my eyes shut, in the hopes of some relief from its prying rays.

Blinded as I was, I was unprepared for a sudden motion that laid me flat upon my back. I wheeled in place, roughly adjusted, before being inspected like livestock. The damnable light turned around me for a moment, before descending towards me like some fallen star. It came to rest but a foot before me, and even through my closed eyes I could see its horrid light.

Rendered helpless by the searing glow, I was no match for my captors. Cold, rubbery hands unceremoniously clawed at my chin, pulling my jaw to my chest. Before I could bite down I was partially gagged, a putrid rubber block lodged between my teeth. I could feel bone rumble in protest as my jaw near dislocated, and any efforts to relieve the pressure proved futile.

Then the true agony began. Metal instruments, frigid and harsh, played across my teeth like some twisted xylophone, sending ripples of monstrous noise through my head. Here and there they would stop to jab and pry, sending pain sharp as glass through my jaw. I winced at each intrusion, but my discomfort was ignored.

After an eternity of jabbing and poking, I felt one final sting, greater than the others. I could feel a horrid concoction of god knows what injected into my veins, burning as it flowed. The pain was quickly replaced, however, by a tingling numbness. Like a puppet cut from its strings, my face no longer obeyed my commands.

My alarm was quickly replaced, however, by a new, creeping fear; a mechanical whine that made my blood run cold.

Panicked, I opened my eyes, only to force them shut against I was overpowered by the intense illumination that hung inches from my face. I tried to speak out, but my tongue was swiftly captured, and held in place by another of those vile instruments. I wanted to shake my head, to clear my mouth of these horrible metal contraptions.

But I froze solid as I heard the vicious cry of metal boring into tooth. The horrid vibrations jostled my eyes and rattled my brain, so intense that I feared that the device had burrowed into my jaw. There was no way to tell, however, with my face deadened by that devious brew plunged into my gums.

As bits of enamel were flung from my mouth, I caught a whiff of something I shall never forget; powdered tooth. Visions of ancient alchemy filled my head as my teeth were pulverized by this wretched auger that dug into my face.

Abruptly the drilling ceased, its horrid work no longer assaulting my senses. The maddening vibrations were replaced with a soft tapping, soothing when compared to the ordeal I had just faced. Finally, a flash of violet marked the end of my torture, and I could feel the cold, rubber stopper pulled from between my teeth. My aching jaw slammed shut, popping back into place after an hour of strain. At last, the damned light was killed unceremoniously, its silhouette burned into my eyes.

“Looks like we’re all done here, Mr. Towton,” came a soft, feminine voice to my left, “that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

Mentally I strongly disagreed with the speaker, but the clinging numbness made it impossible to talk. I simply nodded in agreement.

My joints creaking, I was returned to a sitting position by the mechanical chair upon which I had laid. As my eyes cleared, I was presented with a soft, beige wall lined with charts and medical equipment.

In the corner sat an aged woman, and before her an aged computer glowed menacingly. “So that’s one filling today,” she hummed, pouring over a spreadsheet, “but we have those two spots that are a possible concern.” Rapidly she clicked over to a calendar, and scanned it. “We have a free spot on Thursday at three, will that work for you?”

My shoulders sank, and I defeatedly burbled an affirmation.

“Perfect,” the dentist replied, “we’ll see you then. Just swing by reception, we’ll sort the bill out there.”

Little did I know my nightmare had only begun.

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