I'm in a small house near a beach. The kind of house I think of as a 'holiday home'. The woman I'm staying with (an older woman. Very ugly. Perhaps she's the owner) has been complaining about her teeth for a while. They hurt her. They ache.

She decides to pull out her teeth, but she is looking for support. She insists I take out some of my teeth at the same time. Moral support. I am horrified at first, but after a couple of experimental tugs I discover that one of my front teeth comes away cleanly. No pain. Ahh. That feels nice actually. It's refreshing. The air feels fresher and colder through the gap, like I've eaten some tasty mints.

Soon I'm tugging at the other front tooth and it too is extracted painlessly. There is a pleasant tickling sensation as the root comes away. It feels like pulling a silk tie slowly through a closed hand. I am an inverted Bugs Bunny and it's funny.

Now we are both pulling our teeth. We are rushing to finish the job and get them all out. That is important; to remove all of them and be left with smooth minty gums.

As I reach back for the last of the remaining (and difficult to reach) molars I realise something horrific. In my rush I have made a bad job of it. We both have. There are stumps. Some teeth have only been partially removed, snapped in half. It hurts now. When you cut yourself the pain comes not with the injury, but when you see the blood. I go to a mirror and am appalled by the mess in my jaws. Bits of teeth. Half teeth. Stubs of canine, slick with saliva and blood and impossible to grip. I rush to the kitchen and look for implements. I don't know what I'm looking for but I wonder if there might be some nutcrackers in this drawer.

Only forks and spoons. Reasoning that pronged forks will afford more grip than smooth spoons, I grab a couple. (the woman is forgotten. I don't know where she is. Perhaps she is panicking somewhere else). I turn back to the mirror but it has gone. It was never there. The room is different. No woman and no mirror and an ache in every tooth. I go back for a nice big spoon to use as a mirror. The convex face reveals a grotesque parody where once my teeth stood. A circus hall of mirrors distorted jaw. The spoon is frustrating. Wherever I position my hands I block my view.

Regardless, I go in with a fork in each hand (how is the spoon held up? I'm no longer sure) and try to grasp a tooth. Go for that one, the biggest. Sort this out. The grip isn't enough. The forks are not sharp enough to hold the tooth firmly, but they do shred my gums when I loose my grip.

I know that this is a nightmare. I know that I will wake up and my teeth will be fine.

For the first time I try to relax. I try to close my mouth. Shards of broken tooth dig in to the tender flesh in the opposite gum. My mouth opens in a scream and I suspect I won't close it again for a while. I know that it is Sunday and that the dentist will be closed until tomorrow.

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