I hated dentists. Really, who didn’t hate dentists? But right now, I desperately wanted one. A molar had broken on me, and what was underneath hurt like hell. The left side of my mouth ached into the jaw, and the slightest touch of liquid sent an electric jolt through me.
I was even desperate enough to try the local solution, a fairy tale witch with potions and whatnot. She was hunched over and sounded older than she looked, really, with a smoker’s rasp in her voice though no evidence of the habit. She plucked leaves and berries and other odds and ends from various earthenware jars and ground them all up with a mortar and pestle. Then she whispered words of magic and twinkling motes of green, gold, and purple danced over the concoction. She thrust the thing at me as it bubbled coldly, each popping bubble releasing a noxious skunk odor or peppermint or even smoked hickory. My nose and tastebuds didn’t know what to make of that combination.
“Drink, and all the pains of your mouth will disappear.”
I was about to bolt when my sigh hit the exposed tooth, spearing my jaw with fresh pain.
I downed the draught in one gulp, doing my best not to breathe while I did so.
Of course, nothing happened. It wouldn’t be dramatic if it happened right away.
I belched, sending out a literal purple cloud of the skunk/peppermint/hickory mix.
The pain went away.
I belched again, and felt a weird sensation from that side of my mouth. My tongue sought it out to find the jagged edge of missing tooth replaced by smooth enamel.
“Wow. That’s some good—” I belched a series of smaller clouds, now, then felt pain from all over my mouth as well as a sharp sound. In short order my mouth filled with bits of things. I spit them all out into my hand to see a couple of porcelain crowns and several metal fillings.
I ran my tongue over my teeth, feeling each one had been restored to good as new, no modern dental work remaining in my mouth.
“No wonder your mouth hurt, chewing metal. Silly man.”
Sure beats any dentist in Brooklyn. Sometimes this fairy tale place isn’t so bad.