The Emporium Gazette
from
Issue 3 -- July 1999




The Perfect Dentist
by Bob Nailor

I still remember the day I found my wife. Well, she wasn't my wife, then. I was a widower with a seven-year-old son at the time.

There was a loud thump and the sounds of miscellaneous items rattling across the floor. The noise came from my son's bedroom and I immediately dashed there, fearing he had fallen out of the bed.

When I flicked on the overhead light, she lay sprawled before me. A strange woman sat on the floor, her back flattened against a chest of drawers, obviously trying to focus. I got the impression that she had literally knocked herself silly.

"Who are you?" I asked while taking note that my son was still asleep, the knuckles on his right hand slightly reddened.

"I." she said then stopped. "I don't know?"

"All right then," I quipped. "How did you get in here?"

She shrugged and scanned the room.

Her flimsy dress revealed exquisite ivory-hued shoulders, and her dark, curly tresses framed a delicate, pale face. Her enormous emerald eyes drew me ever closer.

She looked lost and I softened when I saw the darkening bruise above her cheek.

"What happened?" I bent to help her.

"I don't know." Her voice was the sound of a flute and cymbal, tinkling and melodic. "Who are you?"

"I'm the owner of this house," I gently brushed her cheek. "This is my son's bedroom." I wasn't about to give up. A strange lady in my son's bedroom wasn't an everyday occurrence. With my assistance, she stood and I guided her to the living room.

We were married a few weeks later. She brought me something I'd not felt for many years; the surrealistic feeling of accomplishment. In return, I gave her stability to a flighty, casual approach to life.

That was over forty-five years ago.

During that time Amarith became a dentist, a damn good one. She had this uncanny ability to extract teeth and children loved her. It was a perfect match, giving joy to both.

It shouldn't be a surprise to you when I reveal that my wife never aged. I mean, she appeared older, more mature; of course, But she wasn't. It was makeup.

Of course, I had tricked Amarith. She couldn't leave me. Even now, she waits.

I'm laying on my deathbed. In my hand is the one thing that Amarith needs and wants. In my last gesture of love to her, I'll place it beneath my pillow.

For, you see, my son hit her in his sleep when she attempted to retrieve the lost tooth from beneath his pillow. I took the tooth and gave him a quarter. He never knew. But not everyone gets to meet the tooth fairy, let alone marries her.

The tooth I've kept hidden all these years is now beneath my pillow. Amarith will take it and leave tonight.




Bob Nailor is author of "The Secret Voice," an Amish-Christian story, "Pangaea, Eden Lost," an adventure story, "Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold," a Celtic fantasy, and "2012: Timeline Apocalypse," an end-of-time tale. He is also included in several anthologies and collections. Check his website at www.bobnailor.com




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