In the Dentist’s Chair

My instinct was to bolt.

Every loud noise alarmed me.

The drill brayed and I kicked involuntarily.

‘Woah, there,’ he said softly.

He tried to soothe me

but I knew he wasn’t afraid to hurt me.

He was in control,

and I had no choice but to submit.


This piece was published in CityLit’s ‘Between the Lines’ anthology, and printed on the elevator doors.


You are standing in a small, mahogany-panelled room, empty except for a simple wooden chair in the corner. You can see that it is overcast outside; the single window throws in little light. A faint odour like musty cloth lingers quietly in the background, bringing images of clothing left in the washing machine for too long or an overused raincoat, but disappearing upon a sharp or questioning inhale. From the next room, you hear a dull thud like a dense ball of soft fabric dropping to the wooden floor, unalarming and gone before you can determine its cause. You can taste the floury, starchy flavour of an unseasoned dough that does nothing to excite the senses but merely provides bulk or sustenance. You do not wish to continue chewing but the thick, wet, bland mass refuses to disintegrate.