spending nearly thirty minutes in the parking lot, Tory had finally
mustered up enough courage to get out of her car and enter the
building for her two oclock appointment. Now, leaning her
head stiffly back against the headrest of the chair, she frowned
so deeply that it caused wrinkles to appear on her still smooth
forehead. She allowed her eyes to scan the cheerful room before
coming to rest on the modern state-of-the-art dental equipment.
Her head jerked suddenly, painfully, forward when she heard a
deep male voice coming from the hallway behind her. The voice
drew nearer and nearer until a tall male form stood directly before
her. In the prison that Tory knew to be her mind, the room receded,
and she withdrew from the moment and turned onto a dark scary
road leading to
The small room was dark with a macabre aura that was more than
just frightening to the thin form cowering in the big black chair.
A skull showing the upper and lower teeth rested behind the glass
of a black metal cabinet, and above it was an eerie assortment
of tools, each displayed in a menacing manner. The little girls
whole body stiffened when she heard the door open behind her.
The old man was more repulsive and frightening than anything else
in the room. His face was puffy, and he looked as if he already
resided in hell. Coming close, his lips moved with the usual instruction
while his hard hands held her head still; open your mouth.
The big splotchy looking tongue was rammed hard into her small
mouth. It reached deep into her throat, gagging and tearing her
soul from her. In her mind, she screamed Oh, MamaMamaaaaaa,
Years later, when Tory brought the subject up, her mother had
only said that she had thought her daughter was being overly sensitive,
that old Dr. Dodge was just a harmless old man playing out a grandfather
role with the eleven-year-old girl. Knowing that her mother had
always lived in a dream world along with the soap opera characters
that made her sad life more bearable, Tory had mercifully let
the subject drop, but from the time that it first happened and
she told her mother until the present time, she could never rid
herself of the sense of betrayal or the deep and persistent need
for safety and comfort.
The past became the past once more, and Tory realized that Dr.
Marlin had asked her a question several times and was now looking
at her with some concern.
Driving home, her thoughts turned once more to the darkness. For
years, dental appointments had only been made out of sheer necessity,
and the result of that was now a constant reminder of that little
mind screaming girl.
also realized that in her whole life, she had only felt safe with
one mortal being, but he could never share her fear. His childhood
had been too sweettoo innocent. He was no longer in her
life, but there was a new love, a deep love. He wanted her to
allow God to heal her woundsprovide safety.
knew that she had already given Him some of her wounds, but this
she still kept close. She could never understand why she could
not let go of this part of her past because it had never gone
any further than his tongue inside her mouth. Only God knew how
violatedhow cheapened and dirty she had always felt because
of this terrible actone committed more than once against
her in the innocence of childhood.
she was not the only woman with such a past. There were more than
a few sad women walking aroundthe silent wounded, needing
safety from the future because of old Dr. Dodge.
Griffith Brown writes short fiction; her stories have appeared
in online venues, including USADEEPSOUTH.COM. She has also compiled,
written, and published The Scofield Letters: Texas Pioneers,
a nonfiction work based on nineteenth-century family letters.
A retired RN whose specialty was Geriatric Nursing, Gilda often
finds her writing centered on the elderlypeople who provide
strong characters and share some of the sweetest and dearest messages
of life. She lives in her hometown of Canton, Mississippi.
Gilda Griffith Brown