Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Evil Revisited

Gilda Griffith Brown

After 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 o’clock 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 girl’s 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, Mama—Mamaaaaaa, help me.

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.

She 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 sweet—too 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 wounds—provide safety.

She 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 violated—how cheapened and dirty she had always felt because of this terrible act—one committed more than once against her in the innocence of childhood.

Sadly, she was not the only woman with such a past. There were more than a few sad women walking around—the silent wounded, needing safety from the future because of old Dr. Dodge.


Gilda 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 elderly—people 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

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012