Brush | By: Verita Mezza | | Category: Short Story - Dark Bookmark and Share


The dream begins, and I'm looking at myself in a mirror.

It's either early morning or late in the evening, and I'm brushing my teeth. The toothbrush slips back and forth over them, over my gums, inside my cheeks, and the taste of peppermint hits my tongue like a candy cane. But the taste of peppermint is quickly overpowered by the taste of copper pennies and silver spoons. The taste of metal.

The taste of blood.

It must be a cut in my mouth, I suppose, or just irritated gums. Nothing to worry about. I spit, and the foamy white toothpaste drops into the basin of the sink, ribboned with the red of my blood. The back of my hand brushes it away from my lips.

Next comes flossing. Mint-flavored wax-covered floss, slipping from it's spool, disappearing between my teeth. Green floss, the color of evergreen pine trees, diving deeper and deeper; first it's the color of pine trees, then re-appearing spotted with red, a cheery red and green of Christmas. I'm bleeding again, but the blood is flowing quicker. My mouth is full of it, and I have to choose between spitting and swallowing.

I spit, and the white porcelain of the sink is stained with red. The blood is brighter this time, but also textured with pulpy lumps of skin. I look down, detached, probing my inner cheeks with my tongue while my fingers idly touch the new contents of the sink.

The pulpy lumps are detached pieces of my mouth, my cheek and gums, glistening in the florescence, slowly slipping down the surface of the sink and into the drain. The blood is flowing now and it overflows, slipping from the corner of my lips, tracing a scarlet trail down the right side of my chin. It's also flowing into my throat, drowning me with it's sickly-sweetness.

I gag, and dry heave into the sink.

Something falls into the sink, clinking and bouncing like a pair of dice.

It's two of my teeth.

My tongue probes the depths of my mouth, looking to find the places the two teeth formerly occupied, but in the process of doing so it succeeds in knocking out three more, two molars and an incisor. My teeth are loose now, wiggling in my gums like the posts of an old picket fence.

I attempt to stop whatever’s happening my cupping my hands, fingers laced together, over my stained lips. My breath comes in shallow sniffs through my flared nostrils, and I catch my reflection in the silver mirror. Hands laced together, skin pale as paper, while threads of blood leak between my fingers, dripping, slipping, flowing down my arms until they drip from my elbows.

I bend down quickly, and spit my wriggling tongue into the sink.

The dream ends, and I wake up in bed, soaked in sweat, with the taste of copper pennies and silver spoons lingering in my mouth. But it's not a memory; my lips were crusted with blood, and it turns out that during the course of the dream, my jaw clamped down and bit a crescent moon into the bottom of my tongue.

It still hurts, regardless of whether I'm awake or asleep.
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