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Lee's mind was a terrifying place. In Lee's mind, there was a ghost waiting for her on the other side of the bathroom door. There was a vampire crouched outside her window, and a zombie clawing its way out of her front yard, in Lee's mind. Lee however, is a teenager with the imagination of a child. With the stress of an impending wisdom tooth surgery and the fear of being put under, her imagination has gone into overdrive. The night before the surgery, Lee woke from a nightmare, screaming. Her mother rushed to her room, but saw no sign of the werewolf that Lee was screaming about.
"Lee honey, there's nothing here. Not even a shred of fur. There's nothing to worry about. I know you're scared about your surgery, but it's a common surgery. I've had my wisdom teeth out, so has your father, and probably a lot of your friends."
"But what if a monster attacks me?" Lee said. Her mother sighed, kissed her daughter, and left the room. She knew this was a dead-end conversation. She had tried a thousand times to convince her daughter that monsters weren't real and had no success. She only tried her luck calming Lee down about the surgery because that was a real thing, something she could understand. The next morning, Lee's mother took her to the doctor's. Inside the building, Lee peered down every hallway and staircase, making sure nothing could sneak up on them. Her mother gave her the look that said she was unimpressed. Lee knew her mother was probably right; she had lived all these years and never met a real monster to back up all her fears. And she wanted to make her mother proud. So when her mother asked if she was still scared, Lee mustered her courage.
"Of course not, there are no monsters here. You're so weird Mom." Shocked, her mother entered the doctor's office without a word. The doctor was standing right in front of them, waiting. He greeted them both with a comforting smile.
"Hello, I'm Doctor Von Schmidt. We've had a cancellation, so we're ready for you right away, if that's okay with you?" Lee's mother was about to interject and inform the doctor that Lee would need more time to adjust, but Lee spoke up first.
"That sounds fine. Nice to meet you Doctor Von Schmidt." she said. They shook hands, and he led her into the operating room. A fake-leather chair was positioned in the middle of the room and Lee took a seat. The nurses came into the room, smiled reassuringly, told her she was going to be okay, then began prepping her. When everything was set, the doctor grabbed the gas mask.
"I'd like you to count backwards from ten for me, can you do that?"
"Of course." she said confidently. She started counting.
"This won't hurt a bit." The doctor said. She was halfway through saying the number eight when she fell sound asleep. When she woke up, she still felt as if her eyelids were being weighed down. In fact, she couldn't move any part of her body. Maybe this is what it feels like to be unconscious, but know that you're unconscious, she started to think. It almost felt like a dream, until she felt the pain. The metal bars holding her mouth open were digging into the tissue of her cheek, scraping off layers of skin. She tried to speak, to move around, but her body wouldn't respond. Then she heard the whir of a saw and felt it tear into her gums as it separated them from her teeth. It cut around each side of her tooth, taking all the gum with it as it went, then moved on to the next, and the next, and the next. The blood pooled in the back of her throat and she thought she was going to choke to death and, at that moment, she wished she would. She felt the doctor reach his hand in and grab her tooth. He wiggled it side-to-side, back and forth until it unsettled itself. He pulled it up and she felt the roots slide along the gums for what seemed like eternity. As the roots finally emerged, he dragged the tooth across her freshly torn gums and she would've screamed in agony, if she could. He pulled at another tooth and she passed out just as it came free. The next sound she heard was her mother's voice. She was sitting, flopped, in a chair in the reception room. She opened her eyes and looked at her mother, and they smiled at each other.
"See, that wasn't so bad, was it? The doctor said you were out before you even got halfway through counting!"
"I don't even remember counting at all." she said and laughed. The movement felt weird in her mouth, now that there was extra space.
"You're just as bad as me then, no memories at all. If I didn't have to pay the bills for it, I might not be sure my wisdom teeth were even out."
"Yeah... no memories at all." Lee propped herself up in the chair, trying to remember something, to grasp on to it, but it was misty and it evaded her.
"What are you thinking about?" Her mother asked, as Lee stared off into open space.
"Hmm... just how weird it is, not to have memories. It's like having a dream. The memories are almost there, but they're just out of reach."
"Well, I can promise you nothing bad happened. It's not like one of your vampires was in the room biting your neck, these are trusted doctors."
This is part of a story I wrote a long time ago. The only part I saved was the gory part near the end. The rest was written more like a children's story, and it just seemed so weird and out of place. So I gutted it and re-wrote everything else. I'm not sure where exactly this story fits in my plan of writing a sci-fi and/or fantasy short story collection, but I still like it. Writing scary things has always been my favourite, but I don't think I'm particularly good at it.

If you liked this story, please check out my other ones, or go to my website at coltonhornstein.com, to see about buying cheap ebooks :)
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October 27, 2011
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