Perfect Family Tales And Other Trivia

The art of the short-story writer is that of the cartoonist. It is the magical craft of creating entire worlds with a few simple strokes of a pen. Tales told by an idiot? Maybe! But my tales are also a mix of reality and fantasy; truth and lies; some based on my own family; others, not. Readers must guess which characters are real; who are inventions - and who are an amalgam of both. Please draw the boundaries for yourself.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

‘Teeth Like Pearls’

Margaret.Thatcher.03The day Lady Thatcher died was the day Hayley Morton had her extractions.

“I’ve come to seize your teeth, not to bury them,” beamed Professor David Greenough, flourishing his forceps. “Do you want to keep them? They’re no use left lying here. Not even as op art niceties.

“You’d better tell me now,” he advised. “You may not feel like trying to talk in a few minutes.”

“Yeah. That’s a good idea,” said Hayleyhuman.tooth.ring decisively. “I fancy some tooth jewellery. I’ll be left with enough for a pair of earrings and a finger ring. I always liked Lady Thatcher’s pearls. Particularly her earrings. They made her look so elegant - and I can’t afford the real thing. Especially not now,” she added, her gorge rising at a mental image of the bill she’d been handed at reception.

She’d still be paying the credit card instalments when she retired. How, she wondered, would she – and her bank balance - look in ten years time? Eternally divided, she supposed.

She never had recovered properly after losing her job with the local council back in the eighties. Now she had two part-time jobs as an agency carer. No argument there. She needed both to keep going.

Then her friends at the local bingo hall had persuaded her to get a ‘new smile’. Never mind what you spend down here. It’s bound to pay for itself in the end, they’d said.

human.tooth.earrings“Go for it!,” urged her best mate, Iris. Don’t turn back. Just think of yourself grinning like a cat on all the pictures when you get that huge win. It’ll be the best money – apart from the laughs here with us – that you’ve ever spent.”

“Yeah,” she’d also said then. “It’s a gamble. But it’ll be great to have a full house of decent choppers. All I’ll need after will be a visit from the tooth fairy.”

Natalie Wood

(Copyright, Natalie Irene Wood – 12 April 2013)

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