This past week, I’ve been trying to make a list of things that scare me. I think you’d be surprised to know that my list is quite long. I think in order to become a better horror writer I need to have a better understanding of my own fears and why I’m frightened by them.
Lately, I’ve been having dreams where my car drives off a bridge and lands in a river, and I watch the car fill up with water as it sinks. Even in my dreams I save myself however, and allow myself to escape the car and swim to shore. So perhaps in these dreams it’s not just the possibility of death that I fear, but rather the fall. I think the scariest part of these dreams is the moment when the car is flying through the air, just before it hits the water. In these moments I can see the inevitable before me, and it’s horrifying.
I try to remember this when I write. Death is always scariest when you can see it coming plainly before you, but there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
I’m also scared of Ouija Boards and of having all my teeth pulled out. So I hope you enjoy these pictures of my new Ouija Board (I guess I like to keep things that scare me nearby for inspiration), and the final installment of “The Tooth Fairy.” Thank you for reading.
With Screams and Axes,
The Tooth Fairy (Part 3)
When Daniel got home that evening, he found Jorge there waiting for him. Jorge was sitting on the couch, looking at his phone, with his head resting against one of his hands. When Daniel opened the door and saw him, it felt like maybe this was a ghost or a vision, or he had accidentally traveled back in time to the way things were before. But the pain in his jaw reminded him that this was now, and this was real, and Jorge’s frown told Daniel that he wasn’t here to take him back.
“I still had my key,” Jorge started. “I hope you don’t mind. I wanted to see you.”
“Did you just come to return it?” Daniel asked, wishing he could say all the things he wanted to say, to tell him that he needed him, and that he needed help, that he was scared and alone.
“Yes.” Jorge stood up and put his hands in his pockets. Daniel could tell he was uncomfortable and wondered if a friend or a family member had badgered him into checking up on him. “But I also wanted to see how you were doing. I realize now that it might have been unfair the way I…”
“Left me?” Daniel sat on the couch and reached for the bottle of pills in his jacket pocket.
“Yeah.” Jorge watched Daniel struggle with the lid of the bottle before he took it from him, opened it and handed it back. Their hands touched for a moment, and all Daniel wanted was to take his hand and ask him to stay. But he knew that wasn’t right, and that he’d just make a fool of himself. He dry swallowed 4 aspirin instead. “You look like shit,” Jorge said.
“I feel like shit,” Daniel laughed.
“Is it your wisdom teeth?”
“Among other things.”
“You’ve known for a while that those needed to come out. I’m not sure what you’re waiting for.”
“I can’t afford it. And what’s the fucking point anyway?” Daniel didn’t want to argue with him, he didn’t want to raise his voice and make his head hurt. Maybe he just wanted Jorge to go away and not see him like this; go back to whoever it was he found to replace him.
“Well, it’s your choice to stay in pain and not take care of yourself if you want. I just want to let you know that if you do, that you can’t blame it on me. I know you want to, but you can’t blame all your problems on me.”
“Is that why you’re really here? To let me know that you’re not responsible for this? For me?”
“I guess so.” Jorge took the apartment keys out of his pocket and handed them to Daniel. “Please take care of yourself,” he said and turned to leave. Daniel looked away as he heard the door shut, wanting to say something but having no words. Then he was alone again and things were devastatingly quiet.
Under the kitchen sink, Daniel found a half-full bottle of vodka. He poured some in a glass and drank it straight, swishing it around his mouth before he swallowed, the subtle burn of it comforting his gums. Daniel sat at the kitchen table drinking big gulps of vodka, and resting his head against the smooth wood of the table. Pressing his forehead against the hard surface helped somehow. He gave into the pain and let his head swim in it. He knew that if he tried to stand he would collapse. He could feel the darkness around him. He listened to swishing noises that could have been the blood pumping through his brain or the shuffled steps of something with him in the kitchen. Little whispers tickled his ears, like muffled conversation in the apartment next door. He covered his ears, and tried to steady himself enough to stand; he knew it was time to do something.
Tottering to the bathroom, Daniel retrieved a razor blade from a package under the sink. With blurred vision, Daniel looked into the mirror and opened his mouth wide. He was going to get these god damn teeth out himself.
He barely felt the pain of the razor at first, and the cut he made seemed to relieve pressure somehow. But when his mouth filled with blood, his head began to feel light and he knew his work was done. He couldn’t do this alone.
That’s when he felt someone standing behind him. He turned around slowly, half expecting to see Jorge or maybe an angel of mercy. But instead he saw an extremely tall, skinny man with gray saggy skin, wearing no clothes. The man towered over Daniel and smiled, revealing double rows of needle sharp teeth. Daniel realized that this wasn’t a man at all.
“You shouldn’t do that, my dear,” the Monster said. “May I help you?” Daniel felt the Monster’s arm wrap around him, pulling him closer like they were partners in a waltz. Daniel relaxed into the embrace and let the Monster support his weight. The toothy smile remained fixed, his black eyes reflecting Daniel’s swollen, bloody face.
“Yes,” Daniel answered. “Please help me.”
“Oh, I will,” the Monster said. “What you have here is a delicacy.” And with that the Monster revealed an over-sized pair of silver scissors. Quickly and quietly, he reached into Daniel’s mouth, pulled out his tongue, and in one swift motion snipped it off. “Now that’s out of our way,” the Monster chuckled. He then continued to pull out each of Daniel’s teeth with long, plier-like fingers while Daniel moaned and his eyes rolled back up into his head. After each tooth was extracted, the Monster popped them in his own mouth. Daniel could hear the wrenching sound of the yanking mixed with the sounds of furious crunching. The Monster saved the wisdom teeth for last. After they were pulled and consumed, the Monster carried Daniel to his bed like a baby, and set a phone beside his hand. “Never say I didn’t take care of you, my dear.”