#6 Re-read old work

Here`s a sample of the first novel that I`m working on at the moment, rewriting and preparing it for an agent:


Chapter One – The Dentist


There it was, as she had remembered it. A private house originally, its face was obscured by other, giant, beautiful faces with impossibly perfect teeth. Huge bubble letters spelt the words: ‘Teeth U Like’. Teresa got her breath back from the short walk, then reached up for the entry phone button. A tinny voice crackled through a small plastic speaker but Teresa couldn’t decipher anything.

“I have an appointment?” She spoke uncertainly. The device replied inaudibly before buzzing at her. Simultaneously she heard a metallic clunk and the large gate opened an inch. Teresa pushed her way through and closed the gate, with effort, behind her.


“Name?” the receptionist asked between smiles.


“Teresa Da Silva. I’m early.”


The receptionist was indifferent to whether Teresa was early, late or whatever.


“Take a seat.” she smiled.


Teresa flopped onto the only seat she could see, a large sofa. She slumped down into it’s brown leather cushions and waited anxiously. Her phone vibrated, it was a text from her fiance, Felipe, telling her he loved her and that he was sorry. She was about to text a reply when her name was called.


“You can go through” the receptionist smiled falsly.


“Through here?” Teresa indicated the only door in the room other than the entrance.


“Yes,” the receptionist sighed through the smile.


Teresa nervously opened the door and walked into a fantastically white room filled with modern dental equipment. A man in a white medical coat was arranging some utensils.


“Good afternoon, leave your bag here,” the dentist turned and gesticulated to a chair. “Take a seat.”


Teresa thought he was gorgeous. She wondered why she didn’t remember this from five years ago. She climbed up onto the examination chair.


“Just relax. Open wide,” his voice was calm. Teresa wished he would lean over and kiss her and then reminded herself she was still engaged to be married even if her fiance was a bastard. The dentist turned away, fiddling with something just outside Teresa’s vision. When he returned he was wearing a surgical mask.


Teresa opened her mouth to expose her expensive collection of antique fillings and complimentary decay.


“Hmm,” the dentist mused, peering inside. “I’ve seen worse.”


Teresa was reassured her mouth was not a career worst. Did dentists only date people with perfect teeth? What about bad breath? She tried to stop breathing for a while but couldn’t keep it up for long. She needed to swallow. Teresa hated dentists but he was a little more bearable.


A bang and a loud metallic crash from outside, then distant shouting.


“Excuse me,” the charming dentist left to investigate.


Teresa lay still for a moment, her mouth wide open. She slowly closed her stiff jaw.


More shouts, much closer, in the next room. A woman’s scream. Shit. What should she do? Teresa sat frozen in the chair until the reptile part of her brain allowed her frontal lobes to consider the problem. Before her frontal lobes had made up their minds the door burst open and a masked man rushed through and pinned Teresa to the chair, knife in her face.


“Money!” ordered knife man. 


Teresa kept her hand in clear view and pointed toward her handbag. Knife man glanced at the bag and punched Teresa in the face.




Teresa`s face hurt. She smelt burning. Her mouth, arms and legs would not move. She was on a hard surface. She opened her eyes. She recognised white floor and white equipment. 


Teresa remembered. She wriggled and gradually loosened what felt like tape binding her wrists. As she twisted and turned the tape cut into her pudgy arms. Painfully, Teresa managed to create enough distance between her two fat wrists to use her arms to prop herself up. Where was the burning coming from?  She looked around the room. It must be coming from outside. She listened, holding her breath. Silence. Where was the charming dentist and his receptionist? Where were the robbers?


Teresa searched for something to cut the tape. The best she could find was the corner of a formica cupboard door. Not exactly sharp but, unable to stand up and search on the high surfaces, it was the best she could manage. She awkwardly backed up to the cupboard and rubbed the tape up and down the formica corner. The tape began to tear and she could pull her wrists further apart until finally the tape snapped and she was free to examine her wrists, red, sore and littered with shreds of tape which ripped the tiny bleached hairs off her arms when she tried to remove them. She decided to leave the remaining tape and turned her attention to her ankles, expecting Knife Man to burst in at any moment. Teresa pulled at the bindings and, unable to tear the tape, she took a deep breath and found the patience to locate the end and unwind it. Free of her bonds she stood and moved cautiously, placing her ear against the door. She heard nothing, but the smell of burning was stronger. 


Teresa eased the door open, wide enough to peer through. She could see something smoking on the sofa. The same sofa she’d been waiting on not so long ago. The sofa itself seemed to be smoldering. A charred lump spread out on it was definitely smoking . Teresa peered trying to make out it’s shape then fell back in horror as she realised the lump of smoking remains had hands.


Teresa tried to vomit but nothing came out. She spat a mouthful of bile and wiped her mouth on her sleeve. What should she do. She looked around the examination room for a phone. There wasn’t one. She looked for an exit. None. Not even a window. The only way out was through the reception past the smoking corpse. She took another deep breath, walked to the door and pushed it open. There it was. She opened the door wide and looked around. No-one. No-one that is except the someone or ex-someone on the burnt remains of the sofa. Teresa tried to give the corpse a wide berth but an overwhelming curiosity she could not control. She turned and looked. Looked at the two white spherical eyes staring back at her in desperation.


About M J Dees

M J Dees lives and works in Sao Paulo, Brazil with his wife, daughter and two cats. He has written three novels, Living with Saci, The Astonishing Anniversaries of James and David plus another which will be published later in the year. He is currently writing the fourth. You can sign up for more information on his book launches at http://eepurl.com/cTnAD5
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2 Responses to #6 Re-read old work

  1. Pingback: #10 Go to the dentist | Mjdees

  2. Pingback: #6 Re-read old work | Our Man in Sao Paulo

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