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Fern #271 – The Mantis

I could’ve been placed anywhere. The office of the pope. A beautiful garden on the coast of the cape. Carefully positioned in the corner of a candy store in Kairo. Not to mention, at this rate I am guaranteed to die a virgin. Sorry, irrelevant, but being the only single plant in an examination room isn’t a great way to meet the ladies. That’s right, I’ve been purchased by the offices of Dr. Ted Banner, MD. One of the worst dentists in Massachusetts.

My existence pretty much consists of one-way conversations between Dr. Banner and his helpless patients. One minute the patient is getting a fluoride treatment, and the next he is asking how their summer is going. They spit out two words of their answer before those chubby fingers of his plunge back into their mouth holes, making their response incomprehensible. These conversations being my only form of entertainment, you must understand how this is frustrating for me, Fern #271. But one day, it went from frustrating to tragic.

Holly, one of the fine dental hygienists that works here, is what we ferns call a “real piece of leaf.” I’ll tell you, if I had arms, legs, or any human characteristics, I would’ve locked that down a long time ago, trust me. But alas, some things will just never be. One day last week, Holly brought back a handsome-looking younger fellow, his name was Dawson or some shit. Now I could tell Dawson was interested from the get-go; whenever Holly would leave the room, Dawson would whisper under his breath, “shit, I should’ve flossed,” or “I can’t wait to have her hands inside my mouth.” I was excited at the prospect of someone taking a shot at Holly. Hell, if it couldn’t be me, why not Dawson?

Boy, was I not disappointed when Holly began her routine cleaning of Dawson’s filthy mouth. Between chunks of meat being pried from between Dawson’s molars, they learned they were from each other’s hometowns. They both played pickleball, had noticeable burn marks, and had recurring lucid dreams! What I saw before me was a match made in heaven. I could even see Holly blushing under her mask as she yanked out oregano flakes from between Dawson’s front teeth. I prayed to myself, wishing he’d muster up the courage to ask Holly on a formal date.

But, just as she was wiping blood and spit off her scrubs, Janey rushed in the room and removed Holly for a mandatory contraband check in Holly’s office locker. To me and Dawson’s dismay, Holly sprung from her seat, excusing herself, and followed Janey out of the examination room. “EHDDRRRT” cried Dawson from his seat, the retainer molds she had just placed in his mouth blocking any type of comprehensible speech.

“Sorry about that Dawson, you’d be surprised the amount of contraband we collect from our staff here,” stated Dr. Banner. The molds almost flew out of Dawson’s mouth when he saw Dr. Banner, not Holly, now standing in the door in front of him. “Yes, you know, knives, drugs, snuff, tankers, orphans, tuna fish,” continued Dr. Banner as he peeked into Dawson’s mouth.

“EGHHHHHHURPH” gurgled Dawson, his eyes wide and confused, clearly trying to communicate with the dentist. “Last week alone I confiscated a severed hand, 5 illegal yo-yo’s, and a shrine of yours truly made out of pulled teeth, I mean,” the doctor laughed to himself, “what’s wrong with your generation?”

Finally, Dr. Banner removed the suffocating molds from Dawson’s mouth in two swift yanks of the arm. “Alright then, rinse,” instructed Banner. Dawson frantically reached for the cup of water, clearing his mouth of the thick particles bound all over his mouth. “Wharz hername?” cried out Dawson, as the dentist threw his rubber gloves into the trash. “Huh? Rinse a few times son, that stuff doesn’t always come out easily. Anyway, you’re done here, enjoy your summer.” As soon as he appeared, the doctor was gone. Dawson looked at me in disbelief. Me, the only other breathing life in the room, stared right back at him. “Go get her!” I screamed with all my might, until quickly realizing I had no mouth, or might. Somehow, the message must’ve gotten through because, after a final rinse, he screamed “WHAT’S HER NAME??” and darted from the room, leaving me, again, in an empty office.

From down the hall, I could hear the commotion. Dawson flipping over furniture, scattering papers, and spiking staplers in demand of the young hygienist’s name. “You have the right to remain silent,” I heard a commanding voice echo in the hallway, quickly approaching my doorway. Then, for a quick second, I saw her, our angel, Holly, in handcuffs being escorted out of the building. Janey followed closely behind them, making sure they made it through the back exit before Dr. Banner joined her in an embrace. This quickly lead to a sloppy kiss onto the exam chair in front of me and a stern backwards kick from Dr. Banner, slamming the door behind them as they collapsed onto the exotic way that only healthcare professionals can.

“So, you stashed the bag of praying mantis’s in her locker after all?” questioned Banner, moving a piece of Janey’s hair behind her ear. “Yes, I murdered and murdered praying mantis’s over and over again. Then planted all 27 bodies in her locker. She’s going away for a long, long time.”

“And she’s the only one who knew about us?” whispered Dr. Banner. “Yes Ted, now we are finally safe.”

That’s all I could see after the lights were turned off in the room, and I won’t get into the primal noises I heard. All I could think about was Dawson and what could’ve been if he could’ve just learned his soulmate’s name. Now she will die in prison, and he won’t know what name to scream outside the dentist’s at night. I hear him every night at the same time, tooth-hurty AM (sorry I only know dentist jokes) and confusedly scream guessed names into the walls of the barren office. “LUCY!”… followed by sobs… “AMANDA!”… “COURTNEY”…. “WHY?!”… why indeed. Next time you’re at the dentist, think of why the dentists won’t hold a real conversation with you, or wait for you to respond before shoving their mitts in your mouth. Are they hiding something? What do I know, I’m just a fern after all.

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Humor

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