A little over a year after my experience with the crazy guy who wanted his teeth pulled, I got an email from him. He wanted to pay me a quarter of a million dollars to come back and do more work.
After I read it, I experienced an entirely new sensation: I shivered with horror and nearly came in my pants. $250,000 is a TON of fucking money. No more college loans, no more 1983 Camry, no more 300 square foot apartment. All I’d have to do is meet up with that lunatic again. Well – more than just meet up. I had a feeling I’d be earning every cent of that 250k.
I replied to him and he quickly wrote back. I was to meet him the next morning at the same house.
I got there at 8:00. He greeted me at the door, his smile showing off is perfectly passable dentures. He was still thin and beautifully dressed and looked very healthy. I was so happy when he pointed to the fridge and told me there was more of my favorite beer inside. Before we went into the basement, I grabbed a Burton Baton and started nursing.
The basement had a layout very similar to the last time. I almost cried with relief when I saw there wasn’t anything resembling a shoebox full of spiders underneath the gray cloth covering what I assumed were more tools for the job. The man sat down in the same chair. It had some bloodstains on it from our previous encounter.
“Pulling out my teeth was the first step in my transformation into a gecko lizard,” he confidently claimed. This time I just came right out and asked, “what the fuck are you talking about?” I wasn’t going to be as passive as I was last time. If the teeth-pulling was completely crazy, then this was another fucking dimension of nuts.
“Geckos have very different dental structures than humans,” the man said. “Their teeth are much smaller and very sharp. I thought about shaving mine down but they just wouldn’t be the same. Their faciocranial structure is vastly unlike our own, too, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Today we will be working on all those things, plus another if we have time.”
He pulled back the cloth and revealed the familiar hammer and pliers. Accompanying them this time was a chisel, a carving knife, and a series of what looked like double-sided metal thumbtacks, each with a long pin on one side and a set of six shorter pins on the other.
“Those are my new teeth,” the man informed me. “You will be putting them in the old sockets. All your money is in that big duffel bag next to the fridge upstairs.” He took out his dentures and grinned at me with his pink gums. “You can begin.”
I sighed with deep resignation, turned around, and walked upstairs. Abita Turbodog, Foothills Sexual Chocolate, and Brooklyn Lager came back down with me. All the money had been there, too. Fuck.
When I got back, the man was patiently reclining in the dentist’s chair with his mouth agape. I peered inside. Perfectly clean holes peered back at me, reminding me of the work I’d done those years ago. I picked up one of the pins and tentatively touched it inside the socket. The man brushed my arm away and said, “the long side of those pins need to go deep so they don’t fall out.” He leaned back again and opened his mouth.
I drained my Turbodog while he spoke that last sentence. Sexual Chocolate time. After a few sips, I picked up the pin and hammer. I poked the tip into one of the bottom sockets in the front of his mouth and pushed. I felt it break the skin but didn’t go far. At all. Fuck. I pushed a lot harder. I heard a little bit of a crunch and the tip disappeared about three more centimeters in. I still had about two inches to go. I guess it was hammer time.
I started tapping in the pin with the gingerness of an artist trying to tap in a hook to display a wall painting. The man smacked my leg and grunted what sounded like “come on!” with unveiled irritation. I slammed the hammer down, plunging the pin into his jawbone. It stuck and it didn’t budge when I tried to wiggle it. Blood seeped from around the edges.
“Keep going,” the man told me. I did.
I’d jammed all the pins into his jaw without much of a problem save for one of the ones near the back. I was slightly off balance and the strong hammer blow caused the pin to go down on an angle and it erupted out the side his gums and jawbone. Splinters of bone what looked like a white loop of nerve pushed out of the wound. I pulled the bone shrapnel away with the pliers and did my best to twist the nerve back into its home. Then I levered out the pin and nailed it in properly. Through the hole where I’d made my mistake, I could see I’d put the tip right through the nerve. The man didn’t even twitch.
So, the new teeth were in. They looked truly bizarre; tiny, sharp metal spikes lining puffy, bloody gum tissue. My Sexual Chocolate was long gone. I opened the Brooklyn Lager and chugged the thing. Then I went upstairs to get more. Holy fuck Lagunitas Hop Stoopid.
The piney-tasting beer had an astringent quality that seemed to help wash away some of the dirtiness I felt. I fondled the 250k in the duffel bag and retreated back to the basement with the whole 4 pack. When I got there he was naked. Fuck.
“Geckos don’t have noses like us,” he told me. “Please remove mine.” He handed me the hammer and chisel. The chisel was brand new and had a 3” edge like a razorblade. I really, really didn’t want to do this.
He sat upright and I touched the edge of the chisel to the bridge of his nose right near the forehead. The skin broke immediately. That edge was really fucking sharp. I didn’t even take the time to gather my thoughts. I brought the hammer down on the chisel as hard as I could. The nose sheared off his face with the ease of pulling rubber cement off the flap of an envelope. Blood poured out of the wound. The cartilage was completely severed; the remains of the organ hung loosely on what were the outer edges of his nostrils. I just grabbed it and yanked it off. The fucking guy looked bored.
“Ears now,” he said, his voice pitched differently and having a flu-like timbre. I repeated the nose move with his ears. Those came off even easier.
The man now looked like something you’d see as evidence in a war crime deposition. Except for the fact that now he wouldn’t stop smiling. He jumped up from the chair and disappeared around the corner by the furnace and yelled “don’t forget to take your money!
I don’t know why I followed him. What good could have possibly have come of it? When I turned the corner, I saw an enormous glass tank. The man was inside, crouching on a rock. His hands were full of spiders and scorpions. More skittered around the bottom of the tank, which I should probably be calling a terrarium. Handful after handful disappeared into his mouth. His jaws worked and worked and I heard the sickening crunch as the arachnids turned to pulp in his spiked mouth. He swallowed everything he chewed and brown juice ran down his neck and chest. He walked up to the glass and looked at me. “Next time we finish,” he said, his mouth stuffed with writhing legs and pincers.
I nodded, trudged upstairs, took the duffel bag, and went home. I’m sure I’ll hear from him again once he’s healed up.