Ivory Gregory! That’s what people called me. All but a few of the molars were false fits. At 55, which was when I got my twenty eight tooth replaced with ivory denture replica, I could have well been a small time poacher’s target. I took great pride in the pristine whiteness that flashed from my ivory dentures every time I smiled, although I smiled rarely.
I am 65 now and happy that I am alive now and not least bothered about my ivory dentures.
10 years ago…
The train jerked heavily and I became conscious of my existence. I struggled to open my eyes as I used to in mid-weeks during my working days in thirties. In the narrow slit of light my eyes received, I saw an old rusty train yard. Perhaps the jerk could have been from shunting. I found it difficult to move my limbs. I felt numb but was finally able to stir and sit upright. I finally opened my eyes and saw a man right in front of me. He pointed a gun at me, standing two feet away.
The pain in my mouth was excruciating. What was I doing there? How did I get there? The latest memory I had had was at Dr. Kevin’s dental engine and the smell of Fisherman’s Friend mint from his breath as he perched down upon me injecting me with the usual anaesthesia, except that that time the injection looked longer, bigger.
Why was I in the train? I moved my hand to relax my brow and felt my hand was heavy. A briefcase was handcuffed to my left hand. Why?
I struggled to speak from nervousness. The air was filled with the smell of rusty iron and sounds of iron works from the yard.
“Stay put and bring your hand to me. Don’t move!” The man with the gun spoke.
Wilted as I was, I chose to obey in the hope of help. He had a key and opened the handcuff. He took the briefcase and shook it as he held it close to his ears trying to feel the sound of contents inside. It sounded like it had only a few pebbles or stones. He opened it slightly and walked away.
“This better be a dream.” I spoke to myself, but it wasn’t. I helped myself, looked around to find no body. I alighted from the coach I was in. A few welders watched me in surprise. Was it my dishevelled condition or my swollen cheeks? I made it back home safely to get some rest, still puzzled over the strange incident. I went into my bathroom to gargle with Dentolisterine lotion to ease the pain from my dental operation. I opened my mouth. I saw something unusual. Awestruck, I did not want to close it again.
Dr. Kevin is missing since that day. So are my ivory teeth. All replaced with resin. The ivories went to the man with the gun with the suitcase. Well, I indeed got targeted by an ivory poacher – Dr. Kevin, himself!
[submitted as a fictional short story]