MASH Magazine Issue 2 - Page 8

The Missing Links Colonial Dentistry “I’ll do it myself.” ravenously across the table but she drew back her hands like a snake would its tongue after depositing the venom. The customary tut followed. He was used to her tutting but since her last visit to the dentist, her tuts had a clackity ring to them. There wouldn’t be time to get used to the change. He watched as a clumsy hand gripped and regripped the finicky clasp, a perceptible shake evident in her hands. They were unused to this new position at the back of her neck and it didn’t help that he’d shortened the chain; another link removed. He had her now and he knew it. She didn’t yet, but she would. “Now, now, Henry. I’m thirsty.” Hoarse by now, she craved a drink. The waiter had vanished. Henry sat back in his seat, a little chastened but prepared to wait it out. It was just then that he noticed the pearls. The shiny dots of perfection enhanced an ageing neckline. She was such a lady. He began to reply before a large trumpeting voice from behind them drowned out his words. It took until just after the third attempt before he was summoned into action once more. Mini mountain ranges of wrinkles protruded and rivers of veins bulged as the chain squeezed tight. With a delicate knowing catch and release, he let go of the flawless pearls and there they hung around her neck, an ornate, sparkling Andromeda. Her eye caught his. The thinnest of smiles reached her mouth but her eyes were dull and opaque. “Whadya mean people should have a choice? There’s too much damn democracy in this state if you ask me!” Henry turned back again to address his date, who had started to cough. A whimper and then a splutter. A gasp and then a couple more. He hastily mimed the drinking sign to the waiter and then stopped with a gasp. Angela stared across at him, with a glaring intent, like a light had come on behind her eyes. “Will you manage tonight?” Without me, she might have said. “Sure I will, Angela.” “Angela. Your face! It’s beetroot red! You’re posi ѥٕ