Friday, April 6, 2012

Vampire Dental Care

Zoe_Lionheart_100 You can imagine how embarrassing it must be for a Vampire to go to a dentist. Here you are, a virtually immortal creature, and have to submit to a humiliating procedure to have your fangs fixed? Unthinkable.

It’s so out-of-the-question, that it probably has never happened so far. At least no dentist ever reported about a Vampire visit, and there are no medical care reports about the respective billing either. So if it’s not in the books, it didn’t occur, the accountant’s proof. (By the way, you’re invited to prove me wrong. Just leave a comment.)

There are three possible reasons. The obvious first is, Vampires know how to cover their tracks. The other two are more likely, however: Vampires just don’t visit dentists, either because they don’t dare to, or because they don’t have to.

Probably no Vampire would want to suffer this ultimate humiliation, to visit a dentist. Probably they rather suffer all the pain coming with tooth decay and all kinds of periodontitis. Would you believe that? Imagine a Vampire losing his/her fangs to cavities? No.

The simplest, and thus most probable explanation is: Vampires don’t have to visit a dentist. Oh yes, they are immortal and can extraordinarily well recover from injuries, but does that mean they can’t have trouble with their teeth? No. They still can suffer just as we do, can have painful cavities, because teeth and bones take the longest to heal, so it’s a permanent battle of bacteria against Vampire healing. Guess who would win in the long run?

Of course, Vampires don’t eat a lot of sweets, which is a part of the trick. But the real secret is their dental care. They had to invent it centuries ago, long before the rest of mankind came up with toothbrushes*, long before the tooth-drawers evolved into dentists. They had a strong motivation to do so, because Vampires without fangs are doomed to starvation. So, even if Hollywood never showed it, Stephenie didn’t write about it, and Tamara probably wouldn’t admit it, Vampires regularly clean their teeth very thoroughly. I wouldn’t even put the invention of interdental brushes past them, but of course they could rely on dental floss. Vampire dental care is important especially after feeding, and it also helps preventing a telltale bad breath.

*I don’t want to mislead you: toothbrushes are a few millennia old.

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My opponent’s left hand plays with the tip of his moustache. His crimson vest looks worn-off, just like the rim of his tricorn. The epee in his right is perfectly clean, the freshly polished blade glistens just like mine. The morning air is cool and humid, the fog hasn’t cleared up yet. Dew wets the grass at our feet, makes the ground slippery. The town’s outer wall towers darkly above the crowns of the large beeches.

“You can at least fence a little,” he praises. “That’s good, so there’s at least a little honor in stabbing you.” With the hope of successfully having distracted me, his attack follows immediately. I parry his thrusts, back off a little, test my steps without moving my glance away from his eyes. The ground is barely noticeably uneven, not equally soft everywhere. He is a damn good fencer and his aptitude matches his reputation. During the last three months, he’s said to have killed a dozen men, although honor duels are banned.

Today is easy game for him. A young girl in male clothes. He’s seen through the disguise, thought he could blackmail me, his goal obviously my body, I refused. His honor was hurt, so he challenged me. His idea was clear—I would chicken out, drop my disguise, be at his service, sacrifice my honor to save my life.

I didn’t chicken out.

Now we’re facing each other, and confident of his victory he forces me backward. A little bump tests my balance, his blade tests mine again and again. The thought of letting myself be pierced is uncomfortable, but I don’t feel fear. The thought of having to thrust my cold steel into his soft flesh fills me with disgust, but this is our reason for being here. He has many men to answer for, good friends, poor bastards, who never thought of having to use their epee. He’s stolen the innocence of too many of my girlfriends and that way ruined their life in this bigoted society, which lets men get away with anything and condemns their victims. I’ve met him deliberately, let him discover my secret, lured him here.

Just as I now lure him after me. He thinks I’m backing out for fear or lack of skill, and let him believe I have a hard time parrying his thrusts.

His foot stumbles over the bump, for one tiny moment the rhythm of his attack breaks. There’s the opening for my riposte! His face shows puzzlement, when the tip of my epee slides between his ribs, opens his right heart chamber. His glance breaks before his legs give in, his bladder empties, his body slowly glides from my blade to the ground.

There’s no honor in dying.

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever tried to find a dentist with evening or night hours? Hard do find. Fun post! Enjoyed the excerpt.