This is the second installment in a six-part series I began recently and which will continue over the coming days and weeks. Click here to read the first part. Enjoy!
Part II: Fangs!
Let’s go back for a moment to my college days. My younger brother, Robert, who somehow knows pretty much everyone, had made the acquaintance of a man who called himself Ken Dracula (not his real last name). Ken was a dental hygienist who had acquired a following by making, for fun in his spare time, fangs for people. He used color-matched denture acrylic and made a bridge for you to wear, the fangs (two canines on the top were his most popular) covering and hugging your real teeth, attached by a bar hidden behind them. Believe it or not, they were sort of comfortable to wear, even aside from the incredible cool factor of having fangs that looked like real teeth! There were just a few rules you had to follow, one of which was not to eat any food while you were wearing them (difficult and stupid-looking at best, really painful at worst), and another of which was to be careful if you bit anyone because they were sharp and could actually pierce skin (um, gross).
I had a pair.
I was home from school for a month on winter break. Robert had come home wearing some, and I’d thought they were fabulous, and I wanted some. So he took me to get my own, and when we got back to the house I ran upstairs before my parents could see them. I didn’t want them to know I’d gotten them. It was one thing for my brother — a kid on the fringe, rebellious, more in control of his own world than anyone expected — to do something crazy like go out and have fangs made. It was another thing entirely for me — convent-bound and closeted goth, a girl who tended to layer her imagination over the real world in a tightrope balance so no one would know — to do it. My obedient façade hid a maelstrom and I worried for its toothy release. As I bounded up the spiral staircase and down the balcony hall to my bedroom, my mother approached Robert and asked casually where we’d been.
He responded just as casually, “I took Angélique out to have fangs made.”
I froze in my bedroom, black corduroy jacket halfway down my arms. The cap-sleeved lavender velvet mini-dress and tights I was wearing suddenly felt too warm. I let the jacket fall the rest of the way off. With trembling hands I unlaced and removed my short black boots. As my mom called my name, I tugged on my ponytail, tightening it.
“Yes?” I called, trying not to lisp.
She paused expectantly. “Well? Come on out, let’s see them.” She sounded interested, not angry.
I gingerly walked to the edge of the balcony and leaned slightly over, baring my new fangs in what I hoped was a compliant smile as she looked up at me from the front hall. My brother was smirking, his fangs bared genially.
“Uh-huh,” Mom said. “Cute.” She didn’t sound impressed, but she also didn’t sound angry. “How much did you pay for them?”
I suddenly felt embarrassed by my frivolous purchase and answered with a figure ten dollars lower than the truth. Robert said nothing but continued smirking at me. He might have rolled his eyes. Mom nodded her head.
“Okay,” she said and walked off, back to whatever household task she’d been in the middle of when we came home. As she moved into the kitchen, I heard her mutter, “I paid five thousand dollars when you were kids to have our teeth filed down so they wouldn’t look like that, but whatever.”
Robert snickered up at me and I bared him a fangy grin. Fondly, quietly enough so only I could hear, he said, “You’re a wuss.”
Click on these links to be taken to the rest of the posts in this series. Thanks for reading!