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A Perfect and Attractive Smile
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A Perfect and Attractive Smile

by Rick McQuiston

The mass oozed from side to side, expelling a pale yellow substance resembling rotting seaweed. It was aware but only slightly, only enough to grasp its foul purpose and to manipulate its form to achieve it.

Movement was what it needed. Whether back and forth, up or down, in or out, it did not matter. It only needed to stimulate the nitrogen rich air around its being enough to promote growth.

* * * *

Sandy was a very thorough person. She had a finely organized agenda that had been perfected over the course of her thirty-seven years. Her mother, God rest her soul, had been similar in life and she had imparted her ideals to her daughter with disciplined resolution. And those ideals, Sandy was proud to admit, fastened themselves to her and complimented her in her daily endeavors.

The children, Samuel eight and Agatha fifteen, were named after her two favorite authors. Sandy smiled to herself as she remembered the nights she passed with Dame Christie’s or Mr. Clemens’ inspired tales on her lap only punctuated by the incessant ticking of the clock or Adam’s periodic snoring.

Both kids had been hustled out the door easily on time this morning. Agatha flowed through her usual and substantial array of various hair and skin products in record time and Samuel was less of a nuisance to awaken than he normally was which translated to a little extra time to fully prepare his daily necessities for school that day. And even Adam, her beloved although less attuned to the value of organization better half, had managed to leave the household early which Sandy happily knew would firmly entrench him in the good graces of his boss.

She looked at her fingernails and noticed that the pink frost polish was starting to chip. She made a mental note to pick up another bottle when she had a chance.

Yes, it was shaping up to be a very good morning, one she was certain any housewife would be envious of.

* * * *

It was near the first step now. It could not see, not yet anyway, but it easily sensed where the step was. It would have to work at it but it knew that eventually the stairs would not hinder its advancement towards the light…the light that was seeping through the cracks of the door high above.

* * * *

Sandy was a little upset with herself. She was having difficulty deciding what to do next and time was slipping away; time that could be well spent in much more effective and useful ways.

She swallowed the remaining coffee in her cup and savored the peaceful sanctuary that she was blessed with every weekday. The weekends she looked forward to also but only in a somewhat reserved way. Time with Adam and the kids was enjoyable to be sure but the solitude of the weekdays was also precious and she did admit to feeling a twinge of guilt for being so selfish. After all, time with the family was a staple of life itself wasn’t it?

* * * *

It reveled in the fact that it had hands now. It studied them closely; they were nearly complete. The left one only needed a second set of knuckles and the right one lacked just one small finger. They were delicate hands, like a petite woman’s with graceful form and smooth skin.

If it had a mouth it would have smiled. But that would come also…soon enough.

The thoughts that collected in its rapidly forming mind gathered in strength and intensity. It was evolving and it realized it.

It sloshed its bulk up another step. Only several more and it would reach the door which loomed in front of it like a curious child over an anthill. Hard work was becoming easier to it now and it knew it. The muscle it possessed now would enable it to achieve its goal and expand it experiences and knowledge.

* * * *

The ringing of the phone startled Sandy out of her thoughts. She found that she did that frequently; lost herself in her thoughts.

It seemed as if lately though she had been becoming more and more forgetful. Almost like someone were tapping her reserves of thoughts.

But she eventually shrugged it off to aging and answered the phone. It was Adam. He’d forgotten his glasses and wondered if his lovely wife could run them up to him. She reluctantly agreed and told him that she would bring him his glasses in an hour or so.

But she was disturbed when she hung up the phone. Not due to the inconvenience of the errand she now had to do but because she was having trouble remembering another errand she had to do.

Was it the dry cleaners? The grocery store? The bank? When Adam had told her what he needed her to do she remembered thinking that she could do the tasks on the same trip. But what was the other errand?

* * * *

It knew its purpose now; what it was destined for. It processed the repercussions of all of the actions that it would perform from that day on, studying each and every one carefully and thoroughly. Every single consequence was determined and analyzed within its mind.

It smiled a perfect and attractive smile. A smile that revealed many white teeth and concealed a malicious cruelty beyond measure.

It knew hunger now, all too well. Its stomach cavity was empty and convulsed steadily with groans of discomfort.

The hands it now processed reached up and grasped the door handle. It felt cold and strangely comfortable in its grip almost as if it were recalling how to use one after many years.

The knob turned easily as it gently nudged the door open slightly revealing the well lit room beyond…

* * * *

Adam was very grateful that Sandy had brought him his glasses. How he had forgotten them he could not explain and he apologized to Sandy profusely.

Sandy smiled to herself. She knew that most of her day would still be free now that she had delivered Adam his glasses and picked up the dry cleaning. Her hand was sore but she was sure it would feel better soon.

Her smile grew wide; a perfect and attractive smile.

* * * *

Seating himself behind his desk, Adam began to thumb through the various and numerous reports and proposals that his job demanded he review. He struggled to remember exactly the order of importance of each piece of paperwork and became quickly confused and frustrated. How could he forget his priorities?

He eventually shrugged it off to stress and lack of sleep and he decided to take a break.

He neatly stacked the papers on the corner of the desk and stood up slowly. A good stretch session would do the trick; clear his mind and relax his stiff back. He kicked off his shoes, loosened his tie and began his stretches confident that they would help his workday.

After he completed the combination yoga and strengthening stretches his mind began to drift towards lunch.

What would he have? Perhaps a salad or maybe soup. He sat back in his desk chair and pondered the possibilities while the severed fingertip with chipped pink frost nail polish lay under his desk. It was beginning to leak a pale yellow substance resembling rotting seaweed.

Copyright Rick McQuiston 2005

Rick McQuiston is a 37 year old father of 2 who loves writing and reading anything horror related. To date, he has 26 publications and is currently working on a horror novella as well as more short stories. He also is a guest reader at Armada Junior High School once a year.

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