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That Place

by Katherine Allen

It was a bright and cheerful place. The walls were white and they had pictures of disgustingly cute “duckies” and kittens. There were smiling ladies in floral jackets that cooed over me. But, even at three years old I understood how inherently evil this place was.

I had heard it on every big person’s lips. The pitying glances, the hushed whispers, I was at THAT PLACE.

They walked me over to a little chair just my size. I supposed they wanted me to play with their cute little toys. Well, I refused to give in. I resisted the pull of the fuzzy pink kitty. I refused to watch the “choo-choo train” as it chugged around the toy box.

They picked me up and set me in a big chair. They gave me a bib and a Barney toy.

Yuck, Barney, what did they take me for? An infant? How I despised Barney, him and his annoying little theme song.

I looked to my right and saw a tray full of sharp tools. Those went into my mouth? I suddenly felt an inkling of fear; I held the despised toy close, as if as a shield against those things.

They would never use those on a child... would they? I gulped for air. I looked around and saw more people milling around. Some of them didn’t have any mouths, just large bulbous white things where their mouth and nose SHOULD be. I saw a girl, a few years older than me walking out of another cubicle; there were large pieces of metal attached to her head through her mouth.

The adrenaline began rushing through my body. I heard a muffled scream and then a whimper. Then I fainted.

* * *

“Oh,” Said the kindly dentist, “The poor little thing must be exhausted. Look how fast she fell asleep. And holding Barney so tight, little kids just love him.”

Copyright © 2005 by Katherine Allen

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