THIS ISSUE’S FURIOUS PEN STORY ON THE THEME SECOND CHANCES
by Donald L. Vasicek
The man who looked like Ernest Hemingway shot the blond woman with braces on her teeth, in both eyes. The skin on her forehead wrinkled into five lines, like sentences in a sonnet. “I have a seven a.m. appointment. It’s seven-ten,” Ernesto Jesus said. His aching molar drove a wood screw into his persistence. She kept her look on the sign-in sheet. “What’s your last name?”
The antiseptic smell of the dentist’s office and playful laughing in the other rooms hacked at Ernesto. “Jesus.”
“Oh, we’re working on the wrong Jesus,” she said. She smacked out of there like a high-tailing lynx.
Then, Ernesto found himself in the dental chair. A light cork-screwed into his eyeballs. Doctor Chumlach, a slight man with bangs, pasted a liquid over Ernesto’s molar. “You know the only Don’s that get any respect live in Italy,” he said. “Hope you’re not mad anymore.”
Ernesto’s molar hummed “Morning Has Broken.” “There’s only one Don who gets respect,” Ernesto said. The man who looked like Ernest Hemingway shot Chumlach in the eyes.
Chumlach smiled. Ernesto smiled back. “I never was mad.”
© 2001 Don Vasicek
Don Vasicek is a writer and filmmaker (“Faces”, “Oh the Places You Can Go”, “Warriors of Virtue”, “The Crown,” “The Sand Creek Massacre”).