Soul Teeth
by hollow well

This is a excerpt from a novel, Laysan, The Memoirs of a Lesbian Bondage Love Slave, Thread 1 of Key, The Novel, that is currently being posted online for free at The novel is a mix of sci-fi and fantasy steeped in bondage. If you enjoy this excerpt, you will likely enjoy the novel. Please stop by, comment, questions, etc.

Chapter 1

"I want to sleep with you."

Paty sighed and tucked a lock of my hair behind my ear. "Isn't that what we just did?"

"Nooo! You know what I mean. I want to really sleep with you! Here! In your bed! I want to spoon. You know, with my breasts pressed firmly in your back until we fall asleep. I want to be able to reach out to you in the darkness of a long night and feel your hot body next to mine. I want to awaken to the soft tickle of your breath on the back of my neck."

Given the intimacy of our relationship, one would think that this would be a simple request. But Paty always refuses.

"Oh Laysan, please ask for something else for your birthday. You know that if I could, I would chain you to my bed and throw away the key."

"Do it!" I pleaded.

"I can't. You remember the agreement we made when you decided to be my slave..."

So, there is that...

Our relationship is not exactly typical. I am Paty's slave. I should explain, though, because the word "slave" could bring forth many different ideas. In our time and place, of course, there is no societal observance of slavery. There is no law that binds me to Paty. I am free to leave if I wish. However, I gave my word in a ceremony several years ago that I would be her slave for the rest of my life. I gave her everything that I owned. I gave her power of attorney over all my affairs. Indeed, I own nothing. Not even clothes or jewelry. I have no bank accounts. Nothing. If I were to leave Paty (which my heart would never allow - I'm gripped with fear even at the thought of it), I would walk out the door naked and destitute. So, I am, for all intents and purposes, Paty's slave. But, in fairness, I suppose my slavery should be qualified with the adjective "love". I'm Paty's love slave. I have never been so happy.

"How could I forget the agreement?" I complained. "But that was several years ago. And now, I just feel like it's one last barrier that, if removed, would make you and I the most perfect couple in the history of the earth."

We lay on our sides face to face amidst a pile of tangled sheets and soft pillows in Paty's glorious and luxurious bed. Paty was naked. I, on the other hand, wore a standard set of chains. My wrists, for example, were cuffed behind my back, locked together by less than a half meter of heavy chain. And the tight collar that I wore had another chain attached in front that acted as a leash. Currently it trailed down the bed between our naked bodies.

"Don't you want to be the most perfect couple?" I asked.

"We already are the most perfect couple," she replied, rolling her eyes. "You'll need to come up with some other birthday request."

"I can't think of anything else that I might want," I replied frowning slightly. "You've given me everything else that I could possibly imagine. I want to sleep with you! In your bed!"

"How sweet! But, not good enough, my love." Paty pulled on my leash until my lips met hers. They were soft and full. It was such a tender kiss. I had experienced it many, many times, yet it still had a powerful effect on me... But I knew that this time she only did it to shut me up.

"No, Paty!" I said pulling away from her. "It's not fair. You let those other women sleep in your bed all the time, but not me." I tried hard to muster a tear at this point, but failed.

"Laysan! Tonight has been so special. Are you going to ruin it by bringing this up again?" Paty's face had a more serious look on it now.

"I know that you've told me a thousand times that I am your greatest love, but, still, it hurts. You let McNear and Alba and the others sleep in your bed, but you never let me. Why not? Why the fuck not?!"

Paty sat up and looked down at me. "I've also told you a thousand times that you can not sleep in my bed! No! You can't do it!"

I struggled for a moment to sit up as well, but couldn't get any leverage without the use of my arms. "But, if I'm your greatest love, doesn't that mean that I should receive all the same privileges of your lesser loves? It's not that much to ask for, I don't think. I just want to sleep in your bed with you."

"No!" I could tell that Paty was becoming particularly angry now. "I don't let you sleep in my bed BECAUSE you are my greatest love. Argh! You'll never understand..." Her voice cracked a little as though she might cry, but she recovered quickly. "Do you remember," she continued, "your gift to me on my past birthday? The promise that you made?"

I froze and stared at her, mouth agape, for a moment. How could I forget?

"Well,” Paty continued, “I think that maybe it's time that we make an appointment with Ceylon and get you fitted. It would certainly be handy at a time like this, I think."

Ugh! I said nothing and tried to appear a little more submissive than I had been acting. Certainly, my effort to convince her that I should sleep in her bed had derailed. I did not want to go for that fitting, and so, would do nothing to further provoke her.

I did, after all, give her my promise that I would allow her to... It's just that when you have nothing, you know, it's very difficult to decide what to give your Mistress on her birthday... I should step back for a second and try to explain.

I don't care too much for gags. Sure, I love the concept of being unable to speak. For me, that's hot. On the other hand, I can't stand having something shoved into my mouth, wrenching my jaws open. Gags quickly become very painful for me, and, frankly, I'll be the first to admit that I am a total wimp when it comes to pain. Paty and I play on the BD side of BDSM.

Paty had this idea to get me a special gag that I could wear for extended periods of time. She did some research and found that a form-fitting gag could be made for me that I could wear for days without the pain or mess. In fact, supposedly, I would be able to breathe through the gag in case my sinuses swell. I could also be fed a liquid diet without removing the gag. I would even be able to go out in public wearing the gag and no one would know. The gag fills your mouth but still allows your teeth to close comfortably around it. No pain, no drooling, no talking, and no foreseeable release... Hell yes! I love all those features.

Paty explained to me in detail how the gag worked. She went on at length describing all the special features. Unfortunately, I heard nothing of her description after she mentioned that I'd have to have two molars removed - one from each side on my lower jaw. I like my teeth! They are very handy. It seems such a waste to casually have some removed for no particular reason. I may really need those teeth some time in the future.

So, basically I stated flat-out that I would not allow Paty to fit me for the gag...

Unfortunately, my stand came to an end on the night of her last birthday. We had had some drinks, we were naked and holding on to each other so tightly, I'd thought and wished that our skin would have no option other than to fuse. We were rutting like wild animals, working our way to some serious pane-rattling orgasms. I don't know why I did this. Perhaps I was trying to turn her on as much as possible. Maybe I was simply drunk on the endorphins. Anyway, as I began my final approach to the orgasmic precipice I suddenly shouted, "I want you to fit me for your gag!"

She actually pulled back for a second and said, "What!?"

"The long-term gag. I want you to fit me for it!" I said as I pulled her back close and nipped at her flesh. "It's my gift to you for your birthday."

"Do you promise?" she asked between kisses.

"Yes, Mistress!" And that was all it took to send us both over the edge.

Later that night as I padded down the hallway to the closet that I sleep in it struck me - "What the hell have I done?"

That was months ago and to my relief nothing more had been said. I thought that maybe she had forgotten or maybe she knew it was just a heat-of-the-moment type of promise... Well, I had thought that until now, at least, as I lay looking up into her eyes again searching for any sign that she was joking.

"Wow!" she exclaimed. "Just mentioning the gag seems to work as well as the real thing!"

I pressed my lips together as tightly as I could and nodded my head slightly.

Finally, a smile returned to her face and she laughed a short laugh, apparently amused by my sudden silence. "I love you, Laysan," she said as I looked into her sparkling eyes. "Now, get out of my bed, girl, I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. I need my sleep."

She helped me up into a sitting position and I scooted to the side of the bed and dropped down on the floor. As I headed for the bedroom door, she called to me again "Laysan! I really do love you so very, very much."

I found the doorknob with my hand behind me and opened the door. "I love you too, Mistress." My heart was so full. I smiled and left her room.

I have years of practice getting around Paty's mansion with my hands cuffed behind me, but, luckily, I'm fairly flexible too. Tucking up into a small ball and moving my bound hands underneath my feet so they were in front was no problem at all. I showered, dried myself off, and found my own bed... Well, it isn't my bed. It's just a nice cushion on the floor of a small, dark closet where Paty lets me sleep. A slave owns no property. I closed the closet door and lay on the cushion. In the darkness, I pulled my favorite heavy duvet around me, settled into the pillow, closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep. I am just a slave... Just a slave... And that is the way that I like it.

Chapter 2

Paty awoke me from a fitful sleep. My limbs were knotted in agony and my jaw ached so badly that the pain emanated all the way down to my chest. She reached through the bars of my cage and unbuckled the gag that had held my mouth open for the last few hours.

"Oh, my poor baby," she said.

"Uck you!" I whimpered as I tried to make my jaws work again.

"I'm so sorry, Laysan! I had no idea that McNear left you like this..."

"Well you fucking wouldn't, now would you?" I was pretty mad. Mad and sore. "I can't believe that you let that bitch get anywhere near me when you weren't there to supervise. I fucking hate her!"

"I'm sorry, ok? It won't happen again. I don't think that she knows how much you abhor big gags."

"Yeah! Or maybe she does and she's just a sadistic bitch," I cursed as I wiped the stream of drool from my cheek.

Normally this type of thing doesn't happen when Paty's friends come to play.

I am a humongous introvert, but Paty, most certainly, is not. She is a major social butterfly. She has an admirable talent of being able to create very strong friendships with great ease. She has lots of friends and each relationship is deep and sewn with loyalty. I don't know how she manages it. Perhaps it is because most every one of her friendships has a physical component. Paty is not promiscuous, she is simply very sensual and because of this, her friends almost always end up in her bed at some point in time.

As her love slave, you might think that I would become jealous. However, I actually thrive on her friendships because I am an integral part of the physical component. I almost always accompany Paty to social events.

Paty owns a number of restaurants. At one there is a special banquet hall that she has named The Benedetta Carlini Room after some historical figure of some sort. Often, a large number of Paty's friends gather there. The group has even taken to calling themselves members of the Benedetta Carlini, or for short, the BC.

All her friends get to know me and are aware of my role. They all accept that Paty and I are connected by a special bond. So, even though the relationship between Paty and one of her friends becomes physical there is always an understanding and authenticity about the nature of the relationship. That is, they understand that Paty's permanent companionship need has been fulfilled and that the casual sex is simply a benefit of Paty's friendly affection.

When a member of the BC comes to Paty's house for a "special" visit, I am always there as well. Generally, I am almost always naked around Paty's mansion and often wearing some collection of chains. So, as a visitor settles in to Paty's home, I tend to accompany her quietly adorned in my most submissive persona. For, I believe that it is my role to be a catalyst for the evening's activities and it is a role that I seem to take to naturally and with great ease.

Paty says that there is something about how I carry myself that fills a room with a delicious sexual tension that few (if any) can resist. She says there is an allure to the way I hold my shoulders as I kneel on the floor in my chains, and something about the way I tilt my head, or the way I purse my lips as I sit and wait to be called upon. My chest rises as I breathe in an anticipation that fills the room. My skin is flushed and my nipples are erect. She claims I have a way of shaking my hair out of my face and a way that I rustle my chains that simply melts the stresses and concerns of everyday life from any in my company. I don't know. I don't think that I do anything special.

My job is to listen, not interject. So, I try to listen to everything. I mean, I try to listen to more than just words or even sounds. I peek from behind my wild mane and try to observe our visitor's movements and read their mood. Paty says that I have an extraordinary sense of other's emotional state. And, this point, I think, is true. But, then again, I think that anyone in my position would be able to obtain this level of empathy. Without expectations, I am free from having to be thoughtful, humorous, or eloquent. My one job is to sit quietly, observe, and wait to be called upon.

When the time arrives that Paty and the visitor may benefit from my services I am always ready and willing to participate. I love the job after all and I am very good at what I do. It is so simple. I am an expert at both giving and receiving pleasure. I am the perfect submissive, a sex toy. I am enthusiastic at performing any desired act that any natural submissive may. Well... anything but abuse. Submissive does not necessarily imply masochistic.

Sometimes my task is to provide physical stimulation to our visitor. This stimulation may range from light tickles or massage to full-on oral sex. Once, Paty was told by a friend that it feels as though my tongue is lined with tiny, magical fingers. Paty claims that if my tongue had fingers, they would play Mozart. That's a strange notion it seems to me, but whatever. I find that there are few things more satisfying than sending another to the heart of some sensual nirvana. It makes me feel like a gifted priestess and I am ushering someone to a higher level of consciousness where the spiritual and physical meet and meld. I like the smells and tastes of sex. I like to listen to they way our lovers breathe. I like to watch the shapes that their lips make as they succumb to various excitations. I like the feel of soft, long hair matted with love's sweat sliding across fevered flesh.

Other times the visitor may choose to pleasure me. I find it easy to lose myself in the experience. Maybe there is something in my physical makeup that makes me particularly attuned to the sensations of arousal. I like it a lot. For example, when I administer a caress of some sort to some women, I sometimes become aware that I am approaching some boundary where overstimulation may detract from the tides of arousal. Personally, though, I never get to that point myself. As far as I am concerned, "too much" is some place I have never seen. Even the most clumsy seem fit enough to take me to wonderful places.

I let the sensations wash over me and allow them to spill into the room. At least, it seems to. Paty says that she becomes aroused simply by watching me become aroused. She also says that she has seen other women orgasm with no physical stimulation of their own - they are simply pleasuring me.

Generally, as things proceed, Paty slowly inserts herself in some way to enhance the experience to levels most women could not even dream of. For, she is no sexual slouch either. She still teaches me from time to time. Sometimes I participate throughout the evening. Sometimes not. Either way, as per Paty's request which I dutifully honor, I eventually slip out of Paty's bed and return to my closet to sleep satisfied that my job is done. Such a night is so easy and natural, I believe, simply because I am the perfect love slave.

Anyway, all these special friends of Paty's also become friends of mine. So, even though I am an introvert my life is rich with friendships. And even though my submissive nature may leave me exposed, all our friends are respectful of my status as Paty's slave and know not to cross certain boundaries when playing with me. Generally, they understand and respect me and my position.

Most of our friends, that is... McNear sometimes seems to like to push at the boundaries… Like today...

Paty unchained my wrists, so I could move them around in front of me again and pull at the knots that had formed in my tired muscles. I hadn't been able to use my flexibility to move my chained wrists in front of me this time, because McNear had chained them to one of the vertical bars of the suspended cage which had been my bed for the past night. My shoulder, too, ached where I’d had to lay upon it. Even though the bottom of the cage is well padded, my restraint forced me into a bad angle which resulted in too much weight resting upon my shoulder.

"Look," Paty said, "why don't I get you out of the cage. We'll go say good-bye to McNear, then I'll give you a nice, warm, relaxing bath."

"She's still here?! Fuck that! I don't want to see her! Ow! My shoulder aches like after I had that flu shot. Maybe she injected me with something. Can you see a puncture wound somewhere?"

"Don't be ridiculous, Laysan!"

"Whatever. I'll just stay here in my cage, thank you, where I'm safe."

It might seem strange to want to remain in a cage, but, actually I love being in it - as long as I am not chained to the bars that is. Our friend, Ceylon, who is a particularly skilled metal worker, constructed the cage for Paty and me. It is a work of art. The cage is rectangular: one by one and a half meters in area, with a height of a meter. The only way for me to get into the cage is through a hatch at the top and the opening is only accessible when the cage is resting on the ground. After shimmying through the opening hatch in the top, I have to crouch in a ball to one side as the cage is pulled aloft and my freedom is suspended.

A two meter-long, vertical steel bar passes into the the center of the top of the cage. The top of this vertical bar is connected to a heavy cable that may be raised and lowered with a winch. The bottom of the steel bar is anchored inside the structure of the cage to a metal plate which extends outwards to the longer sides of the cage. In turn, two sturdy horizontal crossbeams are welded to this plate. The crossbeams run the length of the cage at the outer edges.

As the winch is engaged and slowly retracts its cable, I have to curl into a ball at one end of the cage in order to avoid getting tangled in the anchor plate and crossbeams as they are pulled up. You wouldn't want to let any body part stray to the top of the crossbeams as they rise up along the inside of the bars of the cage. Nor should hair or fingers linger above the plate as it slowly seals the only exit. For as the winch continues to reel the cable in, the crossbars continue to rise until they bear the full weight of the cage and its occupant and together they are slowly hoisted into the air.

I'm fairly light, so my weight is negligible compared to the heavy, metal cage. Thus, while suspended, even if I put all my weight at one end of the cage, the crossbeams effectively prevent the cage from upending or even tipping at all. It is truly a thing of beauty. And, when aloft, the cage is completely inescapable. I love it.

The room in which the cage is housed has a vaulted ceiling. Nonetheless, the room is completely underground, and thus, windowless. I would not describe the room as a "dungeon" though we refer to it that way occasionally. The walls, for example, are not lined with implements of torture or anything. It's just a tidy, dark room with high, high ceilings. When I am suspended in the cage, generally I am only about a meter off the ground. Paty refers to this height as the "petting zoo" setting. The cage, however, may be hoisted up into the rafters of the room above the level where the suspended fluorescent lighting fixtures shine down into the stark space below. By the time the cage is three meters high, one is enveloped in a thick darkness. We refer to this height as "Purgatory". Due to the darkness of the space above the lights, and the way that the lights shine, an observer on the ground looking up is completely blind to the fact that a cage and its slave dangle far above.

"Come on. Let’s go say good-bye to McNear. It would be rude for you not to say good-bye," Paty pouted. "I really want you to come. McNear will wish to bid you farewell."

"No!" I cried. "She'll just leer at me with that fucking smug smirk on her face. I'm in too much pain! I couldn't stand it... Tell her I disobeyed you somehow and deserve punishment or something."

Paty frowned at me for a few moments. But I knew that she had remitted when she pulled a bed pan from its recess in the undercarriage of the cage and pushed it through a opening between the bars. "Not far from the truth," she sighed.

"Oh, thank you, o love of mine," I smiled as I crouched over the metal pan and did my business. "I'll make it up to you, I promise!"

"You certainly will," Paty said as she retrieved the bed pan, "If I decide to ever let you out of this cage again, Slave.”

She shoved a nice heavy blanket between the bars and gave the structure a light push. As I curled up into a ball, Paty walked to the door and turned off the light. Then I heard the winch engage and the cage and I were pulled up into Purgatory. I smiled to myself, content, safe and secure within my rocking cage.

Chapter 3:

"You are just a ten percenter, Laysan!"

"No, I'm not!"

Not all of Paty's special friends treat me with the disrespect which McNear shows. In particular, I really like Miss Alba. Well, I usually really like her, except today she seemed intent on pissing me off.

"I am Paty's slave - one hundred percent of the time. How can you say that?" I crossed my arms across my naked breasts as a rare sense of overexposure rippled through my being.

"I am saying," Alba explained, "that your lifestyle is easy and fairly free. You spend most of your time doing art, watching TV, surfing on the computer, or just laying around daydreaming. A slave is not free like that. I say that there are very few choices that you relinquish as opposed to what the term 'slave' would imply. I bet that Paty lists you on her federal income tax documents as a dependent. That's what I think that you are. A dependent. Like a child. If you were a slave, you would be considered an asset. And if you are an asset, then Paty is losing lots of money on the upkeep."

"Well, of course I'm not just an asset. Paty and I also love each other. But that doesn't make me any less of a slave. I'm a love slave. People who are merely dependents don't spend as much time in chains as I do."

"Ok, Laysan," she said. "Call it what you want. But, I bet you are only serving your mistress for about ten percent of your time, that's why I say that you are only a ten percenter."

I don't think that I can understate how upsetting her position was to me. I spend twenty four hours a day working hard to make sure that Paty is taken care of when she is at home. I do many things simply to please her. She is often my one and only thought. I am devoted one hundred percent to Paty. So, when Alba suggests that I am only a ten percenter, I feel like she is saying that I am not as devoted to her as I should be. Or maybe that I don't love her as much as I should.

I'd do anything Paty asked. She is my life and my love. As I said, generally Alba is a wonderful person. I love spending time with her. But, what the fuck does Alba know about me and Paty?

Alba is a very pretty woman. She is fairly short and petite like me, but when she walks into a room she takes up a lot more of the space than just her stature. She has a presence that seems to follow her and when she arrives somewhere, you know it immediately, and you will be awed by it. She's always so well put together in appearance and temperament. So, even now, in the midst of our argument her intonation could easily be exchanged for that of a discussion of horse care or business team dynamics. I, however, get swamped in emotion and probably start to sound a bit shrill. I know that my arguments would have more weight if I were more calm like Alba, but I just can not control the flood of feelings.

Alba is particularly rich and has an beautiful mansion that Paty and I often visit. She's got some really neat toys too. About a year ago, she introduced us to the coolest device ever. She calls it a "Meditation Shell". Basically, the device is a sturdy carbon fiber shell shaped in the form of a female body. The user gets naked, lays down in the open shell, and presses a button that causes the top to slowly enclose the user inside. The interior is lined with some sort of space-aged foam that comfortably conforms to one's body.

The device is probably not something that you would want to use if you are at all claustrophobic. Paty, for example, refuses to get in. I, personally, love tight confining places. I've never met a small box or cage that I didn't like. Even so, I must admit that the first time I got in the shell, I became a little nervous when I heard clicks snapping all around me as the shell sealed shut. And after sealing, an air pump engages that seems to cause the foam to expand and press the inhabitant in a tight, full-bodied embrace. It even presses down on your eyes and ears robbing you of your senses. My anxiety, however, quickly faded away thankfully as cool, fresh, purified air is pumped in around my face. Also, the inhabitant holds a button in their hand, that if pressed, causes the shell to immediately spring open. You could be out in seconds.

The foam even presses down on your eyes, so your world is dark. Meanwhile, all external sounds are masked by speakers around your ears that fill your head with white noise. As the foam that presses you all around warms, you begin to feel as though you are floating in some soft, comfortable void. The shell is the ultimate sensory deprivation device.

My description may seem scary, but you really have to experience the device to appreciate how wonderful it is. To me, with the restriction and noise, I kind of feel as though I have returned to the womb. And even though it is called a "Meditation Shell", I swear that I cannot lay within it for more than five minutes without falling into the most delicious sleep. Sometimes the sleep is quiet, other times I have the most vivid, beautiful dreams ever. It is awesome.

Alba graciously allows me access to the shell whenever I want. I convince Paty to take me to visit Alba and her meditation shell at least once or twice a month. The sleep is so wonderful that generally, Paty and Alba have to arouse me from the shell. And when they do I find that and hour and a half or more has passed by. When I arise I feel so refreshed and alive I am ready to conquer the world.

I had just climbed out of the shell when Alba started accusing me of being a ten percenter. So, I became even more disappointed as my euphoria quickly drained away.

"I mean," Alba continued, somehow intent on driving her point into the ground, "you don't even do tasks around Paty's house. You don't clean or cook..."

"I do too clean and cook!" I interjected.

"Well, then why does Paty have to hire house cleaners to come in once a week?"

"Paty's house is humongous! They do all the vacuuming and stuff. I still clean up after myself." I looked over at Paty hoping that she would come to my defense, but she seemed content to watch and see how things played out.

"Paty brings in food almost every night of the week," Alba continued.

"Well, duh! She owns restaurants. Of course she is going to bring home food."

"So, you tell people that you are a slave, but really you're just cruising down easy street. You're a ten percenter."

"Whatever!" I’d had it at this point and I wanted to go home. I walked across the room to a chair where I had left my clothes and started to get dressed.

"Even those clothes!" Alba laughed. "You say that you own nothing, yet Paty buys you clothes to go out in public in. Who else is going to wear those clothes? They are too small for Paty to wear!"

"Hey!" Paty exclaimed.

“Paty, relax! Laysan is several inches shorter than you," Alba laughed. "I'm not implying you're fat, sweety. I'm just saying that those are your clothes, Laysan. Saying that you 'own' them or not is just semantics."

"Fine!" I screamed as I threw the clothes at Alba. "I'll never wear anything ever again. Come on, Paty. Let's go home!"

"Laysan, cool down for a second," Paty pleaded.

"I am your slave aren't I, Paty?" Tears started pouring from my eyes. "You still love me don't you?"

"Of course I love you," Paty said calmly. "Don't worry, you will always be my slave."

I gave a sidewards glance towards Alba who stood with her arms crossed and a mean smirk on her face. "See? If Paty says that I am her slave, that's all that matters,"

"I bet that you never even do anything against your will," Alba muttered.

"Why would I?" I asked.

"Well, wouldn't the term 'slave' imply that you sometimes must do something that you don't want to without question, simply because your mistress demands it?"

"That happens every night when Paty kicks me out of her bed." I knew that the subject of sleeping in Paty's bed is taboo, but it was the only response that I could think of quickly that proved my point. I looked at Paty and became a little nervous again when I saw that she was frowning at me.

I grabbed for the next thing that I could think of to try to cover up my mistake. "I agreed to wear this long-term gag she wants me to wear, even though I don't like to."

"Oh? She gags you for long periods of time?" Alba asked, seemingly impressed suddenly. I am sure Alba knows of my distaste of the jaw wrenching variety of gags.

I looked up at Paty to see if she was still frowning, or if she would cover for me. "Well, no, but I promised her that I would. And that in itself shows my willingness to always meet her demands."

"Wait a second." Alba raised her hands to cut me off. "So, you don't actually wear this gag you are talking about..."

"Well, not yet, but I promised to get fitted for it." I could feel the blood start to drain from my face. I did not like the direction in which this conversation was going.

"Fitted for it?" Alba asked.

"Yeah, I have to have two molars removed. And I promised her that I would."

"Wow! That must be some gag. So, when are you going to get these molars removed."

I kept looking at Paty, but she had once again become content watching instead of participating.

"I don't have an appointment yet," I said.

"Oh! In that case, make the appointment now."

The room was starting to spin. I looked around on the ground to find the clothes that I had thrown at Alba. Maybe if I ignored her, she would back off.

"Come on, Laysan. Make the appointment right now. Prove to me that you are more than a ten percenter."

"Alba, it's a Sunday afternoon. I can't make an appointment to have my teeth removed on Sunday afternoon."

Maybe this was the point that Paty was waiting for, because she finally spoke up. "I can call Ceylon right now and have her set everything up."

I stared at Paty, silently shaking my head, and mouthed the word "No". But she was already dialing the number on her cell phone.

I looked over at Alba who stood with her arms crossed, wearing a satisfied smile, watching Paty talk on the phone. What the hell have I done? How could Paty betray me like this?

No. I had promised Paty that I would get the molars taken out... Alba had tricked me into betraying myself.

"... Excellent! Ok! Let me know when she has an opening... Thanks, Cey! Bye!" Paty turned off her phone. "Ok. She'll set it up."

Chapter 4

A constant splattering of rain fell as Paty drove us through the darkness of the city a week and a half later at 9:30 pm on a Wednesday night to the dentist's office to have my teeth yanked out. The wipers swished and clacked across the windshield. I stared at the drops of water and the way the street lights illuminated them.

"Don't be so morose, Laysan. It'll be over soon." Paty was trying to calm me.

"I'm just hoping that this dentist that Ceylon found turns us away because she remembers that she swore to uphold the Hypocratic oath and not perform unnecessary surgeries."

"Ha! I don't think so. The price that I'm paying for this little procedure, I'm sure that she'd gladly forget her first born." Paty lightly touched my thigh in the darkness of the car's interior.

"Well, thanks for caring so much, I guess."

"Those teeth are probably cavity ridden and rotting anyways. Think of this as a preemptive treatment."

I turned away and watched the endless lines of strip malls slide past the window. "What if our souls just happen to be contained in these particular teeth. After they are cut away, maybe all that will be left of me is an empty shell."

"I love you, Laysan."

It was well past 10pm when we arrived at the office. The dentist, Dr Schleimmer, had me lay in the dentist chair and then left the small room to go talk with Paty. I was trying to calm myself by flipping through some gardening magazine, when someone returned.

"Ceylon!" I said. "Don't tell me that you do dentistry as well."

"Of course not." She placed a gentle hand on my shoulder. "I've just come to make sure that everything is perfect for this new gag."

"Great." I did my best to be as unenthusiastic as possible, but my effort was lost on Ceylon. I could sense her excitement at the prospect of finally trying out her design. I just wish that I wasn't such an integral part of the project.

"Do you mind if I look in your mouth?"

"Sure go ahead, but I should warn you that I ate a lot of garlic today. It's supposed to be a momento of my appreciation for the services of the dentist."

If Ceylon heard me at all, she was an expert at measured reactions. Already, she was running her fingers across my precious teeth, measuring perhaps.

"What exactly is going to happen?" I asked in stunted consonants, trying to avoid my desire to bite her.

"Well, tonight the dentist will remove the teeth. After your gums have healed we will need to add some orthodontia. That will keep your other teeth from trying to shift back and fill the empty spaces. Also, the wires that we install will provide an anchor for the mold."


"Mold. Of course. The gag should be as comfortable as possible so the wearer..."

"...that would be me..." I interjected.

"...yes, so the wearer can adjust to its presence as easily as possible."

"Um. Exactly how long do you expect that a 'wearer' would be able to wear this thing?" I asked.

"Oh! No doubt! There should be no need to ever take it out. The gag could be installed indefinitely. Sure some maintenance is probably necessary..."

Ceylon prattled on excitedly, but I'm not exactly sure what she was saying. A queasy feeling was settling somewhere in the pit of my stomach.

I began reassuring myself that this was simply an expression Ceylon's passion for quality and durability which she prided herself on with every piece of equipment that she designed. Besides, Paty wouldn't want to silence me forever. She loves me. She loves my voice. She often asks me to sing for her. I'm pretty good at it too. And we spend hours and hours talking about things. She finds comfort in my inflection. Even if I don't really have anything earth shattering to say, she likes the soothing quality and dependability of the sounds that I make. I'm sure she would miss it.

The Doctor, Paty, and another woman, who turned out to be an anesthesiologist, came into the room in a flurry. Paty placed a hand on my cheek and gave my a soft kiss on the lips. "Don't worry."

My eyes must have been full of fear. I would have expressed it verbally if I could, but my voice apparently had already taken flight.

The Doctor and her aide worked with an efficiency that would have been comforting in many other contexts. Before I knew it, I had been stabbed with some kind of IV. I felt a sense of panic begin to set in. I felt as if I was falling into a chasm. The room seemed darker.

"Count backwards from twenty," the aide requested.

"20… 19..."

The End

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