I wear my birthdays like teeth on a string around my neck. Is today a big one? No, not really, perhaps a canine, it’s been a sharp, bitey kind of year but next year, well next year is the big one, a molar with a golden crown, deep roots catching on the fur on my chest. They say I look like a wolf when I smile so I tend not to. Not often.
“But it was only a myth, a story the old people told. Now sleep.” The children closed eyes. He smiled and licked his red teeth.
It had been a while that people had been covering their faces through fear, fear of the new, fear of the unexpected, fear of the consequences. But soon Julie was going to react, to rebel against the blankness.
The noise in her head was of late spring orchids, dried to straw by summer, rustling and whispering underfoot as she walked through the field, up the slope to the cliff top.
She would go to the city and get on the underground train. She’d sit down quietly. The voices would whisper through the static, some inside her head, some inside others’.
She’d sit down quietly then as quietly stand up and take her mask off to show her empty face, the space where her nose had been, and her teeth.