“How’s it going Elena?” George’s hoarse voice screeched from the other side of the street.
“It’s alright, getting pretty cold here, isn’t it?” I replied through my chattering teeth. I rubbed my palms close together to generate heat before placing them on my cheeks.
The streets had gone quiet, they always rendered after midnight. Surviving on the streets hadn’t been an easy task, but that seemed like the only choice after I lost my job and the ability to remunerate for the outstanding bills. All Hail 2020.
“Yeah, it is. At least the mask sort of helps with keeping the cold out” He smiled his toothless grin before putting his dirty brown mask on.
I questioned if the color was actually brown or had it evolved that way through weeks and weeks of utilization without a proper wash.
“Hey, George. Do you mind if I borrow some toothpaste? I ran out of my last tube.” I smiled politely but his response caught me off guard.
“You’re a good kid but I can’t. That’s all I’ve got.”
“You can’t spare a small pea?”
“I can’t.” He said with a sad demise in his eyes. Part of me was extremely irritated at that fact. I mean, the man barely had teeth, to begin with.
Over the following few days, I noticed a substantial change in my teeth. Aside from the rancid breath, my gums got stronger. Gone were the receding gums and my nightly habit of gritting my teeth? That was gone too.
But something kept changing. George held his distance from me and went on brushing his teeth from across the road. Hell, he even went ahead and rubbed toothpaste on his face like it was some sort of a sunblock.
On the 5th night, something strange happened. My body was pressed against the cardboard, which was now starting to reek of something. Possibly it was my visceral scent. Inhabiting in the streets didn’t exactly allow me with a series of options to bathe in, that mixed with the snow that dropped constantly, I wasn’t going get water anywhere close to me.
Where was I? Oh, right, the 5th night! And then.
A black SUV pulled out and ascended out a figure all dressed in PPE suit. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. Everyone put on masks and PPE suits from the pandemic, but this one carried a long string of… wait, was THAT dental floss?
“I am not going to hurt you.” His voice boomed from the suit, sending shivers down my body.
“What? What are you? Who are you?”