Dr. Smiles

A quiet neighbourhood like any other, with rows of unchanging houses tucked away from the main bustle of the city. The sound of squeaking bicycle wheels and laughing children echoed along streets that held the slight scent of oatmeal cookies and apple pie. The neighbours threw weekend barbeque parties and traded recipes, carpooled and arranged playdates for their children. A picture-perfect slice of suburban heaven.

At the end of a cul-de-sac, nestled back from the road, sat a small, nondescript house. Painted its uniform white with blue trim, boasting a quaint porch and a rocking chair, and a welcome mat by the front door. An older man lived there, retired from dentistry on the back side of fifty. Now he spent his time sipping tea in his porch chair, waving and grinning at the street’s residents.

His neighbours jokingly referred to him as Dr. Smiles.

The quietest of neighbours, polite, well-groomed, always ready with a cheery hello. He never failed to pat the dogs that might wander into his yard, or toss an errant soccer ball back to the rambunctious children. Yes, everyone loved Dr. Smiles.

Except the people in the basement.

They were the outsiders that didn’t quite fit in, the disruptive influences, names slipped to Dr. Smiles by long-time residents. He efficiently removed them, tucking them away to feed his own cruel amusements. After all, who would suspect a kindly old man of violence?

Lined up in neat rows, strapped tightly into his chairs, he took care to keep the unwilling patients alive as long as possible. Specimens could be scarce sometimes, and he enjoyed putting his dental tools to new uses. Occasionally, they disturbed the neighbours when they screamed too loud, but Dr. Smiles would then apologize before gagging their cries.
He was nothing, if not a considerate neighbour.

~ A. F. Stewart

© Copyright 2023 A. F. Stewart. All Rights Reserved.


5 thoughts on “Dr. Smiles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.