It hits me the moment I step out of the car. My stomach lurches in an attempt to retch away the odors assaulting me. The faint hints of bleach and antiseptic barely mask the decay and toothy smoke smell that surrounds the building.
Walking toward the door, the stench intensifies and I can almost taste the barely concealed rot. I gag harder.
Sneaking quick breaths between long moments of not breathing at all, I stagger to the door of the office. The door squeals ominously as I open it and I’m surrounded by a sudden cacophony of sounds. The sucking and scraping provide a background for the whine of the drills digging. Mumbled voices slurping and moaning around devices in their mouths are mixed with impulsive whimpers of pain.
I collapse into a chair in the waiting room, my heart beating out the seconds to my appointment time. I absently stare at the pages of a magazine, dabbing the beads of sweat from my forehead with trembling hands.
I recoil when the nurse calls my name.
“The dentist will see you now!”