French Kissing Vampires for Beginners

an excerpt



Chapter One

Tom prodded the upper right molar with his tongue and immediately winced in pain. The toothache had been plaguing him for nearly a month now, and it had become progressively worse the last few days.

"Guess you can't put it off any longer," he told his reflection in the bathroom mirror. A trip to the dentist seemed to be in order, and the sooner the better.

With a grimace of distaste, Tom wandered through to his study, and after ten minutes rummaging through his pigsty of a desk, he found the number for the dental surgery. A chirpy receptionist answered the phone on the second ring.

"New Street Dental Practice, how may I help you?"

"I need to make an appointment with Dr Manvers," Tom replied, before testing his tooth again. He hissed at the contact, wondering why he even bothered to check it. Of course the damn thing hurt. He already knew that. What possessed him to keep torturing himself?

"I'm sorry, but Dr Manvers is no longer with us." The receptionist spoke in a hushed tone, as though she imparted some great secret no one else should hear.

"Oh." Tom frowned. He hoped his change of practice wouldn't result in a delay in getting an appointment. "Where's he working now? I'll transfer to his new surgery."

"Um, I'm sorry, but Dr Manvers passed away last year. You should have received a letter notifying you. Your new dentist is Dr Coleman. He's taken over care of all of Dr Manvers' patients."

Tom stumbled to his chair and dropped into it with a thump. "Dead?"

"Yes, I'm afraid so."

"Well, that's damned inconsiderate of him."

"Excuse me?"

Oh bugger. Tom realised what he had blurted a second after the words left his mouth. He caught himself before following his comment up with something like join the club or some other remark that would be equally difficult to explain.

While he struggled to find the right words to remedy his faux pas, the receptionist steered the conversation back on course.

"If I could take your name please?"

"Thomas Jones."

"Address?"

Tom provided her with his details and a few moments later, she confirmed she had found him on their computer system.

"Dr Coleman can see you for an appointment next Tuesday at one. Will that be okay?"

"No, I'm afraid not. I'll need a late night appointment."

"Of course, Mr Jones. We have late night openings on Thursdays. How's six thirty next week?"

"I don't think you understand. I must have a late night appointment."

"Yes, that's what I'm offering you. Our practice hours are eight thirty to five o'clock Monday to Wednesday and the same on Friday. Saturday mornings nine until noon, and eight thirty to eight on Thursdays. Dr Coleman's last appointment on a Thursday is half seven."

"That's too early. Dr Manvers always saw me much later."

"Well, Dr Coleman's last appointment is--"

"Yes, I heard you the first time." Tom cut her off before she started her spiel again. "May I speak with Dr Coleman? I'm sure once I explain my unique needs, he'll be happy to accommodate me."

"Dr Coleman's with a patient right now."

"You have my number," Tom said. "I'll expect to hear from him before the end of the day."

Tom hung up the phone before she could argue with him.

"Damn it." This was the last thing he needed. He wasn't overly fond of visiting the dentist at all, but at least Dr Manvers had become accustomed to Tom and his oddities over the years. He hoped Dr Coleman was a sensible sort of man. He didn't need the hassle of dealing with a hysterical dentist.