“Long in the Tooth, or Manifestly Mandibular Destiny” – 321 words

The Comstock said that when the telegraph lines went in, it’d be a whole new Mouth. Distal and medial, lingual and facial. Everything was coming together in the jaws of this brave new world.

Nothing happens that fast, though. There were still enough cusps between here and the buccal badlands where the likes of the Cavette Gang could flourish. Still need for men like Sheriff Le Fluor.

Le Fluor kicked his horse into a hard gallop as they crossed the ridge. Behind him, gobbets of food debris rolled like snow down teeth like mountains. From here, you couldn’t even see the Cavettes.

You could hear their guns, though. The shots cracked behind Le Fluor as he spurred his palomino onto the occlusal flats. He’d come out here to civilize the lower mandible, but he’d found himself badly outgunned.

The shredded body of Deputy Flass lay somewhere in the crevices behind him.

Another crack – louder than a gunshot – as Le Fluor’s palomino hit a soft spot in the enamel and its leg caught, twisted, shattered. Its momentum smashed, the horse cartwheeled, hurling Le Fluor clear.

He laughed and laughed as he scrabbled across the yellow dentin. Diving behind the animal’s corpse as Cavette bullets bloomed in the dead hide, he unslung his rifle from its pack.

The bore still straight, he steadied it against the saddle horn, looking back towards the cusp. One of the Cavettes appeared from behind a planar ridge. Le Fluor’s rifle burst and, a split second later, so did the Cavette man’s head.

As that one fell, though, the hills came alive with Cavettes.

“So much for reaching the gingival sulcus.” Le Fluor cocked the next shell into his repeater.

Everyone froze, however, as a hot breath rose, rushing around them like a gale. From down wind, he could hear salivation. A flood rushing towards them.

Le Fluor shook his head.

“I’m getting too old for this spit.”

Originally posted at Flash! Friday # 50, some typos corrected here


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