199 Steps

Image copyright: Georgia Koch

Image copyright: Georgia Koch

My granddad was a swashbuckling crewman on the old lifeboat.

I’m a dentist. Worlds apart.

Of an evening he would entertain us with stories of weather, stricken ships, lives saved, lives lost. Sometimes his mates would come around and light their pipes and share memories.

“Remember The Demeter?” someone would ask. “Now that was a storm. A dark night.”

Heads would shake, eyes flicker from side to side. “Dark, and violent.”

“What happened to the crew?” they would ask. “And all that silver, those coffins.”

“And the black dog?”

“Or devil?”

My bite is now perfect. I shaped it myself.


This in response to Rochelle Wishoff-Fields’ 100 word challenge

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32 Responses to 199 Steps

  1. afairymind says:

    Great story. I had to look up The Demeter but once I did it made perfect sense! It read very differently without that knowledge. 🙂 I can so clearly picture all the old seamen sitting around reminiscing. Well done.

  2. Sarah Ann says:

    Beautifully done. I can just see the old crewmen sitting around of an evening reminiscing, and the young dentist listening intently in the background.

  3. adamjasonp says:

    Ah, vampires…or dentist vampires…dampires…

  4. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Patrick, What a clever story – Remember the Dementer – I’d rather not. You are so witty! Nan 🙂

  5. Margaret says:

    Very sinister. There are dentists and then there are dentists, it seems. I love the nostalgic tone – it left me quite unprepared for the final, subtle thrust.

  6. helenmidgley says:

    I loved the subtly in this, great piece 🙂

  7. Amy Reese says:

    I wasn’t familiar with the last voyage of Demeter…now that I am I think this is brilliant! A proper bite is important. I see that wasn’t lost on the dentist….

  8. <> I don’t believe in dentists. Love the phrase “Of an evening…” Sets the mood perfectly.

  9. storydivamg says:

    Dear Patrick,
    What a finely crafted tale. Beautiful work. Unlike Doug, I do believe in vampires. Unfortunately for your dentist, I have a heroine who has recently experienced some success with a silver stake out in a dental office: https://mariegailstratford.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/without-reflection/

    Here’s to taking a bite out of crime!

  10. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Patrick,

    I followed your bread crumbs and enjoyed your story even though there’s no such thing as…..

    Well done.



  11. Dear Patrick,

    I had to look up the Demeter. Ah, now it falls into place. Nice swash, buckle and bite.



  12. Sandra says:

    Growing up with those kind of stories around you I’d think you’d have a ferocious bite.

  13. Who was the dog? The devil himself? Interesting.

  14. Who’s to say who lived a more worthwhile life. The dentist probably helped hundreds of people, not to mention his own perfect bite. Then again, there was all that silver …

  15. I guess with a sharp denture you can be swashbuckling yourself

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