The Curmudgeon


Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Father of Teeth

Text for today: Carnassials xvii-xxxix

Fleeing through the sewers, on the other hand, the Father of Teeth found his way obstructed by a fatberg of nauseating dimensions. Its bulging white bulk was studded and spiked all over with writhing scaly pseudopods, so that it resembled a giant albino amoeba, such as inhabit the intestines of all who uncritically swallow urban legends.

His path entirely blocked, the Father of Teeth inserted several sets of his most industrial gnashers and started demolishing the fatberg, whose flavour was no more agreeable than its mien. As he gnawed his way through, the scaly pseudopods grew ever more enthused in their thrashing and lashing, and finally the Father of Teeth chewed out a tunnel around one of them to see what it found so exciting.

The writhing scaly tentacle turned out to be attached to a wriggling armour-plated body, from whose sides protruded short flabby legs and which terminated at last in a long and spiky grin, glued and sealed shut by the fatberg's insistent embrace. The Father of Teeth gnawed the creature loose and flung it into the sewer where, having yawned the last clots from its gruesome gums, it swam lazily off in the direction from which the Father of Teeth had come. Seeing this, the Father of Teeth made haste to free as many more of the blind white alligators as he could find, hurling them all into the sewer so that they could follow the first and make their acquaintance with his pursuers.

Burrowing further into the fatberg, the Father of Teeth came upon other pseudopods, smaller and more numerous than those on the outside, and beneath their coating of white powder as pink and bristly as a dowager's chin. These new tentacles were attached to scrawny bundles of matted fur, with scrabbling feet beneath and sly smiles at the front. The Father of Teeth gnawed the blind white rats free by the half-dozen and flung them into the sewer like bouquets, and they swam after the alligators to make their acquaintance with whatever was left of his pursuers.

By now the fatberg was so fractured that the Father of Teeth could see its very core. At first it seemed merely a soft and glistening ball of throbbing offal, but on closer inspection the Father of Teeth discerned that the ball comprised many separate creatures, all pushed together and yet, now that they were no longer contained and constrained by the fatberg's affections, slowly and sluggishly pulsing apart. They were small and slimy, and some were shaped like fish and some like frogs, some with tails and some without, and the biggest of them had tiny hands and a huge head, its eyes complacently closed.

Muttering imprecations upon ontogeny and its phylogenetic copyright violations, the Father of Teeth kicked the remains of the fatberg into the sewer and hurried upon his way. The fatberg's core disintegrated rapidly in the fragrant current, whereupon the miscarried and mutated foetuses, driven by their insensate lust for nurture, set out in pursuit of their rescuer.


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