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Thunderstruck - A free story.

Image: Reimagined cover art for AC/DC's Thunderstruck, off their 1990 album The Razor's Edge. (Source: Deviantart)

Here is a flash fiction story for you. It was written as an entry to Australian Writers Centre's Furious Fiction, a 500-word monthly competition that receives thousands of entries from all over the world. You can find more details on the AWC website (here).

I hope you enjoy my little story, even if the topic might be triggering for some.



Pete Mitchell. April 2024

‘Why do I get so stressed about these things?’

When I received the third reminder in the post, I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer.

Last time the visit scarred me for life. I could imagine what it going to be like.

‘I’ve applied a little lignocaine, so things should feel numb. You might feel a little discomfort as I apply the anaesthetic.’

Image: The faces say it all. (Source: Springvale Dental)

A “little discomfort”, that was an understatement. I wondered if this guy has ever been on the receiving end. It was as if AC/DC were playing Thunderstruck in my head. The guitars screamed, the tension rose, and the lyrics kicked in. I gripped the arms of the chair so tightly I was afraid I was going to tear them off.

‘Once again, on the other side. You won’t feel anything as soon as the novocaine takes effect.’

I hoped that the drugs would kick in soon. I wasn’t sure if I could go through with it if it was going to feel like this.

The scream of the drill accompanied a sickening odour. The sweet peppermint that the instruments had been doused in couldn’t mask the smell of burning tissue, my flesh and bone.

Image: No time to be asking questions. (Image: Dreamstime)

‘Why did I leave it so long between visits? I thought it was only going to be a check-up.’

Then he tells me, ‘Oh, this doesn’t look nice. I’ve had a cancellation. While I’ve got you in the chair, we need to pull this one.’

It wasn’t as if he had given me a choice. The tooth hadn’t given me any trouble, until now of course. I wondered if what he was doing was necessary or just adding to the account for his family’s next skiing holiday in Europe.

‘How are you doing there? Everything okay?’

AC/DC chanted ‘Yeah, I’m all right. I’m doing fine’ rhetorically.  I tried to tell him I was not okay, but my mouth was full of sharp surgical steel and the anaesthetic had discombobulated my tongue and brain.

Image: AC/DC's Angus Young at full throttle (Image: Band image)

‘There we are. That wasn’t too bad was it.’

Red tendrils dripped from the bloody brown tooth that had until recently resided in my head. I don’t like the sight of blood at the best of times, but knowing the blood was mine I passed out.

Image: Not what you expect to leave behind after a checkup. (Source: Google freestock)

I could feel someone tapping my hand. ‘Are you alright Sir?’ I opened my eyes and the receptionist appeared in front of me. She continued tapping my hand. ‘You seem to have fainted. One minute you were sitting in reception and the next moment you turned pale and slid off the chair.’

I stood, rubbing my jaw where I was convinced a tooth had been extracted.

‘Sorry, we kept you waiting. As soon as you’re feeling better the dentist will see you.’

I put my finger in my mouth, no pain, no blood. Everything felt fine and I realised I’d slipped out of reality.

As I walked out the door, I turned to the receptionist. ‘Perhaps another time.’

I hope you enjoyed Thunderstruck. The competition rules include a strict maximum 500-word limit and the following:

  • Your story’s first sentence must be a question.

  • Your story must include something being pulled.

  • Your story must include the words POST, TEAR and THUNDER (or longer words derived from them, e.g. postal).

The competition runs for 50 hours on the first Friday of every month. Have a go. It's fun and a good way to train yourself to write to a deadline.

Let me know if you enjoyed Thunderstruck.

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1 Comment

Thanks for sharing. I think I’ll skip my next visit too

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