Urban Volcano

Fiction by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

Flash fiction


I was abnormally excited about seeing the dentist today. I was looking forward to the visit. Throughout my life the sensation had usually been the exact opposite. I had dreaded the visits rather than looked forward to them. My main anxiety was invariably related to the inevitable theme of flossing. That is, the statutory time-point in the session when the dentist asked “But, how is it? Do you floss every day?” I was always forced to shamefully admit that I was an irregular flosser. It seemed to be absolutely impossible for me to maintain the habit of regularly passing a dental floss between my teeth.

Floss — Illustration Börkur Sigurbjörnsson
Illustration Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

Now, my life’s plot had taken a twist. For a year—367 days to be exact—there had not passed a single day without me flossing my teeth. I was immensely proud of myself and full of self assurance about being able to face up to the dentist and leave his practice without the feeling of shame and incompetence.

“Well,” said the dentist as he finished his inspection. “This mouth looks to be caries free.”

I was all smiles. This sounded promising.

“But, how is it?” the dentist continued and I was excited to be able to finally reply positively to the question that I was expecting to follow. “Don’t you drink a bit too much coffee? Your teeth are terribly stained.”

The smile disappeared from my lips and I was about to cry out “But I floss daily.” It would futile, though. It seemed quite impossible to please these damn dentists.

Börkur is an avid storyteller with a keen eye for quirky characters, funny dialogs and vivid scenario descriptions. Much of his writing falls within the genre of realistic fiction and his stories are more often than not based on real events in the author’s life. Although the tales contain grains of truth, they are melded with fiction, making the reader curious to know the line between reality and fantasy.