The words over at Three Word Wednesday are affinity, fidget and mention.
They’re called the canines, but that is so ever misleading.
Take a moment, put your index finger to your own teeth and trace their glossy smoothness from the front two teeth – the central incisors – across the lateral incisor and onto the canine.
Take your thumb and index finger now, feel the slight elongation of your cuspid teeth – on top and below – and trace the points. Imagine the power it takes for all four to rip through flesh, through muscle and in one bite, sever either the right or left common carotid artery.
Oh, not your teeth, silly.
You must understand the hesitation to refer to those four beautiful curved, glossy specimens to the filth that is the canine. True, our teeth are built like yours, made up of various minerals - calcium, phosphorus, other, assorted mineral salts – dentine and capped with a whisper of enamel. That gloriously smooth, hard layer that gives a bite meaning.
For you, for us, that makes no difference.
But to call them canine. Well, it’s so odious.
We are the hunters of the hunters. The cool-to-the-touch blur your first feel when the little hairs across your neck fidget. The shadows you see move across lit walls, when nothing else moves.
That is, until we feed.
And there is nothing more seductive than the swell of the sweat that fills our olfactory nerves as we close in. Bare our teeth.
I suppose you could compare it to that of a jaguar; one swift sink of teeth through skin, bone, veins. The jaguar is, after all, the only of the big cats that kills with its bite. Oh, you can look it up. Tigers, lions – not to mention your cute, common house cat – kill by suffocation.
But we don’t feast on flesh now, do we? No, it’s our glorious affinity for all that pulsating, salty, iron-rich blood that flows through you.
No suffocation for us. We’re more seductively vicious. Calculated, cool.
Nothing like those silly movies your kind keep making up about us. The ones that show a bite with two little cuspid pokes along the vein.
(Think now, think to your own teeth, the two rows of teeth and try and figure out how you could pop just a couple of your cuspids into flesh, like twin needle injections? I think not.)
Roll your tongue across your own glorious teeth; feel the tiny ridges along the incisors – all eight of them – and then imagine the speed, the skill, the absolute symphony it takes for all 12 teeth to rip through the skin of your neck, through stringy muscle and into those gloriously pulsating carotid arteries.