Adam Westbrook
3 min readAug 9, 2017




A typical dentist’s room, white and sterile. As the camera moves past various dental equipment, we HEAR the sound of a dental drill. It is being fired very rhythmically, determinedly almost, the high pitched scream pulsating every other second.

The camera PULLS BACK to reveal CLAIRE (40s, blue scrubs) reclining casually in the patient’s chair, her face blank. In her right hand, the drill, which she holds like a gun. She stares into the distance, pulling the drill’s trigger every other second.

She takes a bottle of alcoholic mouthwash and swallows a shot’s worth. It’s not her first.

A knock at the door. Claire climbs out of the chair and puts the drill down.

CLAIRE: Come in!

LUCY (late teens, pretty, bubbly) walks in and beams a huge smile. Claire beams a big smile back at her and the two fait la bise.

LUCY: Is my usual dentist not here today?

CLAIRE: He is, but he’s on a long lunch so I stepped in. I hope it’s not weird? Your babysitting client giving you a check up?

LUCY: No it’s cute! Maybe I should do my sitting for free and get free checkups from now on!

Lucy is settling into the dentist’s chair. Claire hands her some goggles and assembles her equipment.

CLAIRE: By the way thanks for looking after the kids at short notice on Thursday. I had late patients and Jonathan…well, he’s always working late.

LUCY: Some big contract, he told me.

CLAIRE: Open wide. Yes that’s right, he gave you a lift home again didn’t he.

CLOSE UP on the tool tray as Claire picks up the periodontal probe, with a very sharp point.

CLAIRE (CONT’D): I hope you don’t mind him giving you those lifts home.

LUCY (As best she can with mouth open): No it’s cool.

CLAIRE: …I know he likes giving you a ride.


CLAIRE: Oh sorry did I catch your gum?

Claire reaches behind her and helps herself to another shot of mouthwash. She sighs and studies her patient, who looks up at her in growing concern.

CLAIRE: You’re so pretty. So young! No wonder they all like you.

LUCY (Massaging her mouth): What?

CLAIRE: Open wide again for me. You could have your pick of any of them. (A beat). So why take something that’s not yours?

Realising, Lucy makes a motion to get out of the chair — but Claire pushes her back down by her chest, pinning her to the seat.

CLAIRE: Oh dear, it looks like we’ve got a cavity here on a rear molar.

LUCY: Claire, look I don’t know what you’ve heard —

CLAIRE: It’s alright though, nothing a quick filling can’t fix.

LUCY: Claire, I don’t want —

CLAIRE: It’s important to fix these problems in the bud, you don’t want to let them fester.

Claire picks up the dental drill and gives it a spin.

LUCY: Aren’t you supposed to give me some anaesthetic —

CLAIRE: Open wide for me Lucy. Ha, not the first time you’ve heard that this week! Now…you might feel a little…discomfort.

CLOSE UP on the drill as it begins to scream.



Adam Westbrook

Video artist working at The New York Times. I write a newsletter about visual storytelling and creativity.