Grandma slept with her teeth beside the bed.
They sat in a glass of alka-seltzer (or, so I thought at the time) on a side table, accompanied by several other things discarded from her carcass: eye-glasses, wig, jewellery. Her face was extremely pale without her make-up and she smeared it in vaseline, so that she looked like a molten waxwork.
"Come and give us a kiss, dear," she'd say, before turning in. Her speech was slurred, without her teeth.
I dreaded the thought. Often, I made excuses to slip away, as soon as I could to avoid this ritual. Some nights, I wasn't so lucky.
"Come closer, I won't bite!"
This was true, enough. Without her teeth, her kisses were wet and frothy. A slobbery hole, that vacuumed up my face.
"Let me have a look at you," she'd say, holding me at arm's length. Then, without warning, she'd pinch my cheeks, until they went blue, and cackled long and hard. She didn't always do this, so it came as a surprise when she did. Oftentimes, her laugh would degenerate into a hack - a smoker's cough. She'd become overcome with convulsions and let me go. That was my opportunity.
I'd run away as fast I could.