Alberto the Extraordinary.

Kirsten Krone-Wilson

Written for the Cambridge Fiction Award with the topic "Moustache."

Alberto the Extraordinary, in the waiting room, pwanged the waxed and drawn extremities of his moustache, with a meditative flick of his pinkie. His pinkie made him Extraordinary - the sleight of his hand was born of its subtlety. His face fungus drew the eye to that extraordinariness and reinforced his difference from other men.

Alex Everett, in the dentist's chair, twitched when the hygienist's gismo buzzed against the pointy perfection of his nose-cushion. She was fat and clumsy. Leaning over him, her chest bent his gravity defying bristles against his cheek. Alberto's instinct to flounce out with stratospheric dudgeon was quelled by Alex's need to augment Alberto's brilliance with a perfect smile.

There was levity in her tone when she had admired the perfection of his lip-blanket. A master of magic need not suffer such indignity. But Alex couldn't afford private care.

"Do you floss?" she asked. Then she'd tittered and recommended waxed fibres. Alex thanked her. Alberto turned on his heel and strode from the surgery with wounded hauteur.

Safe in front of the mirror, Alberto the Extraordinary pwanged the waxed tip of his gob-horns and flashed his tinkling smile. His audience would appreciate him.