Howard sat chomping on a sour green apple. He mashed the apple between his teeth, biting down hard on the green fruit and tearing apart bits of the yummy treats. Howard was not consumed by ravenous hunger; rather, he wanted to finally lose his front tooth. He had spent the last few days chewing gum, sugary caramels, and even his mother’s rock-hard pot roast and Brussel sprouts. His tooth was still hanging by a thread. It was for Howard beyond annoying to feel his tooth swinging out of his mouth and brushing against his bottom lip.
That night when Howard was getting ready for bed, he decided to take matters into his own hands, literally. As Howard stood in front of an old-fashioned floor-length mirror, he twisted and pulled. There was a little bit of red fleshy tissue that attached the tooth to his gums.
Howard yelped as he yanked the dead tooth away. He heard a popping noise, and then, to his delight, the tooth was finally out; he stared at the little bit of white on the mahogany wood floors. Blood in drool trickled down his cherubic face. He wondered to himself if the blood would stain his favorite pair of dinosaur pajamas.
He ran down the spiral staircase, making a beeline for the living room. Howard found his mother passed out in front of the TV. The evening news was playing in the background as he shoved his mother awake. He jumped up and down, holding out his hand to show her his cream-colored tooth.
Howard’s mom smiled at her little boy and took the tooth from him, resting it in her palm. “We have to put this under your pillow,” she said. Howard followed her eagerly up the stairs to his bedroom. Before Howard’s mother tucked her son into bed, she wiped the little bit of blood off of his cherubic face. Howard’s mom put the tooth under his pillow. Howard’s mom pulled his blue comforter up around his neck and laid his favorite plushie snake down next to him. Howard’s mother kissed him on the head and told him she loved him as he dozed off peacefully.
A loud “Thunk” woke Howard from his peaceful slumber. The window was open. Could this be her? Could this be the Tooth Fairy? he thought to himself. If it’s not the Tooth Fairy, then it could be a bad guy. He grabbed his plushie snake for protection. Howard made a pretend hissing noise while holding his plush snake up the window.
“Oh, my dear boy, I’m not afraid of snakes. The forest I live in is chock-full of them.”
The little boy put the plushie down by his side. The little fairy flew around Howard’s bedroom, leaving a trail of pink glitter wherever she went. The fairy got the tooth from under his pillow and gingerly put it into a tiny satchel. Howard watched in amazement. He had never seen anyone or anything so beautiful. This Little Fairy was radiant, her flowing black hair and beautiful melodic voice. He had never heard anything like it. Her wings were a stunning shade of pastel pink, and her eyes were the same.
Howard continued to stare at the tiny woman flying around his room. The fairy whispered some words that Howard didn’t hear, and the window opened again. The fairy flew away, leaving a trail of pink glitter.
The little boy grabbed his plushie snake friend. The boy slowly and quietly shimmied down the tree that sat next to his bedroom window.
It wasn’t hard to find the fairy; Howard simply followed the trail of pink glitter dust, which glistened in the white of the new moon. Howard and his stuffed animal finally made it to the end of the trail of pink glitter. They finally found the tooth fairy. “Nosey little bugger aren’t you,” the Tooth Fairy said, rolling her beautiful pink eyes.
Howard tried to look cute. He gave the tooth fairies the same puppy dog eyes that he gave his mother when she would catch him sneaking into the cookie jar before dinner. Howard gave the fairy an innocent smile. The fairy was unamused. That smile usually works on his mother, who would usually let her son off the hook despite having cookie crumbs and chocolate smeared all over his face.
Before the little boy even knew what was going on, he was now tiny, shrunk down to the size of a bug. He could safely fit into the glittery pink satchel that the Tooth Fairy carried on her back.
Howard was amazed at the strength of those tiny wings, in the speed at which they flew through the sky. The crisp night air hit him in the face. This reminded him of a rollercoaster ride he went on during a trip to the amusement park in the summer. He didn’t like being in this situation, and he didn’t like roller coasters much either. The little boy didn’t know what else to do, so he nestled himself into the tooth fairy’s tiny satchel. The inside was lined with something the reminded Howard of freshly-spun cotton candy. The interior of the sachel was fluffy, pink, and warm. And smelled like melted sugar. The movement of the bag slowly rocked the boy. Howard started to yawn. Howard rested his head on his beloved snake, using it as a pillow, and fell asleep.
The little boy opened his big eyes. He yawned, his jaw cracked, and he took in the scene. “Hurry up, boy, your breakfast is getting cold!” Howard heard his mother’s voice ring out. He sighed with relief. Howard practically glided down the stairs. In the kitchen he found a big bowl of scrambled eggs, bacon, and orange juice. Bacon and scrambled eggs were his favorite things to have for breakfast. He would always squirt lots of ketchup onto his scrambled eggs. The boy’s tiny belly began to rumble when the smell of freshly cooked bacon filled his nose.
His mother slapped a big scoop of scrambled eggs onto his plate, and to his absolute horror, the scrambled eggs were replaced by hundreds of tiny teeth. Howard screamed at the top of his lungs. The sound of his own screaming woke Howard from his slumber.
“Oh good, you’re up!” the tooth fairy said, smiling widely at the little boy. A shiver went down Howard’s back. The smile was so wide it unsettled him. As one would expect, they had beautiful teeth; they were lovely, blindly white, and radiated perfection. Despite her perfect teeth, the tooth fairy’s smile scared the boy. Her smile was too big. Her toothy grin went from one of her glittery pink eyes to the other.
The tooth fairy giggled as little Howard shivered in fear. “Oh my dear Howard,” said the fairy in her melodious voice. “You’re a fortunate boy. Kids worldwide dream of meeting the tooth fairy and other mythical creatures, but very few kids ever achieve this. We mythical creatures do what we need to do to keep our existence secret.”
The fairy snapped her fingers. The walls and floor trembled. Howard lost his balance and fell on his butt. A snake slithered over Howard’s legs. He wondered how giant the creature actually was. He was under the spell the Tooth Fairy put on him to make him tiny. He assumed that the creature was regular size, but in this current state of smallness, the serpent was the size of a bus. The snake opened its mouth. Its sparkling white fangs were bigger than Howard was tall. Howard found himself back into a wall decorated with sparkles and pink roses. He moved his hand along the wall, feeling the bizarre texture. Howard couldn’t figure out what he was touching. But Howard was sure that the wall that he was studying felt nothing like the smooth walls in his house.
“I thought you liked snakes,” chortled the Tooth Fairy, smiling that creepy smile.
“That snake is too big!” said Howard, shaking his head and holding up his tiny hand.
“With the power of fairy magic, we can do anything.” The Tooth Fairy smiled, her unsettling toothy smile.
“You must be hungry!” said the tooth fairy in that heavenly voice. Howard had been dreaming of his favorite breakfast just a short time ago. But this new bizarre and frightening world made the young boy lose his appetite. The thought of food made the boy feel sick. He shook his head. The fairy handed him a small red sweet wrapped in plastic. Howard still didn’t want to put it in his mouth and tried to politely refuse. The fairy shoved it into his mouth, knocking the remaining top front tooth back down his throat. The candy tasted nothing like candy; it was disgusting. The red wrapper hard candy tasted of meat that had been left out in the sun to rot; the sweet tasted like a dead carcass.
Featured image by Keely Messino, created in Canva