The Tooth Fairy

📅 Published on August 16, 2022

“The Tooth Fairy”

Written by E.E. King
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 8.50/10. From 2 votes.
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For the first time in his short life, Tommy had seen – no – Tommy had been given a magical gift -a miracle. The items themselves weren’t that special – two quarters and a piece of bubble gum – it was the fact of them, appearing under his pillow while he slept, that was incredible. Proof that beyond the boring, ordinary world, enchantment existed.

Some of his classmates believed in a bunny who laid chocolate eggs, and many were certain Santa was real, and but Tommy had never been among them.

His mother was beyond subterfuge. She’d never tried to hide his meager present underneath the tree, because she never got a tree.

“Pay money I don’t have for a murdered tree, just to have it shed on the carpet?” She’d say, shaking her head and taking a slug of Southern Comfort.

Oh, she’d nail a stocking to the wall and stick a chocolate bar, or some gum in, but there was no doubt these trifles came from her. Once, when she had forgotten to get any treats, she’d tossed a couple of quarters into the sock, right in front of him.

“Merry Christmas, kid,” she’d laughed. Her voice was deep, roughened by many years of whiskey and Marlborough.

She didn’t have money for frivolities. Weekdays she worked eight to ten hours in a typing pool. Weekends she typed four.

When he was young, Tommy had thought she got to go swimming every day. It sounded fun, though he understood why she was so worn-out when she got home. Even three hours in a pool and he was pooped.

“How come you never come home with wet hair? Do you have a blow-dryer at work?” He asked.

When she understood, she laughed for what seemed like forever.

“A typing pool, not a swimming pool, you dumb kid,” She said it with evident affection, but it stung.

“Wait till I tell the girls,” She began laughing again, perhaps imagining “the girls,” typing in swimsuits.

He was much older now, almost eight. He knew that typing pools were dry. He knew, had always known, that Santas were parents, the Easter bunny was his second-grade teacher, Mrs. Sullvan, and God was a lie. Fantasy was for fairytales, fairytales and rich kids who had two parents with enough time and energy for loving deceit.

When Mom came home, she sipped her Comfort as she grilled cheese sandwiches. After a few glasses, she’d put on the radio, swaying and humming as she toasted the bread.

Tommy was always glad when she was happy, but sometimes it didn’t end so well. Sometimes he’d just assume forget about.

Not today though. Today he had received a magical gift from The Fairy. He hadn’t believed in its existence. He’d assumed The Fairy was as false as egg-bearing rabbits and flying reindeer.


A few weeks ago, Tommy’s first baby tooth had finally begun to loosen. He was the last in the class. Everyone else had, had gap-tooth grins for a year or more. Grady Ferguson had lost his first when he was only four, still in kindergarten. But then Grady Ferguson was enormous. Even Emma Jorgensen, the tiniest girl in the class, had lost four teeth and had half of a big one growing up through her gums like bone protruding from raw flesh.

Does it hurt? he wanted to ask, but although she was tiny, Emma was too popular to ask.  He wished he were.

What was it that made kids cool or nerdy? Sometimes it was obvious; though she was small, Emma was rich, China doll pretty, wore different outfits every day, and had a house with a pool. Johnathan’s blond hair fell over his eyes in a movie-star wave, and he could outrun anyone. Grady was too big and too mean to bully. But why Larry? He was no taller, richer, or better at sports than Tommy, but he was in, and Tommy was out. If not for Paul Simson who was deaf, and Roger Smith whose legs were shriveled-up like dried, old apples, Tommy would have been the bottom rung.


Tommy had been looking forward to this day for years, now that it had finally arrived it was no fun, and far more disturbing than he’d imagined. He knew it was normal. His classmates gleefully wriggled wet tongues through the gaps in their smiles like eels writhing between coral.

“Look what the Tooth Fairy gave us,” they’d cry, holding up quarters, or dollars, or, in the case of Emma Jorgensen, a fiver.

Tommy figured The Fairy was a lie, just another stupid story to deceive kids into believing the world was enchanted and wonders possible. Still, there was something sinister about it that rang true. Unlike Santa and the Easter Bunny who wanted only to give, The Fairy demanded payment. What kind of a fairy collected body parts? What did she do with them? Did she have a house full of teeth? Tommy imagined opening her door and being buried under an avalanche of molars.


“Look,” said Tommy, when Mom got home from work. He wriggled his tooth with his tongue, just as if it were normal for him to be falling apart.

Mom smiled. She reached in his mouth as if to give it a tug. Tommy jumped back. The tooth fell out.

He gasped, clutching the hole that had so recently been filled by a piece of him. On the floor at his feet, his tooth lay white, hard and slightly bloody, like a small, shard of bone.

Mom laughed. “Put it under your pillow tonight,” she said. “Maybe the tooth fairy will leave you a present in exchange.”

Though he didn’t believe, Tommy put his tooth beneath his pillow.

That night he dreamed of The Fairy. It was huge, dark and fluid as smoke. It had hollows where eyes should have been. It felt him all over, searching for loose body parts with fog-wet hands. It wriggled his wrist back and forth. He hugged himself and shivered, praying it would just take his tooth and go. It whispered, its breath was cold and foul, like something rotten that was just now thawing.  It promised to reward him, not just for teeth, but for eyes, and ears, and bones.

When he awoke, he squeezed his arms, pinched his legs and tugged on his hair, making sure everything was still attached. Except for the hole in his mouth, he was whole.

He snaked his hand beneath his pillow, expecting to feel his tooth, but no! There where the tooth had been, were two quarters and a piece of his favorite Bazooka Joe bubble gum. The Fairy was real.

Mrs. Sullvan had told him gum was bad for his teeth, so it made sense that The Fairy would leave him some. She wanted more.

He wondered if she preferred baby teeth. Once he’d seen an old man whose mouth sucked in on itself like a wound. Had The Fairy bought all his teeth? The old man had looked very poor.  His shoes gapped at the toes like empty mouths. His dirty clothes were worn thin. Tommy doubted he’d made a good deal. But he wondered. If The Fairy paid fifty cents for a baby tooth, what would she give for a grown-up one? What would she give for an ear, or a finger, or a kidney?

He’d started late, but now his teeth began to loosen and fall, fast as pale, autumn leaves.  He worried his big teeth might never grow in, leaving him like that old man, with a gash for a mouth. Or maybe when all his teeth were gone, other pieces of him would fall off, fingernails, toes, legs. Maybe bits of his skeleton would begin to poke out of his skin and shatter.

He saved most of The Fairy gains, spending only a little on candy and a green plastic soldier.

He waited for his other teeth to fall, not for the money, but for the miracle. The real gift was not coins, or gum, but contact with an immortal.

The other kids were wrong, as usual. The Fairy was not some sparkling winged Tinkerbelle. The Fairy was a Dark God who craved teeth and possibly other body parts. It made sense. It was more like the world he understood. Nothing was free. Nothing was painless.


And then it was the night of his birthday. Mom had let him host a sleep-over, but she’d made him invite every boy in the class, even Paul Simson who was deaf and Roger Smith whose legs were withered.  He’d protested that no one ever invited them to anything. He whined that other kids would make fun of him. He pointed out that their apartment was too small.

Mom wouldn’t budge, even though it meant the living room would be carpeted in sleeping bags.

“Because no one else will invite them, is all the more reason to be generous,” she said.

Roger didn’t come, but Paul did.

He stood silently in the doorway, not looking at Tommy. Not looking at anyone.

“Why don’t you help Paul set down his bag?” Mom asked.

“Thank you,” said Paul’s mother. Her voice was taut as a rubber band stretched almost to breaking.

Tommy took Paul’s arm.

“I’ll put you next to me,” he said, but he faced away from Paul as he said it.


The boys were laid out across the floor, head to head in two lines. Paul was next to Tommy, right against the back door.

Mom had never hosted a sleepover. She’d started drinking early the day of the party and by the time the children were in their bags and the were lights out, she was softly snoring in her bedroom.

Grady threw the first pillow. Unlike other sleepovers where parents intervened when things got noisy, Tommy’s mom slept on.

After almost an hour of battle, they lay back, wheezing like old men.

“Best sleep-over ever,” panted Larry.

“Let’s tell stories,” said Tommy.

“You first,” said Grady.

“Once there was a little boy named Paul,” Tommy began without hesitation.

“OOOOHHHHH, Paul,” Grady cried.

As usual, Paul was silent.

“His parents were going to a party. They needed a babysitter, but by accident, instead of the yellow pages, they got ahold of the black magic pages.”

“Uh oh,” said Larry.

“As soon as Paul’s parents left, the babysitter opened her bag and Paul saw it was full of sharp knives.

“Careful, Paul,” snickered Grady, “she might cut off your tongue.”

“She waved her hand,” Tommy continued. “The walls of the house flew away and Paul went spinning out into the cold, soundless dark of space. Something slimy brushed against his arm and… AHHHHHH.”

Tommy screamed. Everybody screamed. Above their shouts rose an inhuman wail. It sounded like the screech of a dying rabbit, or a beached dolphin. A door slammed. Everyone screamed again.

“What was that?” Grady gasped.

“Paul helped me finish the story,” said Tommy.

“Way to go, Paul,” said Johnathan.

“Scariest thing ever,” said Larry.

“Do it again, Paul,” said Grady. But as usual, Paul was silent.

Tommy slid the ear beneath his pillow and waited for his reward.

Rating: 8.50/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by E.E. King
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: E.E. King

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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8 months ago

fucked up but cool =]

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