I hope you had a splendid Independence Day, filled with gratitude, family, hot dogs, fireworks, and perhaps Mel Gibson.
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The Revenge of the Tooth Fairy
“Not now, Caden!” Mom flapped around the kitchen like a frenzied toucan, “Ava just spit up and the quesadillas are burning and the Hamiltons will be here any minute!”
“There, there, shhh, now Ava.”
She scrubbed furiously at her yellow shirt, her brown hair frizzing, while Ava wailed on her hip. Every kitchen cabinet was open, the countertops were buried in pots and pans, and the smell of cilantro and burning cheese filled the steamy kitchen.
But Caden, six-years-old with obstinance stronger than his cowlick, would not give up so easily, “MOM, I LOST MY TOOTH!”
“Good for you, honey.”
“You didn’t even look at the blood!”
“Eww, Caden! Not near the food!”
“Jay at school said the tooth fairy brought him ten dollars! But I’m cooler than Jay, so she’ll bring me more, right?”
Drew, Caden’s identical twin, except for his freckles and sun-bleached hair, barreled into the kitchen, his cleats slopping mud everywhere, “Bring you more what?”
“MONEY! I lost a tooth,” Caden bobbled his head, snobbily. “The tooth fairy is gunna bring me FIFTEEN bucks so I can buy Thunder Fist!”
“No fair!” Drew shoved his brother with a sweaty shoulder, “MOM is that true?”
“No, we are not doing this now.” Mom waved her spatula like a scepter, “Clean the floor, wash your hands, set the table. Vamoose.”
“Awww, Moooommm,” the boys howled.
She fixed them with her ‘I’m the terror of the seven seas’ face. “Now!”
“Fine,” muttered Drew, “Right after I knock this puppy out.” He fingered his wobbly bottom tooth. “Now, where did I put that good, tooth-knocking rock?”
After their evening of wild, boyish insanity with the Hamilton kids, Caden and Drew should have slept like rocks themselves. But the promise of cash, and the need to ensure they got the same amount, kept their little peepers open and alert. That, and they kept pinching each other hard enough to leave marks.
At three-thirty a.m. they began to wonder whether or not the whole tooth fairy thing was a scam, when they heard a creak and a flutter at their window.
The twins peered over their Star Wars™ covers. In between the slats of the window blinds glowed a soft purple light. Caden and Drew’s eyes bugged as the light slipped into the room like a luminescent hummingbird.
They couldn’t afford to scare their money-ticket away so they closed their eyes tight and waited. The glow showed through their eyelids like a lavendar nightlight. It was torture. They had never used so much self control in all their lives.
Something wiggled beneath Caden’s pillow. Seconds later, he felt for what she had left behind and scowled. This wouldn’t do. He shot his hand out and caught the fairy by her feathered wings.
The lady fairy’s color turned orange in his hand, and she squealed, “How DARE thee! Unhand me, whelp!”
“What is this?” Caden waved a shiny quarter infront of her pointed nose, “Come on, give fifteen bucks for my tooth!”
Drew bolted upright, “Then I get twenty! I had to work real hard to get it out, and it hurt real bad!”
“Twenty?” Caden snarled, “I deserve twenty, I’m smarter!”
The fairy blazed so hot and bright, Caden let go and sucked his blistered hand. She hovered in the middle of the room and grew. She was big as a canary, a macaw, a great eagle, and then she was a giantess with wings so broad they brushed opposite walls.
“Wretches!” She shrieked, “Spoiled to the root! Long, thankless centuries I have served ye children, and now, thou darest to catch me like an insect and make demands? Twenty dollars indeed!” Her skin thundered and the house shook. Flashes of light sparked across her red skin like lightning.
“I invoke upon thee the Dontic Curse!” She roared, her wings smashing lamps and bookcases, “May cavities feast on thy enamel, dentin, and pulp. May root canals and gingivitis plague thy paltry lives. May thy teeth rot, TMJ knot. Dentures by the age of thirty, ones that chafe and pinch and clack. This be thy recompense, ungrateful swine, and may no amount of flossing save thee!”
*It might bite back