The Night I Had a Fight With the Almost-Tooth Fairy
by Amber-Dawn Rische-Nicholas
(Nashville, TN, USA)
The Night I Had a Fight with the Almost Tooth Fairy was the Third Place Winner in our 2010 Short Story Writing Contest. Read a little about the author then scroll down to listen to the story.
Amber-Dawn is a 29 year old professional musician that loves children's literature. Her favorite books are The Chronicles of Narnia, The Velveteen Rabbit, and the collection of Beatrix Potter stories. She's been able to see the world, via her band, touring all over North America and Europe. She's also a volunteer playing music at nursing homes and Vanderbilt Children's Hospital with Musicians On Call, an organization that brings music to the sick. She's in college now, seeking a degree in early childhood education and/or library science. She likes fashion, funky hair cuts and colors, exercising, playing with her Great Dane, Penelope, and hanging out/watching movies with her husband.
The Night I Had a Fight with the Almost Tooth Fairy
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I'm Tommy, but most people call me Tommy Tall Tales, because I've been known to tell some mighty tall tales, but not this time-no sirree bob. This here story I'm about to tell ya is the honest truth, cross my heart and I'll eat a slimy slug to prove it.
It all started one night when I got into a potato fight with my brother, Tug. We were arguin' 'bout who's turn it was to help Mama with the dishes, and Tug picked up a potato and threw it at me. Well of course I threw it right back at him, but I didn't see the next one comin' as it flew out of Tug's hands. That potato hit me smack dab in the mouth and knocked one of my front teeth clean out. Blood was pourin' out, and (I hate to tell this part) I started cryin' like a baby. I wasn't scared of the blood, but my mouth hurt worse than the time I bit down on a cactus, and I was madder n' a mama goose when you go chasin' after her babies. Mama gave me some ice to suck on, and after it didn't hurt so bad, I took a good look at my tooth and boy was it a dandy. I started thinkin' 'bout all the things I could do with it.
Maybe I could enter it at the fair and win a ribbon. Or I could show it off at school like Jim Bob did when he lost his tooth. Or maybe I would tie it to a piece of string and make a necklace for my baby sis, Minnie Mae-but she'd only be able to borrow it because I was gonna keep that tooth forever.
Mama said I was supposed to put it under my pillow and when the tooth fairy came, she'd bring me some money and trade it for my tooth. Now I sure could have used some money, but there was just no way I was gonna let that ole tooth fairy take that mighty fine tooth of mine. So I locked my window to keep her out, but then I got to thinkin' that she, bein' a fairy and all, might be able to get in anyway, and if she did, surer n' a bear goes searchin' for honey, she'd go searchin' for my tooth. So I had to think of a real good hidin' place. Under my bed? Naw, too easy. In the closet? No. Then I had it! One of the floorboards under the rug had come loose, and it was just the right place to hide a tooth. So I wrapped my tooth in tissue paper, and stuffed it in the crack under the floorboard.
It was a good thing I slept with one eye open, 'cause sometime past midnight, I saw a little light 'bout the size of a butterfly right outside my window. I knew it was that ole tooth fairy comin' to get my tooth. Then quicker 'n I could say, 'Crawdads in the crick,' she appeared inside my room! I suppose lockin' that window was no good. I pretended to be asleep, but I had to make double sure my tooth was safe, so I kept my eyes open just a peek. That ole tooth fairy was floatin'' towards me. Closer and closer she came 'till she landed on my bed. Then she lifted the corner of my pillow and vanished!
I held my breath. I could feel her movin' around, lookin' for my tooth. What's gonna happen when she doesn't find it? I wondered. Then suddenly, like a gust of wind, she came flyin' out the other side of my pillow, and zoomed under my bed. It sounded like a train wreck as she banged into tin cans, rocks, and other treasures I kept hidden under there. She searched and searched. I wondered when she was gonna give up, but then quick as a flash she came out and headed straight for my dresser, grabbed the latches and yanked all the drawers open! Now that's mighty strong for someone her size if you ask me. She tossed all my clothes out on the floor, but still no tooth. Then she whizzed over to my toy chest and dove in. My blood was boilin' as I watched her slingin' and flingin' toys everywhere. I wasn't pretendin' to be asleep anymore-no sirree bob. Grittin' my teeth and shoutin', I jumped out of bed, turned on the light, and ran for my minnow catchin' net.
That ole tooth fairy wasn't expectin' that, and she took off like a scared rabbit. She zipped this way and that way as I chased her 'round the room. Books tumbled off the shelf, pictures went flyin' off the wall, and my paints and easel came crashin' to the ground. I was plum tuckered out, and could hardly catch my breath when that ole tooth fairy flew low to the ground. I knew it was my only chance of catchin' her, so I dove headfirst after her, but I slipped on the rug and stubbed my toe on the loose floorboard. My net went flyin', and I landed face down on the ground. That ole tooth fairy burst out laughin', but it was no funny matter, 'cause the tissue wrapped around my tooth was stickin' out of the floorboard like a sore thumb. That ole tooth fairy's eyes lit up, and she went after it like a dog on a bone.
"Oh no you don't!" I hollered.
Quick as lightnin' I jumped to my feet and dashed for my net. She had my tooth unwrapped and was just carryin' it away, when, WHOOSH! I scooped her right up.
"I got you, you ole tooth crazed fairy!" I yelled.
But when I looked at that ole tooth fairy, she wasn't fightin' or yellin'-she was curled up in a little ball and cryin' her heart out. I wasn't expectin' that, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for her.
"Please don't cry, tiny Tooth Fairy," I begged her. "I'll let you go if you promise to leave my tooth alone."
"It's-it's-not-that," she sobbed. "It's just that I have always wanted to become a real tooth fairy, and now I'll never be."
"Don't be silly, of course you're a real tooth fairy," I said.
"Not yet," she sniffed. "I'm still in the try-outs. You see, fairies have to collect a certain amount of teeth to become real tooth fairies. This is my last night in the try-outs, and yours is the last tooth I need, but I see now I won't make it."
She looked so sad.
"What do ya do with all the teeth you collect?" I asked her.
"We build cities with them," she said. "Magical fairy cities that sparkle like stars."
I imagined my tooth shinin' like a star in a magic city. That seemed much better than winnin' a ribbon or showin' it off at school.
"I'll tell you what, Almost Tooth Fairy," I said. "If you promise to put my tooth in just the right place in your city, and if you help me get my room back to spotless, I'll let you have it."
I let her out of the net and quicker 'n I could eat up a batch of cookies, she had my room back to spotless, and true to my word, I handed over my tooth.
The almost tooth fairy handed me a gold coin.
"When a child first loses a tooth, it has a special shine that only the fairies can see, but it only shines the first night it comes out," she said. "If you put this coin under your pillow every time you lose a tooth, the fairies will not be able to see the shine and will not know you have lost a tooth. Then you will always be able to keep your teeth."
"Yippee!" I said. "I'll have the greatest collection of teeth in the world, and Tug's gonna be madder n' a hornet 'bout that'."
I went to thank her, but before I could say, 'Crabapples up a tree,' she was gone.
Well, that's the story 'bout how I got in a fight with the almost tooth fairy, who of course is a real tooth fairy now. Most people think I'm tellin' another tall tale, and Tug says I made up a whopper to beat his story 'bout how he knocked my tooth out with a potato. They tell me to prove it, and ask to see my gold coin. But that's the thing about a gold coin from a fairy, you can't go showin' it off, or it might turn into a regular old coin.
You might think I'm tellin' another tall tale, but if I were you, next time you loose a tooth and if you want to keep it, be sure and sleep with one eye open and keep a good, sturdy minnow catchin' net nearby. And if you're still not sure, like I said, I'll eat a slimy slug to prove it.