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29 March 2020

Ten Minute Tales : Confessions of a Tooth Fairy by Cryssa Bazos

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Confessions of a Tooth Fairy
by Cryssa Bazos

Hi, my name is Tom, and I am an addict. I am hooked on teeth. 
   Just so we’re clear; all tooth fairies are users. Some are recreational while others are hard core. There was a time when I could take it or leave it, when hunting for teeth was a way to kick loose on a Saturday night. It started out as a few incisors here and there before I went for the hard stuff—molars. Soon, I was up to a ten molar a day habit.  I told myself I could walk away from it any time—but who wanted to? 
   Before I knew it, I was on a fast-paced roller coaster plummeting down the longest track. It didn’t matter, not after that first sweet hit of calcium, gritty like angel dust between my fingers. When I was sated, I told myself this would be the last time, but when night came, I grew edgy and looked for my next score.
   The calcium started to make me sloppy. One night, when I reached under a little girl’s pillow, her eyes snapped open.
   “You’re the tooth fairy, aren’t you?” She scrambled to a sitting position.
I was amazed at her composure. “What makes you think that?”
   “You’re taking my tooth.”
   “No, kid. I’m fluffing your pillow.” 
   “How much will you give me for it?” 
   She snatched her tooth and held it up in triumph. I had never seen such a beautiful pre-molar before in my life. Pearly white, it gleamed with a lustre that nearly made me weep. 
   “That’s some tooth kid,” I swallowed hard. 
  “I brush every day, morning and night. No cavities whatsoever.” She flashed a big smile, nearly blinding me. Its mate was loose, and I became lightheaded with the thought of getting the pair. I’d have to keep this house under wraps. There’s a guy in Christie Pitts who’d kill for a tooth like that.
   “Very nice. I can see you use the premium tartar fighting stuff with the whitening agent. How much do you want for it?”
   “Twenty bucks.” 
   “Are you crazy? How much money do you think tooth fairies have?”
   “There are other tooth fairies willing to pay.” 
   I immediately thought about the guy in Christie Pitts. 
   Licking my lips I said, “How about 5?” 
   “15.”
   I had to have the tooth—it was perfect. “There’s a flaw in it. I’ll give you 10, but I want dibs on the next one.”
    “Sold.” 
   After getting a taste of those pearly whites, I was a mess. Where to get more in that condition? The answer came to me like a thunderbolt, and I almost flew into a wall. 
   The dentist!  
   I knew just the one. There was a busy practice on the Danforth where I liked to do some harmless window shopping. I had been watching this guy and could count on him to be lax. I caught him sneaking smokes in his office when he thought no one was looking. 
   That night, I flew up the stairway, quietly, in case some accountant was working late. The door was a cinch to pry open. If I was lucky, I could continue to raid this stash night after night. 
   I took a step forward, and then the blast hit my ears. I had tripped the damned alarm. Not to panic, I still had ten minutes before the cops got here, plenty of time to grab what I could and get out. I yanked open the drawer, and the light from the streetlamp shone on the glowing collection of teeth. I couldn’t breathe. There were so many types: large ones, smooth ones, teeth pitted and fractured with tiny lines. Teeth, splendiferous teeth, and they were all mine. The alarm still blared, a loud reminder to stop dawdling over the stash like a moonstruck fairy. I stuffed them into my canvas pouch. 
   My escape would have been perfect had I only factored in one critical detail—the nearest Tim’s was just down the street. The police came in under two minutes.
   “What do you think you’re doing?” the cop demanded, shining his flashlight on my face. I shielded my sensitive eyes. Tooth fairies have excellent night vision. Day vision, not so good. 
   “Come on,” his partner nudged me. “What’s your handle, guy? No use stalling. We’ll figure it out soon enough.”
    “Tom,” was all I gave him.
   “You’re in rough shape, Tom,” the cop said. “Scott, are you thinking what I am?”
   “Yea, pretty much,” the other nodded. “Tooth addict.” He started frisking me and before I could protest, he grabbed my precious bag. “Ah, man,” he whistled. “This is quite a haul. I think we’re way past a misdemeanour. Sure you’re not trafficking this shit?” 
   “Poor bastard. You know what you need, Tom? A good stint in rehab will sort you out.”
   I wanted to shout, I am not an addict, but thought if I kept my mouth shut and looked pitiful they would let me go. I even would have let them think I was an old guy in a red suit if it meant they would give me back my teeth. Well, the handcuffs killed that idea. 
   They took me to 55 Division and threw me into a holding cell with other miscreant fairies. One Selkie was drying out on a wooden bench, growling at the Sylph who poked at her to move. Any moment there would be a catfight, I was sure of it. Another fairy, a deranged Banshee, had been caught uttering death threats against the Councillor for Beaches-East York. Some issue about bicycle lanes. He wouldn’t stop shrieking. 
   It was a rough night. At first I gave the impression of cool disinterest but then the teeth kicked in. My mouth became dry and I couldn’t stop licking my parched lips. The sweats started just after midnight. The pain in my gut was the worst, like I had been kicked by a steel-toed construction boot.
   By the time they hauled me in front of the judge for my arraignment, I was a wreck. I clutched the wooden rail to keep the floor from heaving and didn’t hear one word the judge said. All I could do was stare at the Crown attorney. She had small, glittering teeth. 
   When called to give my plea, instead of the simple “Guilty” that my Legal Aid instructed, I lost my head and began spewing things that made him groan. I stood for tooth fairy rights everywhere. We were the downtrodden, the marginalized, our heritage criminalized. Our ancestors openly worshipped teeth, not driven underground to cower in shame. This was the government’s master plan to turn us all into freaks.  Tooth fairies should not be shunted to a dark corner reserved only for hobgoblins and gnomes. 
   My argument was riveting, it was inspiring, and it moved the Harpy to tears. Unfortunately, the judge didn’t feel the same way. 
   “May I conclude, councillor that your client has just pleaded guilty?” 
   My Legal Aid opened his mouth to rebut but snapped it shut. Nodding like a bobble toy, he replied, “Yes, your honour, he has.”
   “In that case, I don’t see a reason to delay this further. It’s clear to me what your client needs.” 
   Court ordered therapy. I have to sit around this stupid room with bad coffee and stale donuts listening to a bunch of guys commiserating over how much of a wreck they are, blaming their mothers for their failure. The Don Jail is starting to look pretty good. 
   There, I’ve done my spiel, done what they expected of me. I’ve spilled my guts. 
   But, you see, I’m not really an addict. I’m only humouring them.

© Cryssa Bazos 


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