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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Tooth Fairy

During my ENG COMP II class last night, we watched a short film entitled "The Mirror." We were then to choose one of the many various items seen, however briefly, in the movie, and to write, in class, about it.  Other than length and format requirements, those were our only instructions.  Below is my writing, without any further editing and the short itself.

***


A wiggle. He pushed with his tongue and the tooth wiggled. He pushed again; it definitely moved, that slight twinge of pain and the metallic taste of blood gave sensory evidence. It moved. Smiling wide, he grinned into the mirror and stared at the gleaming row of white teeth. This one was coming out.

He gave an experimental tug with this fingers, not too hard, just pinching it a bit and moving it ever so slightly. Slick and smooth as it was, it nearly slipped from his grip, but then, just before he lost it, it came free. Just sprung loose. No blood. No fuss. No screaming. No pain.

Father had suggested tying it to the doorknob and slamming the door shut. “That’ll get it out!” he’d said with a smile that the boy couldn’t interpret. But here it was; the tooth was free without recourse to medieval torture techniques. He turned it this way and that to examine it under the flickering, pale green light of the bathroom.

A gleaming dab of blood crowned the top of the narrow incisor. The blood looked almost silver in this light. He looked back to the mirror; that gleaming row of teeth was now broken. Like the hole left by a rock thrown through a window, like a …

He couldn’t finish the simile. He was only 6 and had only a limited range of experiences to which he could compare this event. But he’d seen broken windows, and he’d thrown a few rocks. He smiled in the mirror again and tongued the empty place between the remaining teeth.

He was impressed. He’d pulled it out by himself. He’d performed a surgical operation without assistance. Granted, it was a minor procedure. But he’d done it without anesthetic, and without help. He’d pulled out the loose tooth all by himself-and hadn’t even cried. Father would have to be impressed, maybe even proud.

Just then the tooth, slick with saliva and blood, slipped from his fingers and fell into the bowl of the sink. The sound of it striking the ceramic fixture was onomatopoeic: sink, sink, sink, that dancing, tinkling sound of enamel on enamel and the steady whoosh of the running tap water. And then it was gone. Down the drain. Into the dark, it was gone.

***

Somewhere in the dark the tooth was found, still slick with saliva and blood. It could smell the tooth. It could find that sickly sweet smell of blood and decay, even among the other fetid smells of the sewage system. It could smell the tooth. And in the dark, eyeless, it found the tooth.

It snaked its way through pipes and swam through tunnels until it came the place where the tooth had lodged, caught in a tangled mass of hair still foaming with soap. It had travelled hard and fast through miles of pipelines and conduits to find the tooth, but now it slowed to savor the moment. It sniffed again. Yes. This was the tooth, a calcified treasure. A delight of dentin. It could already taste the bacterial coating of plaque. 

A glissading tongue slithered from its mouth and wrapped itself around the tooth, then slowly, and with great delight, sucked it in.




Ramon And Pedro | The Mirror from The Ebeling Group on Vimeo.

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