I woke up to the chink chink of porcelain molars and pearly incisors clicking against each other. I squeezed my eyes tight because I knew the fairy might be frightened if she caught me watching her.
The warmth of her light moved across my room.
She floated to my bedside and I felt her slide a hand under my pillow to find my blood-tipped first-lost baby tooth.
I thought about Jimmy Clayton. He saw his uncle’s ghost last Thursday and everyone on the school bus got real quiet listening to him, even though Jimmy Clayton was the worst runner in class. Mitchell Olsen was impressed and he is a fifth-grader.
I decided to crack my eyelids open to take a quick look at the faerie.
She stood by the window in a dirty pink too-tight tube top with the moon illuminating golf-ball-sized nostrils. There were large divots in her haggard, yellowed skin. Her eyes had no lashes and looked glazed as she reached out one fleshy arm flab with a wrinkled Tweety bird tattoo to examine the tooth in the moonlight from my window. A decaying grin crept across her face. Her cellulite gleaming in the starlight she stuck a pointy red tongue out around her soured teeth, judging my tooth. Shrugging, she pocketed the tooth and searched for a quarter while a cigarette dangled from her mouth.
I snapped my eyelids closed. I could feel her stagger towards the bed, leaning close to my face again. My head moved slightly as her shriveled claw reached under my pillow to place a greasy quarter. Her breath smelled like sour buttermilk. As she moved back towards the window, I tried not to gasp air.
I shot one-eye open to catch a last glimpse of the faerie. She was about to climb out the window, one old Reebok-dressed foot on the sill, perched to lurch into the night. She grasped the window frame to boost her heavy beer-belly then suddenly stopped. She breathed in quick. Her nose hairs shrilled and slowly she turned around and glared at my one open eye. Her crusty lip curled, and she hobbled quickly toward my face. She leaned close, inspecting me in my bed.
Both of my eyes were open now. I could see yellow cracks in her enormous eyes. She reached her hand to my face and gently scraped my cheeks with her fingernails.
Then she told me this story:
There once was a young girl who thought she was pretty. All the boys thought she was pretty too and she thought that was enough. She didn’t have any friends because all the girls didn’t like hearing how pretty she was all the time, but she didn’t need friends because she had her mirror and all the dates and all the flowers and all the cards with their lovely little words. She was so pretty a man followed her home. And as the knife ripped her neck skin, she felt hot blood gurgle up in her throat and thought maybe she didn’t like being so pretty after all.
And with that, she laughed, flicked her cigarette in my bedtime cup of milk, and leaped out the window.
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