As the tooth was wrenched out, blood arced across the room. A splash of crimson tainted the far wall—too much blood for just one premolar. Not a single sound, whimper or otherwise, left her pale lips. But that’s what happens when you get to the bottom row—you grow accustomed to the pain and bloodshed of having all your upper teeth ripped out. So when the saliva soaked twine wraps around the next molar, it almost sends a tickle of delight down your tongue. One step closer.
She shoved a clump of towelling against her bleeding gums. What she was doing—what they were both doing—was essential. Necessary. They were going to get out of this basement if it was the last thing they did.
“How many left?” the girl on the other end of the string asked.
“Only three.” She spat the towel out and prepared for another arc of blood. She’d aim for the ceiling this time—why not make their fight for survival into a game of who could spray their gore the furthest?
A final knot around the tooth and a nod—she was ready. Her eyes followed the line of string from her mouth, up and over the single rafter running the length of the small basement and down to where it was spun, again and again, around the crumbling cinder block. The other girl—who was still in possession of all her teeth—nodded in return, dropping the heavy block. A massive crash echoed through the room, colliding against their eardrums. Dust rained from the rafter, the fragile floor slightly crumpling from the weight of the block.
The arc of blood was smaller this time. Most of it pooled in the back of the girl’s throat, and she gagged on the metallic taste invading her oesophagus. Damn. Didn’t reach the ceiling. She was running out of time—out of teeth—to reach her goal.
“Get a second piece of string,” she demanded, ignoring the look of shock etched into the other girl’s eyes. Performed by shaky hands, her request was met and in less than two minutes, she had rigged up both lines to the cinder block and wrapped it around the last two molars. Two at once—now this might make her eyes water.
A deep breath and a final nod. The block was dropped. A muffled sigh and a heavy groan snaked through the room. And the blood—a brilliant arc of ruby carnage collided with the ceiling. Success! They scavenged for the two teeth among the dirt and debris of the cluttered basement, and threw them into the jar. Excellent. Still enough space for one more mouthful of pearly whites.
The pair switched places. The rickety pine chair now seating the fully toothed girl. She wiped the sweat from her brow and they commenced. One. Two. Three. In quick succession they plucked her teeth, showering the floor and walls with more bloodshed. Four. Five. Six. Each new addition of a bloodied up tooth brought them one step closer to freedom. Ten minutes passed and the final tooth was added to the stash. The lid tightly closed. They held the jar up to their faces, marvelling at the contents—hoping it was enough to save them.
The door at the top of the stairs creaked open. The groaning of wood told them their captor approached. Tall-backed against the wall they waited, jar held out before them like an offering to the Gods. But their captor was no God—far from it. Her dress was frayed; dirt clung to the hem as it dragged across the basement floor, ripped to shreds around her thin shoulders. Her eyes had sunken into her sagging skin and her wings—once golden and strong—had withered to the point of uselessness. She could no longer fly; no longer fulfil her duties of collecting stray teeth from beneath the soft pillows of slumbering children. She had been forced into retirement—and despised every last minute of it.
The tooth fairy grinned at her prisoners, her beady eyes devouring the contents of the jar. She gazed into the faces of the two girls covered in blood and red-tinged saliva, and her grin faded. She shook her head—it was not enough. They had failed. A flick of her wand and the door above slammed shut. A chorus of screams sounded, rebounding off the cement walls, unheard by anyone above ground.
When the tooth fairy had her fill of human flesh, she brought the jar upstairs. In the spotless kitchen, she placed it beside the others. Fourteen jars. She sighed—still not enough. She licked her lips—looks like she was going hunting. Again.
**Picture from Pinterest