• About the Teeth…

    “Mummy!” Ichabod called happily, a wide smile playing on his face. “Mummy, it’s happened!”
    “What’s happened, darling?” His mother asked as she came into his room.
    “I’ve lost a tooth!” He said, showing her the gap between his teeth. He then held up the tooth and turned it over in the light, proud of himself.
    “Oh, isn’t that wonderful, dear?” She kissed his forehead gently, keeping well away from the bloody baby tooth in her son’s hand. “Now the Tooth Faerie will come.”
    “Who’s that?”
    “The Tooth Faerie is…well, she comes when a little boy or girl loses a tooth. If you put your tooth under your pillow before you sleep, she will take it and give you a shiny new coin in return.” His mother explained, petting the boy’s hair and sitting with him on the bed.
    “Oh…” Ichabod wasn’t sure he liked the idea of that, but the temptation of a coin, and the candy he could buy with it, was too hard to resist. “Well, all right!”
    He started to put the tooth under his pillow, but his mother stopped him.
    “Let’s…let’s – er – clean that up, shall we?” She said. “You don’t want to give the nice Tooth Faerie a dirty tooth, do you?”
    Ichabod shook his head vigorously, suddenly feeling very loyal to this Faerie.
    Mother and son went to the bathroom where they washed the tooth of the blood and dried it with a towel.
    “Shall we wash it with soap, too, Mummy?” Ichabod asked, looking up at her with his big, dark eyes.
    “No, no. I think this is good enough.” She said, now washing her hands. She was terribly squeamish, and the thought of touching her own son’s blood made her pretty pale skin crawl.
    The pair lifted Ichabod’s down pillow and gently placed his tooth on the mattress beneath it.
    “There, now,” Ichabod’s mother said, smiling. “In the morning, we shall go to town and pay a visit to the candy store.”
    Ichabod embraced his mother happily, gratefully, and went out to play.
    He met his friend Oscar at the end of the street. The boys had been friends all of their lives and played together as often as they could. Ichabod bragged about his lost tooth and about the beautiful, shining coin the Tooth Faerie was to bring for him. Oscar listened with a quiet awe. He was a shy boy, and hadn’t any friends but Ichabod and his next-door-neighbor, Casilda.
    The boys played till dusk. They had asked for Casilda to come play, but she was not home. Her old grandmother shooed them from the doorstep with a grimace. In the end, they had gone home to ready themselves for bed, Ichabod talking animatedly about his excitement.
    Ichabod’s mother tucked him in, gently kissing his cheek.
    “Mummy, what if I’m too excited to sleep? Will she still come?”
    “Of course, darling,” She said, handing him his stuffed monkey. “But you still must try to sleep.”
    “Goodnight Mummy. I love you.”
    “I love you too, dear. Sweet dreams.”

    When Ichabod’s mother went back into his room at midnight to switch the tooth for a coin herself, she opened the door to a sight that she would never forget. Her son was dead, lying n a puddle of his own blood. It stained the pillow around his head in a ring like a halo. His mouth was open as if he were still trying to scream. She fainted, her body crumpling into a heap on the floor.

    The funeral was held three days later. Ichabod’s mother and his schoolmates said their final goodbyes. Casilda waved sadly to her fallen friend and dropped a daisy onto his little casket as it was lowered into the ground. Oscar wiped tears and boogers from his face, his thin shoulders shaking with sobs. As if on cue, the sky opened up and it began to rain, giving children and their parents an excuse to run to their cars early.
    When they were the only ones left, Casilda and Oscar embraced sorrowfully.
    “Casilda…I think I know how Ichabod died…” Oscar whispered quietly.
    “How?” Casilda asked her eyes wide with wonder.
    “I…I think it was the Tooth Faerie.” He said quietly, hoping she wouldn’t laugh at him.
    She merely greeted the comment with a bemused expression, thoughtfully considering what he’d said.
    “He kept saying she was going to come while he slept. And…and I don’t know how else he could have died…”
    Casilda nodded.
    “I’m scared…” He said under his breath.
    “It’s all right, Oscar.” Casilda said, patting her friend’s shoulder. “We just won’t put our lost teeth under our pillows, and then she won’t come.”
    “Casilda, if I lose a tooth…will you keep it for me?” He asked, looking up at her.
    “Of course.”
    They shook hands and embraced again, deciding finally to head home to get out of the rain.

    The following summer, Casilda and Oscar played blithely in the park. They ran through the trees as fast as they could, racing to the swings. The swings were their favorite. They were old and rusty, but more fun than any other part of the park.
    “I’m going to beat you, Oscar!” Casilda called.
    Oscar turned to look at her, wondering if she had caught up with him. When he turned, he didn’t see the tree right in front of him, and crashed into it. He fell back, feeling dizzy and bruised. He tasted blood in his mouth.
    “Oscar!” Casilda yelled worriedly, running to him. She helped him up and he wobbled precariously.
    He spit and three broken teeth hit the ground with a wet sound.
    The two looked at each other, their eyes widening as they remembered the pact they had made.
    Casilda picked up the broken teeth and tied them into her hat, where they have stayed ever since.

    Legal stuff:

    This story (or its concept) may be used by Childrin R Skary on their website. Casilda’s character and her hat were created by Katy Towell, not by me.