Hey guys! This is my stop on the WFGC Hotel Blogthology. To see all the other amazing stories from my WFGC writer friends, click the link at the bottom! They’re all great writers and super sweet people. Now, without further ado, let’s get into The Tooth Fairy! (sorry for the message saying “Soul Bone”. I wasn’t able to change it through wordpress for some reason.)
A white light flooded my eyes as fell out of the portal and onto the hotel room floor. The tiny bag I held fell, scattering teeth across the teal and orange carpet. Soft, padded feet hit the back of my summer jacket. My familiar. Her feet treaded up and down the length of my body. “Yes, Molly,” I said, breathless. “I’m still alive. You can get off of me now.” The Bengal cat simply meowed in response, moving around on my back even more.
Light reflected in my eyes from the floor, and I saw the tiny granules of mirror littering the ground. “Wait a minute,” I tried to stand but got small pieces of mirror stuck in my palms. I tried to pull them out but stopped when I saw my hotel room. Moonlight shone in through the closed windows. The blinds were strewn about along with half of my closet. The wall and bathroom mirrors were completely blown out, and the bathroom door itself looked to be halfway off its hinges. “What in the world happened here?”
As if answering my question, I heard scuffling under the bed. Molly and I took a step closer to try and peer under, when a loud scream forced us to stop. I covered my ears, and Molly jumped behind my legs. She meowed. My face scrunched up. “A girl under the bed?” I got on my knees. Sure enough, there’s a little girl laying there. She looked no older than six and was wearing what looked like an oversized gray shirt. Her body was shaking, and she was covering her face with her pale, tiny hands. Her hair was white and long and very messy.
“Are-are you o—?” I started to ask while stepping forward. Another shrill scream came from the girl, who kept her face covered. I stepped back again, running my fingers through my hair with a huff. Molly looked at me. “Yeah, I don’t have the time for this. Can you…stay with her?”
Molly meowed, curtly, somewhat aggressively.
“Yes, you!” I snapped back. “You can’t get us a room; you don’t even speak English! Stay here, and make sure she doesn’t leave. I’ll be back in a minute.”
I started to walk away when Molly meowed again.
I turned around. “No, I’m not manhandling someone else’s child. What if their mom’s looking for them? Stay, Molly. I’m getting us a new room.”
I closed the door to Room 911, taking the elevator downstairs to the front desk. There was a cute blonde standing there in a dark blue blazer and a name tag saying, “Sheri Lonis”. She smiled, her bright green eyes twinkling. “Hi! How can I help you?”
“Hi, Sheri. Um, I have an…unwanted visitor in my room. The mirrors have been broken, and my room is a complete and utter mess.”
“I’ll call our emergency damageman to take care of it.”
“But in the meantime, you and your cat can go to…” The receptionist typed something on the computer, “Room 219.” She handed me a keycard. “Your belongings should appear in your new room shortly.”
“Thank you!” I smiled as I took the card. “Oh, um, how will my stuff get to my room? I have some…confidential items I wouldn’t exactly like anyone to see.”
“Oh, it’ll just appear exactly as you left it. We won’t look at or touch anything that’s yours. That’s the WFGC Promise!”
Relief washed over me. My magic stuff isn’t exactly the safest for non-magicians to use. They so much as touch it, and they turn into a human pincushion. I took the flight of stairs up to my new room, pushing open the door. Everything was clean, in its proper place, unruined. No unwanted visitors here. And my stuff had been placed in the room as I had left it, my clothes already in the armoire and my pictures already on the walls. My bag of teeth was sitting on the bed, tied with a bit of string so it wouldn’t fall out.
Kiki and Waldorf work quickly! I thought as I made my way over to my bed. I stopped at the nightstand and picked up the gilded picture frame, taking a seat on the warm cover blanket. It was my family out in front of the Waltz-Fitzgerald Hotel…the last day of normal we had.
Mom had taken my brother’s DS right before Aunt Grace took the picture, so Lucas was forcing a smile. Meanwhile, I was posing next to the stone lions, trying to keep my dark curls out of my face. I sighed as tears welled in my eyes.
Then, my fingers began to tingle, and my chest burned. Hazy blue light appeared at the corners of my vision as everything shifted to the right and my legs gave out on me. I collapsed onto the floor, staring up at the white ceiling.
Not already! I should have another hour! I tried to reach for the vial in my jacket pocket, but my physical hand refused to move. I couldn’t just fade away! Not after months of keeping myself alive.
I wiggled my hips on the bed. The covers shifted and made a scratching noise under me. Part of my soul’s still in my body, at least. I had to stop my soul from leaving my body. If I didn’t, I’d end up…I didn’t even know where, but I refused to find out.
How to do this?
After a quick second, I wriggled downward, careful not to move my arms. The more of my soul that came out of me, the less of me there’d be attached to this body.
Eventually—slowly—I fell to the ground, my body folding over itself. Half of my spirit spilled out of me…along with the potion I needed. It rolled away from the bed, toward the wall in front of me.
I rolled my heel, careful to make sure my foot didn’t lift off the ground. I didn’t feel my foot slip out, and silently thanked God that they let the curse affect me from top to bottom. I slowly bent my knees, shuffled my feet so that I was directly in the potion’s line of sight, and hoped that I landed right on the vial. Shooting upward, I lifted my heels and felt myself start to fall back down. Mentally uttering a silent prayer as I dropped, my physical body landed face-first onto the floor.
My fingers began to tingle again, and my chest burned. Somehow, I landed right where I needed to. I slowly picked myself up from the floor, rubbing my irritated nose. I let out a huff. Safe for another 24 hours.
“That was way too close.” Turning back to the bed, I swiped my bag of teeth and opened my drawer. Cauldron, spoon, Calamus, Knotweed, mini stovetop, and bowl and meat masher.
I pulled out all the ingredients and put them on the nightstand, all except my tiny black cauldron. I rushed to the bathroom and filled it halfway with water, putting it on the stovetop and waiting for it to boil. I turned my attention to the rest of the potion ingredients, smashing them to a fine powder with the masher and putting them in my plastic bowl. After stirring everything in my now-bowling cauldron of water, I pulled a few empty vials from my drawer and began to pour the potion into them.
I was only able to fill one up fully. “Dammit,” I muttered under my breath. Not much came from yesterday.
But, it was one more day of humanity. I let out a heavy sigh. Half a year of this, and you’d think it’d get less stressful.
I turned to the open door as Molly strut in. Apparently, it took her a while to find me. I should’ve taken her with me, but someone needed to watch that little girl until adults arrived. A 17-year-old ghost girl isn’t exactly the best guardian. Sensing my thoughts, Molly jumped onto the bed and rubbed her face against mine. I started petting, running my thumb across her cheek like she liked.
“Potions have been replenished,” I said to the familiar. “We’re here to stay for another day…and I’ll have to go out again for more later. I could’ve sworn I had another hour.” I ran my fingers through my hair. “Alright, time for bed.”
After changing into pajamas, I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep, memories swirling through my mind.
Beep, beep, beep! My alarm went off. Hitting the button, I got up and went to open the window. Resting my hand on the windowsill, my head began to spin, and the back of my hand burned. I quickly pulled back. The star marking on my hand was glowing red-hot, reminding me of my imprisonment here. Thanks to Sabrina, the resident witch (bitch), I wasn’t allowed to leave the physical hotel building—she also killed me by shoving me out a window.
I pushed it out of my mind and went over to the closet to pick out my outfit, hesitating once it got to my scrubs. Grace’s Dentistry closed last week, and my job as dental assistant crumbled. It was a nice job, and Aunt Grace was the only one that knew about my…situation aside from the demon that cursed me. She made sure to keep the teeth of the patients she pulled from specifically for me.
It was the key ingredient of the potion that kept me tethered to my body—technically any human tissue would’ve worked but pulling some 14-year-old’s wisdom teeth is less suspicious than cutting 3 millimeters into the ball of his foot. And with the dentist’s office having been shut down, my easy tooth gathering method vanished into the Aether.
I had to resort to taking little kids’ teeth from under their pillow at night…and slipping them dollar bills so they wouldn’t tell hotel staff that someone’s breaking into their rooms. It wasn’t the most sustainable of tactics—kids didn’t lose teeth every day, after all—but it would help me go for long enough to get something else sorted.
I pushed the thought from my head and focused on the more pressing matter: finding an outfit for work. I needed to be in in an hour, and I still hadn’t eaten breakfast. After about 40 minutes, I stood in front of my full-length mirror as I put on my pink lipstick. Attaching a rose pin to my teal cardigan sweater, I scooped Molly up into my arms and made my way to the garden/flower shop on the fifth floor. If I wanted to stay here, I had to be able to pay weekly to keep my room, and the easiest way to do that was to get a job as hotel staff.
I flipped the sign to show that we were open and grabbed the remote control from off of the counter, turning on the radio. A pop song began to play out of the stereo, and I wiggled around and danced while spritzing flowers and rearranging the bouquets in the store front. The door bell chimed as two women walked in. One of them was my aunt. I put on a smile as I made my way back to the counter. “Aunt Grace, hi! Is there anything I can help you two with?”
“Avery! Do you have any geranium seeds?” she asked. “I was hoping to add some to my garden.”
“Yes, we do. Right over here.” I walked over to one of the shelves on the wall and picked up a small paper packet. “Do you have a place that can get a lot of sun or would you want a more shade-loving type of geranium?”
“Oh, I have big windows in my room. Sun will be fine!”
“Okay! And would you also like to pair them with any other flowers? Would you like a pot?”
“Yes.” She nodded.
“Um, hi, Ms.?” the other woman called. “I was looking for a bouquet of white roses.”
“Oh, we have some in the back. Let me get them for you.” I turned back to Aunt Grace. “Pair the geranium with zinnias, marigolds, and lantanas for a really pretty spring garden. I’ll be right back.” I walked to the back and grabbed the roses. On the way back, I saw the two women talking.
“Sandra, really,” the woman I didn’t know said. “Jonny’s tooth went missing yesterday.”
I stopped dead in my tracks and backed up behind one of the shelves, keeping an ear close to them.
“Are you sure your husband didn’t just do it?” Aunt Grace asked, unenthused. She probably already knew that I was the cause of that missing tooth.
“He couldn’t give me a tooth he didn’t have.”
“It was probably just the tooth fairy.”
“You know that’s just a silly story.”
“Have you met the residents of this hotel?” I could hear the doubt in her voice. Aunt Grace was a really great actor, thankfully. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the tooth fairy rented out a room in that tree in the lobby.”
“I asked the receptionist if we had a tooth fairy, and she said no.”
“What could someone possibly want with a little kid’s tooth?”
“It doesn’t matter what it is. Someone broke into my child’s room.”
“I think you’re overreacting. It’s not as serious as you’re making this out to be.”
“Here are your roses!” I interrupted, handing the woman a bouquet. I tried to keep my voice and breathing level. “Will there be anything else I can do for you today?”
“Uh no, this is perfect. Thank you!”
“Happy to help!” I quickly rung up the two women’s purchases and waved after them as they left the store. The instant the door closed, I let out a breath, leaning over the counter as panic swirled in my head.
That women, and probably many more, knew about the tooth theft. It especially wouldn’t look good if it was discovered that hotel staff—me—was doing it. That’d be a surefire way to get kicked off the premises, and Sabrina’s spell is strong enough to make me worry what’d happen if I broke it for longer than a moment.
Think positive. You won’t be found out. So long as I don’t do it again, I should be fine. An isolated incident doesn’t point to anything, especially since the investigation won’t find anything on the cameras. I didn’t step outside of my room with the bag. But now, I definitely need another way to keep myself around.
The door bell chimed again, pulling me from my thoughts and to the man that had just walked in. Back to work.
The work day had just ended, and while making my way downstairs and to my room, I turned my thoughts back to my tooth problem. Someone knew what I was doing. Maybe they didn’t know it was me, but they knew someone stealing teeth was a thing. Apparently, they weren’t appreciative of me taking on the role of “tooth fairy”. I let out a frustrated cry in the elevator and was immediately thankful that it was empty apart from Molly.
The door dinged open, and I started down the hall.
Getting teeth from living humans was getting harder, but I couldn’t just kill or raid a corpse. I promised Aunt Grace and my mom—before her soul faded off into wherever—that I wouldn’t. Sure, I’m desperate for teeth, but I’m not that desperate. I still had some degree of morality.
One more day… screeched a voice in the back of my head.
I staggered backward. I had bumped into someone. “Oh, I’m sorry!”
It was the bellhop, Sammy.
“Oh, that’s okay,” he waved it off before smiling at me. I tried not to make eye contact. Something about them just freaked me out.
“Right…well, gotta go!” I quickly tried to move past him and Room 202, when I saw it was cracked open. A huge squid tentacle—Kiki from hospitality—was folding sheets…and there was also a body lying on the floor. But Kiki never folded clothes in a room with living people. That’s what one of the receptionists’ told me anyway.
A smile crept onto my face while I made my way back to my room. Slamming open my dresser drawer, I rummaged around for the teeth puller I got from Aunt Grace when the office was closing for good.
“Yes!” I quickly cheered before hearing a knock at the door. “Um, who is it?”
“It’s me, Avery.”
“Come in.” The door opened, and in walked the former doctor. Her blue eyes were trained on me, concern and irritation lining them. “Okay, I know what you’re gonna say, but can we save it for later. I’m about to head back out.” I started to make my way past the redhead.
“Where are you going?”
I stopped and quickly opened and closed the plier mouth. “Dentist appointment.”
“How will you pull teeth? We don’t have an office anymore. And you can’t exactly afford to go to prison.”
“Dead body in 202,” I said briefly before walking out of the room, Molly in tow.
“Wait, wait, wait.” Aunt Grace pulled me back.
“No, I didn’t kill him. I told you I wouldn’t. I just saw it on my way back from work. Now, if you excuse me, I have to go pull this guy’s teeth before they toss him out the window.”
“The receptionists’ already know about your latest tooth escapade. They’re bound to become more suspicious when they find a toothless corpse that’s probably been shanked.”
“I’ll deal with it later. But right now, I need to get those teeth and then hide that body.”
“And where will you hide it?”
“Plants need fertilizer.”
“Avery!” my aunt began to chastise.
I rushed out of the room before she could chase after me, careful to keep my empty bag and teeth puller hidden from sight. Slipping into the room, I opened a portal and dropped the dead body into the garden. The lights were off, but that didn’t matter. I knew where to pull. I opened his mouth, placed the pliers over one of his two front teeth, and yanked hard.
A sickening, wet sound accompanied the action. I examined the pliers. A pearly white tooth, bloody at the roots. I dropped it in my brown tooth bag. “One down, thirty-one to go.” I put the pliers back in his mouth.
“And, that’s done.” I said, satisfied, as I placed the tied bag on my dresser. Aunt Grace glared at me, her arms crossed.
“So, what now?”
“Well, I have 32 teeth. That should last me a little over a week.”
“And after that? This kind of opportunity won’t land in your lap every day. If you want to stay, you’re gonna have to do something.”
“We don’t have a morgue, do we?”
“No, you can’t steal from the dead. Especially not when autopsies will be performed.”
“Well, what do you expect me to do? The dentists’ office was literally the best arrangement. I could do it with no problem whatsoever. And that’s gone! I can’t be the hotel’s tooth fairy because that’ll be too sporadic and by the next time I’ll be able to pull teeth, I would’ve already been dead ten times over. If I can’t get them from the living, they’re gonna have to come from the dead.”
“Or something. I don’t want to go.” I looked over to the Ouija board Aunt Grace had pulled out. I turned away. “It doesn’t work. I tried when Lucas disappeared.”
I tried to push away the image of his death. His soul splitting bit-by-bit as it rose out of his body, his screams ringing out through the room, the tears that streamed down my cheeks.
“That’s nothing but a piece of useless wood and a waste of $15,” I said to my aunt, finally out of my hellish memory. “Mom would want me to do everything I could to keep myself here. Alive.”
“Do you really think you’re cut out for murder?”
“I don’t have to be. I just have to deal with the corpses after the fact.”
“Paying an assassin?”
“It’s either that or I shank people and hide their bodies in the back of the garden. I don’t have a Venus Flytrap. Which would you rather me do? I refuse to die and go off wherever Lucas and Mom did.”
“You can’t pay an assassin just to give you teeth.”
“All that would have to be done is have one person killed a week. More people than that die on a daily basis. Otherwise, why else would a cross-dimensional hotel have a morgue?”
“What if they expose you?”
“They won’t if they know what’s good for them.”
“Aunt Grace, I have to. Mom and Lucas’s souls got torn apart, and I haven’t been able to talk to them since. I can’t join them. And besides, it’s not like I’m killing them myself.” My stomach grumbled in protest. Paying for them to be killed was basically the same thing as pulling the trigger or holding the garrote. Either one would get me put in the slammer…and then have my soul get evaporated to dust. “I just…I don’t want to die.”
“We can figure something else out, Avery. I’ll talk to Sabrina, see if she’ll help you out some other way.”
“She was the one who put me in this situation. There’s no way in Hell she’d help me out of it. If I hadn’t stolen her spellbook, I wouldn’t even be here talking to you right now!”
“There has to be another way.” Aunt Grace took my hand and looked into my eyes. “Just…you can’t do that. Killing people isn’t the way. And what about when you get found out?”
“Would you turn me in if I did?”
“I’d have no other choice.”
“I should get to bed. Need to open the garden on time tomorrow.”
“Okay.” Aunt Grace gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek. “We’ll figure this out, Ave. Don’t worry. We have eight days.”
She left. I took a seat on the bed.
Eight days isn’t enough.
Molly looked up at me and meowed.
“Stay here.” I picked through my wardrobe for any solid black outfits. I eventually settled on black jeans and a black shirt that had white flowers on it. It’d have to do. Pocketing the teeth puller, I rushed out to the fifth floor and waited in front of the shop. Someone would come soon enough. And someone did.
Sabrina walked down the hallway, no doubt towards her room. “Sabrina!” I rushed to the witch who cursed me.
“Avery, what are you doing here?”
“I have a gift for you.”
I nodded. “Birthday gift.”
Her eyes narrowed. “I’m not reversing what happened to you. I like watching you squirm.”
I had to pinch myself to stop from punching her. I do that, and I can’t get what I need. “It’s not because of that.”
“Regardless, I don’t care about you or your gift. I’m going to my room.” She started to push past me.
“Wait, wait, wait. Just five minutes. Please?” I pleaded.
She sighed. “Fine. But make it quick.”
I smiled. “Great. This won’t take long, I promise.”
I led her to the shop and opened the door for her. She stepped inside, and I closed the door behind us.
The next morning at the shop started quiet. Eventually, the door opened. “Aunt Grace,” I smiled while rubbing down the counter. “What’s up?”
“Just wanted to see if you were okay after last night.”
“Yeah. I did some thinking. You want to help. I shouldn’t not let you.”
“Okay.” She gave me a kiss on the cheek. “Now, I’ll go off and try to talk to Sabrina.”
My stomach turned thinking back to last night. There was so much blood. But, I got another week out of it. “You couldn’t reach her yesterday?” I asked, feigning innocence.
“She didn’t answer the phone.”
Molly, who was sitting on the floor, looked at me. “Maybe she went out for the night or something?” I offered.
“Maybe.” Aunt Grace smiled. “I’ll talk to you later, okay?”
“Okay. See you Aunt Grace.” She turned around and left, closing the door behind her.
Meanwhile, I twirled the vial of potion in my pocket. It was my last link to the living, a link that I needed to keep by any means necessary.
I hope you liked “The Tooth Fairy”. I enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoyed reading it.
To see the directory with everyone else’s amazing stories (and their stories are better than mime, I can promise that), click the link below!
And to see the beginning of this story from a different point of view, check out Joy’s short story here!