Taking Teeth

by Harold Hoss

My wife and I never set out to lie to our son—we just wanted to let him have a real, honest-to-God, good old-fashioned American childhood. On Christmas morning, we acted surprised when (despite staying up most of the night drinking wine and deciphering toy instruction manuals) we woke up to find new toys and an empty plate of cookies waiting for us by the fireplace. We helped him look for the pastel eggs left behind by the Easter Bunny. And when he lost his first tooth, we told him to put it under his pillow and wait for the tooth fairy, sharing in his joy at the shiny silver dollar that appeared the next morning.

But we didn’t have to act surprised a week later when we found him standing next to his bed, tears streaming down his face.

“It’s not working anymore,” he said, lifting the pillow to reveal a small pile of teeth, all different shapes and all different sizes, but some undeniably human. “Why isn’t it working, Daddy? Why won’t she come back?”

Harold Hoss is a recovering entertainment attorney and current coffee addict. When he isn’t writing or reading, he enjoys long runs and rock climbing.
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