This is a short story I wrote for a contest with a writing prompt. I don’t remember it exactly, but I had to include a tooth in a gum ball machine. So without further ado, here’s my poorly titled short story.
This happens all the time, and I blame my perfect, goody two-shoes, brown-nosing older sister.
You see, I come from a long line of tooth fairies. Dainty, nail polished, Coach purse wearing tooth fairies. We always live in the nicest houses and wear pearls and straighten our hair and generally look like Barbie dolls, except that we’re all short. I’ve never fit this description, and I’ve never honed my tooth finding skills either, mostly because I don’t want to. My hair is brown and curly, I hate the color pink, and I’d never spend three hundred dollars on a handbag.
My sister was always the favorite, and would obviously become the head tooth fairy when my mother retired. And quite frankly, I was fine with that. Teeth are disgusting, and so are kids. Put the two of them together and you’ve got the worst job in my opinion.
Still, every now and then, this kind of stuff will happen. A tooth in a gumball machine or a molar in my soup. I’ve even found a pair of dentures in a kayak I rented, though I think that one was really an accident. The last guy who rented it was about a hundred years old.
But I digress. Why is finding a tooth in a stupid gumball machine at the movie theatre a big deal? Well, I’ll tell you why. I’m on a date. And to my parents chagrin, I’m on a date with a normal guy. That’s right, a regular human. One who doesn’t attract disgusting teeth to him like a magnet. It’s our first date, and I’m not one hundred percent clear on what he does. But if he’s a dentist, I’m never talking to him again.
“Jillian, you ready?” My date asks. Shoot I forgot his name. It was a blind date set up by one of my persistent coworkers. I finally got tired of telling her no, and now I’m on a date with pudgy, can’t-leave-me-alone-for-five-minutes…Kevin! That’s it. His name is Kevin.
“Yea, just a sec.” I grab the tooth from the gumball machine and hide it in my fist. Curse dresses without pockets. Why did I think wearing one would be a good idea?
I look around frantically but there isn’t a trashcan in sight. Not that it would matter. The tooth would just keep showing up until I passed it along to the Tooth Disposal Committee.
“The movie’s about to start.” Kevin shifts the popcorn he’s carrying to one hand, and beckons to me with the other. Did he think I needed to be led to the theatre? I’ve been here before, Kevin.
“Right—okay. Whoa! What’s that?” I gesture wildly behind him and Kevin turns around.
“What?” He asks, looking for nothing. I chuck the tooth as far away from me as possible, hoping that it will take longer than usual to show up again.
“Nevermind. Come on, we’re gonna be late.”
I grab Kevin’s hand and drag him and our popcorn to the theatre. It’s dark inside, and there’s no way to find seats without awkwardly shining my phone down the different aisles, getting dirty looks from violated movie-goers.
I finally find a pair of seats halfway to the top, between two extremely overweight couples. Perfect. Maybe the tooth won’t find me hiding between them.
After bumping several knees and almost knocking over a woman’s soda, which earned me a glare from her boyfriend, who no doubt would have to get her another if it fell, we made it to our seats. I don’t even know what movie we’re watching. All I want is darkness and salty, buttery popcorn.
“Want some?” Kevin offers, reading my mind, tilting the bag toward me.
I grab a handful and settle in, stealing the armrest between us, since my fleshy neighbor covered the other. For the next hour and a half, life would be peaceful.
The opening credits begin. A rom com. Come on Kevin, you’re trying too hard. I roll my eyes and reach for more popcorn.
“Arghh!” Kevin yelled, spitting a soggy mess back into the bucket.
“What the heck did you do that for?” I yell, angry for the ruined popcorn while ignoring the glares and shushes of my neighbors. Don’t they know? This tool ruined my popcorn!
I had to use my phone light again, but sure enough, settled snuggly within the sodden popped kernels, was that disgusting tooth.