As a felonious toothfairy, Miss Anug is serving hard time as a preschool teacher at Billy Bob’s, a Program for Gifted and Talented Preschoolers. She’s about to attempt an escape when the perfect set of chompers walks into her classroom.
My phone vibrated noisily against the desktop. I snatched it up as fast as I could, silenced it, and then glanced around the room. The sea of pastel blankets remained motionless. I exhaled in relief. Naptime at Billy Bob’s, a Program for Gifted and Talented Preschoolers was my time. That’s when the little rodents drifted off to la-la land and I was free to plot my escape.
I checked my phone.
I couldn’t help letting out a hoot of excitement as I read the text. That one word meant the world to me. It meant freedom. It meant the end of this horrible torture. It meant step one of my plan was going into action.
The sea of blankets began to undulate. My time of relief was over for now. Little, messy-haired heads began to pop up as the little creatures blinked back into consciousness. Sleeping dust only works for small amounts of time—never long enough in my opinion.
“Good morning, Miss Anug,” the little pigtailed one called. Its name was Jayden, or some other awful name the parents these days thought was a suitable name for their offspring.
As I always did, I smiled brightly in return, showing the little urchins what the perfect smile entails. “Put your blankets in the hamper and get ready for snack time,” I said, keeping my tone light. If you get too harsh with the little creatures they started blubbering. That’s the worst.
After the cockroaches were done stuffing their faces with graham crackers and apple juice, I sent them out to the playground to let the schoolyard aide deal with them for a while.
I strolled back to my desk and again read the text.
It wasn’t a customary text, but a self-reminder I’d set up exactly a year ago. It had been twelve years since I started tending to the drooling, lisping, potty-training little devils. There were eight more years left on my sentence, but I wasn’t about to stick around for those. As a toothfairy, I needed teeth, and the little three and four-year-old varmints weren’t losing theirs anytime soon. As of tonight, I would ditch my phone, slip into the woods, and go off the grid. They’d never find me in the mountains.
Why The Organization of Toothfairies and Hygienists (or TOOTH) thought twenty years as a preschool teacher of human ankle-biters was a justifiable sentence, who knows? Without a stable supply of lost teeth, it should have been placed under the category of cruel and unusual punishment. All I did was collect a couple gold caps and half a dozen silver filled teeth. I’d even left a bright, shiny nickel under their owners’ pillows, as any good toothfairy would. The TOOTH Board of Judgement had barely even listened to my defense, arguing that prying teeth from sleeping citizen’s heads was a first-degree offense.
I looked through the window just in time to see one of the little pests pitch forward off the slide and land on its face. A well of excitement flooded me as it came up bawling, snot and mulch stuck to its face. The excitement faded quickly when I noticed there was no blood, no chance it had knocked out a tooth.
The rest of the day dragged on slower than normal, but three o’ clock finally came. The little whipper snappers’ parental units started crowding the entranceway, collecting their little ones to go home.
“Goodbye, Miss Anug,” the pigtailed one called, waving. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Not likely,” I mumbled too low for her to hear, as I waved back and chucked my cell phone into the waste bin.
Then, he walked in. His dazzling smile seemed to light up the entire room. He was a dream with naturally straight teeth and bi-cuspids that dropped just a tad bit longer than the lateral incisors and first premolars beside them—vampire style. It was hard to tear my eyes away from his magnificent mouth but I did, just long enough to check for a wedding band. Nope. The blood in my veins tingled as I strolled across the classroom.
“Hello,” I said to him. He looked up from zipping his kid’s sweatshirt. “I don’t believe we’ve met,” I added, extending my hand.
“Oh, hi,” he said, flashing me a luminous smile and taking my hand in a quick greeting. “You must be Miss Anug. I’m Chris—Aidan’s dad.”
“Aidan?” I glanced down at the child by his side. The little snot-slinger had his dad’s dark eyes and hair, but his grin was full of spaces. Eck. “Oh, yes, that one.”
“Yeah, my sister has handled the drop-offs and pick-ups up ‘til now, but she got a job so it’ll be me from now on.” Chris’ bright-beamed smile brought my eyes back to his marvelous maw.
“Is that so?” My stomach did a flip-flop. This carnassial Adonis would be gracing the entrance of the classroom twice a day? Awesome!
“Yeah,” Chris said. “Well, it was nice to meet you, Miss Anug. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“I look forward to it,” I replied.
I stood there in the middle of all the going-home chaos and watched him steer that Aidan child through the crowd and out the door, making my day a little dimmer for the loss. I ignored the goodbyes the other little heathens called out to me as I drifted back to my desk and sat down, thinking about Chris’s glorious set of chompers. It was dark outside when I finally finished making my decision. I fished my phone out of the waste bin and set another reminder for a year’s time.