Friday’s Story #5
By Keith Wilcox
On this night Sam had the bottom bunk. Humid, days made sleeping uncomfortable, and Sam was getting sweaty under the blanket. To entirely remove the blanket would make him cold. He compromised and wore the blanket as a skirt. “Hey, Jake!” he whispered at the top bunk. “You hot? I’m all sticky. I can’t sleep.”
“A little. Why?” Jake responded.
“Do you think she’ll come? I mean, what do you know?” Jake had been through it all before. He would know the answer.
“She’ll come, Sam. Don’t worry.”
Sam looked at the underside of the upper bunk and the metal bars that kept the top mattress from making him into a sandwich, and he pictured Jake’s expression. He knew Jake was rolling his eyes. “Did she ever forget you when you lost one?” Sam knew he sounded worried.
“Sam,” Jake said. “I told you not to worry. What have you got to worry about? Why would she forget?”
Sam didn’t have any idea. This was the first tooth he’d ever lost. Maybe my teeth aren’t worth anything, he thought. Maybe she doesn’t know I lost a tooth. “No reason. I don’t know if she’ll come if I’m awake.” he said.
“Then go to sleep, dumb dumb.”
“I can’t.” Sam rolled over to his side and slipped his hand under the pillow. The piece of paper with the tooth taped to it was still there. At least the paper was. The tooth must still be in place too. He kicked his feet a few times to free them from the blanket that had bunched up around his left foot.
“Go so sleep, Sam.” Jake shifted in the top bunk. “Go to sleep, and don’t worry. You’ll get your dollar.”
“Yeah.” Sam sighed — and closed his eyes.
The fan was on medium power. It was drawing enough outside air into the room, through the screen of the opened bedroom window, to make Sam appreciate technology. It whirred, and oscillated, and Sam fell asleep to the drone.
“Wake up, Sam.” It was Jake. “Check under your pillow.”
“Yeah, ummm. Oh. Uh huh.” Sam opened his eyes and sat up. He quickly turned toward his pillow and, with both hands, lifted it.
“I told you she’d come.” Jake was smiling broadly. He was always pleased to see Sam happy. He slapped Sam on the back. “Congratulations!”
Jake put the pillow down behind him, and picked up the dollar which had been lying, folded once in the middle, right where the tooth had been during the night. His tongue made an involuntary inspection along his bottom incisors. The hole was still there.
“Mom! The Tooth Fairy came!” Sam took the dollar and left Jake to get dressed alone. Still in his underwear Sam bolted out the door and across the hall to his parents room. But his parents weren’t there. They were already awake and in the kitchen. Sam came back to Jake still smiling.
“Don’t be a doofus.” Jake said to his brother. “What are you going to do with it?” Sam didn’t have any place to put the dollar because his underwear didn’t have pockets. “Put on some clothes.”
Sam put the dollar on his dresser, and he got dressed.
“I could save all the money from my teeth, when they fall out, and buy something big.” Sam was thinking long term.
“You won’t do that. Besides, it takes years for all your teeth to come out.” Jake had experience.
“Well, I don’t know then. What about a new game?”
“You can’t buy a game with a dollar. How much do you have in your piggy bank?” Jake asked.
Jake helped Sam count his money. It came to 10 dollars and 15 cents.
“Stick the dollar in there with the rest. Let’s go get breakfast. We’ll think about it later.” They went together to the kitchen. There, dad was preparing waffles.
“Hi, Guys!” Said their dad. “Did you sleep well?”
“The Tooth Fairy Came!” Said Sam.
“I thought she might.” He poured out some more mix into the griddle. “It’s Saturday. What would you like to do?”