Francesca looked down at the glistening little white tooth nestled in the palm of her hand. It was a pristine little round incisor, unmarred by decay or stain, and the milky white enamel shone in the moonlight. This one would fetch a good price, she knew it.
A slight rustle coming from the mound of blankets caught her attention, making Francesca freeze on the spot. She had never been caught before, but stories of other fairies who had been seen by their benefactor children chilled her to the bone. Contact between the human and fairy world was strictly forbidden, making the job of the tooth fairy one of the most hazardous. If a human spotted a fairy they could broadcast their existence to the world, putting the kingdom of Fae in danger. This was unacceptable. Because of this, certain precautions were taken to prevent the fairies’ existence to be discovered. If a fairy was seen, the elite force of the Dusters would descend on the human, unleashing magic powerful enough to alter their sense of reality. The event would seem as a dream, or they might feel like they had lost a few moments of remembrance. The spotted fairy, however, had a much worse fate. They were cast into what the fairy kingdom loosely called School, but which everyone knew was more like a prison, to relearn the skills necessary to remain hidden and then given new assignments.
Being a tooth fairy was a dangerous profession, with its close contact to the humans themselves. True, they were only human children, and they were supposedly sound asleep, but human children had an uncanny knack of awaking at inopportune times. Despite the dangerous element of the profession, the business itself was going bankrupt. Teeth just weren’t worth as much as they used to be. Most of them were riddled with decay, holes, cavities, grinding marks, and unsightly soda pop stains. Come across a perfect specimen, however, and you were set for at least a month’s quota of Human Artifacts, possibly even two.
Francesca set her wings in motion, heading for the window, wanting to get her prize specimen to the Artifact Bank. Another rustle behind her made her turn around, even though she knew that she shouldn’t look. She should get out of that room as quickly as her silver wings could carry her.
Two enormous brown eyes peered at her from under the pile of pink blankets and stuffed critters. Two chubby fists rubbed the eyes, as though trying to clear their vision. And then there was the unmistakable sound of a gasp, the first sign of a registered recognition.
A tiny chirruping bell erupted from Francesca’s pendant hanging around her neck. The Dusters would be here soon to work their magic and dust Francesca’s existence into the human child’s dreams. And Francesca would be carted off to School.
She couldn’t let them. She loved being a tooth fairy, inherent dangers and all. She couldn’t let them reassign her.
“Hello?” The human child’s voice came from behind a fluffy yellow bunny rabbit. Francesca could see two black pigtails poking out of the top of the child’s head. “Are you the toof fairy?”
Francesca’s bell began to ring again. The child’s voice had triggered the second alarm. She had to make a quick decision. The Dusters would be here any moment.
“Yes,” she said sweetly, drifting over to where the human child was huddled under the blankets. “I am the tooth fairy. How would you like to come with me for an adventure?”
The child’s eyes lit up and she popped her head out from the protection of her covers. The black pigtails bounced as she nodded her head eagerly.
Francesca reached out her hand toward the child, careful to secure the valuable tooth in her belt pouch. “Then come with me, little one,” she cooed, and took the child’s dimpled hand in her own delicate grasp.