“I kill people for sport.”
My jaw dropped. My palms sweated. I asked her to say it again, directly into the camera that was broadcasting live, nationwide.
“I kill people for sport.”
Here is a creature who has unfettered access to not only our teeth, but our children’s teeth, admitting that she murders human beings for shits and giggles. My entire worldview was shattered in that very moment. I said next you’re going to tell me that Santa Claus isn’t real.
“Oh, he was real. But I killed him. For sport.”
So, the Tooth Fairy is a psychopath. Lines were drawn. Enemies were made. Sandwiches were thrown out because they had gotten moldy. Alliances were formed with strangers. Strangers that called themselves “Nightstar” and “Purgatory” and told me that the world was decaying from the inside because their parents wouldn’t let them go to the most recent My Chemical Romance concert. Nightstar and Purgatory were serious shit.
After turning my Plymouth Voyager minivan into a rolling death machine, the three of us began hunting the Tooth Fairy on a semi-weekly basis. We took a month off while Nightstar and Purgatory had their finals. They both did really well and would have tied for valedictorian if they hadn’t failed Physical Education. Anyway, Purgatory was driving one night while Nightstar and I were manning the Tooth Fairy detection equipment. It was nearing curfew and I was getting sick of listening to The Spill Canvas, but we finally had a hit.
The three of us bolted from the van, fairy-slaying instruments in hand, ready for anything. Anything but…
We did our best, but were unable to drive the manatees back, or even forward. They were relentless. They even beat us all at chess, which Purgatory was pretty good at. The fury of our battle, however, ripped a hole in space-time and sent us to another dimension where up was down, left was right, down was right, up was Family Feud, Captain Planet was bacon, and Everybody Loves Raymond was thought-provoking, deeply moving, and had exquisite cinematography. Nightstar and Purgatory lost their minds almost immediately and turned on each other. Somehow, I was immune to the madness that claimed them, but I soon came under attack by deadly Mime Wolves.
Let me tell you something about Mime Wolves. They are the deadliest creatures to ever walk the universe. Silent doesn’t even begin to describe them. They have transcended silence and yet embody it at the same time. The invisible objects they may or may not create with their minds defy physics, logic, and all traffic laws. How I managed even one off, let alone the pack that beset me puzzles me to this day. But somehow I did, and I managed to get Nightstar and Purgatory back to our dimension and to my van. We were all bloodied and broken, but we had survived.
Nightstar and Purgatory were never the same, however. They became blonde cheerleaders. And their bubbly personalities, soaringly positive outlook on life, and endless hours of volunteering are an inspiration to everyone they come in contact with. They now go by the names of Chelsea and Becky. I’m not sure if those were their real names or not.
As for me, I remain haunted. Not only by what became of my friends, not only by the non-echoing, anti-cry of the Mime Wolves, not only by Ray Romano the intellectual, not only by the swarm of manatees, not only by the continuing threat that the Tooth Fairy poses to us all.
But also by something else entirely.
Something that I never saw but could not unsee. A sensation that I could not feel. And it is my very real fear that we will all unsee and not feel it.