The Tooth Hidden There

Howie slipped a hand under his pillow to touch the tooth hidden there. With eyes he almost couldn't hold open, he looked up at his mother. "Where does the tooth fairy take the teeth?"

His mother leaned close. "I'll tell you a secret. It's not really a tooth fairy. Actually, the bed keeps the tooth."

"What? But where—"

"No one knows. Some say inside the bed, some say in a secret realm only beds can reach."

"No, where does it get the quarters?"

"Oh! It gets them from the couch. One of the reasons the couch is always stealing change from our pockets. Haven't figured out what the couch gets out of the trade, though."

"Why do they want teeth? That's weird."

"Once they have enough of your teeth, they can chew you up with them. G'night, my sweet."

He called out to her at the door. "That can't be true. What about adults? They'd be chewed."

"Beds have to leave some alive to have more kids, right? Hey, congratulations on your last baby tooth."

Wide, trembling eyes watched the sliver of light from the hall slim down to nothing. A stomach growled, and Howie wasn't sure it was his.