milk tooth

BY C. H. Weihmann

i have a tooth in a little bag made of black velvet and i bring it to school with me. the tooth came out bloody but i washed it clean. i don’t know if the tooth fairy will still love me now but i need the tooth for ivy and i need ivy to love me more. 

ivy and me talked about doing the bonding ritual when we first decided to be best friends but ivy hasn’t lost a tooth since then. she says she has another idea. so when ms buczynski is busy talking to mrs smith, ivy steals the scissors from the craft cupboard snips off a chunk of her hair and ties it up in a ribbon the colour of cherry cough syrup. 

at recess we huddle behind the ice rink where there’s an old gopher hole. no-one’s using the rink because it’s almost summer and no-one can see us back here so it’s just me and ivy just me and her. i’m holding ivy’s hair in my fist. ivy shakes my tooth out of the black velvet bag and into her palm. with her little finger she touches its grooves and then its sharp dry underpart which yesterday was buried in my mouth in the hot wet in the back of my mouth. i run my tongue over the gap the soft place the dark place in the back of my mouth and it tangs. 

we bury our sacrifices in the gopher hole and kick dirt over top. we take turns reading out our friendship oath then we finish the ritual chanting with our eyes shut. 

we open our eyes. ivy looks at me and says it’s done can you feel it? 

i can see the jagged piece of hair scissored off rough. it’s falling in her face. 

it’s done. i can feel it. i taste blood in my mouth.

A former resident of Vancouver Island, C. H. now lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she subsists mainly on flat whites. She has placed first in a national short story competition and has been a finalist in other prizes. Her work has appeared in filling Station, West Trade Review, and elsewhere. She wants to show you a picture of her cat.

Image Credit: “Varsity #2” by C. R. Resetarits