Jill knew she shouldn’t be looking in her mother’s jewelry box, but she couldn’t help herself. There were so many pretty bangles, sparkling earrings and… ooh, what’s this necklace? Jill lifted the string of pearls and held it up in wonder; her attention immediately pulled away by the object the pearls were hiding. A small tin sat in a velvet pocket. Jill put the other treasures aside and wiggled the tin’s lid free. There were six tiny teeth inside, each with a dried red scratchy end, just like hers had been after they’d come out. Jill ran her tongue over and between the new teeth in her mouth, and thought about the ones she’d lost over the last three years. She’d lost six teeth. What a coincidence.
Since her mum was preoccupied with bleaching the toilet, Jill took a tooth, popped the rest back where she’d found them, returned the jewellery box to the vanity table and left her parents’ bedroom unnoticed.
All moments of genius come from careful planning, and Jill used the rest of the afternoon to devise her foolproof strategy. An hour before bed, she held a folded piece of tissue paper in her mouth and showed her parents the tooth from the tin.
“It was wobbly and has just come free”. Jill sniffed a fake tear for dramatic effect, and her parents gave her a hug.
Under her pillow the tooth went, and sure enough there was a shiny pound coin in its place come morning.
Later the next day, Jill crept into her parents’ bedroom and looked in the jewellery box again. Opening the same tin there were six teeth inside once more.
“I knew it,” she whispered. She took one; carefully placing the tin back whilst her mother was out of sight, busy hoovering the stairs. Jill realised what was going on, and truth be told, had questioned the true origins of the coin under her pillow. This was all the proof she needed.
Pushing guilt aside and deciding on a long-term plan, Jill prepared her saddest face in the vanity table mirror. Bottom lip pushed out and tears welling in her eyes.
“I think another one is loose,” she murmured.
She was a great actress and knew it. She closed a tight fist around the tooth and grinned a wicked grin. If she played this carefully, she could make a lot of money.