YAFF Muse: Toothfairy

4 Aug

Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

kozarevets story 2 by: pstoev

Toothfairy

By: R.M.Gilbert

“I can’t believe you rode that bike to school. It’s sort of lame,” Taylor says, sticking me in the ribs with her elbow.

“Mom needed the car and I missed the bus,” I mumble while my lockers slammed shut by a couple of guys screwing off in the hallway.

“Yeah, but that bike is so…old.” Her nose wrinkles.

Taylor’s idea of ‘going without’ is taking her dad’s Hummer to school instead of the vintage Mustang. So there’s no point in explaining to her that Mom is on the verge of losing her job at the bar and grill, since her cars left her stranded three times in the last two weeks. Taylor would shrug and say, your mom can get a new job. And move on like it’s that simple. And for some people life is, but for others…

“Are you coming to my party Saturday?” she asks and gives a wave to a few of her other friends.

“I don’t think I’m gonna make it.”

She pouts. “Why not?”

“Mom’s gotta work behind the bar until two, so I’m babysitting Johnny.”

“Can’t she find someone else?”

There is no one else, I want to tell her, but instead I shrug and we head for our first period class. “I’ll see if I can find somebody.”

“You always say that.”

She’s right, I do always say that, but it’s the best I can do since Mom can’t afford a sitter.

***

SATURDAY NIGHT

“So what’ll it be tonight Johnny, Spongebob or Scooby?” I ask holding up two DVD’s. We’ve practically worn them out; they’ve been watched so many times.

He smiles, a big toothless grin and points at Scooby. And when I settle in next to him on the couch, he whispers, “Do you think the toothfairy will come tonight?”

“Sure she will.”

“But she didn’t come last night. Or the night before that.”

“She’s busy, kiddo.” I try to smile, but it is difficult knowing that after paying rent and the electric, mom needed to barrow twenty-five dollars from a friend at work for gas money. And next week’s check is needed to cover more of Johnny’s hospital bills. I sigh. Whoever thought a bit of change from the toothfairy would be so hard to come by?

I stand and go to the kitchen. “You hungry?”

“Yep.” He hops like a bunny across the floor.

“How about peanut butter sandwiches?”

“Can we have jelly?”

“We’re out of jelly,” I say.

“Still?”

I nod.

He frowns and curls his tiny hands over the countertop and stretches to his tippy-toes, when a knock sounds on the front door. “I’ll get it.” He pushes away from the cupboard and races through the house.

“Hey, is your sister home?”

“Taylor’s here,” he shouts when I’m a foot from him.

“I see that.” I glance up at her. “Weren’t you having a party tonight?”

“It canceled.” She hands Johnny a pizza box.

“Why?” I ask.

“Because I have this friend that needs me and whether she knows it or not, I need her too.” Taylor kicks her shoes off and bends at the knee in front of Johnny. “It looks to me like someone’s had a few visits from the toothfairy.”

He shakes his head. “Nope, she’s been busy.”

“Johnny,” I say, clearing my throat. “How about you go put the pizza on the table?”

“K.” He toddles off and Taylor comes to her full height again.

“I’m sorry,” she says, “I didn’t know things were this bad.”

I choke back the tears.

She leans in and whispers, “I’m going to be a better friend.”

“You’re my bestfriend.” I hug her.

“No,” she says, “tonight I’m the toothfairy.”

© 2010, August 3, rmg.

Had a bit of a rough week, trying to explain to our kids how ‘good’ they have it. And how there are others out there that are not as fortunate as they are. You could say this was inspired by these discussions. Thanks for coming by. Please drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Cambria Dillon

Mindy Buchanan

R.L. Purdy

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

Jennifer Fischetto

Advertisements

9 Responses to “YAFF Muse: Toothfairy”

  1. Rebekah L Purdy August 4, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Aw, this is sweet. And it was a tear jerker. I like that you brought Taylor full circle and had her come to help her friend out. And I liked the hints of “not having money”. Like no jelly etc. Great job!

  2. Alexandra August 4, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    This is exactly the kind of reading I would have enjoyed so very much as a teen, b/c I’d be able to relate. When you don’t have much, you get very tired of reading the books of the perfect girls who have it all.

    I have been working on a book of stories like this for YA, and now I see what I need more of: the subtle dialogue you have here.

    Very smart writing..I loved it.
    Thank you for the sharing.

  3. Vanessa August 4, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Great job. Very emotional and very poignant. I really like it. And I like that the friend comes through in the end.

  4. Traci Kenworth August 4, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Nice going!! It makes us remember how hard we work in life to get the things we need and how important support is.

  5. Jennifer Fischetto August 4, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Awww, this makes me sad. Maybe because I understand it so well, lol. It’s a good sad though. I love seeing stories about people who aren’t filthy rich or really well off because we don’t get a lot of that on television. A lot of YA shows are about the uber rich, and while that’s nice to daydream about, I guess, I love the reality of a family that struggles.

    Thanks for sharing this, Rachel. It really touched me. 🙂

  6. Cambria Dillon August 4, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Loved this. It was real, it was sad, it was hopeful. And I like seeing the genuine friendship between Taylor and your protag. Nice job!

  7. Min August 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Wow lady. This was so sweet. I love that it was inspired by that conversation with your kids. It’s timely too. More and more people are sliding into poverty and it’s becoming a reality for kids that never had to think about it before. I also love that her friend was a true friend too. Really, really well done. 🙂

  8. R.M.Gilbert August 4, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    @ Rebekah L Purdy:
    Thanks Rebekah, I was actually out of PB so that aided in the whole ‘no jelly’ bit.

    @ Alexandra:

    I appreciate your compliment, thank you. Do you write a lot of YA?

    @ Vanessa:
    The friend, being a true friend in the end took a bit of work. At first I wanted Taylor to make it ALL better. But then I thought that didn’t seem realistic and that sometimes it’s those little things in life…like a spare change for a tooth.

  9. R.M.Gilbert August 4, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    @ Jennifer Fischetto:
    Jenn, I wish I could reach through this computer and give you a hug. This story resonated with my past and (sometimes present). And as I said after talks with our kids about how fortunate we are, I couldn’t NOT write it. Thanks so much for coming by.

    @ Cambria Dillon:

    Thanks Cambria. I intentionally left out my protagonists name. I wanted each reader to be in her shoes if only for a minute. And felt the best way to accomplish this was by leaving that particular door wiiiide open.

    @ Min:
    Thanks so much for dropping by. It’s an important lesson. One I’ve both lived, live and teach.

    Ladies, thanks again to all who’ve stopped by. I hope each of you is blessed in life and when these blessings occur, please remember to pass them on. 🙂

    All the best,
    R.M.Gilbert

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: