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The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce

The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce

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Published by a516fc8385

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Published by: a516fc8385 on May 10, 2012
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05/10/2012

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PikeClive was on the far side of the green pond, torturing a king-crested newt.Sam and Terry languished under a vast oak, offering their chubby whitefeet to the dark water. The sprawling oak leaned out across the mirroringpond, dappling the water’s surface with clear reflections of leaf andbranch and of acorns ripening slowly in verdant cups.It was high summer. Pigeons cooed softly in the trees, and Olive’sfamily picnicked nearby. Two older boys fished for perch about thirty yardsaway. Sam saw the pike briefly. At first he thought he was looking at asubmerged log. It hung inches below the surface, utterly still, likesomething suspended in ice. Green and gold, it was a phantom, a spiritfrom another world. Sam tried to utter a warning, but the apparition of thepike had him mesmerized. It flashed at the surface of the water as it cameup to take away, in a single bite, the two smallest toes of Terry’s leftfoot.The thing was gone before Terry understood what had happened. Hewithdrew his foot slowly from the water. Two tiny crimson beads glistenedwhere his toes had been. One of the beads plumped and dripped into thewater. Terry turned to Sam with a puzzled smile, as if some joke was beingplayed. As the wound began to sting, his smile vanished and he began to
 
scream.Clive’s mother and father, in charge that afternoon, were lying on thegrass, he with his head in her lap. Sam ran to them. Clive’s father liftedhis head to see what the commotion was all about.‘Terry’s been bitten by a green fish,’ said Sam.Clive’s father scrambled to his feet and raced along the bank. Terrywas still screaming, holding his foot. Mr Rogers kneeled to part Terry’shands, and the colour drained from his face. Instinctively he put Terry’stiny foot to his mouth and sucked at the wound.Clive’s mother quickly joined her husband at the scene. The two boyswho’d been fishing laid down their rods and wandered over to take alook. ‘What happened? Did he fall in?’Clive was still on the other side of the pond. Sam called him over. MrRogers, hands trembling, fumbled for a handkerchief. He tied it around thebleeding foot, lifted Terry in his arms and jogged back towards the housingestate.Clive arrived, breathless. ‘What is it?’

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