Grannylou steals teeth.
Just call me the fucking tooth fairy, girlie, she says when I catch her in Grace's room, rummaging under her sleeping head, and there's no point telling Mam about her swearing, because Grannylou has seen me nick coins from people's purses, and that spells leverage.
When I prise open her jaw — because I know what the old woman's been up to — there it is, the chipped incisor I once had in my own mouth, she must glue them to her bare gums or something, and so I ask if there are other grannies who do what she does, like a confederacy or something, and she says how the fuck should I know, and so I say pretty poor show, Grannylou, I bet there are hundreds of grannies, or grandies for that matter — RIP Grandie Gerald, we both say — who'd kill to have a new set of beamers.
I can get you names, I say, friends in Grace's class with wobblers; cousins, the dorkish twins down the road. I say we can create an app, Grannylou, do you know what an app is? How many more do you need? Three she says, showing me her abscessed devil holes.
She slaps my hand away, says she's got to hurry now, have myself a rendezvous with a man from Sicily, I want to dazzle, and she starts piercing her gum with Grace's tooth.
Blood geysers out, but she's used to it apparently, what with her stalagmite mouth, and so I consider teeth in general; milk teeth and access to milk teeth, hospital teeth after accidents, foreign teeth, teeth in coffins, just lying there, a dazzling white tooth icon, and just as well Grace wakes up at this point, obviously horrified to see the haemorrhaging tooth fairy on the sofa, but as I say, just as well, because ten years later, while I'm the face of the company with my reassuring mail-order smile, and while Grannylou lies toothless in her coffin, Grace is the one responsible for the administrative side of things, for chasing payments, because everything has to add up at the end of the month, everything has to be tickety-boo.
writes short fiction in France where she lives with a menagerie of kids, cats and rats. Her work has featured in The Moth, Tiny Molecules, The Cabinet of Heed, Milk Candy Review, Reflex Fiction, Ellipsis Zine, Splonk, Bending Genres, Janus Literary
. She is currently exploring the character of Grannylou, in all her glorious forms. Erratic tweets @KikLodge
. Her website is www.kiklodge.com