Week 7 Prompt – A boy puts a quarter in a gumball machine and human tooth comes out.
Dachen bolted from his grandmother’s side towards a gumball machine at the end of the boardwalk. “Gramama, gumballs! Can I have a quatrid? Can I? Can I please?”
“Of course you can wee boy, but only one.” The old women opened her leather satchel to find a coin for her grandson. Her gnarled fingers investigated a pool of loose coins at the bottom of the bag, dinids, trattets and copids, until she finally found the four-sided coin. She handed it to the boy. He snatched the coin from her and fed it into the slot, turned the knob three times and heard the gumball drop. He clapped with glee before opening the silver flap to let a gumball drop into his tiny hand. Except it wasn’t a gumball that came out. It was a tooth, a human tooth. Dachen stared at the molar laying on his palm before screeching and tossing it on the ground. It skittered along the boardwalk like a roach fleeing from the light across a kitchen floor.
“What’s wrong, my son?”
“I got a tooth. I want a gumball,” Dachen wailed.
“A tooth? Where is it?”
“Over there.” He sniveled and pointed to the edge of the boardwalk. He watched his grandmother hobble over and pick it up. She held it up and inspected it like it was a diamond. “Oh, this is rare, my lad. What we have here is a Tooth Teller. It gives the holder the power to control the fate of the human whose mouth the tooth once resided in.”
The boy’s bottom lip quivered just before he let out a loud bawl, “I want a gumball.”
The old women absent-mindedly handed the boy another coin without taking her eyes off the tooth. She couldn’t believe the good-fortune of receiving this gift. She’d heard the stories, old witches’ tales, about Tooth Tellers and the power of the fates, but had never in her hundreds of years had she ever seen one. She’d come to believe the tales were nothing more than caldron myths.
Back at her cottage in the woods, the women put the boy to sleep with a gentle touch on his forehead. He would sleep a dreamless sleep until the sun hit the horizon twice. She didn’t like to put spells on him, but she couldn’t risk being disturbed once the Tooth Telling ritual began.
She stood before a doe she’d freshly gutted, opened the womb of the creature and placed the tooth in the centre of it, like an embryo taking seed. She picked up a weathered spells book, a hand-stitched bind held hundreds of pages in place, and began to chant.
“Sarca, tarca, sarca, root, tarca, blood, sarca, root, tarca, blood, sarca, fate, tarca, blood, sarca, who, tarca, root, sarca, reveal, tarca, root, sarca, who, tarca, fate, sarca, blood, tarca, vision, sarca, who, tarca.”
A vision started to take shape at the edge of her perception, her rheumy eyes rolled back as the vision presented the human whose fate she could control. Her toothless mouth gaped open and she screamed one word into the darkness of the vision, “Truuuuump.”