Read this children's story about the adventures of Sarah and Marcus and their encounter with the Tooth Fairy.
It was a beautiful day in June. The sun was shining, warm and friendly. It was recess, Marcus’s second favourite time of the school day. His most favourite time of the day was story time. Today, Ms. McKesson had been reading them his favourite book, Charlotte’s Web—but Marcus wasn’t very happy. In fact, he was worried and a little sad.
Marcus loved recess because then he got to talk to his best friend Sarah. They were in the same class, but she sat on the other side of the room. If the weather was good, like it was that day, they’d meet up to discuss what they’d learned in class that morning, share a snack, and plan what they’d do after school. Today, though, Marcus just moped about silently. And Sarah must have been sad too, because she was hanging out by herself on the other side of the playground.
In fact, all the kids on the playground that morning were all a little slouchy, a bit grouchy. Even their teachers could elicit only brief nods or a deflated “Yes, sir” or “Yes, miss.” When the bell rang, everyone shuffled back into the school as though they carried the weight of the world on their shoulders.
At lunchtime, the doom and gloom deepened; it was sunny but it felt like a rain day with storms on the way. Marcus decided he must tell Sarah why he was sad. Sarah had decided the same thing, so when they sat down together in the lunch room the terrible calamity that had occurred was soon revealed.
Sarah said, “Marcus, I lost a tooth yesterday and put it under my pillow but—”
“—the tooth fairy didn’t come to take it away,” Marcus finished for her.
Sarah and Marcus stared at each other, their lunch boxes forgotten. Marcus looked quiet and sad and old before his time: “Me too,” he whispered.
“Which tooth, Marcus?” Sarah leaned towards him; it was the same tooth, the top right one. They couldn’t help but grin a little at each other then. As best friends, of course they would lose the same tooth on the same day; they did everything together. But what had happened to the tooth fairy? Why hadn’t she come and taken their teeth away?
Sarah was worried and irritated. She’d planned to buy Marcus his favourite treat—popcorn—on their way home from school with that money! Marcus, of course, had also wanted to surprise Sarah with her favourite treat (also popcorn, of course; they are best friends, after all). Their silly grins quickly turned back into frowns.
All around them, their classmates were worried and talking quietly too. Marcus and Sarah had never experienced so glum a lunch break.
After lunch, things went from bad to worse. Ms. McKesson told her students that their guest speaker that afternoon had cancelled.
“Who was it, Ms. McKesson?” asked Ella; she sat behind Sarah.
“She’s a dentist. We usually have her come in every June to talk about how care for your teeth over the summer. I see many of you have lost teeth recently,” Ms. McKesson said, smiling fondly at her class. “She was also going to talk about losing your baby teeth and getting your adult teeth.”
“I’m not a baby. They’re not baby teeth,” Dax muttered from near the back of the classroom.
Ms. McKesson laughed, “I know you’re not babies; that’s just the nickname for your first set of teeth. Those fall out and are replaced by the teeth you’ll have until you’re very old—old like me. So it’s really important to know how to take care of them.”
Silence in the classroom. Sarah finally asked what everyone was wondering, “Why isn’t the dentist coming today…?”
Ms. McKesson looked a little nervous. “I…don’t know, actually. I just got a memo saying there was an emergency she had to deal with, and she didn’t know when she’d be able to come in.”
All at once, the kids’ quiet grumbling ended. Everyone loudly demanded to know why the tooth fairy hadn’t collected their teeth that week. First the tooth fairy and now the dentist? Something fishy was going on.
Ms. McKesson tried to calm them. “I’m sure the tooth fairy is just running a little late and will visit you all tonight. And since Dr. Howard can’t be here today, we’re going to watch a short video about how to take care of your adult teeth, okay?”
She hurried over to the DVD player and pressed play. For a moment, the screen stayed blank. Then, suddenly, there was a close-up of a very scary looking man. The very scary man stared out at them from the TV; he grinned evilly. His evil grin was also hideous because his teeth were so awful! Never had Marcus and Sarah seen such terrible chompers. They looked at each other across the room and shuddered. Ms. McKesson had time to wonder only, “What’s going on…?” before the man on the screen began to cackle like the villain from a story book.
“Hello, little children—wondering where your dentist is, hmmm?” He pulled out a mirror and gazed lovingly at his blackened, crooked, and broken teeth.
He cackled again. The he roared, “I AM CAPTAIN CAVITY! Actually, I have many names. My dear parents named me Tüth D. Kay, but I prefer my super-villain name. It’s so much more dramatic, so memorable, don’t you think?”
He smiled. It seemed as though he really could see the students and their teacher squirm as he bared his teeth at them.
“Dear kidlets, let me get to the point. I have kidnapped your precious tooth fairy—well, tooth fairies, to be exact. Didn’t you know? Yes, every one of you has your very own tooth fairy. They form a worldwide band of dental superheroes. They work together to reward you for brushing and flossing. Oh yes, they’re very good friends, quite lovely really, while I—”
Captain Cavity was getting cranky, so he pulled out his mirror again. A quick look into his rotten mouth restored his spirits.
“Where was I? Oh yes, all your tooth fairies are in my power. I’m going to whisk them away to my secret island, where there are no children at all! They will be very, very bored. And you”—his evil grin became the most evil, jagged grin of all time—“you will get no money when your teeth fall out. And not only that. Oh no, not only that! I will make you forget everything you ever learned about taking care of your teeth. And you will become my helpers, spreading cavities to all the other children of the world!”
Captain Cavity waved his wand—a cracked and frayed toothbrush—at them. Then he yelled, “Brush no more! Dance and run all the way to the candy store! Little teeth, rotten to the core!” The screen went blank.
“We have to do something!” Sarah and Marcus exclaimed. But all their classmates were asleep. Even Ms. McKesson had nodded off. And they were all talking in their sleep—about the candy they couldn’t wait to eat.
Marcus and Sarah looked at each other. They were scared. They didn’t know why they were awake and no one else was. But they had to stop Captain Cavity. Marcus’s grandmother had been a dentist, so he knew that rotting teeth like the Captain’s were unhealthy and painful.
“Let’s go!” Marcus and Sarah rushed out the door. The school was silent. They looked into a few rooms and the principal’s office for help, but the whole school was under Captain Cavity’s spell. They would have to save the tooth fairies themselves.
Marcus’s used the prinicipal’s desk phone to call his Nan. It went right to voice mail: “Captain Cavity has captured almost all the other TFs. I’ve managed to elude him. Will try to get to the Secret Cave before he finds me. I will try to foil his plans from there.” Beep.
Marcus hung up the phone. He was confused. How did his Nan know who Captain Cavity was? What were the TFs? And a Secret Cave??
Marcus and Sarah listened to the Vice Principal mutter in his sleep about sour soothers. They tried to figure out what was happening, but they were really stumped. They each called their parents and got no answer; they must have fallen under the Captain’s spell too.
“I’ve got it!!” Sarah jumped up and grabbed Marcus’s hand. “The TFs: tooth fairies!!”
Marcus brightened, then looked sad again. “Yes, but how does my Nan know that? She’s just a dentist!”
They both got quiet. Then, together: “BECAUSE TOOTH FAIRIES ARE DENTISTS!!”
“Yes,” said Ms. McKesson, walking in. She was rubbing her eyes, but she was awake. “I think it’s an alter-ego. Like how Superman hides his real power by walking around as Clark Kent all day.”
“Or,” said Sarah, “How Barbara Gordon is a normal girl, but then she’s also Batgirl…”
Marcus nodded. “But where is the Secret Cave?”
Ms. McKesson said, “Maybe my husband can tell us. He’s a dentist too. Unless Captain Cavity already has him on that boring island…Let’s go to his office and see if we can find anything.”
Ms. McKesson drove Marcus and Sarah to her husband’s clinic, but no one was there. And unlike Marcus’s Nan, he hadn’t left a note or anything. Sarah, Marcus and their teacher were really worried then.
Marcus looked around the quiet street. “I think my Nan’s offices are around here. She just retired, though.” Marcus’s lip started to wobble just a little. “I don’t want Captain Cavity to kidnap my Nan…!” Sarah hugged him while Ms. McKesson tried to cheer him. “I’m sure she’s smarter than Captain Cavity. Where was her office, Marcus? We can look there next.”
Marcus shook his head a little and felt braver. “It’s at the corner of Selkirk and Croft.” They got back into the car and in a few minutes were there. The street was empty, but lights of all colours were flashing out of the building’s windows. They got out of the car and rushed to look inside.
Captain Cavity and Marcus’s Nan were in pitched battle. The Captain was casting spells at her with his evil toothbrush wand. Marcus’s Nan had a clean new toothbrush in one hand and a giant tube of toothpaste in the other; she was throwing spells back. The building was shaking because of all the magic being tossed around, but the Captain was weakening.
Marcus rushed in to help his grandmother. He was really angry at the Captain, so he threatened him with some dental floss. But his grandmother was speaking so nicely to the Captain that Marcus got confused. Ms. McKesson and Sarah weren’t sure what to do, so they just grabbed some new toothbrushes and floss and waited.
Marcus’s Nan—better known as Dr. Lee, dentist—was walking calmly towards Captain Cavity. “It’s going to be okay, Tüth. I know going to the dentist can be scary. I promise I won’t hurt you. In fact, I’ll help make your teeth feel much better. That’ll make you feel better. Your mouth won’t hurt and you won’t be so tired or cranky.” Green and gold beams flew out of her magic toothbrush and healed Captain Cavity’s top front teeth.
“No! No! I’m Captain Cavity! I am a super-villain! If I can’t have pretty teeth, no one can!” He aimed his broken toothbrush at Dr. Lee but she ducked. The bad magic melted a little hole in the dentist’s chair.
Dr. Lee kept talking sweetly to the Captain. Marcus, Sarah and Ms. McKesson also began encouraging him. Sarah offered to help him floss—which was very brave, because his teeth were very evil-looking. Marcus told him not to worry: he’d had a cavity once, too, but now he brushed his teeth after every meal so it wouldn’t happen again. Ms. McKesson offered to read him a good story to calm him.
Captain Cavity tried to cast more spells, but he was getting tired. He kept missing and Dr. Lee kept magically healing his teeth. Eventually, he gave up. He even agreed to hear a story and brush his teeth. But before he could do either, he fell asleep.
Marcus ran to Dr. Lee and hugged her fiercely. Sarah jumped up and down in happiness, while Ms. McKesson looked relieved.
Dr. Lee gazed proudly at her grandson, “So you heard my message and figured out this was the Secret Cave?”
Marcus’s jaw dropped. “This is the Secret Cave??”
Sarah jumped in, “Oh yes, of course it is: Selkirk and Croft. SC! Secret Cave! It’s code, like in a comic book!”
Dr. Lee nodded.
“And you’re a dentist and a tooth fairy.” Dr. Lee nodded again.
“You’re a super-hero! A real-live super-hero!!”
Dr. Lee looked a little shy now, but said, “Yes, I am also a tooth fairy.”
Ms. McKesson looked thoughtful. “That means my husband is also a tooth fairy and a super-hero. I always wondered why he had so many capes.”
“Now that Tüth is sleeping, I’ll fix the rest of his teeth. That will break the spell on all the other TFs and bring them back from the boring island.” Dr. Lee gently lifted the sleeping super-villain—who didn’t look at all like a super-villain anymore. In fact, he just looked like a tired little boy. Dr. Lee winked at them as they left to go back to school, “Taking good care of your teeth is magical stuff.”
The next day, everyone in Marcus and Sarah’s class chattered happily as they sat down. The tooth fairy had visited all of them the night before. When the second bell rang, Ms. McKesson came in with a new student.
“I’d like to introduce you to T.K., who’s joining our class today. Please make him feel welcome.”
T.K. looked familiar to the other students, but they didn’t know why. Marcus and Sarah knew him though. They were nervous until he smiled at them, his mouth full of healthy white teeth—though the top right one was missing, just like theirs. Then they knew it was okay.
“Real superheroes…” Sarah whispered happily under her breath.
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