"Every other kid in Louise's class is doing this," my wife says to me, wearing that same stubborn tilt to her lips that I fell in love with years ago.
I recognize it from the first time I saw it on her face, back in a humanities course that was really just a exhausted teacher with a powerpoint masquerading as a gender studies class. Even now, it makes me want to fight - not in a way that really gets us anywhere in this discussion, but in the way that ends up, as it did years ago, with one of our backs against the stacks in the library, trying to be quiet and getting absolutely nothing done except each other. I fell in love with her then, I'm still in love with her now, and our differing opinions on our... upbringings, shall we say, just make life interesting.
"I'm not saying it's wrong, exactly," I try. Backpedaling. I already know what's happening here. Charlie's eyes light up, bright in a 'got-cha!' moment, but I plow forward, trying hard not to give her an opening. "And yes, I recognize that I used the word 'propaganda,' which is a loaded word. I would like to take this moment in the negotiations to point out that humans ascribe many meanings to words that Fae don't, and in this specific case, we already have Fae in this home, I would just like to keep the negotation and sale of body parts off the table."
If I didn't know that Charlie was having the time of her life right now, I would be exhausted and a little afraid. Of course, I hadn't known Charlie wasn't human for the first two years of our relationship. By the time I'd found out, negotiating and agreeing to things had always been a strange ritual of ours, a strange dance we both enjoyed. When it came to our adopted children, this was just another way for us to communicate through our significant differences.
"I think there's a human metaphor for this you could use, actually." Charlie thinks for a moment. She's got one of our daughters' teeth in one hand and a ten-dollar bill in the other. "If all of your friends jumped off of a hill, would you do it too?" She goes high for an impression of me.
"One, it's a bridge, not a hill!" I say, trying not to smile. "And two, my voice isn't that high."
"You're like bells on a sunny morning to me, dear." She dances out of my reach when I reach for her, slipping just away, and shakes the money at me. "Alright, state your case," she says. "And yes, just so we're clear, the Tooth Fairy is real. No, she won't come near our children, neither will the Bone or the Hair Fairy. I can make no promises on the Blood or Plasma Fairy, but at least those two only deal with adults and recognize children cannot make informed decisions."
I'll just... table that part of the discussion for later. That's what I have a grimoire for, right? Surely to the various pantheons, between a witch and a fae, the two of us can... deal with that later.
"Okay, so I think..." My thoughts trail a little. A Plasma Fairy? Really? "Um. I think maybe if we can just sit the kids down and discuss no sale, trades, favors, or anything for body parts of any kind tomorrow, we should be good. And maybe don't explain that the Tooth Fairy is a legitimate thing until they're older? Right now I think they believe it's a... human, mortal thing?"
Charlie nods slowly. "That would be likely to cover the most bases. With Riley as a Changeling, he may start to ask for things in exchange for favors... Everyone else will start losing teeth, and since this is Louise's first, let's not give him ideas. Speaking of, did you call about Reuben's IEP?"
"Yes," I say, and smile softly. My Fae wife, our childrens' champion, going to bat for our human and our supernatural children everyday, just as she did for the children she worked with. "I told them they'd have to deal with you. Ten dollars is a lot by human standards, for a five-year-old."
"I'll go with less." Charlie smiles back at me, and steps back, willingly, into the circle of my arms. For a second, I see a glimpse of her real teeth instead of her human glamour, sharp and luminescent. "May I have your kiss?"
"No." I hold her close and pucker up. "But you may borrow it."
About the Creator
Tired and chronically ill, but with a deep, profound love of writing.
I write what I would want to read. LGBTQ+, mysteries, essays, short stories, random musings, things that make sense and things that don't. Conversation welcome!