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Stolen and Beholden

What he stole could never be replaced

By Vivian R McInernyPublished 9 months ago 1 min read
Top Story - June 2023
Image from NightCafe

He crept down down the hall dressed in shades of shadow, all but invisible in the dark. On his feet, he wore only socks. Forensics had recently identified a female based on prints taken from a wood floor and the worn down treads on the sole of her left sneaker, the result of her, evidently, rare gait.

He would not be so foolish.

But when he heard the low murmur of voices, he gasped. His tongue stuck dry against his teeth. Afraid to breathe, he stood dead still in the dark. His heart thumped against his chest. Calm the hell down, he silently scolded himself.

He noted the pale blue flicker in the gap beneath the parents’ bedroom door. That’s when he recognized the staccato delivery, the canned laughter. Nothing but a late night television show. He concentrated and heard the heavy breathing, not quite snoring, of parents deep in slumber. They’d be no trouble tonight.

He slipped soundlessly into the child’s room. He slid his bony blue fingers beneath her pillow, felt around. Finally, the tiny pearl-like tooth! He tucked it deep into a velvet pocket and vanished in a puff of silver sparkles. He forgot to leave money!


About the Creator

Vivian R McInerny

A former daily newspaper journalist, now an independent writer of essays & fiction published in several lit anthologies. The Whole Hole Story children's book was published by Versify Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021. More are forthcoming.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (15)

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  • KY8 months ago

    I liked it!

  • AHHHHH, you had me. Very well done. I have subscribed, looking forward to more

  • Nice twist!

  • Dana Crandell8 months ago

    Well done, with a great twist! Congratulations!

  • Misty Rumsley8 months ago

    I actually really like this one!

  • Poppy 8 months ago

    Awesome story! Written in a really alluring way and also great twist and ending!

  • Utkarsh Sinha8 months ago

    Excellent! Kept me on the edge of the seat while reading. Well crafted story!

  • Holly Pheni8 months ago

    Haha, the ending got me! Finely-crafted build up! I was in suspense and then -- poof! I won't lie, a couple of times at our house the tooth fairy has made the same mistake! ;)

  • C. H. Richard8 months ago

    I love the intensity as he steps towards her room. Mom and dad will have to answer as to why she was left empty handed- lol. Well done and congratulations on Top Story ❤️

  • Lamar Wiggins8 months ago

    That was a pleasant surprise, yet I wouldn’t want to be the one to tell the kid it was all For nothing. This was very well written and congrats!

  • Kendall Defoe 8 months ago

    Ha, ha! I like this one. And it still make me wonder how they did that whole tooth-to-cash swap without waking me up. ;)

  • Alexander McEvoy8 months ago

    What a soundly disturbing take on the tooth fairy 😅 I kept expecting the child to die Very very well done!!

  • "... shades of shadow..." Love it!

  • J. S. Wade8 months ago

    This is beyond cute. Love it. Forgot to leave money ? Oh oh. 😂

  • Gerald Holmes9 months ago

    This is so well done. You have such a great way with words that the reader cannot help but be drawn in. Excellent job and a great take on the challenge.

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