Kindle Countdown (07/29 – 08/04) and Racism in Horror: An Excerpt from “Tooth Fairy”

Bits ‘n’ Pieces, my first collection of horror shorts, drabbles, and dark poetry, is currently on a Kindle Countdown Deal through 11:59 p.m. (Pacific) on August 4, 2020 (along with the three other titles from my imprint, Plumfukt Press ( links at bottom)).

These collected tales are not easy to stomach unless you’re a fan of extreme horror (and in that case, I may not even be extreme enough for many). However, most of the stories are relevant to current times.

One of those stories is “Tooth Fairy,” which tackles the topics of racism and bullying, revenge and maturity, and sprinkles in some ’90s nostalgia. And here you’ll find the first two scenes from the story to whet your dark appetite.

Background And Disclaimer

“Tooth Fairy” contains offensive and derogatory/racist language and highly uncomfortable situations, as depicted in the excerpt below. But before you chastise a Caucasian, fat, bald, bespectacled cisgender heterosexual male author for daring to use such language and explicit descriptions/scenarios, here’s some quick character background info:

The antagonist, Tommy, is based on a real-life asshat who has a penchant for misogynistic, masochistic, and douchebag-y tendencies (especially online, the little keyboard warrior!). After being allowed on the local police force moons ago, he actually attempted to claim I was smoking weed in public (because we used to hang out years prior, and he knew I was a pothead) when it was obviously a cigarette. He tried to belittle me in front of a new female recruit, which was Tommy to a T. (This situation makes it into the story later on.)

I despise that guy, passionately.

I don’t believe the inspiration for such a vile character is, in reality, a racist, but the Tommy in “Tooth Fairy” had to be the ultimate dickhead. Thus, the decision to let the character speak and act accordingly.

All of the characters speak and act accordingly.

I can comfortably say this story does not glorify any aforementioned horrific and disdainful behavior. But you’ll have to read to the end to see if you agree.

An Excerpt: “Tooth Fairy”

The four fourth-graders halted at the crosswalk two blocks from school, waiting for the signal.

“I’m tellin’ ya, the tooth fairy is real,” Marty reiterated.

Cindy huffed. “No she isn’t, Martin.”

Marty grimaced. I hate it when she calls me by my full first name.  “She is too.” He readjusted his bookbag, dug into his front jeans pocket, grasped the crumpled envelope, and whipped it out. “Put the tooth in last night”—he peeled the flap open—“and woke up to this.”

His best friends Terrell and Dominique crowded beside him and Cindy, mouths agape.

“Ten dollars?” Terrell said. “For one toof?”

Marty beamed anew, putting his missing canine on display. His glasses slid down his nose and he thumbed them back into place. “Yep. And do you know how I know it was the tooth fairy?”

Cindy crossed her arms over her chest. “How?”

“Because my mom and dad only give me three bucks a week for allowance,” he replied, stuffing the package back into his pocket. “There’s no way in heck they would give me ten for one little chunk of bone.”

Cindy snickered. “That doesn’t prove—”

“Whatchu gonna buy with it, dude?” Terrell interrupted.

“I was thinking we could go to the arcade tomorrow.”

Dominique gasped. “Ooh—we could go rent NBA Jam from Blockbuster!”

“Hell yeah!” Terrell agreed.

Cindy tutted, rolled her eyes, and shook her head. “You boys and your stupid games.”

Marty opened his mouth to retort when something pressed into his bookbag, hard. He flew to the ground and skidded several feet on his stomach, arms outstretched in a superhero pose. Sharp pebbles scraped his open palms, leaving behind a throbbing, burning sensation.

“What the . . .?” He rolled onto his back to find Tommy Hartmann towering over him. Tommy Hartmann, the fifth-grade schoolyard bully whom Marty had heard about and seen but had never had the displeasure of meeting before. Oh great, he thought, gulping. I’ve finally made it onto his radar.

“Hey!” Cindy shouted, stepping up to Tommy and jabbing a finger into his flabby chest. “That wasn’t nice!”

The thug smirked, thrust his arms out, and shoved her backward. “Oh yeah? And what are you gonna do about it, Stinky Cindy?”

Cindy froze, jaw hanging open like she’d been ambushed by a Super Soaker.

“You know no one’s forgotten about that, right? I mean, it’s not every day someone shits themselves during PE, huh, Stinky?” he taunted.

Water rimmed her eyelids. “You’re a butthole, Tommy.” She sprinted down the block, crying.

“Either of you shitheads want some, too?” the bully asked Dominique and Terrell.

The twins sulked out of view, lips sealed tight.

“Now,” Tommy said, training his beady eyes on Marty, “what was that I heard you say about ten bucks?”

“I d-don’t know—”

“Cut the shit. I heard everything: the tooth fairy, how much you got, the arcade, all of it.” Tommy grabbed a fistful of Marty’s shirt. He reeled him in. “Give it here, or I’ll fuck you up.”

A pit opened in Marty’s stomach as he thought about all the spoils his cash could net him. He wasn’t willing to give it up without a fight—surely his buddies would join in.

He scanned the area to find Terrell and Dominique gone.

Aw, crap.

A balled fist slammed into his gut.

Ooof!”

“I said, give me the money.”

On the verge of tears, Marty slid one hand into his pocket and retrieved the envelope.

Tommy snatched it with one of his meathooks. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?” He released his hold and straightened, a dopey grin plastered to his face. “What’s your name?”

Attempting to keep his sniffling restrained, he said, “M-Marty.”

Tommy extended an arm. Tentative, Marty reached to accept the help, but Tommy slapped his hand away as if he were a god smiting his greatest foe.

The bully snarled, eyes narrowed. “Well, Marty, from now on, you’re going to be bringing me that allowance you get every week. You’ll be my tooth fairy.” He stomped on Marty’s splayed fingers and ground his heel. “Got it, nigger?”

Biting back a cry of anguish, Marty nodded.

* * *

“Oh, c’mon, dude—your pops is the whitest of white,” Terrell said.

“Makes Wonder Bread look like Wesley Snipes,” Dominique chimed in, snickering.

Marty screwed up a corner of his lip, unimpressed. “You’re just jealous you weren’t born with my Hungarian privilege.” He parted the tall, skinny bushes across the street from his house and scoured the area.

“You can keep that shit,” Terrell replied. “Black don’t crack, but pale goes stale.”

“I am black.”

“Man, you light-skinned.”

“Doesn’t that count?” Marty asked, peering into the shadows up and down the street.

“No,” the twins said in unison.

“I’m really starting to hate this path,” Cindy whined from behind the Robinsons, swatting at buzzing mosquitos.

“Same here,” Marty muttered. “But it’s the only route he hasn’t caught onto yet.”

“We are in sixth grade now. Just buck up to him, man,” Dominique said.

Marty wheeled around. “Why don’t you?” He smirked. “Oh, that’s right—you’re always too busy running away like a little bitch. You too, man,” he added, cutting Terrell’s ensuing laughter short.

As Cindy tittered, Marty turned and marched around the bushes, leaving the secret pathway behind. The daily trek took them thirty minutes and was the least efficient route, but it was worth it—whatever it took to evade Tommy. Marty had avoided payment for a month now and wanted to keep it that way. That Monkey Face Leia wasn’t going to buy itself.

They all said their farewells and split, heading for their respective homes.

Marty threw one last look at Cindy as she sauntered away. His dick twitched. Was it the breasts she’d developed last summer? The new hairdo she’d been sporting since the start of the school year? The way she smiled at him, or swatted his bicep when he told corny jokes? He didn’t know, but one thing was certain: as soon as he got in the house, he’d need to lock himself in the bathroom with the titty mag the twins had given him. Again.

He sneaked across the street, darted over his front lawn, rushed up the steps, and snagged the key from his pocket. He inserted it into the deadbolt and paused. What was that?

Another stressed mewling pierced the quiet neighborhood.

Is that . . .?

The squalling alarm blared again, emanating from the back yard.

His eyes widened. Princess!

He hopped off the side of the porch and ran toward the heart-wrenching wail. He rounded the corner of the house. Icy mortification froze his innards, and he halted midstride. His bookbag slumped off his shoulder and dangled at his side.

At the center of the lawn, his tormentor knelt, holding his dear Maine Coon by the scruff of her neck. The feline twisted and spat. Her eyes were dilated to the size of bouncy balls, and white froth oozed from her lips and beaded her whiskers. Undeterred, the ever-growing bully gripped her tight, keeping her from flailing out of his grasp.

He clutched a sturdy, gnarled twig in his other hand, its tip buried in the cat’s butthole.

Tommy spied Marty. His cruel grin contorted into something more sinister. “Heya, pussy,” he said, ramming the stick deeper. Princess yowled in distress, again wriggling to break free. Pinkness tainted the tuft of hair surrounding the entry point.

Urine trickled out of Marty.

“Saw her roaming around out front and figured she was yours. Guess I was right, huh?” Tommy yanked the wood out of the Coon and released her. Princess jetted off in a blur, trilling and hissing.

Tommy stood and stomped toward Marty. When an arm’s length away, he whipped the stick up, pointing it at the trembling tween. Shit and blood sluiced off it and speckled Marty’s glasses. “I expect twenty bucks Monday, or I’ll be coming back—this time, for you. Bitch.” He tossed the twig to the ground and walked past, ramming his shoulder into the stunned Marty as he went.

Minutes passed before Marty felt safe enough to move.

Trembling, he fell to his knees and sobbed.

Read More . . .

Want more? Here’s the link to the ebook, on sale for 99 cents now through 11:59 p.m. (Pacific) on August 4, 2020. Enjoy.

Bits ‘n’ Pieces: A Collection of Horror Shorts, Drabbles, and Dark Poetry

Still haven’t joined the war? The Human-Undead War Trilogy is also up for grabs for a penny shy of a buck each. Hop into the trenches and discover badass vampires anew.

The Human-Undead War I: Dark Intentions
The Human-Undead War II: Patriarch
The Human-Undead War III: A Kingdom’s Fall

And last but not least, if you do purchase and read any of my work, please consider leaving an honest review (bad, good, or great) on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Your feedback fuels me.

Later, sickos!

JO