Saturday, May 19, 2012
Hexes and Tooth Decay by Nancy Fulda
When you were a child and still naïve enough to suspect anyone other than your parents took your freshly shed baby teeth in exchange for some monetary reward, did you lay awake at night and hope to catch a glimmer of the mystical tooth fairy? Like most children, did you picture a beautiful woman? Or,like me, did you picture some sort of shadowy figure that made necklaces out of said teeth? Well, Nancy Fulda provides a delightfully entertaining alternative to either imaginings. "Hexes and Tooth Decay" is a short story, which is a type of story I seldom review. After all, many of the grading criteria for short stories differ dramatically from full length novels. In fact, I’ve always been under the impression (based on my personal trouble in writing them) that short stories are much more difficult to write. I’ve always been a deceptively quiet person when it comes to human interactions. Contrariwise, when I write I tend to positively verbose (sometimes to the detriment of what I’m writing). Therefor, short stories have often proven to be very difficult things to accomplish. Unlike a regular novel, words can’t be wasted(though one would hope that no author would actually write scenes just to fill up space it does—unfortunately—happen). Short stories must use their limited words to contribute 100% to telling the story at hand. And the story—while not as long and epic as a novel length tale—must be intriguing enough to fill a set number of pages while at the same time be written well enough to leave readers with a sense of finality. "Hexes and Tooth Decay" is a fun example of this. This isn’t a serious story, nor does it provoke any strong emotions. It is simply a fun tale and an interesting twist on a popular fable. This story is perfect for a quick read before bed or for a palate cleanser between heavier stories. There isn’t much more to say, as it is only six pages. But it is a whimsical six pages and there is no reason why anyone with a kindle or a phone that supports the kindle app shouldn’t spend a minute or two on this cute little tale--because it's free!