I initially published this story the first week I started this blog. It was one of my favourite stories, so when I went back to link to it (which I'm not going to do now), I realized I had done a TERRIBLE job writing it. So, I'm trying again.
In December of 2006, I had the whole family at my house for Christmas. It was the first Christmas after my mother died and I was determined not to let the centre of the family that Mom was turn into a gaping black hole. Since Lyn already lived with me and my dog, Madison, I thought it would be a likely location.
At the time, Ky was still living in the apartment next to Grandma. She and Grandma came down for the Christmas break and Grandma stayed with a friend of hers for a few days while Ky and the dog bunked at our house. Lyn and I had done our best to make the house look like Christmas had thrown up while I had prepared all the food I could and had a list of things to make Christmas complete.
It all went off without a hitch despite me working nights on Christmas Eve. I came home, threw the turkey in to cook and went to sleep for a few hours. The whole gang came over and our family had Christmas. It wasn't the same without Mom, but neither did the world end which is what I feared most. Grandma spent the days with us and then returned to her friend's house for the night where it was "quieter" and had less "chaos". It was a good plan.
The night before she left to head back home, Grandma decided to spend the night in my house. She was going to take the bus home and Ky would follow at a later date in her own car with the dog. I set Grandma up in my bedroom while I would sleep on the old futon I had in the spare room. Grandma settled down with her dog and a good book for the night. She left the door open to her room just in case Davy needed to go out to the bathroom and Grandma didn't hear him.
We all went to bed in our separate rooms and enjoyed the afterglow of Christmas.
The next morning, I woke up to Grandma in a panic. As I lay in my little futon bed, she stood over me toothless dressed only in her pantyhose and a see through blouse. Her hair was sticking up along the one side and she looked more than a little crazed. My sisters both woke up to see what all the fuss was about.
Grandma told us she had brushed her teeth before bed and put them "somewhere". However, she couldn't quite remember where "somewhere" was any more. She looked on all the counters, in the bathroom, in her purse, her makeup kit, her jacket and even her shoes! The teeth were no where to be found.
We started the hunt. We searched the kitchen, the living room, my bedroom, the bathroom, and every other place we could think of.
Grandma was terrified she would be forced to take the bus to North Battleford with no teeth in her mouth. She was sure she would look homeless and crazy and that people would stare. She couldn't go on without teeth!
As we were busy scouring the house, I realized a pair of my underwear was also missing from where I had left them the night before. (Not that these two things should ever be related) It finally made me think about why on earth things were disappearing. Certainly it couldn't be a coincidence. There had to be a culprit.
I was looking at the dog. My dog. A dog thief.
I decided to look at the end of my bed under my blankets. I knew Maddy had been sleeping there with me during the night and that she was prone to wandering. It only made sense.
There, in a tidy pile of stolen goods lay: my underwear, a bone, a chew toy and... Grandma's teeth.
I presented the contraband to Grandma with relief. She would not have to travel on the bus with a toothless grin after all. Grandma looked at me gratefully and said "At least I'm not going crazy."
She proceeded to put her teeth right back in her mouth.