The room smelled vaguely antiseptic, and the only sound was the clink, clink of teeth falling into an enamel dish.
“There. All done.”
The dentist pulled off his mask and smiled down at the now toothless three-year-old in his chair.
“No more toothache now.”
He reached in his pocket and pulled out a shiny sixpence.
“That’s for being a brave girl.”
When the child and her mother left, hand-in-hand, his assistant grinned wolfishly.
“That’s a hundred this month. One more month like this and the tooth fairy will owe us enough to buy our own practice.”