Lilia Snowfield Anderson

            Perla had been a maid in the same house for eleven years when she got her new teeth. Her siblings had a hard time adjusting.
            “What was wrong with your mouth before?” her brother Cedric grumbled, a toddler bouncing on his good knee as he rubbed the bad one. The conversation only lingered on her new teeth for a moment, quickly returning to its typical route. They discussed the lack of available work in the city, the upcoming anniversary of their brother’s death, and whether or not Perla could spare a few dollars to replace Cedric’s daughter’s tattered shoes. She silently reached into her purse and grabbed a small, pristinely paperclipped stack of bills.
            Later that evening, Perla reflected on her brother’s words. She had never thought much about her former teeth, choosing instead to lament over her wispy hair or her flat chest. She actually recalled a young man in the neighborhood complimenting her smile once , referring to her teeth as little clouds. After she had tidied her minuscule apartment and had her dinner of bread and boiled carrots, she decided to examine herself in her little mirror. She opened her mouth.
            The teeth were certainly white. Only on rare occasions had she seen a shade so bright, as most of the neighborhood’s sheets, painted buildings, and even wedding gowns were muted by smoke, dirt and time. She lightly grazed her fingers over the delicate objects, shuddering slightly.
            The next morning, she actively tried not to think about the teeth and how foreign they were beginning to feel in her mouth. When she arrived to work and grabbed her apron, she tried not to wonder how many shades darker the white cloth was compared to her new smile. As she adjusted her bun and prepared to start her shift, she felt hot breath on the back of her neck.
            “How is my latest investment?”
            Perla spun around quickly, despite the fact that she knew who it was. Mr. Jones kissed her briefly before gently grabbing her face and opening her mouth.
            “They’re perfect,” he said, swatting her on the backside before smiling and walking away.

Lilia Snowfield Anderson was named after a great-uncle she never met. Bartending shifts consume her nights, her debut novel draft consumes her days, and sitcom re-runs, good books and latin music consume the in-between times. She bounces around Central Minnesota, accompanied by the magically real. She can be found at @liliaandersonwriting on Instagram and @liliasnowfield on Twitter. Her ko-fi is liliaanderson.