Sweet Tooth

You’ve been getting a little too mysterious and morose over the last few months—receiving weird packages in the mail, keeping old salad dressing bottles under the bed. I find you up late one night, doing who-knows-what on the roof.

Fiction by Mar Ovsheid
Artwork by Katy Somerville

Sweet Tooth

You’ve been getting a little too mysterious and morose over the last few months—receiving weird packages in the mail, keeping old salad dressing bottles under the bed. I find you up late one night, doing who-knows-what on the roof.

“You left the window open. It’s freezing.” I yell from the sill.

“Sorry. I’ll be down in a bit.” You’re holding something dagger-shaped in your hand.

“Have you seen Bamble?”


Bamble, my cat, doesn’t show up the next morning. Or for the next week. He’s still missing when the month ends, vanished into the night, gone. One sunny winter morning, I finally boot you out the back door.

“Please forgive me.”

“No.” I say. 

“I’ll make it up to you. You aren’t thinking this through.” It’s a no, again, and I toss a handful of Lost Cat flyers after you. 

“Go live in a cave.” I scold from the porch. “Come back when you’ve found Bamble.”

You do as you’re told and stay away, cast off into the February cold.

I receive the heart-shaped box of designer chocolates a few days after Valentine’s and read the note attached to the yellow ribbon around the box.

Please forgive me


I drop the parcel onto my desk and stare at it conflictedly before popping the lid to reveal ten tiny chocolates. You’ve written over the identification guide with a marker, crossing all the flavors out.

Eat in order. Don’t skip or give up. 

Each candy is labeled with a number and a scribbled heart. I remove the delicate wrapper and pop Number One ♥ into my mouth. 

“Oh wow.” 

The taste, texture and sensation are incomparable, the melty shell revealing hidden layers of cocoa and caramel. I read the little note hidden under Number One ♥.

I’ve been studying edibles preparation for a while. Enjoy.

I swallow Number Two ♥ without hesitation, begin to choke, and cough up a thick cloud of charcoal. A muddy mixture of chocolate and black dust sullies my clean desk.

“What the fuck.” 

I rip the paper cup from beneath Number Three ♥, shove it into my face, and exhale as flavorful relief rolls across my tongue.

“Asshole.” I use my sleeve to wipe away the puddles of charcoal powder. “You knew I’d fall for that.”

After the bitter flavor of Number Four ♥ sets my stomach off, I take a break to open up the rest of my mail.

“Bills.” Throw it in the trash.

“Flyers.” They all go in the garbage. My crumpled paper projectiles miss the can more and more often. My eyes are heavy and sore.

“I must not’ve slept good last night.” I sway in my seat and almost topple over before falling onto my desk and resting my elbows. I wake myself from a drooling trance to pick up Number Five ♥ and read the tiny note scribbled underneath. 


“How’m I s’posed to know?”  Number Five ♥ tastes pasty, like flu medicine mixed with chalk. It lands in my stomach like a brick of battery acid and draws out an agonized moan when I realize I’m only halfway through the box. I’m about to close the lid when your words catch my eye. Don’t give up.

Numbers Six ♥ and Seven ♥ are duplicates of One ♥ and Three ♥. Absolute delight. The mysterious, likely medicinal, contents of Numbers Four and Five ♥ begin to counteract one another and the room simultaneously spins and sinks. I’m too nauseous to enjoy Number Eight ♥, my flickering eyes unable to focus long enough to read your description, but I push through and pray that its oozy red filling is something savory and cherry-flavored.

I’m still leaning over my desk when I crunch down on Number 9 ♥, bite my tongue, and nearly break a tooth.


I spit out the candy and lazily examine the incisor that you’ve hidden inside. I’m too faint to care, too bewildered and overwhelmed and out-of-it to question whose tooth this is. Plus, I’ve reached the finish line and cleverly use a pen to carefully split Number 10 ♥ in half. I can barely make out your horrible handwriting. 

Did you learn to think things through?

I smash the heart-shaped box with my fist and push it to the floor where I stomp it with my bare foot. I squint at the candy’s tiny white stow-away— not a dice. Not another tooth. 


I’m too sick and miserable to investigate. I pick up a dirty old sock, nestle the egg inside, and fall asleep on the floor. I don’t dream of anything and wake up shaking and cold, roused by a strange noise in the kitchen.

Meeee. Meeeee.” The muffled cries open my eyes to the early morning light. I wince, roll over, stand, and spy the cracked egg. 

“I must’ve broken it by accident.” I shrug and seek the source of the sound. 

Meeee. Meeee.

I round the corner and see my lost cat sitting on the windowsill. 


I beam as he hops down to the floor and circles me, demanding to be fed. He’s covered in a translucent goo that sticks to my pants as he rubs against my legs. 

“Where have you been?” I pick my friend up and feel how light he is. “You must be starving. Come on.” As I set him back down, I notice he looks smaller than I remember. I wash the film of Bamble-slime from my hands as he eats an entire cereal bowl of wet food. 

I’m distractedly staring at the smashed box of chocolates when I hear him start to retch. 

“Oh, I’m sorry, honey. That was probably too much.”

I prepare a wad of paper towels for the clean-up and wait until he’s finished puking up his meal. Kneeling over the pile of vomit, I notice a tiny slip of paper and pick it out, flatten it, and read.

Eggs-istence means nothing without you. Forgive me? Call me?

About the Author

Mar Ovsheid is a spoilsport who tragically dropped, and lost, her sea monkeys in the carpet as a kid. Her work has been featured in Roi Fainéant Press, Los Suelos, Mulberry Literary, and oranges journal, among others. Mar works as a housekeeper and is visible on Instagram.

About the Artist

Katy Somerville was beamed into existence on a Monday night in the mid-eighties by stars, glitter, and a glorious Italian woman from a long line of very strong women. In the present timeline, she likes to drink coffee, pat any animal that will engage with her, make collages, and spend time laughing and finding moments of joy wherever she can with her partner and her goofy, lanky dog.

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