The word echoes across the whole woods as excitedly as the expression on the young girl who yelled them. They weren’t particularly directed at an individual but the free expanse was just too tempting to her as if it challenged her to proclaim her existence. With that done she gazed up at the powder blue sky, sighed a happy sigh, and moved with her excursion.
You may ask ‘who is this spritely girl?’. Well you see, our young girl is someone no younger than perhaps seven years of age. Her mother regularly asks the young girl to deliver fresh eggs and milk to her grandmother since the journey would only take ‘a moment and several instants’ as her mother put it as this was the only way our protagonist would go.
“Don’t stray from the path.” The girl whispered repetitively.
This chant was a lesson well learned for her as only recently she had a horrible encounter with a fiend like no other. The ‘wolf’ of these woods used to grow with power and preyed on our young girl once upon a time. But that day had come and pass, leaving behind the scars of the event and the blood of her attacker on her head. But you see, she was still so young and naive and believed there was no one as such who could do the same horrible things. But as we’re about to find out, all is not as it seems…
Passing some more ‘several instants’, the girl finally arrived at a bed of flowers to the left of the path that was all too familiar to her. This was the instant she had first strayed from her path. She had been convinced to pick the flowers for her then sick grandmother. But that moment is but passed and the girl grits her teeth and moves on. That is until she heard the snapping of twigs to the right.
Panicked, she snapped in that direction to encounter a woman clothed in a style that haunted her most recent nightmare. Pelts of wolf fur sown and strewn into clothing that couldn’t even compare to the woman’s beautiful face. But it wasn’t the first time she had encountered someone as such, she had to respond carefully.
“Good day, miss”
“My, such a young girl all alone in these woods?” The shrill tone of the woman frightened the girl for good reason. It reminded her of her past encounter.
“I make deliveries to my grandmother down on the farther end of the woods.” She pointed down the long end of the fork road, the direction she had once taken that was supposed to help her arrive home faster. Now she hoped she could use it to deceive the woman.
“Oh! What a lovely young girl you are! And what a beautiful hood you have on.”
“Thank you, miss.” ‘He’ had pointed that out too, she had to remain cautious then.
“Say, you wouldn’t happen to have caught a glimpse of my companion?”
“Your companion?” The girl was caught off guard.
“Oh yes, a large wolf who hasn’t arrived home in a fortnight or so. He has browner fur similar to my hair, has blue eyes, and can stand on his hind legs?” The girl’s eyes widened, there is no way a wolf could stand on his hind legs unless…
“No miss, I haven’t seen him at all.” She responded and calmly as she could
“I see, that wolf has always been causing trouble but he was very dear to me. You should take care that you arrive safely to your grandmother’s house. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to that precious red hood of yours….” The held on to the s as if to signify she knew something unspoken and smiled.
“Thank you, miss.”
The girl waited for the woman to disappear into the woods for several moments and ran down the path to the quickest way to grandmothers home. She breathed heavy with each step but couldn’t stop at the risk of losing her grandmother again. She pounded on the door and hugged the old woman who opened it with fear.
“She’s coming grandmother, the woman wants revenge for the death of the man murdered for our lives.”
The woman’s face contorted to rage at the thought of anyone scaring her little girl and shut the door.
“The Huntsman only visits me when he has caught game but has yet to go hunting today. We shall wait again until then.”
Little did they know the woman was clever and had already arrived shortly after our young girl. With a devious sly grin, she climbed the walls and onto the roof of the house. She wanted revenge for her brother’s death and she was gonna have them pay in kind. Moments would turn to hours, hours would turn nightfall. She would wait that long for the girl to leave the home and then pounce her, making sure her blade drives deep into her so the woman can see that horrified expression so her revenge would play out exactly as she dreamed.
But our heroes learned from their mistakes and already devised a plan for our devious wolf. Grandma had cooked some sausages the day before and had some left over oil. Boiling it in water let out a wonderful meaty scent the wolf could not resist. The young girl would pour the sausage water into the water troth and hope the wolf would fall right in.
“What’s that lovely scent?” The woman cried out.
Following her nose, she continued on to the edge of the roof stopping only at the tip. But her stomach growled and she had to know what that delicious stench was. The wolf leaned closer before, loosening her footing ever so slightly. But it wasn’t enough, she couldn’t see what it was she was smelling. Taking one more step, she lost her footing and fell into the water troth. Before she could get a chance to breathe in fresh air, our young girl placed a lid as so our wolf can’t escape.
“Release me at once!” the wolf commanded into whatever breathing room she had.
“But you aren’t to be trusted.” the girl responded.
The woman banged on the lid as hard as she could but it was no use. The lid must’ve been held down by metal because it wouldn’t budge under her wrath. If she doesn’t drown to death then the coolness of the water will freeze her overnight. A single tear ran down her cheek, her dearest brother’s death may never be avenged if she dies here. In a fit of desperation, she cried out.
“PLEASE! LET ME OUT, I’LL DO ANYTHING!!”
But it seemed to be to no avail. Seconds turned to minutes, minutes to hours, hours seemed to be days. The warm water now a cold soup, cooled her down to the bone. Her eyes began to close but she swore she could see a light and a hand reaching down to her before she gone.
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