A Red Riding Hood Tale

A Red Riding Hood Tale

A short take on the story of Red Riding Hood - same basic idea, just rewritten. Enjoy and please comment, I'd love to hear some feedback!! (Story Title Image not mine - found it off of Google!)

Chapter 1

The Woods

by: Zero15
The woods were tall and vast... and dark. The eerie trees loomed high above; threatening to all who happened across them - especially when chanced upon once the sun had fallen. Her clammy fingers gripped the handle of her woven basket so tightly she half-feared it might snap. Her small body trembled at the bone-chilling gloom of the dark forest, it wasn't something you could see, but you could feel that there was something maliciously wrong with the woods - almost like an instinctive warning to go no farther. Her bossy old mother had always warned her not to stray by the place alone, most especially at night. It was too dangerous, she said, 'no place for a little girl' she said; her warnings often paired with a sad, nervous smile that looked more like an unhealthy twitch - it had taken Lucy a while to figure out her other meant it as a reassuring gesture.

She took a deep, shaky breath and squeezed her brown eyes shut, fearing what she would see when she mustered up the courage to peel them open. Though the physical scene had not changed, Lucy sensed the impatience in the cool air. Slowly, warily, she took a step forward - half-expecting one of the wicked trees to reach out a sharply curved branch and yank her in, for all the time it took her just to take a single step. She held her breath, yet no such thing occurred. She felt like a coward, though she knew she had good reason to be frightened, people who ventured into said woods had the tendency to never be heard from again, and not to mention all of those nasty rumors about what resided amongst the trees.

Lucy had no desire whatsoever to feel those cursed branched brush her arm, or to know the texture of the crooked bark beneath her fingers, but she had no choice in the matter, so she had donned her warmest, most prized cloak, filled her mother's wooden basket, and left for the terrifying forest. Yest, it was time to pay a visit to her dear grandmother.

Lucy's grandmother was a secluded woman with gray wisps of hair and kind brown eyes. Her skin was papery white and quite wrinkly, for she was old and frail; her time thus far in the world contently spent. Lucy was very fond of her grandmother, and it made her sad that she lived in such a nightmarish place. Nonetheless, her grandmother always seemed happy and surprisingly lively, for a woman her age. Her mother tried to tell Lucy that her grandmother wouldn't be around forever, that even though she wore a smile and laughed whole-heartedly, she was old and her aged body wouldn't always be able to keep up with her youthful mind. Hearing this upset Lucy, and she always stormed off or found a good reason to go off some place where her mother and her tales of woe were not.

People in the village feared the woods, and, for the first time in her short life, Lucy heard them talk of the old lady who lived there. Oh, how they talked! They called Lucy's sweet, harmless grandmother a witch, of all things! And then they said, if she wasn't an evil witch, then she was crazy, because only crazy people went willingly into the treacherous forest. Well, Lucy knew she, herself, wasn't crazy, and she had plenty of friends in the village to vouch for her. Here she was, a sane, non-crazy person, about to willingly go into the woods. Then they couldn't say only crazy people went willingly into the woods, because it wouldn't be true! And Lucy would bring her grandmother into the village and everyone who met the old woman would know she was too kind to be a witch, and they would all apologize for ever thinking so in the first place.

It was easier said than done.

Lucy craned her neck as far back as it would go, and she still could not see the top of the trees, even though she was standing inches away from one of the ugliest tree trunks she had ever had the misfortune to glance upon. A few more steps and she would be inside the forest, how brave and courageous everyone would think her! She gulped nervously, she could just run back home and no one would have to know anything. Her bed sure seemed a whole lot more welcoming than the trees. No, she had to prove to everyone that her grandmother was the kindest person and had the biggest heart, and gave the best of hugs.

All was silent as she let the trees engulf her, they were everywhere but the marked path, made by the huntsman years ago. She held her wooden basket in front of her, using two hands to carry it, though all she needed was one. The hood on her cloak was drawn and she made sure to keep her eyes strictly on the path ahead. This was not Lucy's first journey through the woods, though it was her first journey alone, and her mother always warned her to never, ever, stray from the path. It was far too easy to get lost in the army of tree trunks and limb-like branches.

Scarcely a sound was made, other than Lucy's soft, careful footsteps and shy breathing, yet even so her heart pounded more ferociously with every step. How long she had been walking, she did not know, it felt like days, years since she had sneaked out her back door. She barely felt the earth beneath her feet, for Lucy focused intently on her eyes and ears, looking and listening for signs of danger, and worrying what she'd do if she found one.

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