|Red As Blood, My Dear
Author: Underlined Twice PM
A darker look at what might have happened after the huntsman saved Red Riding Hood from the wolf.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Fantasy - Words: 554 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 6 - Published: 10-19-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3204835
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Once upon a time . . .
No one was sure how it happened. The huntsman told a daring story of danger and rescue while his child bride said not a word. She had survived where her grandmother had not. She was young and strong. She would survive it.
They were married within a fortnight. It was the wedding of a hero and his damsel. The bride was silent in her mockery of a white dress. It should have been red. Red as the cloak she watched burn in the flames. Red as the innocence she lost that night. Red as the eyes of her chosen lover. Her betrothed knew nothing.
Let him remain a fool. Let him assume what he wants about the lives inside her. Eight months is not uncommon for two. No one was the wiser. Let him imagine a resemblance to the first. Let him realize by the second. He now knew the truth. He promised to help her forget this, be it with axe or water. But he did not understand. She wanted them. She loved them. She loved him. She had his cubs.
The second could not stay. It too closely resembled its father. The villagers would find out. But she wouldn't be parted from it. She searched high and low for a sorceress with a solution. All seemed lost, but then she found it. A witch to teach him how to fit in. His older sister needed no such help, but she did not hold their father's form. He was gone for weeks at a time with the witch-woman, learning the ways of the pack. Before five years were out, he could walk the line between both worlds with ease.
Another ten years went by, the huntsman fell in a tragic hunting accident when he and his fellows tried to take game from a pack of wolves. It was then that she spoke. When she was informed of her new widowhood, she looked at the men straight in the eye and said, "Good."
She spent several long weeks making a new red cloak for her daughter. She presented it to the girl with unspoken expectations. It was made with sweat, washed in tears and dyed with blood. The girl was to be and have everything her mother was denied. It was her time.
Her brother gave her acceptance into all packs, even though she could not take their form. With this came an understanding of their speech and a lifelong protection. To show this, the girl was presented with a ruby ring, as red as blood and just as dangerous.
With her cloak and ring, the mother took the girl and her brother to their father's grave. The first tomb was decorated with flowers and offerings of the villagers. Laid in the fresh dirt was the axe that felled their true father. The girl picked it up, and with a graceful breeze, crushed the tombstone to insignificant pieces of rock. The brother went into the forest to his pack. The girl disappeared through the mountains. The mother died shortly after.
It is still said that when the stones are silent and the wind is angry, a figure in red is seen haunting the mountain peaks with an axe made of ice and a heart of iron.