Red }}ï{{ A Camp Rock Fable

"Little Red Riding Hood was my first love…

If I had been able to marry her,

I would have known perfect happiness."

-- Charles Dickens

Mitchie woke up on the forest floor, damp leaves making imprints on the back of her arms. She sat up slowly, blinking. Disoriented. The sky was dark—black patches peeking through a canopy of trees. What am I doing here?

She sifted through her memories, laying them out in sequence. It would be hard to forget yesterday—pretty much the worst day of her life. And no, she wasn't just being dramatic. The day marked new depths in personal humiliation. Shane hated her with a passion that hurt to describe. Her mom couldn't even look her in the eye. She'd disappointed everyone that mattered—including herself. Her last memory was of Caitlyn trying to comfort her. She'd gone to sleep in the uncomfortable silence of her cabin, hot tears soaking into the pillows.

Mitchie shook her head, trying not to succumb to a crippling bout of self-pity. None of the things she remembered, true though they were, explained how she ended up out here—so deep in the forest that she couldn't even make out light from Camp. She stood up, brushing off the layer of dirt and grass that clung to her cloak. Wait, when did I get a cloak? She looked down, surveying her attire more closely—a blood red hooded cloak, straight out of a fairy tale, over a blue plaid dress, the hem coming just below her knee. The skirt's fabric was scratchy against her skin. Do they even make clothes like these anymore?

Mitchie surveyed her surroundings—trees, bushes, and moss covered rocks. She narrowed her eyes. This seemed less and less like the woods surrounding Camp Rock. For one thing, she didn't recognize the trees. And it was cold—not the weather of an East Coast summer.

Then it occurred to her. Is this some kind of sick joke? One of Tess' sadistic plots to drive her beyond mere humiliation and into complete mental breakdown? She almost believed it, because at least that would make sense. But Tess' tactics were usually more straight forward. Plus, Tess never missed an opportunity to gloat. She wouldn't be hiding in the bushes, she'd be out in the open—pointing and laughing.

A wicker basket lay toppled over, a few feet from her. She bent down to pick it up. Inside, wrapped in a checkered cloth was two small loaves of bread, a turkey leg, and a milk jug. Odd choice of food for a picnic. A small folded piece of paper rested on top of the bread. Mitchie unfurled the note, straining her eyes to read it in the dim light of dawn.


The meat and cookies are for granny. Do not eat them. You can have one biscuit and half the jug of milk.



Okay. Mitchie had been hoping for something more along the lines of 'ha ha, jokes on you. Let's head back to camp for smores and pillow fights.' Apparently that was too much to ask for.

She knew whoever wrote the note, it wasn't her mother. Maybe if the basket had empanadas and a tamale, but even then, Mitchie couldn't really imagine her mom referring to her as 'child.' One thing was certain, she wasn't going to get answers standing around.

Swallowing, she put the note back in the basket and made her way into (or out of?) the heart of the forest—meandering around bushes and trees—hoping to find a path. She gripped the cloak around her tightly, pulling the hood over her head.

"None of it means anything unless people see who you really are." That's what Shane had said, towering over her as she crouched beneath the dance studio window, his face showing barely concealed disgust. But what is that supposed to mean? How do you show everyone who you are, when you don't even know yourself?

Mitchie rubbed her temples, trying to soothe the tension in her head. She knew for certain now that she was no longer at camp. No matter where you were at Camp Rock, if you walked in a straight line, you'd hit a highway in under thirty minutes. She'd been walking for over an hour. Maybe longer than that.

There wasn't much light in the forest, but she'd adjusted to the darkness. Coming down a small hill, she stumbled upon a blueberry bush—its leaves stained purple with juice. Mitchie picked the fruit like a little bird, leaving almost nothing on the branches, plopping each blue mound directly on her tongue. The last five she dropped in her milk jug and shook the canister. It wasn't quite Jamba Juice, but it was better than nothing.

A rustling of leaves.

Mitchie turned her head towards the sound. Her heart beat in her chest. Thu-thump, thu-thump. It's amazing how one minute being alone seems like the worst thing in the universe and then –flip— you realize it might be better than the alternative. "Hello?"

She heard a kind of whimpering noise, a high pitched note of pain. Mitchie approached it.

A gray wolf lay crouched on the ground, its paw locked in a jagged steel trap. Mitchie had never been particularly good with animals. Even her fish disliked her. But she couldn't stand seeing an animal in pain. She'd had to rescue a bird once from Coco-loco, the neighbor's tom cat. It had been a messy affair (she had scratches to prove it). But the bird had got away, mostly uninjured.

Mitchie inched toward him, her skirt rustling against stray branches.

Nervous, the wolf bared his teeth, growling steadily.

"All I want to do is help, ok? Don't eat me."

She took a step forward and the wolf yelped, assuming a defensive position. He was shaking—either in fear or pain.

Mitchie winced. Oddly enough, she thought of something her mom used to say when she was a kid. "Sing a song, it'll make it better." If her parents wondered about her obsession with music, they shouldn't have. It was partly their fault. But what would mom say to approaching a possibly rabid wolf-dog with teeth the size of Texas?

Mitchie took a deep breath and kneeled down to the same level of the wolf. She smiled awkwardly. How lame is it to be embarrassed to sing in front of a wolf? I'm so pathetic. After a deep breath, she voiced the words of the first song to come to mind, the melody coming out an almost-whisper. "I wish I could bubble wrap my heart..." She crawled forward "…in case I fall and break apart."

The wolf blinked, mesmerized (or perhaps confused; you would be too if you were him).

"But I know you hurt the people that you love and those who care for you…" Mitchie stopped crawling when she was less than a foot in front of him, well within biting range. Mumble, mumble. She chucked nervously, her own hands shaking, as she reached out to inspect the trap. "Would you believe I can't remember the words?

Surprisingly, the wolf stayed calm. He looked at her with doe eyes, silently pleading to make the hurt stop.

She held his paw in her hands, gentling feeling along the line where the teeth of the trap dug into flesh. What kind of bastard puts out traps like these? Hot tears formed in her line of vision and she blinked them away. She tried to push away all the anger she felt, so the wolf didn't feel threatened. With a quick intake of breath, she readied herself to remove the metal snare. It wasn't going to be pretty. One. Two. –Snap!– She pulled the teeth apart.

The wolf didn't miss a beat, using the opportunity to jump backwards—completely free of the trap. He turned to look back at her and then sauntered away limping and afraid.

"Huh. That's gratitude for 'ya."


When it started to get cold again Mitchie realized she might need to find shelter for the night. It hadn't occurred to her before. She assumed people would be looking for her, or that she'd find some sign of civilization and call for a cab. But then she came to the base of a mountain, completely white with snow. There was no place in her entire state with even a hint of snow in July. Wherever she was, she was far far away from home.

"Well aren't you a pretty little thing."

Mitchie felt the blood drain from her face. She turned to meet the voice, her red hood falling from her head as she did. "Who are you?"

He smiled and Mitchie felt the skin on the back of her neck prickle. He was close to two feet taller than her and bearded. "Just a local woodsman, looking out for little girls." He stepped closer. She backed up.

"I'm not a little girl." She pulled her cloak around her tightly.

He chuckled. "A little girl with big eyes."

Mitchie scanned her surroundings for something sharp. She noticed the knife tied to his belt and looked away. Backing up had been a bad idea. He'd cornered her into a tree.

"What red lips you have," he said, moving closer, eying her mouth. He smelled of tobacco and cardamom.

She wanted to throw up, but swallowed instead, her throat burning. Somehow she didn't think breaking into song was going to work with this problem and she remembered something else her mom had told her. When it comes down to it, people are always more dangerous than animals.

to be continued…

Note: Well here it is--my very first Camp Rock story! It's pretty weird, I know. o_0 Sorry if anyone is seriously creeped out by the last bit. It'll get better, but true fairy tales tend to cross paths with evil. But (at least in my world) young girls always come out victorious.

Thanks very much to suburbs for beta-ing this. I appreciate your encouragement very much.

Let me know what you think so far. All thoughts--random or not--help me. I'm such a procrastinator, but proddings in the form reviews are great motivators.