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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

“All Red” by Elliot McClintock


In three days it will have been ten years since she was eaten by and cut out of the wolf. The story was well known throughout the town, the little girl who strayed off the path and was tricked and eaten by the wolf, only to be saved by the huntsman at the last minute. This, however, was not her story. For you see, Red did not want to be saved from the wolf. The villagers will say that the wolf tricked and took advantage of her in her young age, after all she was only eight years old when it happened. Little did they know that the wolf was her friend, he spoke sweet words to her and listened to her replies. He made her feel heard. 

Red’s family was strange, her father was traveling almost all the time, she barely knew him. Her mother was home with her but she was absent, she never seemed to be all the way there, always dreaming of another life far away. They were not poor, but Red began to suspect that was because a lot of the villagers pitied her and her lonely mother who sold herself to keep them living comfortably. Everyone in the town knew that her mother had been cheating on her father with the woodsman, including Red, and she despised him. 

That fateful day in the woods, when Red talked to the wolf and told him of her grandmother’s deteriorating condition, of how she hated to see her in pain, of how it reminded her of the neverending pain she felt herself. He had a solution of course, he would save both of them, put them both out of their misery. Red was delighted by this plan, she told the wolf where her grandmother lived and how to get in. When she found the wolf in her grandma’s clothes she laughed and played along. 

And then it was over, she joined her grandmother in the darkness of eternity, forever, or so she thought. Red regained consciousness just in time to see the woodsman finish off her only friend and damn her to live. 

That day planted a seed in Red, a seed that would be watered by the consistent neglect, bullying, and sexual abuse that would take place as her body grew and developed. The seed grew and its vines wrapped around Red, pulling tighter and tighter, sinking its thorns into her head and filling it with thoughts of revenge. When she closed her eyes all she could see was her only friend being chopped apart alive. The yowling shriek filled the empty room as it replayed in her head. He had to feel the pain he caused. He had to pay.

It had been weeks since he paid her a visit in the dead of night after her mother was fast asleep. However tonight she heard the floorboards creak under his weight and the little click of the lock after he shut the door. She had been planning this for years.

“So sweet, sleepy little red.” His whisper blew into her ear and sent a shiver down her spine. All she felt now was determination. As he reached his hand over her she twisted, slamming her knife into his diaphragm and dragging it to his waist line. He dropped to his knees, gutted, literally. Reaching a hand towards her a terrible rasp exploded from his throat. It was so loud she thought the whole town surely heard it. Her ears burned with her cheeks, her vision flashed red. Silence fell. The huntsman lay dead in front of her. A peaceful numbness spread through her body. Finally. She had done it. Finally she had gotten her revenge. 

Red grabbed her hooded cloak. It now had a striped appearance as she had sewn on more fabric as she grew. Barefoot she walked through the town for the last time. 

As she entered the woods they swallowed her. She walked for miles without stopping, almost as if she didn’t feel the rocks and stick stabbing her feet, or the thorns that grabbed and pulled at her skin and clothes. With one blink she was at her grandmother’s house. Her breath got caught in her throat. 

Could he possibly be inside? Did he come back for me? She ran to the house and stopped at the door. What if he wasn’t there? She didn’t know if she could handle that. 

Twisting the door knob the door opened with a creak. Dust flew around the room from the disturbance. No one had been here for a while. A tear sprang to her eye as she turned the corner. There lay his body, or what was left. They didn’t even bury him, they just left him to rot in an abandoned cabin. Rage boiled in her blood, but cool fur ran across her leg, pulling her back. 

He’s here. He looked younger, and not quite fully there, almost transparent. 

“You came back for me,.” hHe said, a genuine kind smile spread across his face. 

“Of course I came back,” her voice wavered, “I’ll always come back for you.”

“Then come join me,” He reached out an ice cold paw, “come be with me forever. It’ll be easy, painless, in fact you won’t feel any pain ever again.” At this Red grabbed his paw. She knew what she had to do. She went to her grandmother’s bedroom, it wasn’t hard for her to find her medicine, she was so senile in the end she barely hid it. After looking at the warning label Red knew it would work. Sitting next to the corpse of her only friend she downed the bottle. Curling up with his bones and drifting into the void. 

Finally, peace.

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