words Alicia Hancock
The silence of the wood was eerie, but what was eerier was the glimpse of a blood-red cape you could catch every so often between the trees, you never saw the wearer, but they were short, and holding something that glinted in the soft moonlight. Their footsteps were inaudible, as they crept through the undergrowth, seeking out their prey. You’d heard people talking in town today about the red hood. “Silent and deadly,” they said, “they’re on a hunt for the wolf,” they said. You hadn’t taken much heed to their warnings, and besides, you had to get to your granny’s house, there was no other path you could take. Now you sit as still as possible, hoping against hope they don’t see you hiding.
There it is again! The swoosh of red, and the shimmer of a silver blade. But wait! There is something else, a streak of grey, fur? Maybe. You watch with wide eyes and find yourself covering your mouth to keep from yelling out, as the hood darts forward and the wolf cries out in pain. The sound is the worst part by far, you can hear every movement of the knife, slashing, tearing into the animal without mercy, as it screams in agony. You think you hear a bone break, but you can’t be sure, maybe it was just a branch, you tell yourself, maybe it was just a branch. Eventually, the wolf’s cries cease. It must be dead. Now is your chance to run, you stand up slowly, still trying to keep as quiet as possible, and take a few careful steps away from the scene. Not careful enough. SNAP! The hood turns, and underneath it, you see the last thing you expected. A child. A little girl. With blood splattered on her face, and down her front.
And she is smiling.