Little Dead Riding Hood

Prompt Day #357: Your character plays with a corpse like a puppet. Or works the strings of a macabre marionette.

I’m going to skip all over the place with these last few prompts. I have to do what time permits. So bear with me, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Should we go towards it?

Little Dead Riding Hood

                Once upon a time there lived in the wood, about a league from the village, a sweet little old woman. Her cottage sat beneath three large oak trees and just beyond that were three nut trees. A sly wolf enjoyed the nuts that fell from the old woman’s tree and could be frequently seen gathering the nuts to make a stew for his dinner.

Each day the wolf would peek inside the cottage to see what the old woman was up to. She would often be up and about sewing a red velvet cape for her granddaughter or baking something scrumptious for them to eat when the little girl came to visit.

“I bet that plump old woman tastes mighty sweet” the wolf thought and tried to imagine a way to sneak inside her house to eat her all up.

Time passed and the woman grew older and weaker. Her eye sight was not what it had once been and she could no longer sew pretty clothes for her granddaughter or bake delicious pastries for them to enjoy with their tea.

“I need help in my old age.” She said and sent word to her daughter at once to send Red Riding Hood (for that is what she was called after wearing the beautiful red velvet cloak her grandmother made her.) to help nurse her back to health. The clever wolf heard that Red Riding Hood would soon be on her way to her grandmother’s house and he devised a plan.

The wolf lingered in the wood, waiting for Red Riding Hood to come along with her basket of goodies for her grandmother. Soon enough, his patience was rewarded by the singing and skipping steps of a little girl wearing a red velvet cape.

“Well, hello there, pretty little girl” said the sneaky wolf “Might I say that red is a lovely color on you!”

“Hello to you sir, and thank you kindly.” Said the girl who had been taught proper manners.

“Wherever are you off to through this dark wood and all alone?” he asked her.

“Why, I am off to my dear, sweet grandmother’s house. She has grown old and nearly blind. She cannot take care of herself. I am bringing her bread and cheese and this lovely yarn with which I will knit her a nice warm blanket. I will stay with her and nurse her back to health.” The sweet, yet clearly naïve little girl explained.

“Well, then, please let me accompany you on your journey so I can be assured that you arrive safely.” Lied the wolf.

“Thank you, Mr. Wolf. It would be lovely to have company in this scary wood.” She responded

“Please,” said the wolf, “Ladies first” As soon as Red stepped in front of him, He pounced. He bit through the back of her neck severing her spinal cord with his sharp wolfy teeth. Blood poured down her back staining the faded red velvet cloak, giving it life once again. Good thought the wolf, the grandmother will never notice the blood stains on the red cape. He pulled the hood back up onto her head to hide the gaping wound left by the chunk of her he’d just tasted.

“Perfect” said the wolf and got to work with the yarn in the basket.

Later that evening, there was a knock at the old woman’s door.

“Who is it?” she called out weakly.

“It’s me, your granddaughter, Red Riding Hood.” Said the wolf in a ridiculous falsetto.

“Come in, Child,” the old woman who must have been as deaf as she was blind called out. “I am far too weak to stand and open the door both.”

The door creaked open slowly and the woman watched as her granddaughter walked through in strange, jerky and somewhat spastic steps. She was followed through the door by some large monstrous thing

“Granddaughter! What is that large dark shape behind you?” The Grandmother asked

“Why that is nothing but my shadow, looking large because of my lovely cape.” Said a high pitched growly voice. The old woman thought that puberty was not being kind to her once lovely grandchild. The girl ambled closer with her loose marching ramble.

“And Granddaughter! Why do you wriggle and wobble so?” The old woman asked.

“I must admit, Grandmother, that Mother sent you a bottle of wine that I drank all up on my way here.” Red said. She brought both arms up, wrists drooping, and seemed to let them float along in the breeze as she stepped unsteadily towards her grandmother.

“Granddaughter! Why do you hold your arms out so strangely like Frankenstein’s monster?” The old woman asked.

“Because I am dead like him!” The wolf shouted and tossed the corpse marionette onto her grandmother’s body, thereby pinning the old woman down on the bed. With that the wolf leaped on top of the body pile and commenced to devour them both.

That night, the wolf sprawled out fat and satiated on the grandmother’s bed. He fell into a deep food-induced sleep. But as he slept the strings he’d tied to Red Riding Hood tangled in knots inside his belly, rolled into a ball in his small intestine that lodged itself firmly in the corner of his colon. There it festered, blocking all forward movement and eventually the wolf died in excruciating pain from a ruptured bowel and subsequent peritonitis.

For gluttony is a sin, dear children, and will not be tolerated. Not even in fairy tales.