You know that story, the one about the little girl in the red hood and the big, “bad” wolf?
Yes, that one. The one from the newspaper.
Of course you do, that’s why I’m here, yes?
Well now that you are here, and without much to do, how about I tell you what really happened?
It’s quite a lovely story actually…
“Don’t forget your coat and gloves Rose! It’s freezing outside and your grandmother won’t like it if she sees you without the coat she made you! And be careful! Stay on the main road and don’t try and take the shortcut up the mountain. Remember that guy that was found mauled by a wild animal a few months ago? It’s because he wandered off the beaten path and…Rose?” her mother’s voice trailed off as she figured Rose was no longer listening.
“Rose!” she bellowed.
“I haven’t forgotten mom! And, I won’t, I promise!”
The little girl giggled as she zipped up a beautiful white hooded coat, grabbed her backpack and ran out the front door. Her long raven hair flying around wildly as she ran through pristine snow.
Rose was a precocious girl, probably in her early teens. So young, yet she carried herself with a certain air of confidence and energy that was subtly contagious.
Her energetic jog down the road came to an abrupt end as the fresh mountain snow of the branching trail gave way under her and made her sink down to her knees. Of course the city wasn’t going to shovel snow off these trails. No one ever used them anyway.
And with good reason as well.
Her smile disappeared almost immediately and a quick click of her tongue and a frustrated sigh marked her immediate irritation, but she made no indication of stopping or turning back onto the main road once again.
“This is gonna take forever…” she muttered, and trudged on.
The winding alpine trail quickly became nonexistent and Rose found herself panting and sniffling from the bitter cold. It wasn’t long before she began looking around until she found fallen tree, put down her backpack down and pulled herself up onto it for a rest.
“A very G’mornin’ to you lass!”
Rose shot up from her tree and immediately began looking around as the strangers’ voice echoed through the quiet wilderness. A look of bewilderment and fright flitted across her flush face as her eyes settled on the strangers’ gruff face.
“Oh, terribly sorry miss! Didn’t mean ta frighten you!”
“Forgive me again, miss. My name is Jon, Jonathon Wolfe to be exact.”
A big, warm smile, a deep bow at the waist, and a tip of his hat charmed Rose, who quickly reciprocated with a dainty curtsey.
“I’m Rose” she answered.
“Aye? Rose…lovely name fer a lovely lass. Say, what’s a young lady like yerself doing around these frozen parts?”
“I’m visiting my grandmother’s. Her electricity went out with last nights’ storm and my mother asked if I could take some things to her since she has to babysit today.”
“Aye? You mean the cottage at the top of the mountain? All alone? I don’t think ye should lass. Could be right dangerous.”
Rose shrugged as she nodded her head as she fiddled impatiently with her coat hood.
“Well ‘en, don’t let me keep ya gran waiting any longer. This ‘ole Wolfs’ gotta hunt around for tonight’s dinner. An say, that’s a right lovely white coat!”
“Thank you! It was a gift from my grandmom!” She beamed as she turned and sat back down on her tree.
And with that the stranger turned, and disappeared up the mountain.
It took an hour or so for Rose to finally reach her grandmother’s home. She dragged herself up the front stairs and knocked on the door a few times before noticing that the front door was open.
“Gramma? I’m letting myself in!”
Rose fumbled around for a minute or so downstairs, presumably removing her boots and jacket, before climbing the creaky stairs.
“Gramma, you there? I’ve got some of last night’s dessert and leftovers!”
Her voice became increasingly clearer as she approached her grandmother’s bedroom door. And soon she turned the doorknob and peeked in.
Whatever horror it is she saw showed plainly on the child’s face. Her eyes widened and her shrill voice pierced the silent room. The sight of her grandmother as she lay contorted on her bed must have been to much for her since she turned on her heel immediately and fled down the stairs. The sound of her screaming resonated through the house as she stumbled to the front door, grabbed her coat, and crashed through the screen door.
She forgot her shoes though…she’s not going to make it far without her shoes. Poor child.
Rose continued her frenzied dash through the deep snow, panting and wheezing heavily for several meters before leaning up against a tree to catch her breath and rub her frostbitten toes. Tears began streaming down her face as the reality of the situation seemed to sink into her chest. Rose began crying uncontrollably through the panting until she began coughing from exertion. She tried to keep running but her frozen feet weren’t helping. Mustering up the strength she had she turned and faced the direction of her grandmother’s house.
Our eyes met.
“Y’know lass…yer Grandmother reeeeeally loves ya. I walk in and she immediately calls her darlin’ Rose. Pity the ol’ hag be blind! Wasn’t ‘till the woman grasped my hand that she said, ‘”What rough hands y’ have! Who are you?!’” Haha! “’You aren’t my Rose!’” Heeheehe! -wheeze-cough- Hahaha!
Rose stood there, stupefied, as she continued sobbing and gasping.
“Well ‘en…pity you went and didn’t follow yer mum’s advice. Ya jus’ had to go to yer ole’ Grans’ house through t’e shortcut, Eh?”
That phrase seemed to snap Rose back into reality as she realized what she had done. And what I was about to do.
But I ran faster.
An unlucky stumble on a tree stump sent Rose tumbling, and like a true predator, I soon closed the gap between myself and my prey. A swift thrust of my hunter’s knife deep into the child’s back was all it took. Like grandmother, like grandchild!
She gasped as the knife punctured her left lung and left a gaping hole in her tiny, fragile back. Rose slumped down to her knees before falling onto her side. Almost instantly, the snow around her began burning red with her blood and a silent whimper escaped her lips as she breathed out one last time.
I stood over her lifeless body and watched as her blood soaked her once snow-white coat.
Such a lovely, fiery red!
Such beautiful scarlet flesh!
How the image burns into my eyes time and time again!
The mere thought of what I had once again accomplished sent shivers down my spine as I walked away, satisfied.
And then, a funny thought crossed my mind as I thought of the darling little girl in the bright red hood.
“Ye jus’ had to go an’ befriend ol’ Mister Wolfe. Such a piteous lass! Didn’t yer mother ever teach you not to talk t’ strangers!?”
So? What did ya think? The way it really happened! The truth, uncovered!
Aye! It was me! It was always me!
Hahaha! Hoho! –wheeze-cough-
Well, it be a downright pity that ye didn’t like me story of the lass with the red hood officer. But mind you, I’ll be tellin’ It to everyone in my cell ‘till the day I die.