Red!

byMichael142©

I based this story loosely on "Little Red Riding Hood" by Charles Perrault, published in 1697. This is a completely original story, but does use characters suggested by Mr. Perrault.

In a late seventeenth century English village, the average life expectancy was about Thirty-six years of age (likely due to lack of modern medical cures, and higher child mortality rates). That means that young girls of fourteen would be of legal age to marry.

However, all characters in this story are eighteen years of age or older so that I may share this story with you on this site. Let's see what happens...

*****

Once upon a time...

...Actually, around the year 1697, there lived a young girl named Angelina. She lived with her Mother in a tiny cottage, near the edge of the wood, in a small but prosperous English village. Angelina was pretty with soft blond hair, clear blue eyes, and a slight figure for her eighteen years. Yes, she was eighteen but has just recently come of age. She was well-liked in the village, and known for her pleasant and helpful nature. The villagers also knew her for the scarlet-hooded cloak she has always worn since childhood on trips outside the village, and sometimes wears when visiting neighbors in the village.

For her sixth birthday, her Mother bought her a red-hooded cloak a size or two too large for her small frame, and it covered her from head to toe. Lately, the cloak extends only to about her knees... or maybe just slightly below. Because of the color of her favorite garment, most of the villagers have taken to simply calling her "Red."

Red had friends among the other girls of the village, and most were her age, or just a little older, and of "marriageable" age. Red was beginning to think that it could not be long before she would assume a more grown-up role in the life of the village. After all, her Mother was still a young woman, and had married early. Red also had a Grandmother who lived on the other side of the wood ... about an hour's walk.

When she was younger, Red would accompany her Mother to her Grandmother's cottage. They would bring bread, a little fruit, and some wine just to bring her a little cheer, and to visit with with her. Grandma was not sickly and had an fairly active life, occasionally taking short trips to visit nearby friends. On the occasions when Red and her Mother would bring treats to Grandma, and she was not at home, she and Red would tap on the door, and hearing no answers to their halloo's would simply leave the basket inside the door with a pleasant note. When Grandma was absent and the hour was late, they would enter, build a fire, and stay the night.

One day Red's Mother gave her a somewhat serious look, as she told Red that she would have to deliver Grandma's basket by herself. Her Mother packed the basket as usual, covering the contents with a red and white gingham cloth. When Red—still a little confused—picked up the basket to leave, her Mother told her to stick to the path, and not to wander off. Then she added,

"Good luck my dear Angelina, it is time."

Red turned and smiled at her Mother, but the smile quickly faded as she tried to find a meaning in her Mother's last words. Red started on her way, passing one or two villagers as she walked. Mrs. Goode watched Red expressionlessly from the doorway of her shop as Red passed by.

Shamus Mackenzie raised his bear-paw sized hand waving to her with a broad smile as she passed his smithy. She put her hand to her mouth to stifle a giggle as she waved back. As Red neared the edge of the village headed toward the wood, Mr. Hungerman leaned his heavy frame against the long handle of his shovel and gave Red a slight smile, which faded as he returned to his work.

Red was on her way!

She had never entered the wood by herself before, other than to walk to the meadow just a little ways in, to pick raspberries and blueberries in season. This time she would go further. Since it was still early in the day, and Red was not in any particular hurry to get to Grandma's cottage, she decided that she would stop at the meadow again today to pick some raspberries. She would add them to her basket for Grandma.

The sun was warm, and there was a light breeze—just the kind of day Red loved—so she spent some time chasing butterflies and picking yellow flowers ... along with the raspberries of course.

As she was enjoying the warm sun, she felt a dark uneasiness as if someone was watching her. Looking behind her, she saw no one, but the feeling of uneasiness would not leave her. Red slowly turned her attention back to the meadow, the flowers and the berries. She closed her eyes and tilted her head back enjoying the sun on her face and the sweetly tart taste of the raspberries on her tongue. Her hood slid off her head a little and bunched up behind, as her hair shone in the sun like spun gold.

Leaning back and supported by her arms, she thought about her eighteenth birthday. Her Mother had given her a new white apron to wear, a new blue dress with a laced bodice, and a crisp petticoat. This is how she was dressed today. It made her feel grownup—less like a child. She was petite with small breasts and hips starting to blossom with womanly curves. As she rested, her thoughts returned to the last words her Mother spoke as she left the cottage,

"Good luck my dear Angelina, it is time." Good luck ... it is time? Time for what ... why good luck?"

She accompanied her Mother to Grandma's cottage many times, and she knew the way. It was not a particularly dangerous trip, although it did require a narrow trail through the darkest part of the wood, about half way along. It is time. Did this have anything to do with her recent birthday and her coming of age in the village?

Sitting in the meadow thinking these things over, she remembered seeing her Mother from a distance one day not too long ago talking with a tall figure wearing a long dark hooded cloak that covered this person from head to toe. A man—perhaps a younger man—she judged from the leanness of the figure. She had seen other young girls of the village turning eighteen leaving their families to be married to men of the village, or to men of near-by villages.

Sometimes luck would give them to a younger man of good temperament, but often fathers arranged marriages to older men with property. She finally decided that this was nothing more than a trip to see Grandma, and that her Mother trusted her to do it by herself. She believed her Mother needed her at home and would be happy for her return.

As Red stood, she picked up the basket—now with its additional load of flowers and berries. She suddenly felt a chill down her spine again, feeling that someone was watching. She suddenly became aware that her dress had ridden up a little and was exposing her shapely legs to mid-thigh. As she quickly covered them, She turned just in time to see a dark figure quickly retreat into the wood—or so she thought. Had she really seen someone—something—or were the Sun and woodland shadows playing tricks?

She pulled her hood over her head, and slowly found her way to the edge of the meadow and onto the path, which led into the wood. On her way again, she continued along the main path leading toward her Grandma's cottage. Trying to put her momentary uneasiness behind her as she walked, she decided to shift her attention to something more pleasant. She tried to remember the words to "Lavender Blue," a popular song in the village. She sang to herself with increasing confidence and ease:

"Lavender blue and Rosemary green,

When you are King, I shall be Queen.

Call up my maids at four o'clock,

Some to the wheel and some to the rock;

Some to make hay and some to shear corn,

And you and I will keep the bed warm."

The melody was simple and served its purpose now of filling her mind with something familiar and sweet. "Annie Laurie" was another song brought to the village and taught to Red by the blacksmith, Mister Mackenzie. He often sang this one as he worked.

"Max Welton's braes a'er bonnie,

W'ere early fa's the dew.

And t'was there that Annie Laurie,

gie'd me her promise true..."

She tried to remember as much as she could of the many stanzas, as she briskly walked into the now darkening woodland trail. She also tried to mimic Mackenzie's very thick Scottish brogue, and with her hand to her mouth, chuckled to herself at her unsuccessful attempt. Mister Mackenzie was a mainstay of village life since his arrival from his hometown of Rutherglen, just outside Glasgow.

Honest and hardworking, he was a magnet for the children of the village who often gathered at his smithy listening—wide-eyed—to all of his fanciful tails, and renditions of his favorite songs. Mister Mackenzie knew how to spin a yarn, and his broad deep baritone voice was pleasant to hear. Thinking about this brought a smile to Red's face, and a spring to her step, as she walked along. Just then, off to her left, she heard a twig snap and she stopped.

Red stood very still and listened.

"Is anyone there?" she asked, but received no answer ... just silence.

"Is someone there?" She insisted, putting a hand to her breast as she took a step in the direction of the sound peering into the wood.

Another twig snapped, and Red's heart skipped a beat. Her eyes widened as she nervously peered further into the wood. Then she saw it! It was a dark figure that appeared about fifty meters away, partially hidden in the trees.

"W-Who are you?" she said in a halting, frightened voice.

"W-What do you want?" Red continued almost pleading.

After a moment's hesitation, a deep voice from the wood answered her,

"I am called Mister Wolf ... and ... you!" the dark figure said in answer to both of Red's questions.

"I d-do n-not understand." Red replied to the voice from the wood. The momentary pause that followed seemed like an eternity to Red.

"Where are you bound, young lady?" the voice asked changing the subject.

Red thought about whether to answer ... and if she did ... what her answer might be. She finally decided on the truth,

"I am taking this basket of goods to my Grandmother who lives in the glen just the other side of this wood."

Red received no answer to this response. The sun was just starting to set behind Red, shining its failing rays in the direction of the voice. Red was certain that she could see two shining yellow eyes peering from within the hood of the dark-cloaked figure. The figure then quickly turned, and without another word retreated into the wood.

"He-Hello? A-Are you there ... Mister um, Wo-Wolf?" She rasped as her throat became a little dry. No answer!

Red was now more frightened than she had ever been in her entire life as she trembled in every part of her body. She thought about the time she spent earlier that day in the meadow gathering flowers and berries, and now wished that she had not taken so long there.

"I was foolish to tarry so long in the meadow," she thought. "If I had not, I might be through this wood and very near to Grandma's cottage by now."

She stood in the middle of the path too petrified to move, after the frightening experience with the hooded figure. Who or what could it possibly be? Was she just imagining what she had just experienced? No, she decided ... it was just too real!

The figure said his name was Mister Wolf—or that was what people called him. This name meant nothing to Red, but reminded her of the tall figure she had seen talking with her Mother. She held her basket tightly with both hands in front of her and pulled her shoulders in very tight, as she slowly turned her feet back in the direction of her Grandmother's house.

With the greatest determination that all of her inner strength could muster, she put one foot in front of the other until she was walking at a brisk pace.

Red was afraid to look into the wood on either side, but kept her gaze firmly on the path in front of her. Her heart was beating faster than she could ever remember it beating and she could not slow it, however hard she tried. Trying to find a song to whistle as she walked was proving to be a hard task.

Retreating to the familiar melody of "Lavender Blue," and other songs was not working either, as her thoughts returned repeatedly, to her meeting with the hooded figure. Although her remaining journey to her Grandmother was not a long one, it seemed to stretch on longer than usual.

Was the dark hooded man (or creature) still following her?

Was this frightening figure still watching her?

She had no answers to these questions, and her thoughts would not leave the encounter no matter how hard she tried. As she approached a more lightly wooded area, she decided to stop. She again put her hand to her breast, and as it slipped inside a little, she shivered as her cold hand touched her warm flesh, and hardening young nipples.

She put her basket down at the side of the path and leaned against a tree trying to catch her breath and to slow her racing heartbeat. For some reason she could not understand, the danger of meeting such a frightening being was also arousing. She slid her hand down from her breast, over her apron to smooth her jittery stomach, stopping at her crotch to push her middle finger in a little. Her eyes closed as she felt a little shudder.

After a minute or two she straightened, picked up the basket held it in both hands again and slowly turned her head and feet back toward the path. She kept her gaze firmly on the path in front of her, afraid of what she might see if she looked into the wood.

As she started to walk a little ways, she slowed and curiously stared deep into the wood, looking intently as far as she could.

As she peered deeper into the wood, she saw...

...nothing.

She saw no dark figures, heard no snapping twigs—not a sound—not a bird chirping, not a cricket, not the rustle of a squirrel ... nothing!

The woods were completely silent. Red could not decide if not seeing or hearing anything was a comfort or a cause for concern. With her basket in hand, and her heart now beating a little slower, she continued on her way. Red now began to think about her Grandmother. It was now late afternoon as dusk was settling on the wood; she knew that her Grandmother would insist on her staying the night.

The promise of her Grandmother's warm hearth was a comforting thought to Red, and she knew that it was near. Red's Grandmother was a warm and friendly woman who was full of charm, but now, Red was not looking forward to any of her many frightening tall tales.

Red wondered what she would do if Grandma was gone when she arrived. She could stay the night as she and her Mother had done many times before. She knew that Grandma always had wood for the hearth, oil for the lamps, and would likely be back by morning. Red was reaching the end of the wood now and would soon be into the glen where the cottage stood.

As she entered the glen, her heart began to lighten, as she hoped to find Grandma at home. Red walked down the cobbled path to the cottage, but she saw that it appeared dark, and her spirits sank a little. She slowly approached the door and after a second of hesitation, tapped on the door...

...no answer!

She tapped again, a little harder.

After a few seconds, a voice from within the dark cottage asked,

"Who's that knocking on my door?"

The voice did not sound like her Grandmother ... exactly, but Red answered quickly,

"It is Angelina Grandma; I have a basket of goods for you from Mother."

The voice from within said,

"Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up."

Red already knew this, but complied without comment and entered the cottage. She could see a figure lying on the bed that Red took to be her Grandmother.

"Place the basket on the table, and come over here, child," said the voice.

"Grandmother, your voice sounds so different today." Red Replied.

"I have a cold, and must remain in bed." Was the reply from the bed.

"I have brought you bread, some fruit, and wine from Mother, Grandma," Red continued as she walked toward the bed,

"And I picked some flowers for your table and also some raspberries for dessert." Red said and then continued, "Shall I light a lamp?"

"No!" came a raspy reply.

Red could feel her uneasiness returning and some light would have been nice. As she started to approach the bed, she could see that the figure on the bed was not a pleasant woman in a cap and nightgown, but a reclining dark figure wearing a long black cloak with a hood pulled over its head.

She stepped back, and covering her mouth with the back of her hand, let out a sharp gasp. She then gathered a measure of courage ... enough perhaps to challenge the creature.

"YOU ARE NOT MY GRANDMOTHER!" Red told the figure. "WHO ARE YOU?" She demanded.

"You and I have already met, my dear," the voice replied.

"My name is Mister Wolf, and I have been waiting for you in your Grandmother's absence—she was gone when I arrived—fortunately for her."

Red took another step back. She now frightened beyond reason with her heart beating as if it would burst from her breast. She was trembling at the reality of finding herself in the close presence of so menacing a creature. For she could see in the dim twilight breaking through the window, that the figure had the appearance of some kind type of animal—an animal with shining yellow eyes, and a long snout.

"W-What do you want of me?" she asked the creature—almost afraid of what the answer might be.

"My dear girl, I have to say that what I wanted from you has changed somewhat, now that I see how beautiful you are."

"W-What do you mean?" She replied.

"My dear Angelina I am an accursed being and you can see the effects of it now, but I previously represented myself to your Mother as a less gripping figure, and ... as you can see ... I know your name."

"I still do not understand what you want of me, Mister ... Wolf," Red offered, not knowing exactly how to respond to what she heard. The reclining figure now appeared to Red, to be a little less threatening than at first.

"Come closer, my dear," the figure ordered.

"Why should I dear sir?" Red demanded as she took another step back, "Were you not the dark figure I encountered in the wood today that frightened me half to death?" "What did you mean when you said that what you wanted was ... me?"

Red decided that as frightened as she still was, she was going to get the answers she needed from this "creature."

It looked at Red for a long time and finally replied,

"The explanation for my affliction is a long one that I might share with you one day." Wolf continued, "It is an affliction that I can do little about, except to say that I am a man of twenty-seven years. I have light brown hair and blue eyes in one state, and the features of a ravenous wolf in another—occasional state.

Although I can do nothing to change my condition, I have property in an adjacent county, and my children—if I have them—will inherit the characteristics with which I was born and not the ones I acquired under ... rather unfortunate circumstances."

"What did you mean when you said that my Grandmother was fortunate not to be at home when you arrived?" Red was interested in finding out all that she thought she need to know about a "person" who was starting to become more compelling to her. She found that she was intently interested in this creature and found her body betraying her, as she became a little sexually aroused.

Wolf thought for a second then replied, "In the state you saw me in the wood I had certain ... needs and ... appetites that I tried hard to control. In the state which you will become accustomed to seeing me, I have desires and behaviors which are more normal for a young man—"

Report Story

byMichael142© 1 comments/ 10153 views/ 5 favorites

Share the love

Report a Bug

Next
2 Pages:12

Forgot your password?

Please wait

Change picture

Your current user avatar, all sizes:

Default size User Picture  Medium size User Picture  Small size User Picture  Tiny size User Picture

You have a new user avatar waiting for moderation.

Select new user avatar:

   Cancel