Red in the Hood
by Jackson Parrish
Red in the Hood
The night was dark and this part of London was a place of shadows. Red Riding Hood had grown up amidst the darkness and it was a part of her now, she had learned to survive the tough streets of her borough and she had learned to accept the shadows and to understand them. She had learned to move through them without fear.
The streets of her London borough wound around her as she walked the familiar and yet somehow strange streets. She had grown up on these streets but it felt like she was seeing them for the first time. Red Riding Hood walked with a newfound confidence and bravery. She had decided that tonight would be the night that she would face her fear, the fear of the Wolf.
From what she had heard the Wolf was a cruel and evil man who prowled the streets at night. He would prey upon unsuspecting women, leaving them cold and lifeless on the streets their bodies somehow clawed and lacerated. Red Riding Hood had heard enough stories of his deeds to know that he was a real threat. It was time to take action.
Red Riding Hood came to a stop at a crossroads. She could see the lights of the inner city in the distance and feel the hum of its energy. The air was thick with the smell of smoke and car exhaust.
Red Riding Hood kept her eyes open looking for any sign of the Wolf. She was wearing her red cloak, the hood pulled up over her head to hide her face. In her pocket, she clutched the switchblade that would be her weapon of defence should the Wolf appear.
She kept walking her feet silently moving over the pavement. She kept her eyes open looking for any sign of the Wolf. But there was nothing. The streets were almost empty and silent.
Red Riding Hood began to feel a little nervous as the night wore on. Was the Wolf really out there? Had her bravery failed her?
Suddenly, she heard a noise, the sound of footsteps on the pavement. Red Riding Hood stopped in her tracks and she felt her heart beat quicken. She could feel the switchblade in her pocket, and she knew what she had to do. She took a deep breath and slowly stepped out into the street.
As she did, her heart stopped. Towering before her was a sinister figure, the Wolf. He wore a long coat of midnight darkness, with his features concealed in its shadow. His eyes seemed to shine like two blazing embers as he bore down on her with a menacing gaze, unveiling all her secrets and fears.
Red Riding Hood trembled with rage as she drew closer to the Wolf. The fear that had overtaken her moments before was replaced with a burning desire for revenge and justice. Her heart pounded in her chest, each beat like a thunderous roar demanding retribution.
Without warning Red Riding Hood yanked the switchblade from her pocket and sprang forward, plunging it deep into the Wolf's chest. A scream of pain left his lips as he stumbled backward, reaching out and clawing her arm with fingernails long and sharp, he clutched at his wound desperately but to no avail. Finally, the Wolf's eyes glazed over and his body slumped onto the ground, life escaping his form as Red Riding Hood watched on in triumph.
Red Riding Hood stepped back and looked at the lifeless body of the Wolf, she had done it she had taken down the Wolf.
But the victory was bittersweet. Red Riding Hood felt no joy in her accomplishment only a deep sadness. She had taken a life and the repercussions of her actions would linger. She felt a deep sense of justice, but also a deep sense of guilt.
Red Riding Hood looked up at the night sky and sighed. She had done what she had to do and now she had to move forward. She tucked the switchblade back into her cloak pocket and turned away, leaving the Wolf behind her.
The streets of her London borough were still dark and silent but Red Riding Hood had the courage to keep walking. She had faced the Wolf and she had won.
March 20th, 2023
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