This is the second Red Writing Hood piece I’m posting. The challenge was to write a post beginning with a countdown – “Three, two, one” – and up to 300 words. Some of the examples they gave were disciplining our kids, gathering up nerve, blasting off into space, or getting ready to pop champagne and scream “Happy New Year”… I didn’t do anything remotely like that, but I still think the countdown in my story works pretty well. Clearly I’ve been watching/reading too many fairy-tale themed things lately.
“…Three… Two… One!”
The woman in red smiled hugely in anticipation, her sharp white teeth flashing in the weak winter light, bright eyes gleaming with madness. She turned her horse and set off at a trot, following the trail of disturbed snow her prey had left.
The wolf panted heavily, struggling to go faster, struggling to overcome the searing pain of the foothold trap clamped down on his leg. The pain was maddening, dulling his survival instincts and blurring his sight. In the distance, he could hear the madwoman laughing wildly, the heavy thud of her mount’s hooves as she approached. He scrambled across a half-frozen creek, dragging himself along the rocky verge in hopes of throwing her off the trail.
She found her prey near a small pond, weakly lapping up muddy water. Triumph and madness intermingled in her face.
“You think you can eat my Gran and get away with it?” she cried, brandishing a wickedly sharp axe, handle stained the brown of old blood.
“Please,” the creature begged, “Please, I didn’t do it! It wasn’t me! You already killed him.”
The madwoman showed no sign of hearing his plea, as she dismounted and pushed her crimson cloak back on her shoulder. “You thought you could eat the woodsman’s mother, just because he’s too old to come after you?”
The wolf whimpered, staring up into the eyes of madness. “How many more, Red? How many until your revenge is complete?”
The woman swung the axe with both arms, severing the wolf’s head in one blow.
“My, what red blood you have,” she murmured before remounting and riding off in search of the next hunt.