By Bagus Wibadsu S. inspired by The Red Riding Hood
The Wolf waited patiently.
The girl wore that same attire as the days before. With a red scarf covering her mouth, and a red hooded cloak, the girl looked gorgeous.
The Wolf gulped back his saliva.
It's figure concealed by the thick bushes, it watched, as always, at the girl as she walked merrily to her Grandma's house.
It waited until the girl they called Red was out of sight.
The Wolf waited patiently. It had all the time in the world.
The girl stopped. The sensation that she was being followed grew stronger with every step she took.
She looked around.
The night was unusually cold, and the only light came from the full moon and the stars.
She spotted nothing.
Save for a moving figure in the thick bushes under an old oak tree. The clumps of it were big enough to cover a man, but she saw no reason why anyone would be hiding in it.
That, and it's almost midnight.
After making sure that nobody was actually following her (why would anybody follows a girl in the middle of the night? She thought), she continued walking towards her dear grandmother's house.
The old woman was alone in her gloomy old house. She always was alone. Her husband died a long time ago, and although she got over the grief of losing her one true love, she sometimes wondered what it would be like to be sitting near the fire place with him now.
She added dry woods to the fire.
For the past 10 years, her only entertainment was her little grand daughter. Once a week she would bring home made cookies, flowers, and sometimes she brought her friends along (to the dismay of the old woman, as she disliked the noise). Red is what they call her at the village.
The old woman was the one who gave Red the red scarf, and the red cloak. It was Red's 9th birthday. The old woman sewed them herself.
A cold wind hit the window.
The Wolf has perceived a pattern.
Every week, the girl would bring flowers (which, to its nose, smelt like cow's piss) and cookies (it got the chance to take a bite when the girl dropped one cookie along the way. To its tongue, it tasted like a rotten deer) to an old women who lived just outside of the forest.
To be more precise, she always goes on Fridays.
It chuckled lightly at the girl's simplicity. A simpleton, she is. She goes at night, and she always had that mixed emotion of delight and fright on her face.
"She goes out without her parents knowing it." It said to itself.
Its stomach rumbled.
Sarah shifted on her bed. She dreamt of a plain full of cockroaches (evidently she hates the lot). The plain twisted, and the plain was no more.
She stood on top of a hill, looking down at the chasm below. Behind her was her husband, his face pale and distorted.
And then he pushed her.
She closed her eyes as she fell down.
And when she opened it, she saw HER.
She was in that same room 20 years ago. A room in a house at the edge of the forest. A woman was sitting on a wooden rocking chair, her eyes fixed on Sarah.
Sarah saw that the woman was wearing nothing underneath her night gown.
De JA vu?
Reality struck her on the face.
"God, no. Not you again."
The woman signaled with her hand for Sarah to come near her.
Waves of fear fell heavily on Sarah's mind.
It was that night that she saw in full light of the moon about her own mother. How the woman convinced her to keep her mouth shut, how she harshly took off Sarah's clothes. How she....
She woke up with a scream.
Red knocked on the door two times, excited about the prospect of seeing her grandma's big and warm smile. She knocked again.
She heard heavy steps approaching the door.
The door swung open, and there stood the Grandma. She was wearing the same night gown she wore 20 years ago, on that 'faithful' (delightful) night. She smiled heartily on Red.
'I was getting worried, honey. I thought you might never make it today.'
The wolf had followed Red. It moves silently, covered by the darkness of the forest. It thought of taking her to its den when she was knocking on the door, while nobody's looking.
Again, it chuckled at the thought.
Silly me, it thought. No body would be stupid enough to walk outside of their houses at night. Especially at the edge of the forest. Not with me around.
But fortunately, the girl WAS stupid enough.
The only reason why it didn't eat the old woman up till then was because, well, she was old.
To its tongue, old humans taste like a fly-invested sheep corpse.
It thought better of the situation.
"Patience is a virtue, my friend," it said as it patted its belly.
Red's Father tried his best to comfort his wife.
"It's just a dream, honey. No need to be afraid. I'm here."
He stroked her hair as he held her tight. She was sweating, and her breath was short.
Some wife I have, he said to himself.
If it hadn't for her wealth, he wouldn't be acting like a good husband for the past 9 years. He wouldn't even think of having a child with her.
It all came down to the gold he would receive.
He took a good look at his wife.
She's quite beautiful, in fact, if it were not for the constant look of fear in her eyes. At times, when they made love, she would cry. Her body would tremble (not out of orgasm) and she would cover her face with both of her hand.
Choking back tears as if he was raping her.
The things he did to get some money.
She had blue eyes, a skin white as snow, and lips as red as blood. Her figure was slender, with curves almost no woman in the village can match.
Her hair was black. It flowed in the wind, fine as silk.
And she was as fragile as a wooden stick.
His thought wandered. He imagined Yvonne, his mistress. She was perhaps not as beautiful as Red's Mother, and she was not as innocent.
She was a goddamn flame. She burnt his heart to ashes with passion and desire. Her eyes defeat even the sun's ray.
Sarah doesn't need to know about her.
She doesn't need to know.
Red watched intently at her grandmother as the old women prepared some tea for both of them. She noticed that her grandma looked livelier, happier, and perhaps even younger.
Grandma looked so beautiful today. I wonder what the occasion is, she thought. That night gown, she never wore it before. It's made of the finest silk, a material uncommon to the people at the village due to its inhuman price.
"Grandma, why are you wearing that night gown tonight? It's cold." She said to Grandma.
Grandma smiled as she poured the tea to a cup.
"So that I may appreciate the cold wind, my dear."
Red thought about the answer for a minute.
I guess when I grow older, I'll be able to appreciate the cold wind too, she muttered.
"I'm the luckiest woman on earth," said Sarah, "to have such a caring husband as you."
She calmed down after a while, thanks to her husband. He kept ensuring her that it was only a dream. He kept holding her tight. He kept saying that he loves her.
She loved him to death.
"And I'm the luckiest man in the universe," he said, "to have you as a wife."
He kissed her gently, ever so lightly.
"I'll go and fetch some water for you, honey."
He got out of the bed, put on his trousers, and walked away.
I AM the luckiest woman on earth, she thought.
He doesn't need to know about the dream. Or about the truth. Both of them are the truth, anyway.
He doesn't need to know.
He came back with a glassful of water. She took two big gulps. Her husband watched as she drank the water.
"What's wrong, my dear?" she asked.
She thought she saw a thin smile appeared on his face.
He raised his hand and caressed her hair. She loves it when he does that. It makes her feel secure.
"Nothing is wrong, love. I'll go check on our daughter," he said.
The Wolf wondered.
This was the first time that it saw the old woman wearing that night gown. It looked ugly as sin on her, of course.
But it couldn't help but feel that it WASN'T the first time the old woman wore that gown.
It's been living for hundreds of years, feeding on human children all the time. Some adults have had the honor to fill its belly too, but mostly it's human children.
They taste better, more tender, their bones soft, and their brain ripe.
Their eyes would pop under the pressure of its teeth with a satisfying sound, unlike adults' eyes.
It licked its lips.
No, it thought. My head controls my stomach.
And so, as it had done before, it waited.
Sarah couldn't be more worried before.
Her husband looked everywhere for Red in the village. There was no sign of her.
Her window was opened, and the gate was unlocked. No sign of burglary or robbery (or any kind of a struggle, in that sense), which kills the possibility of her being kidnapped while Sarah was dreaming about her mother.
She was crying on his shoulder when he said, "I'll go look for her at The Border."
She raised her head at the crazy suggestion.
"You know how dangerous The Border is, love! Besides, what would she be doing in that God forsaken place?"
Her husband stood there, silent as the night.
"She went to see her Grandma."
He let go of her.
Her eyes widened. Her throat seemed narrower the more she tried to breathe.
"That's right, Sarah, she went to see her Grandma. The woman who did terrible things to you in your dreams. Your mother."
"How... Did... You..." She gasped for air. She made a wheezing sound with every breath.
Confused, she saw an evil grin on her husband's face.
"How did I know? I was the one who arranged it. I've kept watch over your family, Sarah. I've kept watch over your family's gold, too. Your father, who found The Gold at the end of the rainbow, couldn't keep it concealed for long.
You see, I used to live at the edge of the forest. Long before your people came and gave it that silly name - what was it? - The Border."
Her vision blurred. She saw a glimpse of fangs from her husband's grin.
"I'm one of them, Sarah."
And at that, no quicker than it took to tell it, he turned into a wolf.
"As you may have figured by now, your drink was poisoned. It makes a hole in your lungs. You will die, Sarah. Horribly, I dare imagine." The wolf growled.
Tears filled Sarah's eyes. The event on that cold night flashed in front of her eyes.
Sarah fought as hard as she could. Her mother tightened her grip on Sarah's wrist as she ripped Sarah's clothes.
"Don't worry, Sarah, I won't hurt you," her mother said as she slapped Sarah on the cheek.
Sarah screamed at the top of her voice. She knew it was useless. Nobody lived at The Border except for her family. Not after what the villagers discovered of the things that lurked inside the forest.
Still, she screamed.
Apparently, her frantic wails roused the anger of her mother even more. She finished ripping Sarah's clothes, showing her undeveloped breasts and her slender figure.
She began licking Sarah's body.
Sarah screamed again. Her mother. Down on her knees. Holding Sarah's wrists in one hand, and molested her with the other.
It's too overwhelming.
Suddenly her mother stopped. She picked up a blunt wooden stick with a rounded end with her free hand. Her grip on Sarah's wrists was maddeningly painful.
Sarah felt her legs were spread apart.
A moment later, a pain shot up between her legs. She felt blood trickled down on her crotch. She cried in pain.
"Mother, stop! I'm your daughter, stop!" She fought hard to free her wrist from her mother's clutch to no avail.
Her mother withdrew the stick. She paused, looking down on Sarah's face.
Sarah saw something dreadful in her eyes. Passion? Madness? Desire?
Then her mother shoved the stick again with greater force.
Sarah arched her back in pain. She cried until she felt that all the air from her lungs was gone.
And thus it continues until Sarah's body went limp. She gave up hope. This was not her mother. This is a monster, born out of loneliness and greed.
Her mother stopped shoving the stick. She wiped the blood with her night gown. All this while her hand holding Sarah's now purple wrist.
Her mother tied her on a chair.
And then she started beating Sarah with the same stick. The stick was not thick, and it stung Sarah up to the point that she threw up on the floor, unable to handle the pain any longer.
A wolf's howl she heard.
The mother kept beating Sarah, her eyes burning with lust. Sarah's vision began to blur.
Before she finally passed out, she saw a figure looking inside the house from the window. She thought she saw a pair of yellow eyes.
The only thing she remembered afterwards was that the village people had found her lying on the ground, naked and bruised all over.
What happened to her mother, she didn't know.
As she stared at the wolf that was once her husband, she knew that she was staring at the same eyes that she saw that night.
She couldn't speak. Her breath left her.
"I was the one who saved you from your drunken mother. I scratched her a bit, and took you to the village. Since I killed your father, the Ownership of The Gold is now at your hand. I could've killed you right there on the spot, along with your bitch of a mother.
But I needed a spell to transfer the Ownership to me."
She recalled the talk her father once had with her mother. They were arguing about who should be granted the Ownership (she had no idea back then, of course).
So, he gave her the ownership. No wonder her mother tried to kill her (slowly and painfully, she imagined).
"Your purpose is served. When you die, the Ownership will go to either your mother or daughter. Makes no difference to me," the wolf said.
Can a wolf grin?
She fell to the floor with a heavy thud. Her eyes were wide open.
It watched as Sarah fell to the floor. It watched as she took a final futile attempt to breathe. The poison was working well.
It approached the now dead body.
There she was, as beautiful as any woman could ever be. Her silky hair, her blood red lips (which WAS covered with blood), her blue eyes.
And the look of fear on her face.
"I suppose it's useless to say 'rest in piece,' eh?" It growled.
It set foot towards The Border. The Gold at the End of the Rainbow was waiting, calling out its long-forgotten name.
"Grandma, why are your eyes so red? Where are your glasses?" Red asked Grandma.
"I'm not wearing my glasses so that I can see you better, honey," Grandma answered. She sipped at the hot tea.
Red was satisfied with this answer. She too, sipped the tea from the ceramic glass.
She heard her Grandma sighing.
"Why are you sighing, Grandma?" she asked again.
"I'm sighing because you look so much like your mother, honey."
The wolf made a move.
It had waited too long. It approached the house, peeking through the window to see what the humans were doing.
It was surprised to find the child lying down on the floor with no clothes on. Gone were the scarf and the cloak so associated with her.
The old woman was kneeling on top of her. Her eyes burning red. To the wolf's disgust, she was drooling.
The wolf thought for a while. A battered human child taste no better than a dead old woman.
So it leapt.
It broke the frail window.
The old woman, startled, let go of her grip on Red's wrists.
Red wondered. She was told by Grandma that they're going to play an old game invented her Grandpa. The condition was, she had to take off her clothes.
"Lay down on your back, honey. We'll start soon," Grandma said. She took out a thin wooden stick. Its end was rounded.
The wolf started with the old woman first. She swung around her pathetic wooden stick around.
Like it would make a difference, it said to itself.
It swung its enormous paw. The claw shredded the skin on the old woman's hand. The old woman cried in pain.
The wolf continued swinging its paw. It made sure that it shredded her wind pipe minimally, so that she would only lose her voice. It was, so to say, annoying.
When it was finished, the old woman was practically drowning in her own blood. Her insides were sprawled across the floor. The old woman spazzed.
Something caught the wolf's eyes. The old woman's clothes were shredded to pieces. On her back, however, was a scar.
It immediately noticed that the scar (three long gashes across her back) was made by one of her kin.
I could care less, it thought.
It slapped the old woman's head. A sickening 'crack' was heard.
It turned to the child.
The wolf that-was-Sarah's-husband stopped Yvonne as she raised her paw to kill Red.
"Edmond? What are you doing here?" Yvonne growled. She lowered her paw.
And at that, she turned into a woman.
One look at Yvonne and every man on earth can tell that she's everything that they've ever desired. It wasn't because of her slim figure, her perfectly rounded breast, her straight shoulder length brunette hair, nor because of her seductive lips.
The reason would be because of her eyes.
It burned like fire, it chilled like ice, it warmed like spring wind, and it is, simply put, other worldly.
It was framed perfectly on her face. Her nose was slightly pointed, and her face was a bit rounded.
(In modern phrase, it may or may not, be called a cute face)
Her skin was brown, the look that hinted a soft touch of the sun.
"Have you taken care of the woman?" she asked. Her voice was light, a melody unlike anything that exists under the sun.
The other wolf nodded slightly, a grin of satisfaction appeared as it recalled Sarah's frightened face.
The wolf turned to a trembling Red.
"Don't worry, honey. It's me, your father."
Red stopped crying instantly.
"Yes, it's me, honey." the wolf added.
Red took a good look at it.
"How come you're so short, Father?"
The wolf flinched. Guilt?
"So that I may run faster to safe you, honey."
"How come you have a lot of hair?"
Guilt is not the answer. Paternal love?
"So that I can keep myself warm during the night, honey."
Again, Red nodded.
"Then how come your teeth are so sharp?"
The wolf paused. No. No hesitation. The Gold. Yvonne. It approached Red.
"So that I may chew you finely, Felicia!"
It's allegedly sharp teeth made short work of Red.
Yvonne watched as the love of her life (which, to us human, is a long time indeed) chewed down the girl. He bit her neck first, so that the girl died instantly.
Paternal love? She asked herself.
After he finished, he turned into a human.
Edmond was a handsome man. His curly hair was jet-black, and it contrasts his pale skin. His jaw was firm.
And, like Yvonne, he had a pair of unreasonably beautiful eyes.
"My love, the spell is ready." Yvonne said to him.
Edmond licked his lips. He didn't know that his own daughter would taste that good.
"Begin, then." He said.
Yvonne drew a circle, and in it she wrote (or drew) runes from a forgotten past. She drew them with the old woman's blood.
And then she chanted.
A brilliant blue pillar of light rose from the corpse of the old woman. The pillar shrunk into a blue orb.
It floats in the air for a while, before it flew towards Edmond.
Edmond raised his hand. The orb disappeared as he grasped it.
"The contract is finished. Edmond my love, you're now the sole possessor of The Gold."
They hugged each other. They kissed, passionately (so passionate that the Gods looked jealously on them).
The silver dagger went straight through her heart. She died instantly.
Edmond smiled. His teeth still red with blood.
"Indeed, Yvonne. I'm the sole possessor of The Gold."
He became a wolf. He thought for a moment.
And his smile widened.
"I've always wondered how my kin tastes like."