Tuesday Option #2 – Red

Categories: Whatever Wednesday
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Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: July 6, 2011

The Huntsman and the wolf went down in a tangle of fur and claws and steel. The grizzled hunter and his apprentice had been tracking this old beast for the better part of a week, only to have it return the favor and ambush them in this clearing. The two rolled on the ground, each struggling for purchase. The wolf tried to bite the hunter, but a quickly raised arm meant that it only got a mouthful of steel bracer. The Hunstman tried to stab the wolf’s flank, but the beast twisted out of the way. Finally the hunter got both feet between himself and the wolf and kicked, pushing them apart.

But the old wolf was craftier than that. A quick twist of its neck allowed to it bite the hunter’s unprotected leg. Its glistening fangs cut a line down the human’s thigh. It wasn’t a mortal wound, and it probably would barely slow down a trained Huntsman, but that was hardly the point. Nearby the hunter’s apprentice stirred.

The apprentice got shakily to her feet. She flung her old red cloak back over her shoulder and pulled a long knife from it’s sheath. Before her stood two identical figures. So the wolf had taken her master’s form. These old wolves were evil beasts, as full of cunning as they were of dark magic, but she had seen this trick before. She studied the two combatants as they circled one another. Suddenly she saw what she was looking for and hurled her knife. It stuck true, embedding in the throat of one of the two fighters. The beast fell to the ground. She had chosen correctly.

As the wolf’s form began to regain its lupine features, it gasped out, “How did you know?”

Red looked down at the creature and smiled. “My,” she said, “what big teeth you have.”

She stepped to one side and the Huntsman’s axe fell, removing the wolf’s head. He looked at his apprentice approvingly, but as he opened his mouth to congratulate her, a series of howls split the air. Red pulled her old riding cloak close around her. They weren’t out of the woods yet.

2 Comments - Leave a comment
  1. Luke says:

    I am shocked — SHOCKED! — no one has commented. You must chastise the other minions. I insist!

    may i chastise them?

    ANYWAY –

    What would this choose-your-own-Tuesday entail? We would follow Red as she journies? This could be fun, but I prefer the earlier entry, I think. Maybe it’s me — I’ve read too many “new!” fairy tales, I think…

  2. rromagar says:

    The new, darker re-imagining of old fairy tales thing is getting to be a bit of an old schtick. The thing that makes this concept work for me is how genuinely weird the wolf in the original fairy tale is. I mean, it looks like a person, but has the features of a wolf somehow? That’s very strange. Also, in some versions of the story it swallowed granny whole and she was still alive in his stomach. That is pretty weird stuff.

    But yes, there’s a world around the concepts put forward here. If you want to see more, you’ll have to vote for this one.

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