The air was ice cold outside almost enough to inflict frostbite upon bare skin. Amongst the white powdery snow was a hooded figure. She contrasted against it with a bright red hue against the white. Her footprints disappeared as the snowflakes piled in.
“Red! Come inside quickly!! It’s starting to get dark!” Gran called as she motioned for Red to enter the snowy cabin. With her basket of firewood, Red sprinted and entered through the door. There was immediate warmth that emitted from the fireplace. Gran grabbed Red by the arm and swiftly pulled her in further through the door. She turned around and bolted all of the locks on the door. First, the slide lock. Then, the three key locks. After that, the deadbolt. Finally, Gran slid the plank of wood through the notches in the door to further secure it. “I thought I had told you to be back before sunset??” Her face showed a sign of concern.
“But I was just walking back to the house, I was very close by, and it wasn’t quite sunset yet.” Red explained.
Gran sighed. Then moved some of Red’s brown hair behind her ear. “Could you please just start coming back earlier next time?” Gran’s voice became a calmer tone. Red swiftly twirled her hood off of her and hung it on the pegs by the door. Red half-heartedly smiled at her grandmother.
“Yes, Gran” Red then placed the basket that she had been carrying on the hearth of the fireplace. Gran stepped into the kitchen and made sure to lock up the back door as well as the main level’s windows. She then took out her crossbow, pulled up a chair, and then waited, ready. Things hadn’t always been like this, with all of this extra security. It wasn’t until Red’s mother had been cursed that everything changed. She and her descendants were all doomed to the same fate of repeating a story. A story that could very well lead to their undoing. There is no way to prevent the story from progressing and yes they’ve tried. However, the curse still prevails no matter what. When Red turned thirteen she was forced to move in with her grandmother in the snowy mountains. Wolves weren’t as common there and Gran knew more of what to expect from the curse. Red wearily walked up the wooden stairs and collapsed onto her bed. Then, she drifted off into a deep sleep. Ever since she was little, Red was taught the story that her life was cursed to play out. Everything that she could never do. Being outside after sunset, traveling alone, leaving the path astray, carrying food, having a pet dog, and much more. She wished that she could just have a day where her life wasn’t in danger all the time and that she didn’t have to always be on edge.
The next day, Red came down for breakfast and quickly ate so that she could at least spend a little time outside. She flung her scarlet hood around her, slipped on her snow boots, and tried to rush out the door. Gran grabbed onto her hood and Red was yanked back away from freedom. “Not so fast young lady,” Gran said. “I need you to deliver this care package to my friend, she’s fallen ill and doesn’t have anyone to care for her. I would do it myself, but I have a meeting with one of my clients in town. She doesn’t live very far though, think you can handle it?”
Red nodded, glad that she’ll be able to spend plenty of time not cooped up inside the house all day. “I remember all the rules so you don’t need to be worried about me. Go and meet with your client, I’ll be back before sunset!” Red replied trying so hard to contain her excitement.
“Alright.” Gran laughed. She handed Red a large basket that contained medicine, nice-smelling soaps, and two of Gran’s favorite books. The contents were covered with a soft, warm blanket as well. Then, Red was finally on her way, crunching through the partly frozen snow. She got to the beginning of the woods and paused just before the path. Red hesitated for a second, knowing that now is not the time for mistakes. Gran was counting on her to be responsible, and so was Red. She slowly placed her foot onto the path scrunching up her face as she did so. Nothing happened. Red continued to walk on top of the snowy path. Every time she heard a rustle or a snap among the trees and bushes her heart quickened and she began to walk more rapidly. Until she came across a clearing in the woods. Red’s eyes widened when they fell upon a beautiful patch of bluebells among the lifeless snow. They flourished and sparkled in the light. Those would go perfectly with the care package! How nice would it be to receive a bouquet of such wonderful flowers? Red leaped over to the patch and started picking them. Then, all of a sudden a bad feeling fell in Red’s stomach. She turned around and realized what she had done. Red had left the path, allowing the curse to continue the story. She swallowed hard. The sky immediately darkened and the sun was replaced by a full moon. The flowers morphed into bland mushrooms. Red stepped back from them, horrified, and dropped the ones that she had picked. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Red felt a pair of glowing yellow eyes staring at her. The eyes crept forward snarling at her. The wolf started to circle around her baring its fangs. Red couldn’t leave the animals gaze, no matter how much she tried. Suddenly, she saw a glint in the corner of her eye, then glanced in that direction. A beat-up dagger was partly buried beneath the snow about a few yards away. Red took the chance and slowly, but surely started to slink away from the wolf. Her heart was pounding in her throat. The creature noticed this and then Red began to run as fast as she could with the wolf following fast behind. The wolf was almost on top of her when she finally leaped, grabbed the dagger, and spun around in a crouched position on the ground. The wolf was about to pounce on her when her arm whipped across, slicing the creature’s eye. It fell to the snow whimpering and pawing at its eye. The wolf stumbled and then quickly retreated. The sky lightened, and everything was back to the way it was, the moment had passed. Red collapsed to the ground out of fear, exhaustion, and adrenaline.