The Killing of Wolves

Thief and (suspected) murderer Red Riding Hood joins with poor boy Pip on an unexpected journey to kill the Big Bad Wolf. Along the way, they run into a host of fairytale characters and dangerous challenges that they must overcome so Red can have her revenge on the wolf and Pip can go back to the life he used to live. But they uncover more than they thought they would, scandalous secrets straight from the heart of the Royal Family. All of a sudden, they realise the Wolf is not all it seems. Nothing will ever be the same again. Not once the truth is revealed, once and for all...

It's just a draft, so any tips or critisicm would be appreciated. Also, thanks to the Fuzz for making the amazing cover.


3. O, Fairy Godmother!

Rats scurried around the dank dungeon, gnawing away at something that Red hoped didn’t have a heartbeat. Nothing was visible in the room, apart from specks of dust filtering through the air from the small, caged window. This cell was probably one of the worst Red had ever been locked up in. It wasn’t the worst (that was the one in the Fourth Kingdom- Red shuddered at the memory) but it was pretty bad. But at least she wouldn’t have to suffer it for too long. In the morning, she would be escorted to the gallows, would feel the embrace of the noose and would feel no more. She was afraid, but was willing to face the fear. She was innocent, of course, although if no-one were to take heed of this then she’d far rather die than have to endure this place any longer.

   The rats were nibbling at her feet now, but she couldn’t find the will within herself to kick them off. She couldn’t find the will within herself to do very much at all, apart from moan about how wretched her life was. What else could she possibly do? She would most probably turn mad by dawn, what with having no-one to talk to but the filthy rodents who scuttled around her bare toes. Un-sociable and hostile at the best of times, it was not that Red had ever needed any one to in whom she could confide throughout her life until now; as her end drew nearer, she wanted someone to tell her worries, fears and so on. And somehow, she felt that Bob the rat was not that person.

   Almost as if her wish had been heard, the prison cell was suddenly bathed in light. The flutter of wings echoed in her ears and, in an instant, a fairy appeared. This fairy radiated a serene glow and hovered above the ground, her pointed feet inches away from the ground. Her feet were squeezed into a pair of lace ballet shoes that clearly didn’t fit and it appeared as if they were leaping to be free from their bindings. In fact, nothing she wore seemed to fit; it was obvious that all her clothes were two sizes too small, and made for a fairy far younger than herself. Her body had been thrust into a powder blue dress and there were lumps and bumps all over, her silver wings lopsided yet still functional, a smile masked by poorly applied lipstick…she reeked of desperation.

   The rats beneath her squeaked in fear, darting back and forth in a demented fashion. There was a good reason for this, too: barely airborne, it was highly probable that they would all be flattened by her cellulite-ridden bottom if she were to fall. Contrary to this, the fairy emanated a kind of sophistication, a glamour that Red had never seen before. The way she held herself, the poise, the elegance… the fairy’s quiet confidence was what made her endearing, despite how pitiful, clingy or needy she happened to look on the outside.

   A quick glance around the prison cell. The fairy was clearly unimpressed. Scanning everything, she stopped as her eyes settled on Red’s petite form.

“Hello, dear,” she began tentatively, in a polished, cut-glass accent that left Red in no doubt that she was a woman of fine breeding. “Could I bother you for a cup of tea?” She quickly amended this request, realising that the only drink available was a puddle of stagnant water that not even the rats would dare slurp.

   Red narrowed her eyes, suddenly suspicious. “What are you doing here?”

The fairy batted her eyelashes innocently. “But I’m your Fairy Godmother, of course.”

“What’s a Fairy Godmother?”

The Fairy Godmother seemed surprised. “Don’t you know? Oh, you poor child. You really don’t know, do you? A Fairy Godmother is someone who grants wishes. Your wishes. Anything you want, I will grant you; not dependent on size, difficulty… anything.”   


The Fairy Godmother nodded in a composed manner. “Anything,” she confirmed.

   Red began to dream of what she could wish for. All the gold she’d have. All the places she’d travel… yet she knew what she’d wish for first.

“I want to be freed.”  

The Fairy Godmother nodded. “Done.”

The rusted, corroded door of the cell burst open. A sense of innate relief swelled in Red as she felt that she could practically taste the freedom. She wanted to fly, fly like the swallows did outside. Red felt that the temptation to escape the cell was obvious, but the Fairy Godmother didn’t see it. She continued to smile and gaze into the distance hazily. When Red Riding Hood could stand it no more, she leapt to her feet and ran for the open door; however, it slammed in her face with a resounding and earth-shattering bang.

   She bounded backwards, with a yelp. She turned on the Fairy Godmother. “What was that for?”

The Fairy Godmother’s façade was rather more maniacal now, her eyes wilder, her smile broader. “You didn’t think you’d just get to leave, did you?”

“I did.”

She giggled a high pitched, girlish laugh which irritated Red. “No, silly. Nothing’s free these days.”

“I don’t have any gold.”

“Not money. It’s hard to explain. I’m sure she’ll do a better job than I am.”

Giggle, giggle. “I’ve said too much already. Come with me.” And with another small shake of her head, she disappeared and the cell was dark once more. The panting of relief from the rats was audible, yet it was soon drowned by the guards emerging from the shadows which surrounded her prison. Their arms linked around hers and escorted her forcefully from the confines of the prison cell and in the direction of the Imperial Palace.


The room seemed hallowed, and Red felt inadequate compared to the splendour that surrounded her. It all seemed very refined and regal, and somehow she thought that there would have to be a reason that they’d allow a supposed murderer into the place in which the Queen lived. The Queen was well protected and treated as a person of utmost importance, which she obviously was. There would have to be seven different monarchs throughout the Seven Kingdoms to rule over them and each were treated, understandably, like royalty.

   The Imperial Palace was a good example of this. The luxury, the wonder, the sheer glory… this Palace must have been bigger than all the houses in Grimm combined, but the Queen didn’t seem to appreciate this. Instead, she sat on the throne impassively, bossing people around and wasting the people’s taxes. Red Riding Hood resented her because of this, along with her daughter and just about everyone who had blue blood coursing through their veins. Red believed in hard work, in loyalty, in morality whereas those who were bred with a silver spoon in their mouths had no such values. Red thought it funny that a ‘murderer’ was more morale than royalty, but the humour passed as soon as the Queen clicked her slender fingers to indicate that the guards should stop at her feet.

   They forced her to her knees before the Queen, and down her beaky nose the Queen inspected her.

“You know why you are here, yes?” she asked. Red remained still.

The Queen continued. “I know what you did, Red Riding Hood. There’s no point in being quiet now. You killed Cock Robin. You ought to hang.”

Red wanted to scream that she didn’t do it, that she was innocent yet somehow she knew it would make no difference at all. The Queen was so close-minded; Red doubted that anything she did could change the Queen’s perception of her. Murderer. Thief. Peasant. Filth. Why not add liar to the list?

   “However,” the Queen persisted, “you have a choice. You can go back to that prison until morning comes and you’re taken to the gallows, or you can help me. I need something. Something I’ve needed for a very long time. And you just may be the person who can do it for me.”

Red had absolutely no idea what she was talking about and she didn’t want to either. She just wished that none of this had ever happened, that she could go home (wherever that was) and continue her life as normal. If only she’d never gone to the Pail of Water. Never spoken to Goldilocks. In retrospect, this was probably what she’d have asked her Fairy Godmother for.

   “The task is that you must go through all seven of the Kingdoms, attaining new information and things that you may find useful until you eventually arrive to where the Big Bad Wolf lurks. There you will kill him.”

Red’s mind raced to the memory of the wreckage of the Dark Days, to the baring of his ferocious teeth, to the unadulterated fury which consumed her at the thought of everything he’d done.

   “I’ll do it.”

The Queen smiled. “Good. You will have an accomplice with you in your quest and you will begin early tomorrow, when morning dawns over Grimm.”

Red was perplexed. “Accomplice?”

 “Don’t be worried. With your hunting ability and ingenuity and his… well, you ought to be fine.”

Ought to be?”

 The Queen nodded her head. “You don’t think I can guarantee anything, do you? Now, that would be silly. All I can wish you is luck. Goodbye, Red Riding Hood.”

   And that was it. The Queen had bade them farewell and good luck and in the morning they would set off to what would most probably be their certain deaths, on an unexpected, possibly fatal journey, without the slightest remorse or desire to delay. Red was left wishing that her Fairy Godmother had never appeared and the longing to club the Fairy Godmother to death with her own wand rose from deep within her. But soon her lust for blood would be fulfilled in the form of the Wolf and that thought guided her until morning, when all she could think about was the fact that, in a way, she would be sent to the gallows tomorrow: although her noose in this case would be the expectations of Grimm heavy on her shoulders. And it was tightening so much, that not even the fairy’s magic could slacken the impenetrable coil. She could do nothing but feel unequivocally choked.


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