The Little Red Rose

Lokelani and her family have lived in the woodland settlement of Maylea their whole lives. They did what they had to do for survival and that was that. The new boy who moved in next door certainly caught her eye, but her mother has already laid out her daughters future. However, there are more pressing matters as Maylea gets attacked by werewolves. What can one 18 year old girl do to change her future?

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1. Wolves and Roses

It wasn’t that bad. Sure, the woods were dark; but it wasn’t like anything was going to happen to her…

Lokelani just kept telling herself that as she trudged down the almost invisible dirt track through the woodland. How could so many beautiful things exist in a place she could get hurt? The tall grass was a breath-taking emerald colour, and the flowers seemed like expensive jewels strewn across the ground. She had only seen a jewel once; a diamond on a married woman’s finger.

Marriage in Maylea was nothing as exciting as their neighbouring settlement of Iris, where the man would travel to the richer villages and trade his belongings for a ring. No, in Maylea, the man need only make a wreath of flowers he had gathered from the forest.

Lokelani crouched down at the catch of herbs her mother had specified and picked the sweet smelling leaves off the plants. At least these woods were good for something; she thought as she pulled her rough, red cloak tighter to her body as a strong gust of wind ruffled the trees above her.

Making sure that her basket of herbs was covered, she headed back home.

*

What was she doing? She could have been home already, in the shelter of the small wooden shack her family called home. But something had caught her large, amber eyes.

A single bush, blossoming with red flowers sat temptingly in front of her. Carefully, she plucked one of them and inspected it. It was a rose! Roses were worth a fair bit at the market, and the merchants from Iris had been known to trade some of the finest things they had for a single blossom such as bread, soft fabrics, shoes and even wine!

Lokelani picked several of the flowers and placed them in her basket as carefully as she could; if the petals were ruined they’d never sell.

The crack of a twig underfoot made the girl hold her breath and push herself into the bush. A large, dark brown wolf prowled past. Lokelani gasped, was that a werewolf? She clasped her hands over her mouth but it was too late. The beast turned to look at her. For a moment it stood in silence, taking in her small, petite figure and her messy ginger hair. Then it left. Just like that.

That day, Lokelani swore that she would never let herself get distracted on her way back from the woods; she valued her life.

 

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