Hood

The first in the twisted fairy tale series brought to life with sinister tales, mystery and suspense.

Little Red Riding Hood (or Hood to her immediate friends and family,) has just celebrated her fourteenth birthday when a series of mysterious murders happens...

Yet soon Hood is swept up into the investigation- trying hard to suss out who is behind it all. But as she delves deeper into the clues, she realises that the obvious is good; and the hidden is bad...

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15. Abnormalities

The local police had come on the scene. And of course the paramedics. I was more scarred than hurt. I had watched them both...mauling on the floor- tearing chunks of matted fur from each other and snarling like a pack of devil dogs. I had watched as Clineas had sunk his fangs into C.J's fleshy leg. I had watched as C.J had bitten into Clineas' neck. And there was nothing I could do...that was until I thought afterwards.

C.J had just bitten Clineas' neck. I was halfway to the door by now, backing up whilst never taking my eyes of the adapting fight which had taken up inside my Granny's room. I automatically gripped onto my wolf brooch which hadn't left my cloak from where it's had been pinned. It was a comfort to me. I dragged myself towards the door, thinking if I could somehow get their attention they would stop in their tracks- a long shot I know, but I wasn't ready to loose my new friend.

Suddenly, as I gripped my brooch tighter, they stopped. C.J released his monstrous grip from Clineas' neck; and Clineas' eyes lost their wild streak. Randomly, they stood staring at me, almost like waiting for a command. That was when it hit me.

"I have the power," I muttered. "I have the power!" I cried louder, a large rush overwhelming me as my life seemed to loosen.

"You are under my command." I reminded, talking directly to Clineas even though C.J was too. He hung his head, almost in shame as I jogged his minimal-sized memory.

"That means you have to do every command I tell you to."

His eyes glanced up; his brow raising. They held the expression of a puppies'- ashamed perhaps at the way he had almost killed his mistress.

"I should think so," his expression and my overwhelming power was far too fun for me to experiment with. But C.J's face was worried- it looked like it was...warning me.

I shook it off and continued, "so, seeing as I am your mistress; I want you...to..." I was going to make him do all the chores he deserved to do- but I had to remind myself that I had two fully grown wolves staring at me in my Granny's room. It wasn't the time to play.

"Just..." Then I remembered Granny- how could I forget anyway? "Where is my Granny?"

"Hood." C.J's voice rang out aloud. I ignored it, "come on, tell me! Where have you put my Granny?"

Clineas looked up, a smug expression on his face as he answered, "oh we took care of her."

Fury rose within, longing to come out. "Give me my Granny back now."

He laughed, much to my amazement.

"Hood, stop it." C.J warned again.

"Show me to her, or I will...I will-" then I had it "smash this brooch."

The smile wept off his face. "You wouldn't."

"Oh but I would." I replied with a smug grin. "Because if I break this, you won't have anything left."

"Hood, stop this now." C.J's voice was more forceful.

Slowly, I started to I unpin my brooch from my cloak. I clasped it whole in my hand, showing him the power yielded within my hand. I could hear every rhythmic heartbeat. It was good.

"So, are you going to give me my Granny back? Or will I have to cause some damage?"

Then, his face changed. From sorry puppy to laughing warlock- his expression had changed to something of sheer menace and victory.

My strong voice weakened, "what?"

"Your petty age has got the better of you."

"What?"

He let out a malicious chuckle, "don't you see? No. I didn't think so. You, being such a tiny,little, pest; has considerably made my life so much easier. It is you, my friend, who has given me your power."

None of it made sense, particularly because I was trying to make it sound better in my confused head.

It was C.J who helped, "he is no longer under your power. Your age has made restrictions to your power."

My heart leapt again. Why hadn't I just listened to C.J and banished him when I could? Why!

"So you see, all I need to do now, is to kill you, kill your family and conquer this petty village. I might keep your Gran alive though; maybe make her do everything I say or else..." His voice turned mocking, "her precious Hood will die."

That was it. That was the final straw. With every ounce of anger built up within me during these past days, my birthday, those eyes, almost meeting my death two times. And of course this expedition. It seemed that all my frustration and strength went into the one hit. With all my force, I struck, my hand punching the wolf's solid head just above his eye- I was surprised by my aim and by how far I could reach judging by my position. He flinched, yowling slightly as his eye was hit.

"Run C.J!" I yelled, scrambling towards the door. Suddenly, I was grasped, C.J gripping me by the cloak and swinging my up through the air. Then I was on C.J's back, heading down the stairs and racing through the front door.

Then we were sprinting, through the woods and towards my Pa's work. We galloped, my brooch within my hand and Clineas hot on our heels.

"Throw the brooch!" C.J ordered as he leapt over a fallen tree. Clineas matched our move.

"No!"

"Throw it!! It's what he wants!"

"It's precious! I'm not throwing it!"

"Throw it or he might just do as he promised!"

Thoughts of my family being out in danger was too unbearable. I peered down at my brooch, admiring its gems gleaming in the sunlight. It was gorgeous. But there was no time for goodbyes. In an instant, I lobbed it over my shoulder in the general direction the mimicking bracken was coming from. From behind, I heard the clink as it bounced off a stone; the fearsome halting as Clineas scrambled to a stop. He had found what he had wanted- but in a mad rush to escape I had given him the power of all wolves...

But there was no time to think about that- the woodcutter's was in sight, revealed between the parting trees.

We galloped up to the gate, entering and skidding to a halt in the clearing. I cautiously sold from his back, leaning my weight into his shoulder.

"Hood! My darling girl!"

A familiar voice sounded like music in my worn ears, and I turned around and was instantly snuggled in the firm arms on my Ma. Then my Pa followed, enclosing us both in his monstrous grip. I wanted to be nowhere else. I wanted to stay there. I never wanted to leave. This was the place I wished to have been in, over all this time.

"Hood!"

I recognised that voice. It was...Granny! Quickly, I pushed myself out of my parents' loving clasp and spotted her, standing there slightly bruised and battered resting on C.J. I limped over, my ankle searing with pain but I managed to ignore it. I met her, hugging her tightly. Her usual biscuit-aroma flooded my nose; a lovely change from stale meat. I had never felt that happy in those previous days. Never. It was there I wanted to remain, within my families' grasp.

****

We had travelled back to the cottage, where teams of paramedics and police groups had cornered off Granny's pretty cottage. There was no sign of the wolf pack. There was no sign of them being there, apart from a huge hole in the side of Granny's house where C.J had somehow managed to enter.

"How did you know where to find me?" I had asked him as Granny took a statement. She still refused to tell me what had happened to her.

"I know where you are. I always have, I always will."

His words suddenly sprung a memory, "C.J."

"Yes?"

"When I first saw you, in the woods that day, you said you had known me for ages- what did you mean?"

A slight grin flickered across his face before he answered, "I used to baby sit you when wolves did a lot for the humans. Your Ma and Pa hired me for when you were born. We were and still are good friends."

When he spoke I remembered distant, yet realistic memories; early ones of me in my crib and C.J's amber face peering in on me. Images of me on C.J's back and racing through the woods alike what we had done today. I had thought they had been long gone- but they had all come flooding back to me at his from friendly words. I felt a sudden pang of love for him.

"So...what now with the pack?"

He scoffed, "that rouge would have had his way someday, we'll just have to wait until it comes."

And with that, we carried on walking, walking towards the cottage which had turned into a crime scene.

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