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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14. Two Days Later

Granny had caught the flu. Sneezing, wheezing and coughing had all retired her to her bed; meaning I, the plain and unknowing Hood having to care for her as if she was a new born. And all thanks to the snow; Pa and Ma hadn't returned for two days after Pa had left us- ringing us later after he had gone to explain how bad the snow was on our side of the forest and how it had snowed them in. Obviously he'd asked if Granny would look after me until he could shovel his way out- (due to being blocked from the outside it would take him until the snow had died down to do anything; and it was clear Granny couldn't go and wouldn't allow me to go either.) She was more than happy.

But, once again- the weather had made itself known and had infected Granny with this horrible cold. She did nothing other than lie underneath her stripy bed quilt and asked for a new tissue box or for some warm Potato and Leek soup. And since she had always been the one to make the food when I was with her, it had taken me a while to understand how to switch on the cooker. But throughout it all, she hadn't changed since- so I was allowed to keep myself happy by talking to her whenever she was awake and sometimes running outside in the snow; all the while under the impression that my Granny was back again. It was only when I took her soup up that day, that I realised I was completely wrong...

Stumbling up the rickety stairs, I balanced a tray of dodgy plates piled with bread rolls, buttered and jammed, throat soothers, tissues and a lovely herbal tea. Pushing the door open with my knee, I walked into Granny's flower-infested room and placed the tray on her bedside table.

"Here you are, Granny," I said as I passed her the tea and placed the sixth bowl of soup onto her lap.

"Thank you dear; you're such a good Grandaughter," she smiled, taking the tea from me and placing the rim close to her withered lips. She took a sip, only a tiny one; before bringing it to rest on the side of her plate.

"Is that all you need Granny?" I asked, the forced politeness I had adopted at the start of this "adventure" soon wearing off and becoming genuine.

"Yes thank you love," she nodded.

I smiled and turned around; heading for the door, down the stairs, and for the armchair I had sat in two days ago. Outside, the snow had taken a turn for the worse- and with no sign of it clearing before the week was up I decided to make myself feel more at home. Leaning back in the chair, I brought my knees to my chin and allowed my eyes to close; images of Dobbin and Ma and Pa racing through my head. I wondered to myself how they were getting on. No doubt Ma would have raised the monthly telephone bill by seventy pounds with the excessive daily calls she had made to us in the past couple days. I laughed silently, making sure it wasn't my usual out-burst just so I didn't disturb Granny.

It was just so nice to be able to relax for five minutes; without having to look after Granny like a pet Griffon all the time. I felt like an exhausted Ma; having a few minutes breathing before the baby started crying again and I had to rise from the comfortable seat I found myself sitting in and quieten her.

I allowed myself to close my eyes for a second, dreaming again of something I can't quite recall.

Then suddenly, "Hood?" my Granny called; her voice seemingly adopting that deep feel like it had done a couple of times before. My heart leapt, my throat closing up. Maybe if I just ignored her requesting, she might forget what she wanted and leave me be- that was until she had...changed back to the way she was.

But her voice rang out like a warning siren again, rushing down the stairs and into my threatened ears.

"Hood!" she was more angry now.

"C-comi-ing!" I gulped, my throat preventing my voice from coming out. I stood up slowly, the sofa pushing me up almost egging me onwards. Her cry echoed again, and I headed for the stairs.

Ascending, when I reached the landing, I strolled over to her room where the door was closed completely. That strange, meaty smell leaked from under the door; and I was forced to grip my nostrils from between my index finger and thumb before shoving the door open. It skimmed across the carpet, ruffing it all up and creating a huge arch as I entered.

Granny lay there, her glasses spleen across the floor in an untidy fashion. I took note of it; remembering how Granny had always been a neat freak.

"Are you...ok?" I asked; keeping my distance from her by standing at the door frame.

"Come here." She replied with a tone of dominance- something I wasn't used to with Granny.

But as I peered at her, wondering whether I should just run away like I should have the first time I had witnessed the change, I noticed some small changes- so small in fact that they were almost unnoticeable.

"My- wh-what...big ears you have," I commented on her unusaually large ears which seemed to be protruding from her head.

"All the better to hear you with, my dear."
"A-and what big...EYES you have," as they were considerably larger and blacker than usual.

She didn't even flinch, "all the better to see you with, my dear."

A sudden... recollection hit me. This all seemed vaguely familiar yet absolutely new. Was that even possible?

I persevered, like some unknown force possessing me "what... a big nose you have."

"All the better to smell you with, my dear."

That wasn't freaky.

"And what big..." my voice started at this new, strange words I was about to say. "And what big....teeth you have."

At this, a cross between a grimace and a smirk wiped across her face; moulding her mouth into a scary opening. It sent shivers down my spine.

Suddenly, a low grumble sound came from her throat; a sound that was so familiar it was off putting.

"All the better to eat you with."

I ran for the door, my arm reaching for the side of it; but my feet catching on the ruffed carpet. I fell, landing flat on my torso. I could hear Granny snarling behind me, and I tried to get up again but my ankle was preventing me; an excruciating pain throbbing from around my left foot. It was twisted.

Instead, I scrabbled for the open door, my heart thudding and my heart pounding in a mad frenzy to escape the beast which had overtaken my Granny- the beast that almost killed my Pa- the beast that almost had me on the cliff side.

There was no time to look back; no time to scream out. I was a gonna- for sure. It would have happened sooner or later- later rather than sooner. It was like I had suddenly given up.

 But suddenly, when I had cowered away to hide from the expected searing pain; nothing happened. Instead, I heard a humongous, screeching snarl, closely followed by a gut-wrenching yelp. I looked up. Dazed by the sudden event, my eyes only focused on the blurry image of what once was my Granny- a huge, black wolf being flung through the air, the smaller image of a mighty amber wolf attacked to its side via its huge jaw. It was only when my eyes seemed to awaken that I realised...it was my C.J.

 

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