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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6. Winter's Morning

Winter was slowly creeping in, and in with it brought cool winds freezing your nose and making your face feel fresh and wind-kissed. That morning, I had woken up at 6am sharp- already dressed with a full stomach by quarter two. I grabbed my notebook and quietly snuck out of the door, closing it shut gently as not to wake Ma and Pa. It was still fairly dark outside, the hints of sunlight slowly creeping in over the hills towards the North. There was a thin sheet of morning mist lingering around my ankles; and the darken silhouettes of clouds were dotted around the sky. I looked forwards, following the track I was about to take with my weary eyes; deep into the shadows in the forest. This seemed like a good idea last night.

I contemplated; rocking calmly to and fro on my feet as I thought. It would be too obvious to take Dobbin with me. Pa usually checked how he was first thing when he woke up. If I took him; he'd start to panic. It was better if I went on my own- that way Ma and Pa wouldn't know I had gone as they know not to stride into my room when I'm sleeping. It would be like I had never gone.

"Right," I told myself, hoping for some hidden urge and fearlessness to carry my cracked feet onwards...yet nothing seemed to be happening. Was it the unknown fear that I might encounter the murderer? Or even worse...the Wolf? I was almost certain of it. But despite my attempts to persuade myself that I was just being over-the-top; something inside me nagged at my thoughts- willing me to believe that something dangerous could be lurking within the forest. I had to snap out of this. There was a murderer on the loose, possibly watching me right now- wishing me to step forwards out of the safe protective bubble of my home; and into the mysterious forest where they lurked. This was, after all; real life I was dealing with here- not some make believe fantasy rubbish I was thinking I could take on. I should turn back. It was the right thing to do...

Slowly, I pivoted on my feet, twisting them round towards the door I had just closed. I reached a shaking hand somewhat lifelessly towards the handle; all the while knowing I was doing the right thing. But wait. There it was! Something hidden within the valleys of my heart there came a willing. A feeling of complete hope: complete fearlessness that somehow made me stronger.  Suddenly, I wasn't afraid of The Big Bad Wolf; like I would have been if I was standing here in this same position two years ago. I was older. I was more...mature. I strode forwards, led by the outstanding courage which seemed to own me. My stale hand slipped from the comforts of my house. I bet the murderer was rolling in laughter- I was theirs.

The forest around me seemed to close; the darkness folding in. The fright that first accompanied me had been replaced by valour which pushed me onwards; further into the cavernous depths of the unknown.Yet as I gained closer to the place, a change in the surrounding occurred. The sun had managed to glint through in aluminous lemon, beaming through the canopies of trees and onto the path ahead; dotted unconventionally in strange leaf patterns. But as well as this, (a quality I was slowly starting to dislike,) was the trees seeming to whisper. Their branches swayed with a rhythmic fashion; their leaves swishing against each other and exchanging secrets that were carried away with the wind to some other part of the forest. Either they were talking about how stupid I was being- going in search for something I that I knew could kill me in one go; but might not even exist... or they were urging me to turn round and save myself from the resolution I was about to meet. But I ignored them... what did they know? Not the full story- that's for sure. However, a more sinister feeling was starting to overcome me as I strode closer to the place. It made me somehow forget who I was, forget how I used to love spending time here and wish I never have to come to these woods again; for what I had once known as a tranquil, friendly, welcoming forest had suddenly changed to an unnerving, gossiping one filled with secrets and mysterious mythical creatures. I didn't know it anymore. It was all disappearing into a black abyss and was never to return.

I carried on forwards, a possession overtaking me; far beyond my human capabilities. It controlled me, like a great Goddess overseeing that I don't back out from what is ahead. It suddenly wasn't about keeping my home- thinking about it now it didn't seem so bad. Now, it revolved around.... around the Wolf itself; almost pressuring me to come face to face with its transparent eyes and delve further into its hidden secrets. But what I found the strangest out of everything, was that I wanted to see it. I wanted to ask it what it was doing here- despite it probably not having the power to answer. It was adrenaline; pushing me to the place, pushing me to find out all its secrets. It was all adrenaline. Was it just me? Had I changed over my birthday; turning into some type of adrenaline seeker who laughs in the face of evil? After all, the old me wouldn't have even thought of this idea. Was all this possible? So many questions were filling my head; so-much-so that I decided to ignore them all and persevere along the winding track... until the familiar bushes sprang out from the undergrowth and out onto the dust path. I had arrived.

I stopped abruptly, my knees jolting violently forwards as my feet seemingly glue to the ground. My eyes closed tight; without my permission and my shoulders crept up and mould into my ear lobes. Something minor had changed within me. I prepared myself for an excruciating pain enclosing my waist and squashing forcefully; but nothing. I waited for that menacing growl to illuminate the forest with its sinister sound and grow louder, louder until it was behind me...but nothing. Nothing! Had it just been my imagination? No. It couldn't have been- Dobbin wouldn't have freaked out if nothing was there...but whatever it had been, it was long gone.

I breathed a sigh of relief, perhaps the old me had been trying to battle with the new me and stop us from ever coming here. I guess in a way I was glad- it meant that I hadn't fully changed. I allowed myself a half-hearted laugh, and I pulled my notepad and pen I had quickly brought from home out of my pocket and walked towards the sight. Nothing out of the ordinary- just a plain clearing where some overgrown wildflowers sprung from their roots; and a small amount of tangled bracken had wrapped itself around a stick; entangled together. I couldn't help but be captured by the whole spectacle.

"Great detective I am," I muttered, but my mouth pulled up into a crooked smile and I turned my back towards the clearing to scribble in my notebook:

Nothing out of the ordinary

*Growl.*

What was that? I froze, my limbs seeming to be stuck in a huge, invisible ice block. That was most definitely out of the ordinary... it was a growl.

I didn't dare turn around; that old fear returning to haunt me. My heart was trying to break free of my chest, leaping from behind my ribs and pouring into the atmosphere; and my lungs heaved forcefully in and out, tearing away from my windpipe.

*Growl.*

 It was a low growl which rattled my organs and sent shivers down my spine. This time it appeared to come from the clearing, louder and more threatening. My heart started protesting even more; and I longed to be home and snug in my broken bed.  Where had all my intrepidity gone? It had been with me a minute ago! Once again, my curiosity had got the better of me. I cursed myself, over and over until my breath reached a high pitched squeak. I had never felt this terrified.
I allowed my eyes to trail to the left of me, my body following it obediently; that metrical beating sounding out in my head. But my eyes never closed, my legs never once posed for fleeing like they should have been. Instead, I was transfixed on the clearing. That was when I saw them. Two topaz eyes infested with maliciousness... they lured me in. It was true what I had seen yesterday- and it was far too late to do anything about it.

 

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