“A women is like a tea bag-
you can’t tell how strong she is
until you put her in hot water.”
- Eleanor Roosevelt
I was tripping over roots and rocks trying to get away for the monstrous beast behind me. I could feel its hot breath huffing and puffing behind me. All of a sudden I fell over a unseen log. The beast’s claws were out and ready to pounce on me. With a jolt I woke up before the beast could clamp his jaws on my neck.
I woke up with sweat all over my back with worry and regret I didn’t fight back. I worried that my mom would find out about my dreams, she already hates me for not being like a regular girl. As if summoned there was a knock on my door. I heard a screeching noise saying,
“Winda get up! You going to be late for The Tea.” my mother screamed
“Do I really have to go!” I wyned, regretting it the moment it slipped out.
“You very inconsiderate young lady, you know how much this means to me.” My mother exclaimed
“So this isn’t for your reputation?!” I yelled back sarcastically,
“might as well go all the way” I thought
“Don’t you dare sass me young lady, you are going to the tea and that is it!” my mother yelled back.
I stomped back into my room and slammed the door, shaking the door. I pulled out the only dress that I liked. The dark green dress fit perfectly, but the only problem was the waist. I took short breaths so I wouldn’t pass out. My ribs started to ache, because the corset was tied so tightly. I bent down to put on my shoes but I found I couldn’t reach any further than my thighs. For a few minutes I struggled to stand back up. In the end I grasped the bureau and slipped my feet into the black heels. I heard my mom screaming to get into the carriage.
I looked around and all I saw were proper, perfect young ladies who were nothing like me.They all stared at me as we walked into the tea. My mother whispered to me,
“Those girls are proper young ladies, they got here before it started and helped out, as they should.”
“Well those girls want to find a man and live off him.” I whispered harshly back.
The harsh glare of my mother was piercing through my back, but I didn’t dare turn around. I could see that it was going to blow up in my face, and then my mother would truly be mad.
We found a table and every so often she would point out something that the other girls around me could do better than I. First it was the way I poured tea, then she criticized how my hair wasn’t as neatly put up as the other girls. I kept telling myself to just let it blow over. As soon as I thought she was done she said,
“I wish I had one of those girls as a daughter, not someone who constantly disappoints and embarrasses me.”
This was my breaking point. I looked at her and stood up, then walked out the door, everyone’s eyes were filled of shock as their eyes followed me out. I didn’t look back, I just ran home boiling with anger.
Everything was a blur. All I remember was going home, grabbing my things, and ran towards the woods and to the only person that understood me, my grandmother. I just kept running and running until I saw smoke out of a chimney. I knocked on the door expecting my grandmother to answer, but was greeted by an old woman, who wasn’t my grandmother. I was frightened and started to walk away, but then she said,
“I see red in your future.”
“Excuse me?” I asked surprisingly.
“Come inside.” She exclaimed.
I walked into her house hesitantly.
“What did you mean when you said ‘I see red in your future.’” I asked
“I mean that I can see that you are not like the others in Camomile.” The Old Woman explained.
“Well... I guess I am not like the other girls, ” I said.
“Indeed, you are destined for greatness, they are merely meant to be housewives.” The Old Woman added.
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“You, Winda Wolf, are meant to be greater than those other young ladies, you are meant to succeed where many others have not.”
“How am I supposed to do that, I can barely find the way to my Grandmother’s house!” I exclaimed.
“Don’t worry about your destiny now that will all come in time, right now you should be heading east to your Grandmother’s before dark, bad things happen in darkness my dear. Make sure you keep that in mind.” The Old Woman explained to me.
I thanked the Old Woman for the extremely weird conversation and headed east, down the simi worn path. While I was walking I realized that I left so quickly I hadn’t had any time to pack food. A loud rumbling sound came from my stomach and I hoped my Grandmother would have something tasty that I could eat. I continued down the path with the thought of food lingering in my thoughts.
Finally I stumbled upon my Grandmother’s cottage, and I heard a growling noise of a big and dog like creature just waiting behind me. I knew I remembered this noise from some place else, it frightened me. I turned around but only the swaying of the trees and bushes could be seen. I turned back towards the cottage and saw my grandmother in a simple dress that she used to clean the cottage in.
“My dear, I didn’t know you were coming today!” My grandmother Exclaimed, “Don’t tell me you left without telling your mother.”
“Don’t worry she knows, and so does the whole town by now.” I sighed
“Maybe you should head back soon so the both of us don’t get in trouble, but first lets talk this over with a nice hot bowl of soup.”
“I’d like that.” I smiled
We walked back inside and I sat myself on her comfy chair. I told her what happened at the tea. I told her about the way my mother would point out what the other girls did better than I could. Then I told her what she said to me that made me lose it. When I was finished I expected my Grandmother, the one person who had always understood me, to tell me that I was right to run and that anyone would have done the same thing, but what I heard was not at all what I expected.
“Winda, I know your mother isn’t always the most understanding of people. But I’m sure that she loves you deep down for who you are. You shouldn’t have run, you mother must be worried sick.”
“I thought that you would understand how I am feeling!” I exclaimed
“I do understand but i know how much your mother must worry about you getting lost or being killed.” My Grandmother explained.
“You don’t understand, she ruining my life!” I exclaimed.
I stormed out of my Grandmothers house fuming with fury, running into the woods where I could not be found by anyone. I just ran as fast as i could not knowing or caring what was coming up next. My breath sharpened and the air became colder, a fog started to roll in and I knew there was no way I could find my way back. Leaned up against a ash tree and slid down what should have been bark. I jumped up surprised, and looked closely at the tree. Some sort of sword stuck in the tree. The thing that surprised me most was that the tree was made of stone or it was petrified by some unknown magic. I slowly backed away hoping to get as far away from the dark magic that made the tree.
The same growling came from behind me just like before, but this time it sounded like it was only a few feet behind me. I hesitantly turned around and jumped back as i saw this dog like creature staring right at me. It’s black eyes seemed to pierce everything it looked at. There was no way out of this situation so I decided to grab the sword and fight for my destiny, and for a life I had always wanted. Even though I had never used or been near a sword in my life, it didn’t seem to matter, it was as if the sword knew what it wanted, and at the moment it wanted this huge, hungry dog dead.So I decided to just run as fast as I could towrds him and strick him with the sword as many time as I could. Unfortunately that’s not what the sword thought was best. So I stood at a stance and held the sword at the ready. I parried, thrusted, lunged, and struck moving like water, bending and twisting out of the dog’s reach. With one finally blow the fearless dog collapsed.
I was so happy and felt undefeated, but wet, sticky blood was all over my legs and arms, from the gushing wound. I thought about what my mother would say, and realized that maybe my Grandmother was right and it was wrong and selfish of me to run. So I decided to head back home with pride in my head and a sword in my hand. The whole town saw me walking back to my house and I knocked on my mother's door. When I opened it up all I saw were teary eyes of joy, that soon turned cold as they looked upon me. When the town saw me they knew what I have defeated. My mother was the only one who didn’t see the greatness in what I had done. She only saw how different I looked compared to everyone else.
“Don’t worry mother, I’m only here to get my things. Don’t worry about protecting your image.” I said still not totally understanding why she acted like that.
“I’ll get you some extra money and food.” said our teary eyed cook Marta.
“Thanks Marta,” I whispered.
I walked past my mother, who still had the same cold stare as before, and up to my room. I took a big bag and folded all my clothes and everything I would ever need neatly on top of each other. When I finished gathering my stuff together, I headed back downstairs where Marta had a sack of food and a bag of money. I took it graciously and gave her a warm hug. On my way out I looked at my mother and gave her a quick smile, knowing that it probably was something that proper girls should do, but instead she smiled, a quick smile right back at me, the first I’d seen in years and probably the last. I closed the door behind me, and luckily most of the other people gathered had left. The few stragglers gave me extra food and money. The last was a boy about my age who I had a few classes with before. He handed me a package and wrapped me in a warm embrace. He was the last person I saw before leaving for good and becoming what was my destiny, a monster hunter.