Blah. I'm typing and feeling like I could throw up at an minute. This is awesome. I felt fine when I woke up an hour-and-a-half ago. But...I showered, I had a glass of water, I worked out (not in that order...in fact, that's exactly reversed). Other than that? I haven't done anything. There's no reason or me to feel sick. I certainly hope it's not flu. Blech.
Well, this is an uplifting post.
Let's move on. In my writing group meeting on the 30th, I was tasked with writing about a well-known character who loses the thing that's dearest to them. This was the result:
All her life, she’d been defined by this one piece of clothing. This...blanket. This...hood. The name had followed her like the billowing cape attached. And now? She stood on the crude stone bridge looking over the edge and into the water that flowed easily by underneath.
Every good forest needed a river. This river was as good as they came, meandering through the trees, never breaking its banks, catching and disposing of leaves in the autumn. Orange, brown, red.
Little Red Riding Hood unclasped her namesake and whirled it off her shoulders, a gesture she was quite good at after years of donning and disrobing. She held it in her arms like a wounded animal. A single breath more, and it was in the river, floating, drifting. The red became saturated, dark with the river’s carriage. Before long, she couldn’t tell it apart from the leaves that rested on the surface, and after another minute it was too far away fro her to see.
She turned from the bridge’s edge and continued down the path. She wouldn’t see her grandmother again for a long time, so the worry hadn’t set in. On her way back to her mother’s house, she passed the store clerk as he crouched at the base of a tree, collecting mushrooms.
“Hello, Mr. Twist!”
He turned and looked at her, squinting at her face. Finally, he unscrewed his face and gave a small wave, not his customary hello. He didn’t even ask about her grandmother like he usually did. She shrugged and continued on her way.
Next, she met the headmaster of the small town’s school. She waved as she skipped by, but he only looked at her in her drab smock and kept walking. People certainly were being unfriendly. “Maybe it’s a full moon,” she thought to herself.
She arrived at her house in a few more minutes, a small thatched cottage on the edge of town. When she got inside, the fire was out and there was not a meal on the table. Her mother was no where to be found. She called around the small house, looking in every spot she might be hiding. “Maybe she stepped out for something.”
Before she could sit down again, she heard a commotion outside. She stepped from the cottage and looked at the street, which was teeing with people headed toward the forest. She stopped one of them.
“Excuse me, ma’am. Where is everyone going?”
The woman looked at her with bugged eyes. “The old bridge! Little Red Riding Hood has drowned! Widow Malachi found her hood on the banks a ways down.”
She chuckled and said, “But I’m Red Riding Hood!” but the woman was already too far away to hear her. She shut the door and turned, and a man was staring at her.
Little froze, staring at the man, who rushed toward her.
“You thief! Taking advantage of the commotion and the disappearance of Red Riding Hood! I’m taking you in!”
She dodged him, but he was too fast. He grabbed her right arm and started dragging her toward the constabulary. She protested, “But I’m Red Riding Hood!”
“The hell you are!” the man said, snorting. She screamed to anyone who would listen, but no one responded. They were all headed to the forest. The constable threw her into the jail cell and shut the door. “There. Now you can’t do anymore harm while we’re all off finding that poor, poor girl. You should be ashamed of yourself!”
“But...but..” she dissolved into tears as the man slammed the door and headed off with everyone else into the forest.
I love a good short short. Although the jury is still out on whether or not this is good...