Oct 19, 2010

Little Red Riding Hood

By Madiha Shekhani

Once upon a time, there was a girl named little Red Riding Hood. She lived with her parents in a small village. Myths said that the village was once inhabited by witches, however, one sinister Sunday evening, a group of priests got together and tossed in flaming torches. The shrill screams pierced through the village and the pungent smell settled in. The priests believed they had successfully burnt every village down to ashes. But were they so sure?

Every Sunday little Red Riding clutched on to her blood red cape and draped it over her shoulders, as the silken silhouettes gradually sidled on the cape. She hurriedly put her hood on and tucked the golden strand of her that limply hung by her rosy cheeks behind her ears. All set to go, she grabbed the bowl of pie she had baked and head towards the door.

‘Little Red Riding Hood where do you think you are going?’ Her mother exclaimed.

‘Why mother I am going to Gran’s house? See, I baked her, her favorite apple pie.’ She innocently smiled.

‘But do you not know it’s the Witches’ Eve today? I am most certainly not letting you go all alone across the river just to meet Gran. You have heard the myth haven’t you? The witches were torched alive over there today! It certainly is not safe for a young girl like you’

‘But mother please, oh please! Let me go! I promise I won’t take long.’ Little Red Riding Hood pleaded.

Sighing, her mother said, ‘Fine, but I want you back home before the sun sets.’

Ecstatically she skipped out the door, shouting back, ‘ oh don’t you worry mother!’

She happily left behind the tiny bricked cottage, its stoned pavement and very well kept garden. She swung her arms  back and forth and hummed her favorite tune, all she remembered was the first note! As she joyously jumped along the path, suddenly she tripped over a pot hole and fell bare on her knees. Little Red Riding Hood brushed the dirt off her blazing red, scratched knees from which tiny spots of blood oozed out.

‘Oh my!’ She worriedly said, ‘Look what  has happened, all my pie is scattered on the floor! Mother’s new dish is also broken. What will I do now?’ she unconsciously nibbled her nails, trying to work out what to do. As she looked up to the sky, the sun  slowly moved down and the striking shades of auburn and red receded on the sky. Little Red Riding Hood quickly pushed the broken glass aside and the pieces of pie near an ant hole and rushed across the river. Panting heavily, she reached Gran’s house/ The house was situated at the very far end of the area, the land left barren and surrounded by only two or three cottages in the neighborhood. The yellow leaves gathered under the trees and the sound of tiny creatures scurrying around, echoed. She wrapped her delicate fingers around the wooden ring and knocked on the door.

‘Gran? It’s me, are you home? I am sorry I am late and the delicious pie I baked for you fell on the way! And oh it is almost sun down, mother will be furious! Please open the door for I need to hurry back home. Gran?’

she kept on calling out but Gran did not answer. She gently pushed the door, it creaked and to her surprise, opened. Gran’s door was never unlocked. She cautiously walked in. what if there was a robber in the house? Frightened, she thought. Counting each step she tip toed further inside. Her heart pounded against her chest as she stealthily walked on Gran’s finely embroidered carpet. A rush of relief passed through her as she saw Gran sitting in front of the red bricked fireplace. Her back was towards Little Red Riding Hood, and a large pile of books surrounded her. The light from the candles flickered and reflected off  Gran’s white strands of hair.

‘Oh thank goodness Gran! You absolutely scared me! Why was the door unlocked? Was there a robber? Why aren’t the lights switched on? I think you will have to call mother, it is dark and she will be fuelling with anger!’ Red Riding Hood impatiently kept on talking, ‘ I wonder why she was so reluctant to let me stay after dark. Although she did say something about some eve, do you know of it Gran? I’m sure it is just a stupid myth!’

her words seemed to have made Gran flinch and she abruptly turned around, toppling a candle over. She now stood up facing Red Riding Hood. Her face was not visible because of the dim light in the room. She wore a very ruggedly patched and sowed up black cloak. Red Riding Hood peculiarly stared at her.

Gran finally broke the silence, ‘Stupid myth eh? Is that what you ignorant fools are calling that viscous day now?’ she slowly moved towards Red Riding Hood. Her voice kept on becoming more hoarse.

‘Gran..What? I .. I did not mean it. What is going on Gran ? Are you okay?’ she stuttered  But Gran ignored her and kept on mumbling something gibberish. As the light fell upon Gran, Red Riding Hood noticed as Gran’s eyes curled up inside her sockets and blood rushed through them, her face wrinkled up and her lips expanded. Red Riding Hood was left numb, unable to move, unable to find her voice to question or even scream. Gran began to vigorously shiver back and forth and her feet rose off the ground.

‘Today is the day when all the witches are given birth to, yet once again. Today will be the holy day on which we, the witches get our revenge. Today will surely be the day I add another witch to my clan, another Red Riding Hood.’ She snarled.

Red Riding Hood screamed as loudly as her lungs permitted her to. She glared intensely with her blood shot eyes at Red Riding Hood and held her gaze. Red Riding Hood shook with fear, praying and pleading for help. The witch, who was once sweet old Gran, now stood inches away from Red Riding Hood. She extended her skinny and wrinkled hands towards Red Riding Hood’s small throat. Red Riding Hood awaited what ever there was to happen and tightly squeezed her eyes shut.

BAM, The door flew open, with a large gush of air. Two familiar faces stood in the door way. Burning tears streamed down Red Riding Hood’s mortified face. Relieved, she surely was, but she still had a nagging feeling that something worse still awaited. The witch ignited with fury when she both her sons, the famous hunters of the village.

‘How dare you interrupt my ritual?’ She howled.

‘It is Witches’ Eve yet once again and history shall repeat itself, yet once again.’ Uncle Charlie coldly retorted.

With one shot in the arm, she flew back on to the sofa. Red Riding Hood’s Father and Uncle Charlie forcefully held on to the witch as she persistently screamed. They carried her to the fireplace and Red Riding Hood’s father ordered her to close her eyes. But she stood there, too scared to move any part of her. Soon she realized that somewhere inside the witch was her sweet old Gran, who was now inches away from the smoldering fire. She ran towards them, but Uncle Charlie tightly clutched on to her.

‘Gran!!’ She screamed. But her plea was drowned by the piercing sound of blasting fire. She closed her eyes for she knew it would be a horrid sight. Red Riding Hood heard the shrill screams and smelt the pungent smell. Just in that moment she knew, it was not a ‘ stupid myth’ after all.   


Lamia Fahim said...

I have issues with the punctuation and pronouns in some areas, and in the first paragraph you've suddenly switched from village to villages?
Just constructive criticism. :)
But the descriptions were vivid, it made me actually imagine the scenes as they occurred, you've done a good job with those. :)

Saniya Kamal said...

I liked that there was a witch instead of a wolf. But i don't get whether some witch had possessed her or was the Gran evil from the beginning?
Other than that, it was a good stoy.
Oh and it would've been really nice if you had incorporated the "why do you have such big teeth grandma?" you know, those lines, according to the story.But it would've been difficult.

Misal Shujjat said...

I LOVED THIS! your description was wonderful and very, very vivid. I really enjoyed reading it :)

Sama K. said...

this story actually gave me chills! I really enjoyed the description on the sunset! great job!^^

Madiha Shekhani said...

thankyou so much everyone! :)
and lamia yes i have made plenty of mistakes with punctuation! ill make it better next time! thank you so much :)

Madiha Shekhani said...

Oh and Saniya gran was supposed be evil from the beginning, i know that part should have been more clear! thankyou so much for your comments! :)

Alisha said...

Woow :O

Rahima S. said...

I LOVE THIS. The twist was awesome :)

Zahra Fatima said...

I love this Madiha......you've done a very good job with the descriptions!

Madiha Shekhani said...

thankyou! :)

ayesha said...

whoa. this is amazing. :)

Nimrah N said...

Creepy. I could actually see this all enfolding while i read. You've left me with a very disturbing set of rather vivid mental images, Madiha.
I love how you managed to drag the reader into the story with the description. Kudos!

Madiha Shekhani said...

hahah thankyouu! :)

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