Red Riding Hood retold in Stephen King’s manner

13 02 2012

Red Riding Hood clicked the start button of her Walkman as she followed her mother down the forest path. Of course she knew that it was quite rude not to listen, but who cares as long as mom will keep mumbling about what a piece of shit Red’s father was. Yeah, what a piece of shit is it all! Everything is!

Since Mr Hood has packed his things into his old shabby suitcase (the one he had with him when they were off on their honeymoon with mom, yes) and accompanied with shriek of his wife left and hit the door against the door frame so that Blue, Red’s little brother woke up upstairs and started his squealing; since that day mom seemed to be speaking about it only. How crappy her life used to be and how crappy the dad was and so on.

Oh, how I wish she would just shut up and let us enjoy the walk!

Still deep in her thoughts Red mumbled, “I’ll be back in a moment” – and stepped out of the path into the woods.

Bushes scratched her legs as if they wanted to hold her. Good that she put on long jeans. She’d have to be careful though in order not to tear them against these wild crazy plants. Mom would be furious.

What red wanted was actually to pee, and so she did, and then as every reasonable girl, she turned round and went in the direction she meant to be right for coming back to her mom.

Where am I? I should have found her by now! Damn.

A basket with a cake and a pot of butter seemed to be so heavy now. The forest suddenly became so thick and so impenetrable and so wile. There must be wild animals… How do they call them… carni.. carnivorous or something of the kind. Oh damn it damn it damn it! Where is my mom.

Daylight started to bleach, the air looked cloggy and murky and stiff, and Red kept walking in the direction she meant to be right, but there was still no trace of a path or her mother or any signs of human civilization. In addition to that slight fog that started drifting down to the earth in the morning now went up and swirled all around the girl. The fog covered bushes and trees and turned their silhouettes into grotesque monsters spreading their arms to embrace her, to cuddle her, to make her sleep and never wake up… Oh she was so tired! That is when she heard the voice. It was quiet and somehow both sinister and charming at the same time, it seemed to come out of nowhere and from any side she would look at.

“What are you doing here in this wood? Don’t you know little girls are prohibited to walk on their own without some proper company?”

“Who are you? I am not afraid of you! – shouted Red Riding Hood as loudly and as fearlessly as she could do. Her body shook with fear, but, whoever was this creature, it shouldn’t know how horrified she was. – And by the way, I am not little!”

“Aren’t you? – asked the voice rather ironically. – What do you have there in your basket?”

“Tha-that’s not your business!”

“Oh is it? That is how you speak to strangers!”

“Mom taught never to do so!”

“And you always do what your mother says?”


Stop doing that. Stop talking to him! He is probably some perverse guy from those news-blocks when mom tells you to go away and not watch and then the whole neighbourhood discusses some girl from the school was found dead or even worse – raped.

Red did not actually know what this word meant – to rape, and when she asked her mother she was told she was still too young to worry about that rubbish. But obviously not too young to get lost in a forest and face some maniac now.

“Show me who you are and then I answer your question!” – She shouted, looking as fearlessly as she could.

And then he stepped out of the fog and darkness. His eyes were shining with cold ruthless, – hungry! – light and he had some fur and big teeth and enormously big paws and he seemed to be a kind of a wolf but bigger and with human face, so merciless human face.

“Who are you?” – The poor child asked.

“I am the Lord of the Lost” – he said and his eyes sparkled and his teeth were so big and so sharp.

And she knew he was what he said, and even more, she knew she already met him before. There and then, three years before as she was visiting her grandmother on Sunday as usually, with a butter pot and a cake as today and the grandmother was no longer there. She was, her body was, but she would never answer as Red called her name stepping over the threshold of the bedroom. In that bed she lay, no blood was there on her face or on the4 bed linen, but in her widely opened eyes stood that terror, that mystical horror of seeing something inhuman. And Red felt it as well, she felt the thickness of air in the room and this tickle somewhere down the spine as if somebody was watching her every move… Now they met. Game over. Now way to escape.

“Give me what you have there” – ordered the voice.

No! Not so easy! You have to resist! Big girls don’t give up so easily!!

Like in slow motion Red Riding Hood threw the basket in the direction where the Lord of the Lost stood, turned round and rushed away. Her heart was beating in a wild tempo now, and the whole body and soul were overwhelmed with prehistoric savage fear and instinct of survival. No one dares to take her life away! Not in that way! Not like this! Not now!

And she ran and ran and ran, and the bushes seemed to grab her with their wooden claws and pull her back to the wolf. She fell once but stood up right away and went on running. The moon disappeared from the sky and the sky disappeared too, the whole world turned into this solid ground under her shoes and the bushes and the fog and the fear…  And then she fell again, this time down the slope into the darkness and as she was rolling down, she though “This is how it always ends in horror movies”. A second after she hit her head against something very big, very cold and very solid and darkness took over her.


The first thing Red saw when she opened her eyes was white ceiling. Then she smelled some mixture of herbs and spirits. Hospital! It was hospital! Back to people!

Red moved her hear and a light sigh escaped her bluish dry lips. Her mother and her father sat there at both sides of her bed. For the first time in many-many months they were not scolding. All they did was looking at her.

“Oh darling you’ve scared us! – Her mother said and her voice trembled. – We thought we would never find you again! But why, why on Earth did you leave the path?!”

“I fought the Lord of the Lost, – replied Red, staring at her father. – I fought him, really”.

We know, darling. You did it great! You are really such a big girl now!” – He answered.

Red Riding Hood closed her eyes. There were so many things to say, but she just had no energy to do it. Some inner feeling told her she would have many other opportunities later, and so she gasped and fell asleep.

The Lord of the Lost closed the door, took off the suit of Red’s father and turned back to the sleeping girl. His eyes glared with carnivorous fire.

Three Little Pigs retold in Austenean Style

13 02 2012

Once upon a time when pigs spoke rhyme

  And monkeys chewed tobacco,

  And hens took snuff to make them tough,

  And ducks went quack, quack, quack, O!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single wolf in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a pig.

However, little is known about the feelings of both the Wolf and the Pig at the moment of their acquaintance and the very development of what later unavoidably leads to a happy union.

Mrs Sow Pig-Bennet suddenly realised that her sweet little piglets Jane, Elizabeth and Lydia were of the proper age to find descent Wolves and start the life of the housewives of their own. These thoughts are quite troubling for every mother, as long as Longbourne, a farm where Mrs Pig-Bennet lived with her husband and children, was by all means quite an average real estate in the middle of the most provincial countryside one could only imagine. In this situation nothing left to poor Mrs Sow than to tell her dearest daughter-pigs now they had to start building their houses without any serious hope some decent wolf would come around and huff and puff on these houses. However, it is better to try than to regret you never dared trying, isn’t it? And so three little pigs started building their houses in hope they would attract attention of some interesting bachelor.

Lydia was the youngest of them and the most creative, even though not the smartest one. She found some straw and made a lovely little house of it. In this house Ms. Lydia Pig-Bennet could drink tea with her friends and dream of a wolf charming once passing by. And that was what happened, indeed.

Mr Wolf Wickham soon appeared in the neighbourhood. As a true Victorian gentleman he had very much money and very few things to do but to travel from village to village and huffing and puffing and the young pigs’ houses.

As soon as Mr Wickham so a lovely straw-house of Ms. Pig-Bennet, he felt an eager desire somewhere at the very depth of his soul to try huffing and puffing it. And so he said to the the little pig:

“Little Lydia, little Lydia, let me come in!”

Oh how happy she was, the little Lydia, that a wolf first saw her and not her elder sisters! What an indecent pleasure it gave her, the knowledge that she was definitely more interesting and appealing to a wolf than her snobbish smart sisters! However, every proper pig knows what is allowed and what is prohibited for a well-bred young pig to do, and, though her heart was trembling with exultant expectation, little Lydia answered:

“No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin.”

The wolf then realised that Lydia was quite into playing with him, and of course he answered to that:

“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in.”

And so he huffed and he puffed and – oh, what a misfortune! The straw house of poor Lydia was completely broken, and she had nothing more that would protect her against the greedy looks of Mr Wolf Wickham. “Isn’t it great?” – thought the little pig and ran away with the wolf, what, of course, was far beyond the borders of what a well-bred pig could allow to happen.

The other little pig was Jane and she was indeed much cleverer than her poor careless sister Lydia. For her own house she used a bundle of furze, and as soon as the house was ready it turned out, one more wolf entered the neighbourhood. This was quite an interesting candidate indeed! Mr Wolf Bingley has even purchased a house of Netherfield near Longbourne and near the place where three little pigs were building their own houses. Oh how happy she would be, the little Jane, if she would somehow draw attention of such a party! And so she sat in her little house and waited till Mr Bingley would probably come round. This is what happened indeed.

First he bowed in a very gallant manner, and the little pig answered with a curtsey. In order to support and develop this success Mr Wolf took little Jane to dance, and there they were swaying in the waves of a refined country music when he finally said:

“Oh my dear little Jane, let me come in.”

“No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin.” – She answered, as she was of course taught how to behave with a gentleman.

“Then I’ll puff, and I’ll huff, and I’ll blow your house in.”

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and at last he blew her little house down. Jane was so glad to see him being so purposeful, and she decided to write a letter to her dear sister Elizabeth when Mr Wolf Bingley turned round and disappeared in early morning fog somewhere there where behind the horizon the big farm of London lay.

The heart of the poor little pig was completely broken! She spent days and nights weeping and scolding herself for being such a snobbish pig and not showing Mr Wolf how much she cared about him! Couldn’t she build her house of straw or what?

There was one more wolf that appeared in the neighbourhood just at the same time with Mr Bingley. This one was called Mr Bad Bad Wolf Darcy, and everybody said quite soon the world has never seen more snobbish and unpleasant wolf before. What a pity for little Elizabeth that he paid his attention on her!

One day he stood there in front of her house made of lovely pink brick and said:

“My dear not-beloved little pig! Your parents neither have a good fortune to provide you with nice dowry, nor did they have enough brain to bring you up in a proper way. Your elder sister Jane was silly enough to fall in love with Bingley and your other sister was even sillier to run away with Wickham, and so she dishonoured the whole family. I hardly see why I should pay my attention to the pig with such a background as yours, but as long as I am such a true gentleman, I’d still like to try and propose. Would you like to let me come in and marry you and bore you with my snobbism forever and ever?”

“I’d rather hang myself than allow you to do that to me!” – Little brave Lizzy answered.

Mr Darcy was disappointed and charmed at the same time: what a pride and what a temper this lovely little pig had! However, it was more than clear he behaved like a true swine (though he was a wolf), and there was hardly anything in the world that would improve the image of him poor little Lizzy got.

And so he didn’t huff and he didn’t puff, but he went away and did not come back for a very long time. What he did was he found the poor silly Lydia and her Wolf Wickham and brought them back in Longbourne and forced them to marry in a decent way. Then he got to London and brought back his friend Bingley and forced him to beg for Jane’s pardon and then marry her. Finally, he wrote a touching but very immodest letter to Elizabeth in order to show her what sacrifices he had to make in order to deserve her attention.

By this time Lizzy had enough time to think over her behaviour to Mr Bad Bad Wolf Darcy. She suddenly realised to her own dread that she had never been impartial to him. Oh, how cruel she was! Then she got the letter from Mr Darcy and she first cried for a fortnight and then she understood what she had to do. A brave little pig bough some dynamite and blew up her lovely house made of pink brick.

When Bad Bad Wolf Darcy finally visited her again, she was sitting there among the broken bricks in a great mess waiting for him. How happy they were to see each other! Do you know what happened next? Right you are! Mr Bad Bad Wolf married Elizabeth Pig-Bennet and they lived happily ever since.