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Red Cloak: A Red Riding Hood Novella
Emma Steele never believed in fearytales?not the sweet, whimsical stories mothers’ whispered to their children before they rushed them to bed that drew beautiful smiles to rise upon rosy dimpled cheeks?no not them. Tales of demons, witches, ghouls, and goblins those were the ones. Tales that struck horror in the hearts of many children to make them behave and mind good manners, such things weren’t real. None of them were or could be proven so. But there was this single tale, one that loomed over the village of Harmony like a thunderstorm for over five hundred years.
The Great White Lycan.
Alabaster fur, scarlet caked fangs dripping blood from a body of a young boy an age no greater than hers clasped in serrated pearl fangs convulsing in pain. Her emerald eyes stared into its harebrained hue of cool blue?the color of ice from a place that never thawed that chilled her bones to frost, her heart deadbeat in her ribcage. She knew then, now, and forever that some stories where delicate white lies that instigated polite deceit and others, ravenous and black as a stormy night, begot truth, realism, tangibility as her best friend last words razed her ears.
“Run Emma! Run…!”
She did run and never returned to the Wood for ten years… until now.
Dear reader, this story begins in a nightmare.
Chapter One Cutlass
“Ah!” I cried out, face impaling into cold soil tasting dirt?grasping my knee to my chest. Stupid branch! I thought feeling my skin swell with a every pulse of pain at the origin of where my knee collided with the earth. Oh, no now he knows I followed him! I rose quickly?resting on one foot? dusting off my dress and cloak of leaves, pollen, and soot.
“Emma,” I cringed at the vexed voice that rose above the bushes and ferns. After a few counts of hearing rustling leaves and twigs on the ground, he emerged from behind an oak to my left. He came before him akimbo with eyes the color of liquid mercury, “What are you doing here?”
“It’s nothing?I fell,” I stared to the ground hopefully, he didn’t see my tears stick to my lashes like flowers drenched in morning dew.
His eyes scrutinized my person, “You’re hurt aren’t you? Let me see,” he knelt down yanking up my dress.
“Ouch!” he reared back rubbing his hands then glared, “What you do that for stupid!?”
I balled my fists, “It’s rude for a boy to look under a lady’s dress.”
His brows raised full of mirth, “You a lady, I doubt that,” she stood, “What are you doing here following me. This is no place for a Lady.” And at that point, I wished to slap his face next, “Go home Emma it’s not safe.”
“Oh, and for you it is?” now I was in akimbo,“What are you doing out here Caspian?”
He grinned, “isn’t it obvious, I’m hunting.”
Hunting? “How you have no weapons or arrows?you’re not even old enough to travel with the men.”
“And that’s where you’re wrong and I am not a child,” his voice dropped, “I hear that enough from my brothers, I don’t need you to remind me as well.”
I pursed my lips limping to him, “Then what do you have?”
He face me giving the most insouciant grin, “Alright I’ll so you but don’t tell anyone.” I nodded. He placed a hand behind his back pulling out an item covered in a black velvet tarp, “You wouldn’t believe this but look,” he unveiled on lap and pulled out by its hilt.
“Oh, Caspian where did you find that it beautiful,”and indeed it was; the blade was bejeweled in sapphire and diamonds as the hilt was swathed in sliver and suede royal blue finish. It was elegant. Incandescent. Dangerous. And I was so besotted by its beauty I found myself reaching for it.
“No,” he snatched it pushing me to fall on my bottom.
“Caspian!” I roared.
“This isn’t for you to touch only a Sutcliffe can wield such a precious weapon. I took it from my father’s study when he was out at the markets. One day, I’m going to kill my first buck with this stiletto and prove to everyone that I’m not a little kid anymore,” his eyes gleamed with ambition, “Even the White Lycan will feel the bite of my blade.”
I was to my feet again, “You, kill the White Lycan,” I laughed, “there is no such thing.”
“Really and how do you know that?”
“I’ve never seen it so there for it’s not real,” I answered nonchalant, glancing at the noon day sun cover my skin in patches from the canopies of conifers.
He snorted, “Of course Emma you are always right about everything, but just you wait I shall be the greatest huntsmen of this generation and you’re going to be my wife cooking my kills and belching babies.”
My face shrived up, disgusted, “I shall never marry you?you’re revolting.”
He laughed staring at the dagger, “Just go Emma I need to do this alone. I don’t need you clinging to me like a lee?”
We both glanced to the bushes.
“Did you hear that?” I whispered.
“Yes,” he took my arm leading to the ground, “sssh, stay low.” He clasped the cutlass to his side ready to pounce as I, the weaker of the two, shivered in fear. This was pathetic, I was pathetic he was so brave while I had courage the size of a kernel of corn. But he didn’t judge me, nor teased. He simple interlocked his fingers in mine consoling me.
We waited and his eyes shifted to mine, “you ready?”
“Yes,” I said as gentle as faery wings. We leaned closer seeing for a moment, hearing only the sound of humming leaves and branches. He let go of my hand creeping to the mouth of the bush that laid before us.
“AH!” Caspian fell hard on his bottom as gust of birds shot to the sky leaving feathers in their wake around us.
I jumped up laughing at his terrified expression, “You should see your face!” He face was beet red, eyes as large as eggs, and breath short and husk. He got to his feet trembling, “you were so scared?ah, ha, ha!”
He wiped his face with a white-knuckled fist, “Leave me alone get out of here!”
I stopped, his voice startled mine to a halt, “Caspian it’s alright, look I was scared too?”
“You’re a girl you’re supposed to be scared… not… me!” he turned from me kicking rocks to bounce off trunks.
Licking my lips I realized my mistake and grabbed his shoulder, “Caspian?”
“I said leave me alone!” he yelled snatching away from me.
“Well fine be that way stupid!” I took to my skirts and followed my tracks back to Harmony, “Stupid boy, don’t get mad at me because you almost wet your loins.” I hopped over a small log, “I’m going to be the greatest huntsman in the world plah, more like opera singer his screams are similar to Mrs. Lily’s when she sees a rat on in her kitchen.”
I stopped looking around, “Caspian, is that you?”and after a long pause, nothing answered. “Hmm… must be some hares or quails in the bushes.”
Now I stopped and turned around, as if the noise tapped my shoulder, “Caspian! I told you to?” my words clogged my throat as my heart fell to the ground. I was staring at big blue eyes?not silver, big, pearly arched fangs?not the jesting smile of Caspian’s, and obsidian claws that dug trenches in the soil. It towered above me mouth dripping thick saliva before my feet.
I couldn’t move?it was as if my limbs where paralyzed by this beast’s enigmatic stare.
It arched it’s back, growling and pounced arms extended.
“Ah!” I covered myself as death washed over my eyes.
“Emma!” Caspian exploded from the bushes, the glint of his blade biting into the lycan’s neck. The lyacn yelped rearing back. Caspian yanked its fur climbing astride as it tumbled to the ground crushing my foot underneath.
“Ah!” he cried yanking the blade from its body and stabbed it again. The lycan rose flinginfg Caspian to the ground. He grunted clutching his foot. It convulsed vehemently?blood spewed over its snowy fur and Caspian’s hands like rose blooms?and lunged bearing its fangs wide before him.
“No!” I searched for a weapon?there hidden under a shelter of fern leaves and wild flowers!?and grabbed a rock bigger than my hand and slung.
Its head snapped to the right?the rock hit the ground with a crumble and Caspian backed away on his side crawling on one knee. The wolf leveled itself and shook its head regaining its balance. Its malicious gaze cut to me and I, reflexively, ran.
Lure it away from my friend?
“Ah!” I was dragged down, my head bounced off the hard earth?dried leaves and dirt clump in my hands as the lycan’s paws ripped my cloak to serrated slivers. They inched closer licking my feet. I screamed louder. I grasped my neck untying the knot and jumped to the left dodging clamped jaws, “Caspian!” I ran to him grabbing his hand, “Come on let’s go now?Ah!”
Caspian took my arm slamming to the ground using his body as shield covering me. “Ah!” he cried?fangs gorged into his flesh and was snatched away.
“No, Caspian!” my vision blurred as tears ran down my face licking my cheeks to ice, “No!”
“No!” she screamed waking from the nightmare bathed in sweat. Hugging her knees, she looked out of the window seeing the moon hang like a tilted crescent dotted with stars. Warm forest air infiltrated her nose with hint of blood as an after smell.
“Oh no,” she gasped, blanching to the hue of snow, “the White Lycan,” she ran to her wardrobe removing her sweat-sheeted nightgown and put on a linen shirt and breeches. She placed a black boot over each foot buckling the straps closed. After that she grabbed her grandmother’s scarlet cloak and ambulated to the dining room securing its laces around her neck.
Seeing to the fact her grandmother was not in her chambers, she figured that there must have been an attack since her grandmother was known as a healer of the village.
“He’s finally returned. Good now I can kill him,” she opened the back door of the kitchen and stepped out, reaching out an arm clasping the wooden handle of an axe.
Hey guys well this is… me writing a story about lyacns, well one lycan in general but you get my drift. I don’t know if I should continue it but it needs massive editing and a plot because I just wrote this crap today well I hope y?u like it so far!