Monday, August 30, 2010

Fairy Tale Blogfest

Yay a blogfest! Emily White is hosting a fairy tale blogfest today, which is awesome. Of course this one is also a contest, but the blogfest theme was so awesome this time I couldn't pass it up regardless of the awesome prizes.

Awesome. (I felt like I needed one more...)

The Rules:


Write in no more than 1000 words a story based on a fairy tale in a genre OTHER than fantasy. You can do horror, suspense, sci-fi, thriller, etc. (romance is okay, but you need to add another genre with it, otherwise you'll just end up with a fantasy romance), and the plot has to be closely related to the original tale.

All entries must be posted on August 30th. Emily will then pick her favorite five, post the links and everyone will have a week to vote.

Fun Times!


So here we go with my entry, currently untitled. As usual, this is a rough draft.


***

I hunt her like a wolf: catch her scent, trail after her. It’s not hard if you know what signs to look for: murders, deaths, disappearances.

Years I’ve tracked and now I’ve found her family. Her nest. Each one like her. Each one as much of a monster, though none appear as innocent.

“Greetings sir,” she says to the shopkeeper. She removes her hood before she closes the door behind her, nothing more than a child on an errand.

I watch from the shadows of the alley. She won’t hurt the shopkeeper. Not now, anyway. She has to keep up her disguise and play the human.

I sink further into the shadows. If I hurry, I’ll have enough time to make it to her nest before she returns.

The forest is peaceful, soothing. In the distance is the thunk thunk thunk of someone cutting wood.

This is another trick of her and her kind. No one would suspect that such peace could lead to such horror.

They make their home in a cottage in the woods. More a shack really, nothing like the ruined castles of the old days.

I must be stealthy. If one were to find me, I could not escape. You cannot outrun them, even with their iron shod shoes. This I know firsthand. Like grief, and sorrow. And guilt.

I peek through the windows but it’s quiet inside. Empty.

The door squeals as I enter and the sound raises the hair on my neck. The house is decorated as a normal habitat: a kitchen table holds a bowl of red apples, the dining room shares space with a bookshelf. There’s a single bedroom with the bed neatly made. I run my hand across the bedspread and the cloying scent of blood settles across me like lace drapes in a breeze.

My only warning is the creak of a floorboard behind me. I leap over the bed and tumble to the ground as an iron spike stabs through the space I had just inhabited.

It’s an old woman. She could be serving cookies to grandchildren if it weren’t for the iron spike in her hand and the cap on her head that drips with blood. The blood trails down her cheeks, following her wrinkles down to her lips where she licks it before she grins at me, her teeth sharp and rotten.

She shrieks and leaps at me over the bed, her iron spike held high. But I have a spike of my own and I lunge at her, my knife catching her throat. Her blood pours down over me in a hot rain and I yank my knife free. She stumbles, her hand to her throat, before she falls onto the bed. Her blood soaks into the cover and sheets.

My breath comes fast and echoes in the still room. I stand over her. I should feel something, excitement or relief that my vengeance has finally come to pass, but all I feel is empty. No matter how many monsters I kill, Clara will never return. Death doesn’t beget life, it only begets more death.

A sharp pain bursts in my side and I look down to find an iron spike erupting from my skin. There’s a jerk and the spike slides out. I stumble to sit on the bed and turn to find her, the young one, the child, with the red hood pulled over her blonde hair.

She has triumph in her eyes until her gaze is drawn to the body of the old woman, dead on the bed beside me.

“Grandmother!” she shrieks. Rage and shock spread across her features. Her teeth grow and sharpen like the old woman’s.

I spit out blood.

“My,” I cough. “What big teeth you have.”

“The better to eat you with!” she screams and jumps at me, the iron spike held before her. She’s faster than the old one, and though I raise my knife I’m not fast enough to reach her throat. Instead it sinks into her stomach and she howls. I release the knife and grab onto her throat, my fingers catching the back of the red hood. Where my fingers squeeze, the hood seeps blood until it runs down my hands in red rivers.

She struggles like a wildcat and drops the spike to pull at my hands, but the blood makes her fingers slip and she can’t get a firm grip. With my knees I push against her stomach and manage to twist us around until I am atop, squeezing her throat, wringing the life from her.

Behind us the door slams open. I look over my shoulder and see a man with an axe and a rifle pointed at us. He takes in the scene and disgust crosses his features.

“Wait,” I say and release my grip from the monster to hold my hands before me. They are covered in blood and the child-monster takes a deep breath. “This isn’t what it looks like.”

“He’s killed my grandma!” the monster shouts below me.

I turn and pull the knife from her gut and lunge for her throat but there’s a loud crack and something slides into my back. A burning slips through me and the knife falls from my grip, though I try to make my fingers tighten.

There is a hole in my chest. My blood flows down my body onto the child monster and she smiles, her teeth sharp, as her red cape and hood drink up my blood.

She pushes me and I fall to the floor. I can’t seem to catch my breath.

The man rushes to the girl and she hugs him, the perfect image of a terrified child. He comforts her but does not see her reach for her iron spike, does not see her tears are false and her teeth are long.

“Monster!” I manage to utter but the word emerges as a whisper. I try to pull in more air but there is none. Instead my vision goes black and there is a gasp from the man who had saved her.

I hear a wet squelching noise. Everything around me fades and she begins to sing a song.

“So much blood, my cap shall never be dry.”




***

So there you have it! I will be making my rounds to as many of the other entries as I can hit today. I'm excited to see what everyone wrote.

45 comments:

Hannah Kincade said...

Awesome! I could just hear all the blows and stabs. And squelching is a fantastic word!

Falen (Sarah) said...

yeah it is! I don't get to use it enough

Elena Solodow said...

I love the rendition here. Really great!

My favorite line:

"The blood trails down her cheeks, following her wrinkles down to her lips where she licks it before she grins at me, her teeth sharp and rotten."

Ew. Made me squirm.

Great job!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that's a great twist - the 'wolf' is the innocent.

M. Bail said...

Oh my. That was a lot of bloodiness, but a really nice twist. Great job!

stu said...

Red Riding Hood with redcaps? I love it.

J.C. said...

Wow, what a gripping read from start to finish! Love the twist--is Red Riding Hood a vampire? Lovely gory goodness! Would've been an excellent entry for my Fight, Fight, Fight! Blogfest too! :)

katehaggard said...

I don't quite know what Red was (vampire? some other monster?) but it doesn't quite matter. I'm not officially terrified of little girls in red hoods.

Excellent.

Falen (Sarah) said...

Elena - there's something about rotten teeth that always grosses me out

Alex - poor little wolfie

M.Bail - yeah i guess it was. I kind of realized that after i was done

Stu - Yay for redcaps! i was suprised i hadn't thought of it before

J.C. - yeah i'm sad i missed that blogfest cuz i have quite a few fight scenes (though this may be my goriest...)

Kate - She's a redcap, which is an english/scottish goblin. They have to keep their caps (typically made of human skin) wet with blood. If it dries out, they die

Clara said...

I'm just loving these versions of little Red! And they surprize me evry time, your version was incredible! =D

Brenda Drake said...

Whoa. Bloody. Love it! Great job! I was so engrossed that I finished before I knew it. :D

Lola Sharp said...

LOVED it, and the picture to go with it. Well done!

Rose Cooper said...

Fantastic!! Love this twist!! It was bloody and horrific. What else could you want? Yay you!

AchingHope said...

Ewwwwwwy. That was gross and bloody.
:) I liked it. I'm sad about Clara, and I didn't want the MC to die :( And the Red-Cloaked girl is EVIL!!! May she die a thousand deaths!!!

So much fun. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Excellent blofest entry

Falen (Sarah) said...

Clara - who knew red riding hood would be so popular?

Brenda - thanks! And yeah, it was pretty bloody...

Lola - that picture seemed to match, even with the gun

Rose - LOL thanks!

Aching - LOL thanks! And yeah, wasn't she a little B?

Elana - thanks! And thanks for stoppind by!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

A great bloody twist to the fable. Sigh. Sometimes monsters aren't all that easy to spot. And heroes don't always win. Great job.

Steph Sinkhorn said...

I love that picture! This was a really great twist on Red Riding Hood. Loved it! These stories are all amazing. This blogfest is awesome.

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

Horrific-ly-fantastic! Remind me not to tell that one to my kids tonight! You're a great writer!

DL Hammons said...

Hee Hee Hee! I'm gleefully laughing, that was so much fun. LOVED IT! Hot rain of blood!! Great stuff!!! :)

Francine said...

Hi,

Red's sure popular today!

Fab take on RRH = reverse plot!

Loved it!

best
F

Rebecca T. said...

That was so fantastically horrifying. It's funny how many Red Riding Hood twists there are, but each so unique. I loved that it was the wolf that was the MC and the "good" guy. So great :D

Okie said...

Great job. I love the twists and turns of this one. Nicely done. :)

Falen (Sarah) said...

Roland - very very true

Steph - it is indeed an awesome blogfest

Leah - LOL thanks!

DL - a hot rain of blood just seemed so appropriate

Francine - yeah i didn't think RRH would be so popular. Who knew?

Rebecca - yeah i was surprised by how many people spun it in a different direction

Okie - thanks!

Emily White said...

Update: I'm posting finalists tomorrow. Not Wednesday. See you there! :D

Mesmerix said...

Great entry. I enjoyed the read a lot. Thanks for participating!

Scribbler to Scribe

Falen (Sarah) said...

Emily - YAYAYA! I'm so glad to hear that!

Mesmerix - thanks so much for stopping by!

Jen said...

Excellent re-telling!!! Red Riding Hood seems to be the hot one! I am still looking for one that matches mine, you know Beauty & the Beast but have yet to come across it!!!

Loved this piece!!! Thanks for the creativity!

aspiring_x said...

Wowza! this was excellent! (great pic too) so totally gory, but in a good way! you write action very well. a lot of times i get confused by action seens, but i could "see" where everyone was so well here! i love the twist, and the unique monster (i'll have to look up redcaps!) totally awesome tale! :)

Kelly Dexter said...

What a twist! This was a great read.

Damyanti said...

Loved how gory and twisted this Red Riding Hood is...well done!

Donna Hole said...

Yeah; when I tell people blood is not the ONLY thing that make horror scarey, they look at me blankly.

Perfect mix of blood, gore, emotion, and innocence. Just awesome Sarah.

.......dhole

Ishta Mercurio said...

Great job with this! I love the vampire twist, and that the wolf is innocent. The description of the grandmother was fantastically disgusting, and so vivid it turned my stomach. Fabulous!

Falen (Sarah) said...

Jen - yeah who knew she'd be so popular? I think it's the wolf that attracts everyone. I didn't even think about beauty and the beast which would have been awesome

aspiring - thanks so much! and yeah, redcaps are nasty little buggers

Kelly - thanks!

Damyanti - thanks! When you have redcaps, you've got to have blood

Donna - this is actually a break away from my typical horror. I almost always do unheimlich type creepy stuff. Rarely is my stuff so gory

Ishta - thanks! Rotten teeth always bother me, so i threw those in. And blood tracing wrinkles? That's just fun

Teebore said...

Well done! Seriously, how have I never made a connection between RED Riding Hood and Redcaps before? Brilliant!

I wish I could have gotten my entry to come together in time. Alas...

Teebore said...

and such and such...

Kittie Howard said...

WOW! Big Applause. Take a bow! This was fabulous! And the first time since I was a kid that I paid attention to Little Riding Hood.

Falen (Sarah) said...

Teebore - i KNOW, right? i was all like "holy hell. Why has it taken me this long to make that connection?!"

Kittie - glad to see you back! I like little red riding hood a lot because i have a deep love for Into the Woods, which is one of my most favorite plays ever. EVAH!

Teebore said...

I didn't (but should) know that you liked Into the Woods; it's one of my faves too!

We did it in high school as one of the summer shows (so adults from the community were in it as well as students) and our theatre director was the witch.

To this day, both versions of Agony are amongst me and Mrs. Teebore's favorite songs.

Falen (Sarah) said...

YAYAY Into the Woods! We first fell into it when a friend (this was in middle school, though she's still our friend) was cast as little red riding hood in community theater and so she was listening to the soundtrack. HOOKED!
We saw it at the ordway a few years ago and it was excellent.
Anne and i love both versions of Agony, but my all time favorite is No One Is Alone

Now i need to listen to the soundtrack...

Teebore said...

No One is Alone is my favorite too!

(In addition to that and the Agonies, I like Last Midnight as well).

DEZMOND said...

that's one creepy Red Riding Hood in that pic of yours :) Poor wolf he didn't know what was coming ...

Falen (Sarah) said...

Teebore - yes last midnight is also excellent. And of course the finale.
DAMN!!! That is such an awesome play!

Dezmond - indeed. poor wolfie

BlackRoseofLight94 said...

Whoa.

That was amazingly... some word that will not lodge itself back in my head. It was fantastic. Backwards and Dark. But that makes it all the better.

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

Thanks! I do enjoy darkness...

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