Monthly Genre Short Story Contest – Fairy Tale Redoux

(The LinkedIn discussion thread can be found here. This post is for stories only.)

What childhood would be complete without fairy tales? The epitome of a flash fiction, fairy tales are generally short, to the point, and tell a story, complete with beginning, middle and end.

The very definition of a Fairy Tale is: a story (generally for children) involving fantastic forces and beings such as fairies, wizards, and goblins, in which improbably events lead to a happy ending.

This month’s genre prompt is a challenge to step outside your comfort zone. To deconstruct and then reconstruct a fairy tale with a horror twist on it.

This does not mean you have to write a story about wanton violence, the horror genre may be psychological rather than physical. Horror has many styles and definitions, it will be up to you to portray a truly horrific story.

Your story can be any horror genre including subgenres (but not limited to) dark fantasy, gothic, monster, occult, vampire or werewolf.

Step 1

Choose a fairy tale written by one of the many famous authors such as Hans Christian Anderson, The Brothers Grimm, Joseph Jacobs, Charles Perrault and many more.

A list can be found here.

Step 2

Submit your story in the comment section by midnight pacific time, March 27, 2016. Your story must include:

  • Your Story Title
  • Name of the fairy tale you are revamping.
  • Be less than 1200 words.

You will be allowed 2 rewrites during this period.

Step 3

 

The voting period will be March 28-30.

Voting starts Monday, March 28 at 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EST / 10:30pm IST / 5:00pm WET/GMT/ 4:00am AEDT (Thursday) and ends the same time on Wednesday, March 30 / 4:00am AEDT (Friday). Winner will be announced in the Comment and Story thread.

Have fun!


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8 thoughts on “Monthly Genre Short Story Contest – Fairy Tale Redoux

  • March 18, 2016 at 11:47 pm
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    HANSEL AND GRETEL

    It was three o’clock in the morning when they woke their father. The boy was impatient.

    ‘Com’on Pa. It’s time. Let’s go. The wagon is loaded already.’ The old woodcutter was dreadfully tired. He had been out all day cutting trees. He had raised his two children since their mother died and did quite well for a couple of years until desire and loneliness got the better of his prudent nature. A man needs a wife and a daughter is no substitute for a woman by a man’s side. He had been flattered by the attentions of the young barmaid at the inn where he often stopped on his market days just outside the village where he sold his wood.

    She had taken to the children as they had to her. Especially so, Hansel. Not surprising since there was only three years age difference between them. Life had been so much better in the past year. Hansel had come out with him to the wood to cut trees and they had had many bigger orders to fill now. Hansel had even insisted on buying an electric chain saw and a quad bike to pull the trailer.

    ‘Dad!’ he said. ‘No one uses wheel barrows any more for carrying wood or a donkey cart.’ He sold the donkey to a petting zoo that made the rounds of the markets. The cart was also sold and then he put a deposit on the quad bike and got a loan to pay it off. He was able to fill the trailer several times a day and make deliveries in no time flat.
    Only Gretel worried him. She was a bit too booky and spent long hours in her room reading books and drawing. It could have been worse though. She could have run after boys and fallen pregnant. Unfortunately the woodcutter was too tied up with his business and the new wife to give much thought to finding her a decent young man. He worked seven days a week and then basked in the loving attentions of his wife. Lately he had been falling asleep straight after dinner and sometimes half way through the meal.

    However he must have had enough energy for some things because he was ecstatic when Rene his wife announced that in spring they would have the pitter-patter of little feet. She was six months pregnant. No one was more pleased and more solicitous than Hansel. He was the perfect big half-brother to be and he refused to allow Rene to do many of the household chores. He was even quite sarcastic to poor Gretel who was no longer allowed to spend hours in her room reading.

    ‘You are sixteen, dear sister. Sweet sixteen. It is time you learnt to do more around the house. Com’on’ So Gretel was roused early from bed to fetch the water and light the fire in the mornings.

    ‘Pregnancy is not an illness.’ She would grumble.

    ‘She must look after herself now. She cannot be stressed.’

    As the time of birth grew closer, Hansel became exceeding argumentative.

    ‘Pa, we need to make more money. Don’t let Rene overdo things. Gretel is perfectly capable. She needs to learn how to run a household anyway.’

    Increasingly Hansel found contracts for wood in places that his father had never thought to go. He received a big order from an old woman who lived in the middle of a faraway forest. They spent a week cutting the wood. It would take two days to travel there with the trailer of wood and then a day and a half to come back after unloading.
    The old wood cutter rose grumbling out of his warm bed. Often Rene rose before him and made breakfast and roused Hansel who was lately always up sitting at the breakfast table with his stepmother enjoying their breakfast together.
    The journey was long and arduous. The old witch who ordered the wood haggled Hansel down on the original price. At the end of the day when the wood was unloaded, Hansel asked his father to check out the woman’s oven. Apparently it had a crack in the back wall.

    The old wood cutter peered into the dark oven.

    ‘Why would anyone want such a large oven unless they were roasting whole deer or a bear?’ The old woodcutter thought to himself, but he obliged the old woman and his son Hansel.

    Almost as soon as he was inspecting the back wall with his fingers feeling for a crack; he felt himself thrust further in from behind. His legs were lifted up in an iron grip and folded into his body. The oven door was slammed shut. He shouted and screamed to no avail. The walls soon became unbearably hot and the air burned his very throat raw. It did not take long.

    Hansel of course, paid the old woman back some of the money and left her alone with his father slowly roasting in the oven. It took him only a day to return to his father’s cottage and his step-mother.

    ‘Rene, darling, darling!’ He called at the door. ‘Let me in. Quickly. It is done.’ He banged quickly, ratatat RATATAT!

    ‘Wait a minute. I am coming. Don’t be impatient.’ The bolt lock was shot and Gretel stood in the doorway, hair awry.

    ‘Where is Papa?’ She looked around behind him. There was something odd about her.

    ‘Papa has decided to stay in the forest. He’s with the old woman we sold wood there.’

    ‘But why?’

    ‘How would I know? He refused to come home. He just kept muttering, “I can’t. I can’t.’ Hansel’s tongue was quite glib and he amazed himself with his calm.

    ‘Where’s Rene?’

    ‘Oh. She’s gone to market. She wanted to buy some things for the baby.’

    ‘In her condition? You let her go?’

    ‘Yes. Why not? She is a big girl. I stayed and prepared some dinner for us all.’

    Gretel led him in to where the table was set with four places.

    ‘We might as well eat.’ She took a plate and ladled out a steaming plate of meat and vegetables. ‘Here eat. I have had mine earlier.’

    Hansel ate but was more than a little worried about Rene as it was already growing dark. After the meal, he would go and find her. For now, he was ravenous. He became so tired and seemed to feel his head becoming more leaden with the tasty stew. The meat was tender and the vegetables done just right.

    Gretel had a strange look on her face as she leaned forward and spoke. Her words seemed to come from far, far away.

    ‘Hansel, I do hope you enjoyed the stew. It was yours and Rene’s baby. You will join her in the freezer soon.’

    Hansel’s mouth opened in a soundless scream. Suddenly there were two people there. A young man was standing besides Gretel. They were laughing at him. From a distance, he heard Gretel.

    ‘We found the sleeping powder you and Rene used on father. Enjoy.’

    By Ilana Leeds © 2016-03-19

  • March 21, 2016 at 2:08 pm
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    My Lord Bag of Rice Unveiled
    © Emmanuel Malho, 2016

    Her blonde hair was blowing with the breeze. She buckled on her two katanas and grabbed her enormous bow, flinging her quiver on her back. She jaunted north of the village, pacing through the forest near the shore. As she started crossing, Hidesato saw a huge serpent-dragon laying across the Seta-no-Karashi Bridge. Its body was so big it looked like the trunk of a large pine tree and it took up the whole width of the bridge. One of its huge claws rested on the parapet of one side of the bridge, while its tail lay right against the other. The monster seemed to be asleep, and as it breathed, fire and smoke came out of its nostrils. Step by step, Hidesato went around the serpent-dragon.

    “Please, wait!”

    A couple of steps ahead, she heard a sweet, enticing, feminine voice calling from behind her. The serpent-dragon was gone. In it’s place stood a woman wearing a ceremonial sea-green dress, patterned with shells, and revealing more than necessary of her jovial, healthy breasts. Her red hair streamed over her shoulders, surmounted by a crown in the shape of a dragon’s head.

    “I am the Dragon Queen of the Lake, and my home is in these waters just under this bridge. I have an earnest request to make to you. Will you help me? I want you to kill my mortal enemy the Centipede.” She drew closer.

    “We have been living in terror, for she discovered our home and every night she kills one of us. If it goes on much longer like this, not only shall I lose all my children, but I myself must fall victim to her.” The sensual Dragon Queen was at arm’s reach.

    “I have waited on the bridge, but all who came this way fled. You are the first one to look at me without fear, so I knew that you were one of great courage. Will you help me and kill my enemy the Centipede?” She put her hands on Hidesato’s shoulders as she pleaded. Her eyes wide open, she was almost crying.

    “Where is the centipede?”

    “She lives in the Mountain Mikami. She will be back tonight. You should wait…” the Dragon Queen enticed, swiftly moving behind Hidesato and putting her hands on her shoulders again. “Come to my palace”, she whispered to her ear. Hidesato let out a faint smile.

    The Dragon Queen took her hand and jumped off the bridge. In the heart of Lake Biwa, the opulent palace of white marble was the home of the Dragon Queen, her family and her servants. Inside the palace, almost everyone was in his or her human appearance.

    After the banquet, Hidesato went to the balcony and the Dragon Queen followed her. She approached slowly, pulling the sliding door behind her and making Hidesato aware of her presence.

    “Follow me”, the Dragon Queen ordered.

    The Dragon Queen put her hand on the sliding door, emanating a light green glow. The Dragon Queen’s bedroom was right in front of them. She took Hidesato’s hand and guided her inside. She made her sit in her bed, and caressed her. “You look too pretty for a hero…” The Dragon Queen slowly took off Hidesato’s vest, then she let her dress slip down her body. Hidesato lost track of time for the following hours between touches, caresses and kisses.

    Hidesato came back to Earth when someone screamed. The music stopped.

    “It’s her!” the Dragon Queen cried. “Wait! Human saliva harms the Centipede.”

    Everyone was standing near a young man, bleeding to the death from a back stab. His eyes were wide open. The wound was tainted with a fading gray. Poison. Hidesato looked around. She saw her, a woman in black dress, with pale skin and light grey eyes. She winked at Hidesato and ran away. Hidesato quickly reacted and, putting her knife’s blade to her tongue, she threw it towards that door. A feminine voice screamed in pain. Hidesato rushed to the door. The Centipede was moving, leaving a trail of blood. Hidesato followed it out of the palace. She saw the Centipede, standing by the bridge. She was removing the knife from her arm, screaming. Hidesato fired an arrow, but it bounced off of her.

    “Who are you? Set you up to kill me, did she?” inquired the Centipede.

    Silence.

    “You will understand” and her eyes burnt like flames. Hidesato flashbacked to a cellar.

    The crying of a woman echoed. Hidesato followed it, unable to understand what a second voice was saying. She stepped into the room, the Centipede was on her knees. Turned towards the opened window, she couldn’t stop crying. Hidesato approached the window. A sea-green hooded figure was running, carrying a smaller body. She looked back. It was a younger, smiling Dragon Queen.

    A flash blinded Hidesato and she was back.

    “You saw what happened to my firstborn… The same happened to all my children.” Still, silence.

    “As you will then”, the Centipede said sadly, accepting her fate.

    She opened her arms, welcoming death. Hidesato stabbed her belly. Light gray blood started glowing on the knife’s hilt, and soon on Hidesato’s hands. The Centipede lay down on the ground. “Come here…” Hidesato approached, mistrustful. A frozen wind blew. The veins around the Centipede’s mouth turned black, her skin dehydrated as life withered out of her.

    Hidesato made her way to the Dragon Queen’s room. Hidesato threw the Centipede’s head, still dripping blood, to the Dragon Queen’s feet who crushed it with her feet. Then she started opening her dress.

    “Back to claim your reward?” she asked.

    Hidesato took off her weapons,laying them on the ground, keeping the knife the Dragon Queen gave her at hand. She cut off her shirt stained with the Centipede’s blood. The Dragon Queen smiled lasciviously. They were both naked. Hidesato approached the Dragon Queen with the knife in hands. The blade still had the Centipede’s blood on it. The Dragon Queen licked the blade, savoring the victory. She threw the knife behind her. Hidesato looked at her and the Dragon Queen grabbed her hair, pulling Hidesato’s head towards herself. Hidesato put her hands on the Dragon Queen’s hips. Then she firmly held her and laid her in her own bed. Hidesato kissed her lips once, twice before she went down her neck. She paused to contemplate the Dragon Queen.

    “You’re quite the sight for a queen…” she said, right before she tore the Dragon Queen’s throat with her teeth.

    The Dragon Queen kicked her out of her bed, reaching for her open throat. She opened her mouth, but no sound came out. Hidesato swallowed the flesh she bit. The Dragon Queen’s body exploded in a green flash. Hidesato started feeling strange. Her skin turned pale. She looked at the mirror and her eyes turned light gray. A dark green light grew out of her body, and she fainted.

    She woke sitting in the Dragon Queen’s chair, in the palace’s hall. “All hail the new Dragon Queen”, her new servants were screaming.

  • March 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm
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    Revised
    Children’s horror based on Hansel and Gretel

    Chicken Chops

    Afraid, Gracie leaped into bed, pulling her quilt up and under her chin.
    Thunder clapped loudly overhead. Streaks of lightening lit up her bedroom, casting strange flickering shadows across her walls.

    YEEK!

    ‘Lightening Monsters,’ gasped Gracie pulling the quilt up and over her head, squeezing her eyes tightly shut, and all the while wishing Chicken Chops had stayed home to snuggle up with her.

    At last, the sounds of thunder rolled away into the distance; far beyond the tall trees of the nearby Dark Forest.
    Gracie dared to uncover her head. She curled her fingers around the top edge of her quilt and eased it back down under her chin.
    Nervously she squinted toward the bedroom window. For two seconds the moon appeared from behind a speeding cloud.
    Surprise!
    She imagined she saw Chicken Chops perched behind a witch astride her broomstick; silhouettes riding high above the nearby forest.

    ‘Harry, come quickly!’

    Knowing his sister is scared of storms he came immediately, the LED light of his pocket torchlight cutting a bright path across the room, chasing the shadows back into their corners.
    Harry padded over and sat on Gracie’s bed. He placed an arm around her shoulders.
    Gracie snuggled in and felt better.
    ‘Harry, I think I saw Chicken Chops riding behind a witch on her broomstick.’

    Harry and Gracie remembered Chicken Chops demanding they let him go and join this storm.
    As the sky grew heavy with storm clouds and the wind rattled the windows Chicken Chops, asleep in front of the wood fire, opened one eye, twitched his tail, and listened intently.
    When the first clap of thunder shook the sky and lightening forked down he meowed joyfully, leaping up to run and sit at the door staring at Gracie and Harry with a look that demanded to be allowed outside; NOW!
    With a shake of his head Harry stood and walked to the door. He lifted the latch.

    ‘Off you go Chicken Chops.’

    He laughed as His Nibs flounced out into the stormy night.
    ‘Witches are always looking for black cats like you Chicken Chops so be very careful,’ Harry teased.

    Though the children believed there was a wicked witch living in the Dark Forest, they could not find out for sure because their parents forbade them from ever entering the forest.

    ‘Promise us that you will never go into the forest.’
    ‘Why not?’
    ‘Because,’ answered their mum in a tone that stopped any more questions.
    Their dad nodded his head in agreement and that was that.

    Chicken Chops didn’t listen to advice.
    He put his nose in the air, swished his tail and went on living by his own rules.
    He loved storms!
    He loved hunting mice and he didn’t believe in witches.
    ‘I am adventurous,’ he mewed. ‘I will go wherever I please. I am not afraid of the Dark Forest.’

    Next morning the storm was over.
    Harry and Gracie were up, ready to greet Chicken Chops with a bowl of fresh milk and a plate of delicious meaty morsels.
    Opening the front door they expected to see Chicken Chops like always; all wet with bits of twig and grass tangling his bushy tail.
    Then after a long sit in front of the fire, licking and washing himself back into shape, he would settle and sleep for hours.
    There was no sign of Chicken Chops.
    Mum and Dad hadn’t seen him either.
    The children called his name, over and over.
    They waited.
    No Chicken Chops in sight.
    Gracie whispered in Harry’s ear.
    Harry looked disturbed.

    By ten o’clock with no sign of their little cat Harry gave in to Gracie’s idea.
    They looked around.
    Dad had gone to work and Mum was very busy practising a recipe for her semi final night on Master Chef.

    Harry and Gracie crept outside closing the door quietly.
    They headed toward the Dark Forest.
    ‘If a witch really has stolen Chicken Chop then we must rescue him.’
    Harry agreed with Gracie.

    They entered the forest. Watery sunlight filtered through the trees.
    They kept walking and calling out for their pet.
    As they walked the trails took them deeper into the forest. It became darker and creepier.
    Harry held Gracie’s hand tightly.
    Skittering noises came from the bushes, flying creatures silently whooshed close by their faces; but not a cat to be seen.
    They became lost, wandering around calling Chicken Chop’s name here and there.
    New sounds came from deep within the forest.

    SCARY!

    A flurry of birds lifted from the trees, screeching as they frantically flapped their wings and circled away.

    ‘Caww, cawww!

    ‘Gracie did you hear that?’
    It was louder than all the other forest sounds and very close by. The children turned and began to run, blindly stumbling into bushes. They tripped over tree roots, startled by every noise of unseen creatures.

    Caww, caw, cawww!

    ‘It sounds like someone laughing in a horrible way,’ panted Harry, his face twisting into a grimace, scaring Gracie.
    ‘Could it be a witch like the ones in our Bedtime Story book?’ Gracie shuddered at the thought.

    CAW, CAW!
    The children looked up in time to see a large blackbird.
    ‘Oh, it’s you.’ Harry felt relief.
    The children decided to follow the blackbird.
    It flew from tree to tree leading them deeper into the forest.
    They reached a clearing. In the centre stood a small cottage. Leaning against one wall was a broomstick.
    In cages set around the cottage were rats, mice and some little birds.

    Harry moved forward, staring at all these caged creatures.
    Gracie stood looking at the broom.
    The blackbird perched on a branch above their heads. Keeping his black shiny eye fixed on them, he swooped onto the roof of the cottage.

    ‘Caw!’
    Harry and Gracie stared at each other in horror.
    ‘This is a witch’s cottage.’
    She keeps these creatures to lure cats for her wicked use. Gracie stared at the broomstick.’
    ‘Chicken Chops,’ both children called loudly.

    ‘Meow’

    ‘Chicken Chops!’

    At that moment the cottage door sprang open; both children fell back in the face of the ugliest old woman they had ever seen.
    Chicken Chops sprang out and ran to the children.
    The witch lunged forward managing to grab Gracie by the arm, grasping her tightly in her gnarled left hand. With her right hand she reached toward Harry…
    Gracie cried out, looking helplessly at Harry.

    SUDDENLY, the witch screamed, lost her grip on Gracie and fell back blinded by the LED glare of Harry’s pocket torch.
    Chicken Chop sprang and clawed at her face. There was the terrible sound of ripping flesh.

    Gracie ran to the cages and opened their doors letting the rats and mice stream out to teach the witch a further lesson.
    Harry kept his torch beam on the witch’s eyes until Gracie and Chicken Chops gathered to him.
    CAWW!
    They followed the blackbird.
    Harry kept his LED torch on night vision and very soon they left the Deep Forest behind.

    Mum scolded them for being late to lunch, but smiled to see her children relieved to have Chicken Chops home safe and sound.
    Chicken Chops purred contentedly by the fire.
    The children never had to enter the forest again.
    1200 words

  • March 23, 2016 at 10:38 pm
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    Based on the story of Hansel and Gretel. Only the names were changed to protect those innocent in the first story.

    Handsome and Greda

    The True story of Handsome and Greda you’re not gonna believe.

    Why put so much money into building an elaborate stone or concrete walk that meanders up to your cottage door, when just a trail of bread crumbs would do rather nicely. The true story about the young children that wandered into the forest and happened onto this little cottage in the woods will finally be told, bringing new evidence to light regarding this older tale. You won’t like what you read, but I only promised you a cottage surrounded by flowers, not a rose garden.

    The way this story really goes: the witch is actually a sweet old lady, someone’s dear old
    grandmother. She loves flowers, and it shows by how she adorns her quaint little stucco
    cottage.

    Word had it that she was rich. They say she kept putting money away for years, stuffing
    it under her mattress and hiding it in her walls and under floor boards.

    On the surface, sweet adorable Greda and her brother Handsome, looked like innocent
    children out for a woodland romp. That wasn’t the case, as we will come to learn later
    on.

    Pushing Greda’s adorable baby face into the window glass of the front door for the old
    woman to see worked like magic. She opened the door and asked, “Are you children lost?” The sweet smell of stew on the hearth beckoned them.

    “Not exactly ma’am.”

    “Are you hungry? I have more stew than I can eat. You are welcome to join me for
    lunch.”

    “Oh, yes Ma’am, that would be delightful.” The young boy conjured up his best
    manners. “Wouldn’t that be swell, sis?” Handsome winked at Greda.

    “Oh, dear brother, I can’t remember when I last had home cooked food. It’s been so
    long.” Then she really laid it on. “I’m dying for a decent meal; haven’t had one in quite a
    spell.”

    “What is your name, my dear? You both seem so charming.”

    “My name is Greda”

    “What a lovely name, I had an aunt by that same name, and she was a favorite of mine.
    And what is your name, son?”

    “It’s Handsome, Ma’am.”

    “And quite handsome at that.”

    Handsome never flinched or blushed. He knew what a great-looking guy he was. “Well,
    thank you for saying that.” The children then entered the cottage.

    Lunch went well. It was delicious, both children kept commenting on how good it was,
    and thanked their host. After lunch the two children made like they were headed for the
    door, when she stopped them. “Would you like a piece of homegrown berry pie? I
    picked the berries just this morning and the pie is still a little warm.”

    Well, no kid in his right mind would turn down berry pie, especially if he had been
    homeless and scrapping for food as long as he could remember. Since their momma
    had died in prison two years before, they had been making the best of it by stealing and
    panhandling.

    “By the way that you two are putting away that pie, I would say you hadn’t eaten in
    weeks.” She was on to them and Handsome knew it. He had to remind himself why they came in the first place.

    “Lady, sit down in this chair!” He was holding a knife out toward her. “Sis, tie her up!”

    “Oh gracious, don’t hurt me.” Such a sad look on her face as she lowered her head.

    “Just sit and be quiet and we will do our business and be out of here.” The woman sat quietly watching our two little thieves ransack the cottage. They ripped open the couch, and tore apart the kitchen cupboards.

    As Handsome began tapping on the walls, and listened for suspiciously loose panels,
    our lady spoke. “Tell me what you are looking for and I will help.”

    “You gonna help us rob you, lady?”

    “I meant if it is money you are looking for, there isn’t any.”

    “Sure, lady. Be quiet. We heard all about your stash of money. We just have to find it.” Greda then started to untie the ropes.

    “What are you doing, Greda? She knows who we are now and can identify us.”

    “I do know who you are.”

    “You do?” Greda looked surprised.

    “Yes, I saw it in your eyes when you arrived. I am an excellent judge of character.”

    Handsome spoke up. “So, if you knew we were here to rob you, why did you let us in
    and feed us?”

    “I didn’t know your full plan; I said I knew you were running from something. You can
    stop running now. I have room for the both of you here with me. I have an extra guest
    room. You are more than welcome to stay here with me.”

    “But we threatened you.” A puzzled look crossed Greda’s face.

    “You were running scared and I understand that. If you have nowhere else to stay, I
    offer my home.

    Handsome, looked to his smart sister for an answer. “What do you think, Greda.?”

    “It is the best offer we have ever had. I am tired of being displaced; I miss home and
    family.”

    “Me too.” Handsome was smiling for the first time in a while.

    “Lady, we will take you up on your generous offer. How could we say no?”

    “Wonderful, here are your clean bed linens. I usually retire about 10 p.m. You may go to
    bed whenever, just try to be quiet after midnight.” In the morning the sun broke through
    the window of their bedroom, and they were still fast asleep.

    “Good morning you two, rise and shine. It is ten a.m. and you have slept half of the
    morning away.”

    “Greda, what is going on? ”

    “I don’t know, I am tied up too!”

    “Who is this woman who pretended to be our friend?” A cold shiver went up and down
    both of their spines. “Lady, we demand to be untied. What is going on? We thought you cared about us. Have you called the authorities on us?” Handsome was getting very nervous. 4
    “Certainly not. I have you right where I want you. When you pulled that knife on me I
    thought my plan might not work.”

    “What plan?” Greda yelled.

    “Oh, now the shoe is on the other foot. You thought you were the only ones on a
    mission. Look, it’s not personal in any way. I am a desperate and lonely woman. You would only stay a while and go. I would still be here alone, trying to provide for myself.”

    “But you can’t get any ransom for us; we have no family.” Handsome was trying to reason with the woman.

    “I know that now, that’s why I invited you to stay. No one will miss you and a gal has got
    to eat. You said yourselves how much you liked my stew.”

    Screams were all that were heard over the next few minutes. But then dead silence
    settled over the cottage. And if they had marked their trail to the cottage with bread
    crumbs, they were long gone by now.

  • March 24, 2016 at 11:21 am
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    Why Her Riding Hood was Red based on Little Red Riding Hood

    Dean Hardage ©2016

    Anna stood by the fire in her grandmother’s forest cabin, watching the flames as she arranged her snow white, hooded cloak. The garment was lined inside with thick fur taken from the wolves she routinely trapped in the local vicinity. In the thick snow it not only kept her warm but the heavy white fabric could be used to camouflage her. Correctly spread and the hood drawn down she could make herself appear to be no more than one of many snow drifts.

    Anna congratulated herself again on her stratagem of having her grandmother take up residence deep in the woods with no one around. She know the wolves would come to see what was living in their territory and she took full advantage, setting a number of deadfall and pit traps to catch the unwary predators that came to investigate. The hides she had taken had netted her a good bit of money and she knew there were still many wolves left. In fact she had heard more of their calls tonight than any she could remember.

    Her head whipped around at a sound from outside the cozy cabin, the distinctive sound of the mechanical trap she had placed at the rear of the dwelling followed by the pained howl of wolf caught by the cruel device. Anna smiled in a predatory way, mentally counting the coins she would get from the hide when she took it into the town furrier. She got her skinning knife from where she had laid it and, after putting on her boots and gloves, took a lantern and headed out to collect her prize.

    The snow was a ghostly bluish white in the light of the moon that was high and directly over the clearing where the cabin lay. The bull-s eye aperture sent a beam of light that she used to scan the area as she went around the structure and back to the wood line where the triggered trap had been set. Anna’s brow creased in consternation as she approached but did not see the struggling creature she expected. Rather than a wolf, the teeth of the massive trap held only a large piece of deadfall. It had pierced the dry wood, almost but not quite breaking it.

    A slight sound in the still night air caught her attention. Fear kicked in when Anna realized she was not alone. She turned her lantern toward a stand of brush a couple yards further into the woods, and two pairs of yellow-green eyes reflected her lamp’s beam. She started to back away slowly but a low growl from behind her made her stop and slowly turn to look. Three more of the wolves had moved soundlessly behind her, the snow muffing even the slight sound of their paws as they walked. Anna’s heart pounded in panic as the danger of predicament drove itself home. She drew the skinning knife from its sheath.

    That motion triggered the wolves into action. All five moved at once, insuring she could not flee as they attacked. Anna tried to dodge the first wolf attacking from the front and succeeded only to feel her left Achilles tendon get ripped by sharp fangs, causing her leg to collapse beneath her. She fell to the snow beneath the weight of heavy bodies, screaming as their fangs ripped at her flesh.

    When the sun came up Anna’s grandmother came searching for her and gasped in horror. All the flesh had been torn away from her body but nothing had been consumed. She lay there, crudely but completely skinned, still alive and aware, breath rasping from a throat bloodied by unheard screams. The once white cloak was stained red from all the blood that had oozed from her body. Knowing that there was nothing else she could do, her grandmother picked up the skinning knife from where it lay in the bloodied snow and held it over Anna’s barely beating heart…..

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:54 am
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    Red Horror
    Original story: Red Riding Hood

    Red set off to her grandma’s house; met Wolff who as usual said, “Hi Red, how are you,”
    Red walked snootily away replying “Whatever!” Wolff is despondent, yet glad to see her.
    Red had never forgiven Wolff for the day he had scared her, when she was a little girl off to her grandma’s house. That day on, she had nightmares of it; her parents showed her to a counsellor. She got over it slowly, and it became a hazy memory, but each time she saw him, her hackles raised.

    As she grew into a beautiful young lady, with anger squiggling on her pert nose, she didn’t care a hoot to acknowledge him.
    He irritated her and she taunted him. That hurt him, but he never revealed that he loved her. Then the family played…foosball and had wonderful cupcakes with coffee; they had a great time.

    Then it was time for Red to return home and Grandma insisted Wolff drop her home. But Red had taken her horse and raced ahead, bidding grandma goodbye.
    Then Wolff shouted out “Bye.” and Red said, “hope I never see you again, L_O_S_E_R, LOSER.”

    Something suddenly breaks in Wolff, and he followed her stealthily. He caught up with her, but stayed behind in the shadows. LOSER he wasn’t, and he would prove it to her.

    The sound of leaves crunched and Red looked behind, but there was nobody there. Black beauty reared up. Wolff grinned, eyes sharp in anger. What a fool she was? She would regret this day all her life.

    He waited in the shadows as she led the horse to the stables. Then she reached her door and opened it. She started as Wolff touched her shoulder.

    “Wolff, what are you doing here? HOW DARE YOU TOUCH ME?”

    “Really, touch me not, are you? What about that guy, Rotham, you didn’t whisper that, when he kissed you.”

    “How did you know? My God; you were the one, always behind me. You stalked me? And scared me today.”

    “Like you were, as a kid?”

    Suddenly the memory of that day returned, and she bucked up to speed Black Beauty.

    She went through the past, her family never referred to it; they never mentioned it even to her grandma who believed Wolff was good guy. He put on an act to stay in her good books. Then after Red was cured; grandma was not told, since she had a heart problem.

    She shut the door and tried to ignore him, as Wolff knocked the door. But memories came in the dark; with no one at home, and even the neighbours homes were dark..

    Her reverie was broken by his shouting at her in sheer vengeance:
    “How dare I what? You think being beautiful gives you the right to insult me… Call me Loser now. You’re the loser. Open the door madam, I know there is no one here, the doors are locked or their in dream land, ha ha haha!”

    It wasn’t funny to Red. She knew she had to protect herself.

    “No, mom will be back, now.”.

    She won’t she’s gone to her friend’s house – to look after her, but who will look after her poor daughter, HA ha ha ha ha.”
    She stood behind the table looking into his flared nose and red eyes as he pushed past it and broke the door. He nearly caught her, but she managed to break free.

    She ran into the other guest room and hid in the closet. The room was unused and covered with dust covers. “I’ll find you darling I will.”

    “Red where are you?” Wolff shouted as he kicked things around, “I’m going to find you.”

    Red cowered in fear, he would have his way with her, and then kill her. He was near as she stopped her breath in panic, but she couldn’t hold it for a long and it let out in a whoosh.”

    “I know you’re there.” He pulled her out and there was war, with her trying to pull away and Wolff showing his true nature as he had in Red’s childhood. Playing an evil prank that destroyed her mental balance for a while. Nobody thought he was being anything but naughty. But today they would find out, but it would be too late. Wolff ran off and she thought he decided to let her alone.

    She opened the door, and froze in horror. There he was lying on her bed with the maid’s cap and he said,

    “What big eyes you have?”

    “SAY IT REPEAT AFTER ME. WHAT DID I SAY??”

    “All the better to uh see you,” she said timidly.

    “And what big ears you have?” She stayed silent.

    “SAY it you Bitch.”

    “All the better to hear… “

    “Hear what, madam.”

    “You,” she said

    “And what a big teeth you have; I’ll tell you the answer. All the better to eat you.”

    She stared at him in fear. He looked like the devil himself. She wasn’t a scaredy cat, but his eyes and body were tense; one that would kill.

    There was a knock on the door, “Red is it you. Your mom asked me to check on you,” but Red was couldn’t utter a word..
    Mrs Lawrence stepped back and went to call her husband. Mrs Lawrence stared at Wolff from the window, she had seen him many times before; lurking around the house.

    She ran and called her husband who called out, “Red, Red…Red don’t be scared open the door.” But, Red was frozen. She had known it would be too late, by the time they came.

    Their footsteps faded and Wolff said,” I’m not a Loser and now I’ll show you why.”

    The door creaked as Mr. Lawrence opened the door stared at the calamity that had taken place; everything dishevelled and things broken surely the work of a manic person.

    Then he saw it was Red with the weapon.

    “Red, Thank God you’re safe.” She dropped the pickaxe and cried uttering what had happened mixing words and stumbling over them…

    “It’s okay child, we understand.”

    Red let out a sigh of relief. He would have killed her today, as he had killed her childhood. Finally, she was rid of her nightmare.

    Wolff muttered, “I’m not…a..Los….” Then he took his last breath.

  • March 26, 2016 at 9:13 am
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    The Three Brothers (Adapted from Goldilocks and The Three Bears)

    Once upon a time there was an apprentice hairdresser who by mistake dyed a client’s hair which turned bright green. The head hairdresser was very angry with her. She stormed out of the salon and went for a long walk in the woods to clear her mind.

    She was nicknamed Goldilocks because she had beautiful, long, thick, golden blonde locks. She got lost in the woods and could not find her way out. She discovered a cave with a wooden door. She knocked and pushed it open as nobody answered and stepped in gingerly. Investigating, she saw that it had rooms and house gadgets just like a house had, and was solar powered.

    “Hello!” she called as she moved around in the house and into an open air clearing just outside the cave where loads of cannabis plants had grown wildly. There was no one around. She was so hungry that she ate those mind altering plants like people ate lettuce. She became hungrier. Stepping back into the cave house she opened the fridge and found 3 plates – a large one with a big meat pie,a medium one with a medium meat pie and a small one with a small meat pie. She took a bite at the small pie and liked it. As she was very hungry she ate all three pies.

    Because her stomach was full, she felt heavy and sleepy. So she climbed the stone steps that led to a massive bedroom which had 3 beds – one large, one medium and one small bed. She climbed into the large bed and slid under the covers. It smelt of urine, bad body odour and the straw mattress was hard and prickly. She then, jumped into the medium bed. That one too had bed bugs biting her at her delicate skin. She scratched and scratched. So, she went into the small bed and snuggled in nicely. By then she was too tired to bother about any problem with that bed.

    It happened that the cave house belonged to three brothers who had bear like features. They worked in the woods during the day to hunt animals, catch fish or gather vegetation that they could eat.

    When they got back to their caves, little brother went in the fridge to get his meat pie.
    “Someone has eaten my meat pie!” He shouted and pulled his chin down and wanted to cry.
    Medium brother pushed him out of the way and shouted, “Someone has eaten my meat pie too!” Hie eyes rolled in anger.
    “Impossible!” Big brother said and pulled his two brothers out of the way to look in the fridge. “But, mine is gone too!”
    They stared at each other. “Who dared come in and stole our food?”
    “The deep fridge is empty. We don’t have anything to eat.” Big brother scratched his
    rumbling stomach. He paced the floor

    Eventually, they set off to their bedroom with an empty stomach.
    “Someone has been in my bed!” Big brother spoke and sniffed his bedding and patted his mattress.
    “Someone has been in mine too!” Medium brother reacted like his brother.
    “Oh, my God! What do we have here?” Little brother stared at Goldilocks who was fast asleep and snoring softly. The other two brothers ran to check on little brother’s discovery. They pulled her locks and she grimaced. But, when they poked her in the stomach she woke up with a start.

    Goldilocks clasped her hand over her mouth when she realised she had trespassed in those men’s house. “I’m so sorry. I got lost and found your house.” She rubbed the lids of her eyes.

    “You’re welcomed to our house!” They all said with an opened mouth, with saliva almost dripping. Their mind blew with anticipation.
    “When you’re ready, please come down and we’ll have something to eat.” Big brother offered with a cackle. The other brothers laughed.

    They trod back downstairs with Goldilocks following them. As she sat down, big brother took an axe and chopped one of Goldilocks’ leg. She opened her mouth to scream but it got stuck in her throat. Middle brother took the leg and shove it in the oven to roast. Little brother fetched some glue and smeared it over the wound to stop the bleed and any pain that Goldilocks might feel. They shared the roast and forced Goldilocks to eat too which she vomited afterwards.
    She could not fight the men and could barely hop on her one leg to escape.

    The next day, they chopped her other leg and roasted it. They carried her everywhere before the day after when they chopped her arms and breasts and made a stew out of them. Then, they removed her kidneys and some bits of meat off her body and made pies from them. By then, Goldilocks was almost unconscious and unable to eat. Big brother shaved her hair before smashing her skull to remove her brains, gripped her lungs, her heart and liver out and made a big fry ups. Lastly, he made a broth out of the rest of Goldilocks’ body. For a whole week they ate well. They kept Goldilocks hair as a trophy and displayed it.

    They were burning Goldilocks’ bones with a pile of wood in the front of the cave house when two girls appeared searching for Goldilocks. “Excuse us, Sirs. We got lost. We’re looking for our friend and colleague, Goldilocks. Did any of you see a girl with long, golden locks and about our height and size.” The girls asked.

    The brothers saw “food” written on the girls’ forehead.
    “Yes. She’s staying with us. She has gone to fetch some mushroom to cook for dinner.” Big brother lied. “Come along in our house and wait for her. She made some lovely broth. We can share it if you’re hungry.”

    “That’s very kind of you.” The girls thanked them. “We’re starving.”
    Little did they know that they could become food for the next two weeks for the three brothers.

    “Plug the freezer on!” Big brother delegated to little brother. They rubbed their hands as they escorted the girls into their den, but, felt queasy with the smell of bleach and hairspray that wafted from the girls’ hair.

    The girls spotted Goldilocks’ hairpiece and knew they were in trouble.
    When Big brother was about to swing his axe, the girl grabbed and twisted his wrist. She took the axe and hacked his head. With another chop she dismembered medium brother’s head as he was wrestling with the other hairdresser. When little brother reappeared he had his head chopped too. They picked the heads and threw them over the fire outside and added more wood on top to feed the fire. Finally, they managed to drag the headless bodies and threw them on the pyre.

    “I’m so grateful for my parents to push me to get my black belt at the karate classes.” The girls hit each other’s palms and said, “Goldilocks didn’t and she could not defend herself. Power to learning.”

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