* Little Red Rotting Hood
For all that Grandma was one of the most respected necromancers in three kingdoms, she went down without much of a fight in her final hour. Her house was filled with charms and potions, but they didn’t do her a bit of good when a hungry wolf showed up at her door.
The wolf was pleased. The winter had been long and lean, and it was his first real kill in a few weeks. He feasted off of the old woman’s corpse, but a familiar scent kept intruding into his mind, and once he’d eaten his fill, he searched the house for the source.
There was a great quantity of fresh meat on the sideboard, and Grandma’s best tablecloth was on the table. It could only mean one thing: guests for dinner.
The wolf grinned, a plan forming in his lupine mind. She must have been expecting one of the local villagers, all fat and sassy from the recent harvest. His jowls smacked just thinking about it. He pulled Grandma’s cap over his head, and her nightgown (which was a bit more problematic) and set about to straightening the worst of the mess in her house.
When that was done, the wolf crawled into the bed and waited, mouth watering as he daydreamed of the fat woodcutter down the road. He was lazing off into dreamland when a small scratch came to the door.
He cleared his throat and tried a feminine falsetto. “Who is it?” The words came out as more snarl than girl, and he winced, wondering if the guest would take the bait.
A response sounded at the door. Feminine, faint. It almost sounded like a moan.
The wolf frowned and tried again. “Come innnnnn,” he sing-songed, voice cracking at the high note. Wolf throats just weren’t made for human speech, and he sounded more like a constipated donkey than a Grandma.
There came another small scratch at the door, but it remained closed.
“It’s open,” he bellowed from the bed in a snarl. Jesus effing Christ, did he have to do everything himself?
Another scratch at the door, and another moan. “Braaains?”
The wolf got up from the bed and ran to the door. Was Grandma’s guest stupid? He opened the door a crack, flipping the latch and then racing back to bed and pulling the covers over him. Grandma had a thick pair of sleeping drapes surrounding the bed, and he pulled those closed too.
A small, lone figure shuffled in to the open door a few moments later, footsteps slow. Halting. Hesitant. A bright red hood obscured the face.
The wolf straightened the puffy lace cap atop his head, hiding his ears. “Grandmama is ill,” he called again in the high falsetto. “Come to her bedside and give her some sugars.”
And let her eat your plump, succulent face.
“Braaaains?” The girl responded, and the wolf heard shuffling in the main kitchen, followed by the sound of eating.
Exasperated, the wolf snarled. It was almost not worth eating humans these days, it really wasn’t. Especially with the diseases and all. Still, a quick peek out of the curtain showed that Red Riding Hood’s arms were nice and plump as she bent over the counter, eating. She was a solid little chunk, that grand-daughter. A nice, fine meal if she…
The wolf squinted. Was she…eating the raw meat?
Kids these days.
He waited patiently while she stuffed her fat little face, and tried again. “Come give Grandma a kiss?”
The girl’s feet began to shuffle across the room once more, and he retreated back under the blankets. A toothy grin covered his face, which he tried to hide. Grandma had been missing most of her teeth.
The shuffling stopped.
Fucking A.D.D. and kids these days. The wolf swore under his breath and peeked out of the curtains again.
Little Red Riding Hood had discovered Grandma’s body under the table and had dragged it out. She was chewing on what was left of the dead woman’s head and making disgusting smacking noises.
The wolf made a sound of disgust in his throat, and Riding Hood looked up. The eyes of the little girl were red, her face bloated and round, and rot surrounded her mouth. “Braaaains.”
Definitely time to check out the fat woodcutter down the lane. Even wolves had standards.