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Pen Your Pride

Red Riding Hood

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In every shadow there is light,

In every tear a smile,

In death I know that there is still life,

That lingers for a while.

- Anonyms

The girl dragged her body through the shin deep snow; each step bringing another painful pull through cold yet beautiful white blanket.

She raced out of the pitiful village (most likely she was a young daughter, escaping from the town and everything she ever knew), towards the forest. It was the village’s protection and its controller. They lived off each other, without the forest the village was nothing.

At closer inspection of the girl you could see her un-controllable shakes. At first I assumed that the shakes were the caused by the cold winter digging itself under her skin.

But at later inspection I saw her body move like she wanted to be invisible; or so small that you could not notice her running across the snow. Her eyes also showed an almost guilty urgency, her eyes darting wildly from side to side like an animal on its first hunt.

I realised then that it was guilt that shook the girl and not the freezing cold night. Her body was fully covered by her long, red, hooded robe that was tattered on the bottom, excluding her face. It was fully visible when she turned around franticly to make sure that she was not being pursued.

Her long hair hung over her shoulders, escaped from inside the hood when she had been running. Her hair was quite dazzling at first glance. In the dark it could be perceived by a simple man as black, but in my eyes I could see the lingering brown. It reached almost down to the snow; if not for the small ringlets at the bottom it would have touched it.

I could see it was hard for her to feel inconspicuous and get into the right state of mind to stay invisible. She was a small red defect placed upon the imperfect and monotonous canvas of hills that was the newly burnt forest covered with pure snow.

She had nearly hauled herself all the way to the dark forest, when the sound of a fleeing (or possibly pursuing) wolf that had been residing there since she began her expedition out of the village stunned her out of her thoughts.  

She turned towards me, but saw right though me, and looked into the blackened forest behind. The movement was graceful and beautiful; too skilled to be that of a human. Her pale and rune covered arms slowly emerged from out of the red robe, tightly held in powerful and angry fists.

The turn also revealed her breath-taking face. Like what angels are said to be like; not a simple village girl. Her large strangely coloured eyes darted through the trees, looking for the ragged furry body of a wolf.

The girl’s arms slowly sunk back into her robe. They lingered there for a few silent moments; her eyes still not shifting from where the wolf had last been standing silently behind me. After a look that might have been hesitation, she pulled out two swirling daggers from her leather working boots.

The daggers were both held tightly, as if she needed the familiarity to go through with the hunt that was to come. She held the daggers to her chest for a few seconds, the full moon reflecting the light into the forest as she muttered foreign words under her breath, in a tongue I did not recognise.

She stared at me, and I felt my heart skip a beat. Of course she could not see me; there was nothing to be worried about. I was transparent, invisible, only seen to those who paid attention as the evanescence of vapour and not a solid entity.  

But as she stared at me I was sure that she could see me and that she was going to attack me like a horrid animal. She placed her foot behind the other and flung back her arms, before releasing her daggers mid-decent and throwing them through the air.

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