Once upon a time in a far away land, lived a magnificent, black wolf that was feared almost as much as he was revered. He stood a good deal bigger than other wolves; his size comparable to that of the two legged humans. He was also very smart and blessed with a set of unique abilities.
The wolf was able to communicate with humans and was even able to cloud their sight; offering an illusion when it donned a human’s clothing. It was due to these special abilities that the wolf was able to live well in relative safety, even when living in a forest that was located so close to a thriving human village.
One day, whilst the wolf was on a hunt, he came across a little human child dressed in a hooded cloak. She was fair of hair, idly sitting around in a field of wild flowers and humming some odd, human ditty. The child also seemed to have been carrying around a moderately large basket.
Even from where it stood in the shadows, the wolf could smell the delightful scents of cured meats and fresh bread that clung to the human child’s skin; making the wolf’s mouth water. The child seemed oblivious to the fact that she was being watched; large, golden eyes tracking the child’s movements as she worked on making a daisy chain.
‘An easy prey… but that’s no fun....’ It thought, coming through from behind the tall grass and out into the open.
“Small child, what are you doing here? You’re awfully far from home…” it called out in a falsely sweet voice; his question causing the little human to whip her head around; large, curious blue eyes boring deep into his own gold ones.
The small child did not seem overtly frightened. In fact, her scent only indicated that she had been more startled than anything; the scent slowly mellowing out to something that the wolf had deemed ‘curiosity’.
‘Curious…. Very curious…’ it thought, as the girl stood up and dusted off her clothes. Now that she was standing upright, the wolf could see that she was rather short in stature, though delightfully plump. A fine meal if he thought so himself. It took everything the wolf had in him not to let his stomach growl.
“I’m heading to my grandmother’s house.” The child spoke, voice high and sweet and almost bird-like. She spoke in an earnest tone and briefly (very briefly), the wolf thought that it would be a bit of a shame to end the small ones life.
‘But such as the way of life. The predator must devour its prey in order to live another day.’
“Your grandmother?” the wolf asked, tilting its head slightly in an attempt to look non-threatening. It seemed to work as the little human child gave another nod; her posture relaxing as she started to babble on.
“Oh yes. She lives in a little cottage in the woods. It’s very pretty. It has a lovely blue door and painted green shutters.” The child spoke, her voice carefree as the wolf stored the information away. He knew of the house and the old woman who lived in it. She was a bit of a recluse; preferring to remain alone and away from civilization in her dotage. If the wolf was being honest, she acted much like how old or wounded animals did; separating themselves from the pack or the herd so that when the die, they do not hold the group back. So lost in his musings, he almost missed what the child had said next.
“… I was supposed to stay on the path but I had gotten distracted and lost my way.” The child concluded, only now looking a little worried.
“I see. Well, you’ve seem to have gotten turned around.” The wolf stated simply, pointing in another direction.
“The cottage you speak of is a little while away in that direction.” It spoke. The wolf was not lying, for you see, the way he indicated did indeed lead to the old woman’s cottage. It was simply a more indirect route; one that would take the small child about half an hour to get to.
“Oh! Thank you, Mr. Wolf. I’ll be going on my way now.” The small child spoke, her tone joyous once more as the wolf gave a nod and darted off in another direction.
With the wolf’s superior speed and vast knowledge of the lay of the land, he arrived at the old woman’s house with plenty of time to spare. Giving a brief knock on the door, the wolf called out; his voice pitched almost painfully high.
“Grandmother, it’s me! I’ve come with some food!” he called out; trying to imitate the small child’s voice. The old woman who had been expecting her granddaughter didn’t stand a chance. As soon as she opened the door, the wolf pounced; the old woman’s scream of terror dying out before it could even really begin.
‘Now, all I have to do is wait.’ The wolf thought; donning the old woman’s outfit before climbing into the bed. He made sure not to leave any sign of his attack beforehand; stowing the dead woman’s corpse out back in the woods; a treat for his scavenger friends. Old meat did not suit his taste after all, but it would be rude to waste a kill…
Not long after the wolf had slipped into bed, there was a knock on the door; followed by a familiar voice calling out;
“Grandmother, it’s Little Red Riding Hood. I’ve come to bring you some food and wine from mother.”
“Come in, my child.” The wolf called out; adopting a frail sounding voice. The blue door swung open and lo and behold, the wolf’s prey was standing there; oblivious as ever as she approached the bedroom.
‘This is almost too easy.’ The wolf thought as the small child began making remarks on how dark the room was; what with all the curtains being drawn.
“Come closer, my child. These old eyes aren’t what they used to be.” The wolf beckoned, bemused despite itself. The little human obliged; approaching the bed and began questioning her ‘grandmother’ about how big her eyes seemed.
‘Ah… Maybe not so oblivious after all.' The wolf thought, reluctantly impressed. It wasn’t often people could see through his disguise after all!
“The better to see you with, my dear.” The wolf murmured, voice saccharine sweet, tempered with only a hint of annoyance as the child continued on with her string of questions.
What big ears!
What big hands!
What big teeth!
And that was when the wolf sprung;
“All the better to eat you with, my dear!” he cried out, lunging for the girl as she screamed. The smell of adrenaline and terror flooded the room; the heady scent causing the wolf to howl with delight.
Yes, it was always better when the prey was like this. The wolf had her cornered in the living room; its back against the door as it blocked the child’s only escape. She was terrified now and he could practically hear the sound of her blood coursing through her veins; heart beating almost three times as quickly. The wolf was so engrossed in its hunt that it did not notice the door opening. All it could think about was how it could not wait to sink its teeth into its prey when suddenly-