Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Red (Fractured Fairy Tale #1)

In the spirit of Halloween, I've put together a mini-series of Fractured Fairy Tales. This is the first, based on Red Riding Hood. 


     When I was little, winter meant packing on layer after layer of wool sweaters. It meant huddling beneath a rough-spun quilt with baby Buck and Pa and shivering out the coldest nights, watching our fire sputter and die. It meant Pa looking at me helplessly, question in his eyes, and me sprinting the distance between the door and the woodpile, my toes numb before I could take more than a few steps. The year I turned fifteen, winter meant watching Pa wither and die beneath that same quilt, and waiting for sunrise so Buck and I could haul him outside our cabin. We burned him, his body wrapped in the quilt, and it wasn't until dusk that Buck nudged my hand, jolting me to my senses and reminding me that the dark brought the worst of the cold.
But I grew up, and Buck grew up, and winters came to mean the two of us trudging through hip-high snow checking snares and sharing whatever vegetables I'd managed to preserve the autumn before. Usually it was enough to keep the worst of the hunger at bay.

     Except when it wasn't.