Written by Bandit Queen
Run, little girl, run.
The forest is not your friend now. Where are the little flowers you picked, their sweet scent similar to yours and their pastel colours dappling the dark grass in the wood? Where are your sun beams you danced between, that streaked through the darkness of the thick branches up above? They are all gone. Nettles sting your dancing feet and the summer sun has set. There is only the Hunter’s moon; a cool, silver stare cutting down upon your face, as tears stream down your cheek.
You should have listened to your mother. Words do well to the wise, not to the brave. What can words do for you now? You think to bargain with me? Prey do not bargain with their predators.
Run, girl, run.
Your ragged breaths twitch my ears. Your saccharine smell waters my mouth. Your watery eyes widen mine. You are divine.
A branch snaps. I falter. You turn.
Hairs rise on your skin as mine bristles in glee. I can see you fleeing from the pine where we met. You are running. A monstrous grin grows on my face. Can you see my teeth that will tear you apart? Can you see my body heave forward, while I begin my chase for you?
Red is a dangerous colour to wear, my love. Your cloak ripples like a scarlet river through the silver trees, and you weave in and out to try to lose me. Why do you run? I see blood on your nimble feet. The forest is no longer the refuge you loved, is it? You will paint the trees crimson and the flowers will turn pale like the moon. The forest will mourn until your body lurches and your throat turns raw from your screams.
Then you can run through the forest, past the mountains to the river, you can dance in the moonlight, and howl to the stars. Give your family, your love and guard, your elder in the wood. Leave your petty village behind: the resentment, the marriage, the hatred. You are brave. Why do you fear me when the monsters share your bed?
You stop. You do not run. There are no more tears.
The chase is over, my love.
Genuinely, we feel a little terrified for Little Red, here. This incredibly tense piece of short fiction was written by Bandit Queen on behalf of the July HHC under the theme ‘Chase’. As a predator hunting its prey, you can smell the fear within this piece. Inspired by the Brothers Grim story, Bandit Queen’s piece serves as a truly dark tale. The masquerade of fairytale slips into a stalker and a vulnerable young woman, fleeing for her life. It’s serious, and it’s horrifying. If you enjoyed Bandit Queen’s first published piece here on Inkblots, please leave her a like, or comment in the section below.