Red and The Magical Forest
Once upon a time, there is a young girl named Red. She lives in a simple cottage with her mother and father and one little sister. Red is 16 years old and her sister is half her age.
On a Friday afternoon, Red was told to visit her grandmother and send her a basket of freshly baked bread, like what they do weekly. There was a round bread, a long bread, and also rectangular one. All the breads were the soft ones because her grandma was already old, and her teeth are already loose.
"You must make sure to go out early, while the sun is there to guide your way," her mother handed her the basket after Red has worn her red cloak. "And don't go through the magic forest."
Red nodded while eyeing the knife on the table. "Yes mother," she says even if she didn't really pay attention to what her mother says, and looked away from the knife to look at her mother instead.
Red is contemplating whethter she should bring the knife or not. But she thinks, what danger could she possibly face while on the way to her granny? She's been there multiple times before and never faced any creature that she might use her knife for.
So she left the house without the knife, ready to bring the bread to her grandma.
While walking, she remembers, even if she's already went to her granny's house multiple times before, she's never really used the route of the magic forest. She's adventurous and strong, and she hasn't fully explored her skills. It's always the ordinary plain road of their village that she uses and the excitement is no longer there. Also, their village has the kind of road which will make your eyes teary on a windy day because of how dusty the concrete is. And it is where Red is currently walking right now, on the plain dusty road she really wants to walk off from.
The sky is still blue and the sunlight is already golden, signifying the early afternoon. Red looks down at the basket, and sees the bread peeking from the raised edges of the cloth covering the pastries.
She thinks to herself, she can't possibly let her grandma eat something peppered with road dust right? That would be just cruel, to feed an old woman, or anyone, bread with dirt! And so, despite the constant nagging of her mother's voice in her head, she turns on her heel and went to walk to the route she's never walked to before.
To the magic forest.
If she walks fast enough, little Red estimates that she'd reach her grandma's house before sunset, before the sky bleeds a dark blue.
And so she walked and walked through the path of the forest. Her left and right are trees and the deeper she gets into the forest, the thicker the trees and the leaves grow above of her head. And soon enough, the sky is no longer visible and is replaced by a ceiling of dense leaves.
Red started to get worried and thinks she might be lost. She hasn't been around her before—but isn't that the point of an adventure? To go somewhere you don't know? But she's starting to see houses now, and so the worry stopped growing for a while.
She got so excited that she didn't hear the rustling of dead leaves somewhere behind her. When she reached the front of one of the houses, Red's worry came back double because the house is abandoned. It looks so old and ready to collapse at the softest blow of the wind. The red and blue paint chipping off from the wood, its wooden fences no longer serving their use of blocking away unwanted visitors because when Red placed a hand in the wooden planks, it collapsed under her touch.
Red gasped, backing away with surprise.
And then she walks some more and realized with great fear that all the houses looked the same kind of old. They are made of old wood, their roofs littered with holes and the window panes are broken glasses.
She walked and walked some more, and even if her heart is already ringing in her ears, Red finally noticed the rustling. At first it was just a soft sound. Like a rabbit skittered across the patch of dead grass to hide under a bush. But there aren't any bushes or rabbits when Red turned to check. She ignored the sound and walked again.
Now she admits to herself, it's not just the rustling sound that makes her nervous, but also the fact that she seems to be walking in circles for the past hour.
The small village of abandoned houses is already out of the woods, and the sky is visible again and it shows that it's already dark.
There comes the rustling again and Red didn't bother checking and just bolted to a run. The basket of bread jumping up and down from where it is hooked on the crook of her elbow. She runs and the sounds of rustling turned into the sound of stomping.
Something or someone is following Red. And she's now crying, her vision blurred with tears and her head covering blown by the wind. In her hurry, she tripped on a rock and went flying across the path which is covered with dead leaves and rotten apples and bones of…chicken?
She shrugged off the questions that started coming to her head and sat on the ground. She looked behind her, to see if there is anyone following her, but it's already dark, she couldn't see.
But the silhouette of the trees looked weird, like they grew even bigger, denser, and they are all looking at little Red and her scrapped knee. She let out a little whimper of fear, picked up the basket which luckily didn't spill the bread and got up. She was ready to run again, probably at the opposite direction to go back home, but the rustling started again.
And, as if magically, something caught the side of her eyes. She turned her head and sees the house of her grandma hidden behind big trees. She didn't even notice that she's finally reached her granny's house! Red didn't think twice and immediately jogged towards the large blue house. She knocked, and the door opened, and she entered. But inside was empty. The soft couch was not there, the coffee table was not there, and it was dark inside too.
What is happening!
Red took another step further into the house. Maybe grandma is just cleaning? But the door swung shut behind her, making Red squeak in surprise and turn around. She grabs the knob, turns and it didn't open. She tried again but the metal knob no longer felt like cold metal. It transformed right under her hand into a huge dead snail, slime coming out of its shell and going to Red's hand.
She pulled it off from the door and threw it behind her. But instead of loud clacking to the wooden floor, it hit something instead with a soft thud. Red followed what it hit and saw a gigantic wolf standing in the middle of the now lit living room. It was empty awhile ago, but now it has a long table in the middle with candles above it, formed into an elonagted circle, as if waiting for a sacrifice to be put in the midst of them.
The wolf jumped and picked Red up as if she weighs nothing, she thrashes in the animal's hold
and the basket fell to the floor and the breads came rolling out. Red thrashed some more but then suddenly there are thick roots of plants encircling her wrists and waist and ankles. The roots carried Red away from the wolf and laid her in the middle of the table, now being in the midst of the candles. Red cried, but she couldn't move. The flames of the candles surrounding her grew taller and the giant wolf started chanting in a language Red had not heard of before.
The roof of the old house got blown off by a strong wind and the candles dwindled and died. The table, which was flat awhile ago, started shifting its shape. Now Red is laid on a tree log, which is now slowly eating her up. The roots holding her down grew thicker and thicker until her whole body is covered with tree bark. She was now part of the log she lays at and slowly her face is being covered with the wood as well. Until there is no more trace of Red. Even the basket and the bread were eaten by the evil tree, and the wolf is nowhere to be seen.
The next day, the people of Red's village did a search when her granny came to their house in the evening. Her parents were wondering what the old woman was doing there, but their wonders were answered when the Grandmother told her parents that Red never came to give her the weekly bread.
They couldn't find Red. But they did find a strange looking tree in the entrance of the magic forest which everyone fears to enter. It is a small tree, as tall as Red, and it wears a red cloak that is horrifyingly similar with Red's
And at the sight of it, no words are needed to be spoken to know what happened to Red. And everyone took the blame, because no one bothered to fix the fallen signanage at the entry way of the forest. The signange which warns children, telling them not to enter the forest, or else the wolf guardian will get them, and sacrifice them to the hungry evil woods of the forest.
This is my very first short story here at Read cash, and I am so excited to share it with you! Thank you very much for your patience in reading this one. See you in my next article!
Lead image: the dark foresShe was told to go out early, while the sun is still upShe reached her grandma's house
This is one of the better tales I read in the past weeks, if not months. It has everything a fairy tale needs including the warning and with that the not so happy ending.
I hope to read more from you. Welcome to read.cash 🍀💖