Saturday, January 30, 2016

Little Red Hoody - An Urban Fairy Tale



I was tasked to rewrite Little Red Riding Hood from the wolf's point of view.  This is what I came up with.

Little Red Hoody

            I was parked in a loading zone across the street from the 7th Street Terminal......watching.  I spend a lot of time watching and waiting.  Waiting and watching.  Usually from the shadows.  A good hunter is patient. And I am a great hunter.  It is winter, which I love because I have more hours under the cover of darkness.  The gloom is where all monsters thrive, and it is already getting dark.  
             And there it is, nearly on time:  The 6 PM Greyhound from somewhere in the Midwest.  Saint Something or Something City.  It doesn't  matter, they are all the same: a great source of quarry   In a few minutes passengers will have collected their belongings and begin to leave the station for the taxi stand or waiting friends and relatives.  Except for a few, who will enter Los Angeles for the first time with starry eyed wonder and no idea where they will go next.  I will have an answer for one of them.
            Selecting a target is much like picking fruit. She can be neither too green nor overripe.  And I have no use for the decayed souls that have jumped or fallen to rock bottom.  And unfortunately most of the litters that are birthed from incoming Greyhounds are too putrefied for my tastes.  My perfect prey is................................there she is.  She has luggage, so she is not a runaway.  They travel light at the expense of their hygiene.  No, thank you.  She is ideal.  Attractive, though she doesn't know it.  Robust, however she probably considers herself fat.  As a skilled watcher, her entire deportment screams low self-esteem.  But the coup de  grace is the bright red hooded sweatshirt with a single word emblazoned, in white, across her ample chest: "Nebraska."   A corn fed, succulent, well-marbled college girl,  I had to purposefully keep myself from becoming one of Pavlov's dogs, right there in the squad car.  And it isn't even full moon until tomorrow. 
            This was going to be easy. My eternal 25 year-old good looks combined with an impeccable uniform,  tailored to accentuate my sculpted physique, hardly ever fails to mesmerize such a girl.  I will just drive across the street and she will be in the car in less than five minutes.  I will have that red hoody and whatever is under it on the floor of the cruiser by 8:00 and she will be dreadfully and fatally addicted to me by 8:15.  I do so love to play with my food.   I cranked the ignition and started idling across the street, when an old lady in an antique Cadillac convertible cuts me off and  comes screeching to a rusty stop at the curb.  Nebraska tosses her bags in the back seat and jumps in. They hug briefly and granny guns it and off they go cackling in a cloud of dust and burning oil. I am pissed but I resist the urge to pull her over and shoot her.  Patience.  I don't even need to follow her.  Patience.  I know where she is going.  Patience.  I can run her plate: name, address           
            I pulled up to the address that came up on my screen and found a small, well kept, bungalow, overrun with flowers and vines that were still flourishing in late December.  Well, it is Los Angeles.  It was the kind of house you would expect a granny to live in if this were a fairy tale.    The only problem is that it is in one of the worst parts of Mar Vista, shrouded in poverty and circled by crack houses.  Not much of a fairy tale kingdom.  No way would I come to this neighborhood if I wasn't immortal and horny.  I checked myself in the visor mirror, practicing my toothy smile, "here comes your Prince Charming, Nebraska."
            As I walked up to the door, I felt the smoldering heat of eyes from behind curtains, dashboards, and  dilapidated porches.  I don't imagine they see many 5-0 flying solo in this zip code.  I saw the doorbell but instead chose to knock  A firm knock sounds more official and authoritative, particularly if the door chime is one of those musical ones, that I want to shoot until it stops.  The door opened without hesitation, which I would advise against in this neighborhood.  There stood granny in a faded, light blue, robe, looking even older than I imagined. Any idea I had for a twofer melted away, as was my ardor.   "Yes?" she inquired.  "What can I do for you officer.........er........Wolf,"  as she read  my name-tag, stepping aside and letting me enter, then leading me toward the dining room.  My keen sense of smell was overwhelmed by the stench of  expensive cigarettes and cheap perfume, with notes of booze and beer.      
            "Yes, Mrs. Johnson......."                                                                                                          "Ms. Johnson," she interrupted.  "I am a widow.  You can call me Catherine.  Are you here to eat me up, Officer Wolf?"                          
            "Okay, Ms. Johnson." Ignoring her flirtatiousness, "do you live alone here?"
            "Normally, yes, but my granddaughter, Sally, is visiting for Christmas."
            "Is  she here?" I looked around and couldn't sense anyone else. 
            "She stepped out to get me some beer and smokes.  I find myself alone with the big, bad, wolf.  Should I be afraid?"  She reached into the pocket of her robe and pulled out the remnants of a pack of Marlboro Lights, shook out the last cigarette and held it up to  me as an offering.  I shook my head and she began searching for her lighter among the clutter on her dining table, finding it.  So, you never said what you were here for.  You are too cute to be  a cop.  Do you need to search me?"  She briefly flashed open her robe, revealing a sight I am unable to unsee.
            "So, I am told.  I am here because I wanted to warn you that there has been some gang activity in your neighborhood."
            "No shit, Sherlock.  For about 20 years. What are you really here for?"
            I quickly tired of this line of questioning and hit her just above her left ear with my flashlight.  Sometimes I forget my own strength and the weight of that huge torch.  It made a sound that reminded me of Gallagher and his melon act.  Luckily, there was is much splatter, but a huge dent that her current hairstyle did little to conceal.  As she crumbles to the floor, the lost lighter jangles uselessly to the tile, followed closely by the, still unlit, cigarette    I bent down to check her for life.  Unfortunately, she was still breathing, though faintly.  So I simultaneously pinched her nostrils shut, shoved the belt of her robe fully  into her mouth and covered it with my other hand.  She sprang awake for a few seconds, fought briefly and ineffectively,  and then I felt her existence leave her with wide staring, terrified, eyes and a last gasp of airless felt.
            Killing granny re-energized me, my tumescence returned, and I was anxious for Nebraska...no Sally, to return.  Fortunately, grandma weighed hardly anything, like a hallow-boned bird, and was easy to stuff into the coat closet.  I had barely gotten the door closed when I heard Sally coming up the walk.  She paused to look at my patrol car and continued on up the walk.  She was still wearing the hoody, which I intended to keep as a trophy.  "Granny, what are the cops doing here?" As she entered, she saw me seated at the table.  "Where's Grandma?  Who are you?  What are you doing here?"  I flashed my smile and she forgot herself for just long enough for me to pounce on her.  Her fresh scent intoxicated me and the savage beast took over.  I began to tear at her clothes and she screamed.  I whispered in her ear, "nobody pays attention to screams in this neighborhood."
            Sally said, much more calmly and measured than I expected. "They do when granny  runs the neighborhood."  Just then I felt those gazes on me again. Looking out into the night, it seems that every pair of those sallow eyes was looking at me over a gun sight.     
            The last thought that ran through my head as the shooting started was that  I wished I was really a lycanthrope, because I doubt that these homies have silver bullets.   

2 comments:

judywiffe said...

I LOVE IT!!!

Pennie F said...

Good twist at the end. I loved it !