She laid there bleeding out on the freshly fallen snow. Her cape was becoming a darker shade of crimson from her many puncture holes she adorned on her rib cage. Her eyes were fading from a vibrant blue to a more milky color. She reached in her basket for a large Bowie knife but was stopped by an abrupt crack of her jaw made by the butt of a rifle. She looked up at her assailant but all she could see was a silhouette that blotted out the sun. Then everything went black.
The previous month Red was trotting through the woods with a basket full of treats for her ailing grandmother. When she arrived at her cottage she found her in bed with a very raspy voice. With a very sly line of questioning she had deduced that this was not her grandmother, but actually a wolf in disguise who had very recently swallowed her grandmother whole! This led to Little Red snatching a butcher knife from the kitchen, and split the wolf open to free her still living grandmother from inside of it’s warm and bloody belly. After this Red was never the same. Her eyes went dead of all emotion. She dipped her right hand deep into the belly of the beast and adorned her face with a bloody hand print. The only thought that repeated in her head was “This is War!”
Red trained in the woods for many weeks with a hunter. Her goal was to exterminate each and every wolf that lived in these woods. She was like a machine. Every trick of the trapper trade she took on with a focus and ferocity unseen by the hunter. She was his best apprentice though he worried that if she killed all of the wolves there would be non left for sport or trade. Her reply to this was that he would be handsomely compensated with land and pelts when her war was over. She said this dispassionately while staring into the woods. Her eyes burned with hatred, and her heart was as hard as stone. “Never again will they trick one such as I, never again will they breath the air of the living” she said while twisting a small doll until it tore in two spilling it’s sawdust inside on the ground. The hunter stepped away slowly from Red. “Whatever you say miss.”
At first light Red began to track her prey. There were many wolves in this forest, but they were pack animals by nature. This would make her job much easier. Her first catch of the day was a lone wolf standing by some flowers. There was an eerie silence in the air. A light fog rolled through the forest like a living thing. Red got down on her haunches and took aim. It was so quiet that all you could her was the wolf panting. Then there was a click from the rife which caught the wolfs attention. For a brief moment Red and the wolf made eye contact. Then BLAM, it was felled in one shot. Red wasted no time. She quickly tied the dead animal to a rope and strung it up in the trees to be collected later. This pattern continued throughout the day until she happened upon a cave. She sat there hiding in the bush for a long time. She could smell the wolves inside. Not wanting to be overwhelmed she decided to be patient and see if any would exit the cave. Maybe she could pick them off one at a time if she was quiet.
After many hours a curious little wolf cub scampered out of the cave. It made eye contact with Red, but before it could yelp a mother wolf picked it up and brought it back inside the cave. Red was loosing patience. She looked inside her bag remembering that she had purchased a handful of dynamite from some miners. If the wolves would not come out willingly she would flush them out and blow a few to bits in the process. Red took her time getting closer to the entrance of the cave. She sniffed at the air and made sure to stay down wind. Her rifle was poised at the entrance of the cave. She was just about to enter the cave when she heard a light crack behind her. She turned quickly but it was too late. Lights out!
When she awoke it was dark. The moon was full and bright that night, but her view of it was quite odd for it was below her. Then she saw the rope around her ankles and felt the rush of blood to her head. She was dangling from an old pine tree five feet off of the ground. There was a campfire burning bright mere feet from her, and gathered around it was a family of wolves. Then from the dark a figure approached. In the dim light it was difficult to make out his features, but she could still tell it was a man. “Couldn’t let you do it miss” the man said gruffly. “Couldn’t let you kill all of those wolves, their innocent. At least as innocent as a wolf can be” he said in a more somber tone. “You already killed my brother for what he done. That should have been enough.” She looked confused. “He’s what the Indians call a skinwalker. That’s why it could talk, and these here.” He gestured towards the pack. “These here are my family. Spiritually at least.”
He had turned slightly and she now got a glance at his face from the flickering flames of the fire. It was the hunter. The hunter that had trained her. His face now began to contort and his voice grew more coarse. Red’s eyes grew wide with fear. The hunters eyes glowed a sickening green, and fur sprouted on his face. He quickly tore off his clothing revealing a contorting spine that snapped in places and then realigned with loud cracks of bone. His sharp claws brushed up against her skin. “Your rage is even greater than mine, and we must not allow you to upset the balance of things” he said in a much less human voice.
The beast cut her binds, but she was unarmed. Unable to defend herself. All she could do was look up in horror as the pack surrounded her, and the skinwalker blotted out the moon with his enormous form. Large globs of drool splashed on her face, and she could hear his stomach growl with hunger. Ahooooooooooo!
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