There is a line from "Romeo and Juliet" in here. Belongs to Shakespeare, or whoever owns his plays now.

Retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood"


A plague on both your houses!

So said him as he died.

-

She wears a cloak of fury and fire,

hiding her drab moth-wings and porcelain skin.

The hood is always up, shielding her ebon-straw hair

from the harsh elements that will fade it further

away from that raven's-wing it used to be.

-

And the wind howls,

shrieking through the trees,

and you run, little one,

but you'll never escape me.

-

Momma doesn't know, doesn't want to know;

and eyes can't see what the mind won't acknowledge.

So Momma just sews and sews, blind to the

fallen child across the dinner table.

And Papa, oh Papa, she's still his little girl,

but she stopped being little long ago.

-

A plague on both your houses!

He was her favorite from that story,

and oh, how he died.

-

The forest is cold as she trudges through it;

her feet shuffle in the freezing snow.

She kicked off her slippers back at the house,

and now she curses such foolishness.

She clutches her threadbare cloak,

torn and unraveling and not warm at all,

closer about her shoulders.

The ruby bled from it long ago.

-

Come closer, little one,

run your fingers through my hair.

Do not fear me, my dear,

for you'll never escape.

-

A plague on both your houses!

It echoes in her head, his dying curse,

and she whispers it to herself,

hurrying through the darkened woods.

-

Papa smiles sadly at Momma, pulling her close.

She lies in his arms, silent tears on her face.

She clutches his shirt, mutters a plea,

and he says, Forgive me.

Momma shakes her head, sobs harder,

and Papa presses a kiss to her hair.

-

Her footsteps fade into the snow.

Threads of a crimson cloak flutter in the icy breeze,

threads with no cape to be seen.

Here a faded hair, there a faded hair,

and look! There a bloodstain.

She wore that cloak to hide her drab moth-wings,

to shield herself from the world and its pain—

and look.

There, do you see?

Momma sewed that cape

and Momma carried her to term

and Momma now weeps in Papa's arms,

because the Wolf, as always, has won.

-

She was Papa's little girl.

But she stopped being little long ago.

And her cloak of fury and fire could not mask the experience.

She was Papa's little girl.

and what's his stays his.

-

A plague on both your houses!

If she'd had last words, they'd be the same as his.

-

And the wind moans,

sighing through the trees,

and you cry, little one,

but you've finally sated me.

-

The Wolf licked his lips

and his fangs glistened in the moonlight.

The Wolf laughed and dug a hole

for her fragile little bones.