This is another novel I am writing. I wrote the prologue for it a long time ago and now I am attempting to continue writing it again. You won't find much of the plot in the prologue for I attempted to write as if I am telling a fairytale. The first couple of chapters won't show much of a plot either for I am going to be introducing the characters in these first three or four chapters. I know I write very slow going novels but I hope once they start picking up you will start to find them interesting.

Prologue

Many Years Ago

In the small village of Maplewood, many mysteries have been told to happen. Kids disappear and never come back. They would wonder around a large forest area on the edge of the town and soon after that, they would ever be seen again.

A few weeks ago, a boy and girl went missing. They were walking down the road hand in hand until they came to a road that curved around a gigantic forest. They froze where they stood. As they stared at the huge black trees that seemed to taunt them, there was a sudden curiosity about the forest. They minute they looked into the forest, all their hearts desires were seen. Candy, gingerbread…A ginger bread house.

Their love for sweets guided them into the depths of that forest that day. One moment they were there and the next, they were gone. They were the first victims.

A few weeks passed and the children weren't seen. The people of Maplewood soon gave up and continued to their everyday lives. Mr. Applewhite continued to plant his flowers while Mrs. Applewhite sold them. The memory of their two children who were now lost forever was forgotten. They never remembered even having children. It was like the children were wiped from the town's entire memory.

A week later, Mr. and Mrs. Berry sent their daughter to school one morning without any breakfast. The child was walking down the gravel road towards the schoolhouse with her tummy grumbling. She was trotting away when her nose caught the scent of something warm and delicious. As fast as her short, little legs could take her, she ran down the trail to wherever the source of that smell came from. When she came face to face with the forest itself that was as black as death itself, she paused in her tracks. A cold memory of her parents came to her mind. Do not go into the forest. Whatever happens, do not go into the forest or you'll never return again.

Just as she turned around to head back towards the trail to the schoolhouse, she smelled the wonderful smell of porridge. It was not too hot, not too cold…It was just right. The girl thought about resisting, but the sound of her bare stomach got the better of her. She went into the forest without a second of hesitation and she was gone just as the bell began to ring signaling the start of class.

Miss Pringles, the town's only school teacher, saw the Berry's little girl's empty seat and wondered where she could have possibly gone. After school she went to the Berry's to ask about their only child, but they didn't recall ever having a daughter. Miss Pringles didn't know what to do. She couldn't argue with the parents and convince them they had a daughter. She could go to the town's mayor, but what good would that do? He would never do anything. So Miss Pringles decided she must be going crazy and let it go.

Weeks went by and nothing was heard about the girl ever again. Just like the other two children, they were forgotten and removed from the town's memory. Mr. and Mrs. Berry never had a little girl.

Children around Maplewood were slimming down quickly. Soon less than half the original population of kids was gone. Maplewood was turning into a ghost town for children.

The only child left on the Eastern side of town was the woodcutter's daughter. The woodcutter had been dead for five years but the daughter still lived with her mother in their cottage. The daughter was named Little Red because she had a red cloak that she loved to wear. It was made for her by her grandmother. She loved her grandmother dearly. When she found out her beloved grandmother was very ill with the flu, she wanted to do everything in her power for her.

Each and every morning, she would go down to Mrs. Applewhite and get some flowers. She would enjoy the sweat aroma of the beautiful plants and imagine how much her grandmother would enjoy it. Since the school closed because of the lack of children, Little Red had all the time in the world to shop for her grandma. After finding the right flowers, she went next door to Mr. Berry's garden of blueberries. There he let her pick as many blueberries as she wanted for her dear grandmother.

Her grandmother loved blue berries. Especially when she was sick. They made her feel warm inside and the sweet fragrance of the juice made her want to jump for joy. Little Red filled her basket as full as her straw basket would allow then she bid Mr. and Mrs. Berry adieu and moved on to other things.

Next to the Berry's was Miss Baker who was the town's baker. Little Red loved the cinnamon buns that she made. So when she went to get a bun, Miss Baker gave it to her without any charge. As she sat on the patio eating her roll, Little Red couldn't help but to look at the mysterious trees of the Western Woods. The forest seemed to feel her presence for a gust of wind came through the trees and blew at Little Red almost knocking the bun out of her hand.

As soon as she finished her breakfast, she walked over by the trees that concealed the forest. Just as she reached out her hand to touch the leaves, a screaming mess came out of the house of the baker.

"Little Red! Little Red!" came a screeching Miss Baker. Once she came nearer, she opened up her hand to reveal a little green frog. "I thought I told you to keep you little green friend out of my kitchen! He ruined three of my pies and nearly flattened one of my breads!"

Disgusted by the revolting creature, Miss Baker dumped the frog into Little Red's tiny hands.

"But Miss Baker, you know that I don't keep frogs for pets," protest Little Red.

"Don't use that tone of voice with me! Take your pet and scoot!" With that Miss Baker swung herself around and took her leave.

Confused about what had just happened, slowly Little Red turned back to the road and started to head for the clearing where her grandmother's house remained excluded from the town.

The second Little Red reached the little wooden cottage; she was greeted with a warm hug from welcoming hands and a soft kiss from her anxious grandmother. There in that snug and comforting cottage, Little Red conversed and consoled with her grandmother about her day and about her life with her mother. They talked for the whole afternoon and into the evening until it became dark, signaling for her time to leave.

Her grandmother offered for Little Red to spend the night, but Little Red didn't want to cause any more inconvenience for her grandmother so she left with her shoulders held high so she could brace the night and get home safely. All Little Red had in her hand was a tiny lantern that was given to her by her grandmother and her small empty straw basket. The sky was pitch black and it was hard to see the gravel road. If it wasn't for the fact that she had a lantern, Little Red wouldn't of had a clue where she was going. It was like walking through a dark tunnel.

Little Red was walking down the dusty trail; her feet picking up the dust as she went. Suddenly, she heard a distant scream that came from the woods. She rushed from the secure path that safely leads to the town and into the wood which its destination was unclear. The scream of a familiar old woman was heard repeatedly and over that sound was the terrifying sound of growling and snarling.

"Little Red!" the scream called out to her and it was soon revealed that it was the voice of her grandmother. Little Red's eyes went wide and she sprinted into the trees of the forest and toward the source of the sound.

"Grandma!" Little Red called out. "Where are you?"

As she continued to say this, she walked further into the dark pits of the forest uncertain what she was walking into. Soon, her grandmother's screams were not heard anymore. Her pace decreased. She was all alone in the silence of the forest. Rapidly in a panic, Little Red turned around in circles realizing that she had no clue where she was.

The forest was dead silent. Nothing was heard. Not a bird… not a wind… not even an owl. The only thing that Little Red heard came from inside of her. The sound of her beating heart could be heard for miles. Something else in the forest knew that too for Little Red could feel a presence.

A twig snapped and Little Red turned around. She screamed but there was nobody to hear her. That was the end of Little Red.