Once upon a time, in a village on the edge of a great forest lived a little boy who was loved by everyone, including his grandmother. As often as he could, the boy would visit his grandmother in her cottage at the center of the forest, and listen as she recalled wonderous stories filled with magic and adventure. But most of all, his favorite was the story about the little girl with a blood red cloak, little red riding hood. The boy loved the story so much that his grandmother gave him a cloak just like the one from the story, but with a small twist.
“This cloak is infused with real magic,” his grandmother told him. “Wear it whenever you venture into the forest and it will protect from anyone who wishes you any harm.”
“Ok grandmother,” The innocent boy said, with a charming smile on his face, and true to his word the boy wore it every time he went to see his beloved grandmother.
One day, the little boy was on his way to his grandmother’s cottage when he saw some beautiful flowers blooming just off the path. Deciding to pick just a few for his grandmother he left the path. Hours passed and by the time the boy realized how late it had gotten, it was dark within the forest.
Scared and lost the boy wrapped himself in his cloak and began to cry. Unaware of the predator watching him.
“Human.” The boy’s head snapped up at the sound of the voice and gasped in shock at the man before him. He was tall with light brown eyes, black hair and pale skin. He looked almost human…except atop his head was a pair of black dog ears and behind him, a black bushy tail swished lazily through the air.
“W-who are you?” the little boy whimpered, “W-what are you?”
“That’s not important,” the man said walking towards the boy. “Your grandmother is worried sick about you. She asked me to come find you.”
“But who are-” the boy began but was cut off.
“I already told you that’s not important.” The man-dog thing said as he reached down to the boy without hesitation and scooped up the boy in bridal style.
“H-hey!” the boy yelled blushing violently, “P-put me down!”
“It’s faster if I carry you.” the man said. “Hold on”
The boy gasped when the man took off at a speed not humanly possible. it seemed only a second went by before he was gently lowered to the ground.
“Red!” he heard a familiar voice call. He glanced around and could just barely spot his grandmother’s cottage through a few trees. His grandmother was waiting at the door calling his name.
“Grandma” He whispered and was about to run to her but stopped and turned back to his rescuer, “thank you. I don’t know how I could ever repay you.”
A smirk crossed the man’s face and in a second he was grasping his face between his thumb and his ginger, hovering but inches from red’s face. “Oh I’m sure someday you will but for now…just don’t wander off the path” And with that said, the man disappeared.
Red stared at the place where the man vanished. Who was that strange man?
“Red!” his grandmothers call snapped him out of it and without further hesitation he ran through the woods straight into his grandmother’s arms.
“I’m sorry grandmother, I left the path to pick you some flowers and got lost, I’m sorry,” Red said, with sadness in his voice.
“Well, you’re just lucky you didn’t run into the wolf” His grandmother cried.
“The wolf? What wolf?” Red asked, pulling away from his grandmother’s arms.
“He lives in the forest” His grandmother began, “A great wolf with fur as black as night. he prays on travelers who lose their way in the night. That is why it is very important for you never to leave the path for if he sets his sights on you, there is no escape.
The boy thought for a moment about the man with the dog ears and thick bushy tail and for a second thought that perhaps he was the wolf, but then banished the thought from his head. Wolves cant turn into humans and humans cant turn into wolves.
Reds grandmother hugged him once more again before quickly herding the boy onto the cottage.
Shaking his head Red pushed all thoughts of the man out of his mind opting to focus on the delicious smell of beef stew wafting towards him. He was at that moment completely unaware of the yellow eyes that had been watching him the entire time.