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  4. The Golden Children

Once upon a time, there was a man. A very hated man, an exiled man. He was never understood by anyone, but he never tried to understand anyone either. As a child, he was treated as an outcast by the people in his town. As soon as he grew up, his father threw him on the dirty streets, lost and broken. The man hid in the woods. A place where no one could hurt him. The man considered the woods a safe place, a place he could call his own. It was indeed unusual that such a dark and twisted place could be called home. Nobody wanted to go there since many legends talked about men and women that even God himself was scared to see.

The man was just a child when he committed his first murders. It wasn't anything big, just an old blind rabbit and some baby birds that he could feed on during the long, cold winter nights. The warm blood staining his tight clothes and the rough meat of the victims hanging from his rotten teeth made him feel powerful for once in his life. Since then he called himself a hunter.

One beautiful day, the Hunter was looking for his next prey when he heard the sweet voice filled with innocence. The man’s eyes lit up like matches while he hid behind a tree, observing the little figure dressed in red. Her voice was soft and childish, just like her body. The Hunter was confused about his sensations, was it the little girl or the unexplainable feelings that made him feel a pit in his stomach? As he watched the golden girl, a crooked, hairy, dirty creature approached her. The being introduced itself as “The Wolf.” The hunter could see the terror in her eyes… her beautiful eyes.

“Good day, Little Red Riding Hood,” the wolf said leaning down, observing her and sniffing her soft, curly hair. “Where are you going so early?” 

“To my grandmother’s,” she whispered while clinging on to the basket filled with medicine and food. 

“What a sweet little girl you are. Where does your grandmother live?” the Wolf continued. The little girl stumbled a little, biting her lip and looking down at her small shoes. 

“A quarter of an hour’s walk from here; her house stands beneath the three oak trees, and you may know it by the hazel bushes,” said Little Red Riding Hood. The child moved away and tried to fake a polite smile, telling the Wolf she had to go. The predator blocked her way. 

“Just look at the pretty flowers growing around you,” he said, pushing her towards a muddy path with some daisies growing on its edges. “I am sure your grandmother would be happy if you made her a bouquet. Don't you think?” the Wolf whispered into her ear. The girl moved away from his strong grip and nodded, her eyes still fixed on the ground. 

The Hunter’s eyes filled with hate as he watched the Wolf walk to the grandmother’s house. Maybe if he followed him right away things would’ve ended in a nicer way… but c'est la vie. The innocence of the golden girl hypnotized him. While he admired each move she made, the wolf had gotten to the little wooden house, hidden among the three oak trees. The monster knocked on the door. 

“Who is there?” the grandmother’s weak voice echoed from behind the door. 

“Red Riding Hood,” he replied as sweetly and kindly as his rough deep voice allowed him to. 

“Lift the latch” cried the grandmother, not suspecting a thing, and he did as he was told.

That poor old woman. If only someone told her that her death would be so cruel, she would have ended it herself. As she layed in bed, weak and sick the wolf was sharpening his claws. One cut, there was blood on the white sheets, one rip and her skin was no longer her own, seven chops and the screaming stopped. The wolf was carefully sewing her skin on top of his own, using her gray hair as strings. He put on her clothes and hid her lifeless body under the dusty bed. He lay in bed and waited for his victim to arrive, dreaming of her soft, young and innocent flesh. 

After an hour, he heard a rapid knock at the door. “Come in,” the Wolf yelled, hiding a part of his face under the covers. The little girl came in and gasped. The woman lying in bed was pale and odd, as if the skin was worn by the wrong body. Red Riding Hood didn’t think much of it… stupid naive little golden child. So pure and innocent, so angelic.

“O grandmother, what large ears you have!” 

“The better to hear with.” 

“O grandmother, what great eyes you have!” said the girl backing away as she saw the figure standing up from the bed.

“The better to see with,” said the wolf, no longer imitating the old woman's voice. He smiled.  

“O grandmother what large hands you have,” said Red Riding Hood while bumping into the corner of the room. 

“The better to take hold of you and devour you!” and as soon as the wolf said that the child’s red hood was on the floor. The wolf, who’s cruelty could be only human was getting closer and closer to the little crying girl when suddenly the door flew open and a skinny figure ran in. The hunter was now on top of the disguised bastard, choking him and screaming with tears in his eyes “I AM A GOLDEN BOY AS WELL! I DON’T BELONG HERE! I AM A GOLDEN BOY!” He started ripping the grandmother's skin off of the Wolf, exposing his sharp cheekbones and beard. His skull was already crushed but the Hunter wouldn't stop “I AM A GOLDEN BOY.” He kept on screaming while the eyes of the wolf rolled on the floor. 

Red Riding Hood ran out of the house of madness and got home as fast as she could. She told her mother about everything that happened but the only thing she has got in return was a burning slap. “Shut up!” her mother said while scratching the back of her head “What will the neighbors say? What will your father say? Do you really think someone will believe you? My daughter is acting like a madwoman.” The little girl cried “But I am telling the truth! Please believe me!” 

With bruises on her back and a bleeding lip,  Red Riding Hood went to sleep. As she was resting her eyes, a faint knock echoed from her window. She stood up in pain and walked towards it. As she grabbed onto the curtains, a chilling whisper came from the other side. “I am a golden child, just like you.” 

The girl froze.

THE END

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Who else has begun to think of their lives as divided into the BC (Before Covid) and DC (During Covid) eras? Oh, those simple things we took for granted: catching some fresh air during a short afternoon walk in the park. Having a coffee at the corner bar. A long, leisurely weekend lunch with a friend. A spontaneous decision to go and see a movie. For that matter, a spontaneous decision merely to go and pick up milk and laundry soap at the grocery store.

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Ms. Egan is proud to present work that has been done in her Creative Writing Classes in the Fall and Spring Semesters. Enjoy!

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Chapter 2: Creative Writing

The Golden Children

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Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

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Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

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