The Red Daughter, a short story

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Calla, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. The Red Daughter
    I was five years old when my mother told me to always be afraid.

    " Fear is everywhere Ren. Fear is the knowledge that we are still breathing. Still alive. But we cannot live our lives in it. We must face it, head on ,or it will face you. One day you will understand all of this." She paused at this moment to place a place of my unruly hair behind my ear, sadly looking to the mantle where she placed her gun, before crawling into bed with me.

    " But now sleep well my little girl , you are safe" She said, grabbing the gun in one hand,while placing the baby doll in the crook of my arm.

    " Mommy?" I called before she could leave the room.

    " Will you leave the light on? Just this once?" I asked," You don't have to be scared of the darkness, Ren. Darkness is protection, my sweet girl. If they can't see you, they can't hurt you. Go to sleep baby" She said, closing the door. in,

    I pulled the covers up to my chin, but with afterthought , threw them down to my waist.

    If my mother was not afraid of the darkness then I had no reason to be afraid.

    That was the first night I heard a wolf howl and I swore something yellow was glowing through the window.

    ______________________________________________________________________My mother was the best butcher in town, an artist with a carving knife. She traveled all over, delivering and always came back with something for me. Usually it was a comb,or a new doll.

    " Darling, I have someone I want you to meet."

    She came back from her travels with not a comb or even what I hoped for,a dog.

    Grasping her other hand was a small girl with dark skin, wavy hair,and green eyes.

    Her dress was torn in places,her thick hair thick with leaves and vegetation.

    But I did not care.

    " She's pretty mommy! Can we keep her?" I asked but my mother just turned back to me smiling.

    " She's not a pet, Ren This is Lu, Ren. Her family can't take care of her right now, so she will be staying here!" I got so excited that I ran to embrace Lu but she hid behind my mother's leg.

    " It's alright. You don't have to be afraid. I won't hurt you.' I said, holding my hand out to her. After what feels like forever, she took my hand.

    In that moment I felt the earth move beneath me and my fingers were scorching in her grasp.

    She was my inferno.

    Although similar on the outside, Lu and I were anything but in terms of our interactions with others. She was jittery and quiet, ready to run or fight at any moment if anyone got to close. I was kind which the town boys attempted to take advantage of yet never succeeded because of Lu

    The people in town were intrigued yet repulsed by Lu,the orphan taking advantage of the Red Family,and the children thought she was some kind of monster

    Somehow we made it work.

    But that all changed when I turned twelve Mother had left to visit a friend around and nine we promised to be in bed and locks all on the door at midnight. We had changed for bed, when the sound of glass breaking rips through the house and I race to the kitchen . Before I could turn around Lu was there, pushing past me to the window.

    " What is it? Do you see anything out there?" I asked,but Lu wasn't listening. Just staring through the broken window at the full moon.

    " Lu? Lu are you alright?" I put my hand on her shoulder,turning her around.

    " Yeah ,I'm fine. It's just the moon. Have you ever seen something so beautiful?" She says,collasping into a chair I turn around to respond when I spot a small rock lying next to the kitchen table.

    " What's wrong?" She asks

    " I think I found what broke the window. It's got a word on it." I turn it towards the moonlight.

    " What's it say?" Lu asks,suddenly nervous

    " It says Lilith. Maybe it belongs to someone in town. What do you think Lu? Lu?" I look around the room to see Lu slowly backing herself into a corner.

    "Lu? What's wrong?" I say,,putting my finger under her chin,forcing her to look into my eyes.

    " None this would have happened if I never came here. You could have gotten hurt because of me. You know what everyone in town thinks of me." She says exasperatedly

    " Lu? Lu look at me." Isaid firmly and her eyes pour into mine.

    " It's going to be alright. You are not a monster. I love you. Whatever happens, I love you. Nobody is going to take that away from me. If that makes me a monster too, then so be it. I would do anything to be with you. " I say,putting her arm around me.

    Lu looks up at me and suddenly I feel my lips on hers' and its like I've been frostbitten and burnt at the same time.

    I'm lost in her.

    " We should stop." I hear her mumble,but I can't

    “ No Ren!” She yelled,and shoved me away ,away meaning into a wall across the room. In that moment I was distracted from the pain in my rear end by just how dark the room was. I heard Lu’s footsteps running towards me

    “ Ren,Ren, I’m so sorry. Are you okay? It was an accident, I didn’t mean to!” She offered her hand to me and I turned to meet her face in the moonlight and yelped at the sight before me,shutting my eyes.

    “ What is it?” She squeaked.

    I opened my eyes to see the frightening sight gone, and Lu’s concerned face staring back at me.

    “ It’s okay. I’m alright. It was an accident.” I said, grasping at Lu’s outstretched hand to stand. I put the cloak back in the closet but didn’t emerge

    “ okay I’ve had enough fun for one night. What are you doing now?” Lu asked exasperated.

    “ Just one last thing.” I murmured, grabbing a sheathed knife from the bottom shelf.

    “ Got it. Now give me your hand.” I said,turning back to face her.

    “ What are you doing? No way .” Lu said,but I grabbed her hand, sighing dramatically

    “ Come on, it won’t hurt. See?” I drag the knife softly across my palm, hissing at the pain of the small bleeding gash.

    “ I kinda like not having infections so if we could-

    “ Please? It’s my birthday wish. Please Lu, I want us to be together forever.”

    “ Oh fine!” She says, giving up.

    Lu stiffens a little bit but gives me her hand. I make the same mark on her hand and grasp our palms together.

    “ Now we will never be apart. Your blood is my blood now." I say squealing at the whole mysticism part of it.

    “ Now can we please go to bed?” I nodded, wiping the last bit of blood off the knife and putting it back on the bottom shelf.

    “ Oh Ren, you’ve got blood on your face.” I immediately brought my hand up to face but she grabbed my hand,forcing it down at my side.

    “ I’ve got it.” With her thumb,she brushed it away,but instead of brushing it on her pajamas, she licked her thumb clean.

    “ I guess now we really are together forever .” She said, skipping her way back to our shared room.


    “ It wasn’t until we had tucked ourselves up in bed that she asked me.

    “ Hey Ren, are you asleep?”

    “ I was.”

    “ What did you see that made you so freaked out back in your mom’s room?” She asked turning over in her bed to face me.

    “ I thought I saw something at the window. It was just a tree branch.”

    “ Oh,okay. Goodnight.” She reached out with her marked hand and I reached out with mine, grasping tightly.

    I wish I could have closed my eyes and fallen asleep, forgetting what I had actually seen. It was just for a split second- it wasn’t even real- it couldn’t have been real.

    When Lu pushed me,for a split second I saw nothing in the darkness except Lu’s eyes.

    They had seemed to be glowing bright yellow.

    I was six years old when I figured out how to get my mother's attention quickly. I try pry her gun out her holsters. Instead of a Model 70 Winchester Rifle, I got a smack upside the head that made my ears ring.

    " Never touch this Ren. It’s too dangerous I don't. I don't want-" She couldn't finish but I knew what she meant

    She doesn't want me to be like her I thought.

    " Mother?"

    " Yes Ren? "

    " Who's Lilith?" She picked me up at that moment, and held me tight.

    " Lilith, according to the Bible, was Adam's first wife. But Lilith was not so happy about being Adam's mate so God turned her into a monster. Some say a giant wolf with yellow eyes" My mother says,looking away.

    'I won't be gone long, just for the night. Now what do you do when Mommy goes away?" She said, pulling on a black jacket while simultaneously avoiding my eyes.

    " I look all the doors and hide. If they can't see me , they can't hurt me. " I recited, playing with the zipper that held her jacket together, my little fingers pulling the red,silky,hood of her jacket over her head. She stared at me,with almost tears in her eyes

    " Goodnight Ren. I love you! Tell Lu I love her as well. Get some rest, its your birthday tomorrow." She kissed my head and walked briskly out the door, a blur of red silk..


    Everything seems to go wrong simply, with a knock on the front door.

    Four, women came out of it. They were tall,elegant,and had the same expression of hatred yet pride on their faces.I don’t really remember what was said, I just remember Lu running back into my room and holding my hand tightly.

    " What? What is it?" I asked her, wiping away the tears streaming down her face

    " It's my family, they are back. They want me to leave. Now." She says and everything around me stopped.

    She brought me outside to my mother, who was sitting on the porch cleaning two rifles, cloak hood up, glaring at the women. When I figured out what was happening, I began screaming and crying ,as did Lu. My mother dropped the guns and ran to ,grabbing me around the waist while one of the women grabbed Lu’s. Together they ripped us away from each other,and I clung to mother’s jacket. She wrapped me in it, her eyes never leaving the four women. My mother gently sat me on the porch and stood away from me. She stared hard at the women, who equally glared back. The tallest one of them all with sharp cheekbones and green eyes walked away from the others and stood directly in front of my mother.

    " Thank you for keeping her safe. We will keep up our end of the deal."

    " For now!" One says laughing

    " Marina!" The tallest one says.

    My mother and the woman shared a curt nod before turning away.
    “ Ren!” I turned around to see Lu

    “ Lu ,please don’t go!” I screamed, trying to run to her but my mother grabbed me.

    “ Ren ! “

    will find you again Lu! I’ll never stop!” I yell

    “ Ren!” Lu yelled and was finally shoved into the car.


    That day, I promised myself I would find her. Little did I know that she would find me.

    Four years later, I decided that I would use violence to find Lu, who mother never spoke of again, even got angry at the mere mention of her.

    " Mother please, I just want to know she’s okay." I said almost at the verge of tears. My mother saw this in me and grabbed my face roughly

    " I said that’s enough Ren! Just let her go. For your safety, just stop.”

    “ What? What do you mean?” She ignored me

    “ I won't be gone long, just for the night. Now what do you do when I go away?" She said, pulling on her cloak while simultaneously avoiding my eyes.

    " I look all the doors and hide. If they can't see me , they can't hurt me. " I recite

    " Goodnight Ren. I love you." She kissed my head and walked briskly out the door, a blur of red silk.

    With that, she was gone, never to be seen again.

    A hiker found her hood, stained with blood and in pieces.


    Tears were shed when my mother was embraced by the earth, but none of my own. Not even when I was told I was to live with her aunt, the one the little children called " Grandmother."

    She was kind and gentle, never asking for too much, and instead of pestering me she let come and go as I please and in time, I felt at home. She only had one rule.

    " There is only one thing I ask of you. When you are alone, do not open the door for anyone. Not even me.”

    I never knew what that meant until my twenty-first birthday.Such a strange feeling, saying it now. It started so unordinary, just with one simple request.

    " Take this basket to the Weirs family on Prescott Street off the interstate. Mrs. Weir is sick so I thought I would just have you drop this off. " She said, shoving the covered basket into my hand. Without any sort of protest , I ran to the door but she stopped me before I could open it.

    " Ren?"

    " Yes Grandmother?" I said

    " It's cold outside and I saw this for you in town. What you didn't think I would forget your birthday my sweet girl?" and with that, she brandished a red jacket in front of her.

    " Well, what are you waiting for? Put it on!" She commanded as I bent down a full two feet to her height while she helped me into the soft leather jacket .

    Blood red and unnaturally warm, but something about it seemed perfect.

    “ Hmm” Grandmother said, studying me.

    " Yes Grandmother?" I said, taking the many locks off the door.

    " Your coat needs a hood. I think I'll take it back ."

    " I'll be fine. Besides I like it without the hood. " I said firmly and with a kiss upon her cheek and the promise to stay out of the woods, I set off on my bike into the shadow of the night, everything except the red of my sleeve blurring into one on the interstate.

    I had no reason to do what I did

    I didn't have to stop.

    But I had no choice.

    They were standing there in the middle of the road.

    And then it began.

    I stopped perfectly in front of them, these two women in all black, one with a short midnight bob and piercing green eyes, the other with long hair, the color of fresh snow.

    They both studied me, eyes flickering.

    " Can I help you, are you lost?" She smirked at my question. Everything about her seemed to glow in the moonlight

    “ I’m Marina and this is my friend Luna. We were just walking around,talking in the sights.” Marina’s eyes trailed up and down my body.

    “ On the side of the road?” I asked

    " Where are you going?" The blond woman asks head cocked , eyes never leaving my face.

    “ Leave it alone Marina.” The dark-skinned one called Luna said,eyes never leaving me

    " I'm taking some food to a family for my grandmother. Are you alright ? I can call someone " I say

    " Grandmother huh? Which road are you taking?" She answered my question with a question, her eyes straying from my face to the basket.

    “ Let her be Marina.” Luna

    " I am taking the Claw Road. " I said,

    I noticed at that moment a small trail of blood running down Marina’s chin. She caught me, and quickly wiped it away with the back of her right hand.

    " Well then we will take the Talon Road then." Luna said,firmly,reaching for Marina who wiggled out of her grasp and walked up to me, her face close to mine.

    " You smell divine. Thanks for you help. " Marina said and Luna grabbed her pulling her away.

    “Wait!” I said, suddenly and they both turned around

    “ You look really familiar. Do I know you?” I said, trying to peer into Luna’s face. She looked away

    “ No. Sorry.”

    “ But-

    I turned back to look at them but they had vanished.

    I dropped off the basket to the hungry family ,and return home, arms full of flowers the Weirs gave in exchange for some of Grandmother's cooking. I made it home,trying to shake off the encounter with Marina and Luna,but I couldn’t.

    " Grandmother?" I called out.

    " Yes my dearest I'm in your bedroom." She called her voice, strange to me. I opened the door to see my grandmother ,standing there closing the blinds, hands shaking and her thick gray curls

    " Grandmother, are you alright?" I say inching closer to her.

    " Oh yes my love, there's just a draft. Want to make it nice for my special girl." She turns from me and embraces me, hands trailing slowly down my back . Ignoring my discomfort, she led me out of my room into hers.

    " I have a surprise for you my dear. " She whispered in my ears. She stands behind me and suddenly I feel something soft on my face. A blindfold.

    " Now, we are going to play a game. Are you ready?"

    " Yes Grandmother." I felt her surprisingly warm hands guide mine. They moved into the air and I felt them land on the soft yet firm cartilage.

    Her ear.

    She moved it all across and it was vast and well, pointy.

    " Grandmother, what big ears you have !" I said, trying to take the blindfold off but she steadied my hand.

    " The better to hear you with my dear." She moved my hand to her face, guiding my fingers up to her eye

    " Grandmother what big eyes you have!"

    " The better to see you with my dear."

    My hands move again to her lips, putting one finger in her mouth. My finger trailed something jagged

    " Grandmother what large teeth you have!" I exclaim Her lips close around my finger, sucking on it.

    But then I see it out of the corner of the blindfold, a thick curl of shining hair.

    Snow white.

    " The better to eat you with my dear!" The voice no longer matronly but a deep inhuman growl. I rip the blindfold off to see a monster, an unearthly creature grasping a hand.

    A wrinkled hand with nothing attached to it.

    The monster chuckled but suddenly stops as it gasps and chokes, only finding relief when a carpet sized wrinkled mass dislodges from this throat.

    My grandmother's skin

    A mass of bone and fur with midnight eyes stares back at me, white hair gone, replaced with patches of white fur on what seems to be a scalp. The only thing of familiarity is the smirk, finished with one long fang.

    " My sweet Ren. Your mother was afraid. Your aunt was afraid. Now tell me : Who's afraid of the big bad wolf ?" It says crouching low, practically drooling with hunger.

    To answer its question, I turned away from it, fingers shaking.

    I feel myself go flying into the wall, my head cracking the top of the couch

    " What are you going to do now little girl? Lock all the doors? Hide. Humans, all the same. They cried too, begged for their lives. I mean, can you at the very least be original before I rip your throat out ? Alas, you still have not answered my question. Who's afraid of the big bad wolf ?" Its claw slides down my cheek, in an attempt to get me to look back into it's face

    I can feel its breath on my neck , a distinct smell of rotten fish and blood

    " Come on, now just answer the question and I'll rip you apart gently. Who's afraid of the big bad wolf ?" I turn around, and the room is silent, just the creature staring at me, smirking.

    " Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?" The creature laughs ,louder and louder until out of nowhere, an actual wolf, twice the size of the couch ,jumps throw the door and lands, directly on the creature. Without a second thought, the wolf rips into the creature's throat and blood begins to pour from its mouth, a beautiful waterfall of blood,

    I start to scramble backwards to get away when the wolf starts to contort,the popping of bone's breaking unbearable till a human body appears, and I find myself staring into familar green eyes.

    " Lu?" I tackle her to the groud, tears obstructing my vision

    " It's okay now, I'm so happy to see you. You were right. I wasn't a monster. Turns out I'm a giant wolf."


    " Venison, Rabbit, Chicken , all you carry!" I called out, handing out freshly wrapped parcels to the hungry crowd.

    " Thank goodness you started up the butcher shop again Ren! Your mother would be so proud of you !" Mrs. Weir says, smiling

    " Thank you Ms. Weir. " I say smiling while Lu hands her extra packages

    " So what about the others? Luna won't be happy you killed her mate" I whisper.

    " They will come. But we will be ready for them. I won't let them hurt you." She whispers, her thumb tracing circles on the back of my hand. I go in for a kiss when Ms. Weir spins around.

    " Oh what a lovely jacket. And such a soft hood. " She exclaims as I look back

    " Where you found an animal with such white fur is beyond me. " She says.

    I chuckle

    " Well you never know what you will find in the middle of the road these days." I saw smiling while Lu grasps my hand and I trace the puckered scar on her hand with my thumb.

    “ Told you I’d find you.”

    The End