Little Red Riding Hood

Sylvie_Grare_loup

she is silken, like the heather that bends under lovers’ feet running down to the warbling brook; she is white as candy and curl-headed as a thousand wedding rings strung together, and the final touch, a ruby melted to satin flows down her neck, down her back

he is coarse, like the rope that binds a sailor’s arms just before a knee in his back sends him off the plank and hands slashed free beneath the ship, flashing onward, gray as the space between night and day when time trembles in its cave and peeks out at the claw-striking, moon-swallowing, ear-splintering creatures, like himself, as he sniffs the forest air and finds in it something out of place: naked flesh, unfurred, unfettered

she is tumbling through the brush, winging along a birdsong of help, help me, help me somebody; she is star-split and laced with cuts from the branches that rip at her thighs, wanting to taste the rich vessels beneath the skin, reaching past the thin cotton dress, but barely tasting it and she’s again too far to touch, racing time

he is buckling and unrolling the earth in turns, chasing faster than a whisper from one dewdrop to a neighbor on the same grass blade; he is gaining on her, losing gaining losing in turns, letting a rain of anticipation nourish the dustbowl of his long pink tongue as it flags out of his mouth like a chemise on the clothes-line in the breeze: his first meal in weeks is the object of his chase, comes wrapped in ruby satin and a fear he has come to miss so much since the two-leggeds invented

the gun

is crowing, the air is splitting from the

shot

stitch by stitch, button by ribbon

the planet is peeled like an open-eyed virgin

his skull is shattered, his brain is splashed

like warning posters against all the trees that do not flinch at the taste of gore:

after all, they have smelt it all before.

The_binding_of_Fenris_by_D_Hardy

Image credits in order of appearance:

“Sylvie Grare loup.” By Ssl01 – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3293460

“The binding of Fenris by D Hardy.” Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=679500

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