A Bit of Horror Before Halloween

So today has been a work day and a homework day.

It’s not fun when the two overlap, but what’s been nice is that husband and I have been doing homework together. It’s been what I call: “A Homework Party” (woop woop). You have to make the woop woop sound. I even made husband do it. We’ve been eating pizza, listening to music, and just getting stuff done. In someways I think my homework is better. He has to study nursing stuff (SUPER gross pictures) and I get to do writing (WOOP WOOP!)

Anyway, I have to do these different exercises for my online class. For each lecture (we get lectures on the different genres: poetry, short story, historical fiction, fantasy/ science fiction, etc.) we are given anywhere from 5-10 exercises and we pick one and write.

So here’s the exercise from the short story lecture that I picked…

Exercise #3

Take a well-known nursery rhyme or fairy tale and now take the off-stage horror and put it on center stage. If you pick The Three Little Pigs, for example, let us see the wolf’s fangs and smell his breath. Let him devour the first pig and let’s see the blood. Grim, right? I was going to make some joke about the Brother’s Grimm, but I figure it’s been done before. Anyway, re-write a nursery rhyme or fairy tale and make it ghastly. Your choice about the ending. 

And this is what I wrote…

The Woodsman unsheathed his knife. It didn’t gleam in the dying sunlight like it once had, back when his father had first given it to him. But it was still just as sharp. It still got the job done.

Slowly, the Woodsman slipped the tip of the knife into the wolf’s swollen belly. He couldn’t cut too deep. He couldn’t slice the girl or her grandmother. He slid the knife in till half the blade was buried in the wolf. Blood, as red as the holly berries in winter, pooled out of the cut and stained the wolf’s white fur. Like blood and snow. It was almost beautiful.

His knife met no resistance as he drew it from tip to toe. More blood spilled out. It was darker. More like the red leaves of the trees in the fall. Closer to the color of death. It smelled like iron. Bitter and cold. Like the winter. Like the wolf. The Woodsman could almost taste it in the air.

Once he had finished the incision, he eviscerated the wolf with his bare hands, searching for the women inside. He ripped organs from the body. They smacked the ground with a heavy wet sound as he tossed them aside. Finally he felt something different.

Wet hair beneath his fingers.

He reached in with his other hand and grabbed.

He pulled.

This time the wolf hadn’t eaten them whole.

No, he had taken his time, the old sinner.

The Woodsman cradled the girl’s head in his hands. Her face was mutilated past recognition. Her jaw was missing and there were deep slash marks that ran from her forehead down. A scrap of fabric was tangled in her wet hair.

Gently the Woodsman worked it out. It was only a scrap. 

It was red.     

Not a full blown short story. Maybe closer to flash fiction (even though I’m not 100% sure what flash fiction really is…) but there you go. Maybe it’s not as gross or horrific as I could’ve made it. But, I like it. And totally in a Halloween-I’ve-been-watching-too-many-slasher-movies kind of way. 

So, Happy Almost Halloween!

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