This is a fairytale retelling of Red Riding Hood. A very different fictional version that I created in order to relate to modern woman oppressions.
The world was set into chaos after an all out war broke out. Governments fell apart, causing the lands to divide for a crazed leader to take control of. The lands fought each other continuously to gain power and more land in a race to obtain more land and become powerful. Turmoil graced the lands of the people as their leaders ignored the importance of their lives and used them as mere grunt soldiers. The population of men was depleting, causing a rise in interests for female soldiers.
The people of the lands lived in small districts, each with their own dictator. In District Grimm, the people would await the disastrous plans of the leader while dreading The Culling. The Culling was a time when their dictator??™s Institution would set out soldiers to capture young girls to train them to be soldiers. After they were trained, they would be forced into war to fight or their families at home would be murdered.
Annalese lost her parents and grandfather in a raid at a young age. At ten years old now, she lives with her grandmother in District Grimm. She is a beautiful young girl with long and wavy raven black hair. It was always in a loose braid that looked like she had been playing all day. When her hair was let down, it would effortlessly flow in the wind. Her pale skin was as delicate as the moonlights beams, while her deep garnet eyes were mysteriously intent and focused. Her eyes wickedly smiled with excitement as if hiding a sneaky secret. Although she was slender from lack of food, she was strong in her stance and always ready to pounce like a cat on a hunt. High spirited as she was, she would be able to smile her full scarlet mouth so sweetly that your heart would melt. You would silently pledge your life into doing anything and everything into making this innocent girl happy.
Her grandmother was an elderly woman. Although she was just as sweet as Annalese, she was tired with age and ragged from trying to take care of the two of them. Her smile was weary, but she always had one on her face for her granddaughters sake. At times, her eyes would betray her happiness as they would seldom fill with glistening tears in silent moments, only to be wiped away quickly before Annalese could see them. Thoughts of her belated husband and Annaleses mother were a heavy burden for her to bear on her own. But she still shone brilliantly, just as her silver hair would gleam from the sunlight. Her boney hands were riddled with calluses from tilling the town farms. It was their only means of earning provisions for them to survive on. At times, she would provide Annalese with more food than herself which aided in her fragile body that was ready to give out at any moment.
Her grandmother was working with her old friend, Hunter, in the town farms. Annalese was playing on the skirts of the farm with crickets when The Culling began. Soldiers from The Institution raged through the town and abruptly collect the amount of young girls they were set out to acquire. There was no time for her grandmother to run to Annalese as she spotted the chaos that was charging towards her. Even if her fragile body could catch up to her, those who protest are shot on the spot and the girls are taken regardless of their efforts.
Annalese was captured with a handful of other girls from close by Districts. They were kept at The Institution, undergoing vigorous training in combat, strategy and weaponry skills. They were also experimented on with drugs to amplify their abilities. Some girls would not make it through the first year, and with the side effects, some that did make it wish they had not. It was a tough life of relentless fighting and training. They were all given new code names in order to help erase their identities. Annalese was given Code Red.
All the new recruits were separated by age and kept in the same common area. She became friends with a blonde haired, pale blue eyed girl with a squeaky voice. She always wore her hair in a bun, as neat as it could be in a disgusting world. She never knew her real name, to repeat it would mean severe beatings. She only knew her as Code Blue and that her father was killed at war. “Well arent you lucky,” Red told Blue, “you get to spend hell with me, the silent devil!” Red was referring to another girls nickname for her as she connected the devil to the color red, and her uncanny quiet demeanor.
Blue giggled in reply, “Ya know, I lived with the devil! She was my stepmother, and evil to boot! My minion stepsister carried out her daily tortures on me for her! Now you, youre a saint in disguise! Id go crazy if I was alone in here!”
“Oh please little Miss Priss, me a saint Dont mess up that perfect little bun of yours!” Red flicked Blues hair with a devilish smile.
Her other friend, Code Apple, had short black hair that was dark as coal. Her porcelain skin was flawless as her baby blue eyes were large and replicated those of a doll. She was soft spoken, and always looked like she had just woken from a long nap. There were other girls she talked to at times, Code Bell, Code Seashell, and more. But Blue and Apple were the two she confided in during her time at The Institution.
In the Cold Table Area, were they are their meals, a large painting of their Dictator was suspended above their tables on the far wall. All tables were turned towards the painting so no backs would face it. Dictator Petrokoff Wolfe was a brute man with broad large shoulders. His beady black eyes were set deep within his dark face as his nose protruded outward with great length. His wild hair was a deep, dark muddy brown. It was unkept and scraggily pulled back, behind his overly grown ears. His hunched over posture added to the effect of a scowl, as if to remind the recruits that he is forever watching over you. Red heard a rumor from two guards during lunch that Wolfe had his teeth grinded to sharp points in order to instill fear into his enemies, others believe it is because he must really be a wolf.
Several years later, Red has grown to be a strikingly beautiful woman. Her weight is more maintained at The Institution, allowing her body to fill in and her muscles to strengthen. Her hair was kept at the same long length, tide back in her signature tousled braid that was usually disheveled from training. One day she was in training and the next few minutes happened so fast, it was a blur to make sense of. Red was doing fighting exercise with Blue next to Apple and Bell. A crazed recruit got loose and ran around the halls screaming as the sirens began. She was frantically yelling, “Our families arent alive! Theyre all dead! Theyre lying, theyre all dead! Theyre All DEAD!” Red noticed she was carrying a small circular object that she recognized during her Experimental Bomb Activation class.
Red yelled, “TAKE COVER!” and slammed Blue, Apple and Bell behind a barricade just behind them. The crazed recruit ran straight for the far wall and squeezed the circular object until a click sufficed. She blew up instantly at the wall, causing the base of the wall to crumble. Red and her friends jumped up with quick reflexes, alert and ready to fight from years of training. The guards were yet to be seen but their footfalls were rushing to their location. Red looked at Blue with a frantic gleam in her eyes. Without a single word, all for girls darted towards the blasted hole as others followed and head in different directions.
They were halfway through the field outside The Institution when mines underground started triggering. A disarray of debris was flying into the air from the mines as the girls streaked through them, just making it through the exploding debris. The guards were approaching them and fired their guns at the construed rain of dirt and smoke as the girls dodged their bullets. There were too many guards, the girls had to split up in order for a chance to escape. Red shot a glance at Blue. “GO!” Blue shouted. Red nodded and fled in the opposite direction, unable to see the other girls.
Red made it out alive, but not knowing if her friends ever made it was tormenting her. Even so, she continued on to race home to her grandmother. She ran straight for two days, not stopping to eat or sleep. Her training allowed her to be superior at long trips. She knew her home was just East of The Institution, just beyond the Pins and Needles Forest. She was trained to be familiar with the lands and Wolfes properties in order to protect them when sent on missions. During her run through the forest, she noticed distant helicopters flying in her direction. She feared The Institution would be awaiting her at her homeland.
When Red arrived to her town, all that she feared had occurred. The town was obviously recently ransacked. Although still standing, it was evident it had just be ravaged. She went to her grandmothers house it empty. Her next stop was her grandmothers friends home, Hunter. She found him huddled over a burnt pile of pictures that must have caught fire during the raid. She recognized one photograph of Hunter and her grandmother standing over game they had hunted down. He had once told Red that he used the grandmother as bait to catch a wild wolf that was terrorizing the town. But that was when Red was just a little girl.
Hunter was surprised to see Annalese all grown up, let alone still alive. He told her the soldiers came and captured her grandmother. They never said why. But he did overhear them saying that they were taking her to The Mansion of Dictator Wolfe. Red was furious. Her wild blood ran hot in her veins. All she could think of was running to Wolfes mansion to save her grandmother. But she was smart enough to know she would need to rest. She stayed at Hunters home until she was fully rested, fed and clothes. He gave her a long crimson velvet cloak with a large hood in order to help her stay hidden, as well as a pair slender black pants and black shirt that used to belong to his daughter. She only travelled during night and always kept her hood on.
One night, she came across a few of Wolfes soldiers out on patrol. They were resting at their campsite. She noticed their major weapons were sitting close to the distinguished fire pit next to a tin canister. Too much drinking on the job makes a stupid, sleepy soldier. She crept up silently to the bedside of the nearest soldier and twisted his neck before he could awaken. The soldier that dozed off while trying to keep watch woke up and saw her hovering over his comrades body. He yelled for the other two soldiers and quickly stumbled to his feet. Before he could find stable ground, the crouching Red lunged to him so fast that he did not have time to react. She grabbed his dagger he left on the ground and placed it between his ribcage. She was running to her next victim before his body could hit the ground.
The other two soldiers stumbled out of their sacs. One was grabbing his dagger as the other reached for his pistol under his makeshift pillow. He raised the pistol and shot at Red. She deflected it with the dagger and ricocheted the bulled straight back to him, straight into the middle of his forehead. She whipped the blade at the other soldier since it was bent from the gun shot. The hilt slammed into his left eye as she ran to him to grab his right hand that was grasping the dagger. Red twisted his arm around until she face his backside. Still holding his right arm straight out, she thrust her palm into his elbow, breaking it in the opposite direction forcing the dagger to fall. She spun him around to face her and delivered a final blow that caused him to fall with a loud thud.
She continued through the woods leaving behind the soldiers weapons. The Institution had sensors throughout the perimeter. If you had metal on you then they could track you. The only way to bring weapons in or out is through authorization. Wolfe??™s Mansion must have a similar security system, or probably better. She reached the gate to The Mansion running at full speed. She ran towards it without a moment??™s hesitation and leaped over it and continued running.
Red scaled the walls to the third floor and opened a window, without setting off the alarms. She found a guard in the hallway outside the room and crept up from behind and took him out. She dragged his body to the empty room and took his key card. She crept through the hallways in search for Wolfe??™s corridors. Finally, she sneaked through a long hallway and found two oversized red double doors unlike the single black doors throughout The Mansion. She swiped the black key card and the little green light granted her access. The doors clicked, unlocking for her. She was suspicious of how easy it was to breech The Mansion.
Regardless of her unease, Red was desperate to find her grandmother before it was too late. She crashed into the room only to find a crowd of Wolfe??™s soldiers waiting for her in his office. She noted there were three sets of big red double doors in the large round room. One of them would lead her to her grandmother, and one of the soldiers must know which one it is. She stood for a second to absorb the troops presence. Their weapons, their stances, their demeanor: it was all too well prepared for her. Wolfe has been waiting for Red.
Red could tell they were strong and very well trained fighters. She would have to take them out fast before they could work together to stop her. The anticipation of someone making the first move was exciting Red. She could feel the blood pulse through her veins. The intensity of the oncoming fight laid heavily in the air as Red felt the electricity of her excitement grow. She lowered into a stance, ready to attack. She flashed a sinister crooked grin.
A soldier ran to her first, stupid move. She side stepped to dodge his attack at the same time his comrades raised their guns to fire at her, regardless of their fellow soldier in the line of fire. Red grabbed his arm and spun him around and used him as a human shield. A soldier yelled, “CEASE FIRE! He wants her alive!” Red laughed to herself thinking, “as if they had a chance of killing me!” Her deadly crimson smile growled a vicious laugh as she charged a soldier. She spun around with a high kick, grabbing his neck with the back of her leg. She retrieved his dagger and placed it in his chest. Instantly dropping him, she was onto the rest of the soldiers.
Using the wall to jump off of, she hurled her body behind the soldiers, she continued striking each man down until she was the last person standing. She lifted a soldier by his collar and yelled, “WHERE IS MY GRANDMOTHER!” His arm sluggishly raised to point a shaking finger to the double red doors to their right. “Thanks,” she said with a sweet smile, then knocked him out. She walked to the doors and opened them without a moments hesitation.
Wolfe was sitting by a large lit fireplace in an oversized, ornate wooden chair with red cushions. Reds grandmother was sitting across from him, hands bound and mouth taped shut. Red wanted to scream and kill him instantly. Instead, he started talking to Red, “So nice of you to visit, my dear Red.” The disdain in his voice did not go unnoticed.
“Ive come to visit my grandmother actually.” Red responded with an unreadable face. She was cool and collected for her grandmothers sake.
“Shes been a great guest actually. Ive been sure to take care of her and have no harm come to her.”
Red glanced at her grandmother and took note of the scratches and bruises, “your lies are as sharp as your teeth. Let her go and well leave without any more trouble.”
“Its not the easy Red. You see, Ive invested a lot of time into you. You were elite at The Institution. I could use you. Join me, do my biddings, and you and your grandmother will live a prestigious life amongst The Mansion.” Wolfe was desperate. He was at the end of his ropes. Red had just defeated his elite guard to get to him.
“Piss off! You disgust me!” Red had made her way to a wall with ancient weapons during the conversation. She reached for an axe off the wall with lightening speed and delivered it straight into his skull.
Red had returned to her hometown with her grandmother. She was home at last with her family and friends. Not long after the whole ordeal, Red was sitting at the dinner table with Hunter and her grandmother. Hunter was telling a story of another female that was fighting in a resistance group. She had said she heard about Red defeating Wolfe and wanted to fight for the people too. Red was interested in the girl. She wanted to know more, maybe Red could find her and help. The only thing Hunter knew about her was that she had a signature tight bun at the nape of her neck. Red smiled, and they could feel her excitement growing.