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RED ~ CH 3

Chapter 2 Chapter 1

In a weeks time, it would be the harvest festival. Red loved this time of year, usually. The colors of the village grew bright as the leaves took their change. The weather changed from a pleasant warm air, to a slight chill breeze. People of the village were working extra hard, to make sure their crops were ready and harvested before the snow started to fall. It would be one more week, until the village grew lively as its patrons shared their goods. Games would be played, and everyone seemed to be in high spirits at the harvest festival. Red and her father would stroll the village of Drastaire hand and hand, and eat the fresh food, as well as partake in the harvest games. Every year she would wait, and wait, and once the time had come she would wake up at the crack of dawn waiting for whatever the day would bring. She was unsure how this year would be though. With father gone, and Gramma a sour cow ; Red had no idea if her favorite day would even make her happy. She walked down the stairs to find Gramma Yayha sitting at her chair, with a plump Higgons on her lap purring like a maniac. Yayha stroked Higgons, as his yellow eyes flashed up towards Red.

“Today is your lucky day, Redalynne,” Gramma said while giving Higgons a scratch behind his ears. “You will be venturing outside the walls today. A rare berry grows in the woods, and I need some to make pies for the festival.”

Red grew excited, but also frightened. She always had a curiosity, but of course there was also the stories. Stories of large wolves, that hunted the flesh and meat of anything they could find. With paws as big as a smaller bears, and large fangs that could lacerate a rhino. Would Gramma really risk her young life, for some rare berries? Well of course she would. Yayha could care less if Red lived or died. She would probably just get mad that she didn’t get the fruit she wanted.

“There’s a basket on the kitchen table. Try and fill it up as much as you can,” she said, a lack of emotion in both her voice, and on her face.

Red walked into the kitchen and with a trembling hand grabbed the basket. Without a word she made it to the front door before Gramma stopped her.

“You will need this key, come,” Yayha said, refusing to get up from her roost. She fumbled into her pocket and handed Red a large silver key on a chain. As Red went to grab the key Higgons hissed back. He didn’t like it when Red got too close.

Red put the key around her neck, and left. She avoided any looks as she made her way to the large gate that opened to the outside. Her tiny hands started to shake, as she fumbled with the keyhole. She heard the lock pop. Red opened the gate. A whole new world stood before her.

Red has never seen so many trees in her eight years of life. The ground below her crunched from dried leaves with each step. She moved further and further away from the village. She then realized, she didn’t even have a clue what she was supposed to be looking for. Some kind of berry, she proposed. She stopped for a second and looked around. What if she grabbed poison berries instead. That would sure teach Gramma, but of course the rest of Drastaire may fall ill or die from Yayha’s pies as well. Not like Red really cared about any of the residents, but she really didn’t want death on her hands either.

Red continued down a winding pathway. The woods began to get thicker, and a silence crept through the air. She shivered. Red hugged herself as she continued down the path. The trail got thinner, the forest got denser. Darkness started to envelope her, as the trees grew taller and blocked out the sun. Her eyes searched for anything that could signify a berry, but all she saw was the vegetation that surrounded her. She found a small stump, and sat on top of it to think. A minute or so passed by, and a bush behind her started to shiver and shake. The ruffling got louder, and her heart, even louder it thumped. She could hear it beating in her eardrums – badump. badump.

The bush started to split open. Red closed her eyes. She heard a meek chatter, a childish voice.

“oh, I uhh… I didn’t expect anyone else here,” said the voice.

Red opened her eyes and turned her focus towards the utters. A young boy, close to her age sat on his hands and knees. He was as nude as the day he was born, and filthy with dirt and mud. Seeing his naked flesh made her blush. He blushed as well.

“What are you…,” asked Red

“Bo,” bellowed the voice of an older man. “Bo, what the hell are you doing?”

An older, tall man with sinewy arms and legs started to walk out of the woods.

“Bo, you fool. Get some clothes on,” he barked.

“Sorry father,” Bo said.

Red giggled, and Bo’s face flushed an even brighter shade of crimson. The man glared back at Red.

“And what are you doing out here. Don’t you know these woods are dangerous”

Red looked back at Bo’s father aghast, and speechless.

“My, my Gramma. She wanted some berries,” Red stammered. “She made me come out here.”

Bo’s father said, “your Gramma you say. Well she sounds like a nut job. Sending a young child out into the woods. You could get killed out here.”

“Your out here. Are you not scared,” Red asked.

“I am a grown man, a strong man. I could kill anything I wanted too.”

“And, Bo. Is he not a child?”

“You are correct little one, but I am always close by. The forest fears me. It’s not I that fears the forest, but you should,” he said with his teeth barred. “This Gramma of yours needs to clear her insanity clock.”

“I don’t even know what kind of berries she wants,” sulked Red. “They are rare, and she wants to make pies with them. Are any berries here poisonous, sir?”

“Plenty, and you are quite clever enough to figure that out. Look,” he sighed. “I can help you, but you have to hurry back before darkness falls. Bo,” he yelled. “Get your clothes on and help this girl. Show her the Berry patch behind the abandoned lodge,” He moved in closer to Bo, and spoke in a low voice, but Red’s young ears could still hear him. “And not a word of this to your mother. You know how she feels about … the villagers,” he turned back towards Red.” Where are you from? Helvich, Drastaire, or Fallows.”

“Drastaire, does that mean there are other villages. Towns maybe.”

“No towns for miles, and miles away. That doesn’t mean you can go looking for them or the other villages. Remember these woods are dangerous, and not for the likes of a child as young as you. You should tell this Gramma of yours to do her own berry picking next time. I will be close, but I have some things to do. Bo, be quick. Be quick and show her the way back home,” he barked back once more.

Red didn’t even see Bo get dressed, but he now stood behind her fully clothed in the skins of animals. She didn’t even notice until now, that Bo’s father wore the same attire.

The young children meandered off until they came to a dilapidated log cabin. A bush of bright red fruit laid behind the building, and worked its way arpund the backside in a thick bush.

“So Bo, where are you from,” asked Red. “Are you from one of those other villages that your father spoke about?”

“Well… no,” said Bo. “Actually…” he looked worried, his eyes darting back and forth. “We live in the woods, in a camp.”

Red’s eyes got two times bigger.

The boy continued. “We like a simpler life then most, I guess you could say.” he brushed a hand through thick sandy hair. He averted his gaze from Red, and looked down towards his feet. “So what’s your name, anyways.”

“Red,” she answered back

“Like the color?”

“Yeah, kinda. My name is actually Redalynne, but I prefer Red. especially since my Gramma likes to yell at me, in that lovely tone of hers. Redalynne,” she uttered her own name in a condescending tone.

“Your Gramma really seems like a..”

“Yeah, she’s kind of awful.”

The two of them picked berries, as Red explained why she lived with Gramma, instead of her parents. How Yayha gave her so many chores, and that she slept in the attic.

“That’s awful, Red. Silly too,” he spoke, exasperated. “Why can’t you just live with someone nicer?”

Red picked a berry, then another. She tossed them into the basket.

“It’s the way of the village. I dunno… families stick with families. She’s my last living relative.”

“What if your Gramma died,” he asked, a deadpanned look on his face.

“Well I don’t really know then. It would be frowned upon if I asked.”

Bo looked back at her, and said nothing. She looked back at him, silent as well.

“Well… it looks like we have lots of berries for your mean ol’ Gram,” he said. “I guess I should walk you near your home.”

The walked in utter silence the whole way back. Red could see Drastaires large walls in the distance, and she felt a sharp pain in the pit of her stomach. She didn’t want to go back. She felt as if she made a friend, and didn’t really have any friends, anyone to talk to in Drastaire. She was the outcast, with the black hair. The one who’s mom, was an outsider. She couldn’t just stay out here either though, and she knew it. In her gut, she knew it. Bo’s father seemed rather serious when he spoke earlier. Red had no choice, but to return back to her home. Back to her doom.

3 thoughts on “RED ~ CH 3

    1. Thank you so much. Sorry it took me so long to reply. I haven’t blogged much, but past couple weeks I started up again. If your still interested I have finished Chapter 6 today and is posted as well as previous chapters. Glad you enjoyed it so far. It’s a first draft so sometimes it won’t be that great, expect some fodder here and there, lol. Thanks again for stopping by.

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