A poetic flash fiction story of Little Red Riding Hood set in a modern café. She's all grown up and see's the Big Bad Wolf as it is.
A chime rings ding as I open the door.
You’re impatiently waiting,
Tapping your foot on the floor.
I pull off my red coat and give you a hug.
“Hello, Grandma. How are you?”
You pat my shoulder and shrug.
There’s a stiffness about you that’s distinctively odd.
I brush it off with a smile and nod.
With your voice sounding raw and a little bit hoarse,
"I got your coffee. You're always late, of course."
We sip in silence as a chill rolls in.
I observe your fidgeting fingers,
Not sure where to begin.
“Victor started kindergarten. I can’t believe he’s in school.”
You respond with a derogatory comment.
Implying I’m a fool.
You look like Grandma, but now I’m not sure.
There’s something here that feels impure.
I show you pictures while I swig from my cup.
Your eyes grow big,
"Oh, I could gobble him up!"
I carefully watch as you scratch your hand.
Revealing thick nails above your wedding band.
Once perfectly squared are now shaped like claws,
You dig them deep into your wrinkled paws.
You shout disappointments that I don’t understand.
Perceptions that don’t exist.
Judgments, profoundly off-brand.
Razor-sharp teeth are exposed while you continue to growl.
Ludicrous notions are made as you start to prowl.
You've wasted your life and now you want mine.
Grandma, have you lost your mind?
I look you dead in the eye as your skin bursts into fur.
"You don't scare me, Grandma," I say, giving my coffee a stir.
I let you throw a tantrum,
Ripping the café apart.
You shatter everything in sight,
Including my much-contested heart.
The only version of me that you know,
Is the one you invented ages ago.
You jerk the door open and leave in a huff.
I’m pulling my red hood up,
I light a smoke and take a puff.
Deep down I’ve known you were a wolf all along.
Burdened by the same old tune, that vindictive song.
You can’t blow my house down or eat me alive.
This is my life; I will rise and thrive.
Take your fangs and your coffee to go.
This is the end of our toxic show.
I grip the ax weighing heavy in my purse.
Cross me again Big Bad Wolf, and you’ll leave here in a hearse.