This week on ‘whoops I accidentally turned this writing class exercise into a teen wolf fanfic’
You decided one day never to respond to your name. “Genim!” your mother would yell in panic. “Come down!” It was out of a four-year old sense of rebellion that you climbed higher, the stone wall protecting their village becoming a playground. That had been the first time you’d climbed it and was not the last, each time feeling a rush of something, something that filled up the hole within you. Most days would find you up there, smashed berries smudging fingers as you drew images, childish scribbles telling only a story you could read. Your pockets were forever be stained a myriad of colors, the berries your collected and carried with you filling them to the brim.
The first time you’d grabbed berries that were for eating you’d been scolded. Your mother had gone into a rage, waving hands and spit flying. Her words had gone ignored, your eyes trained on the wooden spoon she’d flicked about in your direction. You now keep it slipped up a sleeve, the smooth wood reminding you of times that you can’t quite remember beyond a sense of bittersweet nostalgia.
In time the name Stiles came to be ignored as well, as did Aeton, Kaden, Iason and the brief time that you called himself Caecilia. You shed and adopted names like the sun rose, each coming close, but never enough, never was it you. In time your mother gave up on you, simply shouting out “You!” or “Child!”
The grump of a man Alastor next door only calls you Imp.
You are different from the other children, skin pale and smooth where the other boys tanned and scarred. Freckles and a scattering of moles consume your face, eyes like honey shine with more mischief than any one person should possess. You grew like a weed, limbs shifting from awkward and gangling to smooth and tricking. When your mother was not cross she fondly refer to you as her ‘Cattail’, the plants that sprung in the backyard mocking your skinniness and mess of brown hair.
The villagers don’t like you much, how you like to swipe blood from the butchers and run through the square covered in it, screaming that the wolves had come. Your fingers are permanently a shade of purple from getting them whacked with a rod, Father long since dead but Alastor more than happy to pick up the slack. You don’t care much for Alastor.
You are a live wire, a spark of energy that never stops moving. Always a foot tapping or fingers snapping, eyes flitting to chase a bird or the smoke from a pipe. The boys and girls were fascinated by you until they gathered the courage to speak to you. Rude words and a sharp tongue pushed away any attempt at friendship; you knew they were in love with the image of you, not yourself. They were in love with the boy who would disobey teachers for what they thought was no reason. They could not see the world like you do, with the colors so vibrant and the world reverberating with life, with an energy that filled you up as well.
The only time you ever calm, ever sit still is when you rest atop the tall stone walls, limbs stretching out in feline-like grace. You stare out into the woods, watching the trees ripple with life and whisper to one another. At times you scale down the wall’s other side, though never reached the bottom out of fear. You knew that enemies lurked within those woods, and that you would never reach your destination if you dare enter.
Oh how you missed your grandmother.
Your grandmother had been the first ‘Little Red’. She was the first one to see how clever the wolves had gotten, the first to kill one as a child. She had been the one to build up the walls, to move into the forest to hunt them. As time grew older the task was passed onto your aunt, then upon her death in childbirth, you. You were the first boy to inherit the cloak, and the rest of the neighborhood disagreed. “Him? Of all people? He will never help us!” they had yelled, poking and jabbing with their needle fingers, eyes narrowed to slits. “Just give it up; give the cloak to someone who deserves it!”
It was that same rebellion, that same one that had you climbing the high walls as a child that made you throw on the cloak. Shadows climbed out of the hood to cling to your face as you glared at the villagers, mimicking their narrowed eyes and needle hands. You are only fourteen, barely a man, though older than your grandmother had been when she had first ventured into the forest. It was from that glare that the other villagers fell silent, no one questioning you. They recognized something had settled within you, a wild part of the wolves you now hunt settling within you.
They now call you Little Red.
And for once, you respond.1 note