This piece was inspired by an illustration by Daniel Egneus for a version of Little Red Riding Hood.
The wolves are at the door.
My heart beating madly, I try to think of a way to send them away.
I feel their hot breath through the wood.
Wheedling and cajoling, they try to entice me. “Come outside, little girl,” they say. “We only want to play.”
I have seen how they play, the tattered skins on the blood-soaked playground; circling around their playthings, the wolvish grins bright as the moonlight reflects off their wolvish teeth.
“I cannot,” I reply. “No one is home and I have to tend the fires.”
Grinding their teeth, they whine—“Let the fires go out. We like the dark.” They laugh.
“I cannot. My master likes the fires, and he is much fiercer than you.”
I tell them in my sweetest voice: “Come back tomorrow and I will play.”
The youngest wolf knows me. He sighs, “We will be back tomorrow and will not take no for an answer…” I hear them leave.
I lean against the door, and look at the blood on my hands and my fierce master on the floor. I look at the fire burning brightly in the hearth. Tomorrow is good.
Tomorrow I will be ready for them. They are nothing compared to my master.
I laugh at the fate of the wolves.